Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tot School Tools and CSN Review

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When CSN Stores asked me if I was interested in doing a review, I was so excited and knew I wanted to get some things for tot school.  I started to look around their website and was very impressed with both their selection of products and also their prices.  They have so many of the items that Carissa at 1+1+1=1 recommends.  

Melissa and Doug Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks 
Wedgits Deluxe Set

Melissa and Doug Cutting Food Box Play Set

Building Words Tabletop Pocket Chart


Primer Pack

These are just a couple of the recommended ones, they have so many more.  They carry a wonderful selection of brands, too; Melissa and Doug, Guidecraft, Plan Toys, Patch Products, and more.   

It was a really hard choice for me, there were so many tot school tools I wanted to get.  After a lot of thought, I finally decided on these three...
Counting Bear Cups

Melissa and Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet in a Box
Tall Stacker Pegs Building Set
I was really impressed with how easy ordering was and with how quickly they got to us.  In less than a week after ordering, I had all the items (they shipped the Tall Stacker Set separately) and we were ready to start playing!  

Tall Stacker Pegs Building Set

Avery's favorite was probably the Tall Stacker Pegs Building Set.  I was really impressed with how many pieces came with it.  Right now she pretty much likes playing with the large purple pegboard (it's orange on the other side) and the pegs.  I think the building pegboard pieces are going to be something she grows in to, which I love because it makes it a toy that will grow with her and hopefully keep her interest for years to come.  

She had the best time playing with it and it kept her interest for over 30 minutes.  Then when Papa and Nana came over that night she was really excited to show them the toy and spent another 30 minutes playing with it.  I loved how much she concentrated on what she was doing.  So cute!

Wooden Alphabet in a Box

Avery has suddenly developed a great interest in the alphabet.  She is constantly asking about letters and telling you letters that she sees around her.  So, I figured this Melissa and Doug Alphabet in a Box would be perfect for her and boy was I right.  I love how high quality they are, the wood makes them extra sturdy and the size is just right for little hands.  The bright colors make them fun and give them another learning/teaching attribute.  

We started out by getting out the first 5 letters of the alphabet in all capitals.  She loves going over to her magnetic chalkboard, playing with them, and telling me what each of the letters are. She is getting really good at it and can even say them in the right order.  I just love hearing her say "A, B, C, D, E" with a big smile on her face.  Soon I will add a couple more letters and we can start working on those, too.  

Counting Bear Cups

The Counting Bear Cups was one that I was really excited about.  I had seen them before and knew that they were great for working on so many concepts; colors, sorting, counting, addition, and subtraction.  They came with 5 different colored cups and 50 colored bears, 10 of each color to match.  

Avery still isn't super excited about sorting but she is really into the colors blue and yellow right now so I thought that if I used those it would keep her interest. I was kind of right.  She sorted a couple and then became more interested in checking out and playing with the bears.  I think this is another one of those things that she will have to grow into a little.  But it has so many possible uses that I am looking forward to playing around with them and seeing what I can come up with.  

CSN Stores not only has a wonderful selection of toys and educational materials, but they have over 200 stores that carry just about anything you could be looking for.  Be sure to stop by and take a look at all their wonderful products! 

Disclosure: I was provided with a gift certificate in order to purchase the products for this review (I was responsible for any expense over the gift certificate value). All views and opinions with regard to the products or the company are my own and were not influenced by the company.


  1. Thanks for sharing your review. I love those pegs and can't wait for my little boy to get bigger so I can use some of those!

  2. How fun! I love the activities you do with Avery!