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Award Winning Phonics App, Wonster Words, is Worry Free!

 

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Did you or your toddler receive a new phone or tablet this holiday season?  Now that you have the latest in tech, what are you going to load it up with?

The app markets are overflowing with all sorts of life enhancing ideas just waiting to be downloaded.  With so many options it is hard to know which are truly worth your precious attention.

If you have a child that is learning the ABCs and the corresponding sounds, then Wonster Words will fit nicely on your new smart device.

 

Inspired by childhood classics like Sesame Street, Super Why and Word Girl, Wonster Words is an ABC, phonics, and spelling game that is loved by parents and adored by kids. Wonster Words has won numerous awards including Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Picks, Mom’s Choice Gold, NAPPA Gold, iKids, and others.

Interactive word puzzles made up of silly animated letters introduce your toddlers to the ABCs and the 44 most common English phonemes. Put the animated letters where they belong as they sound out ABCs, phonics, gliding vowels, and consonant. This fun yet educational game is designed to help both school age and preschool children to learn the skills needed to be able to spell out new words.

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Once the word puzzles are completed, children will enjoy cute, whimsical animations headlined by the lovable Wonster crew. The animations reinforce the spelling and pronunciation of the words, while teaching kids the meaning of these words.

In addition to the animations, kids will occasionally be rewarded with surprise mini-games. Unlike other educational games that can’t seem to keep your child’s attention, Wonster Words is sure to engage and educate your child.

Wonster Words is free to download and play. It comes with 15 free words for your child to play, along with a free daily “Word of the Day”! If you would like more words, an additional 100+ words are available through in app purchases. All purchases are locked behind parent gates to block accidental purchases by children. With regular updates, Wonster Words provides endless learning and fun for children. Download today to your new smartphone and tablet.

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Here is what users are saying about Wonster Words:

“I am a retired Speech-language Pathologist and I provide trainings for preschools. I love this app for vocabulary building, early reading and spelling.”

“Awesome! Our little man enjoys it a lot. He has been playing it for the past two years, and never tires of it.”

“I love that my 3- year-old twins are learning while they play. It’s entertaining for them and at this age things just stick. This app makes the learning fun and effortless! Thank you!”

“I am thrilled that a student of mine is drawn to this app. It is great to encourage his phonics, and speech practice as he engages in and repeats letter names and words in this app. He is motivated by the errorless learning puzzle format and humorous games. Thanks for another great app!” — Lynn Ouellette, MS-Ed

“Our 3-year-old old can’t get enough of this app! He loves word building!”

*SPECIAL*

The Google Play Store is having a year-end promotion and Wonster Words is a key part!  Between December 28 and January 6, the Wonster Words All Access Pass is 33% off, just $9.99!  (This offer is only valid through the Google Play Store).

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*I have partnered with the app to bring you this information. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not reflect my own. 

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PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Toys for the Holiday

 

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Are you still looking for some great gifts to put under the tree for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew? If you answer “yes,” look no further than your local Whole Foods Market. That’s right – your local grocery store.

Whole Foods Market has teamed up with PBS KIDS by launching new holiday items for their line of responsibly-sourced toys.

Not only are these toys environmentally friendly, but they also give back – to the PBS mission of education for all children. 100% of profits for the supplier, PBS, go back to their non-profit work. All products give 1% to Whole Kids Foundation, which helps give parents, teachers and children more tools and opportunities to eat well.

Some of the PBS KIDS’ responsibly-sourced PlanToys and Aurora Plush animals are  pictured above and below.

plush

I LOVE the plush toys! They look adorable. I wish we had a Whole Foods Market local to us. I would purchase the plush toys not only for gifts, but also for myself. I love to collect soft, cuddly, plush animals. The Llama (?) and Ferret (?) pictured above are especially cute.

I received a couple of toys from the collection to review.

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Honey Bee Stacker 

All little ones should experience the fun of a stacker toy. Normally they are made of cheap plastic with colorful rings. This set is a much better option. It’s made from wood and meant to last for many years (this is something that could be passed down in a family).

