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Little kids can easily use the number knowledge they have mastered to focus on learning new skills. Building on top of established skills encourages young learners to extend learning through play and real-life experiences. Practicing numbers, counting, and other early math skills at home will make learning how to tell time with educational toys and products a fun and frustration-free experience!

The must-have watch option for the little kids in your life who want nothing more than to have all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch just like the one their older siblings and parents have,

is the kid-friendly KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 from VTech!

Telling Time Made Easy!

Little kids are learning how to tell time earlier than ever due to the educational experiences they are involved in while watching their favorite TV shows, playing online learning games and apps, as well as using the technology devices found inside their homes.

But what if your child is not interested in telling time, or is even struggling to understand how a clock works?

Before you begin to worry, consider a few things about your child. Little kids learn best when they are interested in a topic. They also have to be developmentally ready to learn a new skill. So, if your preschooler is still working on number skills, telling time may not be a skill that is ready to be learned and mastered. But that does not mean exposing your child to digital and analog clocks and other early time telling skills to help get him or her ready is inappropriate. In fact, the ideas below are great starting points for learning how to tell time!

How to Get Ready to Tell Time:

  • Practice counting - Minutes and hours are divided into 60 parts, so it is important that your child can count to 60. Encourage your child to count on from a certain number and ask what number comes next when looking at a clock. Show your child what the time looks like whenever you see it on the hour. Don't forget that an analog clock counts by 5s, so practice counting and singing by 5s too!

  • Review number recognition - While the hours only include numbers 1-12, the minutes go all the way up to 60. This means that to be able to tell time to the minute, recognizing numbers is important. Make up number games and point out numbers during the day to expose your child to the higher numbers that they may still find tricky.

  • Discuss the time of day - Many little kids may not be aware of the different times of day and need to learn terms like morning, afternoon, evening, and night, and they need to begin to understand what happens during these time periods.

  • Talk about length of time - Before telling time is completely understood, the concept of how much time an activity takes can be taught as a non-standard measurement. Most little kids can understand the amount of time their favorite show takes to watch, how long it takes to drive to school, or how long soccer practice may be. Relating other activities to the non-standard measurements of time can help kick off starting to tell time.

The best way for young children to learn is through play and real-life experience. Toys and learning apps that bring math skills, like telling time, into young learners' lives are fun, engaging ways to learn!

Preschoolers, kindergarteners, first graders, and even some of those older kids will be intrigued with all that the VTech®KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 has to offer.

The KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 was designed for kids ages 4+. Simply unbox the DX3, add the date and time, and go! Young children will want to dive right into all the smartwatch has to offer beyond just telling time. Kids will love how much this smartwatch is just like the watch their mom or dad wears, and features cameras for taking pictures, selfies, and fun videos.

Personalize the smartwatch settings with fun photo filters and create custom clock faces.

There are also single player games that encourage movement as well as following directions, which are so much fun to play! Racing River and Monster Catcher will be instant favorites! Pair up with a friend who has a DX3 in a secure way, to share preset messages or play Treasure Hunt, Find the Diamonds and Tic-Tac-Toe.

Easily set kid-friendly reminders to help keep your child on track and ready for the day. No more nagging your child to brush his or her teeth before bed or school - just set a reminder and choose the toothbrush icon.

The KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 also gives parents the opportunity to teach and reinforce telling time skills to make sure that the smartwatch can be used like a tool, and not just a toy, with different ways to encourage telling time.

Building Additional Telling Time Skills:

  • Break it down - The span of an hour is a long time. It may not be easy for young children to completely comprehend just how long that is, but time to the hour is easier to identify at first. When first learning about time, use the hour to make decisions or change activities. When helping your child to understand when it is still too early to wake up in the morning, place a sticky note over the minutes side of the clock. Write the number of the hour that your child can wake up on the sticky note. When the hour on the clock matches the number on the sticky note, it's time to get up for the day! This can be used for nap or quiet time too.

  • Ask for the time - Little kids love to wear watches like the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3 and tell everyone the time! This is true even if they have no idea what time it really is. But with practice and repetition, it will get easier, especially when asking about predictable times in a daily routine like breakfast, school, and bath time!

