Bird Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

Bird Unit Study with Ivy Kids kits

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us a kit for this review}

Ivy Kids Kits rock! We have been reviewing kits for a long time now and the boxes never disappoint!

Not familiar with Ivy Kids Kits?

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

We were sent Why Should I Walk? I Can Fly! for this review!

Ivy kids Kit Birds-11

This kit features the award-winning book Why Should I Walk? I Can Fly! by Ann Ingalls. This is a charming story about a young robin trying so hard to learn to fly. Children will enjoy reading about the robin’s persistence in accomplishing its first flight!

This kit contains over 10 science, math, art, literacy, and engineering activities inspired by the story including: Building a birdhouse, creating a bird’s nest, bird watching with binoculars, painting a ceramic bird warbling whistle and so much more.

Ivy kids Kit Birds-12

Your Kit includes a guide for each activity to help promote your child’s learning while you play together.

Some Activities From Our Box…

After looking through the box, she immediately grabbed the bird whistle. This thing is so neat, it warbles!!

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The bird glider was another fun activity! She put the bird together and then we threw it and recorded what number it landed on each time.

  Ivy kids Kit Birds-2 Ivy kids Kit Birds 


We had fun playing the games together. Although she is a bit too old, we make them fun by spending time together. She enjoys showing my readers the games so they can see the activities they might enjoy with their young kids!

Ivy kids Kit Birds-3

Ivy kids Kit Birds-4


I did have her count using tally marks to review!  Ivy kids Kit Birds-5

This was a fun game, draw a letter and then place a pipe cleaner on the bird that begins with that letter! Using tweezers to work on fine motor skills! 

Ivy kids Kit Birds-6

Crafts are always a hit, here’s the birdhouse!

Ivy kids Kit Birds-7


The adorable bird craft! 

Ivy kids Kit Birds-8

You’ll also find a wonderful and realistic bird labeling activity…

Ivy kids Kit Birds-9

A bird watching activity page with binoculars and SO much more!

Ivy kids Kit Birds-10

Not everything from this kit is pictured, she enjoyed more of it and is still enjoying some of it! 

You can buy this kit here!

We also loved our other Ivy Kids Kits, click on the images below to take a peek inside of each kit we have loved!

  Rainforest--Unit-Study-with-Ivy-Kids[1] Ladybug-Unit-Study-with-Ivy-Kids-Kit[1]  Three-Snow-Bears-Ivy-Kids-Kit62222  Fish-is-Fish-ivy-Kids-Kit-Review3122 A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w Dogs-Colorful-Day-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie[1]Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie Mrs.-McTats-and-Her-Houseful-of-Cats[1] Over-in-the-Ocean-Unit-Study-with-IvPenguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with[1] Rainbow-Unit-Study-with-Ivy-Kids-Kit[1] Ivy-Kids-Kit-The-Snail-and-the-Whale

When-it-Starts-to-Snow-Ivy-Kids-Kit3[1] Garden Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits Exploring Bees with Ivy Kids Kits

20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

Use code: IVY20


Buy any 3 past kits and save $10 plus free shipping with code: 10OFF

A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review. If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!

When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I mean EVERYthing. These kits are incredible!

Why We Switched to Reading Eggs

Reading Eggspress for Reading Comprehension Skills and More


{disclaimer – this post is sponsored by Reading Eggs}

You may remember a review I did a few months ago, featuring Reading Eggs. I shared my sweet surprise about the Reading Eggspress portion for older kids and what it was all about. You can read that post here! I am back today with an update now that my daughter has been using Reading Eggspress for awhile. She is in 5th grade and after reviewing Reading Eggs for the last post, I decided to make a change in our homeschool! We now use Reading Eggs for her reading comprehension and spelling.

Why I Chose Reading Eggs

Honestly, my daughter wishes I wouldn’t have chosen this. The main reason – it is difficult! This is also the reason I love it. She can’t just fly right through it, and she is learning things I am not good at remembering to teach.

Below you can see her dashboard, we mainly focus on the MY LESSONS section and the ENGLISH SKILLS section. She works on these on her own using our iPad or a computer.

Reading Eggspress-6

She has the hardest time with the quiz portion in the Lessons section. Many of the questions about the book are tricky and sometimes we will sit and do these together.  Below you can see a couple of screenshots to give you an idea of what the quizzes look like, just click on the images to enlarge.

Reading Eggspress Sample 2   Reading Eggspress Sample

As her teacher, I love this section and this is where I am finding a huge benefit. She is learning skills that I often forget to emphasize.

In addition to the digital portion, there are also worksheets to go with each unit.

Reading Eggspress-5

We do these together as you can see below. I focus on my teaching during this time, making sure she understands how to analyze the text and find answers. She definitely likes this part better – because we are working together.

