Wednesday, June 30, 2021

EdAlive Words Rock Online Review

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW.


If you are looking for fun and educational online games, you might want to check out Words Rock Online from EdAlive.  We were recently given 12 months access to this online literacy program geared for ages 5-15 and beyond!  If EdAlive sounds familiar, you may remember our review from a few years ago of their Typing Tournament Online and Maths Invaders Online.

What is EdAlive?  It's an Australian based online learning company that creates educational games for students of various ages and grades.  One of the coolest aspects of its program is the games ability to adapt to the learners’ specific abilities through automated Adaptive Learning.

As students work their way through the program, they can earn awards along the way or more specifically Agent cards.

This system encourages students to keep playing and learning as they earn more and more cards.  Words rock Online covers topics like spelling, grammar, punctuation, pre-literacy and of course, vocabulary.

Above you can see that I am looking for slugs.  I am competing against 3 other players.

So, how do you play?  In Words rock Online you are a street-smart Seeker on the trail of the devious, slippery Super Slugs.  But there is a problem!  The Slugs are invisible.  You have to complete word skill questions in order to search the streets for the Slugs.  And there's another catch.  There are other Seekers competing against you to find the Slugs.  Yep, it's a multi-player game so you are competing against others.  With a little luck and the correct answers to the questions - hopefully you will become the number one Slug Buster!

An example of a question.  In this question, you are asked to determine the correct season for each picture.

And above, you can see a harder question.  Notice the blue box that allows students to say if a question is too hard for them.

And here you can see that in this game, I won so I was the #1 Slug Buster!

I love that this program is designed to be used by schools, families, homeschoolers - really everyone.  Words Rock Online is a fun way to incorporate learning and games.  I think students will definitely have fun as they learn more about spelling, grammar, punctuation, pre-literacy and vocabulary.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of EdAlive's Words Rock Online as well as some of their other programs including Baggin' the Dragon Maths Online and Volcanic Panic Reading Success Online.

Online Math, Reading, and Language Arts with EdAlive

You can engage with EdAlive on social media @:

Monday, June 28, 2021

Summerfest 2021

The younger kids at the photo booth.

Friday was Summerfest at our church and we had such a great time.  There were various bouncy houses, rock wall, petting zoo, laser tag, dunk tank, games and our family had a grand time celebrating with friends and neighbors.  I think my favorite was the petting zoo because they had a baby kangaroo and he was the absolute cutest.

Charlie the joey, he was so soft.

The younger kids didn't want to hold the snake so I did!  Look Mom, a snake 😉

A helped run the cotton candy stand.

Hope you had a great weekend!  I am worn out (in a good way).

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Story Time Chess Review

I have had my eye on this Timberdoodle item for awhile and I'm so blessed to share it with you today, Story Time Chess!  This is geared for ages 3-103 or PreK and beyond.  Chess is an amazing game that sharpens critical thinking, boosts emotional intelligence and helps strengthen academic performance.  What sets Story Time Chess apart is its ability to teach chess to young children (no chess experience is required).  It does this using silly stores, colorful illustrations, custom chess pieces and a custom chess board.  Children learn how to play chess through fun stories instead of rules!

What's included?  Story Time Chess includes a custom double-sided chessboard with custom matching chess pieces, 2 storage bags for the pieces, and a splendidly designed storybook (also contains minigames).

The purpose of the 30+ minigames is to reinforce the mechanics of how the pieces move and the game is played.  The storybook shows each piece and the illustrated story behind how that piece likes to move.  In essence, it brings the chess pieces to life with their fun characters and interesting movements.  This really help children visualize the pieces on the chess board and really understand how to move each one.  F is 7 and G is 4 and I have been playing Story Time Chess with both of them and I am super impressed with their growing understanding and knowledge of the game of chess!  I mean, how many 4 year olds beg to play chess - mine does now 😉.

In Story Time Chess, children first learn about the kings.  Then the pawns, followed by the bishops, knights, rooks and finally the queens.

After learning all about King Chomper, G played a few minigames to help cement exactly how this piece moves in chess.  He learned about King Shaky too.
The boys loved the stories from the very first one.  They were smiling and laughing and thought they were silly and fun.  I enjoyed them as well and appreciate their creativity (it truly keeps the boys interested and motivated to hear and learn more).

Then came the pawns, the King's children.  Above G set up the pawns.  I love how the Story Side of the board shows children where the pieces start.

F & G playing a minigame with the pawns to help cement how they move and capture.

G loves the bishops, Bee & Bop!

