Archives for December 1, 2017

Product to check out this week: Invisible ink children’s reading & drawing book Check it out!

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It encourages even the most reluctant reader with the fun and adventure of invisibility and reading in the dark.

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post. Info was provided.

Sing to your baby in Spanish!: Cántale A Tu Bebé! Giveaway Opportunity!

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Picture Book with Downloadable Music; Vocals by Sonia De Los Santos and Jorge Anaya

Available from booksellers everywhere

GRAMMY® winning musicians and authors Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer want to dispel the notion that a parent has to have tubes like Adele or Bruno Mars to enjoy music with their infants. Their Sing To Your Baby project gives parents the confidence, songs and a toolkit to begin the happy adventure. In 2011, the duo published a picture book with songs called Sing To Your Baby, a project which garnered critical praise, awards, and a feature on National Public Radio. MetroKids called it “the best new baby gift since Dr. Spock.” Parents’ Choice gave it a Gold Award, recommending it as “warmhearted and beautifully crafted.”

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Responding to requests from parents and educators, Cathy & Marcy’s Community Music will publish the Spanish edition of their popular book with music on September 15. The 11 lovingly translated songs on Cántale A Tu Bebé are sung by noted bilingual artists and native Spanish speakers Sonia De Los Santos and Jorge Anaya. Unlike a collection of lullabies or entertainment-oriented album, Cántale A Tu Bebé is designed for interaction and everyday use. The 32-page beautifully illustrated book includes a link to download all of the songs, providing a virtual coach for anyone – parents, caregivers and others – in a new baby’s circle of love.

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! To enter, leave a comment below! Deadline to enter is December 6th, 2017 at noon PST. U.S. Residents only, please.

Self Disclosure: Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick Adventures Book Club Engages a New Generation of Wildlife Champions A Great Holiday Gift Suggestion too!

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Now, young readers ages 7-12 have a fun-filled resource designed just for them to nurture their understanding and love of nature and wildlife!  Ranger Rick Adventures Book Club delivers two new books, Ranger Rick Adventures and Just 4 Fun, every other month to a child’s doorstep. Each book is a best-of collection of features from the award-winning Ranger Rick magazine. Ranger Rick Adventures presents the comic adventures of Ranger Rick raccoon, Scarlet Fox and Boomer Badger, these wildlife ambassadors come to the aid of their cousins in need, from mountain lions to fireflies.  Just 4 Fun delivers brain-boosting animal games, puzzles, riddles, crafts and more.

“Ranger Rick Adventures Book Club gives kids more of the best of Ranger Rick,” said Robert Harper, executive publisher of the National Wildlife Federation.  “The club is a great way for kids to have fun while learning about nature and the challenges facing our nation’s wildlife.”

Research shows that reading and play have a positive impact on childhood development; Ranger Rick Adventures Book Club encourages both in every engaging package. As book club members, kids get two books every other month: 1) Ranger Rick Adventures features 36 pages of colorfully illustrated comic stories and amazing facts about wildlife and the natural world. Covering a range of real world issues and science, including natural disasters like hurricanes, the impacts of pollution, habitat loss and much more, each wildlife-focused story outlines challenges, solutions, and simple actions young conservationists can take to help.  2) Just 4 Fun loaded with 36-pages of puzzles, riddles, activities, games, recipes, and crafts – all full of fun facts about the natural world.

For a limited time you can sign up kids for the Ranger Rick Adventures Book Club at a special 2-for-1 book price of $6.95 with free shipping at:  Ranger Rick Adventures Book Club.

Our readers can get a 60% discount on Ranger Rick magazines by going to  www.nwf.org/SoCalCK.

I love how educational and fun these magazines are for kids!

More About the National Wildlife Federation:
The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   To learn more about the National Wildlife Federation and Ranger Rick, please go to www.nwf.org.

Self Disclosure: I received a copy of a magazine. No other compensation was received. Image and info were also provided. 

Holiday Gift Suggestions Week #1! Check out all these amazing products!

