Fort Magic Giveaway

Aug 20, 2014

This is a sponsored post

A while ago we were contacted by the makers of the super creative construction kit for kids, Fort Magic. One look at their website and already I could see the huge potential for years of fun and learning so eagerly agreed to write a review and give away a set to one of our International readers. You can see what we had to say about Fort Magic here.

With our last giveaway being so popular, Fort Magic have generously offered another set for us to give away! So, have a little look at how we've been playing and learning with our Fort Magic set over the past 4 months and then enter the giveaway at the bottom to win your very own set!

Building a boat/following instructions

Your Fort Magic kit comes with a gorgeous colour manual that includes how-to instructions for a wide variety of designs. The designs range from simple structures to elaborate mansions and making these designs allows children to work on concentration, problem solving, spatial thinking, following directions, interpreting instructions, angles, length, colour, measurement, language, cooperation and more.


For us, the build is just as much fun as the after play

Often our more elaborate designs, like this boat, tend to stay up for quite some time. The children enjoy role play, imaginative adventures and just hanging out in their cubby houses. It's much more fun to watch tv, read with your uncle and have a nap inside a boat!

Free Building

The designs that you can create using Fort Magic are really spectacular. The range of lengths, curves and connectors that it comes with allow for an unlimited amount of creative designs. The manual that it comes with includes enough designs to really get your creative juices flowing and to show you some of the amazing possibilities. 

As my children are still relatively young (2 and 5), following the instructions on their own is still quite challenging and will be something that they get more into as they get older. When we want to attempt one of the designs in the book, we tend to work on it together as a family which provides us with a good excuse to spend some quality family time building together. As for the rest of the time, the children just love to build freely. This is actually my favourite thing about Fort Magic and I love to see them building and creating using their own imagination, problem solving, mathematical concepts and creativity, combined with important skill building such as fine and gross motor, hand-eye coordination and critical thinking.

"It's like a Church or perhaps I could use it for a Zoo!"

Even at 2 years old, he loves free building with Fort Magic. The repetitive nature of physically manipulating the materials, making choices and the concentration required are fabulous for his cognitive development.

Children learn many mathematical concepts through physically building and experimenting with 3-dimensional structures.

Fort Magic has been very well received when we've had play dates at our place. You get a lot of joy out of seeing young children concentrating, discussing, planning, cooperating and learning to work creatively together.

I love the physical nature of Fort Magic. It is a toy that encourages my children to move!

Most parents will tell you that there is nothing as wonderful as watching siblings playing nicely together. Fort Magic brings my kids together and forces them to cooperate if they have certain outcomes that want to achieve.

There is a lot of peer-learning that takes place as well, as my daughter discusses and instructs her younger brother. For my young son, building with Fort Magic is also a great time for us to work on his oral language development as we discuss together what he is enjoying doing and being a part of.



Whilst the majority of our play and learning uses a lot of low cost items like loose parts play or recycled materials, there are occasionally items that I do believe are worth investing the money into. Fort Magic is definitely one of those items. We love ours!

To read more about  the educational benefits of Fort Magic or to order your own set, see the website. You can also check out what other customers have had to say here.

Giveaway


Thanks to the generous people at Fort Magic, you have the chance to win your own complete set, valued at $199 USD, for your home, center or school! The competition is open to residents of US and Canada and includes shipping.  Enter easily via the rafflecopter below and Good Luck!!
Please note: If you are commenting on the blog using the "anonymous" profile, please also include your name so we can match it to your rafflecopter entry. If you are trying to leave a comment from a phone and are having difficulties, please try again from a desktop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Currently, Fort Magic is not available in Australia but it will be coming! Keep your eyes out for it's launch. Also, in exciting Fort Magic news, fabric covers will also soon be available for purchase separately!

Happy playing, 
Debs :)

{Disclosure: this is a paid post sponsored by Fort Magic. We previously received a Fort Magic kit to review. As always, opinions expressed in this post are my own and my children's.}



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7 free kids printables

Aug 13, 2014

Follow us on Pinterest for tons of great kids activities and ideas.