Reading Eggspress Worksheets-2

My daughter is a great speller so switching to Reading Eggs for spelling was a simple choice. It is included in the membership so I took advantage of it to give her exposure to a different spelling program. I give her a pretest before we begin to work so I know which words to focus on.

Reading Eggspress Worksheets

She completes the spelling portion on the iPad independently for practice. There are all sorts of different activities to practice, as well as a final test.

Reading Eggspress-7

There are all sorts of different activities to practice {like “Fly Away Word” shown below}, as well as a final test.

Reading Eggspress Spelling Sample

If you have an older child, I highly recommend giving Reading Eggspress a try! You get to try it out for 4 weeks free – why not?!? Don’t have an older child? Reading Eggs is AMAZING for younger kids too, we used it extensively when she was younger too!

Try Reading Eggs for FREE!

Grab your FREE 4 week trial, just click here! You will get access to ALL of the levels, plus Mathseeds – a program we used extensively when she was younger!

Upon signing up your child can also take the free placement reading test that will place them at the appropriate lesson according to their reading ability.


Lessontrek–Our Favorite Online Homeschool Lesson Planner

Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner Features

We have been using an awesome online homeschool lesson planner for many years now and it continues to be just what I need for homeschool lesson planning and record keeping. Over the years Lessontrek has made some upgrades and recently a few features I was really excited about have been developed! We are pleased that Lessontrek is back as a blog sponsor and are excited to share these new features with you!

In the past we have written a few posts outlining features we love, be sure to read about the gradebook feature here, see a video tour here, & answers for FAQ here.

There are several new features since I last shared and several more in the works! Read more below!

Shared Subjects

One of the key new features I am most excited about is shared subjects. This feature allows you to connect a subject between multiple students so you only have to type the plans once. It automatically shows up on the connected students’ lesson plans! This is a major advantage for us this year since my 5th and 8th grader are both doing the same history, geography, writing, and grammar!

Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner Shared Subjects

Below I will share a simple tutorial of how to set this up. I know many of you already use Lessontrek and thought this might be helpful!

First, set up one child using the typical add subject method. Once you have the subject set up for one child, then move on to the steps outlined below.

When you go to set up the next child, click “Import Subject” where you would normally add a subject and it will pull up your other students and their information! Simply select the subject already created for the first child and it will add this to this child! As you type weekly plans they will automatically appear for both students now! No more double typing!

Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner Shared Subjects Tutorial

Attendance Tracking

Another cool new feature is so simple yet needed for many state requirements – attendance tracking! With this added feature, you just click ‘Mark Complete’ at the top of each day in your planner and it keeps track for you. When you click the attendance button it will show you your update {see screenshot below}.

Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner Attendance Tracking

Student Login

My final favorite new feature is the new ability to create a separate login for your student! Your student can login and see their progress and lesson plans without being able to adjust things.

Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner Student Login

Coming Soon

Many of you have asked for the “bump ahead” feature which will allow you to plan ahead and easily bump the entire school year ahead if you get off track for a sick day or some other reason. This feature is in development now!

Coming VERY soon – Google Calendar and other Google products integrations! Yup, you’ll be able to add lessons to your Google Calendar that include the assignments and notes you enter in Lessontrek. You can also create notifications in each lesson that gets added to your Google Calendar. 

More exciting news…Edstart Logo

Lessontrek was accepted into Amazon Web Services EdTech program called: AWS EdStart. It will help make Lessontrek more scalable, reliable, and secure!

    Want to try Lessontrek?

    Click here to give it a try for 2 weeks for FREE and then grab your Annual Subscription and get 15% off using this special discount code: CA15

    Lessontrek Online Lesson Planner Discount Code 2019

    Why We Love Reading Eggs

    We Love Reading Eggs

    {disclaimer – this post is sponsored by Reading Eggs}

    It has been years since we have used Reading Eggs. There’s a silly reason for that – I didn’t realize that it was for older kids too! We used it a lot when my daughter was younger but then when our subscription expired, I didn’t think it was worth looking into again because I thought she had aged out of the program. Thankfully I was wrong! I have always thought of it as a “learn to read” program for younger kids, and it definitely IS THAT, but it is so much more!


    When I was contacted to partner with Reading Eggs for this review, I was thrilled to be reminded of this wonderful program and to see that it is something my 10 year old can use! She is the perfect age for the Reading Eggspress section and has been testing it out with me as we prepared for this review! Read below for a bit more about the Reading Eggspress section.


    Reading Eggspress continues the learning to read journey for 7 to 13 year olds, helping children further develop their comprehension, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills.