It’s that time of the year and I am so excited to share that there will be a Holiday Gift Guide feature every week until December 22nd!

So, check out this week’s gift suggestions!

Looking for some fun gift ideas for family fun? ThinkFun has you covered!

Roller Coaster Challenge

Build An Amusement Park in Your Living Room!, $29.99
Roller Coaster Challenge is our first thrill ride building game. Benefits? Engineering challenges that help players understand physics and logic concepts – all while watching a coaster glide down the track, complete with dips, curves and loops! Roller Coaster Challenge just made Amazon’s Top 25 Holiday Toys list!  (Ages 6+) This one really is a lot of fun!

Rover Control

Strategic Thinking + Coding Education = Best Educational Gift Under $20, $14.99
//CODE: Rover Control – Prepared for a programming space mission? In this 40-challenge game two Rovers have been sent to explore Mars. The trouble is, the Rovers are programmed to travel on color and most of the pathways were left colorless in a dust storm. You’ll need to call on your critical thinking skills to correctly color the pathways so the Rovers stay on course. Challenges introduce “decision points,” “loops,” and “increment instructions” as you progress–all advanced computational skills that are delicately embedded into a fun play experience and will have you thinking like a true programmer. Just earned The Dice Tower Seal of Approval! (Ages 8+)

Color Cube Sudoku

Stimulating Play + 3D Logic Puzzle = Perfect for Kids and Adults Alike, $19.99
Color Cube Sudoku – is a brilliant re-imagining of the classic Sudoku puzzle using colors instead of numbers. Flip and arrange your nine color cubes until no colors repeat in any row or column. With over 2 trillion different ways to position the 3-D cubes, it’s more challenging than it may appear! Color Cube Sudoku is a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner and earned finalist status in American Specialty Toy Retailer Association’s (ASTRA) Best Toys for Kids! (Ages 8+)

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With Utter nonsense! The Hilarious Accent Game-Family Edition gather the family around the table and get ready to laugh. You don’t have to be good at accents and the combinations don’t need to make sense, that’s where the fun comes in! Players combine silly accents with even sillier phrases to create sayings and actions that are just plain ridiculous. Players are encouraged to improvise too. Chock full of family fun, you and your family will be rolling on the floor laughing in no time.

Age range: 8+

MSRP: $24.99

Available online: https://www.target.com/p/utter-nonsense-family-board-game/-/A-52137387

Looking for some fun and educational gift ideas?  Toysmith offers several educational STEM kits from its 4M line that encourage curious young minds and builds confidence through a wide range of products from robotics and fossil digging to crystal growing and beyond.

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T-Rex Dinosaur DNA ($16.99): Excavate and build your very own glow-in-the-dark T-Rex model and collect buried DNA. This innovative kit even brings dinosaurs to life through Augmented Reality using the free Dino Codes app (Google Play or iTunes)! Take photos and videos of yourself interacting with T-Rex and instantly share via email, text, or social media. (Ages 8+)

Crystal Growing Experiment Kit ($19.99): Perfect for young scientists, the Crystal Growing Experiment Kit offers hands-on experience that grow and challenge their imagination while introducing them to geology. (Ages 10+)

   Tin Can Robot ($16.99): Grab an empty soda can and learn the basics of electrical wiring, battery power, and most of all, using items from your recycling bin. Add your own creative touches to decorate the can for more personality. (Ages 8+)

Here are a few great gifts for Toddlers!

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With HABA’s Zookeeper Sorting Box, children have twice as much fun! Just like in a real zoo, within every enclosure there is a slide: If pushed down, only the half wood shapes fit through the opening. If pushed upward, the opening is large enough for the whole wood shape. This is fun because as children play, they can pretend to feed the animals while becoming more familiar with color and shape recognition. Includes 8 wooden shapes and 1 sorting box. 

