Welcome!

Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Always Ice Cream: Review and Giveaway!

My daughters really enjoy using the computer, but we limit the time and limit what games they play. My girls are allowed to use a small handful of websites and a few games we have loaded on to a laptop given to us by a friend. However I'm rather skeptical of some kid-friendly sites because of the amount and type of advertising. Wouldn't it be great for our boys and girls to have a safe, educational, advertisement-free website? I have some great news! I found one!

  and   

These sibling sites are geared respectively towards girls and boys. The idea is to provide something safe, educational, and fun! After watching my girls play and learn for the past month I can tell you they have succeeded! As kids play the educational games they earn scoops (for girls) or gold coins (for boys). They use these to purchase pets, items for their pets, or items for their house or castle.
You can choose games within a range of grade-levels (k-8th) which is nice since no one child is exactly the same as another. The learning games span a wide range of topics including language arts, math, science, music and art, Bible, geography, history, life-skills, and foreign languages. New games are being added all the time and as students complete a level they move on to a harder level. Students also create a person and can customize it using hundreds of possibilities for skin, hair, eye, and outfit colors/styles. 

Rose has been begging me to learn how to type for several months now. She is fascinated by how quickly I am able to type and often mimics my fingers on the keyboard. Until finding Always Ice Cream I honestly thought she would need to wait a few more years before beginning typing skills. So far, this has been her favorite game.  
The typing game keeps her attention and has gradually taught her letter placement on the keyboard. Rose always wants to get to the next level and she loves the challenge! I like that she can see the letters and finger placement on the screen so she is not looking down as much at her fingers. I also like that there is an option on screen to move to an easier level. This way if she is unable to practice for a few days she isn't stuck with a level beyond her skill. 

This particular website has been a great incentive for my girl. She knows she'll have a chance to use Always Ice Cream when she completes her other schoolwork for the day...although, she also begs to play on the weekends as well. We still limit their time because I recognize that too much screen time is not healthy for them, but it is so nice to have such a good option for learning and reward.

Since I had surgery over Christmas all of my great ideas for things to do with my girls went out the window. I found myself happily allowing my girls more screen-time than usual because I knew they were learning and I could trust what they were doing was safe without my having to look over their shoulder the entire time.

Ideally each of your children should have their own account.The benefit to doing this is you get weekly reports unique to each specific child and you can customize each student's account. For now we only have one, but it would be great to have an account for each of my girls. There are several purchasing options so you can choose what is the best fit for your family. 

I know you are really interested now! When you purchase your order (because I KNOW you will want this for your kids!) be sure to put my name, Melissa Williamson, into the "how did you hear about us" field during registration!


And now for the giveaway!!!!
The great people at Always Ice Cream and Clever Dragons are generously giving away a full year membership (valued ta $47.40) to the site of your choice! WOW! Enter through rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer
I received a free year subscription of this product from Always Ice Cream in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received. 

50 comments:

  1. We do an online school and I love the computer for researching when my daughter has to write facts about an animal. I don't have to run to the library for her to finish her assignment!

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    1. I'm torn about internet research. I know this is the future, but I really like my girls to know how to look things up in books. Guess I'm old fashioned that way :)

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  2. We actually love our iPad the most...there are so many fun and creative apps for practicing math and reading, and lots of quasi-educational games too.

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    1. I'd LOVE to have an ipad! The website says that most of these games can be played on the ipad too.

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  3. My children actually use learning apps on the tablets. THey do "Math Preschool" for shapes and basic addition, as well as some montessori techniques for writing their alphabet. My oldest uses the laptop for research only. This program would let me let him use it for some supplemental games for sure!!

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    1. My girls beg for time to play with this! He'll love it :)

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  4. I've always heard good things about this program, but have never tried it. You make it sound worthwhile!

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    1. I'm so glad :) I have been so impressed with this program.

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  5. We love using our Kindle with many of the educational apps available. Plus the ability to read books on it changes things up for them and it's something they ask to do every day!

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  6. We have The Reading Lesson for phonics, and use the computer to do Giggle Bunny. Other than that, we haven't started using the computer for school yet. My ds is in 1st grade.

