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DiDi and TuTu – Whimsical and Fun Interactive Toys for Boys and Girls

 

Tutu

Technology is amazing. When I was a young girl, I played with blocks, bricks, dolls, plush animals, built forts and skipped rocks. Never in a million years could I have imagined that in the near future hi-tech toys would have the capability to not only speak to you, but also interacted with your kids. Then again, I could have never imagined things like computers, iPads or iPhones. They didn’t exist when I was a child. We made phone calls the old fashion way – with a corded phone that had a rotary dial. Do you remember those?

Technology has changed a lot since my teens were children, and that wasn’t that long ago. That said, there are plenty of educational and interactive toys on the market these days that I know I would have purchased for my children when they were younger.

I recently had the opportunity to test one such toy for a Kickstarter campaign. Her name is TuTu, and she is a plush, iPad powered rabbit.

Do you remember the Tamagochi? ? The tiny key chained creature that the kids of Gen Y collected and cared for? The creature needed you to feed it, give it water and play with it. The DiDi and TuTu play toys remind me a lot of a Tamagotchi.

I received the cute TuTu plush bunny to try out. The toy is not that big – maybe a little bigger than a Barbie doll. It’s size makes it ideal for young children to tote around with them. She’s lightweight and easy to carry and snuggle with.

Tutu can be enjoyed and played with “as is”, however if you download the FREE app from the app store (TuTu Dreams) your child can not only interact with TuTu but also play games.

Setting up Tutu is super easy. You simply download the FREE app. Then you unzip the zipper found in the back of Tutu and insert your iPhone inside (if you have a case on your iPhone you’ll need to remove it). Make sure to line up the Tutu face on the app with the hole on your Tutu so you can see the entire face.

Tutu and Accessories

To wake Tutu up just touch her face. Once she’s awake, your child can engage in real play with Tutu.

Tutu has a sweet voice that is sure to appeal to children. I’d go as far to say she sounds like she’s a child. Therefore, it’s as if your child is interacting with someone his or her age.

The toy comes with accessories like a carton of milk, apple, carrot, toothbrush and a special ring. Each of these accessories can be used with TuTu. Sometimes she’ll request something (for examples she’ll say she’s thirsty) and your child simply has to gently place the appropriate item on Tutu’s face. When she told me she was thirsty, I gave her milk and when I took the milk away she had milk on her face (like a “milk mustache”) and she licked it off her lips. How cute!

TuTu

TuTu is not only interactive, she’s educational too.

One of TuTu’s games is one where players identify fruit (apple, orange, banana, etc). Once they are familiar with the fruit there is a little game where the fruit rains down from the sky inside bubbles and players needs to “pop” the bubbles to reveal one of each of the different fruits. It’s a very easy game to play. I’m guessing a three year old could play it.

There are six fun and engaging games that your child can play with TuTu.

The toy also teaches life skills like brushing teeth. Whenever Tutu is finished eating she will ask your child to brush her teeth with the toothbrush accessory. Hopefully this will inspire your child to want to do the same after eating.

Check out this video that shows you a bit more about Tutu.

 

This toy works with both the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The toy and the app were created by a company called Roam & Wander.

As a parent I really enjoy this adorable toy. It helps to inspire real life play and encourages your child’s imagination.

There are so many interactive apps you can download on your phone or iPad but none as unique as Tutu that comes to life when you combine the app with the toy and accessories (the accessories are included).

I didn’t get the opportunity to try out Didi. Didi is similar to Tutu except Didi is a bear that is made to be used with the iPad. Unlike TuTu, which has one screen for the face, DiDi turns the upper part of the iPad’s screen into DiDi’s face and the lower portion of the iPad into the belly for games, activities and books.

DiDi will available on Kickstarter April 12 for the ridiculously low price of $25, which will include the DiDi toy, four of his magical accessory toys that interact with DiDi and access to the app. Also, there will be a special deal for the first 100 customers, who will get a DiDi toy and a TuTu toy, valued at around $100, for only $25.

If you are looking for an interesting gift for a child or you want to give your child an educational interactive toy, check out TuTu at www.roamandwander.com or DiDi on Kickstarter here.

Their second toy DiDi is similar to TuTu, but for the iPad.

