Category Archives: Preschool

Tumble Leaf, an Amazon Studios Original Series, Entertains & Educates Preschool-Age Children & Older!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Amazon Studios. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and promotional item to thank me for participating.

Amazon Studios has a brand new show for preschool-age children called Tumble Leaf.  I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for years and buy more than 50% of our home goods on through my membership and didn’t realize Amazon Studios existed.  I’m really excited about it!

Here is a snapshot of the show.  Aren’t the characters adorable?

Tumble Leaf Amazon Original Preschool Series

My husband and daughter and I watched Tumble Leaf during breakfast the day after we received the screener DVD and even though Tumble Leaf is geared toward preschool age children, my 8-year-old daughter was fascinated by the colorful, vibrant show.  Within 3 minutes, she was engrossed in the  amazingly smooth stop-motion animation  and after the first episode I realized that she found the suspense of what special object Fig the Fox was going to find in his ‘finding spot’ next, too much to pass up.  I had to go to my office and work while she and my husband continued watching the series downstairs.   Poor me.  Apparently my daughter and husband found the rest of the episodes very funny because they were laughing out loud.

Tumble Leaf Amazon Series

About Tumble Leaf:

Each episode of Tumble Leaf follows a day in the life of “Fig the fox” who lives in a wrecked schooner ship by the sea and his best friend “Stick,” a caterpillar who lives in a tiny basket strapped to Fig’s forearm, as they discover adventure, friendship and love around every bend.  At the start of each day, Fig and Stick are eager to play and discover new things about his world, with his eyes, ears, mind and heart open to inspiration. By playing with an  object that he finds in his “finding place” in each episode, he learns about science, critical thinking and the world around him.

Watch the Tumble Leaf trailer


Tumble Leaf encourages critical thinking.  The star of Tumble Leaf, Fig the Fox, has a friend who happens to be a curious crab who places a simple object in Fig the Fox’s finding place every day.  Fig the Fox then brings the object on adventures with his friends and observes how the object works and how it can help solve problems.

Tumble Leaf, like all of Amazon’s children’s programs, is designed to inspire creative thinking through play. To ensure series are created to engage children while supporting educational goals, Tumble Leaf and all other Amazon kids preschool programs are developed with the support of an expert board of advisors led by Dr. Alice Wilder, one of the world’s foremost experts in educational and child psychology. Dr. Wilder is most well-known for her work as the producer and director of research and development for Blue’s Clues and Blue’s Room.

Watch the First Episode of Tumble Leaf FREE!

Watch the first episode of Tumble Leaf free HERE!  The first six episodes are now available for unlimited streaming on Prime Instant Video and an additional seven episodes will become available later this summer.   Prime members can watch Tumble Leaf on their iPad, iPhone, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, and other connected devices.   If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can watch the rest of the Tumble Leaf series.  If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, click here to get a 30-day free trial membership and get access to free two-day shipping on thousands of products, free shows and movies on Prime Instant Video, one free Kindle download every month, and more.

Tumble Leaf Android App ScreenshotGet the Free Android Tumble Leaf App!

Your child can play with the show’s characters in the free Tumble Leaf Android app featuring six games inspired by objects and activities from the show. Get the Tumble Leaf App now and start having fun!

More Amazon Studios Children’s Series Coming

Keep an eye on Amazon Studios for other children’s series coming this summer when Prime Instant Video will debut two more children’s series: Creative Galaxy on June 27, an interactive art adventure for preschoolers created by Angela C. Santomero (Super Why!, Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood), and Annedroids on July 25, a live-action adventure series for children ages four through seven about a brilliant scientist who just happens to be an 11-year-old girl created by JJ Johnson (Dino Dan) that stars AddisonHolley (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and Adrianna Di Liello (Stage Fright).



The Importance of Reading to your Child at Bedtime and Bedtime Reading Tips

The benefits of reading to your child are well-researched and new benefits are being found as studies continue.  Reading to your child can be one of the most important things you do for your child to help with their development.  I have two children, 12 years old and 5 years old, and every night either my husband or I read to our 5-year-old at bedtime and when my husband is home, he still reads to our 12-year-old.  My 12-year-old loves it when my husband lays down and reads to him because he knows that is his uninterrupted time with his dad and I can tell that after a stressful day, they both appreciate and enjoy that quiet time together.

