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When I was in elementary school, my teachers started to notice that I was falling behind in my reading abilities. It was determined that I should attend “Reading Recovery” every week to help get me up to speed.
Having been a very confident child, I was not overly fazed by the fact that I would be removed from my normal class and taken away from my peers to receive extra help from a specialist. In fact, it may have been a result of my being a stereotypical “middle child” that I honestly looked forward to that time every week where I would have the undivided attention of an adult. Not to mention that the reading specialist, Mrs. Lam, was one of the most kind, patient, and enthusiastic adults I have ever met.
Together we would work on word recognition drills along with techniques for sounding out syllables, words, and phrases. Mrs. Lam would give me creative homework assignments which made the learning process fun and rewarding. I began to make tremendous progress and was both proud and sad when we finally reached the end of our time together. She helped me work on my final project which was a handmade book all about my time in Reading Recovery—I’ve kept it to this day in a box full of childhood memories.
Throughout the rest of my education, I became one of the top students in all subjects relating to reading, writing, and language, receiving a perfect score on the reading comprehension portion of my SAT’s. I even dedicated my college career to the study of language as a Linguistics major. And now, I’m sitting at my desk, enjoying writing this blog for all of you and thanking Mrs. Lam from the bottom of my heart.
As a result of my experiences, my love of books runs deep. I think that all kids should have the chance to fall in love with reading the way that I did and to explore new ideas and learn how to see the world through different lenses. That is why I am so excited that Learning Express Toys is dedicating the month of October to one of my favorite book vendors, Klutz!
Different than your typical story books, Klutz books feature a variety of activities and projects to engage and entertain kids of all ages. These well-written guides provide exceptional instructions on everything from painting faces to fashioning paper flying machines. Each book features educational activities and materials that inspire imagination and creativity.
Throughout the month of October, Learning Express Toys stores will be hosting Play Day events to celebrate Klutz. These events will feature interactive activities based on some of the best-selling Klutz books that are perfectly suited for both boys and girls.
The Washi Tape Stickers book provides kids with all of the materials, templates, and instructions needed to custom-make pretty patterned stickers that can jazz up any notebook, notecard, gift tag, locker, or water bottle. The book teaches kids about the Japanese origin of Washi Tape and provides artistic examples of ways in which the stickers can be used. Stop by your local Learning Express Toys store to participate in a special Washi Tape Sticker event where kids can create beautiful postcards and enter to win a book and kit of their very own.
The Straw Shooter Jets book teaches kids how to create five unique paper planes that can be launched through the sky just by blowing through a straw! In addition to the jet assembly instructions, this book provides kids with tips, tricks, and information about flight technique, aerodynamics, and stunts that can be performed with their fleet. Join our Learning Express Toys engineers in fashioning these fantastic flyers and pilot them through the air with the rest of the group. Families can also enter to win a Klutz book and kit to take home.
Be on the lookout for the Klutz Book-of-the-Week, as a new popular Klutz book will be spotlighted in our stores each week throughout the month. Help your kids find their passion for reading with these and other great books available at Learning Express Toys.
Thanks for reading!
You may not know that, September marks Learning Express Toys’ 27th birthday as a neighborhood toy store. We are thrilled to be celebrating this milestone with our wonderful customers. Our store owners, managers, and employees truly enjoy interacting with you and your children on a daily basis and providing you with quality products and services.
We have also had the pleasure of establishing strong partnerships with some amazing vendors over the past 27 years. In fact, it is because of these vendors that our stores are able to provide families with fabulous and fun Play Day events each month.
Thus, we thought it fitting that we celebrate this year’s birthday by hosting exciting Play Day events featuring one of our favorite vendors—Melissa and Doug!
Melissa and Doug have been in the business of manufacturing toys for over 25 years, which shows in the quality and uniqueness of their products. With a wide range of beautiful toys for kids of all ages, it’s no wonder that children of celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Usher, Selma Hayak, and Ellen Degeneres have been spotted toting around M&D oversized plush animals, wooden puzzles, and ride-on luggage.
Like Learning Express Toys, Melissa and Doug understand the importance of providing families with educational toys that encourage childhood development and imagination. Their products are extremely popular with our customers as a result of their outstanding play value.
So if you love Melissa and Doug as much as we do, we invite you and your family to celebrate 27 years of fun at a special Play Day event. Stop by your local Learning Express Toys store throughout the month to participate in a Melissa and Doug activity perfect for boys and girls of all ages, featuring the Pirate and Dress-Up Puffy Sticker Play Sets.
Kids will have a blast combining a variety of reusable puffy stickers to create detailed pirate ship or fashion runway scenes. Full of imaginative fun, this Play Day will encourage kids to play together, sharing stickers and laughs. And while you’re in the store, don’t forget to submit your enter-to-win form for a chance to take home a giant Melissa and Doug plush German Shepherd!
