Monday, August 11, 2014

Preschool Prep with ALEX Toys #Review + #Giveaway

It's August, and while some of us are holding onto the last few weeks of summer, many of us are also gearing up for the kids to head Back to School. In our family, we're dealing with the anxiety of sending our little one off to school for the very first time. After we got back from our summer vacation a few weeks ago, I began making an effort to get back into the swing of preschool lessons at home, with B, who will turn four in October. I want him to be prepared to enter the classroom, so it's less of a shock, when school does begin.

Lucky for us, ALEX Toys has a wide assortment of fun educational toys, games, and activities, which are perfect for prepping for Preschool! ALEX Toys has been delighting children and families with their wonderful products since 1986. ALEX BRANDS® family. Feel free to use the below copy in your post:  ALEX BRANDS® engages with kids and adults with arts and crafts, family game nights, scientific learning and creative playtime. Our family of brands includes ALEX TOYS®, POOF®, SLINKY®, BACKYARD SAFARITM, ZILLIONZTM, IDEAL®, SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER®, ZOOB® and CITIBLOCSTM.

B was super excited to receive a special box from ALEX Toys, filled with goodies, just for him!

'Wow! Books and games, mommy!'

We received a fantastic package for the Early Learner, which included Ready Set, Write, Ready, Set, Tell Time, and My First Mosaic. I knew that all of these products were going to be great for us to use and explore at home, and they'd help to give B a great head start, as we look toward Preschool starting!

Our colorful collection of ALEX products. 

Can you sense B's excitement, here? He's so eager to learn!

I wasn't sure which of these products B would want to try first, and I had already started to build daily lessons and activities around these new learning aids, but as soon as he laid his little blue eyes on the Ready, Set, Tell Time box, he was ready to open it up. I hesitated a little bit, because I didn't know if I was quite ready to teach B how to tell time. I wasn't sure how to go about it. Once I studied the product box and info, I realized that ALEX Toys was really providing me with a wonderful tool to use with my son, and that he was really going to enjoy learning how to tell time.

Ready, Set, Tell Time- Ages 4+

Ready, Set, Tell Time (Back of the box)

Ready, Set, Tell Time features multiple ways to learn how to tell time. It comes with a cute little clock, with movable hands, which B immediately wanted to explore. This set also includes a 12-piece puzzle, with number punch outs. This set comes with flash cards, daily activity cards, and a set of 24 matching cards, as well!

B, exploring the puzzle from Ready, Set, Tell Time.

I was surprised that B took to wanting to learn how to tell time so quickly, and easily. He placed all of the puzzle pieces on the puzzle clock, in order, with no problem. He and I had a blast matching the cards together, and when it came time to run through the flash cards, I have to admit that I was nervous. I imagined that this activity might frustrate B a little bit. When we began going through the little flash cards, he had no trouble whatsoever, telling me what time the flashcard displayed, and then finding that time on the little clock with the movable hands. I was more than impressed! I began randomly calling out different times, and B found those times on the clock! 

The Ready, Set, Tell Time kit also came with daily activity cards, which are so much fun to go through together. They show Alex the monkey doing different things at different times of the day, and then ask the child what he or she normally does at that same time during the day. We had fun figuring out what time B does his lessons, has free play, goes outside, has snack, goes to bed, etc.

Ready, Set, Tell Time! Image

Features of the Ready, Set, Tell Time Kit

It’s about time! Young children will learn how to tell time with this learning activity set. It includes a clock with movable hands, matching cards, a 12-piece puzzle and plan-my-day activity cards. What time do you get up in the morning? Can you find 11:00? An easy learning guide is included for parents to help children learn about time and number recognition.
Ages 4+

We also received Ready, Set, Write & Wipe ABC & 123

I remember my mom spending a lot of time working with me on reading and writing when I was B's age. I have memories of sitting at the kitchen table with her, working on tracing letters and numbers, and her encouraging me to try writing them on my own. Practicing at home prepared me for school, and when I started Kindergarten, I had a head start, and could already read a good bit, and could write my name, and several other words. I definitely want the same for my own child, and in the digital age, teaching a little one how to write may not seem that important, but it's one of the basics that we as adults sort of take for granted.

