Saturday, March 30, 2013

Toy Revival 101: Share Your Wisdom and Win Awesome Fine Motor Chopsticks!

Occupational Therapist Aimee Prainito loves these.  It builds your fine motor skills and can help kids find eating more fun!   Leftee or Rightee?   Don't worry! BTW, I know you can't read this but they are definitely Edison...

Readers often ask me for ideas on how to get their  kids to continue playing with the awesome toys that they have.  I completely understand.   Make no mistake.  It is Ninjago that rules this home. Video games are huge here despite this site being big on educational toys.  My household as well as those of the testers are having the same problems with some variations of course (too much of something... ie. video games, t.v., even reading....) Based on my conversations with them, as well as other parents and specialists, I have come up with the following list of tips.  Some will fit your family and some may not...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review & Giveaway: The Educational Triple Threat (Vista Explorer Tripod + Case Star Clip + Tablet/Phone)

Presentation skills are often NOT taught in school and yet this scary activity is required of them throughout their academic years.  Tiffen has something that can help.

WHAT: Vista Explorer 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Tripod Bag by Davis & Sanford, a division of Tiffen
WHAT: Case Star Universal Clip/Clasp Holder for Tripod
WHAT: Your camera, tablet, smartphone..... (Cameras do not need the Case Star Clip)
DOES: inexpensive, lightweight, and easy-to-use equipment can be handled by kids to encourage them to record themselves on video; offers potential speech and language benefits; practice brings confidence and competence
INVEST:  $32.02 MSRP for Tripod; $6.99 Clip Holder (price at time of posting)
AGES: maybe 6 years old? depends on the family and child...
TOOLS: Express Yourself, Foment Love of Language, Remember to Learn, Social Scene Helper 
GIVEAWAY:  Win your own lightweight Vista Explorer tripod.  Give it to your kid to star in his own videos!  Give it to yourself to blog?  Make your own movies without the shakies.

Camera accessories like this Vista Explorer by Davis and Sanford have TREMENDOUS educational potential!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Do Candy Names Count As Words?

WHAT: Sweet-inspired word recall?
STAR of the SHOW:  Radz
INVEST: $ 5.29 or less!  see below!
TOOLS: Social Scene Helper (who wouldn't talk to you if you were wearing one of these); Family Fix-it  (oh, yes, you guessed it.  If you motivate via sweet tooth... these are PERFECTLY portioned!),  Lastly, it can be a perfect party favor.

Any Scrabble experts out there?  Help us settle the score.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Super Fidgets: Caterpinch & Mini PushPathz

Push Pathz helps him transition to sleep. 

WHAT: Caterpinch and Mini PushPathz
DOES: Fidget to focus, fidget to transition, fidget to balance, and fidget to strengthen, and more...
INVEST:  $17.99 (for one) and $19.99 (for a set of 5 different pathz)
AGES: Any number between 1 and 100 (says me)
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move, Social Scene Helper, I Can Take Care of Myself
EXPERT OPINION:   Aimee Prainito, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Prainito Pediatric Therapy and Mike Pfeiffer, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Owner/Director, Leaps and Bounds Pediatric Therapy
GIVEAWAY:  Win both the Caterpinch and Mini Push Pathz ($38+ value!!!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Squishy Prints Make Happy Feet

It is play or it is exercise or is he about to make me do some acrobatics?

WHAT: Squishy Prints- Foot Prints by Abilitations
DOES: play walking games, Twister-type follow-direction games, make up your own game, give them something to walk on besides your sofa!
INVEST:  $49.99
AGES: Not sure but I would think somewhere between 1-99 year(s) old
TOOLS: Family Fix-its, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner,  My Body Needs to Move, Remember to Learn
EXPERT OPINION: Mike Pfeiffer, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Owner/Director, Leaps and Bounds Pediatric Therapy
GIVEAWAY:  Win your very own set of Squishy Prints  (U.S, addresses only please!)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Talking Tom- Kids' Newest Study Buddy

Who says he can't study for his test with Talking Tom? Sometimes my cockamamie ideas do work!

WHAT:  Talking Tom and Talking Ben by Cuddle Barn
DOES: This app-to-real life toy can be way more useful than your average poop joke outlet.  Some kids may find it useful to access and enhance their memory before test dates just by telling Ben or Tom what they need to remember!  It works for us!
INVEST:  $34.99
AGES: 3+  (although, I don't see how two year old would not love this!)
TOOLS: Express Yourself, Foment Love of Language, Remember to Learn
EXPERT OPINION: Alison Berkley, Co-owner, Special Education Teacher, Emerge and See Education Center, Blogger, Breaking Barriers at Psychology Today
GIVEAWAY:  Win your very own Talking Tom or Talking Ben (winner decides!)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Quadrilla Xcellerator: Slow-Cooked Learning Makes Better Problem-Solvers

WHAT: Xcellerator by Quadrilla by Hape
DOES:  I don't know if this is more beauty than brains or more brains than beauty.  If Quadrilla was a person, she would be a supermodel that graduated from Harvard.
INVEST: $149.99
AGES: 4+ 
TOOLS: Flexibility is My Superpower, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner, My Body Needs to Move, spatial reasoning, Social Scene Helper, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer
GIVEAWAY:  One Xcellerator Quadrilla set shipped to your home.  (U.S. Continental addresses only please)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Spectrix Can Boost a Spectrum of Skills

The goal for me is to try to work on as many things [skills] as possible at the same time - Amy Baez, OTR/L, Founder Playapy, on why she likes using Spectrix with kids.

WHAT: Spectrix by Funnybone Toys
INVENTOR: Julien Sharp
DOES: Good design allows family members of all ages to play this brain-building game TOGETHER.  Parents, professionals, and even kids can to create their own games. 

AGES: Recommended for ages 8+ but we've been successful with younger!
TOOLS: Flexibility is My Superpower, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner, Lose and Win Gracefully, Math is Everywhere, Remember to Learn, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer
EXPERT OPINION: Amy Baez, OTR/L, Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Founder of Playapy
GIVEAWAY:  Win this trio of card games that have been FLYING off museum store shelves! (U.S. addresses only please)  ($45 VALUE!)

One Winner Will Win Array, Cubu, and Spectrix