Category Archives: Toys

Tip of the Momma 2 U: Tired of Flash Cards?

I don’t know how some people do it, how they study for a test with flash cards. Kudos to those who can.

I am not one of those people. And I realize that my child is semi-responsive to that method of learning.

In my son’s third grade class they are starting to learn multiplication facts. Starting soon, those who miss two or less on their test each week will receive a pop. A little drink I still like to refer to as Soda.

My son will just DIE if he doesn’t get a Soda each week. At least that’s how he acts about it. But I’m happy to see that he’s motivated. He doesn’t get to drink soda at home and very rarely at restaurants, so I have no gripes about it, as long as he doesn’t have the opportunity to down it just before I pick him up from school.

So, back to the flash cards. Years ago, before my child was even a twinkle in my eye, I knew that a game of Jenga existed in which the blocks were modified with dares and tasks written on each block for a drinking game. Tsk, tsk, and shame on people for taking such an innocent game and turning it into a beverage consumption game. Heh.

Anyhow, taking that concept (which my children will never hear of… from me) I came up with a fun way to go over the multiplication facts and not lose my mind with the redundancy of flipping cards while my kid answers back dryly and then we shuffle and do it for four more minutes. By the way, bless his teacher’s heart for at least providing the flash cards for us. If I had to make them, I might cry.

Alright, enough whining from me. The bottom line is that, there are adults and children who do not learn well from flash cards.

So here’s my Tip of the Momma 2 U: Any brand of this tower game can be purchased and used as a teaching tool. Our particular tower was for Multiplication facts. Here’s how it works:

Take one tower containing 48 blocks. Write a multiplication question on each of the two widest sides of each block with a sharpie pen. I was able to write all facts of 1’s through 9’s multiplying by 1 – 10. With the remaining blank spots I wrote things such as “Count by 3’s to 30” or “0 X any number” (in which the child would reply “equals zero”).

Have a print up of the Multiplication Facts Table nearby in case there’s a discrepancy about the answer and also so your child can easily test him/herself.

You can play this game like a typical game of Jenga where you try not to topple the tower. My son decided to construct another tower with his correctly answered blocks.

Another idea: Place them in a bag or basket and randomly pick them out to answer.

If you have littler ones who are learning to read or spell, try one of these:

Write common sight word on the blocks

Write tasks such as “Say a word that starts with C” and put the whole alphabet in the game

That’s not all, right? Give me some more ideas!




Who Loves to Celebrate a Milestone?

I know I do! Today marks my 1000th Tweet on my Twitter account @MarthaaaFish. Why is it so important to me? I don’t know for sure…

Like most Internet websites, it took me a while to figure out what I was doing without having to ask questions I could easily google (I still don’t know what “Smh” means).

I suppose I just like numbers that sound big. 1000 sounds pretty nice and fancy and it took me quite a while to get up that high. I promise I didn’t just Tweet away in one word sentences. I did my best to make each Tweet meaningful by either talking about my kids, asking questions that I genuinely wanted answers to, answering questions with silly answers (as I often do in real life), joining in Twitter parties never to win a single thing, and, of course, sharing my posts.

I didn’t know I would like Twitter this much. So, to make things fun, I told my kids I was going to post something extra special and very Martha-like (in my best Phineas voice, I said, “Kids, I know what we’re gonna do today.”)

I have posted in the past about our love for Webkinz. I included comments about the ridiculous amount of Webkinz we have. In fact, I think I quoted us at about 60+ Webkinz. Well, I was wrong.

So here’s what we did to be weird and celebrate the Milestone that is the 1000th Tweet!

We held a little event that we shall call, “WEBKINZ ACROSS THE STAIRCASE”.

Think Hands Across America minus the donations, T-shirts, and opposable thumbs. It was May 25th, 1986. Yes, I was there. Were you? Where? I was in Whittier, California. Oh, I digress…

We have way too many Webkinz by the way and, let me remind you, we (the parents) did not purchase ALL of them. They have been gifts, garage sale picks, and allowance buys as well.

So, what happens when you want to gather an insane amount of Webkinz for one special event in one location at the same time? Apparently… you organize them first. That’s what the boys decided. So, before we share our WATS event photos with you. Let me first share the breakdown of the categories (in no particular order).

  • 7 Cats
  • 10 Dogs
  • 6 Wild Cats (to include cheetahs, tigers and lions)
  • 1 Snake
  • 8 Birds (numerous breeds)
  • 3 Climbers (mammals of the climbing nature)
  • 8 Burrowers (Webkinz of the digging nature)
  • 3 Bears (LOL, that’s kinda funny)
  • 9 Fantasy Webkinz (meaning Zingoz, Dragons, Zums and such)
  • 4 Reptiles or Amphibians
  • 2 Cows
  • 6 Random Mammals (to include Anteaters, Porcupines, and a Signature Red Panda named HotStuff)
  • 1 Fish (we shall call him Swimmy)
  • 2 Monkeys (oh, opposable thumbs!)
  • 3 Hippos (a family)
  • 3 Pigs (another family)
  • 2 Elephants
  • 3 Arctic Sea Mammals
  • And a Blue Rhino in a Pear Tree

WHEW! Now, don’t grab a calculator. I’ve done the math for you. This totals up to 82 Webkinz. Other than the pounds of Legos we own, I don’t think we have a collection of items greater than this in the house.

So, after the boys were done with the Classification of Webkinz, they finally helped me line everyone up and take pictures to celebrate Mommy’s 1000th Tweet about being a mom with two crazy boys, one hilarious husband, an old farting dog, and two freakishly cute Geckos.


Do I have too much time on my hands? MAYBE
Did my kids have fun? YES
Will I do it again at 2000 Tweets? NO… but I’m sure I’ll think of something…