Stacker toys are a great way to teach even a young child about shapes and sizes. The “objective” is to stack the rings on top of each other from largest to smallest.

I love the adorable little bee the sits on top.

When not in use I think this makes an adorable nursery/toddler room decoration.

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Safari Animal Outdoor Croquet Set

I haven’t had the opportunity to play with this set yet. I am donating it to the classroom where I work. I thought this would be a great toy to enjoy indoors when it’s too cold or raining to go outside. We have use of the gym in the afternoon.

This is a classic croquet set. The objective is to hit the balls under the wooden arches.

This set is very well made. I love that it’s made out of wood. Under normal use this set could last for many, many years.

Even adults could have fun with this game too (although the mallets are a bit short for adults).

Not only are the PlanToys and Aurora Plush toys very well made, I think it’s a “win-win” situation that proceeds from the sales goes to children’s charities.

You can find these and other toys are your local Whole Foods Market. To find a location near you visit WholeFoodsMarket.com. The brand can also be found on social media.

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Kimberly

*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Check out the cool sports balls from Reactorz

 

fireflies

When I was a young girl I used to love playing outdoors with my cousins in the evening hours. We used to catch fireflies and play hide-and-go-seek, among other things. Oh how I miss those days.

One thing we never really did was play ball games in the evening hours, simply because it was too dark to see the ball. I’m referring to games like basketball, football, kickball or soccer.

Thanks to COOP Sports and some really cool technology, you can play during the dusk hours with their line of Reactorz balls.

Reactorz are made with Reactive Light Technology, so a kicked soccer ball or a tossed football becomes illuminated on contact. Like Isaac Newton’s law of motion, for every action – toss, throw, kick – there’s an equal and quite bright reaction when kids play with one of eight Reactorz products. From regulation-sized basketball and soccer to football (throws just like a real, regular football), and even a flying disc, you can your family can enjoy your favorite sports long after the sun goes down.

How does it work? Don’t look for the on/off switch because there isn’t one! COOP designers, prized for their attention to detail, took a whole year of product development to get this just right!  The secret is the long-lasting battery life built in each ball, and the micro prism core that refracts light. Then they put their focus on the exterior. Each Reactorz boasts one of three core colors – Atomic (lime) Ice (blue) and Lava (red). Covering the balls is a contrasting shield color. The final result is like nothing else on the market!

Check out this brief video that shows the Reactorz Football in use. It’s pretty cool!

 

I was sent one of the Reactorz balls to review. I received the Reactorz Basketball in the “Atomic” (green) color.

It doesn’t take much to set the “light” off in the ball. The smallest tap or movement makes the light turn on. It’s pretty cool.

It looks like a ball with an “outer sleeve” (for lack of a better description). The “inner ball” is the part that lights up. The outer part I am assuming protects it from all the knocking around it gets while playing the sport.

I wasn’t able to get a decent video of the ball in action (rolling it around in the front of our building). Sadly we can’t go to the local part to play a game of basketball after dark. The park closes and you are not allowed in. Playing with the Reactorz ball during the daylight hours isn’t as fun.. The ball works just like any other basketball, it’s just that you can’t really make out the light during the daylight hours.

basketballs

The balls are very well made. They have a thick outer part that protects it. I think these balls could take a lot of kicking and throwing and not show any signs of damage or “wear and tear.” They seem very well protected by the outer piece. The outer piece also helps it to bounce.

Not only do I think these are really cool toys, I also think that they will inspire children to want to stay out longer and be more active.

Of course I would recommend that children play outdoors when it gets dark with adult supervision, or in someone’s backyard.

Adults can enjoy these balls too. They are made for children ages 5 and up. I could see a group of adults playing a good old game of football with a Reactorz Football after hours. That would also be fun to watch (and much easier to keep an eye on where the ball is).

Both boys and girls can have fun with Reactorz balls.

