GIVEAWAY – Hearth Song Exclusive Triplet

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This giveaway is now closed.

I had planned on this giveaway having another post before it, but my delegated time for working in the last few days has been consumed by trying to get the site back up… for this giveaway. So, I’ll get to the assessment of your kids’ knowledge retention in the next couple days. In the mean time, you should be entering as many times as allowed for this:

Hearth Song is an unbelievable company dedicated to the seamless unity of play and education. Many of the toys they offer are open-ended with very little instruction. However, I venture to claim that all of the Hearth Song Exclusives promote a boundless amount of creativity and almost no effort.

That’s a pretty big deal. I have focused a lot of energy on trying to make learning fun… on trying to engage them in the creative process and getting them to activate that imaginative, this-is-what-makes-YOU-exceptional, part of the brain. It‘s incredibly refreshing and a little humbling to open these toys from Hearth Song and have that cognitive process stripped of all difficulty.

AND, one lucky reader will win this Hearth Song Exclusive triplet!

Here’s what’s included (and pictured):

Connectagons: I had my doubts about this product. Judging on the picture alone, I thought they looked like an overwhelming amount of flimsy discs that will likely be lost in a matter of days. 240 pieces of anything in a house with children is ambitious for a company to assume you’ll keep around, eh?

I became a huge advocate of connectagons in a matter of minutes. They’re NOT flimsy; they are made out of wood. The bright assortment of painted discs are thick enough to be sturdy, but Hearth Song made them thin enough to maintain an almost weightless state.

240 discs x 8 useable slots for construction each.< Honestly, I can’t watch my kids play with these. I’m on the floor with them and building away.

About the storage: I winced a little upon opening the outer packaging for the connectagons. I was thinking, “Okay, there are 240 little things inside this small box and I’m never going to be able to make them condense into this size again.” Ha! You open the cardboard outer box only to find a wooden inner box about the size of a cigar box. The top slides out from an inner groove of the sides only to reveal neat, happy little rows of connectagons stacked like poker chips. This alone sold me on the product. Toy-making genius, really.

Domino Race:
I definitely remember lining up dominoes vertically only to watch a fun trail of them falling down. But the dominoes I used were the rounded black dominoes… you know, dominoes. These are dominoes done the Hearth Song way. You can build bridges, stairs and ramps with the accessories in the pack. There is a marker for both the Start & Finish lines for kids to create a limitless array of tracks that only they can create… there’s no diagram on purpose. The awesome people at Hearth Song have donated both the original set of Domino Race and the Add-On Set accessory pack for this giveaway.  Don’t worry, they come with a drawstring storage bag.

Automoblox: Finally, I asked Hearth Song if they’d donate one of the many sets in their Automoblox collection. What I’m giving away is the A9 Compact. All of the Automoblox collections work together. If you buy one, it stands alone as creative building, and it helps young kids to get a better feel for how real things are put together. When you combine a few sets, it allows for a huge range of options that are all compatible and incredibly entertaining.

How to Enter for the (awesome) Hearth Song Triplet Giveaway:

1. Leave a comment in response to the question: When, and with what objects, do you see your kids thinking and having fun at the same time?

2. Subscribe! After you do, email me at simplekidsblog [at] gmail [dot] com with NEW SUBSCRIBER as the subject. If you’re already a subscriber, email me with “Current Subscriber” as the subject!

3.Post this on your blog, or update your twitter status, or join SimpleKids on Facebook and email me with “POSTED” as the subject and the link to where I can find it.

Five entries is the limit with all-of-the-above included.

This giveaway will end on Thursday, 12 February at 11:59 PM. You have plenty of time to spread the word and enter as many times as allowed.

If your friends don’t have kids, tell them to enter for the benefit of your kids.

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Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

Comments

  1. things like pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks and glue are fun creative starters.

  2. wow – what a great giveaway – my family would love those connectagons!!

    my kids are usually thinking AND creating and having fun- we have a huge set up of art supplies and they can create whatever they can imagine. also our supplies of blocks allow for interesting play using other supplies to extend the play (little people sets, plastic small animals, etc). lots of role playing and problem solving

  3. I am a subscriber and i do not see a quote on the feed…

  4. My daughter, at 10, still loves the “Not Trash” box she started five years ago. It’s full of useful odds and ends (which would otherwise be thrown away) that she uses to create houses, small furnishings, and odd contraptions.