What do you think about these toys? Do you think it’s something you would like to get for your child/grandchild? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

 DiDi and TuTu

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Roam and Wander to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.

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Team TURBO Video Game & Sugar Cookies Recipes

 

Turbo FAST

It was recently announced that Netflix and DreamWorks Animation has teamed up to create three new original series that will air only on Netflix. The new series are set to debut late in 2014. The new series are Puss in Boots, King Julien and Veggie Tales in the House.

Last year Netflix and DreamWorks introduce the series Turbo FAST. It’s based on the hit animated film Turbo about racing snails.

I wrote about Turbo Fast last year. If you would like to read my original post you can find it here – Turbo Fast – A new series coming to Netflix.

Turbo FAST is an outrageous, high-octane ensemble comedy series teaming the world-famous super-powered snail Turbo with his posse of adrenaline-junkie buddies to form the Fast Action Stunt Team (FAST). Together, they amp up everything to the extreme: extreme adventure, extreme challenges and extreme excitement. No matter how wild things get, the Fast Action Stunt Team always has each other’s backs. Snail Up! Anytime, anywhere, only on Netflix.

The series is such a success that five new episodes have been created. The first one aired on April 4th. You can still view it on Netflix in case you missed it. In total 26 episodes have been ordered.

Netflix also has the film Turbo available for it’s U.S. and Canadian customers. Latin America customers will get Turbo later on this spring.

Does anyone in your home enjoy the Turbo FAST series? If so, here is a fun way to enhance their experience.

Turbo Game

Hop in the driver’s seat with the newest online adventure game, Savannah Slalom.

Strap in for racing adventure in the great outdoors with Savannah Slalom — the newest HTML5 adventure game from Turbo FAST. Help Smooth Move race across the savannah, dodging hungry meerkats like Savannah Slalom as well as giant boulders and pick up diamonds for extra life or catch power ups from your pal Chet. Optimized for both Web and mobile, Savannah Slalom offers continuous racing gameplay, letting you earn points to level up as you go. Want to make it to the other side? Step on it!  Play for free NOW at http://Savannah.TeamTurboFAST.com.

If that wasn’t cool enough, check out these fun Turbo FAST inspired cookies that you can re-create with your family.

Turbo FAST cookies

All you need is food coloring, basic sugar cookie dough, toothpicks, mini marshmallows, colorful candy of your choosing, icing…and your imagination!  Check out DreamWorks Animation’s Pinterest page for inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/39969515417476354/.

I LOVE the cookies! They are so creative. They even look easy enough to make. I’m sure children will have fun decorating them too.

For more information about the series visit TeamTurboFast.com and Netflix.com/Turbo.

Are you a fan of the series? What about your child/grandchild? What other DreamWorks film or character would you love to see come to the small screen as a Netflix series?

Netflix Turbo FAST

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Happy National Crayon Day!

 

National Crayon Day

Did you know that today is National Crayon Day?

We love crayons in my home. My kids are teenagers but they still love to doodle.

My husband and I find coloring to be very relaxing. We’ll sometimes sit down at the table together, grab a couple of coloring books (we have a few from when our kids were little) and color as we talk about our day. My husband especially loves coloring pages that have a lot of scenery and elements to them. :-) I even buy him a new box of crayons every Christmas. It’s like a family tradition. Every year I get him a box of Crayola with the little sharpener built in the back.

Here are some fun little facts about crayons.

The first box of Crayola crayons was introduced in 1903. It sold for a nickel and included the same eight colors available today: red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black and brown.

Crayola produces nearly 3 billion crayons each year, an average of 12 million wax sticks daily. That’s enough to circle the globe 6 times!

The average child in the United States will wear down about 730 crayons by his or her 10th birthday (11,464 boxes or 7 lbs of crayons) enough to cover an NBA basketball court.

According to Christian Science Monitor, parents buy enough crayons in a year to make a giant crayon 35 feet wide and 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

So grab your family, gather up all your crayons and coloring books and celebrate the day!

Crayola Crayons

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers.

