Learning through Play with ExtraordinaryEd
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Have you taken a walk down Haddon Avenue in Collingswood lately? I’ve always loved that Collingswood has such an array of small businesses available, but, in complete honesty, it’s been a minute since I’ve taken a leisurely stroll down Haddon Ave. You? Let’s change this! If I had been taking the time to walk down Haddon Avenue, I probably would’ve known about ExtraordinaryEd years ago. Have you been there before? You guys! I have been MISSING out! This is such a great little shop…let me tell you a little about what they offer!
So, you know I was a special education teacher before I had my boys, right? If not, now you know. Having been a teacher, I pretty much immediately love any sort of game or toy that has an educational aspect to it. It makes my teacher (and mom) heart super happy when my kids can have fun and learn at the same time. It makes my teacher (and mom) heart even happier when that fun and learning can happen without the use of a screen. I mean, my kids would happily play video games until the cows come home, and sometimes they do, but I appreciate toys and games that do not require or include a screen. (sidenote: I’ve never seen cows at my house, so…what’s up with that saying?!) At ExtraordinaryEd, every single item they offer has some sort of educational aspect to it. From engaging the 5 senses of an infant with the OGO Bolli Rattle, to educating little health professionals through the Scabs and Guts game (on my list of Christmas items to purchase for the boys!), to getting adults together for a friendly game of Adult Mad Libs, ExtraordinaryEd literally has something for everyone and every age.
While their website is pretty amazing and fun to shop, I definitely recommend visiting the actual Haddon Avenue location for the full experience. When I visited the location recently, I was blown away at the selection of items available and the pricing. I feel like small businesses are sometimes overlooked because shoppers think big box stores could offer better pricing. I went ahead and compared some of the pricing of items and, honestly, I found that, if pricing wasn’t similar, quite a few items actually cost LESS than they did at big box stores. No brainer – get out there and support these small businesses guys!
Anyways, at the Haddon Avenue location, ExtraordinaryEd has so much to offer. Plenty of games, puzzles, and toys for all ages. I did not bring the boys with me on my first visit, but I definitely need to bring them back because I know they’d love picking out a few items to add to their birthday and Christmas lists! When I visited, I was able to get a parking space right in front of the store, but, if a space wasn’t available, there’s a parking lot right around the corner.
When I did stop by ExtraordinaryEd, I picked up our Adventure Kit. With 4 options available, 2 geared towards elementary age (ages 6-10) and 2 with middle schoolers (ages 11-13) in mind, the kits are priced at $200 each and come with pre-selected items that the recipient is sure to enjoy. We got the Elementary School Kit 2 and it came packaged in two boxes. I was super impressed when I was told that, if the customer was not able to pick up their order in-store, that the Adventure Kit (and many items from their website) could be shipped, for FREE, anywhere within the continental United States. Sweet, right? Like I said, I was impressed.
When I brought the boxes home, the boys were chomping at the bit to open them. Not only were they excited to play with the actual boxes (kids, I tell ya), but they couldn’t wait to see what was inside. We opened the bigger box first and I swear they smiled and “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” throughout the entire unboxing. In addition to a quality drawstring backpack, a thank you note, and an “adventure guide,” the boxes had the following items inside:
Brain Tickling Science
Mad Mattr Extruder Kit
Street Hockey – Toysmith
Step by Step Magic
Keva Brain Builders
H2O ART – Small reusable water canvas
You guys. It’s been about a week since we received our Adventure Kit and, even though we haven’t opened everything yet, the boys have been having a blast. The Unbored Disguises was the first to be opened and is *right* up their alley. Think of it as a step up from all those sweet dress-up outfits most elementary age-kids are too big to wear. It came with a number of fake mustaches, a fake beard/mustache combo, fake tattoos, gauze wrap, a bandana, and fake sunglasses. Ever since it’s been opened, the boys have been turning themselves into different characters each and everyday. It’s so much fun!
They’ve also had a blast with the H20 ART set. Remember when your kids were tiny and they’d color on a giant mat with water paintbrushes? This is the big-kid version! It unrolls onto a flat surface, resembles a large piece of paper, and can be colored on time and time again with a water-filled paintbrush. As soon as the water dries up, it’s time to paint some more. The boys have really enjoyed it! I predict it’ll be used quite often during our time spent homeschooling!
Next up? Street Hockey! My husband grew up in Philadelphia and always tells the boys how he would play street hockey with his friends. The boys have really loved playing street hockey in the driveway with their new hockey sticks and hockey puck! I love that they’re able to have fun while challenging their minds and getting some exercise in.
They’ve spent a good amount of time with the bongos (again, will really come in handy for homeschooling!) and can’t wait to open up the chocolate kit. The chocolate kit comes with a warming element (similar to a fondue container?) and a few molds and accessories. We’ve got strawberries in the refrigerator just begging to be dipped in chocolate this weekend! On one hand, I can’t wait to dig into the remaining products with the boys, but, on the other hand, I’m loving that they’re enjoying the other items so much. How many times have you purchased a toy and it was played with for 10 minutes and then put in the toy bin to be forgotten? I’m thinking the items in the Adventure Kit are going to last us quite a long time and will get a ton of use.
As if the Adventure Kits weren’t awesome enough, the purchase of an ExtraordinaryEd Adventure Kit benefits local children in need. As mentioned on the website, “for every five Adventure Kits sold, we will be providing one to Volunteers of America Delaware Valley which operates two family homeless shelters in the South Jersey area. ExtraordinaryED is proud to provide these Adventure Kits to Volunteers of America Delaware Valley and to make a difference in the lives of these children. Thank you!” I love love LOVE that ExtraordinaryEd has taken this opportunity to give back to the community. If you are interested in purchasing an Adventure Kit through ExtraordinaryEd, I recommend doing so ASAP as I was told they have a limited number of these kits available. Think ahead for birthdays and the holidays, homeschooling, and for “rainy day” activities!
THANK YOU, ExtraordinaryEd for inviting me into your store and for providing my family with a super fun Adventure Kit. We can’t wait to go back to the store again!
Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 boys.
Created in 2018, Elizabeth owns and publishes South Jersey Family: a free resource allowing local families can enjoy quality time together with the help of a local events & activities calendar, local reviews & recommendations, and more. She loves hanging out in the Real Moms of South Jersey Facebook Group and planning get-togethers in the area! Instagram , Facebook , and Pinterest are her favorite forms of social media. In addition, Elizabeth helps to empower local women by co-leading the Cherry Hill Believe Inspire Grow Pod through monthly meetings and a Facebook Group.
When she’s not busy taking over the world, Elizabeth can be found listening to The Beatles, being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, or searching for deals in the aisles of Target.
*Join Elizabeth over on The Well Prepared Mom website, too! She’s sharing tips, suggestions, and resources for everyday, busy families to enjoy quality time together! Follow The Well Prepared Mom on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.*