Posts Tagged “Cabbage Patch Kid”

Holiday Shopping Tips & Our Holiday Gift Guide

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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.

 

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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.

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Schafer Sports Center Beats the Competition with Non Competitive Philosophy

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Thank you Schafer Sports Center for facilitating a tour and activity day for bloggers. We were compensated for this review post, although the opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

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In a world where children’s sports are so competitive, Schafer Sports Center’s new approach is oh-so refreshing.  Jonathon Schafer, CEO describes Schafer Sports as “all about education”.  He says, “Our goal is to build kids’ self esteem and instill the life lesson that learning is fun. We believe that it’s an honor to be able to work with kids and help guide them in being healthy and happy. That’s why we put children first and sports second.” From the moment Victoria and I entered the property it was evident that this was Schafer’s mission. We were invited to a blogger preview where we had the opportunity to experience many of the sports activities first-hand.

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Schafer Sports Center IS the place to write home about. As a mom who had a terrible, terrifying experience at one of those “gyms”, I can tell you my first instinct is to assess the competency of staff members. Safety is important but that means much more than updated equipment… it means having staff that are trained, attentive and passionate about what they do. Schafer Sports Center hires specialized trainers in each area of recreation. In other words, the yoga instructor doesn’t just fill in for the soccer coaches. This goes a long way to ensuring my confidence when putting my child in their hands and 30 seconds in each sports, I could tell I was working with true professionals. Nothing feels better than that.

Secondly, I took notice of the facility. It was very well designed, organized, clean and well equipped. The pool area had plenty of pool activities, two small slides and the largest rafts I’ve ever seen. Speaking of the pool area, the changing room had oversized cubbies for towels, bags, shoes and a second set of cubbies in the pool area.  (And I must mention that the showers – those encouraged before swim but usually avoided due to cold water – gave a refreshing warm rinse before and after swim time.) Everything from impressive lighting to ample room in their party space, an open floor plan and private rooms for relaxed yoga instruction… Schafer Sports Center has it all covered.

A LITTLE HISTORY

Schafer Sports Center started as Schafer’s Gymnastics back in 1988. In 2001, the Special Needs program was launched and then in 2003 owners Jonathon and Shannon Schafer decide to build Schafer Sports Center. In 2014 funding was finalized and July 2015 they break ground in Ewing, NJ. One year later, July 2016, Schafer’s is open for business.

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SPORTS & RECREATION

With a full line up for sports and activities here are the highlights:

Soccer – Private training, summer camp training, team development and specific skill level groups

Gymnastics – Toddler/Preschool Classes, Girls/Boys Training & Teams, Tumbling

Swim & Stroke Clinics – Stroke training (7:1 ratio), Swim Classes (4:1 ratio) for infants +

Dance as partnered with The Dance Network for Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Musical Theater and Hip Hop

Family Yoga

SPECIAL NEEDS

Project Unified – children with and without disabilities train and play together

Special Olympics

Aquatics

Gymnastics

LASTING IMPRESSIONS

Well, who doesn’t love a warm pool and toasty changing room? Wow – bonus. And if that’s not enough… no chlorine pool aroma. NONE!! State-of-the-art pool filtration system ensures the cleanest water without the excess chemicals.

Schafer Sports Center offers birthday party options… again tumbles, drills and swim with professional staff. I was so impressed with the organization of our two hour blogger event. In just these 2 hours, our children participated in yoga, had a gymnastic session to include repeat obstacles, trampoline games, and several trapeze swing turns (which, by the way, was the BEST part of the entire experience per Victoria). Then the children had soccer drills, more obstacles and soccer games, followed by yoga and swimming. Plus the children did a craft with staff while parents took a facility tour. AND… this two hour period afforded time for breakfast in the beginning and concluded with lunch. WOW – in just 2 hours and needless to say, Victoria was pooped and slept well that night. Each hand-off was seamless from one activity to the next.  Highly, highly recommend this venue for parties. wow wow wow.

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Celebrating Our New Look With a Mega Giveaway

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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

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