Welcome to this week's TUESDAY TOTS. Brought to you weekly by Learn with Play at home (that's us), Rainy Day Mum and One Perfect Day.


This week we are showcasing

"7 free kids printables"

I think collecting free printables is something I quite enjoy. Have a look at my Free Printables Pinterest board and tell me what you think. With over 2,000 great quality free printables on it, it's no wonder there are more than 20,000 board followers. I guess I'm not the only one who loves a good free printable. The amount of possibilities from a printed piece of paper is pretty mind blowing really. Here are 7 fabulous kid printables for all sorts of useful purposes.


1. First Day of School Printables from Carrie Elle

2. Lunch Box Notes Printable from The Connection We Share

3. Pacifier Fairy Printables from Moms and Munchkins

4. Vet Pretend Play Printables  from Kids Activities Blog


6. LEGO Duplo Number Cards Printable from Learn with Play at Home

7. LEGO Challenge Printable Cards from Sunshine and Hurricanes


Congratulations if you were featured. You can grab a Featured Button here.


See here for even more amazing free kids printables.

-----------------------------------
Now for the Tuesday Tots link-up
Announcement: In order to keep up with the demands of our own households and also those of our readers, Cerys (from Rainy Day Mum), Ness (from One Perfect Day) and myself, are opening the Tuesday Tots link up to play ideas, activities and child related posts suitable from birth to teens. 
Where once we only shared ideas for those under the age of 5, we will now be sharing activities, ideas and posts for a larger range of ages/abilities. We look forward to seeing all the new material that is linked up from talented bloggers worldwide and featuring our top picks for the week.


Be sure to check back on all the fabulous ideas that are linked up each week starting on a Tuesday. It is from these linkups that we choose posts to feature.

(please read the guidelines before linking up)








Happy playing,
Debs :)

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Kid-made Greeting Cards. Patterned Paper Designs

Aug 10, 2014

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Another birthday, another greeting card.  We've tried a variety of different kid-friendly (actually doable by children) designs and wanted to try something new. I remembered some lovely patterned paper that I'd be saving to use for some sort of project, so decided a home-made birthday card would be perfect for it. With this particular gift card, we enjoyed combining and working on our design, drawing and cutting skills whilst inadvertently learning more about scale and measurement.

Ages: 3+
(See the Handy Tips at the bottom to simplify or extend to meet your child's needs)


Materials:
  • Piece of thick paper/card folded in half or a blank card
  • A variety of patterned paper or recycled artwork 
  • Plain paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Glue


Directions:
  • Draw a design on your blank piece of paper
  • Replicate different parts of the design onto different colours/patterned paper so that each part is on a different style of paper.
Replicating the individual parts the same size as the original design and keeping the scale in line with each part is a challenging aspect of this activity. There may be some modifications to your original design, needed. This is valuable learning opportunity.


  • Once you've finished drawing, cut out the individual parts of your design


    •  Reassemble the individual parts to form your design

    • Stick in place


    • Add in any extra details with a pen. You can also use stickers, stamps etc. to add any final touches to your gift card.

    I thought he turned out pretty cute (slightly more E.T. like than the original dinosaur design, probably due to an added neck, haha).

    Now your card is finished and ready to be written in. An important part of the whole greeting-card process for children is writing in the card. It is a fabulous time for them to practice and develop their writing, spelling and language.



    Handy Tips:

    Simplify this activity by choosing a very simple design for your child to copy. Try a flower with different patterned petals or even just different geometric shapes cut out of each type of paper and arranged by the child. For very young children, do the cutting for them and allow them to arrange and paste on the patterned paper as they like.


    Extend this activity by working on more complex designs. Children can even work on lettering and making words out of the different patterned letters.


    Mix it up by using the same technique to make a personalised piece of art work. You could use this idea on canvas sealed with a clear finishing coat or even frame a piece of personalised paper with your design on it.


    - Writing in the card is an important part of the process. To ease the pressure on younger children, it could be helpful to write your message on a separate piece of paper that you can stick inside the card. This way if there are any mistakes, it's easy to start over. For children that aren't writing yet, having them dictate a message that you write will help them learn the process.



    Happy playing,
    Debs :)


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