Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review + Giveaway: TENZI: Make a Decision and Roll With It!

No, it's not just dice. I can explain.
WHAT: TENZI from Carma Games, LLC
INVENTORS: Steve Mark and Kevin Carroll
DOES: good mood maker, great icebreaker, Q-bitz fans would love this, brings whole family together even the g-parents, absolutely adaptable for younger kids
INVEST:  $14.95
AGES: 7 and up (but you can definitely do younger ages!)
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move, Lose and Win Gracefully, Social Scene Helper
GIVEAWAY:  TWO Winners will win their very own customized sets of TENZI.  (You can choose from the available colors- I am jealous that I can't enter this one so I'll be mad at you if you don't go for it.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review + Giveaway: PicWits! Sharpen Your Social Wits!

Number 1 loves to say "Awkward" as a one-word comment.  I think that's a thing to say these days.

PicWits! from Mindware
INVENTOR: Nicolas Cravotta and Rebecca Bleau (Blue Matter Games)

practice being flexible and fun with language; practice being a better social communicator

INVEST: $24.95
AGES:10 and up (you may be able to go lower with adult guidance)
TOOLS: Flexibility is My Superpower, Foment Love of Language, Lose and Win Gracefully
EXPERT OPINION: Nicole Kolenda, M.S., CCC-SLP, P.C., Speech & Language Pathologist
GIVEAWAY:  Win your own box of PicWits!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Power Popper: Rough and Tumble Play is Good

I am going to lose weight with this toy.  Oh, and he'll have fun too.
Mobility and Stability aka "helper hand and worker hand"- a key component in handwriting, using a baseball bat, etc.... do you practice that with this? YOU BETCHA!
WHAT:  Power Popper by Hog Wild
DOES: great opportunity to do rough-and-tumble play but safely, great for bilateral coordination (writing skills)
INVEST:  MSRP $14.99 comes with balls too but extra set of popper balls is $4.99 
AGES: 4+
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move, Holiday Build-Uponner
EXPERT OPINION: Pediatric Occupational Therapist Susan L. Roberts, MDiv, OTR/L 
GIVEAWAY:  Win your own Power Popper

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Coin Clues: Create a Plan of Attack

Coins motivate tactile learners.

WHAT:  Coin Clues by Mindware
INVENTOR: Evelyn B. Christensen
DOES: uses you and your child's love/obsession/admiration for all things currency to tackle a notorious academic subject: the word problem.
INVEST:  $12.95 each
AGES: Book A is for ages 5-8, Book B is for 8+
TOOLS: Think Like a Scientist/Engineer; Foment the Love of Language
EXPERT: Tim Swain, Educational Director of Mathnasium of Manhattan (UWS)
GIVEAWAY:  Win your choice of two Coin Clues Books (A, B, or Making Change (8+ yrs.))

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: OgoDisk: Dittos Don't Build Dendrites

In this game, there are no winners or losers.  The way to win is to have fun and the way to have fun is to keep the ball in play.

WHAT: OgoDisk Mini and OgoDisk Super by OgoSport
DOES: bilateral coordination, visual motor integration, visual tracking..  basically it's all about hand-eye coordination and also using your eyes with more control for things like... reading... you know... stuff like that  
INVEST:  $33-46  prices will vary with retailer  (each set of two disks comes with one ball)
AGES: 3+
TOOLS: My Body Needs to Move
EXPERT OPINION: Pediatric Occupational Therapist Susan L. Roberts, MDiv, OTR/L

Gigantic Review Coming... What Do You Want to Know?

Number 1 and 2 will see this when they come home.  They will faint.  Unlike my recent extreme motherly stunt, I think this it's too cruel to wrap this up in wire and make them earn it.  But they don't know that they will be working so hard with this.  They'll be getting as much as they put in and more!

WHAT:  Woodmobiel brought to you by OOTS!
DOES: It looks like you can do soooooo much with this and you can expect a very thorough review.  It will take some time to review this. I do want to be responsible but in case you are shopping for ideas for a summer project... I think this looks really awesome and so I wanted to tell you about it now.  COULD this be your summer camp alternative?  hmmmmmm
INVEST: Starter Kit is $165; Standard Kit is $300
WHAT NOW??: I need your advice. If you think your child (and you too secretly) would like this very unique and fabulous toy, what would you want to know about it to help you make a decision about buying or not buying it?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Wordless Story Cards: A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

I wonder what could be happening here?

