My Favorite Crayola Products for Back to School

My Favorite Crayola Products for Back to School

Why I love Crayola Products

I love Crayola products! Who doesn’t?! Crayola makes reliable, dependable, arts and crafts products geared toward children while keeping parent needs in mind. And they cannot be compared to in regard to quality. Have you used a crayon at a restaurant with your child while waiting for your dinner? I’m sure you have and I’m sure you know without a doubt that if it doesn’t say Crayola, it will snap with a vigorous filling in of a flower or racecar. Every time. SNAP!

Think back to your own experience cracking open a brand new box of perfectly sharpened crayons – all beautifully organized with the colors of the rainbow and every tone in between. Ahhhh. An organizational addict’s dream come true.

Well, Mama, it’s even better now. The products that we know so well have been used to inspire an even brighter, more child welcoming world of creativity. It’s amazing.

As an educator, I am always looking for the best products at the best price, because I run through them like crazy. I keep a constant supply of open-ended arts and crafts tools within reach to illustrate how welcome children in my care are to take their imagination and turn them into beauty to be shared. But, doing this means I go through a lot of products, and more so, am cleaning up the wildness of creativity (read: the mess that is constantly on my floor at the art table.) So I need something I can buy a lot of, without spending an arm and a leg.

As a mother, after the day is done, I’m looking for activities that need a little less engagement from me, and allow my daughter to color outside the lines, to grow and learn, but to allow me the opportunity to step away to attend to the other needs of my family and home. I needed safe, reliable, and welcoming activities that would encourage my daughter to play independently.

I’ve done a lot of research. I’ve tried a lot of products and I always come back to what I know, love and trust. Crayola.

*This post contains affiliate links which if used cost you nothing extra, but a small percentage comes back to me to support more learning! You’re welcome to check out my privacy policy or reach out to me directly with questions anytime!*

Is Your Child Heading to Kindergarten soon?!

Looking over at that amazing child of yours, thinking of slipping the straps of a backpack far too big for their still tiny shoulders as you send them off to kindergarten for the first time, armed with the perfectly packed lunch and all the love in your heart; what a milestone!

Well, Mama. I can help you prepare for this amazing adventure.

In a FREE email course, I walk you through

the 5 MOST IMPORTANT steps to preparing your child for kindergarten.

The 11 Best Crayola Products for Back to School and at Home Play!

Here is a list of the products I most regularly use in my home, daycare and on the go with my family. This is not a full list as it would go on and on, from the giant box of crayons and classroom box of markers I buy to the papers I use that hold up to the earliest of finger painters, or the modeling clay that builds those important muscles in the hands and arms.

But I have shared those products that I think you could most use at home to allow you watch your little one playing, learning, dreaming, and creating, while you join in play or while letting you have a cup of coffee, or pick away at something else for a little mom time. 

 

My Favorite Crayola Products for Back to School

1. Window writers – I’ve talked about these before in a post about the ways you can keep your little one entertained at home, and do they deliver! Little Bee and her daycare friends have loved turning our front window into a masterpiece, which wipes away super easily. I don’t know if it’s the idea of writing on something you never thought you were allowed to write on before, the way it looks on the window, or the fact that everyone that walks by sees it, but this has become a very requested activity at my house. It works great on a mirror as well!

2. Twist Crayons –Okay, so take that image of crayon awesomeness and jack it up a notch. These are one of my favorite things that Crayola makes. The crayon twists up so it’s always in perfect coloring readiness, but acts like a pen or pencil, which is perfection for early writers looking to develop those fine motor skills.

3. Side Walk Chalk –  This item could be a list within itself as Crayola makes countless types of chalk play. I have yet to meet a child who isn’t lost in the idea of writing on the driveway, or sidewalk in early spring, of creating chalk paint, or creating a blackboard inside. We use chalk in so many ways but Crayola makes it pretty easy with all the types that they offer. Small, wide, multi colors, chalk paint, the list goes on. So cool.

