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Bast off to fun with Zap Zap Kindergarten Math

 

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstimes.com

What was your favorite subject in school? Mine was Social Studies and English (only the creative writing stuff).

What was your least favorite subject? Mine was – and always will be – Math! I am not a fan of it at all. I know to add, subtract, multiply, divide and do fractions and decimals. That’s it! Oh yeah, and figure out the tip on a restaurant bill (LOL).

My kids had to learn Common Core Math when they were in school. I am not sure if this type of math is utilize across the county, but it’s hard. Instead of doing a straight math problem you have to take several more steps to get the answer. When I worked with the upper elementary school/middle school kids a couple of years ago I had a hard time helping them with their math homework. I had to rely on a very smart fourth grader to help ME to help THEM.

Here is a not-so-funny situation that happened to me a couple of months ago. My co-worker was helping a kindergartner do her homework and got stuck on a math question. She asked me if I knew what to do. I have NO CLUE! I had to hunt down another co-worker (at the ripe “old” age of 18) and instantly he knew how to do the math problem.

Seriously? The grown ups couldn’t help a kindergartner with a math question? That is so pathetic!

I really feel strongly that little ones should learn to do math early in life and fully grasp it. I think it will help make understanding math as they get older (in school and beyond) a lot easier.

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Kids these days seem to learn a lot more than we used to at their age. In kindergarten I remember coloring, taking naps and snacks. These days kindergartners are learning to weight thing, measure things and do adding and subtracting with two numbers. I should know, I work with kindergartners during the school year.

I am not a fan of kids playing too many video games UNLESS there is an educational element to them. Take for example a new app called Zap Zap Math.

When I was asked to review the app I cringed. I had to review a MATH app? But math is my least favorite subject. None the less I downloaded the app and played around with it. In fact, I couldn’t put down my phone. I was so into playing the game that I was late making dinner one night.

Zap Zap Math allows kids to blast off on fun adventures that help teach them about math.

You start by flying a rocket ship around the universe and stopping on the planets you come across. There is a small “picture in picture” to help you navigate to the planets. There are also borders you can’t pass, which keeps you from aimlessly flying around.

If you look to the bottom right corner you can see where the rocket ship is located in the universe and where the nearest planet it (the plants are seen as yellow balls).

Once you land on a planet it will open to MANY games based on the plant’s subject matter. For example one planet is for Adding and Subtracting, another is for Shapes and Measurements and yet another for Numbers).

Once you “land” on the planet you’ll see your character (which each player makes when you open the app for the first time). The character walks up a path. On both sides of the path you’ll see buildings. Each building is a new game. You need to complete each game in order to unlock the next game on the path. That is the part that I found to be the most fun. I was on a quest to finish an entire planet. I have played the game many times and have yet to complete a whole planet. There are A LOT of games to be played in this app.

Here are screen shots from just a FEW of the games on the Zap Zap Math app.

In this game players are asked to choose which item the customer wants (3 corners, 5 corners, 3D, flat shape…). I thought this was a bit too much for a kindergartner, but, they actually do this kind of math in school (at least in our school they do).

This game is fun. You “high five” the correct alien person (shorter, taller). It’s a great way to help kid quickly identify tall/short things. The “slap” sound from the high five is cute too.

This game is similar to the one above, only this time children are asked to answer questions about less or more using the same “high five” slap.

As an adult I found this game fun. Players need to collect all the required shapes into the blue container. This game starts out easy but as you keep playing (different levels) the shape you need to collect is found among several other shapes.

This is another fun game. Different shaped items come down the chute and players need to sort them into the appropriate bin. This is a great way to help kids to quickly identify common shapes.

This game asks players to add or subject (sometimes doing both) to get the correct number of apples needed to make an apple pie. The game also has players count the apples in the container to ensure that they have the correct amount needed for the recipe.

This was another favorite game of mind. Players need to fill in the missing “track” pieces to help the train cross the bridge. If you make a mistake the train actually falls into the water below (oh no!). This game also starts out really easy and gets harder as you advance each level.

The kids I work with do A LOT with number bond. There are a few games that I have come across thus far on Zap Zap Math that help kids learn the concept of number bonds.

This is another number bond game. Players have to choose which numbers add up to the target number in order to help the race car get power.

This game is two games in one. It’s part memory, part math. Players need to pick out which two cards are needed to make the target number. It starts out with just a couple of cards but as you advance levels more cards are added to the table. If your child loves memory games, this one is sure to be a hit with them.

