Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The DT Catalog

There are some great resources in the Discovery Toys Catalog. These resources will help you pick out the just right toys for the children in your life.

DT Learning Pathways
Our toys support these Learning Pathways, leading to school rediness, self confidence, and academic success.

  • Exploration - sensory stimulation, experimentation, music, science, dramatic play, social & emotional
  • Motor Skills - fine & gross motor, hand-eye coordination
  • Thinking - cause & effect, problem solving, strategy, construction
  • Math - computation, logic, size & shape, spatial relationships
  • Reading & Language - comprehension, vocabulary, communicatin
  • Expression - writing, arts, crafts, color exploration

Autism & Discovery Toys
Discovery Toys are designed to target the most commonly shared learning difficulties for children with autism. Children with autism tend to experience several broad areas of significant difficulty.
Every toy in our catalog has an Autism Symbol that corresponds with the specific learning each toy supports. Use the key code below to choose the most appropriate toy for your child.

  • a. Toys to develop independent play with some limited instruction.
  • b. Toys that promote sustained engagement.
  • c. Toys that build skills for cooperative play.
  • d. Toys that create opportuinites for children to talk about the play experience.
  • e. Toys with obvious completion criteria.
  • f. Toys that encourage pretend play.

Learning Styles
Look for the Learning Styles next to the age range for each product. Select products with multiple Learning Styles to engage all the senses.

  • A - Auditory (sound)
  • K - Kinesthetic (Touch & Movement)
  • V - Visual (sight)

If you have any questions about any of these, please contact me. I would also be more than happy to send you a catalog, just email me with your address at

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making Work at Home Work - September 2009

As you may remember, I recently partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger.

Recordkeeping and Deductions
By Mary Byers

The number one rule for moms who work at home is this: Do not mingle your personal and business finances. Open a separate checking account for your business. And, if necessary, secure a separate credit card so that you can keep your personal and business-related expenses separate. Deposit all of your income in the checking account. Pay all of your expenses out of the checking account. When you do, at the end of the year you’ll have an accurate record of income and expenses.

Check with your bank before your open your checking account. They may require proof that you’ve filed a “Doing Business As” form with your local or county government. Your banker may also be able to alert you to other regulations specific to your area.

I personally believe it’s essential to stay on top of your business’ finances on a monthly basis. Though it’s not my favorite chore, I use a simple software program to track income and spending. I can compare this year’s figures to last year’s to find out how I’m doing comparatively as well as monitor my year-to-date performance. There are many easy-to- use software programs on the market (such as Quicken and Quick Books) that make it possible for business owners to track and access their financial data.

In addition to inputting my financial data, I take time to organize my expense receipts each month. It takes less than a half hour to file them but doing so insure that my end-of-year tax preparation will run smoothly. Plus, I’ll have necessary proof if I’m ever audited.

Once your record keeping is in order, you should take the time to learn what’s allowable as an expense deduction for you as a self-employed individual. The more you deduct, the less your profit. The less your profit, the less you pay in taxes. The less you pay in taxes, the more you keep for yourself.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, “To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate and helpful for your business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.”

The challenge in determining what’s deductible is that it differs based on your occupation. Day care providers can write off the cost of toys they buy for their charges and a computer game designer can deduct the cost of purchasing competing games for review and critique.

If you’re interested in learning more about deductible expenses, consider picking up a copy of June’s Walker’s Self-Employed Tax Solutions. It’s an excellent resource, as is June’s website at Her blog is worth subscribing to if you’re interested in learning how to keep more of what you make.

Of course, if you’re uncertain as to whether something is deductible, check with your personal tax advisor. And if you don’t have one, get one. I personally waited too long to do this and wish I would have done it sooner.

Here’s how to make the most of your deductions:
Know what’s deductible. Take the time to learn what’s deductible. You may be surprised by what you can write off. For example, authors and playwrights may deduct the cost of the plays and movies they see if they are doing so to better learn the craft of plot, story and character. If you conduct business on the way to or from your family vacation, you may be able to write off a portion of your travel expenses.

If in doubt, ask. This is where a tax reference book or good accountant comes in. While it may be easier not to ask, doing so may well cost you money that would be better placed in your retirement account or a child’s college fund.

Realize that small deductions add up. My bank is 5.6 miles away. With the current IRS standard mileage deduction of 50.5 cents per mile, every trip to the bank for a business related transaction results in a deduction of $2.83 (50.5 cents x 5.6 miles). Last year alone my mileage deduction totaled $1,971. (I record each trip in a mileage log in order to provide documentation for the IRS.) Remember, deductions decrease taxable income, and lower taxable income means paying less tax.

Keep your receipts. Develop a simple record keeping system that’s easy to use. You’ll need to keep your records for seven years after the relevant tax return is filed. (Though the receipts only need to be kept temporarily, you should keep your tax returns forever.)

If you need help developing a working system, get it. Though recordkeeping and taxes can be both tedious and boring, they represent an area in which solo-preneurs can make a huge difference in the bottom line. You owe it to yourself and your family to excel in this area. If you’re intimidated or uncertain in this regard, make a commitment to learn what you need to know--starting today.

