As a stay at home mom, and former preschool teacher, I make a point to integrate learning into our daily routine. Whether it's working on handwriting, counting, letters, or something else...I love to make learning these basic skills fun and educational and am always on the lookout for new ways to do so. With Kaelyn heading to preschool in the Fall, I'm especially interested in activities that will equip her with the knowledge and skills she needs when she goes. That's why I was thrilled when introduced to Fundanoodle, a Carolina Pad brand.
Like many of you, I am a huge fan of Caroline Pad and their great selection of high quality products. That's why I was happy to hear about their new education readiness brand, Fundanoodle, created for kids. With the belief that learning should be educational and fun, Fundanoodle's 15 modules help kids have fun while improving fine and gross motor coordination, enhancing eye-hand coordination, promoting problem-solving, discovery and self-esteem, and so much more!
As I browsed the Fundanoodle website, I found that their products range from writing tablets to multi-activity kits...each designed to make learning a fun and interactive experience. They help children ages 3-6 develop and improve the foundational skills they need for writing and other everyday tasks. This is exactly the type of thing I've been looking for, for Kaelyn and couldn't have been happier to learn we were going to have the opportunity to review several of their great products!
When the Fundanoodle products arrived, I couldn't wait to check them out. Kaelyn was just as excited!!
There were also several products for Pre K - K (ages 4-5) including the MagnaStick: I can Build Upper Case Letters Activity Kit; Muscle Movers: Upper Case Gross Motor Cards Activity Kit; I can Write Numbers! Writing Tablet; and Max & Alphie's Adventures! Activity Book 2!
We work on letters and numbers a lot at home, so I was really looking forward to working with Kaelyn on these different activities from Fundanoodle. We pulled out the MagnaStix: I can Build Upper Case Letters! Activity Kit first. In the kit comes a magnetic dry-erase board/dry erase pen, 1 die, 1 set of 14 Magnastix, 6 Muscle Movers, and an Upper Case Writing Tablet.
In following the instruction booklet, we decided to start with the Muscle Movers. These are Gross motor skills that can be used in the form of a game. We spread the cards out on the floor, picture side down. Kaelyn then rolled the die and located that number on the back of the card. She then turned the card over, and imitated the animal on the card. It was a lot of fun and got her moving and excited.
Movement really helps children remain relaxed and focused, and I have found using these cards before we sit down to do different activities together has really helped. I love this idea!!
We then got out the MagnaStix with the Magnetic Dry-Erase Board. This is probably my favorite activity from all that we were sent because it's so hands on and right up Kaelyn's alley! She loves learning about letters, talking about their sounds and even putting them together to make a few short words.
Inside the top of the box, there's instructions on how to build each letter based on the color of each MagnaStix. She caught on very quickly and is now able to make any of the letters we're working on. She loves it, and I love seeing her joy for learning and for letters grow more and more each day. This hands-on approach to teaching letters is a great way to foster letter formation, promote repetition for mastery and builds her self-esteem when she gets them done.
Another neat part of this activity kit is the I can Write Upper Case! Writing Tablet. After going through the letters with the MagnaStix, Kaelyn was ready to start practicing writing her upper case letters.
There are easy to understand tips for parents on how to use this tablet. Things like paper stabilizing with one hand and grasping the pencil correctly with the other are covered. As I looked through the pages, I was excited to see how much this would help Kaelyn improve strength and control with a pencil. It also helps to promote correct top to bottom formation of strokes with the green line at the top (meaning go) and the red line at the bottom meaning stop. There are also fun instructions from Max the monkey on how to make each letter with instructions like "Zip Down" or "Zip Across". This has made our work with upper case letters a lot more fun!
We have even practiced the letters on the dry erase board with the marker which is one of Kaelyn's favorite things to do!
Kaelyn is more comfortable writing letters than she is numbers, as we've worked more with letters in the past. That's why I was happy to see the I Can Write Numbers! Activity Tablet was included as well. It's laid out much like the I Can Write Upper Case! Activity Tablet and there are several different opportunities to practice writing out the numbers. There are even reward stickers in the back for when she completes an activity which has helped build her confidence even more.
The Max & Alphie's Adventures! Activity Book 2 is also a lot of fun. This is another great way to help promote pre-writing skills while improving strength and control with writing tools. There are different "maze" like activities, "connect the dots" activities and more. In the times Kaelyn has worked with this activity book, I've seen her confidence grow and her comfort with using a writing tool increase even more. It's been wonderful to see. And best of all...she's having fun while learning!!
The final educational tool geared toward 4-5 year olds that we received, was the Muscle Movers: Upper Case Gross Motor Cards Activity Kit. This includes Muscle Movers cards (like those included in the MagnaStix Activity Kit), and can be used as a fun game to get children moving. These cards however, have letters, not numbers. While playing, Kaelyn flipped over the card to see what animal it was and then performed the actions, sounds and gestures as the animal (ex. moo like a cow, hop like a kangaroo, etc). After she imitated the animal, she used the dry-erase marker to trace the letter on the card and we discussed the letter sound. What a fun way to work with letters!
The final two activity books we received were geared toward the preschool ages of 3 years+. The first is something I've been working with Kaelyn a lot on, especially since she's heading to Preschool in the Fall. Cutting! The I can Cut! Cutting Activity Book is full of fun opportunities to practice cutting and improve fine motor skills.
We began by discussing that her left hand is the helper hand, while the right hand does the cutting. We started simple by doing one of the cut straight across activities. This was one of Kaelyn's favorites in the book because it said to cut off the hair by cutting straight across. She got a kick out of that. We now have been working on some more challenging cutting activities in the booklet and I see her confidence and ability to cut growing each day. I love that this activity book grows with the child and even comes with a safe scissors to use.
The second activity book for the 3+ age was the Max & Alphie's Adventures! Activity Book. It offers a variety of activities to help promote pre-writing skills and improve strength and control while using a writing tool. Again, the activities start fairly simple and get a little more challenging which has been great.
As you can probably tell, I've been thrilled with the Fundanoodle educational products...and so has Kaelyn! These fun activities have been a great way to give her the handwriting help she needs. Max & Alphie offer the encouragement, support and fun each step of the way too. They have been developmentally appropriate activities that we can do together. I look forward to working with Kaden on these when the time comes too.
For parents with preschool aged children, I would highly recommend checking out Fundanoodle and their writing or activity tablets. The system is color coordinated by age group, so you're sure to find the perfect product for your child.
Win It: One lucky reader will win an assortment of Carolina Pad Fundanoodle products (age-appropriate for your child). (winner cannot have won ANY type of Carolina Pad prize, contest, etc in the past 90 days. (Including Facebook and Twitter.)
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