This is cute adding/subtracting game using cute little micro organisms.

Yet another game I really enjoyed. This game asks players to count how many of the target character is in each scene. It starts out with just a few but more characters are mixed into the scene as you advance to another level. As you can see the characters are adorable too.

I was shocked to see a game that asks players (children) to decide is there is “less than, more than or equal amounts” of spaceships. Notice the colors of the space ships are different. The game is ONLY asking about the two different colors. As you play you’ll notice more colored ships are added. Only concern yourself with with colored ships in the circles. I found that out the hard way (if you don’t answer correctly they crash into each other causing a huge traffic jam).

The snake game was the only one (so far) that gave me any trouble. You need to help the snake each the fruits in the correct order (in the case above it would be going from 6, 7, 8, 9). I had a hard time getting my fingers to steer him in the right direction. It’s probably because I have chubby little fingers.

As you complete each game you not only unlock the next game, but you also receive a puzzle piece to finish off various puzzles.

When you complete each game you also earn points and get a score card. I have yet to figure out what this all means, but it’s always fun to see huge number piling up.

As I mentioned earlier, I am not a fan of math, but I must say these games made math FUN.

Did I just say mat was fun? WOW!

The games in the Zap Zap Math app are fun and very engaging. They also feature adorable characters and colorful scenes.

The background music was good too. It wasn’t annoying or tedious like other games. I was glad about that.

There is so much MORE to this game. I just barely scratched the surface.

If you would like to learn more about Zap Zap Math visit the official website – www.zapzapmath.com/zap-zap-kindergarten-math. You can also visit the main site at www.zapzapmath.com.

Zap Zap Math can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

Check out this brief promotional video to see the game in action.

 

What do you think of Zap Zap Math? Do you think your child or grandchild would have fun with a game like this? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Zap Zap Math to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Get the Facts! Get Checked! Get Healthy!

 

© Destinyvispro | Dreamstime.com – Kidney Organ Donation Icon

The older I get the more and more concerned I get about my overall health. I want to be healthy and live a long life. Who doesn’t?

I regret (terribly!) not taking better care of my health growing up. Take for example my obesity. I have been obese since I was a toddler. I have lost, and gained, and lost and gained over and over again the past forty-something years. Right now I am still considered obese, but I’m not as heavy a I once was (I’ve lost about 40+) pounds.

I had an appointment this past week with a Cardiologist for a check up. I have never been to a Cardiologist before, but my husband felt it was a good idea. At least to get a baseline so that the doctor can keep check on things and make sure my “ticker” (heart) is in great shape for years to come. Unfortunately the appointment had to be rescheduled.

When most people think of their overall health I’m sure they worry about things like their heart, joints and eye sight, to name a few. How many people think about their kidney health? To be honest with you, I don’t ever really think about my kidneys… do YOU?

Did you know…

A staggering 1 in 10 people have kidney disease – an estimated 26 million Americans – and most do not find out until their kidney disease is advanced.

WOW! That is SHOCKING news!

I know my brother-in-law had kidney cancer. He ended up having the effected kidney removed. The surgery was a success (thankfully).

Actor Paul Rodriguez and actress Gloria Garayua are staring in a multi-award winning patient education series called Fixing Paco. It’s sponsored by the Mendez National Institute of Transplantation Foundation (MNITF).

On the FixingPaco.org website, the general public can get information about kidney disease and prevention, becoming an organ donor, and kidney transplantation.  In addition, the Fixing Paco web series provides comprehensive education about being proactive in one’s healthcare as well as valuable information including how to access transplantation, what it takes to maintain a transplant, and how a positive attitude and lots of support can create the power of hope.

There is an extremely high need for organ donors. Currently, there are approximately 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S., and of these, approximately 100,000 need a kidney transplant.

I’ve thought about being a bone marrow donor. And it is listed on my driver’s license that I am an organ donor. I know you can survive with one kidney. I would consider being a kidney donor, but being Diabetic I don’t know if that would make me an ideal person to donate a kidney. If someone was in need and the doctor’s said it was OK for me to donate, I would consider it.

Please take a moment to learn more with this brief Public Service Announcement.

 

You need to learn the FACTS about kidney disease, as well as have your doctor give you a simple test each year to make sure your kidneys are healthy and stay that way.

When it comes to diseases such a kidney disease its best for find out right away when there is a problem so that it can be treated rather than wait to find out when it’s too late.

