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5 Back-to-School Inspired Items from our Educational Materials Library

It's that time of the year: Back-to-School! I'm sure you have already perused the back-to-school display at Target and thought about Labor Day weekend plans. While this time of the year is known to be stressful for parents, the end of summer can be a really daunting time for young children too. There are so many transitions and unknowns that come with heading (back) into a classroom. Even the most eager of children might have a few hesitations when it comes to that First Day. To start the conversation with your young child about attending school, we've selected five items from our library that will get your young learner excited to head back into the classroom.

1. Flyleaf Emergent Reader Series

The Emergent Reader Series Book Set from Flyleaf Publishing is favorite of the Kaleidoscope Learning team. Informed by research and based in phonics, the authors thoughtfully build reading skills with each subsequent book. Unlike most other early reader series, these books feature colorful, detailed illustrations and tell engaging stories.

Flyleaf Emergent Readers Series (Full Collection)

Why we love it for Back-To-School:

If your child is interested in advancing their literacy skills, these books are a great, bite-size and accessible way to incorporate phonics and reading comprehension into your home. The benefit of checking out a Flyleaf Emergent Reader ahead of starting school is you can have your child dip their feet into reading within a familiar physical space (your home).

The Flyleaf Emergent Reader Series is currently available for check-out from our library. We have divided the 35 book set into seven 5-book sets, making it less-daunting to try-out this book set.

2. SumBlox

SumBlox is the marriage of two of our favorite things: wooden blocks and mathematics! You can have your young learner explore mathematics with this miniature SumBlox set. Complete with 80 blocks and activity cards, this beautiful wood set will keep your child occupied and challenged for hours.

Full SumBlox Set with Cards

Why we love it for Back-To-School:

SumBlox is such a unique and fun way to introduce number recognition, addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The size of each number block is proportional to its numerical value, which makes conceptualizing numbers a breeze (compared to the traditional math worksheet way to learn numbers). We are also big fans of traditional wooden building blocks because of the utility, look, and feel.

3. Who Pooped?

It might be a controversial statement, but sometimes learning should be silly. Once you get past the initial "ewww" and giggles factor, Who Pooped? is a great matching game that allows children to understand the natural world around them. Children identify scat that belong to a specific animal. What makes this game really fun is that children can use their knowledge of scat and apply it to their own experiences in nature (like while camping, hiking, or out on an urban walk).

Who Pooped? Matching & Memory Game

Why we love it for Back-To-School:

We have already listed two back-to-school items that seem very academic focused. We are big believers that children ages 2-6 learn best through open-ended play. We love Who Pooped? because it incorporates science and biology into a child's play-time without seeming too academically rigorous at face-value. If you want to show your child that learning about the world can be fun and silly, this is the perfect item to do so!

4. Pattern Play

This wonderful set of blocks from Mindware is a great game for children ages 3+. Children can try to recreate the pattern on the matching card. This activity promotes pattern matching, fine motor skills, problem solving, and creative thinking.

Pattern Play Block Set with Matching Cards

Why we love it for Back-To-School:

It is no secret that a lot of early childhood is problem solving. When then world is new to you, trial and error is the norm. With Pattern Play, children can hone in on their problem solving skills by re-creating the different patterns on the supplemental cards. Children can also deviate from the cards and design their own creations! We love open-ended materials that allow children to be creative.

5. Banjolele

The Kaleidoscope Learning team is filled with musicians, and we are excited to offer this adorable Banjolele for young musicians. Easy to handle for even the youngest of learners, children can explore fine motor manipulation in a creative and open-ended way.


Why we love it for Back-To-School:

Perhaps you are interested in introducing music to your child soon. A lot of schools incorporate music into their lesson plans or have specific hours blocked off for music lessons. While purchasing a brand new instrument seems a little daunting (for both the parent and the child), this adorable Banjolele is a child-size instrument that functions the same as a banjo or ukulele (this item has three string). If you are interested in getting your child familiar with music and instruments, this Banjolele is a great entry-level instrument for your young learner.

Are there other materials you use to get your children excited to head back to school? List them in the comments section!

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