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ABC Mouse

PBS Playtime Pad+ Can Prep your Tot for Pre School {Review}

PBS kid aubrey laptop

PBS kid aubrey laptop

If you have a little one starting pre-school, you’re going to want him or her to get started before school starts and therefore should supplement his schooling with play, educational toys and games and software.

I’ve blogged often about my affinity for ABC Mouse, IXL Math and other online tools and recently was offered the PBS Kids Playtime Pad by EMATIC (retail $69.99) to check out .

It is a kid-safe tablet that connects to LIVE TV and PBS shows via Wi Fi on at 7 inch tablet screen.

The Specs

The device comes with a  .5 GHz Quad-core with dedicated GPU Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB of storage and a Micro SD Card though you can add up to an additional 32 GB with a memory card. It also includes a G-Sensor, is Wi-Fi ready and has Front & back Cameras.

Plus, your kid can enjoy 6.5 hours of play time with a single charge. The silicone case is comfortable to touch and protects the tablet from bumps because kids can get clumsy and drop them.

Also, Parents can easily change the default home at any time turning the PBS KIDS Playtime Pad into a full featured Android tablet

Ease of Use:

This device is super intuitive and easy to figure out, maneuver and enjoy. My 3-year old niece Aubrey hit the ground running after we powered it up, connected to the internet and set up an initial account and password.

Seriously, she needed no further help or input from me to get the device going. She’s a very smart cookie but I imagine kids these days that grow up with technology are quite savvy when it comes to electronic devices.

If your kid is not familiar with digital  devices, you may need to do more hands on walk through.


The tablet runs $69.99 which is quite reasonable for all you get and considering the device can be used with more than one child or a parent if converted into a normal Android tablet. Another plus is that there are no in-app purchase options! Woot!  Parents do not have to worry about their 5-year old downloading hundreds of dollars worth of digital add ons and doo dads.

To play, there is also no need to subscribe to a monthly plan or club. It it literally a plug and play, all-in-one device.

The Games and Activities

The games and activities offered would help her build all the skills she needs to succeed in pre-school when she starts next year. Her mom and I are confident in PBS because it is the #1 Educational Media Brand for children and the company is widely recognized for its innovation.

The educational content installed and downloadable are award-winning, curriculum based and developed with early childhood experts. It comes with hours of free entertainment and over 60 PBS Kids games and videos.

You can set up different profiles if there are more than one child in the family who could use it and approve or block the additional apps so there is total parental controls.

We loved it and I think it would make a pretty great Christmas or Holiday gift for a young kid or a great birthday or anytime gift!

Get it for $69.99 at Amazon.com using my affiliate link!  Thank you!





3 Secrets Of Affluent and Highly Educated Parents: How they Set Up Their Kids For Brilliance From Birth

There is a school of thought that says children of highly educated and affluent children have a better chance of doing well in life because of their access to resources, wealth, and quality healthcare and education.

Now all of that is true but do you know there are a lot of very simple and inexpensive things that parents of modest means can do to also set their children up for success based on popular, traditional and modern theories?

I am a double law-degree holder, and from my own personal experiences and from knowing the patterns and practices of my friends, many of whom come from affluent and highly educated households and upbringings themselves, I am going to share a few things that we do that anyone, even those without a college degree or loads of money can do to make sure their children have a leg up as well.

1. Read, Sing and Talk to Your Baby from Utero through Infancy.

Now it might seem silly, but there are lots of studies that show that after a baby develops his ears and can start hearing while in your belly, she is prime and ready to start learning! This means that as you go about your day, do activities at home, it is a great idea to talk to yourself. Your baby will hear it and learn the sound of your voice which will soothe him when he is born. There is a popular video out there showing a baby turning her head towards the sound of her mom’s voice compared to a stranger. That familiarity is important.

And because there are different phonetic undulations in speech, you should also read to yourself and sing, even if you cannot carry a tune. All of these activities will work to develop your baby’ senses and intelligence before he is even born! You don’t need to be wealthy to do this!

When baby is born, talk to her as you undress her in preparation for a bath, while giving her a sponge bath, when changing a diaper. Read him a board book while he is breastfeeding and sing a lullaby while rocking her to sleep after a feeding.

As soon as she is old enough, visit the local library or book store’s baby story time. These are usually free! No cost to stimulate a baby and get him used to the sound of books from different voices.

Every single one of these things will make sure when the time comes for your child to learn speech, words, to read, and write, she will have a higher likelihood of picking up concepts and skills quickly!

