Archive For The “Toys & Tech” Category

World’s Smallest Toys Make Big Impact With Pocket Size Nostalgia

By |

Disclosure: We are excited to be partnered with The World’s Smallest and The World’s Coolest brands to bring you this review.  As part of this collaboration, we’ve been provided with samples of the below items in exchange for our honest feedback and review of the items. The opinions and thoughts expressed herein are strictly our own and represent our honest opinion of the products. Affiliate links may be included in this article.

Sometimes you come across the smallest things that offer such a huge impact… and that’s exactly how we felt about The World’s Smallest toy line. While some of the items are just darn right adorable… some bring you back to your childhood and there’s nothing to compare to that feeling. For instance the World’s Smallest Lite Brite reminds me of time spent with cousins getting creative. The World’s Smallest Tinker Toys or Magic 8 Ball, Uno and Lincoln Logs are among some of the other “throw back” pieces. Check out the entire line with Super Impulse. As kids, we’d play Uno for hours… it was easy.

These little reproductions are fully functional, with buttons, game pieces or lights & sounds to make it an authentic experience and reproduction. Imagine playing Space Invaders or Frogger on the tiniest arcade. Super cool but what’s even cooler is describing these things and sharing our childhood stories with our kiddos. It was a different time and much to be learned from sharing these stories.

Speaking of learning… the Crayola sets are fantastic for sparking on-the-go creativity and learning fun. Love the fact that it comes as a key chain, so you can clip it on a backpack or lunch tote. Kids are obsessed with all the backpack clip on accessories… in my opinion the Crayola set beats them all out. The fact that they come in sturdy cases, means they will hold up at the bottom of your purse. These little carry-ever creative kits… as well as mostly the entire The World’s Coolest line… are the perfect “emergency” kit when at the emergency room, or soccer field or DMV.

Read more »

Cosplay To Enhance Playtime Experience

By |

Aeromax Space Shuttle & Astronaut Costume
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post whereby we received product in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions expressed herein are strictly our own. This post contains affiliate links.

 

Aeromax Space Shuttle & Astronaut Costume

During playtime, there’s something really cool about dressing the part. I remember playing teacher when I was little and wanting to wear extra long skirts and pretend glasses to imitate my favorite elementary teacher. I would line my dolls and bears up on the bed and give them instructions. Of course it took me three times as long to complete my homework this way… but I was in my happy place.

When introduced to Aeromax Toys, it immediately brought me back to my childhood. My brother and I would race our bikes around and around the house pretending they were race cars. How cool would it have been to be dressed as an actual race car driver or the mechanic… and yes even the occasional police officer pulling us over? LOL. These are some of my favorite memories with my brother. We would circle the house for hours, tying things to our bikes, making up story lines and the whole bit. It was the perfect scenario for childhood cosplay.

I look at my little scientist, Victoria, and see how dressing in her astronaut suit lifts her imagination. It’s perfect while she’s working on a kit or just playing. There’s something magical that happens to play when you can dress the part.

Aeromax has so many authentic looking costumes and play wear. Kids can be anything from a ladybug to a doctor, flight crew and magician. Costumes are also available for infants and adults… so everyone can join in the fun. Look for their accessories too, or perhaps be inspired to create your own.

Read more »

Ignite Imagination with Great Pretenders

By |

Disclosure: We are pleased to work with Great Pretenders to provide reviews in exchange for product samples. As always, the opinions and content expressed herein are strictly our own. This post contains affiliate links. #sponsored

 

Great Pretenders Colour-An-Apron

Love the customizable Colour-In-Collection by Great Pretenders! Between capes, crown, aprons and more, your child can design the look of their dreams. Each article comes with washable fabric markers. For more fun, consider beads, buttons, glitter and gems… but do keep in mind they may come off in the wash… so I recommend hand washing if you jazz it up.