    Stephanie Parsley’s last blog post..Moving on

  5. A Southern Mom of 3 says:

    My children love to play Lincoln Logs together. That toy seems to be the tie that binds:)

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  6. My son, Mr. Intensity is thinking and playing…it is written all over his face!

    Julie’s last blog post..Making Tortillas

  7. My daughter is only 18 months, but she loves doing puzzles, and I like to see her brain working as she figures them out.

    Katie’s last blog post..happy new year!

  8. Oh gosh! What a loaded question.

    My oldest daughter (5) can do amazing things with our “junk box” (odds and ends that would otherwise become trash) and a few art supplies. I made her an art box for her birthday, and I don’t think she’s gone a single day without using it. She just takes it from the shelf, plops herself down in a comfy spot, and the next thing you know her imagination is churning out so many things! Blank books and junk mail envelopes are the big favorite right now.

    My son (5) isn’t so much into the art scene, but the more mechanical things can keep him thinking for quite awhile. We bought him a Quadrilla Basic Set marble run for Christmas, and it’s gotten quite the workout. He’s still figuring out all the little bits and pieces. At first he was strictly following the instructions, but now he’s branching out into his own creations. It’s taught him a lot about patience and perserverence, I’ll say that!

    Our littlest daughter’s (2) favorite “toy”? Water. She paints with it, adds things to it (she’s really intrigued by things that float and what she can do to make them sink), stirs it, pours it, tastes it, squirts it… Whatever she can manage, she will. Even if I give her NO tools at all, a simple puddle in the yard can provide endless amounts of learning and fun for her.

    As someone else mentioned, I’m a subscriber but do not see the quote…

    Mist’s last blog post..Those Elusive Snow Faeries!

  9. Wow! These toys look wonderful. I will have to check them out. Thanks for a great giveaway and chance to win.

    My kids love to use their imaginations. Paper towel rolls are a big hit in our house, and are a million different things. Blocks are another. They always have fun building towers, etc. and they have to think about how to build them so they don’t fall over.

  10. My nephews (no kids of my own yet) love Legos, and my niece loves making jewelry and other crafy type stuff.

  11. My 18 month old son fascinates me when I can SEE him learning & thinking while PLAYING. It warms my heart. The objects I see this most often with are the FREE ones…boxes, containers, spoons & pans with water, sand or leaves, etc. He picks them up and crunches/splashes/whatever with them and tries to do it again! I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching him learn and grow and play!

    Kristi’s last blog post..I am here!

  12. My son is 13 months old and he loves it when I put a roaster pan with water in it and give him some measuring cups, bowls and spoons. Thanks.

  13. I love how you can see your baby’s daily improvements in motor skills. It’s AMAZING that one day he can barely control his arms and the next day he can grab a rattle! I feel like every toy he holds I can see his little brain neurons firing, making connections, growing, learning.

  14. I see my boys learning and having fun when they play with their blocks, play play-doh, and read books. Thanks… Maureen

  15. susaninfrance says:

    wow,,,,amazing. my kids do wonders with me when they draw. little legos are good too. enter me in this wonderful contest. thanks for the review of the toys as well. I too have not bought these conectagon things due to the issue of too many small pieces to keep up with!

  16. When, and with what objects, do you see your kids thinking and having fun at the same time?

    I am very blessed to have a 7 yr old boy and a 4 yr old girl who adore each other, including playing together. So, the “when” part of the answer is all the time, LOL. They most enjoy doing things together that get their heart pumping–like running around being silly, chasing bubbles, playing at the park, etc. Otherwise, anything they can touch and use for imaginary play (such as clothing to wear, people & cars, etc.) is a fun, shared activity.

    Suzanne’s last blog post..Focus Challenge – Month 11

  17. P.S. I’m a subscriber and emailed you. :-)

    Suzanne’s last blog post..Focus Challenge – Month 11

  18. My love baking cookies with me, building forts from sheets and blankets, and building with Legos. They love to create and imagine. I’m 100% confident they would LOVE Hearth Song building toys.