2. Buy Developmental Toys and Play Games With Your Baby

There are toys for visual stimulation, toys to entertain, and toys to soothe. Look for the toys that are created for development. A lot of them will indicate such on the boxes. These are not necessarily expensive either. For example, Manhattan Toy company’s Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy helps a baby develop senses while teething and it retails for just $9.99, a price many an afford.

Personally, I used to play the Baby Einstein DVDs and CDs because, despite a few attempts over the years to discredit the benefit of classical music for a child’s development, I still think they are essential. I made sure my siblings who started their families after I did got them for their kids!

I invested in an award-winning toy called The Babbler that isn’t even made anymore by an innovative toy manufacturer called Neurosmith. It babbled in English, Japanese, French, and Spanish to stimulate the synapses and hard wire the language center of baby’s brain at infancy so when she grows up and starts taking foreign languages, she will already be more attuned to the foreign phonemes. You might can find one being sold on one of those auction sites!

But, really, you don’t have to pay a dime! There are lots of ways to play with your baby to help develop her senses that are absolutely FREE! Pathways lists some. 

3. Invest in Online Educational Games and Subscriptions

Because a lot of kids are into video games, what better way to infuse this love with education that through online educational gaming. There are lots of them online and many are FREE or low lost!

When my middle and youngest were between ages 2-4, I invested in the My Baby Can Read system and I swore it taught them both how to recognize letters, words and sentences at a super young age. We would flip through the cards periodically during the week and that was enough for them to connect the dots. I really do think it helped later.

When they both were about to go into pre-school, I learned about one online tool called ABC Mouse, which a lot of developmental centers, early education centers, Head Start programs, pre schools and Kindergarten teachers use to supplement their classroom instruction. It was about $5 per month, which is less than the cost of a latte at Starbucks. I think going through it helped my kids stay slightly ahead. It’s a cheaper alternative to paying for a tutor when they fall behind.

Finally, for the math part, my husband got an IXL Math subscription which I think cost something like $10 a month and again, a minor investment that even those of modest means may be able to afford.

If you think about, the better they do in school, the better their chances of getting a scholarship or admitted into some academic program later in life. It’s all about what you value and you really really do NOT need to be rich or have a bunch of degrees to give your child a head start. All you need is the commitment to make it a priority!

I published a Vlog sharing these same sentiments in this post that I’ll upload here soon!

There you have it!

I hope I didn’t come across as elitist or snobby in this post as that was not my intention. I have had battles with a lot of friends on line who tell me that a lot of people don’t do the things my friends and I do because they simply are unaware. If that is true, then that is a shame and this post is my attempt to make more aware. Sharing is Caring. Each One, Teach One. It Takes a Village to Raise a Child… and all the rest of the cliches! LOL!

Fight Your Kid’s Summer Brain Drain With This Online Learning Platform

I’ve boasted plenty about this online learning platform for kids and wanted to make sure you knew about ABCMouse.com‘s Memorial Day sale that will end tomorrow at midnight.

I purchased a subscription for my daughter when she was 4 and she followed the curriculum through the end. Today, she is a top reader, tests in the 99% for reading and gets all As in school. I credit her early start from this program which is having a sale for 12 months of the service for $45 which is 63% off its annual fee.

This is perfect equalizer for those who cannot afford to pay a tutor for their child like some of the most affluent among us.

ABC Mouse is used in schools and many early learning centers around the nation and globe!

As school lets out, buying this will be a great way to fight Summer brain drain. get it now:

Get 1 year for only $45 - Over 60% off!

If You Could Give Your Child a Leg Up In School, This Software Is the One to Help You Do it

How much would you pay to give your child a head start and leg up on reading, math and all of her subjects in school so s/he comes out on top?

Not all parents can afford to hire an expensive tutor, but luckily we live in an age when technology helps bridge the wealth gap and everyday parents can get online learning tools for free or an affordable price.

I’m excited to announce one of my personal all time faves, the award-winning ABCMouse.com Early Learning Academy platform  is going for 63% OFF this week!

This amazing deal is part of a Black Friday special that Age of Learning software company’s  leading online early education curriculum for parents, preschools and kindergartens in the United States and Canada is hosting this week through Cyber Monday!

If you don’t know, ABCMouse is used in a lot of pre-schools and elementary schools across the country as a supplement to instruction and training.  Kids who have it at home get an advantage…and they are used to it because it’s already a part of their learning and curriculum.

The other good news is that the site is subscription-based so there is no advertising, no pop-up ads, no links to other sites. Children can learn and explore with their parents, or on their own (depending on age and ability), in a safe and secure online educational environment.