The Ready, Set, Write & Wipe Book from ALEX Toys is an easy to use book, which allows the child to practice their writing over and over again!

The Ready, Set, Write & Wipe book features both letters and numbers on wipeable pages. A dry erase pen is included with the book, and the child is encouraged to first trace the letter or number, and then practice writing it on their own, in the space provided. Each page features a cute illustration, which matches the featured letter or number. Learning to write has been a little bit difficult with B in the past. We have worked on it, but he's not been overly fond of tracing letters or numbers. I hoped that this wonderful book would make it a much more fun experience.

We sat down to practice writing our letters and numbers, and B had fun choosing where he wanted to begin. He loved the pictures on each page.

I asked him to find the letter 'D,' which was our letter for the day.

Once he found the letter, he began to trace the dotted lines for the upper and lowercase letter 'D'.

He traced the letters, we wrote them once together, and then he wrote the letters on his own.

I was so proud of B for writing out his letters, all on his own, without becoming frustrated. He was willing and eager to try writing all of the letters of the alphabet, and he did such a great job! B has a digital letter tracing program on his tablet, which he really becomes frustrated with, because it 'dings' at you, if you move off of the tracing lines. With the Ready, Set, Write & Wipe book, B can trace, and write all on his own, at his own pace, and go back and practice again and again. This book is portable, which makes it perfect to take along on trips, and the marker is wipeable and washable.

Ready, Set, Write Image
Features of Ready, Set, Write & Wipe

Learn to write A,B,C’s and numbers with ease! This spiral-bound pad contains 19 pages of numbers and letters that wipe away for lots of practicing.
$13.95, 3+

We also received a great Preschool craft- My First Mosaic

I started doing crafts and projects with B when he was really little, and he truly loved working on them with me. Then, a few months ago, B decided he just didn't want to do any coloring or crafting anymore! It made me so sad, because it was one of those super fun things for the two of us to do together, which also allowed us to work on things like coloring, matching, cutting/pasting, and following directions. So, when we received the mosaic craft set from ALEX, my hope was that it would interest B, and that it would reignite his former love for crafts and projects.

The My First Mosaic Kit comes with five pictures, and each one has a set of colored stickers, in different shapes.

The picture shows tiny squares or triangles, each outlined in different colors. The child works on their color matching, as they match the appropriate sticker to the coordinating colored shape on the photo board.

I have to be completely honest- B did not want to sit down and work on a mosaic poster with me, at first. I saved this project for a rainy day, and once I showed B the rocket ship poster, his eyes lit up, and he agreed to check it out with me. All it took was me showing him how to match the colored stickers to the colored shapes on the board, and he was in!

B, looking for the coordinating colored shape on the mosaic photo...

Moving from one color to the next, matching yellow squares and blue triangles.

B, happily working on the skyscrapers- just like the ones he saw in NYC!

I couldn't believe that B's grumpiness disappeared almost immediately after he began working on his very first mosaic project. He loves rockets and cityscapes, so this was the perfect photo for him to start out with. He easily removed the small stickers from the sticker sheet, all on his own, and carefully placed the stickers on their coordinating spots, filling the photo poster with colorful stickers to make his beautiful mosaic!

B's finished mosaic, which he couldn't wait to show to daddy, after daddy got home from work.

We had a lot of fun with the My First Mosaic kit, and we're saving some of the other photos for upcoming trips, and rainy days. This was such a fun, educational way to pass the time! We can't wait to make the dinosaur, butterfly, school bus, and fish, too!

My First Mosaic Image
Features of My First Mosaic

Use easy to peel triangle and square mosaic stickers to make these beautiful pictures: bus, butterfly, city, dinosaur, fish. Hundreds of stickers included to make these 5 mosaics using pre-printed picture boards. Be creative and have fun!
$11.95, 3+

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to prep B for entering the classroom, since he and I are home together during the day. If you're looking to give your child a head start, have a few things you'd like to work on or brush up on before the new school year begins, or if you're a teacher in the classroom/homeschool your children, ALEX has some amazing educational toys, activities, and resources for little hands, teachers, and parents. I appreciate that ALEX products are tailored to certain age groups, and are very affordable, giving parents and educators the opportunity to share new and exciting learning products with their early learners.