You can find Reactorz balls (and disc) at your neighborhood Toys R Us store (both online and in stores). They are also available at Academy Sports + Outdoors stores.

footballs

Believe it or not, Reactorz balls and disc are actually very affordable. They range in price from $5.99 to $19.99. Four Reactorz items are under $10.

These would make a great birthday gift, holiday gift, great report card reward or just something fun to do with the whole family.

For more information about Reactorz and/or COOP Sports, visit www.COOP-Sports.com. You can also check the brand on social media. All of their links are found at the top of their website.

COOP Sports offers consumers a variety of other fun and engaging sports equipment and more.

What do you think about Reactorz? Does it look like something your child/grandchild might enjoy? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

coop-logo

Kimberly

*I received a free sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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2016 Hess Toy Truck – A great holiday gift & tradition

 

Watching certain holiday movies and specials are one of many holiday traditions my family has.

Watching certain holiday movies and specials are one of many holiday traditions my family has.

Do you have any special holiday traditions?

We have several holiday traditions. Some are small, some are a bit more important. Some are even a bit silly. Take for exampled Malted Milk Balls. When I was younger and I didn’t have much money for gifts I used to buy my dad a box of Malted Milk Balls for Christmas as a gift. It was his favorite treat. Even as I got older and had money to buy actual gifts, my dad always appreciated a box of Malted Milk Balls. So every Christmas I would buy him a box.

Another holiday tradition we have is going on out Christmas Eve and check out all the holiday decorations. As we drive around the neighborhoods we’d give out “awards” for titles like “Most Beautiful,” “Most Creative,” “Tackiest,” and so forth. They were not real awards. It was just something that my family would come up with as we were driving around.

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Here is something you might want to consider if you have a child or grandchild – get them a new ornament every year for the holiday. My mom started that when I was a little girl. She’d gift me a personalized ornament every year (with the year on it) so that when I moved out and I had my own Christmas tree I had plenty of ornaments to decorate it with.

Mom started doing that for my kids. After she passed away my husband and I continued it (although not all of their are personalized or have the year on them). This year both of my kids got a personalized snowman that lights up and changes colors.

We also have a special key that we put on the outside of our condo door on Christmas Eve before we go to bed. Since we live in a condo and we don’t have a chimney, Santa needs some way of getting inside to deliver gifts. Even though our kids are teenagers (our daughter will be 20!), and haven’t believed in many years, we still hang the key outside the door on Christmas Eve. It’s a family tradition.

key

Going back to my dad. He had a tradition he did with the grandchildren. It started with my nephew and eventually all the grandchildren were a part of it.

Each year my father would buy my nephew the Hess Toy Truck that came available around Thanksgiving. My nephew has a wonderful collection of Hess trucks. When my kids were born my dad did the same thing for them as well as my niece. It didn’t matter if they were boys or girls – all the kids enjoyed the Hess Toy Trucks. All the kid knew they would get one on Christmas morning.

When my dad passed away we didn’t want to let that tradition die with him, so my husband and I took over buying our kids a Hess Toy Truck for Christmas.

When our daughter got older she didn’t have a need for them anymore, but our son likes to collect them, so we would buy a new truck for him. It’s a way to honor the memory of my dad every holiday season.

Dad would have loved the 2016 Hess Toy Truck.

hess-toy-truck-2016

This year the Hess Toy Truck features a Dragster. It’s sold exclusively at www.HessToyTruck.com for $31.99 with free standard shipping and five Energizer® batteries included.

Thank goodness that it come with batteries because as soon as you take it out of the box you’ll want to play with it.

The 2016 Truck features LED lights, a slide-out ramp, and 4 realistic sounds including a race starting countdown.  The dragster’s innovative weight-transfer design and pull-back friction motor enable launch  in either a flat or wheelie position. Together, the duo features green accents, sleek chrome styling, and more than 50 brilliant lights.

Here is a brief video that I took of the one we have. It’s not easy to press buttons and video at the same time. I think I missed a button.