Here are a few reasons why bedtime reading is important for children:

  • Reading to your preschooler increases their reading ability and language skills later on. These are two skills that your child will need throughout their school years and beyond.
  • Reading to your child encourages a love of reading and learning new things because they will see it as fun and not just a requirement when they start school.

Sebastian helping Madelyn read a book

  • Allowing your preschooler to help turn the pages improves their motor skills.  My daughter has always loved turning the pages.  When she was younger, around 2, she went through a time when she would NOT let me turn the pages.. I guess turning the pages made her feel very special.
  • Reading the same books multiple times improves a child’s memory skills. Your child will remember what happened the last time you read the book to them. This will help them with memorization on tests and quizzes in school.
  • Reading stimulates a child’s imagination and curiosity. Your child will be interested in learning new things because of the stories they read. As your child encounters new situations and new environments in the stories, they will learn about things they may never experience on their own.
  • Reading improves a child’s attention span. Children are drawn into a story and want to know how it ends, which makes it easier for them to sit still longer and continuing reading. This will be beneficial when your child has to focus on a subject in school or study for a test.
  • Reading helps preschoolers bond with their parents. It becomes a special time that you spend together; It will create memories that will last.  This has proven to be true even with my 12-year-old son.  He still enjoys bedtime reading with my husband.

Tips for bedtime reading:

  • Have a set bedtime ritual and stick to it!  We have dinner, then bath time, brush teeth, then snuggle up in bed and read 3 or 4 stories.
  • Read to your child even when you are stressed or have other things you feel like you should be doing during that time.  I often find myself thinking that I could be emptying the dishwasher, answering emails, starting laundry, vacuuming the living room, or taking a shower, instead of reading to my daughter but for me it is a fact that reading to my 5-year-old calms me down just as much as it does her.  I benefit from the quiet, relaxing time just as much as she does and I get more done after she’s asleep since I’ve had a few minutes to relax and read.
  • Have an older sibling to read to their younger sibling every once in a while.  My 12-year-old son will occasionally read to my 5-year-old which is a miracle considering they usually don’t speak to each other as if they are related.  Once my 12-year-old gets into the book he’s reading to her, this time becomes fun, and reminds them (and me) that they can get along and learn from each other.
Reading to your child at bedtime will foster many positive behaviors for now and in the future. You will not have to struggle as much to get your child to study because they will love learning. Begin a bedtime reading ritual when your child is a baby and you will see the benefits when they are older!
What reading tips do you have to share with other parents?  Please share in the comments below.
Alicia Hagan, Editor

What do you pack for your child’s school lunch? I need ideas!

Looks healthy, but really?

Today I decided that grapes, crackers, carrots, and ranch dip might not be a delightful lunch for Madelyn to take to school every day.  It’s a little boring I think.
So I Googled “preschool lunch ideas” in hopes of finding a sandwich that doesn’t require jelly or meat as Madelyn’s not too fond of either.. on bread at least.

I can’t believe some of the things that the resulting parenting websites/magazines are telling parents to prepare and pack in their kid’s lunchbox!

  • Cauliflower soup (eeeewww!)
  • veggie mac & cheese
  • sandwiches shaped into funny faces

Yes, I’ve heard of all of those things before and they are cute and healthy but pllllease!!!, is a busy mom really going to make cauliflower soup (yes or no?) even if just once  week then refrigerated, to put in her preschoolers lunch box?  I’m not.  Despite the fact that I work from home, I’m barely home (and not working) for more than 2 hours a day.  I don’t want to spend my time with my kids making cauliflower soup or cutting sandwiches into funny faces.  Albeit, these are GREAT ideas and I do feel bad saying that I won’t do it, but these sites have done  nothing for me except make me feel less adequet as a mother and like I’m lazy and unwilling to do what I can to send my child to school with a healthy lunch.