Through the program, kids get to explore over 8,500 books, games, songs, puzzles, and art activities, each with specific learning objectives in the subjects of reading, mathematics, beginning science, social studies, art and music.

I’ve reviewed it several times before and credit it for helping my super smart daughter who went through the entire curriculum in earning all As and scoring in the 99% in reading nationwide.

I’m very excited to see that it’s available for $45 for an entire year!!! Ordinarily, you’re looking at over $100 for a year but you can gift a Godchild, grandkid, cousin or someone else with a kid you love with this subscription and at this low a price, the lowest all year, you cannot beat!

I’m a believer and an affiliate but I signed up and purchased the system for my kid and used it successfully before becoming an affiliate so my opinion and thoughts on how effective this program is genuine and authentic!

Also, other users, like parents, grandparents, Godparents and other family members who have purchased gift subscription for a 2-8 year old they think can benefit from the academic enrichment, report an 85% jump in their kid’s performance after signing up for it so I am in good company!

The testimonials are telling about its value!

To date, more than 10 million children ages 2-8 have completed more than 2 billion learning activities on ABCmouse.com at home, in classrooms, libraries, and other community institutions!

Get 1 year for only $45 - 63% off!

ABCmouse.com has recently launched their comprehensive second-grade curriculum designed to address the learning needs and interests of second-grade students with the goal of preparing them for the critical transition to the third grade.

I don’t know if I can impress upon my readers enough how valuable I think this site is, but I do and can vouch for the fact that it definetly helps your kid read better, do better in math and digest learning materials better!

Give it a shot and please ping me on social media and please please let me know if you see results in your child after using it!


We Just Got Another All A’s Report Card and National Top Test Scores Owed To This Early Learning Software


I have one more reason to boast about the positive impact the award-winning early learning online platform ABC Mouse has had on my children.

My daughter is the first of my three children to go through the entire curriculum from age 3 to 8 and I was excited to recently learn that she just ended another school year with the equivalent of all A’s in all subjects for all four quarters, and the best part is that she scored in the 99% nationally in reading and high average in math in a nationwide standardized test.

This means she scored higher than 99% of all other kids who took this test. Wow! (See below redacted to protect her privacy )


Age of Learning is a leading education technology innovator which produces the multi-award-winning ABCmouse.com® Early Learning Academy. The Los Angeles, California-based company serves millions of children by blending  education best practices, innovative technology, and insightful creativity.

As I’ve blogged before, here and here and here when my daughter was in pre-kindergarten, I invested in ABC Mouse after seeing an ad for it online.

Well, I should confess that I have always been a big believer in educational toys as tools to supplement your child’s development.  So the purchase of ABCMouse.com was the last of a series of online educational tools I’ve used with my children, including the Babbler to help them excel in foreign language acquisition; Baby Einstein to get them attune to color, letters, words and early phrases even as a baby and the “My Baby Can Read” system which I earnestly credit for her learning to read and write as early as two-years old.

And I must say, it was the best preparatory tool because of the gamification aspect of it. The children are timed on their performances on some tasks and they get rewards in order for them to advance. This aspect of ABC Mouse keeps her attention and eager to excel and earn more credits. Also, she is not stalled from going on to the next grade level after she masters one. This means that she can stay one step ahead of her reading and math skills at school too.

Watch a testimonial about Taylor’s experience which is similar to my daughter’s here:



Being ahead slightly gave her and other kids who have this tool at home a great advantage. I meant to share with my readers when the company was having its big 50% OFF sale but I missed the boat! Shoot!

But luckily, there is a 39% OFF Sale going on now. You can get a year subscription for $59. If  you’re on a strict budget, there is a $19.95 four installment option but then you lose the savings. The company also offers great deals for schools and teachers so they can incorporate fun learning in their classroom for kids who do not have computers at home or whose parents may not be able to afford it.


Again, I am quick to recommend this program to any parent I know who wants to give her or his child a leg up in education and needs a good referral. I offer this program because I discovered it on my own, paid for it myself and have seen the benefits of it repeated time and time again! I love it so much that I am now an affiliate and will benefit form a portion of the sale form any purchase of a subscription based on my recommendation.

Here is a list of the various parenting, educator and child development awards it has won:

  • National Parenting Publications Awards;
  • Parents’ Choice Gold Award;
  • Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award for Excellence in Design;
  • Moms’ Choice Awards;
  • Learning magazine’s Teachers’ Choice Award;
  • Tabby Award Winner of Best Android App for Kids
  • Family and Entertainment, and User’s Choice Best Android;
  • the Tillywig Toy Awards Brain Child Award Winner;
  • First place in SheKnows Parenting Award;
  • W3 Awards;
  • WebAward Education Standard of Excellence; and the Family Standard of Excellence; and
  • the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Winner.

