Posts Tagged “learning toys”

Five Fun Family Games from Sweet Suite

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A big thank you to Blogger Bash and #SweetSuite as well as the brands for providing us with samples of these games. The descriptions and opinions below are strictly my own. This post may contain affiliate links. #Sponsored

Rollers 2

Family game nights are a highlight for our family. We like games in dice form, cards, board games and yes, of course the video game variety. With a recent visit to Blogger Bash, I’ve been introduced to a couple new games that I had to show my family. Here are five of our favorites… with more surely to come. Like I said, we love games!!

1. Rollers – With properties of Yatzi, Rollers is a dice game that incorporates strategy with the luck of the roll. It can easily be played with 2 players or up to 5. Perfect game for families with different age children/players. Plays in approx 30 mins or less.

2.  Circuit Maze – Highly interesting and challenging puzzle game, whereby players are building an electric circuit with light up pieces. Multiple challenge levels from beginner to expert. A great collaboration game. Ages 8 to adult

Circuit Maze

3. Perplexus Mini – Just like the original size, only perfect for small hands or travel. Perplexus is a maze toy, requiring the player to navigate the twists and turns of the maze. Drop this “multi-dimensional tilt-maze fun” into your purse for on-the-go entertainment for your children.

perplexus mini

4. Tally Ho – Feels a bit like memory but definitely has a strategic element to it. Tally Ho is great for a family with children 7 and older and plays in less than 30 mins. It is nice that there are no small pieces, just the board and the tiles. Recommended for family game night.

Tally Ho 3

5. Twizmo Words – This cube catches the eye of anyone passing it. Looks like the Rubix Cube but plays quite differently in that Twizmo Words is played with 2 or more players. Players take turns starting with a scrambled cube and the idea is to create a word with a minimum of 4 letters. Any other player can call out a 7 letter word and immediately will the points. Points are awarded for each letter of the word. In our case, we used 3 letter words since Victoria is an early reader/speller. Game play is quick, so if you only have 10 mins, this is perfect to have handy. And, like the Perplexus mini… it fits in a purse or school bag for easy travel.

Twizmo Words

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VTech Holiday Giveaway 2014

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Welcome to the VTECH
Holiday Toy Giveaway
Sponsored by: VTech
 
It’s everyone’s favorite time of year with the holidays approaching. And speaking of favorites, VTech is a favorite brand in our household. What’s not to love, at any age?  The educational toy industry is constantly demanding more and VTech is always providing innovative, fun and interactive selections to keep our children happy and developing.
 
We’re here to make your Holiday Shopping a little easier this year by offering ONE lucky reader a chance to win these FOUR fabulous toys from VTECH! Valued at over $130, it’s the perfect way to get your shopping started (or finished if your an early bird!).  All four of these toys are recommended for 12 months to 36 months and are perfect learning and educational toys with VTECH’s high quality!
 
Here’s what one person will win:
  • Chomp & Count Dino™
  • Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser™
  • Grow-Along Music Center™
  • Smart Shots Sports Center™.   
VTech Chomp & Count Dino (Ages 12-36 months, MSRP: $19.99)
  • Your child will learn about colors, numbers, and food with the adorable new Chomp & Count Dino. 
VTech Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser (Ages 6-36 months, MSRP: $39.99)
  • This 2-in-1 toy grows with your children and transforms from a floor play toy with detachable steering wheel activity panel to an exciting toy.
VTech Grow-Along Music Center (Ages 12-36 months, MSRP: $29.99)
  • Your children can pretend to be musicians and sing along to the music with the Grow-Along Music Center.
VTech Smart Shots Sports Center (Ages 12-36 months, MSRP: $39.99)
  • You can cheer on your little sports stars with the Smart Shots Sports Center. This electronic sports center features a soccer goal and basketball hoop for a fun 2-in-1 experience.
Larisha from We’re Parents!? had the opportunity to review the products herself and you can read her full review here.

Stay connected with VTECH

 Website       Facebook          Twitter
BUY IT!  You can purchase the toys mentioned at many retailers or directly from Amazon.com by clicking on the links below!

VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
VTech Chomp and Count Dino
VTech Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser
VTech Grow – Along Music Center

Ready for the giveaway? One lucky reader is going to win all of the toys listed above! 
Giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ and ends on 11/5/14 at 11:59PM EST. One entry per person/household/IP address.

Enter using the simple Giveaway Tools from below. Good luck!