The tag line for this campaign is “Get the Facts! Get Checked! Get Healthy!” I think that is a wonderful tag line. WE ALL need to learn the facts. WE ALL need to get checked out by our doctors and WE ALL need to do what we can to get healthy and stay healthy. Even if you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones who care about  your health and well being.

To learn what YOU can do NOW visit FixingPaco.org. There you can learn more about the campaign and kidney health as well as learn more about becoming a transplant donor.

You can also learn more about the campaign on the campaign’s official Facebook page.

Have you or someone you know been touched by kidney disease?

Did you or someone you know ever received, or donate, an organ?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with MNITF to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Celebrating 50 Teachers & Viral-worthy Videos with zulily!

 

Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week to all the teachers out there. Did you thank your favorite teacher this week?

I’ve always appreciated teacher, both the ones I had growing up and my kid’s teachers. It’s not until I became an assistant to a teacher in a Kindergarten program did I realize just how much goes on “behind the scenes.” Coming up with lesson plans, grading tests, projects, parent/teacher conferences… its A LOT of work.

THANK YOU to all those wonderful and amazing teachers out there.

For the first-time, the fabulous online shopping destination, zulily, has created an entire campaign all around supporting and celebrating amazing teachers across the country!

For Teacher’s Appreciation week, zulily is highting the 50 winning teachers of their “Thank a Teacher Contest”. They had a whopping 8,000+ entries in their contest. They even ran six educated-themed events, curated by teachers.

FYI… you and teachers get an additional 15% off if you shop product from these events. Nice!

In addition, zulily created beautiful videos where parents and their kids were asked to “thank a teacher” and share their appreciation.

Check out some of those touching videos (below).

 

 

Awww… I love how emotional some of the people in the video got talking about the teacher’s that touched their lives the most.

I also agree with that one teacher in the second video about how teacher’s have many “bosses” including parents and students. I can certainly relate to that.

Did you know the average teacher spends $500 in their classroom. I can believe that. Even I, as an assistant, spends money on our classroom. What’s even more impressive, one in ten teacher’ spend $1,000 or more. WOW! Talk about commitment and dedication.

Winners of zulily’s “Thank a Teacher Contest” were given $500 to use towards their classrooms on zulily.com.

I know that some people think zulily offers consumers boutique style clothing. While that is true, zulily offers consumers so much more. They have plenty of shops for teacher supplies and so much more. They also carry plenty of brand name items as well as small “mom and pop” type products/stores – all up to 70% regular retail prices.

“Educators are a cornerstone of our community and great teachers have encouraged and impacted everyone in meaningful ways, big and small. What makes teachers unique is their passion and dedication to go above and beyond, personally investing time and money to better their students and their environments,” said Darrell Cavens, CEO of zulily. “We wanted to bring visibility to everything that teachers do and spotlight a few stories that are emblematic of all teachers who have moved our customers and employees. A heartfelt thank you, from all of us here at zulily.”

I think it’s wonderful that zulily took the time to highlight and reward dedicated teachers across the country.

Here are a few of the contest winners.

Marina Collier, 2nd Grade, Gilmore Elementary, League City, TX. Marina has gone above and beyond for what she considers her children in her home away from home. I have seen Mrs. Collier literally give a little girl one of the shirts off her own back when she was cold. She goes above and beyond to make each student realize they have potential for all things and while they may alone sometimes in this world they will always have her and her love for years to come. She’s not just a teacher, she is someone people should strive to be more like. – Meagan Molina

Crystal Schroeder, Special Education Work-Based Learning Coordinator for Hiawatha Valley Education District, Winona, MN.Crystal serves students within all disability areas, including Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other such disabilities. In rural Minnesota, she travels to about 13 schools in the district to teach emotionally challenged and autistic students job skills, find them jobs, and works with employers to monitor their job skills and performance. – Cynthia Miller

Lisa Gifford, Language arts, Keller Primary School, Peoria, IL. Lisa has been teaching for Peoria School District 150 in Peoria, IL. for the past seven years.  She mixes art, drama and reading to engage the students because she truly believes all children can learn when given opportunities to experience learning through their strongest ability, talent, and interest.  She gives 110% daily in all she does and especially while teaching.  Teachers everywhere give their all daily with little recognition or appreciation and Lisa is no different; but I feel she does an awesome job due to her ambitious desire to teach every child to their highest ability level. – Eva Balek

If you would love to learn more about the 50 inspiring winners of zulily’s Thank a Teacher Contest and how they have impacted lives everywhere, visit The Find.

