Shop the New Olivia The Pig Collection at Gymboree!

**this post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

We are super excited to announce that, Gymboree introduces its exclusive Olivia The Pig collection, inspired by 15 years of Olivia’s fabulous adventures! Plus, Gymboree’s $16.99 and sale started last October 5.

Olivia for GymboreeimageAbout Olivia The Pig
Over the last 15 years, Olivia’s adventures have been adored by millions. Brought to life through author Ian Falconer’s award-winning book series, Olivia is celebrating her anniversary as one of the most precocious and beloved fictional characters by taking on her most exciting adventure to date: fashion designer. Olivia loves to dream big and stand out from the crowd. Now with this new collection, her fans can, too!

About Gymboree’s Olivia Collection
The new collection is available at all Gymboree stores and on in sizes 6-12 months up to 12 years (size 12 available online only). The coordinated looks and matching accessories are designed for a range of occasions, from dressy to everyday play, featuring fan favorites like her iconic red dress and bold stripe leggings, along with many original graphics and sweater pieces. You can visit to shop the collection, play dress-up with some of her favorite pieces, and follow all of Olivia’s fashionable adventures with Gymboree.

Two Ways to Save at Gymboree
Gymboree also has two amazing sales going on now: $16.99 & Under & 40% Off Dresses, Outerwear, and Shoes. Be sure to visit about these great deals, plus the new Olivia Collection, today!

Deal Links:

Don’t Miss the $16.99 & Under Sale Going On Now at Gymboree!

For a Limited Time Only, Get 40% Off Dresses, Outerwear, and Shoes at Gymboree!

Shop the New Olivia The Pig Collection at Gymboree!


Gymboree Celebrates One Big Happy Moments!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.**

Gymboree launched their brand new “One Big Happy” brand platform with their first ever full-scale marketing campaign including network TV, print, digital, and in-store signage! This new brand platform invites families to celebrate all of life’s happy moments with Gymboree at
Gymboree: What's Your One Big Happy?
About One Big Happy
In addition to Gymboree’s first ever Network TV commercial launching today, you will also be seeing new One Big Happy print and digital ads around. Plus, there are One Big Happy coloring sheets for you to print and share with your families to celebrate the One Big Happy moments in their lives.

Free Shipping
To celebrate the launch of this exciting and fun new platform, Gymboree is offering free shipping, today only! Gymboree is Celebrating the Launch of One Big Happy with Free Shipping, Today Only!

Other Offers:

For a Limited Time Only, Get Up to 60% Off Select Styles at Crazy 8! -Ends 9/24/15

Dinotrux Collection available at Gymboree – Ends 12/31/15

30% Off New Halloween Styles at Crazy 8!– Ends 9/17/15

Buy One, Get One Free on Regular Priced Items + Extra 30% Off New Markdowns at Gymboree!-Ends 9/20/15

Extra 20% Off Entire Purchase at Crazy 8, Plus 30% Off All Regular Priced Items!-Ends 9/17/15

For Teachers – Custom Classroom Supplies

**this post contains affiliate links and I will get small commissions when you purchase through my links.**

Custom Classroom Supplies Capturing and retaining the attention of a student today is more challenging than ever. Today the distractions students are exposed to are nearly limitless and helping them stay focused in the classroom is a daily struggle. Many educators have found that customized tools, such as teacher stamps and motivational signs, have helped tremendously.image

Holmes Stamp & Sign is a family-owned and operated company making custom products since 1954. Though we started with traditional stamps, we’ve expanded into a full line of custom products, including: teacher stamps, school signs, classroom signs, motivational signs and more!

To create your own custom teaching tools today, simply choose from a product or design on our new Custom Classroom Supplies page. You will be taken to our main website to enter your customization information and complete your order.


Tag Sale

Luggage & Pet Tags Buy 3 Luggage or Pet Tags & Save 30%
Code TAG3 (8/11-8/17)
Buy 3 Luggage or Pet Tags & Save 30%
Code: TAG3
Expiration Date: 08/17/2015

Luggage is easy to identify with our personalized luggage tags. All travel luggage tags come with leather straps, and can be used on more than just your luggage; easily identify your briefcase, pet carrier, camera bag, computer cases and other valuables.

Shop Luggage & Pet Tags

We Deliver

FREE Ground Shipping – Code FREESHIP (8/20-8/26)
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Expiration Date: 08/26/2015


Teaching Letter Names and Sounds

Teaching Letter Names and Sounds


So, you want to teach your child to read, but before a child can learn to read, he or she must first learn at least some of the letters in the alphabet, their names, and the sounds that they represent. To be able to read, a child must be able to recognize the letters, know the sound of the letters, and be able to recognize the letters quickly and say the sound without hesitation. There is plenty of discussion and disagreement on whether it’s better to teach children using whole language programs or using methods which incorporate phonics and phonemic awareness instructions. I think the debate on this is settled when the National Reading Panel stated from their findings of reviewing over 1,900 studies that phonics and phonemic awareness produces superior reading results than whole language programs.

There is also some debate on whether to teach your child only letter names, or only the sounds which the letters represent. However, studies have also settled this debate by finding that teaching a child alphabet names and sounds together produces the best results. In fact, studies have found that there is little value in teaching preschoolers letter forms or letter sounds separately. This was indicated by an Australian study involving 76 preschool children. The children received 6 weeks of training in either letter awareness, phonemic awareness, or control tasks, and then received another 6 weeks of training in either letter-sound correspondence or control tasks. The study found that training in either phoneme or letter awareness assisted with learning of letter-sound correspondences, and that the phonemically trained children group had an advantage on recognition tasks. The study found that there is little value in training in letter form or letter sounds separately. [1]

As you can see, there is basically no point in only teaching either the names of the alphabet letters, or the sounds the letters make. A child must learn the name and the sound of the alphabet letter. When teaching your child the alphabet, instead of simply teaching them the name of the alphabet such as “this is the letter A”, teach them like so:

“This is the letter A, and the letter A makes the /A/ sound.” (note: the /A/ denote the sound “A” makes, and not its name). Similarly, you can teach your child the other alphabet letters in this way including both name and sound of the letter. This is the way I teach my children the alphabet letters. Other studies have also determined that teaching the letter names and sounds together helped children learn.

58 preschool children were randomly assigned to receive instructions in letter names and sounds, letter sound only, or numbers (control group). The results of this study are consistent with past research results in that it found children receiving letter name and sound instruction were most likely to learn the sounds of letters whose names included cues to their sounds. [2]

To be able to effectively teach your children the sounds of letters, you must first master the proper pronunciation of the letters yourself. It is critical for you as a parent to be able to first say the sounds of the letters correctly before teaching your children, and this is much tougher than it may seem.

>> Click here to learn more about our simple program that will show you step-by-step how to effectively teach your child to read


1. J Exp Child Psychol. 2009 Sep;104(1):68-88. Epub 2009 Mar 5.
The genesis of reading ability: what helps children learn letter-sound correspondences?
Castles A, Coltheart M, Wilson K, Valpied J, Wedgwood J.
Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia.

2. J Exp Child Psychol. 2010 Apr;105(4):324-44. Epub 2010 Jan 25.
Learning letter names and sounds: effects of instruction, letter type, and phonological processing skill.
Piasta SB, Wagner RK.
Preschool Language and Literacy Lab, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.