7 Reasons Why You Should Attend the AFHE Convention and a Giveaway

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Ohhhhhhh, I just love going to homeschool conventions.  I’ve been to at least 30 of them in my life-time and I haven’t tired of them yet!  There is something about the energy in the air when you gather thousands of homeschool families together.  There are workshops to attend, old friends to see, new friends to make, and books, books, books to peruse!  I love it and wish every homeschool parent could have the chance to attend.

And today, I have the opportunity to tell you all why you should go.  Plus I get to give one of you friends a free admission!  Read on…

7 Reasons to Attend a Homeschool Convention

1. Encouragement – As most of you know, homeschooling is profoundly rewarding, but it is also a LOT of work.  While it isn’t the cultural anomaly that it was 20 years ago, you are still walking a different path than most people. Homeschool conventions are a wonderful place to find encouragement via the workshops, helpful vendors and fellow attendees.

2. Renewed Vision – For newbies, a homeschool convention can be a place where they may ‘find’ their vision.  For veterans, it is a place to get their vision renewed.  I always find myself excited and eagerly anticipating another year after each and every homeschool convention.  Of course I experience this now, as a homeschool parent, but I also found this to be true when I was the homeschool student going to the teen track or wandering the vendor hall.

3. Practical Help – Even if you were a teacher in your previous life, you haven’t taught every subject at every age.  As a homeschool mom you get to tackle this awesome feat.   Homeschooling at its best is not merely replicating school at home, but instead creating a home where you learn.  There is an art to that and hearing how others have done it is so helpful. There are both general and vendor workshops that will help equip you to tackle all of these challenges.

4. Camaraderie – There is something so powerful about being surrounded by thousands of other parents walking this same path.  And there is something so wonderful about getting instant feedback and having one-on-one conversations with fellow parents, vendors and speakers.  Everyone is in a chatty mood and more than willing to share their tips, tricks or their triumphs and trials.

5. A Hands-on Look at Curriculum  – I love the internet and yet there is nothing quite like getting my hands on curriculum and getting to preview it in person.  As a believer, I also love to browse the vendors that bring miscellaneous books.  You won’t find many books written from a Christian perspective at your local library, so it is nice to be able to browse and pick some up at the convention.  I’ve bought a few duds that looked good online, but ended up being poorly written or didn’t quite match what I was looking for.  The benefit of seeing them in person is that you cut down on these ‘bad buys’.

 AFHE-speakers

6. Great Speakers – AFHE always does a great job at bringing in top-notch speakers.  This year’s line-up is going to be so much fun.   Michael Farris from HSLDA, Jessica Hulcy, the always popular Hal and Melanie Young, Diane Craft… Do you recognize someone in that picture collage?  That’s right, I’m speaking again too!!  I’ll be giving two workshops this year: Nature Walks: Science Made Simple and 10 Ways to Make the Most of the Preschool YearsHere is a link to all of this years speakers!

7. Help Preserve your Right to Keep Homeschooling – Say what, you ask?  Yes, going to a conference hosted by your state organization helps provide them the resources to be your eyes and ears at the state capitol – watching for dangerous bills and working hard to protect our homeschool freedoms.  It wasn’t all that long ago that there were huge restrictions on homeschooling.  In fact, it was only 22 years since the last parent was arrested here in Arizona solely for homeschooling their children.  Protecting our freedom to homeschool means that someone must always be watching legislation.  Days are spent down at the capitol, listening to hearings and testifying.  I remember as a kid packing up our books and heading down to the Capitol for the day and the next, and the next.  So the money made from the AFHE Homeschool Convention goes right back to work for Arizona families!

 The Giveaway Details!

Eeeek.  I’m so excited for this giveaway.  The price includes admission for one individual or married couple plus a one-year AFHE membership.  That’s a $85 value.

Arizona Homeschool Convention and Curriculum Fair

June 14th-15th, Phoenix, AZ

– You will enter by following the directions on the rafflecopter box below.  Leaving a comment will unlock other opportunities to earn extra entries.

– The winner will be randomly selected by rafflecopter.  The giveaway ends on March 20th, 2013.

– Contest participants must be 18 years old or older.

– The prize includes admission for one individual or married couple plus one-year AFHE membership.

– Does not include admission for children or teens, teen program fee, Friday Night Family Entertainment (with Bebo Norman) admission, parking, food, lodging, travel expenses, etc.

