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July 29, 2011

Get Ready for Kindergarten with Dinosaur Train

Transitioning to Kindergarten can be a stressful time for young children as they take on a new role as “student”—in addition to other changes such as new surroundings, routines and expectations, and in some cases being away from parents for the first time.

There are many things, however, that can be done to help prepare children for this big transition and a familiarity with some key skills will be beneficial. The Jim Henson Company and PBS KIDS have included some fun ideas from the award-winning Dinosaur Train website at www.pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain that will help children familiarize themselves with and build upon some specific skills, while at the same time enjoying their favorite characters!

Practice reading and speaking. Help your child practice the letters of the alphabet while learning, speaking and singing about the diversity of dinosaurs that once lived on Earth with the “Dinosaurs A – Z song.” Have fun learning about letters, and dinosaurs at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/handson/dinosaursatoz.html.

Learn about color. Help your child understand, investigate and make predictions about the science of color, using household basics including food coloring, clean food jars/containers, colored markers and a cookie sheet. For details go to: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/handson/colorfulhypothesis.html

Develop fine motor skills such as coloring; cutting; drawing; buttoning; zippering; building. With Buddy’s help, you can practice some of these skills while making a Stegosaurus Puppet, details at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/artscraftscooking/stegosauruspuppet.html
Practice gross motor skills such as running, jumping and throwing. Try “Playing Dino Ball Your Way” to improve these skills--and get some exercise too--by inventing the rules for an imaginary game and then playing it! Details at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/games/dinoball.html

Explore size and scale. Using illustrations and physical markers, kids can measure out size differences in large dinosaurs to understand their size and scale! Check out the activity “Even Bigger than T.rex!” at the following link and have some fun while learning about size: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/handson/biggerthantrex.html

Dinosaur Train is helping DD get ready for Kindergarten by sending her a number of products to review.

DINOSAUR TRAIN COLORING PAD & MARKER SET from Crayola Mess Free Color Wonder
With Crayola Mess Free Color Wonder, the inks are clear, and colors magically appear only when the markers meet the special Color Wonder paper. Kids are free to unleash their imaginations and love the way each marker magically reveals a different color on the special paper. Moms love the fact that Color Wonder inks will not appear on skin, walls or carpet, so there’s no clean up involved. Age: 3+. SRP: $7.99. Available now at Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Kohl's, Meijer.

DINOSAURS A TO Z from Golden Books by Andrea Posner-Sanchez; illustrated by
Terry Izumi.

Meet 26 dinosaurs—one for each letter of the alphabet—in this Dinosaur Train™ alphabet book. Buddy, Mr. Conductor, and the other Dinosaur Train™ characters from the hit PBS Kids® animated series introduce dinos from Apatosaurus to Zigongosaurus! Young paleontologists-in-training will love learning cool facts about 26 amazing dinosaurs. This awesome non-fiction book with a sturdy padded cover makes a great gift!

Ages 3-5; SRP $11.99; 30 pages. Available August 9, 2011.

MEGA BLOKS Buddy from MEGA Brands

Give your little Dinosaur Train fan the chance to join everyone’s favorite T-Rex Buddy to meet, explore, and have adventures with all kinds of friendly dinosaurs aboard The Dinosaur Train! Sit bobble head Buddy in his Dinosaur Train passenger car and get ready to find out all about his favorite prehistoric friends with the included fun and informative dinosaur fact card!

-Buildable Buddy passenger car and scenery block!
-Includes bobble head Buddy figurine! Give him a shake!
-Includes fun dinosaur fact card that teaches all about different types of dinosaurs!
-Combine with other toys to mix and match pieces and build your own adventures with Buddy and his family!
Ages 3+
SRP: $6.99
Available now at Amazon, Kmart and Toys”R”Us

DINOSAUR TRAIN APPAREL from Kids with Character!

Dinosaur Train’s summer line shirts and pants/shorts sets are great for back to school. Look for NEW Dinosaur Train apparel coming in August and September at Kohls and Kmart
If your kids love Dinosaur Train, be sure to include some of these items on your shopping list. DD loves her new Dinosaur Train book. The hard cover book is well illustrated and includes a lot of interesting dinosaur facts that fun and educational. Being a Dinosaur Train fan, she is very excited about her color wonder set. Th color wonder set allows DD to color in the coloring books without the risk of making a mess on our carpet or on her table. The MEGA BLOKS Buddy set works with other MEGA BLOKS pieces, so if you already have some of their products, this is a great set to add to the collection. Last but not least, the 3 piece outfit set we received is really cute. Baby G is a little too small for it. However, seeing how much DD loves dinosaurs, I have a feeling that baby G will share his sister's love for it and he will get to enjoy wearing the outfit in no time.
When you hit the stores to shop for your kids' back to school supplies, be sure to look for the items we received to review.

*I received a free product (or products) for review purposes. I did not receive any form of compensation from the company. All opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway. My reviews are not always positive, but they are my personal and honest opinions. Other people's views and experiences with the product or products might be different from mine.


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