  • Set a timer - We set timers for so many things these days. A timer is a countdown and little kids understand that as the timer runs, the time to complete the task or play shrinks. Talk about how long a timer is set for when playing independently or reading as well as participating in quiet time; or set a countdown until it is time to leave, or even for when your little one is brushing his or her teeth. The duration of time will be better understood every time a timer is set.

  • Don’t forget the analog clock – While it is easy to think that we only need to work with digital clocks, we cannot skip over learning how to read an analog clock. Analog clocks are still used in classrooms!

While playing with and using the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3’s features, young children will build confidence with telling time. The smartwatch also encourages responsibility and independence when using the timers and reminders for daily tasks and setting time limits.

Your child will find that learning to tell time is just one of the many fun skills, games, and activities found on the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3. The watch comes in a variety of colors, which is great for families with more than one child. Your kids will love that they can upcycle the top of the package and use it as watch storage and they will want to download all the free games, clock faces, and camera effects online from the Learning Lodge®!

Little learners will love all that VTech® has to offer with their KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX3!

Nicole Franklin is a former kindergarten teacher who now uses her Early Childhood Education Degree in her preschool classroom. She is the creator of the blog, Modern Preschool, where she shares hands-on learning activities for teachers and parents to use with their preschoolers and kindergarteners.

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No party is too big, no pup is too small. Calling all PAW Patrol fans!

If your kids are big PAW Patrol fans, it makes perfect sense to throw an awesome pawty for them. Surprise your little ones with a fun-filled colorful celebration that will surely put a big smile on their sweet faces.

Set the Scene

The inspiration for this colorful balloon backdrop was the pups themselves. The choice of colors is a great departure from incorporating the usual blue, yellow and red.

To add more texture to your backdrop, a paw-print and extra-large confetti balloons as well as foil letter balloons spelling out PAWTY hung across the wall, definitely bring this fun theme to life.

Party tip: You can create your balloon backdrop ahead of time. Since they don’t require helium, they last longer, and you don’t have to worry about them deflating before your event.

Jazz Up a Simple Cake

“A party without a cake is just a meeting.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Opt for a simple buttercream cake you can easily dress up to coordinate with your party. The letter board cake topper is a neat idea that adds instant pizzazz and you can customize it with phrases of your choice.

Incorporate Pup Inspired Treats

Mixing sweet and salty snacks is a great option when it comes to kid-friendly party snacks. For a pup theme, incorporate bone shaped sugar cookies and pup-corn displayed in serving bowls that resemble pup bowls.

Pick Colorful Partyware

To perfectly coordinate with your color scheme, choose colorful partyware that will bring the entire look together. Party essentials, such as plates, napkins, utensils, cups, and party blowers should scream fun and set the tone of your party.

Offer Interactive Learning Activities

These interactive VTech® PAW Patrol: The Movie: Learning Watches are fun and make the perfect gifts to keep the party going. The kids can play games to recognize patterns, identify animal tracks and pick the right tool for the job with the PAW Patrol.

If you have a toddler at home, these educational VTech® PAW Patrol: The Movie® products will save the day by keeping him or her entertained throughout the entire party.

The PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Touch & Teach Word Book will keep your toddler engaged with its three play modes: Storytime, Exploration and Music, while the PAW Patrol: The Movie: Learning Phone will provide learning and adventure on-the-go for your little one.

I hope you feel inspired to create sweet memories with your kids with a pup themed party!

Concept & Photography: Andressa Hara, founder & content creator at Twinkle Twinkle Little Party

Andressa is the founder and content creator of Twinkle Twinkle Little Party, a blog for all things DIY and party related. Andressa loves inspiring other moms to celebrate at home and create special memories with their kids through crafting, baking and planning the sweetest parties!

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Share in the excitement your kids feel this holiday with gifts you will love as much as they will!

The gift of learning is as valuable to parents as it is to kids! As a homeschool mom, I am always looking for toys that will foster a love of learning through imaginative play. When my child picks up a VTech toy, I feel good knowing that they are gaining developmental skills while they are immersed in the carefree play of childhood. This holiday season, give your child something that you can be confident in knowing that it will grow with them as they learn, discover, play, imagine, and explore!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers Ages Birth Through 36 Months:

VTech® Lil' Critters Soothing Starlight Polar Bear™ - (birth+)

This adorable little polar bear is as soothing as he is cute! With a voice sensor that detects and responds to your baby’s cries with calming music, this self-soothing tool is the perfect gift for new parents! The Lil' Critters Soothing Starlight Polar Bear™ plays more than 100 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases and even features a volume sensor and timer to give parents control over how loud and how long the sounds play for their baby!