 

The sounds are very realistic and the volume is pretty loud too (as you can tell from the video).

There are plenty of lights on both vehicles. On the truck you can choose from stationary lights or flashing lights.

Once again, Hess Toy Truck did not disappoint. This is an awesome truck that any child – or collector – will enjoy.

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If you would like to purchase the truck for your collection or as a gift, www.HessToyTruck.com. On the site you can also check out Hess Toy Trucks from previous years.

The brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom right of their website.

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Kimberly

*I received a free sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fun gift idea that doesn’t require batteries, television or WIFI

 

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As a parent, I have always looked for quality toys for our children. I also wanted to gift our children toys that would help develop their creativity and imagination.

Sadly, I think many toys available to today’s children don’t encourage a child to use their intellect and creativity. Many toys utilize technology, which is fine, but children need more than the latest application on their tablet or the “must have” robotic toy of the season.

Growing up I could spend hours in the woods behind our home making things with sticks and rocks. Wooden building blocks would facilitate hours of adventures with my Little People toys. And board games were the best thing next to sliced bread (back in the day of course).

When my children were little I tried not to fall victim to all the hype around certain toys. I knew what kind of toys my kids enjoyed and I carefully examined each toy before purchasing it to make sure that it was not only something fun, but also something that would bring hours of enjoyment to my children.

If you are looking for a fun and creative toy for your child or grandchild, you should check out GeoSmart.

GeoSmart offers a variety of “kits” that allow your child/grandchild to build a variety of object and structures.

GeoSmart doesn’t use batteries or need charging. It relies on imagination and magnets.

geosmart-magnets

I’m sure you have seen similar products on the market. GeoSmart sets it’s self apart from the competition because they take child’s safety seriously. GeoSmart has a double-lock safety system. Each magnet is encased twice to ensure that little fingers can’t get to it. GeoSmart set the bar high for safety in magnetic construction toys.

The magnets use a force that pulls and pushes, which is something that normally interests kids (Does this end fasten to that piece?).

Using GeoSmart pieces/kits help promote creative thinking, pattern recognition, eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and decision making. They also use element from STEM basics – science, technology, engineering and math principle.

Even as an adult I find them fun and relaxing to play with.

GeoSmart’s ha a new line of magnetic construction sets. They would make great gifts for the holiday.

New kits include;

alien lunar mars

You can check out the whole collection on Amazon. There are several kits available including the 100 piece education kit.

I was sent a kit to review. I received the GeoShere Kit.

geoshere

I was hoping my son took interest in it, but he didn’t (in all fairness he’s older than the target demographic). That’s OK. It’s designed for children ages 5+. Since I work with Kindergarten children, I plan on donating the GeoShere kit to the kid that I work with. I know they are going to LOVE it. They love to build (wooden block, plastic “bricks”…). They are going to really enjoy playing with the GeoShere kit. I can’t wait to see what the they come up with.

I will try and get photos of the things the kids make with the GeoShere kit. The only thing is that I can’t include the children in the photos (for obvious reasons – they are no my kids).

magnets

I love this toy! I how it really gets kids to think and great creative. I also love that it doesn’t require batteries or having to wait a few hour while it charges.

The magnets are pretty strong (but not too strong where you can’t get them apart). The pieces are also very bright and colorful.

Depending on what kit you have, you can put the pieces in a zip loc bag and take it with you where ever you go. This can keep kids occupied while waiting at a doctor’s appointment, traveling to Grandma’s house or at a restaurant. The pieces “stick” to each other (through the magnets) which keep the pieces together too.

For more information about these great toys visit GeoSmartUSA.com. You can also check out the brand on social media (@GeoSmartUSA).  The website has a lot more information about the kits and you can even get building instructions.

PHOTO SOURCE: GeoSmart's Facebook page

PHOTO SOURCE: GeoSmart’s Facebook page

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fun Stocking Stuffer Idea – Build Your Own Wind-Up Toy

 

Christmas Stocking With Gifts

I hate to have to say this… but Christmas is several weeks away. It’s time to start thinking about holiday gift ideas and stocking stuffers.

