July 12, 2016 Newsletter

 


The Learning Tree toy stores 913-385-1234

Want to avoid summer melt-downs?Sign up your kids for Learning Tree activity classes to keep the everyone happy, busy, and cool!”

Play it Cool!

We’ve been keeping our cool here at the Learning Tree – even with this steamy July weather!

Our Create-It-Make-It-Take-It classes in the Rainbow Room downstairs at the Corinth Square store have been selling out. We’ve had waiting lists for the most popular classes. Last week we had a room full of paleontologists at the Dino Dig getting messy!

The Science Lab was filled with junior scientists discovering and exploring solutions and polymers during hands-on experiments.

Dinosaurs and get-your-hands messy science experiments seem almost mythical and magical to kids. While they are learning, they are also stretching their imaginations and thinking creatively. Keep those turned-on minds going with one of our dinosaur excavation or science kits. Most of the larger kits have several activities that can be repeated for hours of fun. Come on and dig in!

 

Epiq Dinosaur assortment

Epic Dinosaurs
The T-Rex, Long Neck, Velociraptor and Triceratops are poised and ready to roam your home! Young dinosaur collectors will spend hours of imaginary play with them. Crafted with lifelike details, each one is semi-soft vinyl, measuring about 20 inches long, with amazing coloration.

Four styles available, each sold separately. From Toysmith Group, for ages 3-10 yrs.

 

Lava Rock Volcano

Lava Rock Volcano It’s almost a rite of passage–building a home volcano with vinegar, baking soda and uncontainable anticipation! Kids cover the domed base with plaster gauze, then use 4 acrylic paints to decorate it. A tube, tunnel, and squeeze bottle let kids control the size and timing of eruptions. There’s even fake gravel and red lava coloring. From The ORB Factory, for ages 6-10 yrs.
 

dig it up tyrannosaurus rex

Dig It Up 3D Skeleton: Tyrannosaurus Rex
Future archaeologists will use the authentic tools to carefully extract a skeleton from plaster.

 

Wash the hard plastic bones, then snap together to form a mighty 14″ T-Rex. From Mindware Wholesale, ages 8-12 yrs.
 

My First Science Kit

My First Super Science Kit

Explore, experiment and discover! A giant magnifier makes the tiniest things HUGE. The Energy Stick shows you the secrets of electricity. There’s a disappearing crystal ball and so much more! Includes more than 70 cool experiments to engage curiosity and stimulate your brain. By BeAmazing Toys for ages 4-8 yrs.

July Activity & Events Calendar

We’re right in the middle of summer fun! The Learning Tree July calendar is filled with sign-up craft classes and neighborhood summer concerts!

Enjoy cooler summer mornings with Tidal Wave Tuesdays, and Gardening Storytime at Park Place. Get your craft on with Create It, Make It, Take It classes and Friday Crafternoons at Corinth Square Learning Tree!

Check out our website or our FaceBook page for an up-to-date listing of events and activities. We’ve made it easy to sign up online! Questions? Give us a call 913 385-1234.

For a full July Calendar click here.

What’s On This Week!

Wed. July 13, 10am: Gardening Storytime – Park Place Learning Tree and Rosehill Gardens are teaming up for a special outdoor activity. Click here for sign-up and more info!

Wed. July 13, 10am: Create It-Make It-Take-It Class (CMT)/Dino Hatch – Corinth Square $10. Click here for sign-up and more info about craft classes!

Fri. July 15, 2pm – 3:30pm: Crafternoon! Drop-In crafts in the Rainbow Room at Corinth Square. $10/Project

Mon. July 18, 10am & 1pm: CMT/Make a Plate – Corinth Square $10. Click here for sign-up and more info about craft classes!

Tues. July 19, 10am-12pm: Tidal Wave Tuesday at Park Place! The water table will be out front filled with a little H2O and some water toys for splashing. Bring a snack or early lunch and sit at our toddler sized picnic tables. A great activity for the cooler morning hours! FREE

Tues. July 19, 1pm: CMT/Science Lab – Corinth Square $10. Click here for sign-up and more info about craft classes!

Check out our website or our FaceBook page for an up-to-date listing of events and activities. We’ve made it easy to sign up online! Questions? Give us a call 913 385-1234.

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Questions? Call our stores or email us anytime at info@the-learning-tree.com and we’ll be happy to help you.

Check our Facebook page often for all our event news and details.

July 5, 2016 Newsletter

 


The Learning Tree toy stores 913-385-1234

Don’t forget the rubber duckies!

…And we’re looking for Toy Experts like you!

