Product Reviews

Lakeshore Learning Summer Top Picks Review

I home school my three children and we have utilized many educational products from Lakeshore Learning. In the summer we continue our daily lessons but incorporate more hands-on activities and experiments to make learning both educational and fun. There are many top-rated products available from Lakeshore Learning that are specifically designed to help children practice new skills and retain the knowledge that they learned during the school year. Best of all…..children are going to want to use these educational products because it makes learning enjoyable, creative and fun.

My children love the Can Do! Magnets Discovery Kit ($19.95) and they have asked to play with it every day for the past week. This set is a great way for children to learn about magnetism through a series of fun hands-on experiments. It includes six activities that are featured on photo cards that are simple enough for even my four year old to be able to participate. The experiments are fun and exciting and even my husband observed the children using this kit and joined in along with them for over 30 minutes. I love that this kit is ready to use and all the pieces are conveniently stored within the container. It includes lots of interactive pieces to make learning about science fun including a horseshoe magnet, bar magnet, 4 ring magnets, iron fillings in plastic cases, 4 magnetic balls (these are a HUGE hit with my kids), colored plastic disks and the six activity cards. Lakeshore Learning has several different Can Do! Discovery Kits available to choose from and I plan to add a few more to our summer classes.

Another hit in our classroom is the Lakeshore Science Match-Ups ($12.95 each set) featuring a variety of subject areas such as Matter, Weather, Solar System and Animals. Since the weather has been so nice this spring, we took a bike ride to our neighborhood park and the kids learned about animals in the Animals Match-Up. This self-correcting set includes 12 different 3-piece puzzles and includes a wealth of interesting scientific information about animals. Since my children are at different skills levels, I was pleased that they could all participate at varying degrees. For example, my five year old daughter chose a word such as “bird” and then my four year old son attached it to the picture of a bird. My 1st grader then found the correct definition for “bird”, read it aloud and then matched up the final piece. They felt a great sense of accomplishment as each 3-piece puzzle was put together and I loved that they were able to work together cooperatively. It is a great way to not only learn about science but to develop critical thinking and reading skills too. I utilize these wonderful hands-on puzzles frequently in our routine such as the Weather Match-ups. My 1st grader is learning about weather systems in his science books. As a teacher watching him complete these Match-Up sets helps me to have a better understanding about his strengths as well as areas that I need to retouch on in class.

The Pop and Win Letter Sounds Bingo ($29.95) is an excellent game for pre-readers and early readers who are learning their letter sounds. My four and five year old get very excited when this game is played at school and even ask to play it during their free time. It is such a fun, hands-on way for young children to develop confidence in regards to their reading skills since it targets recognizing letter-sound correspondence and isolating and identifying beginning sounds. I love the idea of children being able to use the fun popper to select the letter sound and the colorful pictures are engaging. Pop and Win Letter Sounds Bingo includes all three games to choose from depending on what letter sounds you are currently practicing including #1 for letters A-I, #2 for J-R and #3 for S-Z.

I am very impressed with the top picks for summertime 2012. Lakeshore Learning products are available online at and at 56 retail locations across the United States. You are invited to visit Lakeshore Learning to browse the entire selection of educational products or to purchase your favorites, making summertime learning a blast for children of all ages.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.


Maureen is a SAHM who left the Corporate healthcare field to home educate her 6, 7 and 8 year old children. She is a voracious reader for both herself & her kids and also enjoys a natural and organic lifestyle. She lives in Orlando, Fl with her husband Mark, three children and 5 year old boxer, Jack.

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