4. Bath Dropz and Bath Crayons –  Well, that’s two things I suppose but we love them both so I had to share both of them. As I mentioned in a recent post, I am working to declutter our home (and keep the clutter out… not sure which is worse or more challenging) and part of that means we don’t have any “bath toys”. We use the things we already have around the house; bowls, spoons, sponges, that encourage and promote learning through play while promoting the benefits of water play (more on that here). But the one thing I think has such value in tub play are these colorful creations. Promoting writing practice in the tub is so much fun (and it helps that it washes away so simply), and changing the color of the tub water makes a task that formerly used to cue bedtime woes in my house, that now encourage Little Bee to willingly hop in the tub.

5. Mess Free Everything! Well, not everything, but just about! This is another one that could be a giant list itself. We love the Mess Free Paint and Mess Free Markers the most but I hadn’t realized just how many “mess free” products they made! The Mess Free Markers are genius for long car trips that mean marker doesn’t end up EVERYWHERE and make a perfect Doctor’s office waiting activity. But, I use this stuff at home too because as I noted above, after a long day and I’m making supper or cleaning up from the day, I don’t want to discourage creativity in my daughter, but I also don’t want to clean up another giant mess. The Mess Free Paint is currently my favorite office art that my daughter made for me. It truely is beautiful and worthy of a frame.

6. Light Up Tracing Table – move over whiteboard, there’s a new awesome activity in town. Seriously Mama, this one is pretty cool. We actually use this light table for lots of different things beyond the tracing feature. Using translucent paper, you can overlay to blend colors, or use colorful plastic blocks and watch the light shine through.

Art Buddy Pack
Color Wonder Mess Free Activity Set
Light Up Tracing Pad-Blue
Picture Projector
Signature Series Crayoligraphy Activity Set

7. Picture Projector – My daughter got this one as a gift and it was a huge hit! Having Little Bee’s creations blow up onto the wall makes for an amazing response each time we do it. It’s pretty neat and makes an awesome gift. If you brought this one to a birthday party, you’d be a pretty popular mom.

8. Light Board – We don’t actually have this one in play yet. I have purchased it for my daughter and am saving it for her for her birthday and a trip that we are soon taking. She is going to LOVE IT! I think this would really encourage reluctant writers to get practice holding pens and pencils to see their art shine like a billboard!

9. Finger Paint – I go through A LOT of paint at my house. I love using paint for play which you can read more about here. Having children of different ages around, I really needed something safe for those who would be covered in their art by the end of the day, but not leave anyone out of the play. Finding a good quality finger paint is surprisingly challenging, and I fell in love with what Crayola offered.

10. Color and Erase Mat – Little Bee found this under the Christmas Tree last year which was perfect for her age then, as well as now (2.5). Having the art stay in one play, be travel ready, allow for open-ended play… all my favorites in one place.

11. Washable Glue – I’m seeing a trend of categories that could be long lists. Imagine the disaster of learning to use glue, having to share glue among a group of children, and wanting children to have the freedom to create anything they like… with glue. It’s a mess. Finding a washable glue that actually washes away was something I celebrated (alone, because no one really felt as passionately about this as I did…) when I finally found it and then coming to realize Crayola carried everything from glue that little ones could open themselves, to glitter glue, and colored glue… alllll washable. So great!

Everything from art supplies at home, on the go, quick activities, printables and coloring pages, classroom supplies, and fun for moms as well, Crayola carries it all. I love Crayola. If you were looking for a list of gift ideas, supported and recommended by an educator, and very particular mom, you found it here!

30 Tips to Prepare Your Child for a Successful Start to School and ensure the first day back is a great one. #ideas #routine #tradition #howtoget #firstgrade #kindergarten #preschool #anxious #jitters

My Favorite Crayola Products for Back to School

Why I love Crayola Products I love Crayola products! Who doesn't?! Crayola makes reliable, dependable, arts and crafts products geared toward children while keeping parent needs in mind. And they cannot be compared to in regard to quality. Have you used a crayon at a...

read more

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The Best Teaching Resources That You Can Use at Home

The Best Teaching Resources That You Can Use at Home

The Best Teaching Resources that Teachers Use at Home that You Will LOVE to Have Around the House!

