New game teaches responsibility and respect

Besides protecting our children from harm and keeping them safe, perhaps the most important job as a parent is to teach our children to fare well in the world alone, once they’ve outgrown our care. This doesn’t just mean teaching them to survive; but to contribute- To be decent human beings, and give back to the world in a way that is beneficial to both themselves and mankind as a whole. A Better World for Kids game has sponsored this post so that they can get the word out about this great new game!

better world kids logo

One way we tackle this job, as parents, is to teach children responsibility and respect. While this can be done through games and fun, it’s sometimes hard to weed through the violent and time-wasting games. “A Better World for Kids” is a game that provides a brilliant, yet simple, resolution for this dilemma. A Better World has just launched this new virtual game- this game teaches responsibility and respect!

 A Better World for Kids was developed to instill a passion in children for doing good and thinking positively while still having fun. The real-world aspect of A Better World for Kids teaches children that they can make a difference in the world and that their actions can have an impact. It also encourages children to step away from technology and screens for a little bit each day and truly experience life.

better world for kids

This is a family friendly, non-violent, game for children that encourages positive action; while drawing on children’s imaginations. Children love to pretend they’re like Mom and Dad. This game has jobs that allow them to practice adult task like having a job, driving safely, and even recycling!

better world for kids info

This mentality doesn’t just stop after the game! Children can actually register chores and good deeds that they’ve done AT HOME into the game, and receive points! The more good deeds they do, in the game and at home, the more points they receive. Points, called do good gold, allow children to dress up their virtual characters and decorate their virtual homes.

better world kids rewards

I love the entire concept of this game, and am SO happy to find something so encouraging for children, while still providing enough fun aspects to capture their children. There are also versions of this game for teens and adults as well! The positive post in the game allows children to share notes with each other, and share their hopes and dreams right within the game.

After the success of our A Better World game on Facebook, we wanted to expand on the momentum of our “Do Good” revolution. The BetterWorldians Vision makes the world a better place by focusing on and encouraging the best in everyone, especially our children. We believe that the solutions to today’s problems are found by bringing out our better natures. 

We think you do, too. We believe that people want a positive vision for a better world, and Kickstarter is the perfect place to let people “put their money where their heart is” and fund projects that can truly make a difference. Projects like this are rarely supported by big companies or venture capitalists. They are only made possible with the support of everyday folks who want to create things that make the world a better place.

This game provides the perfect balance between the responsibilities of the real world, and the joys and fun that come along with childhood! So far, 2.5 million people have done good deeds in this Facebook game.

 

Will you and your family increase this number?

The Minecraft Guide For Parents

My son has been playing Minecraft for well over a year.  Since he started playing I have felt as if he is often speaking a different language.  I needed help and along came The Minecraft Guide for Parents, Down-To-Earth Advice for Parents of Children Playing Minecraft from Peachpit Press written by Cori Dusmann.  The day it arrived I dove right in and  it quickly gave me the confidence to start playing alongside my son.  We logged on to the Rawcritics server and were able to play alongside the author!

The Minecraft Guide For Parents

From The Author

Over the past few years, a small independent video game has been capturing the hearts of players young and old. What started as a relatively basic, open ended program has grown into a complex, constantly evolving game that is infinitely adaptable, and as many parents, myself included, can attest, rather addictive.

My son Xander, now 14, introduced me to Minecraft back in its early, pre-release alpha test days, when he was 11. I’m a gamer myself, but I was skeptical about this new game that he was so excited about. The pixilated building block squares that formed the game, from the landscape right down to the sheep and pigs, seemed simplistic and unexciting, to say the least. But the early release was low cost, and seemed popular right from the start, so after we both did some research, Xander had his own account. It didn’t take long for both of us to see the creative potential in the game, as well as the challenges of obtaining, creating and managing resources — the mining and crafting indicated in the game title, as well as the farming, building, exploring and other activities that were necessary for survival.

Minecraft Zombie

From The Publisher

Is Minecraft a game? A computerized construction toy? This book helps you to understand exactly what Minecraft is, why kids love it, and why it may offer much more than what you’ve come to expect from a game. The Minecraft Guide for Parents is written for parents, caregivers, educators, and anyone else who has kids swept up in the Minecraft phenomenon.