    Key features include:

    • My Lessons – over 200 comprehension lessons which cover five broad levels equivalent to school grades 1 to 6.
    • The Stadium – your child can compete against students from around the world or against the computer with four contests that tests skills in spelling, vocabulary, usage, and grammar.
    • English Skills – focuses on common spelling rules, generalizations, and strategies using a combination of teaching videos, engaging online activities and games, with printable worksheets and assessment tests.
    • The Library – home to over 2500 e-books, each with their own comprehension quiz.

    My 5th grader has been using Reading Eggspress for a few weeks now and I have been watching over her shoulder a lot to get a feel for it. So far I am very impressed. I must be honest and tell you she isn’t thrilled with it – mostly because it is a bit challenging for her. She likes for things to be easy and some of the questions and activities are a bit more difficult than she would prefer. But what this means to me is SHE NEEDS IT! I was only planning to use the free trial we had for the review, but I am planning to purchase the program for her to use weekly.

    Reading Eggs for Little and BIG kids!

    After peering over her shoulder and noticing where she tends to struggle, I realize the importance of her using a program like this. I get feedback in the parent dashboard so I can see how she is doing, which is something I love!

    One of my favorite features is the printable plans so I can actually assign lessons to her daily plans.

    Reading Eggspress-4

    Another thing I didn’t know about Reading Eggs – printable activities! When I looked in the Bonus Material section in our dashboard I was sweetly surprised to find worksheets to go along with the online activities. I have hers printed out and ready to go for the start of full homeschool on Monday!

    Reading Eggspress-5

    Try Reading Eggs for FREE!

    If you have never tried Reading Eggs, I HIGHLY recommend it. There is a FREE 4 week trial, just click here! You will get access to ALL of the levels, plus Mathseeds – a program we used extensively when she was younger!

    Upon signing up your child can also take the free placement reading test that will place them at the appropriate lesson according to their reading ability.

    Reading Eggs Free Trial Access

    Reading Eggs free trial

    Improve Writing Skills with Night Zookeeper

    Night Zookeeper Review

    {disclosure – this is a sponsored post, we were given a Night Zookeeper subscription for this review}

    I am so thankful Night Zookeeper reached out to us and has partnered with us for this review. My daughter loves to write and when I read about Night Zookeeper I just knew she would like it. I just didn’t know how much she would LOVE it. She has begged to keep using this and has been playing, creating, and writing almost daily since we have had it!

    Be sure to read our full review below and know that we have an incredible discount code for our readers! I am sharing that first so you don’t miss it!

    Night Zookeeper Discount Code s

    What is Night Zookeeper?

    Night Zookeeper is a website designed to improve writing skills of children. It is best for ages 6-12 and when you join you’ll be able to select the age of your child, which will change the type of lessons, challenges, games, and level of vocabulary that they will encounter.

    How It Works

    The process…

    When I first logged on to take a look around I was a bit overwhelmed, but then I realized how it all works and now I love it! I will outline the main process for you so you, as a parent, can see how your child will be using this website! Below you can see a sample of the homepage a child will see, with the different areas. It is amazing how quickly a child will explore and figure this out – faster than I did!

    Home menu


    Children draw their own magical characters that go with them through the Night Zoo, developing and growing their creative writing skills. Below you can see a few of the creatures my daughter has created! She LOVES this part so much!

    Night Zookeeper Creations


    The foundation of all great writers is their broad and rich vocabulary. Night Zookeeper helps your children learn thousands of new words through exciting, personalized activities and games. The creatures you create show up throughout the games, making things more personalized and fun!

    Word Games


    As children progress, they’ll encounter sentence building games, short writing challenges and many more exciting activities that help them to use these new words in longer, more complex sentences. She doesn’t necessarily love this part, but she does it willingly. As a teacher/parent, I LOVE these games!

    Night Zookeeper


    Children are then challenged to put their learning into action, producing stories, reports, poems and other styles of writing.

    Night Zookeeper-2

    This is such a neat feature and she has written more than I even realized! I logged into her account to grab a screenshot and found this story I didn’t even know she had written! There is a “blog” that shares children’s writing which is approved by moderators before going live. They also provide feedback through comments, like you can see at the bottom of the screenshot below.

    Sample Story

    More facts about Night Zookeeper:

    • 7 day free trial, cancel anytime online   
    • Night Zookeeper works across tablets, PC’s and laptops. They recommend using either on Safari, or Google Chrome browsers for best performance.
    • Night Zookeeper is based in the UK so if you live in the US, you will notice some spelling differences and your kids will probably point them out to you – like mine did! It provided some great conversation!

    Final Thoughts…

    I definitely recommend Night Zookeeper! I honestly wasn’t sure at first, but as we have used it and I have seen how much my daughter LOVES it, I am totally on board! It is a wonderful addition to our language arts homeschool curriculum.

    Save 30% off of any Night Zookeeper subscription by using the code: 1plus1

      Night Zookeeper Discount Code