– The prize is valid only for the 30th Annual Arizona Home Education Convention June 14-15, 2013 and cannot be redeemed for a future year’s convention.

– If the winner is a current AFHE member, the membership will be extended one year from the current expiration date.

– The winner will be contacted with a coupon code for their free admission.  You must register for the convention by the May 13 early registration deadline. Registration instructions will be provided.

Oh and keep in mind that you can save $20 off of registration if you pre-register before May 13th.   You can also check out the AFHE Facebook page for a ‘Pin It to Win It’ opportunity to win a convention pass!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 housewarming

This giveaway is part of my ‘house-warming’ party! We’ll have a few giveaways posted each week in March as I share about things my family loves! Welcome to my new website! Check out the opportunity to win

Hidden Art/For the Children’s Sake bundle (through 3/15)

$250 Amazon Gift Card – Name that Homeschool Blogger (through 3/15)

Educating the Whole-Hearted Child (through 3/20)

Playsilk Giveaway: Unleashing the Imagination (through 3/22)

Truth in the Tinsel: A Review

Using holidays to point my children to Jesus is very important to me.  That’s why we’ve made such a big deal about Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Ascension Day and even Valentine’s and St. Patricks’s Day in the past.  They’ve all served to provide an exciting opportunity to be purposeful in drawing their attention to the Lord.

There is so much out there for celebrating Advent, but none of it ever seemed to fit my hopes for what I wanted to do with my kids.  Either they were too simplistic or too complex for my young children to understand.  I’m just a smidge particular. So I ended up spending the last several years pulling my own thing together.

With a new baby this year, I was quick to realize that my creative juices certainly weren’t up to the task of dreaming something up.  Instead, I decided to keep things really simple and focus on spending time in prayer, worship and reading them some of my favorite Christmas books.  The beauty of God coming down as a man to rescue us from sin is that we can now have a rich, personal relationship with Him.  So RELATIONSHIP is our focus this year…

After I had settled that in my heart, I caught wind of a new ebook coming out: Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands.  I love Amanda over at Impress Your Kids.  We are on the same page with having a heart to impress the wonder and glory of knowing Jesus into our children.  Not only that, we both tend to approach it in a hands-on kind of way!  I just knew I would love her book.  So getting the opportunity to preview an advance copy was such a treat.

To SUM it all up, what I’ve been looking for all these years is nicely contained in this adorable ebook.  I wanted an easy to use resource that has substance (beyond just cute, itty-bitty baby Jesus in a manger), was easy for young children to understand and memorable..

Substance 
Amanda writes in her introduction:

“The key to this entire advent celebration is to have a daily focus and meditation on God’s greatest gift. Your children will learn the ins and outs of the story because you’ve facilitated a time to discuss, play and create. And in those moments, God will speak to their hearts and yours. 

“The little Baby is no longer in the manger, but alive and sitting on a throne – waiting to have a relationship with you and your children. Help your children get to know Him this Christmas!.”

I love how she ties the Christmas story into the big picture of God’s redemptive work.  God loves us and wants to bring us back into his family.  Sending Jesus is how he accomplished this!  Truth in the Tinsel does a wonderful job at balancing the basics of the story, but also introduces so much more scriptural truth into each day.  As I read, I found myself pondering the material and seeing the Holy Spirit speak to me too.  Something that touches both my children and myself is always a good sign.

Understandable
This book is specifically geared to reach the hearts and minds of children in that preschool-mid elementary age range.  The book does a great job at walking you as the parent through the process of discipling your children.

I love how it is broken down.  It is easy to navigate.  Each day is explained on one page and includes, “the clue” – which is a picture.  As we read the scripture passage  to the children, they are to be on the hunt to figure out what the clue has to do with the passage.  When they hear the word or see the connection, they are to shout it out!  This draws them in and helps them to listen and really grasp the theme for the day.  Then there is something “to read together” (the scripture passage), something “to make together” (the ornament craft – complete with detailed instructions and pictures), something “to talk about together” (scripting with questions to draw your children out and also to explain the passage) and a “do more together” section (with an extra activity).

I can see how this repetition in format from day to day will really help the kids understand and the way she words the discussion part is just perfect for helping our young children understand the deeper meanings behind various aspects of the Christmas story.

