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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Scrape-A-Round Makes a FUN-ctional Gift Idea!

Winter brings a lot of challenges. Especially when you are located in a place that has snow and ice. How many times have you gone out to your vehicle, only to find that you can't see out the windows because they are frozen over? Having an ice scraper is your best way to deal with it quickly. But only if it works well. Which is where my latest review comes in! 

*Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free in exchange for my honest review. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinions are strictly my own.* 

Scrape-A-Round ice scrapers make getting the windows clear so much easier! We have been using ours for a couple winters now. They come in a 3 pack. And the best part? They are the only ones that are cone shaped and made in the United States. The softer plastic conforms to the windows curvature. 
They also function as funnels!
 They stack easily, are designed to get your windows cleaned as quickly as possible and even come apart to create funnels! Multi-use tools that deserve a place in your car. 
Perfect gift idea! 

You can create quite the gift basket with these. Functional and cute. They had ideas on their blog. We chose to give some to family members with a gift card tucked inside.What do you think? Are these useful where you are? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Spin Master Party Games for the Win!

When it is too cold outside, you.... Have a game night! My family loves playing board games. There is always something new to try. Being chosen to host a Spin Master Holiday Game Night party, I was able to introduce our family to 3 new ones! 

*Disclaimer: I was sent these games for the sole purpose of hosting a party and sharing my opinions. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinions are strictly my own.* 

Time to get together!
You know that old Christmas song about the weather outside being frightful? (I imagine Dean Martin singing it - Let It Snow). Well, while we don't get much snow here, the weather gets frigid. The wind blows. And I don't want to go outside. If we had a steady supply of wood that didn't cost a fortune, we would have a fire going. All. The. Time. Hot chocolate and eggnog drinks. Home baked cookies. And board games! Who needs to go outside when that is the dream come true?! 

Families are getting together for the wonderful Christmas holiday. But what should you do during the slow times? For some of us, we have whole weeks to fill. What better way than try out some new games? Spin Master has 3 that our family has enjoyed. 

The Sock Game

We tried The Sock Game first. As described on the box - it is the ultimate race (in a sock). This one is fast paced. Each sock has items poured into it. There is a spinner that has the items around a circle. You can play with two players or create two teams with multiple players. We had teams. My husband spun and called out the item to be found. Each teams player dug in the sock, feeling around and trying to find that one item among the many! First one to find it, got a point. I will admit, this one was tough! Bigger hands had a hard time in the slender socks. The kids enjoyed it most of all. 

Reverse Charades

Next came Reverse Charades. I don't think I'm very good at acting out in this one! But it was hilarious nonetheless. One person has to interpret the entire groups acting to figure out the words on the cards. You have an hourglass timer set, so call out those words and guess them correctly as quickly as you can! This was the favorite game in our party. Laughter rang out through it all. Definitely suggest adding it to your game shelf! It is even on the holiday toy list.


I have to admit, we have not been able to play this one yet. Didn't have time at the party and have been dealing with sicknesses since. But the kids can't wait! So instead of telling you what we thought, I can tell you what it is about. 
In basic terms, it is a "What am I?" game. You wear a headband and your card is tucked in front where everyone else can see it, but you can't. You have to ask questions to figure out what is on your card! You can even download an app that enhances the game play. This one is also on the Holiday Toy List this year.

                                                     Where can you get yours? 
Best bet is Amazon. Target doesn't have some and Walmart was more expensive. You can check here for them! Amazon - The Sock Game, Hedbanz, Reverse Charades

Let me know what you think about these games in the comments below! I love hearing from you all.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Hosting a Kids Tinkering Lab Party

I probably sound like a broken record about now, but I'm a firm believer that hands on STEM toys are the best thing EVER! And to further prove it, I hosted a party for Tinkering Labs recently. The things the kids and guys came up with were awesome. 
*Disclaimer: I was sent these products for the sole purpose of hosting a party and then reviewing the products. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinions are strictly my own.*

STEM is so much more than a passing fad. It promotes children's love and passion for the fields that will shape the future. In our house, it is also strongly promoted. We limit screen time and make our kids get hands on. Starting with building bricks and having worked up to circuit kits, we now turn to Tinkering Labs kits! 

What are Tinkering Labs? 

In short, they are a company that makes kits. Each kit contains everything needed to let your child(ren) become inventors. They are designed to get kids interested in inventing, in creating, something. Anything their mind can come up with. They are super simple. And yet, insanely fun.

What do the kits contain?

Everything! No, really. Everything you need to build something is in the box. All the parts and a catalyst motor. There are suggestion cards to spark ideas. And all the tools you need to put them together. A pair of goggles for eye protection and even a high quality screwdriver. One of my favorite pieces in the kit? A large paper to lay down and give them a workspace! No need to worry about the table finish or not finding that tiny screw that rolled away. It is all there, in the box.
Why is it important?