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Valentine’s Day is not only for romance (giveaway ends 2/12/14)

 

Valentines-Day-650x365

When most people think about Valentine’s Day I’m sure they imagine roses, heart shaped boxes of chocolates and romantic candle light dinners. Not me. I imagine giving my kids Valentine’s Day cards, pieces of heart shaped chocolates and if I’m lucky, dinner and a movie with my hubby. For me, Valentine’s Day is more about showing the people that you care most about in this world how much you love them.  I’m not alone. Almost all (92%) of Americans agree that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance – it’s about showing people you care about them.

Check out this interesting infographic about Valentine’s Day.

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP, INC. SURVEY

Do you agree with the statistics?

When it comes to your children or grandchildren, do you like to include them on Valentine’s Day? Do you like to give them a little something too?

A fun thing to do with, or for, your little one – or even that someone special who is just a big kid at heart (like me!) – is to visit Build-a-Bear and create a new friend. Build-a-Bear has many Valentine’s Day themed critters to choose from (as well as regular furry friends).

Build a Bear Valentines Day

Build-a-Bear also offers plenty of fun accessories to get your current “friends” ready for Valentine’s Day too.

My husband has his own Build-a-Bear. :-) Of course he’s wearing a “manly” outfit (jeans and a t-shirt). I have a Build-a-Bear too. I like to dress the pair up in seasonal and holiday outfits and keep them on display (we use them as decorations). Both of our children had about a dozen Build-a-Bears between them. Even though they are teenagers now and it’s “uncool” to go to Build-a-Bear, I bet they would go in a heart beat if they knew their friends wouldn’t find out. LOL! Teenagers… got to love them.

In addition to the adorable Valentine’s Day fashions, accessories and furry friend, Build-a-Bear is also offering consumers the opportunity to help out others with their “Million Hearts, Million Wishes, Million Ways to Help” campaign which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Build-a-Bear will be donating a minimum of $250,000 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

As part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop “Million Hearts, Million Wishes, Million Ways to Help” effort, Guests can share photos of their “heart ceremony” when they wish on a limited edition “One in a Million” red satin heart that is added to their stuffed animal. For every photo shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest with #sharebabwwishes, Build-A-Bear Workshop will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $30,000. Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests can also make monetary donations to support Make-A-Wish at checkout in stores nationwide and online at www.BuildaBear.com through March.

If you are planning to visit Build-a-Bear in the near future I hope you will participate in this wonderful campaign to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

For more information about Build-a-Bear or to find a location near you visit BuildaBear.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter (@BuildaBear).

Build-a-Bear would like to give a lucky reader a $25 gift card so that they came make a new friend for themselves or for someone else. Thank you Build-a-Bear.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on February 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST).The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what you might get at Build-a-Bear if you are the lucky winner? Would you use it towards a new furry friend or would you buy accessories for current Build-a-Bear plush friends?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Build-a-Bear will be providing the prize.

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Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Doll

 

Mooshka

When you were a young child, did you ever play “Ring Around the Rosie“? It’s a nursery rhyme that first appeared around 1881, although similar sounding versions have been around since the 1790′s.

Ring around the Rosie

A pocket full of Posies

Ashes, Ashes,

We all fall down

I remember signing that sound with my mom, as well as holding hands with friends or relatives, spinning in a circle singing the song, and then falling to the ground. The falling to the ground part was the most fun. I also remember playing this game/song with my own children.

Another fun thing from my youth was paper dolls. Did you ever play with those?

I used to love to create my own outfits for my paper dolls. I would trace their shape on to plain paper and then design an outfit, color it in, cut it out and dress up my dolls with it. I used to make my own paper dolls too (although they were not as cute as real paper dolls).

When my daughter was a little girl she had paper dolls, except hers had magnetic backs on them and the clothing and accessories had magnets on them too. They were a far cry from the paper dolls I had when I was little.

There is a new line of soft dolls that combines the love of paper dolls and the beloved nursery song.

The doll line of soft called Mooshka.

Mooshka Doll

The story goes that three best friends, Lera, Myra and Niva, were once paper dolls. Through the power of their friendship they were able to transform themselves into real huggable dolls.

There are now over a dozen Mooshka dolls.

