Happy 85th Anniversary, Winnie the Pooh!! Available on Blu-ray & DVD 10/25!

Our copy of WINNIE THE POOH arrived yesterday and we will be enjoying family movie night tomorrow night watching it yet again- and I can’t wait!! Its such a wonderful film (and watch for a giveaway coming SOON, hint hint) that everyone can enjoy- my not-then 2 year old loved it and I know my dad will love it too. In celebration of the 85th anniversary and the upcoming release of the Blu-Ray & DVD, I thought I’d share some coloring pages, activities and games for you to enjoy!! [click to continue…]

Free $20 Amazon Credit & Bonus When You Buy Select Games!

Madden NFL 12 for Xbox 360 or PS3 Amazon DEAL!

$20 Pre-order Credit & Exclusive Pre-order Bonus with Madden NFL 12
Order Madden NFL 12 for the PS3 or Xbox 360 and receive the Amazon exclusive All Rookies Team and All Sophomores Team as well as $20 in Amazon credit good toward the purchase of items shipped and sold by Amazon.com (certain exclusions apply, including Kindle books, MP3s, and video rentals and downloads).
Expires on Aug 30, 2011

Pre-order your Madden NFL 12 for Playstation3 or Xbox 360 today. Cross your kids or husband off of your Christmas list early!

Talking Hot Dots® Pen & Vocabulary Flash Cards (Giveaway)

Talking Hot Dots® Pen is made for ages 5-12 and gives them feedback in a fun way- at their pace.  Its a neat way to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom at home or in the classroom! 
  • Allows students to choose talking feedback, fun sound effects or both, and cheers for students when they answer correctly
  • Provides immediate visual feedback with red and green lights for incorrect and correct answers
  • Features child-friendly design that makes the pen easy for young hands to use
  • Works with Hot Dots® Activity Cards for phonics, reading comprehension, math operations, fractions, time and money—perfect for center activities
  • Requires 2 AAA batteries, not included
  • Grades K+ [click to continue…]

Alphabet Scoop- Hasbro’s New Scrabble Game (Giveaway)

Alphabet Scoop is a new game from Hasbro in the Scrabble family (my favorite games are word games- I LOVE Scrabble!!) The box says this is for ages 6+ and while that is probably true, my 6 year old has taught my days-away-from-4 year old to play, which makes it a lot of fun for everyone.  This is a great addition to your Family Game Night collection! There are 5 words to complete on each card- so if littler kids are playing with adults, we adults find the 5 letter words, the kids find the shorter words. Be careful not to scoop a fly in your soup or ALL of your tiles go back into the soup bowl!   Be warned, too, that once you DO get a fly, it seems like you will get them more and more frequently.  Or I do.  We’ve been playing this game a lot while my youngest finishes her naps the past week or so.

Scoop, match, slam and score! Stir up your pot of letters and then take a card. Choose a word and start scooping tiles. If you’re the first to match your letters, slam on the pot’s lid to score. Mix up a fantastic batch of ALPHABET SCOOP fun!

Includes plastic pot and lid, 4 plastic scoops, 72 word cards, 104 letter tiles and rules.

For 2 to 4 players.  Ages 6 and up. [click to continue…]

Pressman Toys Pretty Ponies and Silly Socks (Giveaway)

Summer is full of so many things to do outside  when the weather cooperates- but for those days when the weather doesn’t cooperate and we do have to be inside, crafts and games have been the first things I turn to.  My kids will all three of them sit at the table and color, glue, use stickers, you name it- they love crafty things.

Pressman Toy’s Pretty Ponies is a creative cardboard set that’s fun to color and design, and with ribbon and yarn you can change the ponies’ looks whenever you want, plus, the storage container doubles as a pony stable so your little one can play ponies to her (or his) little heart’s content.

The ponies are fun to color- you can make the legs any color you want, and they are interchangeable too so you can give the brown pony the legs from the yellow one and vice versa.  Lots of options.  The ponies also have some parts that sparkle, and we all know how important sparkles and glitter are in art creations!!

This kit was awesome at a baby shower for one of my friends, that my oldest came to, but she didn’t know anyone else- so I pulled the kit out with some brand new markers and had one very, very happy little girl for a very long time.  Threading the “Manes” and “tails” for the ponies isn’t that easy for her- but I always struggle with threading needles and stuff myself so that isn’t surprising.  This is such a cute set and very versatile!

