Tuesday, October 14, 2014

School Time for Baby- Buttercups Curriculum Kit Review

Children learn by doing! They are interested in hands-on materials and should be offered opportunities to make meaningful choices.- Funshine Express

As most of you know we are a homeschool family.  This year is the first year I officially have 4 children to teach. However, this left my little 2 year old son without much to do during the day.  Once school started, Baby N was beyond bored getting into anything and everything he could get his little hands on! I felt bad and wanted him to have something engaging to do as well.  I was more than thrilled when Funshine Express gave me an opportunity to try their Buttercups curriculum kit!

Buttercups curriculum kits are for babies and toddlers ages 6 to 36 months and offer 8 weeks of interactive fun!  Each kit covers 4 themes and provides everything you need including teachers manual, craft supplies, 2 books, 2 play manipulatives, and offers a multitude of activity and music recommendations to make teaching your child enjoyable.  Whether you are a parent, teacher, or day care provider you will love how simple it is to teach using the Buttercups curriculum!
Our Experience
From the time the Funshine Express boxes arrived on our door step, Baby N has been super excited! I explained to him that we will be doing "school" just like his big brothers and sisters.  Every day he goes to the box and looks in and wants to make a craft. This boy loves anything to do with coloring, crafting, painting, and playdough.  I feel blessed to have found Buttercups curriculum.

I consider myself to be quite the curriculum junkie.  I am always searching online to see what is available. There are so many great choices!  What I have not found until coming across Buttercups, is a full comprehensive curriculum for babies and toddlers!  Sure, there are lots of toys and books with activity suggestions...but Buttercups is something more.  Let me show you what Buttercups is all about.....

Themes included in this particular kit
Hello and Goodbye
Apples for Me
Who's Hat?
What Wiggles?

We received the Sept/Oct kit as well as the 2014-2015 Music and Movement cd.  The kit included a starter pack, teacher pack, and all the crafts, books and play manipulatives needed for 2 months of lessons.  I am very impressed with how organized everything is. Each activity is individually wrapped with instructions explaining which day to use and which page in the teachers manual for the lesson. Couldn't be any easier for the busy mama like me!


The starter pack comes free with your first order.  It includes your attendance chart (far left), weather chart, and color and shape display.  These charts are laminated for durability. Punch out pieces to go with these charts come with the teacher pack.

The teacher pack is pretty awesome and comes with a plethora of fun posters, vocabulary cards, All About Me cards, opposites activity, Mother Goose story prop, 2 board books and 2 play manipulatives (see photo below).  It also comes with the teacher's curriculum guide which gives clear instructions on how and when to use everything in this kit.  There are 250+ activity suggestions to help your child learn in areas of language, cognitive, physical, and social/emotional. The curriculum guide also gives suggestions on how to set up your classroom, how to fit Buttercups lessons into your day, how to monitor your child's development and more!





Here are some of the activities we have enjoyed this past month:

On the first day, I decorated a corner of our school room with some of the posters and charts.  When Baby N saw the pink pig poster he right away started snorting like a pig.  So cute! When I added the Peekaboo Pals poster, he had a good time opening and closing the doors to say "Hi" to all the friends. We talked about friends and how it is polite to say hello to people when we see them. We sang a song about waving hello to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

Waving hello to the peekaboo pals

We sang another song, "Where, Oh Where Can Piggy's Shape Be?" and he placed the red shape on the pig's belly. We talked about shapes and discussed the color red.

Baby N LOVED the "Where's the Baby?" peekaboo book.


We learned about apples, made apple crafts, sand apple songs and even took a field trip to pick apples!

Apple Tree Craft

He really enjoyed painting and gluing with the Apple Circle Sun Catcher craft.


So excited to see the sun catcher in the window!
Love that sweet face!

We talked about feelings and emotions and created a "Feelings Faces Poster".

Baby N showing his scared face and pointing to the scared face (right).

Happy Face!

Hello and Goodbye Picture
"I see you!"
Adding the stickers to the openings.

Stacking Fun!
These stacking cups are one of the play manipulatives that came in the kit. Throughout the Teacher's Guide there are activity suggestions on how to use these cups.

This is just a sampling of some of the activities in the kit.  Everything you see here is from September's themes. We are just now getting into October's activities!

My overall thought on ButterCups:

I love it! Everything in the kit is absolutely adorable.  Activities and crafts are well thought out and enjoyable for the child.  Lessons are simple but teach all the important things babies and toddlers need to know.  At only $70 per 2-month kit (price goes down if you order multiple months at once) it is a great value.  If you are a mom wondering what to do during the day to keep your baby busy and happy, Buttercups is your answer!  No need to pop in a movie to keep them occupied when you have a whole world of enriching activities at your finger tips!  I highly recommend this curriculum for any mom with babies and toddlers.

*Price quoted is for 1 child.  Kit prices increase slightly per child added.

To learn more about Funshine Express, their Buttercups program and the other programs they offer, visit them on their website at www.funshineexpress.com.  You can also connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest, or their new blog, here!


STAY TUNED- FUNSHINE EXPRESS GIVEAWAY COMING SOON!!!!

Disclaimer - Funshine Express sent me a Buttercups kit in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine, I was not committed to write a favorable review. I received no other compensation. I am disclosing this information in compliance with the FTC Regulations.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Feeding the Ducks

A couple weeks ago my boys found a beanie baby duck and goose at Goodwill.  They were so excited about them and have been playing with them non-stop.  They asked me what ducks eat and I told them people like to visit ponds and feed ducks bread crumbs.  Immediately Little E ran to his school desk, brought out a blank sheet of paper and started tearing it to bits.  For the next few days the boys had so much fun "feeding" their duck and goose.  It had been raining for days so this was the perfect rainy day activity.  I promised the boys I would take them to feed "real" ducks as soon as we had a sunny day.  

The rain finally passed and we headed to the duck pond.....

Ready to feed the ducks!

I don't know why we waited so long to do this, my kids had so much fun!

The ducks were very happy to see us.  They were not shy!


Watching the ducks eat



J Bug was especially excited to see a goose just like his toy!


Feeding the goose




Oh my gosh.....I LOVE this one!


So pretty!

Soaking in the sun


Little E cute as always!



Quack! Quack! Quack!


Watching the ducks swim (sorry, my camera faded out the ducks).



It was a wonderful day!  

FYI- For curiosity sake, I looked up what ducks eat.  They actually can eat a wide variety of foods.  I think maybe next time we will bring them something a little more nutritious than cheap white bread! ;-)

Foods Ducks Can Eat

  • Small fish and fish eggs
  • Snails, worms and mollusks
  • Small crustaceans
  • Grass and weeds
  • Algae and aquatic plants and roots
  • Frogs, salamanders and other amphibians 
  • Aquatic and land insects
  • Seeds and grain
  • Small berries, fruits and nuts
  • Cracked corn
  • Wheat, barley or similar grains
  • Oats (uncooked; rolled or quick)
  • Rice (cooked or uncooked)
  • Milo
  • Birdseed (any type or mix)
  • Grapes (cut in half)
  • Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)
  • Earthworms
  • Mealworms (fresh or dried)
  • Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes
  • Vegetable trimmings or peels (chopped)
Feeding information found here.
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