Gift Ideas that Promote Learning Through Play

Gift Ideas that Promote Learning Through Play

Michele Carr

This article was written by guest author, Jeana Kinne, MAEarly Childhood Developmental Specialist

Learning tools that are simple and fun.

Children start learning from the moment the first open their eyes. The minute they start talking, it seems like they learn the word “why” and it’s repeated over and over again! As a seasoned Early Childhood Educator, I wanted to make learning simple and fun for parents too! So I created, Sammy the Golden Dog!

Sammy the Golden Dog teaches preschoolers about feelings, friendship, the alphabet and safety through play.


1. Teach children how to calm down instead of tantrum with “Soothing Sammy”

Soothing Sammy

Did you know that there are over 90 emotions that have been identified so far? Wow! A typical 3-year-old only has around 300-500 words. Young children meltdown or tantrum because they don’t have words to communicate and problem solve when they feel overwhelmed. That is where “Soothing Sammy” comes to the rescue!

The colorful photos and simple story is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary aged children. In the story, children who are upset visit Sammy, a golden retriever, at his dog house. Sammy shows his friends, how calm down with items he has in his home (such as drinking from a child's cup, using a washcloth to dampen their face, eating a crunchy snack and listening to a calming song). Once calm, Sammy helps children identify their feelings, find out why they are mad and develop a solution to the problem. 

Using an empty box or container, adults follow the directions in the back of the book to construct a "Sammy house" for the plush dog (included in the set), which resembles the house from the children's book. Place Sammy into his new home and fill it with common household items discussed in the book. When your child feels upset, redirect them to the Sammy house to calm down (just like the children in the book did). 

Along with the book and plush dog, playful activities that teach emotion words and Sammy songs makes “Soothing Sammy” fun, engaging and exciting for children to use.

See "Soothing Sammy" here -->


2. Teach the Alphabet through exciting games with “Sammy Chases the Alphabet


Sammy Chases the Alphabet


Play fetch with Sammy as he teaches your child all about the alphabet! As your child helps Sammy search for letters on the farm, they will learn what each letter looks and sounds like. The upbeat, rhyming phrases, will capture your child's attention, enticing them to read the book over and over again with excitement! Included in this fun ABC set are sensory and movement games that teach letter recognition and phonological awareness (letter sounds) through play! Your kids will be asking to repeat the activities over and over again.

See "Sammy Chases the Alphabet" here -->


3. Teach children how to stay safe if they ever become lost with “The Search for Sammy”

The Search for Sammy

Teaching young children what to do in case they become lost is key to keeping them safe and found quickly. This rhyming story filled with colorful images and bonus games, will teach your child what to do if they get lost. 

One day, Sammy chased a ball into the forbidden woods while he was playing fetch! Before he knew it, Sammy didn't know where he was. Luckily, his mom taught him how to stay safe if he ever got lost. Sammy meets a variety of forest animals that keep him safe until the Search and Rescue Team finds him. The bonus games in the back of the book help children remember to stay in one spot if they ever become lost.

A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Search and Rescue volunteers to fun essential trainings and equipment.

See "The Search For Sammy" here -->


4. Teach children that everyone is unique and special in “Sammy Goes to Preschool”


Sammy Goes to Preschool


Sammy discovers that preschool is a lot of fun. Throughout the preschool day, Sammy learns that although his friends look different than him, they can still play together. Chaz, the piglet, Mylie, the duckling, and other baby animals, spend the day playing games, singing songs, eating snack and learning new skills.

This story teaches diversity, inclusion and equality, by celebrating the uniqueness in every child. Sammy learns that he can be friends with children of all skill levels and abilities. The bonus games included in the back to the book help children identify what makes them unique and why they are special.

See "Sammy Goes To Preschool" here -->


Sammy the Golden Dog was created to inspire a love of learning in adults and children. Perfect for the home and classroom, Sammy will surely bring a smile to your children’s eyes. 

Shop all of the Sammy The Golden Dog Products

Learn more about Jeana Kinne, MA here -->