That Time I Won Frogs and It Was the BEST. DAY. EVER |We Got the FUNK

Friday, November 10, 2017

That Time I Won Frogs and It Was the BEST. DAY. EVER

Disclosure: I was invited to an event at Beyond the Blackboard. We were not asked to write any post, I just wanted to share my story!

So on Sunday, my blogging BFF Censie, and I drove an hour to meet up with some awesome Denver bloggers and check out Beyond the Blackboard.  This is a store for teachers, parents and anyone that is looking to help kids learn through play!  I was in my element. 

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So we get to the store and go inside.  We are greeted by another blogging friend who shows us around a bit and lets us know a bit about the history behind Behind the Blackboard.  The stores are owned by a mother-daughter team who love education and wanted to provide resources for teachers to create lessons and classrooms that engage learning through play.  They are speaking my language!

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The stores are jam-packed full of awesome toys and educational tools for every single person.  Is your kid interested in science?  Well they have an entire section dedicated to physical, earth, life and the other science areas.  I personally got a little lost in this section, dreaming of all the fun things I could do with my own students and kids.  This was also the point in our visit, that I saw the African Dwarf frogs and I decided that I needed them.  I probably told every person there, that I needed those frogs. 

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One of my favorite corners aside from the science area was the room decor section.  Beyond the Blackboard has EVERYTHING you need to make your classroom stand out (and the prices are super affordable too)!  At my school we do not have our own classrooms, but I do have little spaces in each classroom that I do share to put my own decor and you can bet that come school supply time next year, I will be at Beyond the Blackboard!

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Once we were finished looking around, we gathered around these awesome goodie bags that the amazing women from Beyond the Blackboard put together for us. Our bags were packed full of awesome toys, learning tools and some fun savings too!  I'm definitely saving several of these for Christmas in our home.  My little are totally going to love having these fun surprises in their stockings on Christmas morning and I am going to love that they are toys that help them learn and practice fine motor skills which are great for handwriting!

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The ladies at Beyond the Blackboard decided to give us a few challenges to complete to learn more about the store and to sprinkle a little holiday cheer!  The first was a Melissa and Doug puzzle building challenge. I might be a ::little:: competitive.  Just a little, so when it was go time, we went fast and our group won the challenge and the puzzles!  My kids lost it when they saw those! 

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Another competition was a stocking stuffer competition.  We were given $50.00 store credit to shop around and create a stocking stuffed full of items that someone would love.  I chose my son's teacher.  He is in 2nd grade now and has a busy classroom full of very excitable little boys.  I figured a fun "fidget stocking" would be a perfect gift for her this holiday season!  I am really excited to gift it to her!

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The last couple games we played were Happy Salmon (which I lost) and then a fun white elephant gift exchange featuring their top sellers in the store!  Fun Fact, Beyond the Blackboard gift wraps all the items purchased in store with a ribbon and bow! It was super fun playing and learning about the toys and how they help with learning and motor skills and having a little competitive fun while we were at it!  When the game ended, there were still 3 gifts left in the center pile. The winner of the stocking stuffer contests would each get a 2nd gift!  Well guess who won!

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What did I end up winning?  FROGS!  You guys, I WON THE FROGS!  It was fate, it was the best day ever and I was probably the most ideal person to take these home.  Well, sort of.  They actually are in my classroom and my students and I are working on names for them currently.  I love them so much and it has been awesome to use them as a teaching tool in my classroom!  We are learning about photosynthesis right now and this tiny little ecosystem has been great to use as a model.  I absolutely have loved them and am so thankful that fate put these little froggies in my hands!

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I really had a great time learning about all the resources and fun Beyond the Blackboard has to offer!  If you are local to the Denver area, you should check out their Neighborhood Toy Store Day this Saturday November 11th!  You can show them this post to get 20% off your entire purchase and they will do free gift wrapping!  

Have you been to Beyond the Blackboard?

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