Summer learning loss. It’s a thing. Most kids have summer break from school and are not spending much time reading and learning. In a day where parents are busier than ever, it’s hard to keep up with educational resources for our kids. Zoobean – a service that curates apps, books and educational resources for your child – can help.
This is my first summer as a mom of a school-aged child. Okay, he’s preschool aged, but I am definitely feeling the loss of quality education that he was getting from his teachers. Through the school year, I worked with him at home alongside what he was learning at school. But, the summer months it’s all up to me.
Summer camps are a great option for providing learning and social opportunities for kids. Judah attended art camp last month and loved it. I’ve seen postings for princess and super hero camps, along with sports camps and educational camps at the children’s museum. But, one week of camp is all we could fit into our summer budget, and this week he’s attending VBS for the very first time.
Now it’s up to me to keep Judah on his toes learning. It can be difficult to come up with activities that provide a fun educational experience, keeping him engaged all summer long without burn-out. We have Pinterest for ideas, right? Yeah… how many of you actually complete most of the pins you save? Not me! Plus, I not only need help coming up with creative ideas, but I also need help just thinking of topics that match my kids’ interests and learning level.
That’s where Zoobean Expert comes in very handy. At only $25/year, Zoobean connects you with your own personal expert who recommends apps and books for your child each week, based on a profile you build for him. There have been many times I’ve searched the Internet and my app store for apps and books that my kids should use or read. It can be very overwhelming! Zoobean eliminates this stress and does the research for me.
When you sign up for Zoobean Expert, your child is assigned his own personal curator (who all happen to be parents, educators and librarians) in which you have direct contact with through email and phone. You can contact your expert with questions and give them feedback through out the year so they have a better understanding of your child’s learning habits which allows them to better tailor their recommendations. I’ve been super impressed with the back-and-forth communication I’ve had with our personal curator. She’s been very helpful in suggesting ideas when I share about an area where Judah needs a little more help, such as memorization. I’ve also been able to further define his strengths and interests (or obsessions) to her, so that she can recommend books or apps that go along with them.
The first week, our curator assigned a book lesson for Judah. We rented the book from the library, “Nino Wrestles the World!”. We received a reading guide for the book that included discussion ideas, vocabulary building and an activity to make wrestling masks, matching the theme of the book. Judah loved coloring his mask, but when it was time to put it on while reading the book together, he wanted nothing of it! This was a great learning experience for me, to understand my son a little better. So, we read the book together without the masks, and I walked away learning that Judah doesn’t like to be the spotlight which I shared with our curator.
The second week, we received an alphabet app recommendation for “Avokiddo ABC Ride”. This app helps kids learn to read and pronounce letter sounds. It’s a highly interactive app, and Judah loved it. At just $2.99 for the app, I was happy with how fun and educational it was, with super cute graphics and characters. With this app recommendation, our curator also included a guide listing things to do in order to prepare using the app, like warming up with alphabet flash cards, or introducing your child to alliteration. She also suggested activities to go along with the app, like making ABC Soup or playing the I-Spy game using rhyming skills. I won’t list everything, but you get the idea!
Currently, we are working through our most recent recommended book, “Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed” and it’s reading guide. I couldn’t find this book at our local library, so I bought it on Amazon because I thought it looked super cute anyway. We’ve read through it once so far and I used the discussion starters given to me through Zoobean. Today, we are going to complete the suggested activity that goes along with the story.
Zoobean curators also provide learning kits that are always available to you through your Zoobean profile. These kits include app and book recommendations, discussion starters, hands-on activities, and multimedia resources. Topics include “Fascination with Transportation,” “Exporing Egypt,” “Gardening,” and much more!
One of the kits I have bookmarked for Judah is all about Firefighters. The curator carefully put together a recommended reading list of firefighter books appropriate for ages 3-5. She also includes facts about firefighting, discussion topics, suggested activities such as “Five Little Firefighters Painting” and a firefighting sensory bin. The kit continues with family activity ideas – visit your local fire house and bring the firefighters a treat or set up “firefighter training” activity in your backyard! Suggested songs about firefighting and additional resources round out the suggestions in this kit.
Zoobean Expert is definitely going to help us this summer, but I’m also excited to incorporate it into Judah’s school year. I’ll be able to share his smart lists and activities with his teachers, so they can be in tune with what and how he’s learning through the year. I also love that I can contact our personal Zoobean expert whenever I want and ask advice about my kids’ learning level and concerns, or how do I indulge an obsession of my child (like super heros) into a learning experience? The experts are there to come alongside parents and help empower us with resources that help build our children’s literacy and imagination.
Parents and families play the most important role in developing their children’s literacy. Let’s face it, that can be intimidating and overwhelming! I’m so glad that Zoobean is here to help! Now you can get help from Zoobean at a discounted rate. Zoobean is offering my readers $10 off the Expert membership, so instead of $25 for the year, it’s only $15! Use coupon code EXPERTTABLE for $10 off your Expert subscription. If you are interested in signing up for their Home Delivery plan (where they will send your child a book every month), then use code HOMETABLE for 20% off!
There’s more! I also get to offer my readers a chance to win a 3-month home delivery service with Zoobean. This means your child will get a book of the month each month, and you’ll have access to kits, reading guides, recommendations and sharing. Use the giveaway widget below to enter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ZooBean. The opinions and text are all mine.