I finally got around to purchasing a few wish-list items! I think I may possibly have been more excited initially than the kids were, although it didn't take long for them to fall in love with the new additions to our shelves.
First of all, we have Melissa and Doug's Magnetic Pattern Blocks . I had a VERY simple set of tangrams that I found once at the Dollar Store, and Bug and Hoss seemed to really enjoy them, so I knew this one would be a hit with them, and they have been the ones to enjoy them the most. I am sure the others would love them, they just don't yet seem interested.
They have several nice sets, including their wooden pattern blocks set , but I chose the magnetic set because I could foresee one of them (:ahem: Hoss) getting upset if the blocks tried to slide around while putting the pattern together, and really - who doesn't love something easy to travel with? The magnetic set comes with a great travel bag for on the go play. I did end up deciding to take them OUT of the bag, and place the cards on top of the frame on our shelves, and found a small box with a clear lid to put the pieces in, because of the obvious pile like the one in the picture above.
I couldn't help but love this picture of Bug showing me which card and picture she chose and that she was able to get it in by herself! The fact that it was upside down obviously didn't occur to her at all :) Be advised, however, that if you use these for a younger child, it is a good idea to slide the card in for them, as this isn't super easy to do, and the cards are thick, but we do have one that shows some rough wear and tear on the edges because Bug tried to slide it in, and had a hard time getting it in straight.
Another wish list item were these Melissa and Doug See-and-Spell Puzzles. Miss Priss really enjoys these, which is who I was aiming at with them, so I hit the nail on the head here, too! By the way, it is so nice to be able to say that, because so often it seems that when I REALLY think the kids are going to like the new material or work, it sits for a while, untouched. Not only have the puzzles gotten plenty of use, but one day we created a small extension with them, when Miss Priss mentioned wanting to spell the words that I said. So she was allowed to use the puzzles as a guide, and with pencil and paper, she found the puzzle that matched the word I called out and then wrote the word on paper. I was pleasantly surprised at how much she enjoyed doing that.
The small letters have also revealed something else in our home - Buddy Boy brought me a 'W' one day, holding it upside down, and preceded to tell me that the 'M' says 'mmmmmmm'! For which I can credit our Leap Frog Letter Factory video, which is quite often part of our daily routine, and the only movie that I don't mind them watching daily! I would definitely recommend it to ANYONE, because of how much my youngest three have learned from it.
This next one is something that was an unplanned buy, although I had wanted to get one before too much longer for our shelves.
Our new geoboard, which is very similar to this one, has been a BIG favorite with everyone. Hoss really latched on to it the first few days, grabbing it up before anyone else had a chance to take it first!
I love the concentrated look on his face in this picture - anytime he is concentrating hard on something, you are guaranteed to see his tongue half out of his mouth, and I am surprised that he has never bitten into it, the way it seems to get clamped in between his teeth!
It wasn't long before he figured out how to make letters, and surprised me with an 'I Love You' initials design on the board :)
I love bringing in new materials, and seeing the excitement on their faces at getting to explore them, and learn new things!