Memorable
This is also such a wonderful memory builder.  Taking big ideas and making them concrete and hands-on lends itself to really solidifying what they are learning.  I mentioned that a bit in my last post about Christmas.  The simple ornaments do just that.  Because we will have three sets of ornaments, I think we will hang one set on our regular Christmas tree, one set on a miniature Christmas tree that I will set up in the boys room and gift another set to my parents.

It also utilizes a ‘countdown’ which my boys always love.  There are paper picture clues that you can place in a wooden advent drawer stand if you have one or there is the option to print off the paper clues and make a countdown paper chain (which is what we will be doing!)

Previewing the material was fun, but I really wanted to see how it would work out with my children, so we tried out ‘Day 1’ this morning.

 My little boys never really sit still. And that is a-ok. They still absorb so much!
They were excited to make their candle ornament to remind them of who is the light!

We all gave the first devotional and project a thumbs-up!  Now we just have to be patient and wait until December 2nd to start the next devotional!

The beauty of it is that each day can stand alone, so there is no pressure to get it all done.  Even though the entire project only took us about 30 minutes to complete (plus about 15 minutes in prep time) I’m sure there will be days that I don’t get to it (Greta still makes life pretty unpredictable).  Thankfully, the devotional aspect takes 10 minutes tops and even if we just do that some days, it will still be a treat!

If you have children in the preschool-mid elementary years and are looking for an advent devotional, I highly recommend this one.  The price can’t be beat.

Anyone want to join us?

For 2016 use “CULTIVATE” to get 20% off!

Truth in the Tinsel! Coupon Code for 20% off!

You can order the book here at their website.  

Disclaimer: Truth in the Tinsel and Amanda at Impress Your Kids provided me with a free copy of her ebook to review.  The opinions shared are completely my own.  I would have been recommending it anyways after I had purchased it today.

Play Silks: A Giveaway!

Well, as we just wrapped up our series on the importance of and how to foster open-ended play with our children, I’m delighted to bring you all an opportunity to bring some play silks into your home!!!! 

I talked extensively about them and shared examples of how we use them in our home in my post, Play Silks: Inspiring Creativity.  I just love how this pile of silks has transformed their play and our learning adventures in so many powerful ways.  A playsilk + the imagination of a child = endless possibilities!

Can’t you just tell by the look on his face that we love these compact and yet powerful play silks?!?!?

As I’ve said before, A Toy Garden is my favorite place to buy them.  The price is low (especially when you buy more at one time), the quality is superb and her customer service is amazing.   A Toy Garden has graciously offered to give to give one of my lucky readers TWO playsilks of their choice.  That’s right, the winner will get to select their two favorite colors!!!  This giveaway is open residents in the US and Canada only.  You can see all of her color options here.

Here’s how to enter:

Mandatory entry: Leave a comment telling us how you think your children would enjoy using them or HOW your children have been creative in their play recently!  Be sure to leave an email address if you don’t have a blog so that I can contact you if you win!

Additional Entries:

  • Subscribe to Cultivated Lives through a reader, through Google Friends Connect or via email.  (See sidebar).  Leave a comment letting me know you have done this or are already subscribed.
  • “Like” Cultivated Lives on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you do.
  • Subscribe to A Toy Garden’s email list to receive updates on sales 2 or 3 times a year.  (Option to subscribe in top right corner of their website.) Leave an additional comment letting me know.

The giveaway ends on Wednesday, August 3th at 7pm, PST and the winner will be randomly selected.  The winner will have 48 hours to get back to me with their contact information.  If I don’t hear back from the winner within that time frame, another winner is selected.

When I told my boys about the giveaway this morning, they were so excited that they just had to pull the silks out and pose for some silly pictures…  Xander (with the red playsilk) wanted you all to know that he is a crazy parachute guy.

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this giveaway.  I’m just thrilled for the opportunity to pass the opportunity for creative play on to someone else and thankful that A Toy Garden is making that possible!
Linking up to Giveaway Day at HipHomeschoolMoms.com.

Play Silks: Inspiring Creativity

[Open-Ended Play Series, Part 6]

I love play silks!!! They are right up there with blocks and, to date, have not resulted in bruises or bloodshed… So maybe that alone, would place them above blocks.  And actually now that we’ve owned ours for several years and are getting a bit further into our homeschool journey, I’m loving them more and more!

Because so much of our learning is hands-on and dramatic, we find that we are using them all the time and I don’t envision this slowing down anytime soon!