Teaching resources aren’t just for the classroom

As a teacher, I found ways to make my day run more smoothly in the classroom and to support the children getting the most out of their day. What I found was when I left the classroom, I loved having these tools around the house to keep things organized and easy at home as well. Then, when becoming a mother, I found how meaningful these resources actually were in playful learning with my daughter.

Read on to see what resources I recommend having around the house to make learning and play more meaningful at home with your children.

*This post contains affiliate links which if used cost you nothing extra, but a small percentage comes back to me to support more learning! You’re welcome to check out my privacy policy or reach out to me directly with questions anytime!*

As a teacher, I have come to find there are a lot of tools and resources that I have used in my classroom that have been so beneficial to organization and learning through play with my daughter in our house! Check out this list of inexpensive items that make play at home meaningful and easy! Teaching resources you can use at home #ideas #preschool #toddler #schoolaged #kindergarten #teachers #moms #products #children #student #athome

Is Your Child Heading to Kindergarten soon?!

Looking over at that amazing child of yours, thinking of slipping the straps of a backpack far too big for their still tiny shoulders as you send them off to kindergarten for the first time, armed with the perfectly packed lunch and all the love in your heart; what a milestone!

Well, Mama. I can help you prepare for this amazing adventure.

In a FREE email course, I walk you through

the 5 MOST IMPORTANT steps to preparing your child for kindergarten.

Why I love my Laminator

Okay… so I love to laminate everything. Seriously. Everything from the pages to my daughter’s Love of Learning and Quiet Time Binder to the printables I make for us to play with each day (download free printables here). It makes everything last longer, turns normal pages into whiteboard worksheets and everything wipes clean from spills that happen when you have little ones at home.

The best part is that we can take our play outside without fear of weather having an impact on our activity. Awesome, right?!

Laminators aren’t just for the classroom.

I laminate planners for my family (here is a free planner to download), calendars in my office, checklist pages, and the list goes on. It lets me use a whiteboard marker and make changes as I like and reuse the same planner pages time after time.

I love this laminator from Amazon and the laminator sheets that they also carry. Important to keep in mind is that the laminator can only take so much before it overheats and needs a little break. I find this to be the perfect time to start cutting out the previous pages. There is usually an indicator light that lets you know the machine is ready to work again, which never takes very long.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t laminate more than two pages of normal printing paper (or one of cardstock or high quality paper) in one lamination sleeve. If you are cutting out the paper from the lamination, it won’t hold up to play if the pages within are too thick.

What you could use instead of a laminator with awesome results

If you aren’t looking to invest in a laminator right now, you can also use page protectors as a really great alternative. They offer a great option for putting printed activities inside to be used time and time again with a dry erase marker.

The only thing to keep in mind is that they will not hold up as well with multiple uses, they have an opening at the top where the paper is inserted, that also offers the possibility for moisture to enter the printed paper. And, you can’t use it to protect the smaller parts of printed play (like in the freebies I offer here).

What you CAN do, is keep the printed activities you’ve created from becoming worn, as well as keep pages organized and tidy. Awesome!

I use these frequently to store pictures my daughter has created that are too big to be laminated, or paperwork to be kept in a binder such as bills to be paid, or paperwork to be signed. It’s a really great way to inexpensively organize all your paperwork in one binder.

As a teacher, I have come to find there are a lot of tools and resources that I have used in my classroom that have been so beneficial to organization and learning through play with my daughter in our house! Check out this list of inexpensive items that make play at home meaningful and easy! #ideas #preschool #toddler #schoolaged #kindergarten #teachers #moms #products #children #student #checklist #athome

My Favorite Item That Teachers Use that I Use at Home

They are called Book Rings and are an organizers secret weapon.  I use these rings to organize recipe cards, sight words, business cards, planners and calendars, and so much more.

They come in all sorts of colors which would really up the organizing game, but I stick with the original for simplicity.

Activity ideas with Book Rings:

1. Using these rings for organizing my daughter’s drawings, I included a little hook near her work table where she could hang her pictures with the hooks and change the picture showing as she likes.

2. I hook together lots of paper about the size of a recipe card, to keep in my purse for emergency drawings or notes that need to be taken. My daughter loves this when it comes to a long wait at the doctor’s office, paired with a small bag of crayons. Instant art activity!