Rubber Ducks
Water play in the summertime provides hours of fun. Whether it’s in the pool, in a plastic tub in the back yard, with the hose, or sprinkler, there is lots of learning going on with all the fun.You’ll find wonderful items for water play around the house. Plastic or rubber animals make splash time an adventure. Old kitchen spoons, plastic bowls and measuring cups are great for pouring and mixing. Squeezing and filling plastic turkey basters provides excellent fine motor practice. Sponges and paintbrushes create beautiful quick dry designs on cement. Be sure to remember the sunscreen and a hat for protection.

Come Work With Us

We’re growing our team of Toy Experts! We’re looking for year-round full and part time fun-loving adults to join our staff. Must be able available to work some evenings and weekends. Click here for all the details and an application.

The Learning Tree has wonderful water toy ideas for babies, toddlers and teens!

Early Years Baby Beach Shade Pool
Early Years Baby Beach Shade Pool Dig a shallow spot in the sand, pop open the pool, attach the UV50 shade, add water, and splash!.

Click image for more info…

GeoSafari Jr Underwater Explorer BoatGeo Safari Jr. Underwater Explorer Boat

This “glass-bottom” boat encourages kids to see what’s under the water’s surface – magnified!

Perfect for discovery and exploration. Shh…they’re learning.

Water Limbo Sprinkler

This tikki-themed water toy attaches to your hose for a musical limbo game.Cool!
water limbo sprinkler

Wet game
Wet Head Game from Hog Wild ToysWater roulette, and who will get wet?

Strap on the one-size-fits-all helmet, spin the spinner, and watch the odds grow that someone will be getting soaked.

July Events

Announcing Tidal Wave Tuesdays in July at Park Place!

Check out our NEW calendar of events and activities for July!!!!

Come splish and splash in our water table every Tuesday in July from 10:30am – 12 Noon at Park Place Learning Tree. The water table will be out front on the sidewalk filled with splash toys and right next to our toddler sized picnic tables. Why not bring along a snack or early lunch? Add this to your list of great cooler morning activities!

We’re right in the middle of summer fun! The Learning Tree July calendar is filled with sign-up craft classes and neighborhood summer concerts!

Enjoy cooler summer mornings with a Gardening Storytime at Park Place. Get your craft on with Create It, Make It, Take It classes and Friday Crafternoons at Corinth Square Learning Tree!

Check out our website or our FaceBook page for an up-to-date listing of events and activities. We’ve made it easy to sign up online! Questions? Give us a call 913 385-1234.

This Week!

Thurs. – Sat. July 7 – 9: Get ready for our Sidewalk Sale at Corinth Square! Lots of summer savings!

Wed. July 6, 10am: Gardening Storytime – Park Place Learning Tree and Rosehill Gardens are teaming up for a special outdoor activity. Click here for sign-up and more info!

Thurs. July 7, 1pm: Create It, Make It, Take It (CMT)/Science Lab – Corinth Square $10. Click here for sign-up and more info about craft classes!

Fri. July 8, 10am: CMT/Dino Hatch – Corinth Square $10. Click here for sign-up and more info about craft classes!

Fri. July 8, 2pm – 3:30pm: Crafternoon! Drop-In crafts in the Rainbow Room at Corinth Square. $10/Project

Check out our website or our FaceBook page for an up-to-date listing of events and activities. We’ve made it easy to sign up online! Questions? Give us a call 913 385-1234.
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Questions? Call our stores or email us anytime at info@the-learning-tree.com and we’ll be happy to help you.

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Friday Crafternoons

Friday Crafternoons at The Learning Tree all summer long.Friday Crafternoons!
$10/Project Ages 4+

Starting Fri. June 17th 2pm – 3:30pm
Drop-In crafts in the Rainbow Room at Corinth Learning Tree Corinth.

Enjoy crafting these Fridays this summer: June 17 and 24, July 8 and 15.

We’ll open the downstairs Rainbow Room at our Corinth location for walk-in crafting. Come when you want during the session, pick your project and decide how long you stay! Great for families with different ages and stages. No sign-up necessary. Adult supervision suggested. Please call and let us know if you have a group larger than three kiddos so we can plan ahead!

Sister Team Wins the Best Booth Contest at The Kids Flea Market

Sister Team Wins Best Booth Award at Flea MarketSister Team Wins the Best Booth Contest!

The rain stayed away and it was a beautiful morning for the 8th Annual Kid’s Flea Market.
Thank you to our amazing community for coming out for this event! The parking lot and sidewalks in front of Corinth Learning Tree were buzzing with young salespeople eager to sell their outgrown toys and books.
Great Harvest Bread Co. was flipping complimentary pancakes under their tent. Families were creative this year. Booths were decorated with handmade signs and there were delicious homemade treats. One multi-generational family set up a very professional lemonade stand complete with signs and aprons as part of their double booth.
Registered families participated in the first ever, Best Booth Contest this year. Annabelle and Adeline, a sister team, were chosen as the winners of a $25 Learning Tree gift Certificate and an “insiders tour” of the store for their booth design.