Good stuff! Consider it for your kid too!

Related article: Learning management systems (LMS) for Enterprises

My Pre-Schooler Knew How to Read & Do Complex Math Before Kindergarten Thanks to ABCMouse

ABC Mouse

My daughter is in the third grade and is a whiz at spelling, reading, grammar and gets all 100% in math. I credit part of her success at reading and mathematics on an online learning platform that she used religiously from age 4 to 5: ABC Mouse.

In fact, while she was on the program, she was one of the few children in her early childhood education programs who could read. She entered into Kindergarten with a very strong foundation and skills, thanks to that learning platform.

I feel her daily experience with the ABC Mouse online desktop learning system is what has done the trick to get her so comfortable reading.

When I purchased access to the program at an introductory rate of $4.95 back then, I was only planning to give it just a trial run. I stuck with it because I was very pleased with my daughter’s progress.

It also was a great supplement to the education she was getting at her pre school. Interestingly enough, her Early Childhood Education Center also uses ABC Mouse as well. It has over 350 lessons and 6 levels.

Plus! That means she’s getting a reinforcement of the lessons there too

The interactive online program has a teacher that walks through various lessons taught through fun games. The child is able to create an avatar that closely resembles what she or he looks like.

After completing a task, she is awarded points/currency that she can use to buy digital gifts with in a fun store.

ABC Mouse:

  •  Helps your child learn reading, phonics, and math in a fully interactive environment.
  • Helps your child develop a love of learning at an early age.
  • Helps your child gain essential learning skills that will last a lifetime.
  • Builds your child’s educational foundation before entering school.
  • Prepares your child with these essential reading and math skills to succeed in school.
  • Gives your child an educational head start before entering school.
  • Allows your child to learn at his or her own pace.

My daughter loved it and asked to log on. She played with the games in favor of watching TV!

I highly recommend you consider it for your child.  I love it so much, I now encourage all my friends with young children to give it a try and partnered up with ABC Mouse to promote its top ranked product widely to other parents.


The Best Online ‘Learn to Read’ Software ABC Mouse.com’s Cyber Monday Special

Because I just learned that ABC Mouse.com is having a 50%+ off sale for Cyber Monday, I’m resharing my review of the service for your your added edification and consideration.


I learned recently that a friend of a friend’s child, who is 10 years old, has never owned a book outside of books assigned to him at school.

This child has every digital gadget, tablet and video game at his disposal yet has never been given an actual book to read for leisure ever in his life. Hopefully, he has educational games and access learning sites as well, but it’s not the same. 
The sad reality is there are many homes like his and the children in them may suffer schools and risk lagging behind their peer who do read and have access to books.

Reading, and chapter books, are the building blocks to reading comprehension, composition and sentence structure, and command of language, orally and in writing. Many standardized tests require students to master these subjects, not to mention some school entrance tests.

To combat this reality, more and more schools are turning to electronic forms of games and software to reach children the only way some know how. 
My children’s school, for example, use a nationwide program called First in Math. It is a competitive game where each child logs on and completes educational games and tests for stickers. The administrators and teachers can monitor when a child logs on and how many stickers he has accumulated. In our school, the computer teacher gets swarmed as he goes to the bulletin board to post the latest results of top students in each grade. It is a healthy way of encouraging competition for learning.
It is also a wonderful example of how digital games can be used to supplement children’s learning when they may not have adequate resources or parental support at home.

They are also great for supplementing information and materials your child may be learning at school.

My 6-year old for example went thru the Starfall (free and paid) website instructions, and currently is going through the ABCMouse.com program which costs about $7.95 monthly. It is totally worth it in my book because combined with some other video-based learning tools, that program helped her learn to read when she was 4-years old.

She does 2nd grade math and she is only in Kindergarten and her oral communication and vocabulary are tops, partially because of it. It helps that her school also has the software embedded in each Kindergarten class so she is very comfortable with it and gets a chance to get even further in the lessons daily. 

It has over 2,000 Learning Activities for 2-6 year olds. I love the fact that she gets to pick an avatar that has her skin color and hair type. When she completes a lesson, she gets to pick an electronic prize from play money she accumulates at each level. 
Again, its the element of incorporating games fun with learning that makes it great! I purchased it after seeing a pop-up ad for it several years ago and renew each time!
Check it out and use our Bellyitch  link to get the first month FREE!
Good luck and do let us know how it’s working for your little one!

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