Disclosure: We’re Parents!? received the product free of charge in exchange for this review/giveaway. We’re Parents!? and the blogs participating are not responsible for prize fulfillment/shipment. We were not compensated in any way for the promotion of this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. If you have any questions please contact the host of this giveaway at 
wereparentsnj1@gmail.com 

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Playskool Playtime Proves More Than Just Play

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So who doesn’t love playtime and play dates?  We were invited to play along side of Mr. Potato Head at the Playskool Play Date in Philly a couple weeks ago.  Victoria had plenty of interactive fun as she explored some awesome summer playtime toys.  While this event was geared for the younger crowd, it is important to recognize the opportunities hidden in family play time for older learning fun.  Here’s an example… if your older child is taking instrument lessons, get the most out of the practices and instrument rentals by putting on a family show.  A good toy to help bridge the gap is the Sesame Take-Along Band Set by Playskool that we got to check out at our Playskool Play Date.

Incorporating your little ones’ playtime activities with your older child(ren) is particularly challenging during the summer when everyone is home together.  An effective way to use this to your advantage is to set up 20 minute sessions whereas your older child is facilitating an activity… preferably a learning activity.  Here are five suggestions:

1. Story Brainstorming – your older child asks the younger ones for suggestions in telling a story.  These ideas come together for a storyboard, play or puppet show.

2. Creative Building – little ones often just make tall towers of blocks for the sole purpose of knocking over.  Have your older children build more detailed structures (flat to lessen the likelihood of knocked over creations) and offer their younger siblings cars or people to travel paths between buildings or inside walls.  (Be sure to let the older kids know that this activity will require extra patience on their part!!)

3. Themed Toys – here’s an easy one.  Let’s use dinosaurs as an example and let’s say you take a couple days to really get into dinosaurs with your loved ones.  Maybe it was a movie or trip to Academy of Natural Sciences Museum that got you excited, but how to engage the tots on the same topic?  Toys. Seriously, it is that easy.  Not all learning has to be hard-core facts. Allow the free play between the children and watch what pieces of knowledge coming flying out… facts you didn’t even know they comprehended much less retained for playtime and sharing with smaller siblings.  The toys themselves don’t have to be museum shop specialties… in fact the Mr. Potato Head you see in our video below is great for this purpose.

4. Creative Crafts – Most children enjoy getting messy and what better way than through art.  When you recruit your older kids to help with the younger ones… it gives them a sense of purpose while participating in the activity.  Shark Week is a fun summertime theme, so let’s use this as our example.  While everyone is engaging in a simple shark craft, drop bits of information as you go.  Once the activity is completed for the younger ones, have the old child(ren) take those crafts to incorporate into a larger more detailed project.  Email me for specific ideas but think big or better yet… have your older kids think of the bigger project.

5. Scavenger Hunt – Everyone loves a good hunt.  Have your bigger kids create an easy tot find game, while you create some big-kid alternatives.  Everyone hunts together and discovers together.

While the summer can present its challenges, it also affords many opportunities. I hope these suggestions are helpful and would love to hear of any suggestions you have for bringing little ones and older ones together for learning fun.

This is a sponsored post, whereby we were either compensated or given products for review. The ideas and suggestions herein are strictly my own.

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Toys For Learning Fun

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I had the great pleasure of attending the The Big Toy Book Baby Palooza this month and meeting some amazing brands that support our children’s development and learning needs. It was a play date without the little ones and yes, this event was mostly geared toward parents of babies and tots but no worries, I got some good take-a-ways for you with school-age children. The brands presented were VTech, Delta Children, Mega Bloks, Cloud B, The First Years, and Madame Alexander.

Here’s a brief video of the event and then… there’s so much more to consider.

Firstly, I have to admit that I had no idea that Delta Children was so much more than cribs and changing tables. Yup – I walked in to the most colorful display of children’s furniture, completely unaware that this was the same company that made my daughter’s crib (now converted toddler bed). Awesome. From comfy chairs (and a mini sofa w/ storage) to toddler beds and mini tables and chairs… all decked out in characters ranging from Mickey to Cars to Sesame Street and the beloved Disney Princesses. The child size desks and organizers were my favorite. It’s important to have a space easily accessible for kids so they aren’t straining to reach the top of the table to write and so that they can easily sit upright for homework and activities. Soon I’ll have a entire piece (or two… or three) devoted to organization, tips and key elements to organizing your routine functions and spaces.  Every household struggles with this to some extent and I’ll be consulting with a friend and expert on the matter to offer some excellent suggestions.  But for now… know that Delta has a great assortment of solutions. Bins are terrific for little toys and supplies like crayons, scrap paper and craft items (of course if you don’t run the risk of very young hands getting a hold of them). Click here for a examples of their storage solutions, particularly the Toy and Book Organizer, made available by Amazon and other suppliers.  We already own and love the Spiderman folding table and chair set. Be sure to check out the variety of desks available including this awesome easel/desk combo that comes with a storage ottoman. We’ve loved Delta since before Victoria was born and now love it all the more.