My kid are older now (sigh…). They don’t care about the latest and greatest “must have” toys of the seasons. Just last night our daughter was telling us what stores she wants gift cards too, and that she’d like new hubcaps for her car (she’s missing one). Our son wants gift cards to buy clothes and sneakers. I WISH they still wanted toys.

I do work with little children, and have plenty of younger nieces, nephews and family friends who have young children. Thankfully I still have a chance to pick up some fun toys for gifts.

I understand why kids these days want high-tech toys. That is just how kids are these days. I’m a bit more “old school” – I like toys that develop a child’s imagination and creativity. I would rather give a child a box full of clay, crayons, paper, paint and other arts and crafts supplies than a video game. That is just how I am. I’m sure the kids I gift those things too would rather have the video games, but I would rather a child learn to create their own fun.

When I was little I could play for hours with sticks, rocks and other things I found around our home and in the woods. I didn’t need a television, cellphone or iPad in order to have fun.

children computers

If you are interested in gifting a child a gift that not only promotes creativity, but also sparks their imagination, I have an idea for you – Build Your Own Wind-Up Toys from Precision RBS™. These 3D-Motokits are part puzzle, part toy.

The Build Your Own Wind-Up Toys come in a variety toys including construction vehicles, dinosaurs, animals and military vehicles.

The four series of 3D-Motokits™ available are,

  • Dinosaur Series 1– let your kids build all their favorites like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Brachiosaurus.
  • Animals Series 1– bring the zoo to life with pandas, tigers, elephants and gorillas.
  • Construction Series 1– the basics needed to get any construction job done including: backhoes, dumpers, forklifts and loaders.
  • Military Series 1– featuring classic military vehicles such as tanks, helicopters, jet fighters and fighter planes.

kits

Each kit comes with pieces that need to be popped out. Then, following the instructions, you need to assemble the pieces together to form the object.

Each kit also comes with the wind-up mechanism so that you can bring the object to life. There are no batteries required. You also don’t need glue – unless you plan making them a bit more sturdy.

I was sent some of the kits to review.

I’m not really good with tiny pieces, so I asked my teenage son if he could put them together for me. Sadly, he’s been too busy to help me out. So I had to ask my husband.

My husband tried two different kits. Even though they are made for children, he found them cumbersome to put together. When he tried to slide in one piece another piece would pop out. He actually got frustrated with the one he was working on (a construction vehicle) and gave up.

I figured I would give them a chance. I opened up the elephant kit. I too had a hard time putting it together. I found the instructions a bit confusing. Oddly enough there are a lot of pieces. When I offered to review them I didn’t expect that there would be so many tiny pieces.

Now, before you ASSUME the kits are too difficult – they were for us BUT they might not be for others. They are labeled for ages 6+, but I do feel like little ones will need parental assistance. This would actually be a great parent/child activity – you know, to bond and make memories with.

I have Carpal Tunnel, so doing things with tiny pieces is not that easy for me.

 

The small white thing at the bottom of the photo is the winding mechanism.

The small white thing at the bottom of the photo is the winding mechanism.

If you are able to follow directions and put together those fancy LEGO kits, then this should be no problem whatsoever.

These kits would be ideal for those snowy and cold winter days when you really can’t go out and play or a rainy day activity.

As a parent I appreciate toys like this. I like that its a bit challenging and teaches children how to follow instructions (there are no words – just photos). Plus I love that it will boost their confidence and self-esteem when they see the finished product, knowing that they made it themselves. Plus they look like a lot of fun too.

These kits are made by Super Impulse. I am a big fan of the brand. They make the World’s Smallest toys, which I love. I own several of them.

Look for these kits where ever toys are sold. You can also visit SuperImpluse.com for more information. You can also find the brand on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

What do you think of these toys? Do they look like something your child/grandchild might like to do?

moto-kits

Kimberly

*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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