A play silk is simply a silk square (most commonly 36×36, but can be purchased/found in other sizes. Durable, beautiful, and useful in so many ways, play silks are an affordable way to inspire creativity and pretend play often absent from today’s toy box. They are probably the most used toy in our home and promote open-ended and imaginative play in a way that scripted toys simply cannot.

Play silks are perfect for: playing peek-a-boo, a doll blanket, sling, wings, a cape, a river, a turban, pirate’s headscarf, skirt, toga, belt, knights uniform, fort, or anything else a child dreams up…

Here are some peak into some of the ways our boys have played with them:

Recreating Curious George riding in a Hot Air Balloon.
Pirate boys walking the plank.
Fish in a pond!
Pretending to be a fish eating bird…
Playing baseball and running the bases…
Impromptu ‘pouches’ when we were learning about kangaroos during our study of Australia!
Re-enacting Bible stories such as the account of Abraham and Isaac.
Butterfly wings during our study of metamorphosis!
Adding to the feel of being a knight!

A Toy Garden is my favorite place to buy them.  The quality is superb and her customer service is amazing.  I don’t think there are any better deals on this quality of dyed silks out there.

 

[Open-Ended Play Series, PART 6]

PART 1  ~ Free to Play
PART 2 ~ Sounds Easy Enough
PART 3 ~ Micro-Managing No More
PART 4 ~ Keep It Simple
PART 5 ~ Block Play: Building a Child’s Mind 
PART  6 ~ Playsilks: Inspiring Creativity
PART 7 ~ Open-Ended Costumes
PART 8 ~ Kitchen Play
PART 9 ~ From Trash to Treasure
PART 10 ~ Making It Work

Colorful Support – A Review and Giveaway

After reading of my affection for the people of Guatemala, Heidi approached me about this adorable coloring book and an opportunity to support a ministry in Guatemala City. Casita Benjamin is a daycare ministry to the poor living near the city dump. Many of them are single mothers who must find some kind of work in order to simply feed their children.  Casita Benjamin steps in as a place where the children can stay in a loving, interactive environment. They receive a good lunch, normal preschool type activities and most importantly, the chance to hear about Jesus.

Having spent time over two summers in Guatemala, I know first hand how impoverished parts of Guatemala can be and yet it is full of beautiful people – strong and resilient. Ann from A Holy Experience recently went to Guatemala and actually spent time in an area quite near Casita Benjamin. You can see her photographic journey through the neighborhoods around the city dump here.

Although Casita Benjamin sometimes receives a small fee from parents, they rely mostly on external support. Heidi just returned from her second stint down at Casita Benjamin with a passion to publish a bilingual coloring book drawn by one of the other workers, Patty Gomez. Each of the 24 pages contains a drawing to color that clearly illustrates a specific Bible verse.   
After hearing so much about it, I couldn’t wait to explore the coloring books that Heidi graciously sent for us to review.  In preparation, we pulled out our globe and found Guatemala again. 
And their reaction when the coloring books arrived:

…an almost palpable excitement.  They sense something different about this book.  There is a history behind it   

They each carefully select a page to color. Seeing the picture really helped God’s Word come alive in a fresh way.
In addition to reading them the verse in English, I read it to them in Spanish and we discussed a few of the words.
The boys are super excited to send a copy of this book down to our Peruvian Compassion child, Ittiel. As I mentioned a few months back, the boys have enjoyed writing back and forth with Ittiel. They find it thrilling to think that he will color the same pages as they do…

This coloring book would be perfect for:

  • Any young child – giving them an easy to understand picture to represent a verse.
  • For any child learning Spanish.
  • As a gift to a sponsored child in a Spanish-speaking country.
  • As a gift for a friend, grandchild, niece/nephew etc. It would pair well with a set of colored pencils.
  • That long road trip this summer.
Heidi is taking care of receiving payment and shipping the coloring books out. You can read her story and find contact/purchase information here. All of the money to cover the printing costs has already been provided, meaning more money from these purchases goes directly to Casita Benjamin. At a requested donation of $5/book, this is an opportunity you can’t pass up! And of course anything above that amount would be a huge blessing to the children at the center.
In celebration of this opportunity and to help spread the word about Casita Benjamin, we’re having a GIVEAWAY!!!!
That’s right, I have two coloring books to giveaway. (Limited to US and Canadian mailing address only.)