 

We overlapped colors to make purple and different effects. It is really wonderful to be able to design the pattern.  I remember growing up coloring with my mom, something I now enjoy doing with my daughter. This apron was a special coloring project because it isn’t just a page we signed in a coloring book, but something she can wear, actually use in the kitchen… or pretend with in her own “kitchen”.

Great Pretenders really know how to put the wow factor into pretend play. And while so much of our children’s world is plugged in… it sure is a breathe of fresh air to find them running around with capes and crowns and wands in hand.

 

You will find both the Colour-In-Collection and Reversible Super Hero Cape set in our Holiday Gift Guide. Give the gift of imagination this holiday.

Read more »

Beat Bugs Toys & Netflix Show Introduce Youngsters to The Beatles

By |

Disclosure: We were provided a sample in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions and content expressed herein are strictly our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Adorable bug characters, called the Beat Bugs, are introducing a new generation of kids to The Beatles and their iconic music. Beat Bugs is a Netflix original series, starring 5 adventurous bugs friends. As they explore their environment and curiosities, Beatles songs are woven into the storyline, creating a catchy and innovative way to keep The Beatles alive. Just as innovated, are the creative playset for children to make their own adventures with the Beat Bug friends. Playsets play 3 different Beatles songs and have a variety of characters to play with.

Below, check out Victoria’s review of the Yellow Submarine toy, which you will also find in our Holiday Gift Guide for this year. There are several playsets, each playing different songs from the famous band, covered by other famous sings such as Rod Stewart, Pink, Sia and more. The Netflix original series is surely one to check out.

For more holiday gift suggestions, please visit our Holiday Gift Guide by clicking below:

Read more »

Bring Little House on the Prairie to Your Home with Laura Ingalls Doll

By |

H@H would like to thank The Queen’s Treasure for the partnership to bring our followers this Laura Ingalls doll review. H@H was offered a sample Laura Ingalls doll for the purpose of providing an honest opinion. The content within this review is truthful and solely my own. This article contains affiliate links.

little-house-profile-pic

In our ever-changing world, I find it harder and harder to duplicate pieces of my childhood to experience with my children. Now granted my son, being in college now, is easier to relate to from that perspective. And of course, as a family, we’ll play the traditional board games of Connect 4 and Monopoly (which even Monopoly now has some 80+ variations)… but the really special moments in growing up are harder to pluck out of today’s world and experience with my daughter.

Maybe had my parents introduced more family traditions or passed down recipes… we’d have those today to bridge the gap in our childhood experiences. There were a couple of things my family regularly did as a family growing up… Saturday morning cartoons & coloring, tickling matching in the living room, cuddled story time, and driving around looking at holiday lights & displays. And while I remember reruns of MASH playing in the background at dinner… I also remember sitting down as a family to watch Little House on the Prairie. I remember feeling so connected to the show’s story, remember laughing out loud with my brother and sister, remember my dad’s anecdotes about his boyhood, and mom’s subtle manner of making family time a lesson in values.

Today, I’m excited to introduce and share the Little House memories with my daughter. And even more excited to gift her the ultimate “look-back” gift in the Laura Ingalls 18″ doll, this holiday season. This beautiful doll will be that special present from me to Victoria this year and then we can share in making our own Little House moments through play and I can share my childhood favorite t.v. show with her.  I’m just hoping I can find an old photo of me with either watching the show or reading the Little House books. The beautifully crafted Little House on the Prairie line of toys hadn’t existed then as it does now with The Queen’s Treasure. Be sure to visit The Queen’s Treasure for additional items to accompany 18″ Laura doll, including the famous covered wagon and plenty of accessories to emulate life as it was in the early 1800’s.

Aside from Little House of the Prairie being a childhood favorite to share with my daughter, I’m excited to have such an opportunity to explore the historic journey that was experienced not only by the Ingalls family but many early American families during the great pioneering era.