We live in an age where kids are losing their imagination to video games and screens. Hands on is becoming more of a thing in the past with each passing day. Ingenuity has been lost. I remember spending hours playing with my Lego bricks or cars or Barbie dolls. We didn't have video games (except the brief time of playing Duck Hunt).
We learned real skills. Changing outlets and switches, climbing trees, cooking, woodworking and shop. My Dad was very handy-minded and creative. He instilled that in some of my siblings and I. All of those things required our ability to think. These kits do the same thing. You have to think. Problem solve. You have to get creative and test theories. These are things that children need to learn now so that they can succeed in the real world later. 
On top of that, the bonding experience was amazing. I sat back and watched as 4 generations of guys got together and created something fun! Making memories is very important to us. You can lose a lot in life. But most times, your memories stick with you. So make them great! 

Where can I find them?

A couple places. You can purchase it from their own website, or if you prefer faster shipping and/or gift wrap you can go through Amazon. They also sell spare parts if you need a replacement or want to expand the kit. You can get a classroom-sized order too. 

Want to see it all in action? Check out the video below!  

Saturday, November 30, 2019

4 Huge Reasons That Lego DUPLO Are a Must Have

Toys are more than just entertainment in our home. We believe that they are a way to create imaginative play. A way to grow and learn. From geology to the circuit building sets, and then to the Lego bricks! All of these things have been welcomed into our home for play that is meaningful.

*Disclaimer: I was sent the All-in-One-Box free of charge, for my honest review and to share with guests at a party that I hosted. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed by Lego DUPLO.*

I played with my Lego bricks, growing up. I loved building and exploring the possibilities. And since then, they have only gotten cooler! There are more complex pieces. Additionally, there are bigger ones now that I can let my babies play with. Lego DUPLO are perfect for my toddler. She can't shove them in her mouth and block airways. What she can do is build her castles to the sky. She can build a train that whistles as it runs the along the track through her city. Her characters are animal and human - and always fun! They have adventures together. Buzz Lightyear is often seen riding his "horse" (which is actually a goat) to save the children in a runaway train! 

Why should you check Lego DUPLO out?

As parents, we want our kids to build their imaginations. It leads to more creative thinking later in life. We live in an age where kids are glued to electronic devices starting at an early age. Studies have shown that this isn't helping them long term. They need toy time. Time to play with their hands, increasing their motor functions. Lego bricks are the perfect way to do just that! There are manuals, but after building the set once, I have found that kids can't resist taking it apart and then building something of their own design. This is great! My kids don't just build an object. They build stories in their minds. 

Motor functions - Lego DUPLO are perfect for little hands. Easy to handle, easy to take apart and put together. They are designed with little people in mind. They learn motor control of their hands. A skill that needs to be built and refined through life.

No limitations - There are sets for all kinds of imaginations. Super heroes, farms, trains, wild animals - you know the new Frozen movie? Elsa and Anna are back! They are gender neutral. While I don't think all toys should be, I am glad that Lego are. Trains and animals, vehicles or movie characters - no matter who they are favored by - can be enjoyed by both boys and girls.

 Life skill learning- Imagination isn't the only learning they do. My daughter has a train that has the numbers she can count as she puts them on. We practice saying the colors too. Naming the different animals. Now, I know she is only a toddler, but dare I say we are promoting engineering as well? Let's say she wants to build a great tower. She needs to know how to balance the bricks and connect them well so that they won't just fall over. I know, I know. Big concepts for a 3 year old. But we gotta start them off somewhere, yes? And this is the fun way to do just that. 

What else does Lego DUPLO offer? 

How about a party planning hub? You read that right. They will help you plan out your party! From invitations you can print to the napkin holder, and on to the games! You can check it all out here. There is a gift finder that makes figuring out what your kid would like most, even easier.
I even found items at the local Dollar Tree to use for my Lego DUPLO party. Plates and napkins and little party favor boxes. These were added to the plates and favor bags that Lego sent me and it was awesome! 

Party planning and hosting at its finest!  

Lego DUPLO sent me an amazing party pack to get my on my way to hosting a wonderful party. 
My daughter really got into the party spirit as we prepared for her party. They have little masks you can print. She called them her "friends"! They have a couple more in the variety that are so much fun.
We put the stickers that Lego sent in the bags along with other party favors I picked up. Oriental Trading Company has some building brick themed items that are perfect as well!

Thanks to my love of Pinterest, I came across the idea to make Lego themed rice crispy treats.
Then they played with the All-in-One Box! The good thing about Lego DUPLO bricks are that older kids can really connect with their younger siblings and friends as they play. They bond, as it were. At least my kids did.
There are all kinds of games on the birthday hub that you can play. The tower building one was my favorite. 

I highly suggest you take a look and see what you can come up with! Then let me know what you liked the best. I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!