So.. I guess we’re back to last year’s school lunch:

Hummus, crackers, and carrots, apple slices and/or grapes, and a cheese string.  Madelyn never complained and most days she ate everything.

Do you have any jelly-free sandwich ideas? Madelyn might tolerate a sandwich with meat on it but she’s not fond of ham and cheese sandwiches.

What does your preschooler take to school for lunch?

Citizenpip Soup to Nuts kit + a giveaway!

CitizenpipMadelyn started preschool this year and I was a bit of a wreck on the first Wednesday she attended because that is the day the kids stay an hour later so they can eat lunch at school. A few thoughts that raced in my mind where: what would she think about eating with other kids, they are like aliens to her, what would I pack for her to eat, and what on earth would I pack her lunch in? My first thought was to put some carrots and crackers in a couple of small ziplocks and put them inside a big ziplock and send her on her way. It’s been a long time since I sent a child to preschool.. about 8 years.

I was thrilled for Madelyn when I got the Citizenpip Soup to Nuts kit! I can’t imagine having a more perfect lunch kit for her to take to school. She is able to open the bag and the containers herself so she doesn’t have to ask the teachers for help.

Citizenpip Soup to Nuts kit


* • 1 insulated lunch bag with nametag and carabiner that easily attaches to a backpack
* • 1 stainless steel water bottle
* • 1 stainless steel insulated food jar – too big to take to school but perfect for when we’re in the car traveling.
* • 4 BPA-free airtight food containers – Madelyn is able to open and close the containers.. important to her teachers don’t want to kick her out of school!
* • 1 stainless steel fork + spoon set
* • 5 100% cotton napkins – Madelyn LOVES the napkins. She uses them at school and home.

The Soup to Nuts Kit gives you lots of options for packing lunch. With four BPA-free airtight food containers, including one that perfectly fits a sandwich, and an insulated double-wall stainless steel food jar that keeps food hot or cold, it gives you maximum flexibility! PB&J one day and mac n’ cheese the next day? No problem! You can pack pretty much anything your kids want to eat for lunch. Added perks, no squished sandwiches, 1 napkin for each day of the week, and a water bottle that does double-duty as an ice pack. Included is a stainless steel fork and spoon set for spaghetti twirling and soup slurping.

Citizenpip is muck-free: no lead, BPA, PVC, or phthalates.

Where can I buy it? Citizinpip
How much is it? $55
Enter to win a $42 Citizinpip Square Meal Kit (choice of 3 styles) –
3 ways to enter to win!
1. Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite Square Meal Kit style is.
2. Tell me a funny lunchtime story staring your child.
3. Tweet about this giveaway. Be sure to include your Twitter user name in your comment so we can check! Easy huh?
Giveaway entries accepted until 11:59pm October 16th.
Coupon code: mommyinsider10 to get 10% off your purchase of $40 or more!

Citizinpip Soup to Nuts kit

Too Cute Bento Lunch Boxes


This fall my daughter begins preschool and I’m in search of a bento box for her lunches. I’m half Japanese and I’ve grown up with bento boxes my entire life. I’m looking forward to preparing meals that will make her smile and hopefully consume. Luckily it will only be twice a week! There are a plethora of bento blogs devoted to bento box preparation and many options to buy bento lunch boxes online. I’m looking for a bento that is colorful, cute and can be easily opened with a toddler’s small hands. The larger orange and pink Vivo is adorable, but with the metal handle is better suited towards older kids.

In addition to the actual bento lunch boxes there are recipe books and a dizzying array of accessories for the preparation of bento. I’ve been already using some of them to make mealtimes more fun for my finicky eater. Luckily she loves rice, organic nori and edamame which I’ll be adding to the bento and are quick and easy to prepare.

Bento products featured above:

Vivo Kids Bento Box, Orange and Pink, $22 at
Yokom Kids Bear Bento Box, $17.99 at
Hawaii’s Bento Box Cookbook: Fun Lunches for Kids, $14.95 at
Niko Niko Punch 3 – Face Bento Decoration, $19.50 at

From our friends at