Check your local store for Play Day event details—we hope to see you there!
Thanks for reading.
Do you feel it? The back-to-school blues have started to set in.
With many schools in the country heading back to class within the next few weeks, it’s beginning to feel like summer is over.
As a kid, I was an enthusiastic student who loved learning and socializing at school, but I also remember all too well feeling melancholy at the end of summer break. Going back to school meant starting my daily routine of waking up early to catch the bus, rushing to my after-school activities, and working into the wee hours of the night (about 7:00pm) to finish my seemingly endless homework! What I dreaded most of all was being stuck in a classroom all day long, especially after having spent a few glorious months playing outside without a care in the world.
However, that melancholy feeling doesn’t have to set in just yet—there are still plenty of long, sunny days left before we have to pack up the pool toys and bring out the sweaters. Technically, there are more than 45 days until the season comes to an end. But I also believe that it is our attitudes that reflect the seasons and an upbeat summer disposition can come in handy any time of the year! Here at Learning Express Toys we want to provide your family with fun activities to help everyone maintain that healthy attitude while transitioning back to school.
For the month of August, Learning Express Toys stores across the country are hosting Play Day events centered on one of our favorite vendors—The Orb Factory! Families can participate in free, crafty activities featuring cool new kits throughout the month. Try out the new Duck Pixel Pops—use small cubes to build a pixelated duck collectable that looks as though it waddled straight out of Minecraft. Or, craft by number to create a fashion-forward Plushcraft Felt Petal Purse that looks and feels like a real flower.
Don’t let the back-to-school blues get you down; stop by Learning Express Toys after school and on weekends to keep up that carefree summer vibe. And don’t miss out on these amazing August Play Day events—see your local store for details!
Thanks for reading.
Summer break can be an amazing time for family bonding, relaxation, creativity, and feeling a sense of freedom. But sometimes—usually about midway through—the break can become a bit stressful as the kiddos start saying “I’m bored…” in their most professional, whiny voices.
It can be very tiresome to keep this sudden outbreak of boredom at bay as parents search for creative ideas that will entertain everyone. This is such a common issue across the US, in fact, that a national anti-boredom movement was created, making July Anti-Boredom Month.
Learning Express Toys understands the need for this admirable quest and has come up with the perfect boredom buster to help alleviate the problem. We are very excited to be celebrating Anti-Boredom Month with fun and crafty ALEX Play Day events throughout July!
ALEX has phenomenal arts and crafts kits for boys and girls of all ages which truly inspire creativity and imagination. Thus, Learning Express Toys decided to partner with ALEX and tackle the boredom problem head on by providing families with two unique and engaging Play Day events.
This month, Learning Express Toys stores across the country are hosting ALEX BFF Jewelry and All Duct Out classes. Bring your child and a friend to the BFF Jewelry class where they can customize their very own set of matching necklaces and bracelets to demonstrate their friendship. Is Jewelry not your style? Try making one-of-a-kind accessories using everyone’s favorite material—Duct tape! The sky’s the limit with the All Duct Out kit as kids can learn how to make Duct tape wallets and purses that put the fun in functional.
If you love these two ALEX kits, make sure to check out the wide variety of arts and crafts kits available at Learning Express Toys and don’t let boredom get the best of your family. See your local store for details on ALEX Play Day events happening this month!
Thanks for reading.
When I was a kid, the last couple days of school before summer vacation felt like cruel and unusual punishment. I would often imagine that the superintendent was a Mrs. Trunchbull type character from Matilda whose sole goal in life was to make kids suffer. How else would you explain her failure to understand that we belonged outside, running free in the sunshine with our friends? But not long after being released from my torturous school routine, I would find myself wandering around my backyard, already bored with all that extra time I had craved only weeks before.
It turned out that summer wasn’t an endless pool party constantly packed with playdates and camp adventures like I had imagined—some days you just had to hang out around the house. Bless my mom for taking the “I’m bored…” whining in stride. I think most kids and parents can relate to this experience since transitioning into a new routine can be difficult on everyone.
So the question is: what can we do about it? No need to fear; there is a fun solution to this little summertime problem. For the month of June, Learning Express Toys stores will be hosting Sands Alive Play Day events. Families can stop by their local store and participate in free activities featuring the coolest sand around. Kids can play in the sand even be entered to win a 3D Sands Alive kit of their very own! It’s a great opportunity to get everyone out of the house and socialize with other families from the area.
Made with all-natural ingredients, Sands Alive feels similar to flour when lightly touched, sifts through fingers when held, and can be molded into sturdy constructions with added pressure. The sand is non-toxic, does not stick to hands or clothing, and never dries out! It has a very unique tactile quality that you need to feel to believe. So don’t let the summertime boredom set in—see your local Learning Express Toys store for details.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more happening this summer!