Age range: 12 months+ MSRP: $34.99

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Learning Resources’ Snap-n-Learn™ Matching Dinos, kids snap together these cute dinos and spark an early love of learning about colors and shapes. These colorful dinosaurs mix and match together, so little learners have endless hours of fun while they build their fine motor skills. Entire set stores neatly away in the sturdy plastic bucket. Includes: 18 pieces (9 two-piece dinos).

Age range: 2+ years

MSRP: $19.99

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E-I-E-I-OH! Educational Insights’ Peekaboo Barn Game gets little ones working together in this farming fun game based on the preschooler app sensation, Peekaboo Barn™. This game promotes vocabulary development and storytelling, encourages interactive and social play, and introduces early game play to younger kids. Game comes with a 3-D Barn with two levels, 1 Silo spinner, 8 Animals, and a multilingual game guide (English, Spanish, French, and German)

 Age range: 2-4 years
 MSRP: $24.99
Available online. 
Looking for a creative gift idea for younger children?  Magic Sketch, a fun new way for your kids to draw, play, and learn! The flexible, LCD screen is transparent, allowing kids to trace with the provided stencils or from their own images!  Magic Sketch is from the makers of the hit product Boogie Board who are also the leaders in crystal display technology.
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Each Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and includes:
  • Magic Sketch
  • Protector Guard
  • 1 Roller
  • 3 Stamps
  • 20 Learning Stencils
  • 20 Games Stencils
  • 20 Art Stencils

This one would make a great gift for ages 4-8.

How about sending someone a Popcorn Bucket or a stash of candy?

GourmetGiftBaskets.com is the site to check out this holiday season! 

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I like that they have a wide variety of different items that you can send to someone special!

I love this next one! Tweens, Teens and even adults will love Show My CoCo. Created by teenage entrepreneurial sisters, Show My CoCo is a new line of personalized and customizable phone cases designed to help girls and women of all ages express their personalities and bring out their fun and creative sides.

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After purchasing the clear sliding back phone case, users can choose from a wide array of different stainless-steel charms that include emotions, sayings, and other items that help users express themselves. Place those charms in the case, slide the back on and you are ready to show your CoCo!

This is really a cute idea! Check it out at https://showmycoco.com/

Reduce Stress and Give the Gift of Relaxation this Holiday Season with The AiroSpa Pillow!

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With the gift buying/giving season right around the corner, the annual struggle as to what to get that friend or significant other will confront many shoppers. This year, buyers can give the gift of relaxation and help those important to them relieve stress with the AiroSpa™ Pillow, www.airospapillow.com.

 The AiroSpa™ Pillow is one of the simplest and most affordable solutions to the stress challenge and a solution to the gift-giving conundrum.

 I had the opportunity to try it out and was impressed with how simple it is to use!

The AiroSpa™ Pillow is a unique, simple to use, affordable, multi-purpose stress reliever and aromatherapy pillow that can be enjoyed at home and while traveling anywhere. With its built-in and patented fan, airflow vents and face-down angled construction, the AiroSpa™ Pillow can be used as a home/office/travel massage experience enhancer with a partner or all on its own for a calming and relaxing experience.

 The AiroSpa™ Pillow comes complete with a simple to inflate, padded, face-down pillow, a patented insertable fan to provide air flow and to disperse the pure-essential oils that all comes neatly packaged.

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 The entire set retails for $29.95 plus shipping and handling and includes three pure essential oils (Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium). For a limited time this holiday season, the AiroSpa™ Pillow will come with three additional pure essential oils (Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang), normally a $30 value, at no extra charge.

 

The last item for this week is definitely going to be a big hit this holiday season! So, I’m ending this holiday guide with a bang! Check out the GOTRAX HOVERFLY!

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GOTRAX™ Launches New Line of Hoverboards and Electric Rideables!

GOTRAX™, a new Denver-based brand on a mission to boost imaginations and the possibilities for personal transportation into hyperdrive, announces today its line of hoverboard self-balancing scooters and electric rideables.

