Fundanoodle is an education readiness program designed by pediatric occupational therapists and elementary school teachers to develop and improve the motor skills needed for success in and out of the classroom.

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April B. Whitlock, CEO

April B. Whitlock is the CEO and majority owner of Fundanoodle. After managing the brand for two years at Carolina Pad, she acquired the product line and spun the company off as her own. She has a passion for early education and a desire to develop products that will give parents, teachers and caregivers the tools needed to inspire a life-long love of learning.

April is a graduate of Duke University and began her career with Grey Advertising in Chicago. She caught the entrepreneurial bug and returned home to Charlotte as the 32nd employee and 7 year veteran of LendingTree.com. In 2006, she launched the Charlotte office of Mom Corps, a start-up focusing on career and professional development. Two years later, April was recruited by Carolina Pad to develop and launch the Studio C brand and the company’s first ever consumer marketing campaign. April took over the management of the Fundanoodle product line in 2011. In 2013, she successfully raised capital to establish Fundanoodle as an independent company. She has spent two-years developing and testing a consumer focused business model which resulted in the Fundanoodle Ambassador Pilot Program launch in 2015. April is committed to developing a business model that will empower others who are passionate about early education.

April resides in the historic Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, her three daughters and their sweet dog Dixie. She is an active volunteer at her church, her children’s school and with local non-profits that support education and youth.

 
 
 
We are committed to providing intuitive, engaging products that dismantle educational obstacles for all children and foster an environment of independent, proactive, interpersonal learning.

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Have questions about Fundanoodle? Search our commonly asked questions below. Can't find the answer to your question? Click below to ask a Fundanoodle expert!