Author, Speaker Mary Byer's created this program after the release of her book, Making Work at Home Work: Successfully growing a business and a family under one roof, to help other Work at Home Moms (WAHM) conquer some of the struggles that she herself has been through. Mary says, "I feel really privileged that I was able to write this book. I wrote it with Work at Home Moms in mind. There are so many unique challenges about working at home that only another work-at-homer can understand!" I would like to encourage you to explore their website for some great advice and some much-needed encouragement. If you would like to become a Making Work at Home Work blogger, go here.

Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing to Mary’s free blog at

Friday, September 18, 2009

We Have A Winner

Congratulations to Mary!! She won my Labor Day Give-A-Way. You will be getting the Motor Works Train.

Be sure to check back for more give-a-ways, fun articles, and information.

Congratulations again, Mary!

Cara Retz
Educational Consultant, Discovery Toys
(765) 461-7989

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Sassy Affair

Mark your Calendar and plan to attend:

A Sassy Affair Shopping Extravaganza
Sponsored by Sassy Sisters In Sales
September 10, 2009
5:00pm - 9:15 pm EST

Various vendors representing a variety of products. There is something for everyone. Games, Prizes, Special Deals, Exclusive Savings! Invite your friends - they won't want to miss this either! All of our guests will be entered for a chance to win fabulous prizes, but you must REGISTER !!!!!!!

Event will take place on In the menu select Chat rooms, enter your name, no password needed. Once logged in you'll be in "the lounge". At the top of the box click on the arrow & choose the room assigned to a Sassy Affair. Sit back and enjoy the fair! Chime in with questions or comments anytime.

If you are a vendor and are interested in participating, go to Sassy Sister Events and submit a vendor form. This is a free event. Your only requirements are to submit a prize (see terms for more details ) and you must publicize the event on your blog or other social sites.

Join me from 5:15-5:45. Let me know you saw this post and you will be entered into a special give-a-way!

Come Join The Fun!

It's 9-9-09!!

Today is 9/9/09...

place a Discovery Toys order via phone (765.461.7989) or email ( with me today and receive 9% off your total order! Then your name will be entered into a drawing for $25 in FREE toys! All orders must be placed by 9pm in order to participate in the drawing!! It's never too early to start your Christmas shopping!! :)

You can look at the catalog online:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Give-A-Way

Wishing everyone a Happy Labor Day.

Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment that you did and be entered into my Labor Day Give-A-Way!

Here is what you will win:

Take-apart-and-put-together workabel 3-D construction set challenges fine motor skills while boosting brainpower. Finished train actually rosed on rotating wheels! Compatible with Motor Works electric screwdriver. Includes easy-to-follow graphic instructions and manual screwdriver. Not inteded for children under age 3 due to small parts.
from 4y & up (K, V) e
Learning Pathways: Thinking Skills, Motor Skills, Exploration

Key Benefits:
Utilize small motor skills and thinking abilities to assemble, take apart, and reassemble a real working toy train
Identify colors, vehicle parts and relative positions
Follow graphic directions
Prompt understanding of parts-to-whole
Challenge small motor skills while boosting brainpower
Use simple tools
Engage in imaginary play!
Entries accepted until September 13th.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Easy Playdough (Play-Doh) Recipe

Here is an easy no cook, no cream of tartar playdough (play-doh) recipe.

3 cups flour
1/3 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water
food coloring

Mix flour, salt and oil in large bowl. Mix water and food coloring. Add water mixture 1/4 cup at a time to flour mixture. Sir until it starts to come together. Knead until combined and smooth. Add a little more flour if it's sticky.


Our Measure Up Cups, Pots and Spoons are great for stamping in playdough. You can even use them as the measuring utensils when making it because the #12 cup equals 1 cup, the #6 cup equals 1/2 cup, etc.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Discovery Toys News - September 2009

Fall is Here!

Exciting Things Are Happening!
I hope you are ready for a wonderful fall. I sure am! There are many exciting things happening around Discovery Toys right now. Our new Fall line starts today! There are 40 new toys for you to enjoy with your kids. Call me today and we can set up a time to meet and you can see and play with them! I look forward to working with you this fall and into the coming year.

Cara Retz
Educational Consultant
(765) 461-7989

Fall Open House
September 19th
Time: 2-4pm
Where: my home - contact me for directions

Stop by to play with some of the new toys. We will have food, games, prizes and lots of fun. Don't miss out!
RSVP today!
(765) 461-7989

Success Start Kit Sale
Do you need to earn extra spending cash for the holidays? How about a couple nights out with some girls? Maybe some much needed recognition? You can get all of this and so much more!
Now is a great time to join Discovery Toys. Our Success Start Kit, which is regularly $125, is only $105 this month! What can you loose? Contact me today!

September offers awesome hostess and customer specials. As a hostess, earn Friendship Island or Labyrinth for FREE in addition to all of our regular great hostess benefits!! And your guests can purchase either of these fun games for 50% off. Host a party today and see how much fun they can be! Contact me today to set one up.

Friendship Island

A highly unique board game designed by educational experts to teach social and emotional awareness. Children explore issues related to making friends, being a good friend, and resolving disagreements in win-win ways. Includes 2 sets of playing cards and instructions, which can be used for easier or more challenging game play, plus a Parent Guide to promote family involvement and dialogue.


A family game where players move through a series of evolving, challenging mazes that are full of opportunities to think ahead, make decisions, and take action. Players must plan and execute game strategies, develop observation skills, and predict outcomes. With easier and more challenging rules, it’s a perfect game for family night!

Cara Retz
Discovery Toys Educational Consultant
(765) 461-7989