Let’s take a closer look at the doll itself. With bright blue eyes and a small amount of freckles, she is gorgeous. Laura comes with her parted into two braids tied off with white bows and a period-perfect white bonnet.

laura-close-up

Laura has a soft body and hard plastic legs and arms. Her nightdress is a white eyelet gown to match her nightcap. Although I haven’t undressed her, I presume she will easily fit in our American Girl and other clothing designed for 18″ dolls. The shoes may or may not fit and that may depend of the shoe style.

laura-doll-with-dollie

This doll is packaged laying on top of her patchwork quilt, accompanied by her doll and a pillow. The sturdy box is designed to convert to a bed with the lid as a log cabin backdrop with a window. This Laura Ingalls doll and accessories can be purchased at The Queen’s Treasure or Target.com for $99.99. Other accessories, including the covered wagon, horse, and a matching child’s outfit can also be purchased at The Queen’s Treasure.  With so much history packed into each episode and so much character in each story book, it’s hard not to want more. Visit www.littlehouseontheprairie.com for craft suggestions, recipes, an historic timeline, and many more historic articles and resources. Let this doll be just the beginning of your journey back to the early frontier days of America.

laura-ingalls-little-house

Read more »

Celebrating Our New Look With a Mega Giveaway

By |

Parents Guide to Family Learning Fun

Mega $350+ Giveaway to celebrate our new look and features!!

Parents Guide to Family Learning Fun

It’s been a long time coming, and we are finally ready to showcase our new look and celebrate some of newest features with the ultimate giveaway this fall. Pictured above is the mega-prize pack of toys, games, music and books (valued at over $350) for one super lucky winner.

This giveaway will run the month of Sept, with a winner announced Oct 1st.

We’ve been busy…

First off, we want to invite you to subscribe to our Parents’ Guide To Family Learning Fun, designed to inspire you to engage in shared family learning experiences.

A new Home page provides an intro on our brief history. It also currently features a striking image of an infant mummy on display at the Penn Museum and offers easy access to our Youtube reviews. We’ve redefined our blog reviews and now offer pages for Game Reviews, Children’s Book Reviews, and Toys & Tech Reviews, with Music Reviews coming soon. We’ve been hard at work providing quality content and suggestions surrounding organization, homework help and tips for travel. Our newest feature is Areas Of Study, where articles are categorized by Math, History, Science, Literacy, and Art to provide better resources in these education subjects.

With fun learning opportunities around every corner, we want you to feel empowered every step of the way to embrace your role as a primary educator in your household – regardless of private, public, charter or homeschool choices.  Together let’s tap into our children’s natural curiosities and join them on their learning journey.

More to come… Look for Featured Guest Posts, our Holiday Gift Guide, Music Reviews and a few more surprises in the coming months.

Enough with what’s new with us… let’s talk about what’s new on the market!!  Have you seen these Cabbage Patch Kids with LCD eyes and engagement features? This doll has the same original cuteness from when we were young but has some major upgrades including FACIAL EXPRESSIONS!!  Love it.

2016 Top Holiday Gifts

Another projected “Hot Holiday Item” is the Gemmies Design Studio by Tech4Kids. Hours of crafting fun, but then, not only can all the pieces be stored in the Design Studio, but crystal gemmies creations can be displayed on the light up stand. How Awesome!!

Gemmies pack

Our giveaway holds a little something for everyone on your birthday or holiday list. We have the Kidz Bop Christmas CD included, as well as the Lion Guard Boulder Builder Game, Gemlins, Ant Farm and a Construction Building Set with multiple foam projects. Isn’t that miniature sock monkey the cutest??

Holiday Gfit Guide ideas and Giveaway

Giveaway Details & Disclosure…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read more »

Crafty Crystal Creations With Gemmies

By |

Gemmies Profile Pic 3

Many thanks to Blogger Bash, #SweetSuite and Tech4Kids for the opportunity to review Gemmies, a crystal arts and craft creation. Gemmies are tiny, so firstly make sure your child is old enough and that you have some way to contain the craft pieces while you and your child work. Tech4Kids recommends ages 6+. Personally, I think this is a great activity for parent and child or a couple of girls. It’s the kind of craft you don’t have to concentrate super hard on and can hold a conversation while doing it.