I didn’t get much time with the team from The First Years… let’s face it – Homeroom At Home isn’t really focused on the first couple of years – but I will say this… they have an amazing technological and digital carseat/app system that sends text alerts if baby is accidentally forgotten in the car, among other features. Amazing! Talk about innovative and safety conscientious. (Expecting or planning on more kiddos or know someone – definitely worth checking out: www.thefirstyears.com)

So here’s an interesting and unexpected product I came across – the Cloud B Twilight Constellation Sea Turtle night light. Not only does it introduce your youngster to the constellations and offer soothing sounds to drift off to, but also features 5 endangered animals. It comes with a storybook to teach children about endangered species and also offers a star guide. Not cool enough??? – A portion of the proceeds from Twilight Sea Turtle will be donated to a conservation organization.

VTech demonstrated a couple of cool toys. The one that I particularly appreciated with the InnoTab 2 Baby"". This version of the Inno Tab is specifically designed for infants 12 months and up… and by “up” I mean age 9. You heard… read it right – this device is designed to grow with the child, as it comes preloaded with apps, games and programs for the youngest family memeber but with cartridges and online downloads you can easily update this tool to grow with your child and his/her learning development. We will be demonstrating this product in more detail in a later post…

Madame Alexander is a very well-known and respected doll company but little did I know that they offered such a variety of dolls and plush toys. Boys and girls both enjoy roll playing and Madame Alexander has several lines to facilitate the basics in emotional intelligence and with products such as Fancy Nancy and Eloise children are encouraged to read and play together. Growing up – one of my favorite means of play was “school” whereby I taught my teddy bears and dolls the lessons from my actual homework. Doll play builds communication skills, nurturing abilities and social intelligence. There newest line: Newborn Nursery is my favorite with life like features including a realistic weight, hospital wrist band and adoption certificate – who couldn’t fall in love with these thumb-sucking beauties?

Lastly there was Mega Bloks. Is it fair to say that I love these products so much that I’ve been actively participating in a fellow bloggers giveaway with the hopes of winning a Barbie Mega Bloks set? (Fingers-crossed, but you can enter here at Classy Mommy.) The items on display at the #BTBBabyPalooza were again geared for a much younger crowd but Mega Bloks has a huge variety of building toys perfect for rainy days or themed weeks of play. For instance, let’s take Shark Week… the perfect activity to couple with craft ideas, video or on-screen activities would be Mega Bloks Power Rangers Megaforce – Shark Mechazord or Pyrates -Shark Escape. This is just one of dozens of Mega Bloks ideas.

Our hosts for this event were amazing in bringing some very valuable information to us. A special thank you to Laurie Schacht from The Toy Insider, Reyne Rice of Toy Trend and Charlene DeLaoch of Charlene Chronicles. My good friend Joey Fortman of Real Mom Media extended this opportunity to me and I’m ever so grateful. Look for more product reviews and suggestions from us for these brands, as this is just skimming the surface in terms of folding learning development into play time and quality family time.

Disclosure: The Big ToyBook Baby Palooza organized and invited us to participate in a media event introducing us to six brands. We were provided products to review and the opportunity to demo products onsite. The views, opinions and thoughts expressed here are completely mine. We already own and love products from all of these brands well before being invited to this media event.

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Second Hand is a Helping Hand… Consignment Blessings

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Sale, Discount, Bargain… Consignment

Easily these signs get me excited because like most, I love a good bargain. Finding toys, books and clothing at a fraction of a price, just makes my day. Naturally, I jumped at the invitation to a presale event with Just Between Friends Consignment earlier this week. Check out my video below for a peek at my sale finds.

Consignments sales are perfect for building your personal library of resources. Creating a lesson plan around animals or pirates, multiplication practice or chemistry… definitely check out the treasures to be unburied at these sales. I like to look for educational puzzles and games, items for teaching geography, tools for learning states & capitals, and period costumes. I picked up some items to round out our Adventure Series: Horsing Around lesson, including an American Girl riding outfit – cap, boots and all. I also grabbed a toddler Renaissance outfit and a microscope, among some other toys and shoes for everyday events. Beyond the learning toys I found, I also came across larger sizes of Renaissance dress-up wear (girls and boys), pirate costumes, 20’s Flapper Dress, arts & craft supplies, science experiments, and building kits. There was such a variety!

Microscope found for $5

Tables and tables of games and toys

Just Between Friends makes shopping (and consigning) easy with two fall events:

JBF Western Main Line (Oaks)

Thurs, Sept 13 – Sat, Sept 15

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center – Hall C

AND

JBF Reading Fall Event

Thurs, Sept 27 – Sat, Sept 29

Greater Reading Expo Center

Saturdays at both sales are Half Off Days!!

You must check out these articles on this event with excellent tips for shopping on consignment and the advantages of becoming a consignor.  Super Exhausted with Sherry and Delco Deal with Kelly and A Life In Balance with Barb.

Disclosure:  I was invited to a presale blogger event at JBF Consignment and given a shopping credit in exchange for this post.  All the opinions and tips expressed here are strictly mine.

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