This handbook explains how to install, set up, and play the game, so that even adults with minimum computer literacy can step in and help their children—and even play alongside them. Moving beyond the basics, this practical guide explores larger questions such as online safety, be it playing in multiplayer worlds or posting on forums or YouTube. It also examines the social and academic advantages to be found in Minecraft and offers realistic solutions to challenges such as time management and conflicts over computer use.
With a simple, friendly, and open style, The Minecraft Guide for Parents is inviting and accessible to all, regardless of computer or gaming skills, and offers practical help and new ways to connect with children who play this exciting and creative game. You’ll learn to:
  • Make playing Minecraft a rewarding experience for your kids—and the entire family.
  • Set limits and ensure the computer doesn’t become a source of conflict.
  • Take advantage of the social aspects of Minecraft and keep your kids safe online.
  • Gather supplies, craft items, and build structures.
  • Avoid monsters—or remove them from the game altogether.

Table Of Contents

Let’s Talk About Minecraft

Basics of the game

Introduction to types of worlds

Making Minecraft Fit Your Family

Online Safety Resources

Basic Game Play

Digging Deeper: Technical Specifics

Playing the Game: Beyond the Basics

See What I Made? : Sharing with the Outside World

The Bigger Picture

Appendix

Glossary

Index

Why I Love This Book

This book helped to demystify the world of Minecraft for me.  It explains what Minecraft is, how to play it and how to keep your child safe while playing online.  It truly leaves no stone, or should I say block, unturned.  It explains building, mobs, servers, creepers, skins and more.  It gives parents the knowledge they need to communicate with their Minecraft addicted child.  As an educator, it has also helped me in the classroom.  Minecraft is not just a fad, it is here to stay for a long time and my students all know about it or play.

So, go on on order your copy of The Minecraft Guide for Parents, Down-To-Earth Advice for Parents of Children Playing Minecraft or enter below for a chance to win one of 3 copies provided by PeachPit Press.

A copy of this book was provided to facilitate the review. All opinions are my own.

Family fun with Activision Games just in time for the Holidays!

I hve to officially call the Activision Family Summit a huge success.  It was fun, informative, entertaining and we all got to hear first about the new Duck Dynasty game due to release in 2014.  What’s not to love?  Each of the games featured during the Summit is meant for families (be sure to check age recommendations and follow guidelines) so that you and your family can play TOGETHER. I was compensated as part of my role as an online hostess for this event, but opinions are my own.

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Angry Birds Star Wars 

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Release Date: 10/29/2013

Game Description: Join an epic adventure with the Angry Birds in the legendary Star Wars™ universe! Can you become a Jedi Master and restore freedom to the galaxy?
NEW MULTIPLAYER MODES
EXCLUSIVE NEW LEVELS
25 HOURS OF ENGAGING GAMEPLAY
UNLOCK HIDDEN ITEMS

Available on: Nintendo 3DS™, Wii™, Wii U™, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3™, PS4™, PS Vita™

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Release Date: 10/22/2013
Game Description: Nickelodeon’s hottest show for boys is coming to video games! Shredder and the Kraang intend to unleash a devastating mutagen bomb that will transform the citizens of New York City into mindless mutants! Join Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo in the fight for NYC in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the video game!

Play as your favorite Turtle Anytime! Booyakasha!Join the Turtle Power with 4-player co-op multiplayer.Battle through 15 action-packed levels!Eat pizza to increase your Turtle’s health!Available on: Nintendo 3DS™, Wii™, Xbox 360

 

SpongeBob Squarepants Plankton’s Robotic Revenge

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Release Date: 10/22/2013
Game Description: Plankton and his new legion of evil robots have destroyed the Krusty Krab and stolen the safe that houses the famous Krabby Patty formula! It’s up to you and your friends to locate the hidden keys for the safe before the secret is lost forever!

Play as 5 of your favorite characters-SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward and Mr. Krabbs. Switch between them as often as you’d like!
Jump in and out of gameplay at any time with 3 of your friends. If at least one player continues, so does the game! * Travel across lands from the show: Bikini Bottom, Rock Bottom and Dutchman’s Triangle.
Embark on side quests to level-up your “Gizmo” artillery!
Available on: Nintendo 3DS™, Nintendo DS™, Wii™, Wii U™, Xbox 360, PS3™

Transformers Ultimate Battle Edition

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Release Date: Holiday 2013
Game Description: For only $29.99 (SRP), you’ll receive TWO epic Transformers games including TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and TRANSFORMERS: CYBERTRON ADVENTURES.