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1Where did the name “Fundanoodle” come from?
The name “Fundanoodle” incorporates three concepts that form the basis of the program: it’s fun, it teaches fundamental skills, but, most importantly, kids are using their noodle!
2Why is it important that Fundanoodle was developed with occupational therapists?
The practice of occupational therapy focuses on helping individuals learn the tasks of daily living. In working with children, occupational therapists concentrate on helping youngsters develop gross and fine motor skills, coordination, balance, muscle tone and eye-hand coordination, along with the ability to focus on and organize specific tasks. Developing these types of skills and abilities is essential for a child to be successful, not only in school, but also in life
3What are the key features and benefits of the Fundanoodle Products?
 Promotes correct top to bottom formation of strokes.  Uses fun action terms such as “zip across” and “hop to the top” to teach children  Encourages touch and visual exploration.  Promotes problem solving, discovery and self-esteem.  Encourages self-expression and creativity.  Challenges and rewards kids with a sticker-based reward system, keeping Little Learners eager.  Gives parents tips for helping kids develop proper posture, paper stabilization, and pencil grasp techniques.  Helps with fine and gross motor coordination.  Improves strength, control, and endurance with writing tools.  Blended teacher tool kit for differentiated learning and RTI (Response to Intervention)  Common Core aligned
4Does Fundanoodle have benefits beyond educational readiness?
Fundanoodle places an emphasis on the foundational skills that impact nearly every aspect of life. The benefits of Fundanoodle are broad based and lifelong because they enhance the skills and abilities used in everyday living.
5What are fine motor skills and why are they so important?
Fine motor skills allow you to eat, draw, button your shirt, tie your shoes, type, play the piano and many other everyday activities that use the small muscles in your hands and wrist. We use these muscles to guide a pen or pencil when forming letters and numbers. Little Learners need lots of practice with these activities and exercises that allow them to develop good fine motor skills.
6Do I need to purchase every Fundanoodle product to see results?
Fundanoodle does offer recommendations based on an age level. But, the products are designed to work with Little Learners with different strengths, abilities and weaknesses. As a parent, teacher or caregiver, you are the best judge of your child’s skill level.
7What are gross motor skills and why are they so important?
Gross motor skills are the physical skills that require balance, coordination, body awareness, spatial awareness and muscle coordination. These are skills we use to sit, walk, run, jump and perform other activities that use the larger muscle groups (arms, shoulders, legs). Poor gross motor skills could interfere with a child’s ability to perform basic activities like sitting upright in class, writing on a blackboard and riding a bike. A child with poor gross motor skills may lack the confidence to explore new activities.
8How long each day should my Little Learner engage with Fundanoodle products?
No more than 20 to 30 minutes a day. 20 minutes of hands-on, active preparation with manipulatives like “I Can Pound!” or the letter builder magnets. Then 10 minutes of writing practice with any of the activity books. Little Learners need to practice, but they also need to be interested and focused in order to see results. And Fundanoodle was meant to be fun!
9What are some ways I can increase fine motor skills outside of the Fundanoodle products?
One of the best ways to increase fine motor skills is to reduce anytime your children spend using touchscreen technology or screen time and increasing the amount of time spent in active play! Another is to avoid the traps of our culture of convenience. For example, instead of purchasing squeezable apple sauce or yogurt, serve these items to your child in a bowl with a spoon so that they can work on the wrist strength and hand control. Your home already has a variety of tools that can help! In the kitchen, let your child play with tongs – simple games picking up small items with tongs (e.g. cotton balls, grapes) and moving them from one bowl to another. In the bathtub, let your use a small measuring up to fill up a large plastic bowl of water. Draw a lot – with crayons inside and chalk outside. Use stickers, scissors or rip paper and paste with a glue stick. There are a wealth of ideas on Pinterest – make sure to check out our boards. Hosting a Fundanoodle Playdate is a great way to learn more. Your Fundanoodle Ambassador will lead Little Learners in an activity that you can easily replicate at home, as well as provide more real-life examples.
10Why do you distribute your products through Fundanoodle Ambassadors instead of in a retail store?
Unfortunately, with the increase in technology use and educational app development, retail stores are drastically decreasing the amount of shelf-space devoted to educational products. We have found that we have greater success getting Fundanoodle products into more hands when parents and caregivers have an opportunity to test the product before purchasing. Also, we receive messages daily from passionate parents, teachers and caregivers who have seen marked success in their Little Learners by the use of Fundanoodle products. The Ambassador Program was a natural development to allow those successful users an opportunity to share their passion with others in a hands-on, personal environment.
1Why do I need to worry about providing handwriting instruction?
Letter and number formation are critical foundational skills for developing confident, eager learners. Handwriting instruction is offered in school, but the time allotted for learning and practicing this skill is often limited. Little Learners need to start practicing writing skills well before they enter Kindergarten. On the first day of Kindergarten, children are expected to:  Write their name  Know their home phone number  Be familiar with letters and numbers  Cut, color and draw
2My child is left-handed. Will there be any issues in using the Fundanoodle products?
Not at all. Fundanoodle products were designed to benefit both right and left handed children. All of our activity books are top-bound spiral so that they lie flat for easy access despite which hand is dominate.
3Does Fundanoodle’s handwriting instruction follow the D’Nealian Handwriting or Zaner-Bloser method of handwriting?
Fundanoodle’s handwriting instruction is more compatible with the Zaner-Bloser handwriting method.
4My child is having difficulty with a particular skill or activity. What should I do?
Practice, practice, practice! In addition to practice with the Fundanoodle products, we encourage you to visit our Pinterest boards and Facebook page for other ideas to practice.
5Can I get safety information on Fundanoodle?
Fundanoodle adheres to CPSIA testing guidelines for products designed for children ages 3 and up. To see our test results, visit the Product Safety link at www.fundanoodle.com.
6Why do you encourage teaching Uppercase Letters before Lowercase?
Uppercase letters are easier to write and all start at the top line. This makes for easier instruction and understanding. We encourage Little Learners to master Uppercase letters before moving to Lowercase letters.
7Are Fundanoodle products available in Spanish?
At this time, Fundanoodle products are not available in Spanish.
8I noticed in our “I Can Write Letters!” books that you do not introduce the letters in ABC order. Why is that?
We’ve designed all of the Fundanoodle products to be developmentally progressive. So, we introduce the letters from easiest to write to hardest to write. Therefore, Little Learners develop confidence in their skills as they move from easier letters to more challenging letters. In fact, when parents tell us their children do not “like to write” we often find that their instruction started with an Uppercase A – the third hardest letter to write!
9What is the best age to start to teach my child to write?
Children are developmentally ready to properly hold a pencil and begin writing instruction around age 4. Prior to that, we encourage parents and caregivers to work on letter recognition and formation in other, non-writing ways like our letter builder magnets and letter/number pounding pages. Before the age of 4, parents and caregivers should be focused on developing hand-strength and fine motor skills so that their Little Learner will be physically ready to start learning to write.
10When should I let my child use scissors?
As long as you are using an excellent pair of safety scissors (like Fundanoodle’s), we recommend introducing the cutting skill at age 3. That’s because it takes A LOT of practice to master. Give your child their own basket of scrap paper with our specially designed safety scissors and empower them to practice whenever they want!
11My child is on the Autism spectrum. Can Fundanoodle help?
Yes! Since our products were developed by pediatric occupational therapists, they are designed to work for Little Learners of every ability. We have had tremendous feedback from parents of children with all types of learning disabilities who found success using our products.
 
 
“If you have or know a child under second grade you're going to want to check this company out. The products are high quality, educational, and fun.“ – Modest Mama