3. We have sight words laminated and bound with these rings (more on the printables you can get just like this in the Love of Learning Binder). This works great as we can pop the ring of cards into my purse, take off the few we are working on with ease, and quickly put them all back together for storage and organization.

4. I keep a few blank “books” on rings for my daughter to create stories through drawings, which I will then go through with her and write out the story on each page as she tells it. Super cute activity to share with family and friends.

5. We have a few favorite books at our house that have seen better days. I laminated the pages, and punched a hole through each, looping them through the binder ring. Perfection. Book saved.

What are your favorite learning resources & tools to use at home?

What amazing resources do you use to enrich education at home, to make school, preschool, homeschool or general learning more fun at home? What resources do you love to keep yourself organized? I’m always looking for new ideas and would love to hear yours. Comment below or reach out to me directly here.

My Favorite Crayola Products for Back to School

Why I love Crayola Products I love Crayola products! Who doesn't?! Crayola makes reliable, dependable, arts and crafts products geared toward children while keeping parent needs in mind. And they cannot be compared to in regard to quality. Have you used a crayon at a...

read more

The Best Teaching Resources That You Can Use at Home

The Best Teaching Resources that Teachers Use at Home that You Will LOVE to Have Around the House! Teaching resources aren't just for the classroom As a teacher, I found ways to make my day run more smoothly in the classroom and to support the children getting the...

read more

The Best Lunch Boxes for Your Child

Searching for the Best School Lunch Box How Do I Choose the Best Lunch Box? I Ask Another Mom! Little Bee is about to start preschool and I have been searching all over for the best lunch box to send with her each day. Something easy for her to open, but also offers...

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30 Tips to Prepare Your Child for a Successful Start to School and ensure the first day back is a great one. #ideas #routine #tradition #howtoget #firstgrade #kindergarten #preschool #anxious #jitters
The Best Books for Back to School and 1 App Worthy of the List

The Best Books for Back to School and 1 App Worthy of the List

The 24 Best Books for Back to School!

and one app that is worthy of the list!

I love books – so much. My house is filled with them. I am actually bordering on too many although I will never admit to it when it comes to decluttering my house. My daughter follows in my footsteps when it comes to a passion for getting our hands on a book and falling fully into a story. We read together, snuggled on the couch. We read in a room together, a book each. We read aloud. So much reading. It’s a wonderful connection for the two of us; a reference for so much learning. I talk about reading as a place to start conversations in so many posts, a favorite being: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Activities (click here for more information on that).

But what it comes down to, is that I truly believe that books, reading, and the connection shared during this quiet time is the stage for discussing the big issues that are filled with emotion, such as preparing for the first day of school (more tips on how to do to that in this post). 

When it comes to preparing your child for school, especially those early years, my favorite books are listed below as well as my most recommended app – and let me tell you, I am picky when it comes to the resources I use in my home. Scroll on to learn more!

 

*This post contains affiliate links which if used cost you nothing extra, but a small percentage comes back to me to support more learning! You’re welcome to check out my privacy policy or reach out to me directly with questions anytime!*

Is Your Child Heading to Kindergarten soon?!

Looking over at that amazing child of yours, thinking of slipping the straps of a backpack far too big for their still tiny shoulders as you send them off to kindergarten for the first time, armed with the perfectly packed lunch and all the love in your heart; what a milestone!

Well, Mama. I can help you prepare for this amazing adventure.

In a FREE email course, I walk you through

the 5 MOST IMPORTANT steps to preparing your child for kindergarten.

The 24 Best Books for Back to School!

The Best App for Back to School

 

We don’t use a lot of technology at my house – not to say that it doesn’t have a space in learning and that it doesn’t offer something incredible, because it can if it’s used correctly. It’s because we are so often enthralled with other activities and we don’t have a TV in the house so a reminder of a screen often isn’t there. It’s just not my thing.

BUT! In preparing for the launch of my FREE course: Preparing your Child for Kindergarten (which you can sign up for here), I knew I was going to need something educational and meaningful for a few minutes a day where I was asking my daughter to play quietly, while I was working on my computer. It wasn’t fair for me to say that I could use technology and she couldn’t. Plus, I was using her usual quiet time activity (her Love of Learning Binder) in the course videos I was creating so her normal go-to quiet activity wasn’t available to her. Not fair, right?

