Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tips: LEGOS on the CHEAP! Really? + LEGO Giveaway

Imagine getting all these LEGOs for just $25!  I was kissed by the God of Shopping that day.
And you'd think this was enough but.....

Read This if Your Kid's LEGO Obsession is Bleeding You Dry

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Giveaway: OgoSport PlayRefuel Summer Contest 2013

A $250 Value Giveaway Basket!!!! See that OgoDisk set in the middle?  That is the Ogo Fora II.  Very cool looking gears motif!  It's twin sister, Ogo Fora I is going to be in our next Outdoor Toy giveaway.- coming soon!

WHAT: PlayRefuel Summer Contest 2013 ($250 Value)

DOES: Drop a Name and Enter to Win this Amazing Gift Basket

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Mastermind: Games for Young Scientists

I love to watch my kids think.  It looks like this sometimes and I love it even more when they start talking to themselves to solve a problem.  Gayle thinks that this kind of self-talk is important.
WHAT: Mastermind and Ultimate Mastermind distributed by Pressman Toy Corporation
INVENTOR: Mordecai Meirowitz 
DOES: an educational game that gets kids thinking like scientists and has them practice reflecting on what went wrong
INVEST: $15 for Mastermind and $20 for Ultimate Mastermind (MSRP)
8+ (you can modify for younger)
TOOLS: Think Like a Scientist/Engineer, Lose and Win Gracefully
EXPERT OPINION: Dr. Gayle Herman, Child Psychologist
GIVEAWAY: Win both Mastermind and Ultimate Mastermind!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Chalktrail (Scooter and Bike): Creativity Fuels Fitness

Social Aesthetics- that could be a new thing, right?

WHAT: Chalktrail Scooter (new 2013)  Chalktrail for bikes still rocks! (by Fat Brain Toys)
INVENTOR: Scott Baumann
DOES: regardless of skill levels, Chalktrail is an outdoor toy that has universal appeal; gets kids together and gets kids moving
INVEST:  $12.95 for scooter attachment; $19.95 for bike attachment
3+  (I think it will be most popular with the 3-8 year group)
TOOLS:  Express Yourself, My Body Needs to Move
GIVEAWAY:  Win your choice between Chalktrail Bike or Chalktrail Scooter attachments
educational toy

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Woodmobiel: Ultimate Toy Shopping Secret Revealed

The Woodmobiel Standard Kit can make at least two different sizes of See-Saws- the playground toy that has all but been banished in many playgrounds. Why?

Woodmobiel distributed by OOTS!

DOES: allows you and your child to build the toys and furniture that she/he can use everyday!
INVEST:  $300 for Standard Kit; $165 Starter Kit
TOOLS: Express Yourself, I Can Take of Myself, More Make-Believe Please, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer
EXPERT OPINION: David Wells, Manager, Creative Making and Learning, New York Hall of Science

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review & Giveaway Package Prize: Top Travel Games Part 2 ($100+ value)

Travel games can do more than keep your kids from getting bored. I think it can also be used as a exercise in something crazy - that is, the practice of BEING a family. Think about it, when do all of you get together, travel together, be only with each other, and have to compromise with each other all day long?  Answer: your family vacation.  The thing is, it also sounds like being in a classroom, doesn't it?

Classroom learning requires a good amount of "shared attention skills" and so do family vacations.  We must all share the attention to remain part of the group and that is one thing games do very well in its own lighthearted but still structured way.  Playing games as a group can help a family just "BE" with each other. I'm not used to the group thing myself and I actually develop quite a bit of anxiety before going to any group function, even if it is just my own family that is traveling with me.  Still, I do believe that games can ease tensions before, during, and after vacations.  Try playing games before your next getaway.  See what happens.  Here are some suggestions.  This review pays special attention to the little ones but still has fun games that cater to all ages.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Mindfeed: Mindware is Full of Brainy Guys

MindWare Brainy Guy Logo Sculpture at ASTRA show in Nashville TN June 2013

Ever wonder what kind of people are making your children's toys?  Do they have the ultimate dream job?  Are they like Tom Hanks in the movie Big and say things like, "A building that turns into a robot? Well, what's fun about that?" Meet Mike Majerus, creator of the Brainy Guy sculpture (see above) and chief numbers geek at one of my favorite toy companies, MindWare.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Start Eating Smart with Doodle Aprons!

Good eating habits have a better start in the kitchen.

WHAT: doodle aprons (Adult Size and Child Size) by doodle by Stitch
INVENTOR: Chrissie Probert Jones

DOES: can be the start of some new eating habits; an excellent executive functioning activity, cookout with the kids this summer!
INVEST:  $21.86 for child size; $25.86 for adult size.  A set of markers come in every package- what a great deal!
AGES: 2+?  Whenever you want to give them non-toxic washable markers?
TOOLS: Express Yourself, I Can Take Care of Myself, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner, Family Fix-it
EXPERT OPINION: Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Integrative Nutritionist, Susan L. Roberts, MDiv, OTR/L 
GIVEAWAY: Two doodle aprons of your choice! (Child and Child) or (Child and Adult)