Thursday, March 11, 2010

StressLESS Teaching Resources Product Review & GIVEAWAY!!

I've mentioned our IKEA easels a few times. When we got them I covered the dry-erase side with felt. I did this because I've been wanting a felt board. Plus, I figured the kids wouldn't consistently use the correct markers on the correct sides. I planned to make some felt shapes, but I also searched for some pre-made ones. That's how I found 1StressLESSTeacher on Etsy!

StressLESS Teaching Resources is the work of Tanya, an Early Childhood Educator in Maryland. She utilizes 18 years of experience working with young children to develop educational tools that are developmentally appropriate and excellently constructed.
Tanya was kind enough to send us a great sampling of her materials. We received felt story sets to go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Bear Snores On, and Commotion in the Ocean. We also received an adorable 5 Little Puppies Puppet Glove. The kids were really excited when we opened the box.

Over the last few weeks we have done so much with our felt story sets. Ryan (and Princess R) love to recreate the story on the felt board while I read to them. Then they use the pieces to go back through the book and retell the story to me! They have also enjoyed mixing up the pieces and creating their own stories. Did you know that Badgers and Octopuses love to get together by a campfire to eat fruit?

We played a game with the pieces from Commotion in the Ocean where I pretended to forget the names of the animals. I used attributes of the felt creatures, and details about them from the poems in the book to have the kids try to guess which animal I was talking about. These wonderfully detailed, and absolutely adorable creatures have inspired me to do a unit on oceans this summer.

The simple pieces from The Very Hungry Caterpillar set have been perfect for reinforcing vocabulary with Ella. We set them all up on the felt board together and then I ask her to feed the caterpillar an apple. We sit there feeding all of the pieces to the little caterpillar one by one to help him turn into a big fat caterpillar!

I love that the sets, especially  Bear Snores On, come with so many pieces that you could easily recreate the entire story on one huge felt board (or your living room floor if your board is small like ours :)

Both Ella and Ryan LOVE the puppy puppet glove.  Here is a very rare instance when I had my camera ready for one of Ryan's impromptu performances. Ryan's song was inspired by the great extra rhymes and songs that came with our materials. The puppet gloves would be a great addition to a baby shower or young child's birthday gift!

Ella needs to be supervised with the felt  pieces. But she has been an excellent Quality Assurance Tester!  Not surprisingly, she can easily remove the googly eyes. I was happy to see that Tanya uses high quality felt that can't easily be ripped, and that the paint that she uses to add details to the characters doesn't peel off. Amazingly, all 5 puppies are still attached to the glove! All of the pieces that we received were so cute and of such high quality that I probably won't bother to spend the time and effort making my own anytime soon; I'll just place an order with 1StressLESSTeacher!

 **I received these materials for free to review. My opinions are my own, based on my kids interactions with the merchandise.

StressLESS Teaching Resources is generously giving away the item of your choice to one lucky reader! The initial entry is to visit StressLESS Teaching Resources and leave a comment telling us which item you would love to win!
For an extra entry become a blog fan on Facebook. (Leave a comment saying you're a fan)
For an extra entry Follow with Google Friend Connect (in the right hand column) (Leave a comment saying you're a follower)
For 3 extra entries blog about this giveaway (leave a comment with the link to the post)
That's 6 chances to win! Each entry needs it's own comment, and be sure to include a way to contact you.
Entries are due by 8am PST on Monday 3/15. Our lucky winner will be selected by and announced on Monday!


  1. Great products and giveaway! And I love the idea of covering that side with felt. I am going to do that a.s.a.p.--we never use the dry erase side! This first comment is to confirm that I am a fan on Facebook :)

  2. After looking over the shop, I think I'd choose the Commotion in the Ocean set--just adorable! Of course, all the sets are great. This has got me thinking of all the fun things we could do with felt!

    Thanks again to both of you!

  3. I also blogged about it, more to let people know about it than for the extra entries :) Hope you get lots of entries!

  4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear is my favorite
    Thanks for this great giveaway!
    mommymomentblog AT gmail DOT com

  5. This is Raven's extra #2 for blogging. Thanks Raven!

  6. This is Raven's extra #3 for blogging. Thanks Raven!

  7. I am a fan on FB. Love the felt board stuff. I think I should get bonus points for being Princess R's mommy or something. lol

  8. I would pick the Polar Bear Polar Bear set, I love those books and so do the kids. When and if we ever move and I take myself off buying stuff restriction then I will definitely get a felt board going for stories so cute! In the mean time I will just continue to send Princess R to be educated by Ryan's super Mommy!

  9. Love the Ocean set. My kiddos think flannel is so much fun. This would be put to good use. Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Im a fan on FB. I looked over the site and I would choose commotion in the ocean. It looks like my son would really LOVE that one. Thanks for sharing!