Thursday, February 6, 2014

Learning Resources

We get asked for toy recommendations all of the time. Especially on Instagram, since the majority of photos I snap of Charlotte show her playing with something. I thought I would start reviewing and sharing a few of our favorites here. These reviews will all be items that we personally own and use repeatedly. For our first review, I thought I would start with one of my very favorite companies - Learning Resources. We love recommending their products because they are educational and many are perfect for pretend play.

Super Sorting Pie
We bought this for Charlotte's third birthday. It has quickly become one of our very favorite games. It includes a sturdy and really cute pie. The pie comes with 5 different colors (red, orange, yellow, purple, and green) of fruit. There are 60 pieces of fruit! Three double sided cards are included: 2 sides show the certain fruits and their colors, 2 sides includes numbers from 1-10, 1 side shows the shape of colorless fruit and the last side shows a color wheel.

 The crust and dividers remove so that you can place sorting cards in the bottom of the pie to encourage a sorting activity. It also comes with 2 large tweezers that are perfect for little hands to practice working on fine motor skills. Charlotte has always been a sorter and organizer so we knew this would be right up her alley. It was instantly a huge hit and it has quickly become our favorite gift to bring to birthday parties.

 I have to credit Stephanie from Imagine Our Life for introducing us to this wonderful game. She has even created and shared free pattern cards on her wonderful blog. I printed them out, colored them in and laminated them. They fit perfectly in the bottom of the box and we use them quite often. Charlotte also pulls out this pie for pretend play and makes us all kinds of different pies in her play kitchen. I really can't recommend this product enough. Put it on your wish list already!!!

Pretend and Play Doctor Set
This is another gift that we bought Charlotte for her third birthday.  After researching several sets, I finally settled on this one. It included such a variety of authentic looking medical tools. The set includes: a stethoscope, pager, cell phone, forceps, 2 bandages, thermometer, pager, tweezers, scissors, glasses, name badge, blood pressure, syringe, a plessor to check reflexes, mouth mirror, otoscope, medicine dish, and scalpel. The cell phone, pager and stethoscope are all battery operated and make noises.

I can not tell you how many times we have had check ups. Sometimes multiple times a day!!!  This really helped Charlotte get over some fears she had when going to the doctor herself. Now when we go in for routine checkups, she points out all of the instruments and explains them to her nurses and doctor. It's quite cute. My mom made this super cute apron and I made four felt bandages that we have added to our kit. I have a few more ideas I still want to make for our resident little doctor to use and play with. 

Teaching Cash Register
It's no secret that we have a huge supply of handmade felt foods for Charlotte's play kitchen. My parents ended up buying Charlotte a grocery cart and this really amazing register last year so that we could have a pretend grocery store. I don't even know where to begin to describe this interactive register. It comes with play bills (I laminated them), coins, a credit card and a coupon.  The register itself has a built in scanner, coin slot, scale and screen that shows each transaction as you punch them in. It opens up and best of all, it talks to you!! I think Charlotte's favorite part is the coin slot. You can put play or real coins in it and the register will tell you what the coin is. Right now we use it for pretend play and for teaching Charlotte about the names of currency and how much each represent. This smart little register also includes 4 games as well. Coin quiz is the one that we currently use. It asks you to insert a certain coin so it works on recognition. The other games are addition, subtraction and money match. Each have 3 different levels.  I love that it automatically shuts off after not being in use for a few minutes too. This is one of those toys that we will get use out of for many, many years to come!!

Sorting Suitcase
Our sweet neighbors just gifted this to Charlotte at Christmas. They have witnessed her little sorting skills and knew it would be the perfect activity for her the moment they saw it.  It comes in a really cute little suitcase making storage easy. It includes 15 double sided activity cards: some ask you to find a certain color or pattern, some show a pattern to complete, and some are blank so you can make up your own activities. The suitcase comes with clothes of course! There are 40 double sided clothing cards that include shirts, shorts, socks, and shoes. We have already taken this with us on trips and played with it numerous times.

I also printed out and laminate these free Play Dough Mats from Picklebums. We've used them with playdoh of course, but Charlotte loves using the Sorting Suitcase to dress up the little people as well.

Do you and your little one have a favorite Learning Resources toy or game? We would love to hear about them. We have several more on our wish list! Hope you enjoyed our reviews. If you have any questions about any of the above products, please feel free to ask!!

(the above post includes affiliate links and my own personal opinions. I was not contacted or compensated by the company. We just truly love their products!!!)

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