Posts Tagged “Holiday Gift Guide”

Toys, Tech & Games for the Best Holiday Gifts

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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.

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Beat Bugs Toys & Netflix Show Introduce Youngsters to The Beatles

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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:

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Costumes Are Not Just For Halloween

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Aeromax Space Shuttle & Astronaut Costume

 

Disclosure: We were provided sample items from Aeromax for review purposes and inclusion in our holiday gift guide. The opinions expressed herein are always strictly our own. This post may contain affiliate links.  We are providing honest feedback in exchange for the product.

Fun Fact: Costumes can be cool all year round! So Halloween has come and gone and now the New Year is quickly approaching. We love a good celebration, especially those with a theme. Costumes can play a huge part in pulling that theme together. Aeromax specializes in children and adult costumes… perfect for such occasions as in ringing in the new year or a birthday bash.

In our video below you will find Victoria romping around in a one-piece astronaut suit from Aeromax. The space patches, real-working zippers and pockets truly make this feel like real NASA uniforms. It comes with a matching cap or you can purchase the helmet separately. Victoria is rocking the orange suit (to match her hair) but there is a white suite and helmet available as well.

Dress up isn’t just for girls. Take playtime to new depths with costumes and cosplay. It ignites imagination and further piques the curiosity they hold for the world that surrounds them.

And let’s not forget that police officers and astronauts aren’t just for boys. My daughter is having a great time pretending to be a scientist and being part of the NASA exploration team, just like the ladies from Hidden Figures. I saw Victoria’s confidence boost just from being in the orange uniform. And she could imagine herself as an astronaut. Added props like the Space Shuttle summer float only expands that playtime (in the pool or not). The Space Shuttle is easy to inflate and feels sturdy. It offers an excellent prop for Space themed parties or playdates. It is terrific to add to any space-station-fort-building afternoon.

Encourage your kids to take a break from tech with Aeromax.

You can find these Aeromax Space items and much more in our holiday gift guide. Click on the link below to be taken to pages of learning fun perfect for holiday gift giving.

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Reversible 2-In-1 Flip Zee Girls Doll Review

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Disclosure: We were provided a sample doll for purposes of reviewing and showcasing in our Holiday Gift Guide. As always, the opinions expressed herein are strictly our own. We are providing honest feedback in exchange for the product. This post includes affiliate links.

Flip Zee Girls are soft, cuddly 2-in-1 dolls that transform from baby to big girl. These adorable dolls are terrific for the child that likes to play with dolls that “grow up” during play. Victoria has always done this with barbies and other dolls. She would play with them through stages of life. She did the same with the Toddler Disney Princess dolls and Our Generation dolls, ensuring that selected those that looked alike. I was fascinated with this as it never occurred to me to play in such a manner. I didn’t hide 1/2 my dolls for the second act when I was a child.

So naturally, when I learned of Flip Zee Girls, I immediately thought of Victoria and her style of doll play. The Flip Zee Girls are packaged as infants swaddled in a blanket with a bonnet. The bonnet flips back to reveal a fuller face and lots of colorful hair. The swaddle flips open to reveal the dolls body, arms and legs… not to mention the fashionable dress. So cute. So cuddly. So perfect for bedtime buddies.

And because they are so soft, they make the perfect car companion. Especially for those that easily fall asleep in the car and need a cushion to soften the ride. I highly recommend Flip Zee Girls for family travel.

You can find Flip Zee Girls in our Holiday Gift Guide… might make a terrific pre-holiday gift if you expect to be on the road. Which dollie is your favorite? (PS – Only 1 comes with cat ears!!)

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FlipaZoo 2 In 1 Stuffed Animal Plush Toy Holiday Gift Guide Review

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Flipa Zoo
Disclosure: While we were provided samples of the FlipaZoo plush, the opinions expressed herein are strictly our own. We only provide honest reviews and feedback. Thank you Jay at Play for the review items. #sponsored This article may include affiliate links.

 

FlipaZoo – cuddly animal plush toys that are actually two toys in one. Each FlipaZoo converts into a second zoo animal. Simply flip the back or the body of the animal over its head and it transforms into another pet. These super soft pets will easily become a favorite sleeping buddy, tv watching companion and travel friend.

 

This holiday season consider pre-purchasing zoo tickets or a family membership and attaching it to a FlipaZoo, giving both an experience and a toy in one.  We enjoyed talking about our recent trip to the Cape May Zoo when these guys arrived for review. Turtles are a family favorite, so it was easy to get attached to the turtle one.

These zoo buddies are perfect for cuddled storytime. We decided to read about elephants, tigers and turtles… given those are the FlipaZoo friends we received.

FlipaZoo is available at Walmart and Amazon for approx $20 making them a very affordable gift idea.  Grab a couple of these cuddle buddies for the cuddle bugs in your lift and enjoy the snuggles.

With the holidays coming… children’s lists are created and “hot” toy guides are everywhere. We’ve got one too and you can find all sorts of excitement for the young at heart on your gift buying list. Check ours out below.

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Amazing Fun Finds in Our Holiday Gift Guide

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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.

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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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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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