Top 10 gadgets we use and love!

Yes, our "current" top 10 things..because I'm sure there are a lot more we will discover as well. So as of today..(1/25/17) these are our favorite things!  (and not in any particular order) Do keep in mind that a few of these can cause injury so take proper precautions! Not everything will appeal to all kids, but may give you an idea of something to try!

1) OSMO  - Yes, Osmo for ipad. It's been a great investment. Currently have the "genius" pack plus coding, which is the "wonder kit" now available. We purchased it before the others were available and recently purchased the coding.  While the coding is supposed to be 5-12 my 31/2 year old enjoys playing it as well. Great for language arts, math, coding, and art.  Pizza Co. where they get to "run" their own pizza place looks interesting and they get to learn to handle money, make change, etc. We really hope to add this to our library soon!

2) Dremel 4000 set up - Dremel? Yes, Dremel..the same Dremel your husband probably has in his tool kit! Dremel rotary tool, with the flex shaft and workstation has been a great learning piece. The kids get used to working with small power tools, learned to engrave, learned to do some carving and have a new skill. Wonderful for the "hands on" learner and makes for a great "elective" course in woodworking. Hint: If you say "Honey, Can we borrow your dremel for awhile" He may just go out and get you one! (mine sure did! LOL)

3) Microscope - of course we have to list this! We really enjoy our Amscope Microscope and the set of prepared slides we have! For our group setting (science club) we can hook it up to the laptop and all view and discuss at the same time or you can take off the camera and use it for individual students. The range of Microscope prices is pretty nice and their "student microscope" looks to be an excellent purchase (we did purchase a higher priced one, but only because 1) our younger daughter seems to LOVE science and 2) My husband works in the sciences and wanted something that would last basically forever (accidental damages nonwithstanding).  A good science purchase! I pulled this out to take the picture today and my 3 year old discovered it..and had a ball looking at all the slides we have! kept him busy for awhile! Of course highly supervised and with lots of help!

4) IKEA easels and paper rolls - Yes, a gadget that isn't electronic! The kids love them. We have one for each of the kids and they use them in multiple ways..the dry erase board is draw on and is great when we have a group lesson such as science or country club. We also buy the paper rolls from Ikea and they are great! We often cover the entire table with the long strips, then tape down the ends to do arts and crafts on, or they can attach via the wood rod onto the easels and can be used for painting. The easels (if you have enough room in the car) are pretty portable and we can take them to the park to have fun drawing nature. We don't use the chalk board side as much so we often have that chalk side covered by the paper and the white board side visible on the other side. Hint: the kids also use them for sides of blanket forts! just be careful so you don't put to much weight or pull on them! Great for all subjects and then some!

5) Light table - I know this isn't really a surprise if you've read our previous post about the light table. We love it! Lots of activities from colored plastic geometric shapes, x-rays, art, drafting and more! work on pattern recognition or pull out your 3D geometric shapes as well. Lots of fun!

6) magnetic white board - pretty much self explanatory...we use it with our magnetic letters and words for my dyslexic daughter and her reading/phonics system. It's also great for small notes (we do love our stickynotes!) it can hang up on the wall, although we have ours unattached anywhere so it's mobile around the house. I might have to get a couple more to put up on the wall eventually! We picked our current one up from walmart fairly cheap.

7) GeekPro Camera - GeekPro is a great little (and inexpensive) video camera. You can chest mount, helmet mount, etc. and makes a great addition to a "school". Make and edit your own video's, underwater shots, still pictures as well as video. The first one we ordered did have a red tint so I contacted the company and they sent a replacement as soon as possible (which was good, since we were getting ready to go out of the country and wanted to use it while we were gone!) Their customer service person was wonderful. We purchased our from Amazon. Photography, video editing, etc. great for an "elective" course!

8) Barska telescope - I admit we haven't used it much, but it's been fun! I wasn't sure how much the kids would actually use if once we really got going with it (and dang it, living in the Pacific Northwest means there's a lot of cloudy nights!) We wanted something the kids could experiment with and not have a lot of outlay and this really seems to do the trick (at least for now!)

9) Walnut hollow creative versa tool - (and tip sets) pyrography! it's fun! The kids and I have both had some fun doing the woodburning and are coming up with all kinds of projects to do! You'll want to really supervise of course and be careful where your using it. as the name says its "wood burning" so yes, things can get VERY hot and you don't want to have unsupervised kids hurt themselves or others!

10) Hammock chairs - yes, hammock chairs. We love them! They've been a great addition to our home. My ADHD can't sit still kiddo can sit in it and gently rock while shes working on something, they are comfortable. We did have to re-enforce the ceiling beams to put them in (we didn't have the room to put them in on a frame so we hung them up instead, which is nice, They are easily taken down when we don't need them or we are having a group meeting and need the big table up. Easy to put back on at any point. (have I mentioned how much I LOVE our big table that we can put up or take down in under 3 minutes?! )


11) Children's pottery wheel! - lots of fun. It's around $80 for the mindware one we have. I was worried before it arrived if it would be sturdy enough, etc. as it is a "kids toy" but it actually has held up pretty well! Use self drying or air dry clay so you don't have to worry about cooking it. It can be messy so make sure you have a place easy to clean up afterwards!


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