Learning about the knights, Clip & Clop!

F & G playing knight minigames.

Queen Bella & Queen Allegra are the most powerful pieces for each team.
Once, children learn about all the pieces, they can play a full game of Capture The King!

Playing chess with G!

Good Game - I won round 1.

Story Time Chess is currently included in Timberdoodle's Kindergarten curriculum kit.  If you have young children or even older children that have trouble understanding the game of chess, this is a great item to have to help build lifelong skills.  Story Time Chess gets a big thumbs up from us and we absolutely recommend it.  It's easy to see how it has won so many awards 🥇.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Story Time Chess at a discounted price in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Backyard Bible Club Week

This week our chuch has been having Backyard Bible Clubs meet all throughout the city.  We are one of the host families and we are having a really fun time with all the kids that have come.  It's a great opportunity for everyone involved to grow in their faith and also a special time to have fun and meet new people.  I love that the older youth from our church run the clubs (A, B, and C are all at their own clubs).  My younger kids are having a blast and look forward to each evening.  Tonight is our last night - Super Hero Thursday 🦸

Playing Games on Monday

F & G getting ready for Tie Dye Tuesday!

Playing Drip Drip Drop on Wet and Wild Wednesday

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Starry Night Pixel Puzzle Review

I have something to share with you today from Timberdoodle, The Starry Night Pixel Puzzle inspired by Vincent van Gogh's famous piece!  This puzzle is manufactured by Pix Brix and is geared for children 6 and older.  This is a fun project for one child or can by used as a group activity for many.  If you choose to have a group activity, you can cut the color-coded Starry Night template into multiple sections so more people can work at the same time and then as sections are completed, simply join them together.  You can also have children work on the puzzle one at a time at different times, which is what we ended up doing.  E and A completed most of our puzzle and D helped some too!

What's included?  Our puzzle came with ~ 2,400 pieces in various colors, a color-coded template and a Pix Brix Tool to aid in building (this can help if you have trouble connecting pieces or if your hand gets tired).

A started building the border of our puzzle.

 Our puzzle is bigger than the color-coded template so you cannot just build on top of it.  You use it as a guide as you build.
Puzzle Progress
D taking a turn building our puzzle.

E adding more pieces

If you can't tell, she is having fun!

Our puzzle just needs the final color, medium yellow.

Adding the last few pieces

 E adding the last pieces...

A close up of E building our puzzle.

Above you can get a feel for the shape of the pieces and how they connect.

 The Starry Night Pixel Puzzle

What the back of our puzzle looks like (for those wondering).

E with our completed puzzle!

I appreciate that the pieces connect completely on their own - you do not need a baseplate, iron, glue, etc.  These unique, single-shape interlocking pieces can be used to build horizontally, vertically, and diagonally - so fun!  I like that this specific puzzle can be reused or hung up on a wall like a painting.

It was so fun for the girls to recreate Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night" painting.  This would definitely make a unique and fun gift for that hard to find child.  This puzzle is currently included in Timberdoodle's 4th grade curriculum kit and we highly recommend it - we love hands-on resources!

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received this puzzle at a discount in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Soapstone Carving Kit Orca Review

I have something to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Soapstone Carving Kit!  This kit is manufactured by Studiostone Creative and is geared for ages 8-99 or 3rd grade and beyond.  A was the one who completed this project in our home!

 Inside our kit

What's included?  This set contains everything you need for this project: a hand-cut soapstone shape, kid-safe carving file, two grades of sandpaper, polishing wax, buffing cloth and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

Above you can see the instructions.  They are clear and concise, with small, helpful illustrations.  A was able to take the kit and run with it on her own with no trouble at all.

How to make your soapstone?  The first step is to use the file to round the front and back of your shaped soapstone.  You will need to keep the stone wet as you work.  The second step is to use the file to round the head from both sides.  Next, the file will be used to separate the bottom fins and tail.  Sandpaper (the coarse red one) is then used to rub out all the scratches.  After using the red sandpaper, the yellow sandpaper is used to smooth out your piece.  Then a hair dryer is used to heat the stone for a few minutes.  Wax is applied to the heated stone (it melts when it touches it).  After letting the stone cool, buff it will the buffing cloth and your soapstone is complete!

A with her finished Orca!
A closer view

I love the tail!

This was an easy and fun project for A and she completed it in one afternoon.  You can easily complete this is under a few hours.  This is a great hands-on project and would work well for so many ages.  This kit is currently available in an Orca or a Bear version.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received the Soapstone Carving Kit at a discounted price in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.