    -terra

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    1. I've never heard of Giggle Bunny. I'm going to look into that!

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  7. We use the computer for videos & math games mostly (well and tons of research too).

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    1. We'll be headed into research via the internet more next year. It makes me nervous!

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  8. We main use the computer for research, but my hubby's christmas gift was a Kindle Fire this year. I've wanted to add some apps for the kiddos. Maybe this would be a good one?

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    1. LOVE my kindle fire! Unfortunately I don't think there is an app for this with the kindle. Most of the games are available on the ipad though.

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  9. We generally use the computer to add in short videos, pictures, and other things to jazz up our studies.

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    1. My daughter loves to look up things when she has a question!

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  10. We use the computer for math games, videos, and other fun resources. I also discover lots of teacher resources that make our learning more exciting.

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    1. There is an AMAZING amount of teacher resources. So many it can be overwhelming!

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  11. This likes a really cool site for my 3 kids!!!

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  12. We use the computer for practicing math facts, looking up answers to their many questions, and also just for fun. Thanks for the chance to win :)

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  13. What fun! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. My friend told me about Always Ice Cream and I have seen it at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. I haven't ever used it before and would love to try it this year with Alyssa. I use the computer as a homeschool resource in a variety of ways. My favorite way is to supplement curriculum with online curriculum. We use the computer for research but only if I am supervising or nearby to keep an eye out. If I want her to independently research a topic while I am still near, then I start a folder and bookmark acceptable websites for her to explore. Many times we sit together and research topics at well known websites. I only have one daughter so this is easy for me to do. I also use the computer to do my own research. I love to research FREE resources and teaching ideas to use with Alyssa. I hope one day to help my daughter start her own private blog or website to practice writing skills. Thank you for the opportunity to win. One of my friends uses Facebook to post math questions so that her girls can graph the data. I may try that soon. I would let Alyssa type the question on my page and wait to see the results. God bless! Tracey M.

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    1. That is a brilliant idea for graphing! I never thought about that. We'll be looking more at graphing later this year. Thanks for the tip!

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  15. We use the computer to look up info, to watch videos, to play some learning games... love adding in great media & to add variety.

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    1. We like youtube for all sorts of things :)

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  16. watching videos of things like animals, or geysers, or nature/science things.

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    1. Geysers are so cool! We have a miniature version at our zoo and the girls sit there forever watching it!

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  17. I've often considered this, but the cost stops me... thanks for the chance to win a membership!

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    1. It is expensive, but I thought about asking for a lifetime membership for our family as a Christmas gift.

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  18. We look up things that we've read about. For example, today we read about the sandpiper in John Audubon: Young Naturalist and then we went to youtube and watched videos about the sandpiper.

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    1. My daughter really enjoyed the Audubon study this year! A good friend has an original painting in her home that she has invited us over to see.

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  19. This looks fun! We have super duper limited our girls online access and this would be a fun safe way for them to use the computer!

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    1. Us too...you are right that this is a safe place for them!

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  20. This looks awesome, thank-you for sharing this! I like to use the computer for research, fun videos, and learning things like foreign languages.

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    1. I hadn't thought about foreign language learning. That's a great idea!

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  21. Well, I don't homeschool but we use the computer some with learning games. I also like to show them pictures and more information about things they are learning in their school!

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  22. I've looked into this in the past for my youngest son and it's always gotten put on the back burner even though I think he would love it. I would love to win a free year.

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    1. There are so many fabulous resources out there! If only we had the money for all we wanted :)

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  23. We love using educational games for the kids as reward when they finish homeschool or chores!

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  24. Our favorite way to use it for our homeschooling is by providing games to have fun and reinforce what we are already learning. Its nice for kids to see that learning can be fun in many different ways!

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    1. I am so grateful we started homeschooling young so they can keep the wonder and joy of learning! (By the way, I LOVE your blog header!)

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  25. We use the computer for research. How did we live before search engines?! lol

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    1. Seriously! I was asking a few people about getting an encyclopedia set and everyone looked at me like I was crazy and asked why!

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