Gemmies Unboxing Pic

So what exactly are you doing with Gemmies? Gems are assembled on tiny rubber bands, according to a pattern and linking together to create flowers, animals, jewelry, and more. There are several kits available with multiple projects. Smaller kits have 2 projects such as Shimmering Flowers and have approx 150 pieces. Medium Theme Packs come with 300 pieces and offer 3 projects.

Gemmies Profile Pic

Gemmies Resealable PouchesThe Gemmies Design Studio is the ultimate Gemmies gift idea or craft workshop item. In a drawer below the work station, all the pieces can be stored in separated compartments.  Along the side of the work studio are areas to completed Gemmies projects and more storage compartments. The best part, as you can see from Victoria’s video below is the light box. After your child completes a crystal piece, she can place it on the light box to illuminate it. Really kinda cool. Oh yeah, and the packs are resealable.

In full disclosure, the girls did find it tricky to stretch the rubber bands on the tool. They needed help, almost every rubber band for the first… well many. The beads slide on easily and following the partner isn’t too difficult. I suggest stretching the rubber bands before activity time. Like anything new, it takes a few attempts. Otherwise, this was a terrific craft kit. Highly recommended for Girl Scout meetings too.

Gemmies Profile Pic 2

 

Read more »

Lego, Mega Bloks, K’Nex & GoldieBlox

By |

A Construction Christmas Wishlist… by Greg Wolbert

Ho ho ho, Christmas is on the way and with that come wish-lists and letters to Santa. This year, one of the most sought out toys are creation toys such as Lego, Mega Blocks, Goldieblocks, and K’nex. These toys allow children to enhance their critical thinking and creativity.

Lego pieces

Lego was founded in 1932 and has since become the largest block building manufactures in the world. Lego has manufactured over four thousand sets, all of them ranging from stand alone boxes to blockbuster movie recreations. Lego has even created to scale models of the worlds most magnificent wonders. Examples of their finest sets include Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Disney Princess series, as well as the White House, Taj Mahal, and the Big Ben bell tower. Lego sets can all be combined to allow an unlimited amount of re-usability and creativity.

 

Mega Brands/Bloks is one of the most direct competitors of Lego. Mega Bloks, while they have a very similar brick building system as Lego, have more detailed accessories within their play sets. Their mini figures have articulated joints for a wider range of poses and movement. However, they don’t have the same interchangeability as the Lego mini figures. Mega Bloks has a variety of play sets and series such as the every popular Barbie and Hot Wheels. They also have building sets around Hello Kitty, Skylanders, Sponge Bob and Power Rangers.

 

A relatively new toy is Goldieblox. Goldieblox is a girl focused creation building play set. Goldieblox are designed to inspire girls to become builders and engineers. There are a number of sets from zip lines to cars to spinning machines, and each set contains a set of challenges for the girls to complete using only a set number of pieces contained in the set. These sets help shape young girls critical thinking skills. Watch Victoria’s video review below from a sample sent from #SweetSuite14 of Blogger Bash NYC.

 

K’nex are a free flowing building series that use rods, orbs, and magnets to construct imaginative works. This is an award winning intricate construction building system, established in 1992. K’nex come in a variety of box sets, featuring different characters and/or functions (Super Mario, Angry Birds, roll-coasters, raceway, etc). In distinct fashion, K’nex building play sets offer flexibility in creation and design allowing unlimited engineering and innovation during play time.

 

Children, both boys and girls enjoy the satisfaction of creating play sets, especially those partnered with favorite characters such as SpongeBob or Barbie. Any of the above brands would make excellent educational toys for this holiday season.

 

We’d love to hear which building sets are your favorite; leave us a comment below. Send us a picture of your son or daughter’s creation at Barbara@HomeroomAtHome.com and we’ll select a few to be featured on our Facebook page.

Read more »