[Read more…]

Franklin Park Fourth Friday Summer Concert Series: A Story of Generosity and Community

Franklin Park Concerts in Prairie Village KSIf you live in the Corinth Learning Tree neighborhood like our family, you may have enjoyed the Fourth Friday Summer Concert Series in Franklin Park through the years. I’ve always thought this free event would be a great place for The Learning Tree to add some fun, so I called Parks and Rec and asked about getting involved. “Not us,” said Parks and Rec., “the concerts are sponsored by a neighborhood church.”

A little puzzled, I sent off an email, made a visit to the church, and discovered a story of generosity and community in our backyard. I had an opportunity to meet a lovely, warm and charming woman who shared with me the spark that started this community-wide event 11 years ago. Before she told me about her work at Hillcrest Covenant Church, with a beaming smile, Dori Brown proudly told me she is a grandma of six (all under the age of five!) and a regular shopper at The Learning Tree. She knew all about us!

I asked about her position and the church. “I am Pastor of Invitational Living”, she said. “This name reflects our desire to extend an invitation to a place and people of welcome, relationships, and growth; a community of worship and giving thanks; and a community to serve together.”

The church has been at the corner of 87th and Nall Ave. for 55 years and they appreciate being part of the neighborhood. Dori explained that many years ago the congregation explored how they could serve the community. In their reading they found a provocative question. “Would your community miss you if you weren’t here?” They discussed that question. What could they do for the community that would fit the neighborhood and be enjoyed by all?

The concept of simple, free, and family friendly concerts was born! Now in its 11th year at Franklin Park, the concert series has evolved and become not only an annual church project where church volunteers set up, serve and clean up, but an event that has pulled in the help of others wanting to be involved. Boy Scout troops have helped through the years, local and neighborhood bands have been featured, and Kevo the Klown does face painting and creates animal balloons for kids. Hy-Vee grocery store at 76th and State Line Road gives the church discounts on food so they can offer concert-goers a free hotdog dinner.

“The City of Prairie Village has been a dream to work with and the neighborhood now looks forward to these concerts on the fourth Fridays in May, June, July, and August,” Dori told me. “It is a pleasure to be a part of the community in such a simple and enjoyable way. All you need to bring is lawn chairs! We hope you’ll come out and enjoy an evening on us.”

Hillcrest Covenant Church gives the neighborhood this generous gift each summer. This year, we’re happy to say, The Learning Tree will be there also, grateful for the opportunity to add even more fun to this community event!

Hillcrest invites you to be a part of the Fourth Friday team. For more information, go to their website:

www.hillcrestcov.org/fourth-friday- concerts/.

See you in the park soon!

An interview with Jenny, our new Music and Movement teacher

Meet Jenny Azima Kuykendall- Music and Movement Teacher

Jenny Azima Kuykendall's Music and Movement classJenny introduced herself to us at the Tree as a children’s music and movement teacher, looking for a new home for her class. Just before Thanksgiving I got a chance to sit in on a session and watch her in action. I was drawn to her relaxed, inclusive approach with kids, and it was easy to clap and hum along. Her style was a perfect match for The Learning Tree.

When she said “YES” to a set of 4 Thursday morning classes for our little customers at Corinth starting February 4th at 10:30am, I wanted to get to know her a bit better and share her answers with you.

Jane Girson:  What led you to working with kids?

Jenny:  I grew up in K.C. and went to college in Boston. I’ve played many instruments. I sang in jazz and acappella groups and have performed in bands throughout my life. I’ve taught children’s theater in Memphis and Miami. I was trained to teach Music Together, a program developed by Princeton University.

Jane:  What are your thoughts on the importance of music for children?

Jenny:  I love to listen to music, make music, dance to music, and love to share my passion for music with children. Children are innately born musical and just need to have the right stimulus to continue their musicality. Having music in your life is wonderful! My class is a great way to bond with your child, as well as letting your inner child come out and play.

Jane:  You are clearly passionate about music – what else makes you smile?

Jenny:  My husband, Sam, and I have two children, Finn (8) and Iselle (3). We also have quite a menagerie at home: 5 chickens, 2 guinea pigs, a Bernese Mountain dog, one frog, two fish, and a hermit crab. I love to be with my family, drink coffee, ride bikes, make art projects, go on adventures, and read.

Jenny’s first class is February 4th at The Learning Tree in Corinth Square. We hope to see you there for a fun and lively morning of music, dancing, clapping and fun. Each 30 minute class is $5. For more info call 913-385-1234.

Dino O’Dell is coming to The Learning Tree Stores in September!