TRANSFORMERS: CYBERTRON ADVENTURES: Experience the legendary battle between the Autobots and Decepticons before their exodus to Earth in the untold story of the civil war for their home planet, Cybertron.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON: Take the battlefield as one of four iconic Autobots with unique weapon loadouts to arm you on your quest in the prequel to the blockbuster film TRANFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
Available on: Wii™

MOSHI Monsters Katsuma Unleashed

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Release Date: 11/05/2013
Game Description: Join Katsuma on a voyage through 6 new worlds packed with mini arcade challenges and major boss battles. Rescue other Moshi Monsters from evil robot Moshlings using super Moshi powers- fur will certainly fly!

Defeat robot moshlings!
Epic boss battles!
Super Moshi powers.
Monsterific mini games.
Available on: Nintendo 3DS™, Nintendo DS™

Transformers Ultimate Autobots Edition

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Release Date: Holiday 2013
Game Description: For only $24.99 (SRP), you’ll receive TWO epic Transformers games including: TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN and TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN – Based on the blockbuster film, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN thrusts players into a battle for supremacy across the globe in the Autobot cause as they drive, fly, fight and blast their way through intense, pressure-packed levels
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON – Take the battlefield as one of four iconic Autobots with unique weapon loadouts to arm you on your quest in the prequel to the blockbuster film TRANFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
Available on: Nintendo DS™

Wipeout Create & Crash

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Release Date: 10/15/2013
Game Description: Create your own wipeouts with the new course creator!

Create your own levels, and share them with your friendsand family!
Crash the courses as either fan-favorite or all-new character including 80’s Pop Star and Zombie guy!
Compete in over-the-top new courses like Prehistoric Times and Precarious Pirate Caper with all new themed obstacles!
Challenge your friends to reign supreme in side-by-side or team multiplayer!
Available on: Nintendo 3DS™, Wii™, Wii U™, Xbox 360

 

Skylanders Swap Force

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Release Date: 10/13/2013
Game Description: Skylanders® is “mixing it up” with the newest game in the award-winning, top-selling franchise. Skylanders SWAP Force™ builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding an all-new dimension to the “toys to life” concept.

Swapability
Gameplay Variety
All-New Characters
Assortment of Gameplay Modes
Available on: Nintendo 3DS™, Wii™, Wii U™, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3™, PS4™

 

Congrats to Amy H who won the goodie bag prize pack on my site!  I hope you and your family enjoy the games!! 

You can find Activision games at most major retailers and on Amazon.com

Which games will you be putting under the tree this year?

 

Come to the Activision Family Game Summit #ATVIFamGames

With winter cold comes more time indoors, and that means it’s time to break out the Xbox with Kinect and the Wii soon.  When we’re stuck inside and want something fun we can do as a family, we will often do some family gaming together.  When Activision asked me if I’d be a co-hostess for their Family Game Summit on 11/1, I knew I wanted to say yes- I want to learn more about fun and family friendly games!  This post is part of my hostess partnership with Activision. Opinions are my own.
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Join the Activision Family Game Summit online!

Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm EST

RSVP here:  www.activision.com/family

activision collage

One reader will win a $400 value goody bag from Activision.  Each goody bag will include 7 games and an assortment of toys.  Each goodie bag will include 7 games and an assortment of toys. Games may be different than the ones pictured here on my site.  Good luck! This giveaway will end at midnight on 11/6/13

Marvel Avengers Battle for Earth for XBOX is AWESOME #CleverAvengers

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

marvel avengers battle for earthI am NOT one for action games.  Give me a cute little game to play and I’m happy.  Seriously.  The kids’ games are my cup of tea.  It’s kind of the same with movies.  Or word games. I love those. But when The Avengers came out last spring…I insisted we not only get a (rare occasion) babysitter but dragged my husband to see the movie at the theater (even more rare).  So I suppose it didn’t really surprise me that when the Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth game was released by Ubisoft that I’d be very interested in playing it.