Visit zulily.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. For more #zulilyThankATeacher inspiration and news you can also check out their social media accounts.

Did you have a special teacher growing up that you’d love to thank? What about your child/grandchild’s current teacher/teachers?

Are YOU a teacher?

Feel free to share your thoughts and your story in the comment section of this post.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with zulily to bring you this compensation. I’ll be receiving a zulily gift code in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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PEEPS… they’re just not for Easter baskets anymore

 

Our son at Easter time many years ago.

I have very fond memories of the Easter holiday from my youth. I miss the excitement of waking up Easter morning and racing my sister to the front door where the Easter Bunny left our baskets. Each year the baskets got better and better.

One year the Easter Bunny brought me a basket made out of solid chocolate – including the handle. The only non-edible thing in that basket was the grass and the packaging for some of the treats that were inside. Sadly, when I was taking it downstairs into the playroom (where I spent most of my time) I slipped and fell down the stairs, making the basket fall on the floor and shatter into a million pieces. I never had the change to enjoy it.

Easter was no Easter without a basket that contained marshmallow PEEPS. They were a staple in every Easter basket. My husband’s Easter was the same way. He never had a basket that didn’t contain PEEPS.

PEEPS have come a long way over the years. They used to come in bunnies and chicks in just a few colors (white, pink, yellow…). Now they are available in a rainbow of colors, a variety of flavors and even ones dipped in chocolate.

PEEPS are no longer just for Easter. PEEPS are available year round for most major holidays (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Halloween…).

Here are some fun “creations” and recipes I have made over the years using PEEPS.

Adding a PEEP to a mug of hot chocolate is SO GOOD!!!!

Christmas S’mores

Cupcake “toppers” for Halloween

Celebrating the 4th of July with PEEPS!

PEEPS as a fun addition to a floral bouquet.

I used a gel icing tube to write out “Love You” and added a lollipop stick for a marshmallow lollipop.

I made a gift basket with holiday PEEPS using the plastic “sticks” they use in floral shops to hold cards.

Summer time means S’mores time! These were made for the 4th of July.

I think most people still think of PEEPS as an Easter thing. I went so far as to create an Easter basket made out of PEEPS. I think it turned out really good. Everyone who saw it loved it.

It was so easy to make and you can make one quickly and easily too. Why spend money on a pre-made basket from the local drug store when you can create something fun (and edible!) like this.

Pick up large PEEP packages (any flavor/variety). Tape them together (using clear tape) to form a “box” shape (four sides and one on the bottom). Then fill with “grass” (I used edible grass) and other treats.

I found the cutest plastic eggs at the local dollar store that looked like chicks. I filled them with jelly beans.

The plush PEEP bunny can be purchased from the Peep store. There you can find a fun array of PEEP related products including toys, home decor and of course PEEPS you can eat. PEEPS can also be found at many retail locations around the country.

I have a special discount code for the PEEPS store too. Keep reading for the code.

Here is the basket that I made.

A fun thing you can do with the plush PEEPS toys are to use them like you would an “Elf on a Shelf.” Pick up a PEEP bunny or chick and place it in different spots around your home. Tell your child/grandchild that he (or she) is keeping their eye on them, looking for good behavior, so they can report back to the Easter Bunny.

PEEPS are not only for crafts and recipes, they can also be used as an educational and science “tool.”

I am a big fan of Pinterest and I check out the site a few times each day. I came across a lot of super cool ideas that utilize PEEPS. I even found some that are great for STEM activities.

I also found some PEEP activities on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. One in particular looked like it could be fun for the kindergarten class I work with. It involved having the kids take home a PEEP (I was going to put them in snack sized bags to protect them) and taking care of the PEEP all week and documenting things (mostly drawing since the kids can’t really write yet). It reminded me of when my daughter had to take home a fake baby for her home economics class and write a report about it.

Sadly a health issue popped up that prevented me from following through with this activity. In fact, I had planned on doing a whole post about it.

If you are interested in learning more about what I had in mind you can find it here – PEEP Day: It’s a PEEP thing. You can also do a search on the site for more PEEP activities.

PEEPS are so much more than a fun treat.

I am also truly amazed at how far PEEPS have become. They keep coming up with mouth-watering new flavors.

Years ago I would have told you that PEEPS were a “kid” treat. Not anymore! PEEPS are for anyone who loves marshmallows. PEEPS are just as much for adults as they are for children. My husband and I love them I think more than our kids to (LOL). Our kids are 17 and 20 and they still enjoy them as much as they did when they were little.