The GOTRAX™ GALAXY is beaming down its signature UL certified hoverboards, the HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS. These stellar self-balancing scooters allow Commanders to accelerate, stop and steer with a simple shift in body weight using advanced gyroscopic technology. Commanders can experience the zero-gravity feeling of hovering as they cosmic fun glide through the GALAXY.

Both the HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS are among the most powerful hoverboards in the cosmos, producing top-ranking extraterrestrial torque thanks to dual 350-watt electric motors (compared to typical competitors’ 250-300 watts) capable of propelling Commanders up to 7.4 miles-per-hour for 12 miles on a single charge.

I had the chance to try out the Hoverfly and it really is a lot of fun! I love that it includes a Training mode and I felt safe..which is pretty important to me! 

Available in five Cosmic Colors, both models feature lunar-bright LED lights, durable, high-quality aluminum construction with an external shield, aluminum wheels and rubber tires. Multiple modes including a Training Mode for quick and easy flight training make it easy to be a master faster. All GOTRAX™ products are fully UL 2272 tested and certified for electrical, battery and charging safety.

Look for GOTRAX™ products this holiday season! 

The GOTRAX™ HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS are available now at GOTRAX.COM and on Amazon.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the items listed above to facilitate this Holiday post. Images were also provided. 

 

 

 

ABC Monsters: Starring VWXYZ – Learning Early Language Skills In a Fun Way With 26 Distinctive Letter Monsters

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Twenty six cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet, but should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped clean from every book in Capital Town! In this DVD, embark on adventures with Alice, Brian, and Cherry Berry to search high and low for the letters V, W, X, Y, and Z. It’s a very windy day in Capital Town. After checking the ABC Monsters, it seems that one of them is missing – W-Monster! So Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry head into town in hopes of finding their missing friend, W-Monster. Along the way they meet, Wanda the Weaver, Wendy the Window Cleaner and then Willie Webster. Hopefully, one of them will be able to help Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry find W-Monster during this windy day. Get set for a spellbinding series of magical adventures that engages preschool children’s imaginations, while making learning exciting and entertaining. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jolleen M. comments, “This educational DVD is super cute and hilarious. I love that it is interactive and that there is music. The animation is very colorful, bright and vivid.” Sahiba K. adds, “My favorite part is the journey of finding the monsters because, even I had the pleasure of guessing the riddles and seeing how one puzzle would lead to the next. The message of this DVD is “always help those in need and good will always transpire.”  Rachael V. wraps it up with, “I love seeing such a positive portrayal of little girls on screen. All of the Alphabet Monsters are funny and somehow manage to have different personalities. This show provides fun adventures, but I honestly just love the fact that these 26 monsters have 26 distinct looks and 26 distinct personalities.” See their full reviews below.

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By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

 

This educational DVD is super cute and hilarious. I love that it is interactive and that there is music. The animation is very colorful, bright and vivid.

In the story, the letters of the alphabet are all different monsters. Each episode stars one of the letters of the alphabet. Later in the episode, the letter goes missing and it’s up to Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry to find the missing letter. If one of the monsters goes missing for more than a day, then all of the letters will be erased from every book. Throughout the episodes, they teach letter recognition, spelling, writing each letter, identifying the missing letter in a word and there are parts where you can sing-along.

I like the style of animation in this show. It is really cute, cheerful, colorful and pleasing. The animation flows well and has lots of detail. The backgrounds look really cool as well. I love the way the characters’ faces have different expressions and they show a variety of emotions through their facial expressions.

Each of the characters has a different hairstyle and different personality. This shows me that the creators took the time and the effort to give each character a completely different and unique look as well as a completely distinctive personality. It makes the DVD just that much more interesting to watch and it impacts the storyline as well.

My favorite part of the episodes is when they can make alliterations with the letter that is starring. It is really creative and amazing to see how many words they come up with. For example, on the episode that stars the letter W, they met Wanda the Weaver, Wendy the Window Cleaner and Willie the Webster.