VTech® 3-in-1 Tummy Time Roll-a-Pillar™ - (ages birth+)

Tummy time! Your baby can strengthen their neck, shoulder, and back muscles on this rolled-up caterpillar while playing in the Peek-a-Boo mirror or unroll the mat for soft and crinkly sensory play. I love the four sound modes for soothing language skill development (nature sounds is my favorite)! Best of all, the playmat is hand washable with removable pieces for your baby to take along and play.

VTech® Touch & Explore Activity Table™ - (ages 6 - 36 months)

Get ready for some fun with this colorful activity table that’s full of learning! With six different learning zones, four sing-along songs, 20 melodies, and over 90 sounds and phrases, this tabletop is perfect for hours of imaginative play! I love that it can start as floor play and then you can easily add the legs for tabletop fun as your baby begins to pull him or herself up to stand. Mom and Dad will like that it teaches colors, shapes, and object recognition with questions like, “can you find the lion’s orange mane?”. Your baby will love all the interactive, sensory, and role-playing activities but I bet the detachable play phone will be your baby’s favorite!

VTech® Stroll & Discover Activity Walker™ - (ages 9 - 36 months)

Watch out! Baby on the move! Go from playing on the floor to taking some first steps with this sit-to-stand activity walker. Your child can make six new animal friends while learning shapes, colors, numbers, and even musical notes. He or she can also build fine motor skills pressing buttons and turning gears! My favorite feature is the adorable little piano keys that sing their notes when pressed! I also love the adjustable speed control on the wheels, which helps to protect beginner walkers while they build confidence taking those first steps. The magic sensor triggers as the walker moves and colorful flashing lights and over 20 melodies help encourage your child to walk!

VTech® Count & Win Sports Center™ - (ages 12 – 36 months)

Score one for the parents’ team because the Count & Win Sports Center™ teaches shapes, colors, and numbers as it helps to build gross motor skills! Your child can kick a goal into the soccer net or make a basket in the basketball hoop with the two included balls. The animated scoreboard keeps count as it teaches numbers and counting, and three colorful buttons provide music and fun sounds. The hoop adjusts as your child grows and both balls store right on the base of the toy. This toy is a holiday gift WIN for everyone!

VTech® Bounce & Discover Llama™ - (ages 12 – 36 months)

Swivel, bounce, and turn on the VTech® Bounce & Discover Llama™! Your child can sit on the llama’s back and hold on to the handle (which also doubles as a learning panel) and build balance as he or she bounces and turns around on the sturdy and stable base. Two sing-along songs and 10 melodies provide a musical soundtrack for this cute little llama’s up-and-down bouncing and side-to-side turning ride! Press the three learning buttons on the handle to learn shapes, colors, and numbers while you pet the llama’s soft fabric ears and watch the beads shake in the dome. This is such a great way to develop strength and balance!

VTech® 4-in-1 Learning Letters Train™ - (ages 12 – 36 months)

All aboard for a learning journey! There are four different ways to use this one toy: for floor play, as a ride-on, as a walker, and then as a pull-cart! The activities teach letters, numbers, colors, opposites, pretend play, animals, and daily life skills through hands-on play. Insert the double-sided alphabet blocks into the Recognition Port to learn about letters and answer the quest to find objects. The blocks can also be used on the floor (or the pull cart) for building and motor skill development or drop them down the chute to be counted. I love the flip-page book attached to the train and that it plays songs and melodies! There are so many ways to play with this smart, engaging toy that we’re definitely on the right track for holiday smiles thanks to all the learning and fun!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Children Ages 1.5 Years and Up:

VTech® Sort & Recycle Ride-On Truck™ - (ages 1.5 – 3 years old)

If your toddler sits at the door waiting to see the garbage and recycling trucks every week, this is a must have toy for the holidays! This toy is both fun and smart! Made from 90% reclaimed plastic, the Sort & Recycle Ride-On Truck™ teaches about recycling and the environment through learning modes and actual sorting!