It’s hard not to love those sweet, colorful, adorable bunnies and chicks.

PEEPS are available in flavors such as Sour Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch and Party Cake. They also available in “dipped” flavors such as Coconut, Orange, Lemon, Blueberry and Chocolate Mousse.

If someone wee to ask me what my favorite PEEP flavor is, it would be hard to pick just one. I like them all, but a few stand out to me the most including Party Cake, Sour Watermelon, and Orange Dipped.

If you are a fan of all things PEEPS then you’ll want to check out the PEEPS online at MarshmallowPEEPS.com. You can also check out their online store for A LOT of fun PEEPS products (pillows, plush, blankets…) and more at PEEPSandCompany.com. There you can also learn about other brands under the PEEPS “umbrella” including Mike & Ike, Hot Tamales and Peanut Chews. On both sites you can find more fun recipes and craft ideas using PEEPS.

You can save 25% off your order on the PEEPSandCompany.com website using the discount code “eastertreats.”

What is YOUR favorite PEEP? What do you like to do with them? Do you eat them, use them in recipes or something else? Feel free to share your thought in the comment section. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

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Coming to theaters Earth Day 2017 – DisneyNature’s Born in China

 

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Coming to a theater near you on Earth Day, 2017 (April 21, 2017) is a new film from DisneyNature – Born in China.

Born in China is the seventh theatrical release for Disneynature. Other DisneyNature titles include Earth, Oceans, African Cats, Bears, Monkey Kingdom and Chimpanzee. The are among the top seven highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time. That’s pretty amazing. Based on trailer for Born in China, I have a feeling this film will join their ranks too.

Check out the trailer for yourself.

 

Here is a brief synopsis.

Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together.

That baby Panda is SO CUTE!

I have seen all the other DisneyNature films and I have loved them all. I am super excited to see this film.

If you would like to learn more about this film, visit Nature.Disney.com/Born-in-China. You can also follow DisneyNature on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Tumbr and Instagram. You can also check out the hashtag #BorninChina on social media.

What do you think about this film? Are you planning to see it when it comes to a theater near you?

Disneynature "Born in China"

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Movie Review: Who Gets the Dog?

 

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Now available on Digital Download and DVD is the romantic comedy Who Gets the Dog?

Who Gets the Dog? stars Alicia Silverstone and Ryan Kwanten. It was nice to see Alicia in a new movie. I can’t remember the last movie I saw her in (Blast from the Past I think?).

Olive (Alicia Silverstone) is a top doctor with high hopes of starting a family, but her out-of-work husband, Clay (Ryan Kwanten), is too busy concentrating on his dream to be a big league hockey star. On the brink of divorce, the couple can’t agree on who will take custody of their beloved dog, Wesley. Things go from bad to worse as they battle it out in court. Resorting to cheap tactics and dirty tricks, Olive and Clay pull out all the stops to win back Wesley, with hilariously disastrous consequences.

As silly as it sounds, pets can often get caught up in divorces and break-ups. It’s just as bad as when there are kids involved (pets don’t get the same considerations).

Many years ago, a boyfriend and I adopted a dog together. When we broke up I was dead set on having full custody of our dog (which I got).

I think the story will resonate well with people who love their dogs and/or pet owners.

WGTD

It’s clear that both parties love their dog Wesley. Throughout the movie I found myself leaning towards one pet parent over the other. Initially I was leaning towards Olive, but as the movie went on I felt like Clay might be better for Wesley.

The movie is a bit predictable. It strikes me as something you would see on the Hallmark Channel – which is fine (I watch a lot of movies on that channel). Even so, it was still very enjoyable to watch.

I think the star of the movie is Wesley, the dog. I love movies that feature animals. I am a big time animal lover and Wesley is a beautiful Retriever. Kudos to Wesley’s fine acting too. LOL!

The film is not rated. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. There is no sex, drugs, nudity or anything like that. I would consider it a family friendly film (PG?). Young viewers might not understand the couple’s separation and why they are fighting for custody of their dog, but they should still enjoy the film simply because it features an adorable dog.

This film is more of a comedy, but there are some dramatic elements too. After all, a couple divorcing is not something that should be taken lightly. Those parts of the film tugged at my heartstrings a bit. Thankfully the adorable Wesley broke up those moments and gave the movie a more light-hearted flair.

Look for Who Gets the Dog? on iTunes or where ever movies are sold.

Below is the film’ trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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