Early Learning through Books, Dino O’Dell Knows!

Dino O'Dell performs free at The Learning Tree stores.

Dino O’Dell is a favorite Kansas City children’s performer with a background in education and drama. Chances are you might have seen him perform at your local library or maybe he has even visited your child’s school. I was impressed by a simple quote he uses to describe what his goals are as he creates music, sing-a-longs and stories.

“We learn best when we are engaged and we are engaged best when the medium is interactive.” – Dino O’Dell

Dino O’Dell is including both of The Learning Tree stores in his stops around town to share his  newest children’s book project titled Zar and the Broken Spaceship.

 

Monday Sept. 21, 10:30am Corinth Square Storytime and Sing-a-long with Dino O’Dell,

Tuesday Sept. 29, 10:30am Park Place Special Storytime and Sing-a-long with Dino O’Dell.

Dino knows the rhythms of his catchy, repeating story, with the modern Hokey Pokey actions, will pull kids right in.  What seems like a simple children’s book, provides learning about language patterns, and opportunity for predicting and coordinating body movements from written commands.  All kinds of learning is happening!

New research unveiling the benefits of early exposure to books is constantly being published in the fields of education, psychology, sociology and pediatrics. In 2014,

Frontiers, an open-access, academic network publisher, introduced the following topic:

An Open Book: What and How Young Children Learn From Picture and Storybooks.

A worldwide invitation was issued for submission of articles that uncover how and what, pre-reading children learn from books. Twenty-two articles were collected and published with the intent of providing a body of information for educators, researchers and parents interested in children’s learning. The articles cover a wide range of sub-topics including the value of book illustrations, children’s books as a resource for culturally appropriate emotions, and teaching math with children’s literature.

Books can be part of all kinds of learning and influence behavior in surprising ways. One article titled Let’s look at leeks! Picture books increase toddlers’ willingness to look at, taste and consume unfamiliar vegetables (Heath, Houston-Price and Kennedy, 2014) made a surprising connection between book exposure and eating habits. Shared storybook reading is part of bedtime routine for many families.  A study conducted by Williams and Horst (2014) indicates it may have more value than previously recognized.

Research indicated that reading immediately before a period of sleep facilitates preschool children’s word learning. And more good news, the same is true in studies conducted with older children and adults! Sharing books is an enjoyable adult-child activity. Books are wonderful tools for learning and teaching. They can celebrate milestones- losing a first tooth, starting kindergarten or the arrival of a new sibling. Books can support difficult conversations surrounding divorce, illness or loss.

Our knowledgeable Learning Tree staff and exceptional Book Manager, Beth Roberts, are always happy to make book recommendations and welcome your requests. You may reach us at 913-385-1234.

Sunday September 13th is Grandparents Day

In honor of Grandparents Day this Sunday, Sept. 13th…

Come see us this Sunday, show us a photo of your grandkids and we’ll give you a 10% discount on your entire purchase. Or, better yet, bring your grandchildren in to see us!

AND we found a great resource for you from Grandparents.com.

Make Some Memories: 100 Free Things to Do with Your Grandchildren

Grandparents, through the years we have developed a special relationship with many of you at The Learning Tree. It’s our goal to help you enjoy the process of expressing your love and caring through gift giving. But, you don’t just shop with us, you keep us up to date on who has lost a tooth, who you’re going to visit, and who’s been making mischief. We know lots of your grandkids, and feel like we even know the grandchildren we haven’t met!

What we’ve found is that often grandparents are looking for a toy or activity they can share with their grandchildren to enhance the time they spend with each other.  Remembering my grandmother, I think about the cake tin filled with fabric scraps, buttons and thread she gave me. I sat for hours with her and my great-grandmother. They showed me how to thread a needle, how to make stitches and how to sew on buttons. Memories are made of the things that we do with the people we love.

When Grandparents.com tested a sweepstakes to win $5,000 for a grandchild’s education as an incentive to sign up for their free weekly email, a download on their website titled “100 Free Things to Do with Your Grandchildren” outperformed the sweepstakes.  Grandparents want the opportunity for time to play, to discover, to teach, to create, and to nurture their grandchildren.

We looked over that list of 100 and found some great ideas for projects and games. Take a look yourself and maybe have some fun with #9, tips on how to make a soda bottle bowling alley, or #77, how to make a time capsule with your granddaughter, or use the recipe for #57 to make a batch of colored clay for the whole gang.

Make some memories!

Click here for the printable list http://www.cfpic.org/kcan/files/1108/Grandparents_100FREEThings.pdf

*Grandparents.com is a website sponsored by the American Grandparents Association. The AGA “connects and nurtures Families, taking care of the needs unique to America’s 70 million grandparents.”