Get your ponies ready for the big show at the stable! Create colorful manes and tails. Color the ponies on your own, or use the pre-decorated side and start playing right away. A great craft for solo fun or play with friends. The box folds out to become the perfect display. [click to continue…]

Play Bejeweled 2 free!!

I love Bejeweled.  Something about the shiny shapes makes me feel so happy like a little kid.  GREAT for stress relief!

[ad#glam between posts]

Everyday Uses Rock and Card Set Giveaway from Education Insights

 

My kids are really in to science this summer, and who am I to deny them opportunities to expand their knowledge?   I am constantly on the lookout for science related games and activites.  I’m not always the most creative when it comes to thinking up new activities so I frequently turn to online webstores for suggestions.  I was absolutely thrilled to review another great item from Educational Insights.  Our go-to site for all things educational and FUN!

Today I am reviewing the Everyday Uses Rock and Card Set.  This is a really cool rock and mineral identification set.  Although my little guy is only 5, this set definitely appeals to his sense of curiosity and investigation.   [click to continue…]

Educational Insights Review and Giveaway

Now that summer is fast approaching and I have a little one who will be entering the school system next fall, I have been really interested in learning more about activities to prepare him for school.  I don’t want all that hard work from preschool to be lost during those long summer months!  Through my research I ran across Educational Insights.  This site is a great resource for teachers and parents alike.  I found that they offer quite an array of education toys and supplies.  The website is set up nicely with a tab at the top for parents and one for teachers.  You can easily shop for products by category, subject, theme or brand.  Their products cover everything from creative play to science and strategy. 

I didn’t want my summer homeschooling projects to seem too “schooly” and was pleasantly surprised at the selection on this site.  Educational Insights had so many fun games and acitivities that it was hard to make a choice!  In the end I decided on the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game, which I had seen in a magazine and just LOVED the look of.  Just read this cute description:

“Your forest friends are hungry and they need your help! Spin the spinner, squeeze the matching colored acorn with your Squirrel Squeezers, and place it into your log. Be the first to your log with delicious acorns and you win! You could also spin “pick an acorn,” “steal an acorn,” or “lose an acorn,” so be strategic, little squirrel!”

 

  • Develops matching, sorting, strategic thinking, hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, and pre-handwriting skills

 

 

Here are my impressions:

1.  I LOVED working with this company.  They have a great selection of products and were so easy and friendly to work with.

2.  My package arrived quickly.

3.  The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game was adorable.  The first thing you will notice is the fabulous box that it comes in.  It is designed like a tree and has a totally retro feel about it.  I have this thing about retro board games.  For some reason I just think they are the best.  They make me think of my childhood and innocence.  There is just nothing better than sitting around with the family playing a game.  Anyway, this game is for ages 3-5.  I have a 2 year old and a 5 year that absolutely LOVED playing this game.  The concept is simple.  Place the colored, rubber acorns in the tree game box and hand out the log playing pieces. Spin the dial, which tells you what color acorn to pick up, skip a turn, etc….  Use the adorable squirrel squeezer device to pick up the acorns and place them in your log.  The first person to fill their log with acorns wins.  It was just complicated enough to keep my preschoolers attention, and the cute acorns and squirrel squeezer fascinated my 2 year old.  We have played this game several times and everyone in the family enjoys it.  I have to admit that the physical therapist in me loves the fine motor control that is involved in using the squirrel sqeezing device and placing the acorn in the log.  Not only is it good for building up intrinsic muscle strength in the fingers and hand, but it is great for prehandwriting activities.  Enough of the technical mumbo jumbo.  This game is fun, educational, kids love it and it’s good for them.

4.  Educational Insights even sent me a bonus item, an entire box of play foam, that my kids enjoyed for hours on a rainy day.  So nice!  I have never owned play foam before, but I thought it was great.  There was a nice selection of colors in the box, the foam is easy to manipulate, easy to clean up and doesn’t dry out.   How can you lose.  I have to admit that I even had fun playing with it.

As if I haven’t had enough fun with these products, Educational Insights is offering a contest on their facebook page.  Just like their page and you can enter for the following prize:

Enter for a chance to win a 3-day, 2-night trip for 2 to California and tickets to a live taping of Jeopardy!® on the Sony® Pictures lot in Los Angeles!   This contest runs until the end of August.
 

AND THERE’S MORE!

One very lucky reader will win their very own Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game.