    And I’m with you–somehow I know I’d be on the floor building along with them. These look like so much fun.

    Thanks for a great (and generous) giveaway.

  19. I don’t do much with Twitter…however, I did update my status and share the giveaway link again, because it’s so worth it. Can you tell I really want to win?? :-)

    Suzanne’s last blog post..Focus Challenge – Month 11

  20. Wow! this is great. We have ordered from Hearth Song in the past and really like their products. As for the toy my kids have fun with and learn at the same time, I’m going to go with their marionette puppets (since I can hear them in the bedroom doing a show even as I type this out). They love to put on a production but at the same time are increasing their vocab and story telling skills. I’m always amazed at the plots they come up with.

    Clara S.’s last blog post..Two little monkeys

  21. My son is a HUGE fan of puzzles and I love watching him take each piece and look at it, twist it, and fit it in to its perfect place.

    My daughter loves the game Cadoo. The whole family has a blast playing this!

    Thanks for a great giveaway!!!

  22. ohmygosh I love Hearth Song SO MUCH.

    My four year old, honestly, does so much thinking and learning just with a blank piece of paper and markers right now. She is so into art and also into letters and “writing.” It’s amazing the things she comes up with when she sits down to create.

    My 17 month old is ALWAYS thinking. she does her best thinking when she is playing something that involves problem solving. She loves a challenge! Sometimes this means figuring out how to climb up to the table where Big Sister is doing art. Other times it means reaching way under the couch to get a toy that is just out of reach. She’s such a firecracker!

  23. My 11 month-old loves taking Q-tips out of a box and putting them all back in. When I see him thinking the most though, is with stacking cups. It used to be I’d stack them up and he’d knock them down, but now he takes them apart as they’re nested and fits them back together again. He could sit and stare at them for hours!
    These toys look amazing. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    Melissa’s last blog post..Knitting Updates

  24. We have a giant foam road mat that is pieced together, my son loves to take it apart and put it back together like a giant puzzle.

  25. Tinker Toys! My brand new 3 year old LOVES these but you can see the wheels turning as he manipulates them.

    Jenny’s last blog post..Two months young

  26. Legos, blocks, and toilet paper/paper towel rolls provide lots of good thinking, play time.

  27. Pipe cleaners, their food (insert rolled eyes!), empty boxes, there seems to be no end to the creativity.

    My kids would love these… how very fun. If I don’t win, we might have to include one of those in the birthday lists this year.

    reneegrace’s last blog post..And the award for “fastest butt wiper” goes to…

  28. My son LOVES legos. While he loves following the directions of a kit, what he loves more is the ability to make something out of nothing. His imagination always amazes me!

  29. My toddler loves to create with her hands (using paper, crayons, paint, stickers, etc.) while singing or telling a story. She surprises me each day with a new tune or story!

    Christy’s last blog post..Photo Books

  30. I love cooking with my daughter. She has such a great time and she is learning too!

  31. My daughter loves to pretend to cook. She often stands beside me while I’m chopping veggies for dinner, and pretends with her fake veggies to be making dinner too. She’s always using her imagination and having fun at the same time.

    She would love all of the toys in this giveaway!!!

  32. My girls (4-1/2, almost 3 and 7 mo) have the most fun with their hand puppets and their musical instruments. They are constantly inviting us to performances in the play room where they either come out from behind the window curtains and entertain us, or the puppets come out from behind the puppet theater curtains. Very fun to watch them come up with stories or songs!!

  33. My oldest son can create and have fun with ANYTHING! Give him ONE thing and his mind is thinking of WHAT could be done with that item, how to place it inside a greater structure, how to connect it, etc. He does this with cardboard boxes, pieces of cloth/string, wood pieces, ANYTHING really. We have to shove things at the bottom of the rubbish bin if we don’t want it to resurface a few days later as a part, a VITAL part, of some fantastic creation he has invented. My oldest daughter is always on the look out for art projects and can turn ANYTHING into a piece of art. The latest? A branch that use to have fresh dates attached to it (we ate those) was dried and was turned into a miniature peach blossom tree, with the cups painted as the flowers… It looks like a miniature asian craft! My little daughter is enamored with dough, ANY dough (play dough, salt dough, bread dough, pie crust, etc.) and creates the most amazing things. She looks for props, things that will help stiffen the dough, keep its shape, etc. Give her some dough, and the wheels start on turning: she gets that very concentrated look! The little boy likes anything! We always joke that our children don’t need toys: all they need are water, dirt/sand, a stick and some boxes! Frankly, many times they blow us away with their ideas and their creations…

  34. I have never done this before, but my kids would love all of this stuff so I had to give it a shot. Both my kids love Legos – the standard sized ones for both and then when my little one goes to sleep, the tiny Legos come out for my son. He’s absorbed with these for most of nap time!