I don’t know why but I love the Avengers.  Perhaps it’s the old school way of thinking, about good vs. evil and the superheros saving the world.  Maybe it’s how the uniforms fit.  Maybe both.  Maybe I’m a closet action-movie lover. I don’t know. But I do know that it’s kind of been a blast to play this game with my husband– a totally new way for us to spend time together, stress free. I like it.  I can’t say I play video games all of the time, but I love this one.  Cool animation, great graphics, superb quality, and oh so much action.

marvel avengers battle for earth box art

When you start this game, you have to choose between the 20 characters available.  One of the best things about this game is that it isn’t “just” the Avengers from recent times- it’s lots of Avengers.  It’s like old school comic book Avenger characters, and you team up with other players to battle the Skrulls.  Choosing which Avenger is the tough thing- I usually try to go with Thor because, well, it’s fun to hit things with a giant hammer (although doing it without actually USING a hammer isn’t *quite* the same).  But I think I’ll be checking out some of the others as well.  Especially Hulk.  He’s my all time favorite super hero. Hulk SMASH!

marvel avengers battle for earth

This is a battle game, and one that we’re not having the kids play (yet) because at 7, 5 and 3 they are simply too little for it.  It’s a Teen rated game and I think that rating is spot on. In my book, it’s ok for the parents to have stuff of their own.  Mommy loves Avengers.  It’s ok.  Mommy doesn’t always  have to share, right?

If you like the Avengers, you’re going to love this game.  And, even if you don’t, you may like it anyway.  It’s fun and it’s Kinect so it’s getting you moving.  That’s never a bad thing.  Movement=good. Couch potato= not so good.

Marvel Avengers Battle for Earth is available at Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and other retailers.

What are your favorite Kinect games?  Do you play Avengers?

Imagine Fashion Life for Nintendo 3DS #HGG #UbiFashionLife

imagine fashion life mannequinI have three children in my house who have a very clear sense of style all of their own.  I can choose what I like for them, but they decide what to wear with what, and assemble their own ensembles.  Which is probably why my son wore snow boots for about 14 months straight, and why my then-5-year-old wore one shoe from 2 different pairs of sneakers for a few months back in Kindergarten. I guess fashion is subjective, but it’s fun to see what people come up with.  As my kids get older, their sense of “style” is coming out more and more, and it’s just so fun to watch their personalities expressed in their clothes.  (Except for my 5 year old.  If he’s able to wear a superhero shirt everysingleday then he’s happy.  Non superhero shirtdays? He’s not happy).  Of course, I’m not really super trendy so they may or may not have just ended up like their mama.

imagine fashion life 3ds

With Imagine Fashion Life, you can create your model, and then create the looks, change the looks, be the looks, and more.  You can create an entire “line” of fashions and accessories in 3D, and then even share it with friends!  That’s what’s the most fun, I think- being able to show off your designs.  Why design something fabulous if you aren’t going to share it?  That sense of style my kids have can be turned into entire ensembles and wardrobes with this game- which is totally fun. It’s a fun game to play with your girlfriends too!

I love that there are games that let kids express creativity and don’t include violence.

Imagine®, the original Games for Girls brand, introduces the most realistic and customizable fashion design game yet for the Nintendo 3DS™ system that allows you to create whatever you dream. Chart your own path to becoming a world famous fashion designer by creating the most unique and lifelike 3D looks, developing the wardrobe of your dreams and sharing your creations with friends. Imagine Fashion Designer 3D fully leverages the Nintendo 3DS system’s features, with almost-touchable 3D designs and textures, StreetPass™ sharing, 3D camera captures and more.

Imagine Fashion Life for Nintendo 3DS is available at ToysRUs.com and Amazon for about $29.99.  It’ll make a great gift for your little fashionista this holiday season!

This is a sponsored post with Clever Girls Collective.  Opinions are my own.

Imagine Babyz for Nintendo 3DS #HGG #ImagineBabyz

imagine babyzI spent most of my evenings and weekends in high school babysitting. I loved it. I always wanted to be around kids.  Then I “grew up” and went to college- to study early childhood education, and continued to work with kids- although my babysitting times were limited to family and to families who used the child care center at Loon Mountain where I was working.  Once I graduated, I started working in child care centers and preschools…became a live in nanny, and now here I am, mom of three.  I guess you could say I kind of like kids?!  Babysitting is fun for me- and I knew I’d want to check out Imagine Babyz.  I figured it was a game made for folks like ME!