Mandatory Entry: Visit Educational Insights and tell me what your favorite product is.

Extra Entries:

1. Follow Educational Insights on Facebook
2. Follow me on GFC, Facebook, Twitter or RSS/Email Subscription (+1 each)
3. Share this giveaway on any social networking site (leave URL of your post please!! hint: right click the time stamp!!) 2x/day at least 1 hour apart
4. Leave a comment on any non giveaway post +1/post up to 5 comments

5. Tweet this giveaway: #win a sneaky squirell @EI from @mamatomjr @jendpt http://wp.me/p1qA6G-1zx (can be done 2x day at least 1hour apart)

This giveaway will end on May 27, 2011 at midnight, EST. US only. Winner to be chosen randomly. Winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be chosen.

I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.[ad#glam between posts]

B. Toys- great fun and great for the Earth!

We love B. Toys around this house.  We’ve had the  Critter Clinic (old style of it) for almost 4 years, Meowsic (old style) for 2 1/2, Parum-pum-pom, the HelloPhone and the FunKeys.  Oh, and PopArty.  Actually, come to think if it, I’m fairly certain we have Whee-ls.    See what I mean?  We LOVE them.  Bright, vibrant colors that don’t chip or fade, and super durable materials for construction.  All B. Toys are lead and phalate free.  That means they are safe for our little ones even if they end up in their mouths!

The toys are all appealing to kids of many ages, but are also appropriate for the ages specifed for the toy.  Whee-ls, for example, have a softer body construction because they are made for littler children.   (A note, B. Toys were also known as Battat toys and when I say old style, that’s what I’m referring to).

The new B. Toys we’ve had to play with are the Alphaberry (or as we call it, Baby’s First Blackberry).  A fun shape, and a neat way to reinforce and learn ABC’s for 18 month-5 year olds.  Spin the colorful wheel on the side and change the display screen color.  Even on loud this is not a LOUD toy.  Lots of fun!

  • Push any button. A letter
    appears & is read aloud.
  • 3 screen colors
  • 4 musical styles of the
    alphabet song
  • Cozy in little hands
  • Auto-off and volume control
    (It can use its inside voice, too)

My kids are big big big into music- the older two sing in the Jr. Choir at church, and we have dance parties almost daily in the kitchen and living room.  When B. Toys sent the Okideoke, they went nuts.  FINALLY they can have a microphone and have their voices heard!! (I say that from their point of view, because I promise you, they are not quiet children.  They’ve been heard all along).  What’s not fun to a kid about having a microphone to hear themselves sound all sorts of famous?

  • Amplify your voice
  • 8 pre-recorded tunes
  • Record a message or a song
  • Control the tempo

We needed a new doctor kit.  Our old one literally disappeared, perhaps disintegrated from overplay?  I’m not sure.  But the new Dr. Doctor kit is awesome. I love that the doctor kit itself is large enough to add extra doctor-type items into- something our old one definitely did not.

  • Stethoscope with heartbeat sound
  • Beeper with light & sound (this does NOT come with the batteries so you have to get them yourself)
  • Otoscope & mirror
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Syringe & scissors
  • Thermometer & tweezers

One thing besides the design (NEUTRAL!! and FUN!!) of the B. Toys that really makes them stand out to me from other toys is their consciousness of the world around us.  Their packaging is an excellent example of just how much they think about their impact on this earth.  The new B. Toys boxes actually double as wrapping paper-a few quick things to do and you have an already wrapped gift – and haven’t wasted a single piece of paper in doing so.  The box wraps are not hard to do: (instructions can be found here)

 B. Toys that do use batteries have different volume settings.  Parents, if you are like me, this is REALLY important.  There are some brands of toys that, while fun, are SUPER LOUD and give me an instant headache.  Thank you, smart people of B. Toys, for thinking of the ears of the adults in the house….the car….the store…

I would like to take a moment to give thanks to B. Toys for including (most of) the necessary batteries in the packaging.  Nice attention to detail, yet again!  Kids don’t have to wait for someone to locate enough batteries that are 1. not dead and 2. in the right size and 3. in the right quantity!!

You can find B. Toys at Target stores, Barnes & Noble and specialty retailers nationwide and many places online.  Just visit B.Toys.com to find a retailer near you!  You’ll be helping to give back, too, when you purchase B. Toys.  For every toy purchased, 10 cents goes to Free the Children.