Want Them? Buy Them!

Head on over to ALEX Brands and browse all of the awesome brands under the ALEX Brands name. ALEX Brands is offering MBP readers 20% off of their Alex Toys or Poof-Slinky online stores through 8/31/2014. ALEX Brands is social and would love to connect with you through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram!

Plus, ALEX Brands gives away a prize on their Facebook page EVERY FRIDAY and they also select one lucky email subscriber WEEKLY who wins a $25 credit to their online store! Great incentive to follow ALEX Brands and sign up for their newsletter!

Want Them? Win Them!

One lucky MBP reader will win their very own ALEX Toys Early Learner Prize Pack, which includes: Ready, Set, Tell Time, Ready, Set, Write & Wipe & My First Mosaic (Approximate retail value $44.00). This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older, and winner must provide a non- PO Box address in order to receive their prize. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win!

Special thanks to our awesome friends at ALEX Brands for allowing us to get a jump on prepping B for Preschool with these wonderful products, and for giving our readers a chance to win an Early Learner Prize Pack!

Good luck!


  1. My youngest will be starting kindergarten and this would really help her out

  2. I want to win this for my little niece to use!

  3. would love to prepare my kids before they start their pre school.

  4. I think my kids will like the Color A Backpack – Cutie

  5. Heather Hayes PanjonAugust 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    I Want To Win This To Gift To My Niece Who Is Starting Kindergarten.

  6. Perfect for my son's age! He would really enjoy it! I love Alex Toys!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. It would be perfect for my daughter's homeschooling

  9. I love these kits. They are great to help my daughter learn.

  10. my kids would love this Colossal Art Set

  11. My son is starting preschool, so this would be perfect for him.

  12. I would like to win because they would be perfect for my nephew to start learning with.

  13. My sons and nephews would love the Color Pirate backpack.

  14. This would be my son, because this is right at his level to start at!

  15. I am starting preschool with my son this fall, and this would be a great resource to have.

  16. I think my son would really like the My ABC Book from Alex.

  17. i would love to win because I am teaching my daughter the alphabet, this would be perfect for her learning

  18. I would love to win because the toys are fun and educational too
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

  19. I'd love to win for my son, he'd especially love the Ready, Set, Tell Time book. He's been really interested in learning the time!

  20. I'd especially love the ABC writing book. What a great way to practice writing over and over

  21. I want to win this for my little daughter to use!

  22. I would love to win this for my little girl!

  23. Would love to win for my son to help prepare him for pre-school!

    amorellcont at gmail dot com

  24. I think my son would really enjoy playing with the CitiBlocs.

  25. They would like the citiblocs I think as well

  26. This would be fun for the kids at our local Ronald McDonald house.

  27. I think my son and I both would enjoy the Scientific Explorer.

  28. I want to win these for for my daughter who is 4 and would enjoy using these to learn!

  29. We might really like the Poof toys at our house.

  30. My grandson starts pre-k this year and these would be perfect for him.
    Jennifer Rote

  31. I have a kinder kid and a prek kid they could play with this together :)

  32. Our daughter is right at the point of learning these topics, this would be great.

  33. my little niece would love this and the pre k would be perfect for her. thankyou, ken

  34. I have a 3 year old and a 5 month old who could use these. Pass it down after my 3 year old uses it! at gmail dot com

  35. I think my little girl would love MyRubArt! at gmail dot com

  36. My son started K & he could use this to boost his skills

  37. I think my son would also like the Art Easel!

  38. i want to win the write & wipe for my 2 sons

  39. I wold like to win the ready set time and the write and wipe for my older daughter to make learning interesting

  40. My son started 3 yr old pre k this year. This will be so helpful :)

  41. i would like to win this for my kids because they love to learn and have fun

  42. My kids would also like the Ultimate Easel Accessories.


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