The first name I draw will receive both a coloring book and a set of amazing Lyra coloring pencils. I’ve blogged about them before and we use ours ALL THE TIME. Sonya at A Toy Garden has graciously donated a set of 12 Lyra Color Giant pencils ($23 value). The color is vibrant and beautiful. The thick shape makes it easy for young hands to hold and write. They’re easy on big hands too! I snag my kids pencils all the time!


The second name I draw will receive a coloring book.

Winners will be selected on Friday evening, February 5th!


Here’s how to enter:
  • Simply leave a comment!  

For extra chances to win:

  • Link to this giveaway on facebook – one extra entry. Leave another comment letting us know.
  • Link to this giveaway on twitter – one extra entry. Leave another comment letting us know.  Include your twitter name!
  • Blog about this giveaway – 2 extra entries – leave two additional comments.

A Huge thanks for Heidi for putting this project together.
And thanks to A Toy Garden.
My boys have loved each item they’ve received from this family-owned business. They have the best prices around on playsilks and sell so many other beautiful imagination inspiring toys. Be sure to stop by and take a look.

A Buck Well Spent

It is sometimes the simplest things in life that occupy and delight us!  Last year when we were studying Native Americans and frontiersmen, I found these tiny figurines at the dollar store.
Xander was fairly obsessed with them last year.

And these have inspired hours of quiet play (punctuated by muted gunshots and intense fighting scenes) with Keegan too!  Because it is his ‘private’ play, somehow it remains quiet and even peaceful despite the battles… 
 
Some of the most hard-fought battles are quiet, mostly internal, aren’t they?
Saving his Alamo.
It’s tiny moments like this when my heart swells and my mind fills with the little blessings that God sends our way…
peeking in on imaginative play
boy creativity
a hug around my ankles and whispers of “I wuv you” from my 2.5 year old
unspoken moments of connection with my husband
a husband who encourages me to take on challenges
boys eager to learn
cooperative morning play in their rooms
while mom and dad get a rare morning to doze/sleep-in
a Sunday morning with my third-born who was sick.  Just him and me.
hearing him ask me if I can help him “pick up toys” 
(still pinching myself over this one)
reading aloud
God’s provision in His calling me to give up a good thing for His perfect thing for me.
exploring our bilingual coloring book together
the chance to help kids in Guatemala learn about Jesus.
Gifts 552-565
Counting my gifts with others at:

Of Birthdays and a Giveaway…

Wow.  I’m tired and feeling a bit brain-dead.  As much as I’ve wanted to wrap up my series on being mission-minded, I haven’t had the time or energy to pull it together. 

Why, you ask?  Well, yesterday wrapped up what I affectionately refer to as ‘crazy birthday week’.  In our little family of 5, there are 3 birthdays within a week of each other.  We now have a 4 year old, 6 year old and me – an undisclosed year older.
For Keegan’s birthday last week we had the opportunity to all go to a baseball game with Oma and about 100 law students who are wrapping up their summer internships for the Blackstone Fellowship.  The boys loved it, although Keegan was a bit embarrassed when all of the law students (and several surrounding sections) sang Happy Birthday to him!  Embarrassed in the best kind of way of course, since he shyly recounted the story several times the next day.

The flurry of summer baseball inspired the boys to pull out their play silks for some ‘take me out to the ballgame’ kind of fun. 

I mentioned earlier how much I love play silks.  Play silks are creativity inspiring toys that promote open-ended and imaginative play in a way that ‘scripted’ toys often times cannot. 
Several years ago, I bought a whole bunch of them and gave my boys a few each year at Christmas and then would wrap up a pair of them for many of the birthday parties we attended.  They were always a huge hit, even if the parents were a bit skeptical on the entertaining value of a piece of silk.   (You can see them in action at our house here, here and here
I would always include a note laying out their many uses to give some initial inspiration.  Some of the ideas included: playing peek-a-boo, a doll blanket, sling, wings, cape, a river, pretend picnic blanket, a turban, pirate’s headscarf, skirt, toga, belt, fort, etc…  Maybe I’ll have to add baseball diamond to the list!

These 35″x35″ silk squares are a perfect toy from birth up till about 10 years old.  They are perfect for peek-a-boo since they are so light and are perfect for all kinds of costumes and forts that can even entertain an older child.  At our family reunion a highschooler even donned a cape and chased Xander around! 🙂  They range in price from $7-14 depending on where you buy them.  A Toy Garden  is my favorite place to buy them for both quality and price. 

