Archive For The “Gift Guide Archives” Category

Toys, Tech & Games for the Best Holiday Gifts

By |

While this post isn’t sponsored, many of the toys, games and tech included in the attached Holiday Gift Guide were provided to us for review or promotional purposes. As always, the opinions expressed herein are our honest thoughts and strictly our own. Affiliate links are included, as this is one way to support this blog and content.

The magic of the season is upon us again. Bring on everything glitter and sparkle… and wine. This year we are particularly excited to share our best holiday gift finds for children because many of these brands have already passed the test of time. Klutz, for instance, has long been a Spalding Family favorite brand. Their kits and projects keep expanding the boundary of creativity and learning.

In previous years, we’ve featured Magformers… still going strong with their Police Set. Great for younger learners, this playset offers 50 builds in 1 kit. Children can make a variety of vehicles plus a police pistol, walkie-talkie and many other police themed transformations.

2019 is our best year for stocking success

We mixed it up with sock-size science, crafts, music, and games. Twelve amazing stocking ideas including another family favorite company: Worlds Smallest Toys. Check out their most adorable, on-the-go Crayola line with a crayon keychain to clip to a diaper bag, backpack or purse and their adorable color pencil kit, which comes with two mini coloring books… all in pocket-size perfection. And SLIME… hello? We’ve got ya covered with galaxy inspired slime products. And then there’s coding kits to fit in your palm. Code Car and Code Piano pack huge learning fun in the tiniest boxes. BIG creativity in tiny packages, perfect for sock stuffing.

A Guide to Tech Toys

We provide six tips for picking out cool tech toys, beyond “don’t forget the batteries”. Technology is one of the trickiest gifts to consider but it’s among the most requested. Want a stand out gift that gets used and appreciated vs shelved and forgotten… check out page 4 of our Holiday Gift Guide.

No Holiday Gift Guide of ours would be complete without GAMES…

We highlight 16 incredible family learning games for all ages. Familiar themes like Jeopardy, in a card game version and newbies like Otrio and Poop Tracks. We turned a charades-like, activity challenge game into a family learning night with Root Beer Float Challenge, highlighting the science behind all the foam. Dice games, trivia, card games, and coding… we have something for everyone in the family.

Read more »

Amazing Fun Finds in Our Holiday Gift Guide

By |

Disclosure: Attached is our Holiday Gift Guide, with many (not all) of the items within having been given to us in exchange for inclusion and/or product reviews. As always, the opinions herein and in the HGG are our honest views and strictly our own.

Holiday Gift Guide

And just like that, we are in the Holiday Season. Victoria & I have been excited for months, actually… because we’ve had a sneak peek at some of the amazing things now available for those Christmas wishlists to the Big Guy.

And yes, we’ve included the VERY popular Fingerlings… but we’ve got so much more too. Cool tech like Luva Bella and Meccano M.A.X. and of course, VTech. New favorite Knex has made our guide and our Holiday Gift Guide wouldn’t be complete without game picks.

 

And then there’s our absolute TOP PICK for this season: Hearts For Hearts Girls. These dolls pass the fashion test with the softest hair, cutest outfits and accessories for girls to wear. But what really matters is that each doll has a story. She is representing her country with a back story, dealing with real world issues in her country. For Mexico, Consuelo is addressing hunger issues for children. The storybooks are fantastic, drawing you in and then you can go online for additionally diary content and download the app for games and exploration. But wait… it gets better. Every doll purchase supports the effects of World Vision with $1 donation for each purchase. We will be doing a separate doll review, so please check back for Victoria’s video review, more pictures and a hidden learning moment in the packaging. #TopPick2017

 

Please be sure to click on the Holiday Gift Guide, share it via Facebook and social media and give us your favorite holiday find this year in the comments below.

Read more »

Holiday Shopping Tips & Our Holiday Gift Guide

By |

Holiday Gift Guide
While this post isn’t sponsored, many of the toys, games and tech included in the attached Holiday Gift Guide were provided to us for review or promotional purposes. As always, the opinions expressed herein are our honest thoughts and strictly our own. Affiliate links are included, as this is one way to support this blog and content.

It’s that exciting time of year when all the lights twinkle and there is joy in the air. Okay, sure there are holiday stresses too but let’s not go there. Back to the twinkle, shimmer and sparkle, please.

 

Holiday Gift Guide

perplexus miniWhat shimmers, twinkles and sparkles for me, isn’t quite what twinkles and shimmers for kids, but what does twinkle is their eyes when they open the “big” gift. It fascinated me what the “must-have” gifts are year after year. Furby, Transformers, Nintendo. Do you remember the Tickle Me Elmo of ’96? But did you know it started with the Rubik Cube? I think Cabbage Patch Kid gets the credit with their iconic store fights but really it was the Rubik Cube in 1980 that started this trend. The Rubik Cube was actually invented in 1974… as a math tool to demonstrate 3D geometry. At the time is was called the Magic Cube but in 1980 was renamed after the inventor Erno Rubik… the rest, as they say, was history. And while it took Professor Rubik over a month to solve his own cube invention… today we have wiz kids solving it in under 10 seconds. Wait… what?!?  And, I actually know one of these wiz cube masters, although I don’t know his speed. In today’s market you can find all sorts of variation of Rubik Cube, include the World’s Smallest version, as pictured. Good luck, Thomas, keeping your record on this mini size cube!