WHAT:  My Trip to Mars and Underwater Adventure from Gryphon Design Collective
INVENTOR: Cat Addams
DOES: fall in love with storytelling, embrace unknown endings, improve writing skills without writing a single word, great way to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month
INVEST:  $19.95  (average wordless story book is $15-17 dollars  but story cards contain an infinite number of stories)
AGES: hmmmm. maybe 2-9 or more depending on a child's language skills
TOOLS: Foment Love of Language, Flexibility is My Superpower, More Make-Believe Please
EXPERT OPINION: Susan Schwartz, MAEd, Learning Specialist, Friends Seminary; John Ferrera, PhD, Child Psychologist, John Ferrera Ph.D. and Associates
GIVEAWAY:  Win My Trip to Mars and 25 % OFF COUPON CODE TOO- see below!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Another Amazing Ken Robinson TED Talk

I have a million wonderful things to say about Ken Robinson.  I have no idea what led me to watch one of his TED talks at 2 AM.  I don't think I even knew what a TED talk was.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Kiwido and Mikido: Science As Sport

This toy says, "I have the coolest mom/dad in the world" unless you are holding it and then it says, "I am the coolest mom/dad in the world."  Pictured is the Kiwido (that comes with a CD-ROM)
WHAT:  Kiwido (with CD-ROM) and Mikido by Active People
DOES: practice your balance, bilateral coordination, and strengthen your upper body! This thing makes you move! Motivation supplied by scientific curiosity... Also, it's an icebreaker in the park!
INVEST:  $26.99 Kiwido with CD-Rom (blue package), $24.99 Kiwido Classic with carrying case, and $11.99 MSRP for Mikido
AGES: 5+ for Kiwido; 3-8 for Mikido
TOOLS: Think Like a Scientist/Engineer, My Body Needs to Move, Social Scene Helper, Express Yourself
GIVEAWAY:  Win your own set of Kiwido (with CD-ROM) mailed to your home!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Extreme Motherly Stunts

A bit extreme? Yeah, I know but hear me out!

WHAT:  How to Keep Kids Playing with the Good Stuff? 
DOES: makes them invest in their toys, gives ownership, slows all of us down... in a good way
INVEST:  You pay for the toy.
AGES: 4+? Have to ask an expert.
TOOLS: Fertilize Responsibility and Courtesy, I Can Take Care of Myself, Family Fix-its

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review + Giveaway: About Face: Every Child is an Artist

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” - Pablo Picasso

WHAT:  About Face by eeBoo
INVENTOR: Saxton Freymann 
DOES: children are given a uniquely-created opportunity to preserve the way they see things, their own unfettered, undisturbed, artistic viewpoints
INVEST:  $14.99 MSRP
AGES: suggested 5+ 
TOOLS: Express Yourself, Social Scene Helper, Foment Love of Language
EXPERT OPINION: Petra Pankow,  Manager of Tours and Gallery Interpretation, Montclair Art Museum and independent museum arts educator at various institutions (MoMA, Guggenheim)
GIVEAWAY:  Win your own About Face game and an autographed copy of Saxton Freymann's book, Food Play !

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: B. Symphony: Multi-Sensory Music Apprecation

My child asked me: What is harmony? Uh..'s.... Somethings you can't explain in words but B. can help! photo. B. Toys

WHAT:  B. Symphony by B. Toys
DOES: learn about different instruments using colors, shapes, reading, touch, hearing- it's multi-sensory! 
INVEST:  $49.99 MSRP
AGES: 3+
TOOLS: Express Yourself, My Body Needs to Move

Thursday, May 2, 2013

In Advance of Mothers Day....

This was passed on by Ellen McHugh at Parent to Parent of NY State. Thank you Ellen.  The author is anonymous.  This passage is right on.

My friend is expecting her first child. People keep asking what she wants. She smiles demurely, shakes her head and gives the answer mothers have given throughout the ages of time. She says it doesn't matter whether it's a boy or a girl. She just wants it to have ten fingers and ten toes. Of course, that's what she says. That's what mothers have always said.

Mothers lie.