July 16, 2010

Learning Game Giveaway!!!

When I was looking around on etsy for things that might liven up our classroom, I came across this adorable game and instantly e-mailed Jennifer at Spool Spun to see if she'd want to give one away to one of my readers.  This soft, lovable, and eco-friendly game is perfect for the preschool learner and my thought was that if I wanted one for my kid, I should try and snag one for your kid too.  Ya know?  And Jennifer agreed that some Momma Skyla reader should have one!  Jennifer's a stay at home mother of 4 year old Viginia who "not so reluctantly left a career in investment banking" to stay home and be a full time momma!  Isn't it so kind of her to make an apple tree just for one of us? 

I couldn't help but think of an old math professor I had when this giveaway arrived in the mail.  In my college course for pre-professional teachers, we were assigned the weekly task of creating our own "manipulatives" for math because it was widely accepted that actually manipulating objects helps solidify abstract content in the brain.  But that's not why this awesome learning game by spool-spun reminded me of Dr. Gower.  Dianne Gower had an obsession - some would say an unhealthy obsession - with Velcro.  It was common knowledge among the teaching students that any project turned in for Dr. Gower that allowed young students to use Velcro would get extra points and its creator would win her heart forever.  When asked why the love of Velcro, her very unscientific answer was  that kids love the ripping sound so they will play with it longer and will, as a result, experience a greater level of retention.  Basically, kids love Velcro and so did she.   Does this all seem off topic for a giveaway?  Well, it's not.  This giveaway would be a Dr. Gower prize winner if ever there was one!

So what is it and why did I just love it?  It's Pin the Apple on the Tree learning game!  It's a big ole apple tree made of felt with a little pocket in the trunk that is filled with soft, stuffed apples that have capitol letters on them.  Let me just tell you that Dr. Gower was on to something because the boys absolutely loved the Velcro apples.  They loved the gravity defying quality when they stuck each apple on the big soft tree.  They love the ripping sound they made when they took the words apart.  Haven was clearly in awe of the size of the apple tree.  "It's my size!" I think the fact that it's little like them helps children identify with it, and the fact hat it's bigger than a game board makes it really exciting.  The felt used for the tree is made from eco-friendly recycled plastic and is so soft that Haven wanted to just stand there and rub his cheek on it for a minute before we started. 

The directions that come with the game help you use the apples for letter identification, but there are so many more ways that a creative parent or teacher could use it.  If you are a fan of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons like I am, there's a good chance your child is solid in his or her ability to identify lower case letters, but looks at upper case letters like they are encoded messages from flying saucers that only secret agent aliens could read.  So I held up a lower case letter and had the boys find the corresponding upper case apple.  This illuminated some gaps in our pre-reading program which we will now address and fix with this game! Or you could place two of the three letters in a three letter word on the tree and ask them to find the missing sound.  I had Hunter (4) do the whole word and Haven (3) find the final consonant.  Check the boys out in this video and hear Haven's sweet little endorsement at the end.  Like I said, he loves the softness!

You can also buy a set of numbers from Spool spun that work on the same game apple tree.  I can see apple tree arithmetic in our future!!!  The possibilities are endless!  And for just $12, you can buy this hand-made gem for your family or you can play by the rules and enter to win one courtesy of Jennifer at Spool Spun.

The Rules for Entry:  Hop over to the Spool Spun shop at etsy and browse the selection of hand made goods.  Pick your favorite item there and then come back over here and ask to be entered to win the free Pin the Apple on the Tree game by leaving a comment on this blog post about your favorite item in the Spool Spun shop.  You don't have to be a mom or dad of a preschooler to enter!  Grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, friends of  kiddos and preschool teachers may all apply.  Call grandma and tell her to put in an entry for your little one to increase your odds.  After all, she's going to want to see Spool Spun's new kid's art galleries for displaying little Johnny's latest masterpieces!  You have until Midnight on Sunday to enter because on Monday morning, one of my kiddos is going to point to an entry on the screen and we'll announce the big winner on Monday afternoon.  Only entry per person, please.  Multiple entries from the same screen name will void your entry.  And...um...please make sure that you don't choose to leave your entry as "anonymous."  This should seem obvious, but just in case it's not I'll just remind you that I can't e-mail you and tell you that you've won if you don't tell me who you are!  LOL!  You'd be surprised how many people enter giveaways anonymously!

So good luck, friends!  This hand-made learning game is going to some little pre-reader very happy!


  1. I actually like the tree game you are giving away. It would be great for my little ones.
    -Nikki Zang

  2. That is seriously cute! I like the apple tree best, too. And it gives me so many ideas...(and if I could just capitalize on 1/2 of my ideas I would be so far ahead of where I am now!!!) Thanks for sharing and thanks to Jennifer for the give-away. :)

  3. I like the apple tree best! Skyla, you are amazing. Thinking I need to check out your blog more often!

  4. OK, so I really like the apple tree best, too, but I also like the art gallery. Keeping my fingers crossed for that tree- sounds like something my Caleb (and future kiddos) will love! Thanks Skyla and Jennifer!!

  5. Kristalyn16.7.10

    this apple tree game looks so much fun. my 3 yr old loves SOFT things so he'd really respond to this game and my 4 yr old is ready to spell words so it would be great for that for him. I like the apple tree the best out of her products and the numbers would be another great addition too.

  6. I love the tree game that you are giving away the best. But also love the felt art gallery. My kids learn best while playing educational games that reinforce the concepts. Great giveaway!!


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