So, I did my research. I searched high and low for the best, most meaningful and impactful app for kids of her age (2.5) and one that could grow with her (meaningful until 8 years old), challenge her and allow her to succeed. I spent A LOT of time playing around with different apps in the wee hours of the night – testing and trying just about everything I could find. I wanted the best.

And then I found it. The best app for back to school preparation, for quiet time learning, for travel play. It’s adorable and jam-packed with learning opportunities AND I’ve got a coupon for a FREE MONTH of access for you here. 

Let me tell you about ABC Mouse – It is bursting with intentional curriculum that was designed in collaboration with recognized early learning professionals. Hello – speaking directly to my heart!!

This resource is free for educators to use as a support to what they teach in the classroom and for good reason. It dives into a lot of great concepts (learn more here) that I view as important areas of learning.

I did find it to be a bit expensive at first look and I hesitated. I didn’t sign up right away and continued to search for something else. But I kept coming back to this one because it really is so much better than others I have found. It covers a wealth of topics and approaches for making learning accessible. And, ultimate test, my daughter loves it.

Although there are a lot of free and flashy apps out there that offer an incredible aesthetic experience, that really wasn’t as important to me as the overall value and outcome. This app really does offer so much and has a clear path for learning. I’m really happy I found it and think that you’ll enjoy it as well.

Click here for a Free month of ABC Mouse to test it out for yourself. I would love to hear what you think!

As a teacher, mother and book lover I've had a hard time finding an app that met my approval for allowing my child to spend time on a device but I found it at last. The BEST app and website for fun learning for children ages 2-8. It's worthy of a back to school list from a very particular mom devoted to reading. #iphone #ipad #android #books #apps #forkids #boys #girls #learning #school #education #educational #curriculum #math #science #literacy #art #technology

The Best Magazine for Back to School! 

We have been thrilled with our subscription to High Five, which is part of Highlights magazine. As a young girl, my sister and I had been gifted these and adored getting them. My daughter is just as excited to find them in the mailbox. Today, we didn’t even make it all the way back to the house to read them, but rather stopped along the way at our local school steps to take in all the stories and activities. 

We also get a copy of Highlights – the original version that we all know so well. I read this and have it available for the older kiddos I work with. Little Bee loves to flip through these as well as it offers more challenge and more in-depth story. Read more about Highlights here! 

Back-to-School Fun Pack
Looking to put a new spin on an already amazing moment with my daughter, I researched the best magazine that would show up in the mailbox with her name on it; a fun surprise every month, filled with activities, ideas, and learning all in one place. The layout of this magazine is lovely, bright and exciting and children have been loving it for years! #son #boy #girl #books #cover #student #preschool #kindergarten #school #infant #allages #reading #home #gifts #nontech

My Favorite Crayola Products for Back to School

Why I love Crayola Products I love Crayola products! Who doesn't?! Crayola makes reliable, dependable, arts and crafts products geared toward children while keeping parent needs in mind. And they cannot be compared to in regard to quality. Have you used a crayon at a...

read more

The Best Teaching Resources That You Can Use at Home

The Best Teaching Resources that Teachers Use at Home that You Will LOVE to Have Around the House! Teaching resources aren't just for the classroom As a teacher, I found ways to make my day run more smoothly in the classroom and to support the children getting the...

read more

The Best Lunch Boxes for Your Child

Searching for the Best School Lunch Box How Do I Choose the Best Lunch Box? I Ask Another Mom! Little Bee is about to start preschool and I have been searching all over for the best lunch box to send with her each day. Something easy for her to open, but also offers...

read more

Parenting Advice from Experts and Storytellers

Parenting advice from experts and storytellers. The best TEDTalks for Moms who want the best for their children I want the best for my daughter I am constantly striving to create an environment of learning for my daughter. I feel heavy from time to time, with the...

read more
30 Tips to Prepare Your Child for a Successful Start to School and ensure the first day back is a great one. #ideas #routine #tradition #howtoget #firstgrade #kindergarten #preschool #anxious #jitters

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