I love these play silks so much, that I’ve decided to give my last two new silks away to one lucky winner! With gifts on the mind, this seems only natural! There is a lavender purple one and a salmon orange-pink one.    
To enter, simply leave a comment and tell me how you think your child would enjoy playing with them.  If you follow or subscribe to my blog you may leave an extra comment for an additional chance to win.  If you don’t have a blog, make sure and leave an email address so I have a way of contacting whoever wins!
This contest will have to be limited to those with a U.S. or Canadian shipping address. 

A winner will be randomly selected next Friday morning, August 20th at 8am, Pacific time.

I’ll be back soon with the last two parts in my series on being MissionMinded.

disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this review or give-away.  I just like them THAT much and want to share the love…

Remembering Blueberries

I had been meaning to write a review of the Before Five in a Row book that we used last year…

This delightful resource is so helpful if you have little ones in the 2-4 year old age range and want to enrich their learning in a developmentally appropriate way.  It gives ideas on how to develop observation skills and lays a foundation for later critical thinking skills, phonemic awareness, math, art and literature appreciation, etc.

The first half of the book lists several books (including beloved classics like Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny and Corduroy) with corresponding activities to make your explorations of the book more rewarding and exciting.  It walks you through everything, gives sample questions to use when dialoging with your toddler/preschooler and shows you what skill the given activity is laying the groundwork for.  I started using this right after I had Treyton.  It was so nice to just grab the book and not have to come up with any ideas on my own.

The second half of the book lists resources and ideas on making your home an rich learning environment.  It is truly a wealth of information all wrapped up in one tiny book.  There is a section on activities for reading readiness, activities for developing both large motor and small motor skills that are essential in making neural connection and learning how the body works!  If you have ever been at a loss on HOW to play with your child, this section of the book will have you set for hours of fun interaction with your child.

For our book club last week, each child needed to pick out a book that started with the letter ‘B’.  I pulled Blueberries for Sal out along with several other books.  Keegan immediately chose this book and started to tell me about reading this last year.

He was only 2.5 years old and I was surprised with how much he remembered.  It was a perfect book for both kids.  At 2.5 years old, Keegan fixated on dropping blueberries into our little buckets with the corresponding sound effects: kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk.
And of course sampling them, just as Little Sal had…
Xander on the other hand at 4.5 years old, enjoyed lining the berries up and we played around with addition and subtraction as we added more blueberries to his lineup and ate them up!
Oh what fun memories.  I look forward to making some memories with Treyton and some or our favorite books!

Handy Boy!

We made a discovery today.  Home Depot Kids workshops are so much fun. 
Xander was inspired and empowered to try something he had never done before.

And we didn’t need to find the idea, gather the supplies, prepare a work area or clean up afterwards!
Yup, he wants to go back!

Nesting, Stacking and Rhyming, Oh My!

After the home school convention this last weekend, I am freshly inspired to interact with and teach my little one’s! I was reminded of the importance of spending individual time with EACH child, EVERY day.

So today, I pulled out our stacking/nesting block set that Mima bought for Trey! He had so much fun stacking it up and pushing over his tower creation. He loved having my undivided attention as I cheered him on in his play! He did “fairly” well at stacking in descending order of size.

Each boy then proceeded to have private time in the play-yard with the blocks. What was so fascinating about this amazing toy was seeing how each child played with it in a way that was developmentally relevant for him. Trey simply stacked and knocked over. Keegan, was obsessed with sorting them from largest to smallest, counting them and making sure they were stacked “just right”. He was then equally interested in nesting them. It took him several tries, but he kept at it until he figured out how to do it. Xander stacked them up, but then studied each side – the 1,2, Buckle My Shoe rhyme on one side, the alphabet on another side and then a picture of a Mother Goose nursery rhyme. He’s quite the story teller and enjoyed relaying the story to me.

One toy, so many ways to play with it!

This really is a wonderful toy – and beautiful too! All of the blocks made by this company are beautiful. My mom has another set from the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is also stunning.

I’m in the process of putting together a “Learning Box” for Keegan (and Trey too) that will store my educational toys that I can pull out and spend one-on-one time with him. This will definitely be going in there!