  35. One word: Books! We have piles of them around the house and they’re in constant use (that and the craft supplies, which would be a close second!)
    Best,
    Amanda @ http://www.kiddio.org / http://www.housemade.org

    Amanda @ http://www.kiddio.org’s last blog post..February is No-Spend Month

  36. Some favorites for my three are wooden pattern blocks – they each use them differently and can be occupied with them for ages; silk scarves that I found at a rummage sale, which have been known to have endless uses around here; all sorts of cardboard tubes – from t.p. and paper towel rolls to the long ones from wrapping paper. The scarves and cardboard tubes are often integral props for their favorite activity of play-acting made up stories : )

  37. My kids love to play and and “think” with cars, colored blocks, books…books…boooks… anything that is stackable.

    Thanks!

  38. My daughter loves any type of block and construction toy. She’ll create and then imaginatively play for a while before changing her creation. She also loves to be outside, exploring and collecting natural items. She’ll make ‘cakes’ with her friends with these items, yet they also wonder about them, hypothesizing and asking questions about what they find.

  39. My kids love to put on costumes and pretend they are super heroes. They are constantly fighting forces of evil. (O:

  40. My kids (boys 10 and 5) both go nuts with average household stuff. They build dream houses out of their blankets, pillows and the living room furniture. They will make art out of scrap paper and tape. Legos? They build more dream homes or dream cars. They have huge imaginations and it makes life fun around here :)

    Phisch’s last blog post..Ortho Day

  41. When: generally during any unstructured free play time
    With What: lego, puppets, blocks, dolls, art supplies

    I admit to getting ‘caught up’ in the latest gadgety toys sometimes, video games, talking books….but when I look at this list and really take stock of what the kids go back to time and time again…it is the simple, the timeless, the wonderful toys that I played with as a kid, that my parents and grandparents played with, that children all over the world play with. Makes me realize again how little they need to get their creative juices flowing and how wonderful it is to watch them create.

    Jennifer Gill’s last blog post..The theatre came to me last night

  42. Plain ol’ wooden blocks and Lincoln Logs are great toys that also get my kids thinking. Thanks for the chance to win!

  43. My kids would love to play with all of this. But my son will go nuts over Automoblox:. He loves to build things to see how they work.

    Thanks for sharing these products with us.

  44. My boys (5 and 3) can do anything with popsicle sticks, some old catalogs, scissors and glue! Also a favorite… I buy the large roll of paper from Ikea and roll it out to cover a whole table. Then get out any art supplies and they fill that paper up!!

    mikki roo’s last blog post..why don’t we have time, huh?

  45. basically craft supplies–writing notes, building mobiles, etc.

  46. any time they play with legos. it’s amazing to me what my boys create with these! something new every day :) and they use their creations in very imaginative play. it’s delightful to watch and listen.

    amber’s last blog post..Product Spotlight: Winter Relief Facial

  47. I would say Legos for both boys. After school, they like to go in the craft/laundry room and create the most amazing structures with only their minds as the blueprint.

    Karen’s last blog post..The 100 step challenge

  48. My little boy (2) is currently playing with “rocks”, um…pinto beans, on a cookie sheet with his construction equipment – it’s so interesting to see him moving the various parts on the equipment to make them do their intended jobs – I love it!

  49. oops – had my blog link spelled wrong – sorry about that! :)

    jodi @ bpr’s last blog post..My Two Sweeties

  50. My son LOVES, loves his Saxoflute. It comes in pieces…we just bought him the expansion set…and he builds all kinds of flutes (on his own and following the directions), then comes to show them to us proudly!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I know we’d love the Connectagons.

    Megret
    musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

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