VTech® Get Ready for School Learning Desk™ - (ages 2 -5 years old)

As a homeschool mom of a preschooler, I cannot decide which feature of the VTech® Get Ready for School Learning Desk™ is my favorite! With over 100 vocabulary words, 24 learning activities, and 30 songs and melodies, this engaging desk can keep your preschooler busy for hours. There are countless features such as the pretend clock that tells time, a music player with 33 melodies, a roller and slider to track the days of the week and the weather, and even a cute little photo frame to display a favorite picture! The unique interactive projector includes four color-coded reels and two activity pages to play. Your child can play the piano with the Music Jammer sheet or identify body parts with the Dress Your Body sheet. The other feature I really love is the writing pad and stylus that helps your child correctly draw letters and numbers by following the prompts. The desk even comes with its own chair and the desk top flips up to reveal a chalkboard and easel. If you have a preschooler on your holiday list, this is a must have gift that parents, and kids will both love.

VTech® Switch & Go® Velociraptor Jet - (ages 4+ years old)

Part dino, part jet, and all fun! Transform the ferocious Velociraptor into a disc-launching jet complete with an animated pilot in the cockpit. The VTech® Switch & Go® Velociraptor Jet has over 50 sounds and phrases, animated dino eyes, fire-breathing light effects, and a red spotlight as the jet comes in for a landing. This is a great gift for imaginative play, and you can start building the whole set of Switch & Go® dinos to pit against each other for hours of prehistoric fun!

VTech® Marble Rush™ Ultimate Set™ - (ages 4+ years old)

Fine motor skills, imagination, family time, and challenging creativity; what more could you ask for in a holiday gift? I love watching the concertation on my kids’ faces as they plan and execute their Marble Rush™ runs. Three different levels of play keep your child challenged as he or she builds and rebuilds ramps, stunts, and extreme launches! There are so many amazing accessories to add like the Ferris wheel, the swirling cone with a musical light show, and the cannon-style ball launcher, and they are all included in this 145-piece set. You can even combine this set with other Marble Rush™ sets (sold separately) to create a big, extreme playset! The pieces are color coded for easy building and the set comes with a step-by-step building guide. This is a toy that the whole family can enjoy by creating a family-challenge or building together!

VTech® Ivy the Bloom Bright Unicorn™ - (ages 4+ years old)

I was mesmerized by the pretty lights and sounds of this soft, adorable unicorn! Ivy comes with a color changing magic wand that allows your child to customize the color of her hair, horn, flower, eyes, and wings. This whimsical creature even flaps her wings while she sings and dances if you play music for her, and when you blow her a kiss, her flower lights up and blooms. She comes with clip on accessories to style her tail too! My favorite feature is when she tucks her legs and gets ready for cuddles! I think this sweet unicorn will be your child’s new best friend!

VTech® KidiZoom® PrintCam™ - (ages 4+ years old)

This is the number one gift on my list for my second grader! I can’t wait to see how excited she is this holiday when she opens her very own camera that instantly prints out the pictures she takes! Not only does it print photos in black and white (so she can color them too!) but it also prints comic strips, greeting cards, panoramic prints, and over 40 photo effects, stamps, and borders! My absolute favorite print has to be the one that allows her to print pretend money with her face in the middle! The VTech® KidiZoom® PrintCam™ also plays three games, shoots video, and has a microSD slot to expand its memory. She will love the endless creations and creative control and I will love seeing her imagination at work. I can even set daily time limits and limit printing or games if I choose. Don’t forget to grab a paper refill pack that includes three regular paper rolls (up to 240 prints) plus two rolls of sticker paper (40 prints) because your child is going to love this camera!

VTech® KidiGo™ Basketball Hoop™ - (ages 5+ years old)

Take indoor hoops to the next level with the VTech® KidiGo™ Basketball Hoop™! I am so impressed with the features of this easy to install hoop that includes padded door hooks (or you can mount it with backboard holes) and flips up for easy storage. The colorful scoreboard lights up all around the edge and cheers you on through five different game modes. Your little hoopster can play solo or with up to four friends. It even includes a ball! The announcer voice really draws you in and makes you feel like you are part of a live game. I love the Hot Potato mode that has your child make a basket and pass the ball before the music starts; what a great way to teach teamwork and sharing!

Tara is a mom and the author of the blog Living In Happy Place. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and spent many years in the medical and corporate worlds before deciding to share her love of motherhood with other moms through her blog.

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