I received samples of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed within are my own.

Fundex Games Review & Snoopy Sno Cone Maker Giveaway (3 winners!) ends 4/15

We play a lot of games, especially lately, with spring  upon us, melting snow, and MUD season.  Kind of hard to do a lot outside when you live where we do- the water table is very high and the ground is just sopping wet.  Its kind of like stepping onto a sponge.

Fundex Games offers a big variety of good, quality, fun family activities.  From the Snoopy Sno Cone Machine to puzzles with moveable parts, you are likely to find something to make just about anyone in your house happy!

Pinkalicious Cupcake Party Game: The Pinkalicious series has hit America by storm and having games to build on the pink-apalooza only makes it more fun. 

Players work together to collect cupcakes and fill the tray by performing activities from 4 different categories; charades, dancing, drawing, and rhyming. Players roll the die and draw a card from the corresponding category pile, then perform the challenge shown on their card. When the cupcake tray is full, it’s time for a party! Includescupcake tray game board, 8 cupcake game pieces, 1 drawing pad, 1 die, and 100 challenge cards.

We liked this game.  Definitely helpful if you have a child who can read a bit- otherwise you need a lot of adult involvement.  We’re big Pinkalicious fans so we were really excited to check this out.  Lots of drama, art and movement in this game, plus the pinkness is oh so very cute!!

John Deere Dominoes: Any little John Deere lover will think this version of dominoes is tons of fun!

Kids can play along with the bright, colorful images of Johnny Tractor and his friends to help develop their matching, recognition and organizational skills.

My three year old is rockin’ the dominoes since we got this game.  Super sturdy cardboard, familiar Johnny Tractor, Eddie Excavator, and other John Deere friends help the littlest tractor lovers to learn a classic game.  Nice big pieces that are very durable and easy to hold.  One thing I LOVE about this game is the directions are on the same sturdy cardboard!!  Nice attention to detail.

Snoopy Sno Cone Machine: This is such a simple machine and offers so much fun when you have a hot day, or even a cold day with a sore throat!  I wanted one of these so badly as a kid and at 36 years of age, I finally have one.  You know, for the kids!)

For nearly 30 years, the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine has symbolized summer fun. First introduced in 1979, this nostalgic toy lets children create treats to help them beat the heat. Just place an ice cube in the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, and watch it transform into a delicious dessert with a few turns of the handle. Kids can even flavor their creations with the included Flavor-Aid or with their favorite juice or soda.

We have used the Sno Cone machine a few times already- when the kiddos were sick it was a huge help- something new and fun to do, plus a soothing treat on very sore throats.  So simple, so cute, and SO much delicious fun! I can’t wait to use it more as the weather gets warmer.  Easy to clean, not a ton of pieces to keep track of or assemble after you clean, and you can buy flavored packets if you want or just use juice you have at home.  We have 2 very large blueberry bushes in our yard and always end up with too many blueberries that we don’t have room to freeze so I think we’ll be making some simple syrup with pureed blueberries for sno cones this summer!!

Great American Puzzle Factory is a sister company to Fundex and offer a big variety of puzzles for all ages and skill levels.  They sent us the Make ‘Em Move Assortment-Boy set, each of which comes in its own storage box and has moving parts to play with once the puzzle is put together.  Each of the puzzles has 24 pieces, are made of a really thick, sturdy cardboard and the moveable parts are fastened atop the puzzle with grommets.  Perfectly sized and constructed for little hands to manipulate!

Buy It: Find a retailer to purchase Fundex Games right on their site.  Amazon, Borders & Barnes and Noble are all listed as links.

THREE of my readers will win a Snoopy Sno Cone Maker!!

Mandatory Entry: Visit Fundex Games and tell me another game not mentioned here that you’d like to check out.

Extra Entries:

Visit Great American Puzzle Factory and tell me another puzzle you’d like to try

Like Fundex Games on Facebook

Follow me via GFC, Facebook, Twitter, RSS or Email Subscription (+1 entry each)

Share this giveaway on any social networking site: “#win a @FundexGames Snoopy Sno Cone Machine from @mamatomjr http://wp.me/p1qA6G-OS” (can be done 2x/day at least 1 hour apart)

This giveaway will end on April 15, 2011 at midnight, EST.  Winners to be chosen using “And the Winner is” and will have 48 hours to respond to initial contact.  US only.

I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed within are my own.