The babies in Imagine Babyz are  6-18 months old (which happens to be my favorite age range…) You can play with them, dress them, take them to the park, budget to buy them new things, travel with them, and more.  They are cute, they are interactive and they are adorable.

imagine babyz game

So, I think this game is super cute. It took a while to “get” how to play, which may deter some folks.  My daughter spent most of her time with the game changing her avatar around.  The idea is cute, and it can be fun, but for both my daughter and I, it took too long to figure out what to do  for us to really get excited about it.  I totally assumed I’d love this game because it’s got babies and I love babies.  I do like it, but it’s taken me a long time to get into it… so after a few weeks I’m still not loving it.   I think we’re going to put it away for a few months until my daughter is a bit older and try again.  It’s a game geared towards the 6-13 crowd but I think most girls at the younger end of that age range are going to be frustrated or lose interest like my daughter did.  I think with an older child who has a little more patience this might be a better game for them.

I would have loved this game as a gift when I WAS a nanny– and I’m sure there are lots of au pairs and nannies who would say the same.  How cool to have a video game of your work?

In Imagine Babyz, experience the life of a popular babysitter with incredibly lifelike 3D visual animation! Travel the world caring for babies and helping them grow, keeping both the babies and their parents happy in order to build your reputation as a babysitter and ultimately open your own dream day care business.

Imagine Babyz for 3DS is available online at ToysRUs and Amazon for about $29.99.

This is a sponsored post with Clever Girls Collective.  Opinions are my own.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare deal @ Amazon

Call of Duty Modern WarfareHave an Xbox or Playstation 3? Have someone that loves to play video games like Modern Warfare? Then head over to Amazon and you can score Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for only $14.99! That is a savings of 50% off regular price. Remember prices on Amazon can change at any moment so grab this deal while you can. Plus Free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25 are guaranteed for Christmas if you order by 12/15 so time is running out fast!

Thanks The Centsible Family!

Nintendo has DS and Wii bundles for everyone just in time for the holiday!

On Sunday, Dec. 4, Nintendo launched new bundles featuring a pink Nintendo 3DSportable system and either the nintendogs + cats: French Bulldog and New Friends or nintendogs + cats: Toy Poodle and New Friends software.

The limited-edition bundles are available at a suggested retail price of $169.99 in the U.S. – the same price as the standard Nintendo 3DS system.  But these come WITH a game.  Plus, they have pink!  Yes, pink!

If you remember, we tried the 3DS over the summer, and thought it was cool.  While the 3d features are great, I love that you can turn them off.  The kids don’t mind 3d, I get dizzy after a while (must be my old age).  I still love me some Super Mario World though!  Any DS game will work on the 3DS, although obviously if they aren’t a 3D game you cannot play them in 3D mode.

I am so happy that Nintendo offers games like the nintendogs+cats games, because I think they are cute and fun and am always glad when violence is not included in games, particularly for children. I think there is plenty of violence and there’s a place for everything- it doesn’t have to be in games my kids play!  There’s a HUGE range of games and products to fit budgets and preferences with the Nintendo family.

If you have a someone on your list who loves pink and likes the idea of a DS, I’d be on the lookout for this limited edition pink 3DS bundle!!  It’s all kinds of awesome.

Not sure you want to go with the 3DS?  Nintendo has a lot of other options for both the DS line and the Wii! [click to continue…]

Kinect Sensor with 3 games for $99!

kinect sensor bundleWe’re a Playstation  Wii household, but if we had an Xbox 360 and actually used it (ours is in the box), I would be jumping for this deal! Amazon currently has the Kinect Sensor bundle which comes with the Kinect Sensor, the game “Kinect Adventures!”, and token codes for downloadable versions of “Gunstringer” and “Fruit Ninja Kinect” all for only $99.99! This is an amazing deal that won’t last long. Don’t forget, shipping is free (and sometimes tax-free too!). The price on this deal has been fluctuating so if the price goes back up, just check it a little later to see if it goes back down to $99.99 (it has been bouncing back and forth). Thanks Freebie Spot!