The message of this DVD is about teaching kids to do the right things when different situations arise. The goal is to educate kids about the alphabet and help them develop their language skills. The film also has sing-alongs, which can help in developing your reading skills. This show excels at teaching while entertaining kids. I believe that a child can learn a lot about the alphabet from watching it. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 7. It is available on DVD now so go check it out.

ABC Monsters Starring VWXYZ

By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

ABC Monsters Starring VWXYZ, directed by Ah Loong, is an interactive adventure full of fun and games! Songs, puzzles and dances encircle each episode with excitement. Puzzles where viewers are asked to help kept me engaged as I felt I was a part of the show, helping the main characters along their journey to find the missing monsters.

The story follows Alice, Brian and their fairy Cherry Berry, who embark on different adventures to find the missing letters. On their way, they face many puzzles, meet new friends and visit new places. They even learn new songs and dance moves as they embark on their exhilarating quests.

The animation and songs are unforgettable. The children and adults have a larger head than body, which allows an exaggeration of emotions. It makes it easy to understand what the characters are feeling. The monsters come in different colors, have distinctive hairstyles and unique personalities. Each characteristic adds to their charm including their smiles and even their unique teeth. The backgrounds are colorful and radiant. They appear to have been drawn as there are sketchy lines that outline the trees, hills and houses. This adds to the calm feeling of watching different, lively scenes. The animation becomes more visually appealing when different patches of designs merge to create walls, floors and hills. It prevents certain areas from being one solid color and gave me more to look at on their adventures.

When a song begins, the scene changes into vibrant shades of yellow, pink and blue with a multitude of flowery shapes. The characters dance on screen while colors and patterns flow past them. There are sparkles everywhere and lights flash as if the characters are at a disco. Captions also appear at the bottom, encouraging viewers to sing along. The ambiance of these scenes are exuberant and energetic. The songs themselves are catchy and made me want to sing along too.

My favorite part is the journey of finding the monsters because, even I had the pleasure of guessing the riddles and seeing how one puzzle would lead to the next. The message of this DVD is “always help those in need and good will always transpire.” I give this DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 6. This DVD is available now so be sure to check it out, especially if you have pre-schoolers.

 

ABC Monsters: Starring VWXYZ

By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Oh no, W-Monster is missing! Capital Castle is a grand place that houses the 26 Alphabet Monsters, but today we have one missing and we must find it! My son was loving the search and kept asking where W had gone. It is adorable. My favorite thing about this DVD is the alliteration and how it coincides with the main cast. For example: since we are searching for W, we encounter Willie Webster and Wanda the Weaver and all this takes place on a windy day! Isn’t that fun? One of the children searching for W-Monster is named Alice and she is such a sweetheart. I love seeing such a positive portrayal of little girls on screen. All of the Alphabet Monsters are funny and somehow manage to have different personalities. This show provides fun adventures, but I honestly just love the fact that these 26 monsters have 26 distinct looks and 26 distinct personalities. It’s wonderfully done. This is best for preschool-aged children, however, I recommend it for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

Tips For A Cozy Night In This Holiday Season!

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December means snowy nights, relaxing by the fire and adorning your home with festive holiday decorations. To create the perfect setting for a comfortable night in this holiday season, DIY Network host and Pine Mountain spokesperson Jason Cameron, has put together a go-to checklist for parents.

Some of Jason’s tips include:

  • Make a festive snack – Everyone loves making sugar cookies and gingerbread, but the best part is eating your creations! While snacking on cookies, wash it down with some hot chocolate or warm apple cider.

I know that baking Christmas cookies is always at the top of my list!

 We had a chance to receive one of these amazing logs and I loved the pine smell! I highly recommend!

  • Watch a holiday movie – From Frosty the Snowman to Elf, we all have a favorite holiday movie. These movies provide a sense of nostalgia for adults, and offer hours of entertainment for kids. What is your favorite holiday movie?

  • Decorate your home – Setting up holiday decorations in your home is a tradition that many families across the country have. Play some light music in the background and chat about your favorite holiday memories to make the activity more festive.

Self Disclosure: I received a free firelog to facilitate this post. The image was also provided and tips.