The Rubik Cube isn’t quite the hype today that it was decades ago, it’s a classic. Today’s sold-out-everywhere toy is the Hachimal. An adorable, electronic… oh wait, duh, everyone already knows this because almost every kid wants one. Okay, so what else is hot this season? Where are the bargains? And what’s going to give us parents the longest run for our investments?  Wait… investment? Yup, toys, games and tech are actually investments. Some have longer shelf lives than others but playtime should be considered as an investment. You can learn more about the invaluable necessity of playtime in my article found in our Holiday Gift Guide.

laura-square-imageSo looking beyond what our kids are “dying” for this holiday season and really giving weight to what we are investing in, I’ve got a few suggestions. First, consider the things that has more meaning behind it. For example, I couldn’t be more excited to gift my daughter the Laura Ingall’s doll from Little House on the Prairie. This was a show I grew up on and one that my daughter is now enthralled with… so naturally the “18 doll isn’t just another doll in her collection but a doll that ties her back to MY childhood. I remember many years ago, gifting my son a couple Transformers for the holiday. At the same time, my husband had pulled his old (original) Transformers out from storage. It’s about making a meaningful connection.

Here’s another thought, what are the toys, gadgets, books, etc that YOU are most likely to engage with. Listen, we all know that some of these toys are cool for about a week and then they find their way stuffed under the bed. BUT, if you were interested in building it, reading it, sharing the playtime moment together… then that toy or book or science kit would be less likely to meet the dust bunnies.

Our gift guide provides insight into some very cool stuff, although maybe not THE hottest gift (yeah, we couldn’t snag one either) but definitely some cool things to keep in mind as you round out your shopping lists. Take a look, bookmark it and comment below with what grabbed your attention.

 

jadatoys-feature-pic

Some of these items are so super awesome, we’ll be doing specific reviews for more in depth discussion and detail. Look for our Youtube videos and follow up articles, starting with our STEM TEN line-up. Woo Hoo… Science has never been so cool.

Read more »

Top 5 Easter Basket Ideas & Easter Gifts For Children

By |

Something about creating colorful, meaningful Easter baskets, gets me ready for Spring.

5 Incredible Easter Basket IdeasIt feels like we’re just getting over Christmas, still stashing toys away (and maybe still opening boxes) and yet Easter is well on its way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready for Easter; waiting for Spring… just don’t know I’m quite ready to “rid” of toys to make way for new ones via the Easter Basket. Nor do I wish to over-fill a basket with candies and sweets.

Educational Easter Basket Ideas

Here are five terrific Easter basket ideas that combine the best spring time sweets and treats with learning fun and play.

1. Books – Easter is the perfect time to gift books about animals, family, seasons, and nature. Perhaps gift a series like one from American Girl or Heroes of Olympus for older children, and we’ve always loved Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park. Or try a larger book for the entire family like National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry.

Basket

2. Yowie Surprise Chocolate Egg – these aren’t your regular surprise eggs… nope, these come packed with Easter Basket ideas with Yowie surprise eggseducational value (not to mention 100% milk chocolate tastiness!). These edible eggs come in a variety of colored foils (although the packaging does NOT indicate what prize is inside). Yowie eggs are filled with replicas of wild animals (many endangered) or 1 of 6 Yowie characters. This concept was designed to educate children and families on the ecosystem and natural world include those endangered or threatened species.

3. Movies – My favorites to include at Easter are Disney Nature series. We couldn’t get enough of Oscar in 2012’s Chimpanzee or the adorable bear cubs of Disney Nature’s Bears. Parents, please don’t forget the Educator’s Guide with lots of information and activities.

4. Subscription Services – Include a playful postcard in the Easter basket that explains the subscription. Magazines are wonderful gifts that keep giving and what child doesn’t love seeing his or her name on mail? Pley, a toy rental company, offers a monthly subscription whereby children are shipped a toy from their wishlist that they later return for another to try. We’ve been fortunate to partner with Pley for this sponsored post and feel it is a wonderful Easter gift idea, as it will bring all the excitement of new toys without all the clutter and expense. Their extensive list includes 300+ variations of Lego and Megabloks, among many other other toy brands.

5. Baking Supplies – Sure Easter is the perfect time to indulge in sweets, but who said they can’t come in the form of unbaked ingredients? A basket of cupcake mix, colorful icing tubes, sprinkles and cookie cutters offers an afternoon of family entertainment (with a mix of math). These Eiffel tower measuring spoons will be perfect for my Paris obsessed daughter.  Or if monsters are more your child’s thing… check out these Monster High or Monster Truck cookie cutters. Kitchen accessories offer so many fun Easter basket options.

Easter season is yet another opportunity to creatively sneak in a little learning fun with the above Easter basket ideas and more if you visit our article on “5 Reasons Easter Baskets are Better Than Christmas Stockings“.  We hope you love Easter as much as we do and we hope you love Homeroom At Home enough to subscribe to our mailing list, visit and like us on Facebook and Instagram and share this article with your circle of friends and loved ones. Comment below with your standard Easter Basket “go-to” item. And we’re curious, what unique Easter Basket gift will you include this year?

 

 

Read more »