I was sent one of the dolls to review. I was sent Niva. According to the Mooshka website, Niva loves to write poems, songs and letters to her best friends. Niva is all about “words”. It’s funny that I was sent this one to review. I’m a blogger and I’ve always loved to write, even when I was a young girl. It’s all about words for me too.

Each one of the 15″ dolls sings that song Ring Around the Rosie. They can sing one of three ways. You can connect their own hands together and they will sing. Or you can hold on to each hand and the doll will also sing for you. If you happen to have a few Mooshka dolls you can connect their hands together (as if they were acting out Ring Around the Rosie) and they will sing together. They will sing 10 times in a row and then turn off.

I took a video of the doll singing. I’m sorry about the poor quality of the video. I had to use my cellphone since I no longer have a working camera. I also forgot to turn the camera on it’s side.

 

Each doll is sold separately. The outer box also doubles as a pretty gift box/storage box for the doll. Also included are three paper dolls holding hands (like a chain).

The Mooshka dolls are very soft and huggable. I can see how this doll will quickly become a little girl’s best friend.

I think the doll is adorable and she has a very sweet voice when she sings.

Paper Dolls

Paper Dolls

Mooshka dolls are safe for ages 2 and up.

Mooshka dolls are available at Toys R Us, Amazon.com, Walmart, Target and YoYo.com to name a few.

For more information about these adorable dolls please visit www.Mooshka.com. You can also find links to their social media sites, information about each of the dolls and FREE downloads/printables.

What do you think of the Mooshka dolls? Do you think they would make a great gift for that special little girl in your life?

Box

Kimberly

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

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Fun new dolls from Lalaloopsy

 

Lalaloopsy Hair Doll

If you have a young daughter or granddaughter chances are you are familiar with Lalaloopsy. Lalaloopsy are a line of adorable dolls and figurines.

I was first introduced to Lalaloopsy last year when we were having dinner with friends. Their daughter had bought out a bunch of little figurines of dolls that had sort of a rag doll appearance to them.

The first time I saw Lalaloopsy dolls I fell in love with them. They are so adorable! Our friend’s daughter even gave me one which sat on my desk for a very long time until I packed up a lo of my stuff when we thought we were moving. Now I have no idea what box my little Lalaloopsy doll is in.

I did a little research on the Lalaloopsy originals and found this interesting bit of information on Wikipedia.

Lalaloopsy were originally called Bitty Buttons. During their launch there were eight 12″ rag dolls. The original dolls were Crumbs Sugar Cookie, Peanut Big Top, Bea Spells-a-Lot, Jewel Sparkles, Pillow Featherbed, Mittens Fluff ‘N’ Stuff, Dot Starlight and Spot Splatter Splash.

Lalaloopsies

Their tag line was ”Sew magical – Sew cute”.

Each Bitty Buttons doll was created with a fictional theme that reflected the day she is born, the fabric she is sewn from, and her pet.

As per Issac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment;

Bitty Buttons was designed to teach kids that everybody is unique in their own special way. The new brand promotes the idea that old things can become new again, everything can be repurposed and nothing should ever go to waste.

The dolls were designed to encourage a child’s creativity and imagination and creativity as well as to teach important life lessons such as diversity, individuality and the idea that everything deserves a second life.

Shortly after their launch their names were changed from Bitty Buttons to Lalaloopsy.

The dolls have come a long way and numerous new dolls have been added to their product line.

Loopy Hair

I LOVE the Lalaloopsy Loopy Hair Dolls. They have long hair that can be brushed, braided, twisted and clipped with the included adorable hair clips.

I received one of these dolls to review.

I honestly didn’t think that the hair would be easy to comb, especially for little hands. Their hair is made out of a yarn-like material. I assumed the comb would constantly get snagged on the hair. The makers of Lalaloopsy must have thought about that possibility because they made the comb with big gaps between the “teeth”. Because of these gaps the hair doesn’t get snagged.

Comb

Along with the cute doll you get three sets of colorful hair clips that are easy to use, even for little ones.

In addition to the big Loopy Hair Dolls you can also find smaller versions, perfect for taking on long car trips or over to the baby sitter’s house.

Little Loopsy Hair

I was also sent to review a Lalaloopsy Workshop Double Pack. The Workshop Double Pack comes with two Lalaloopsy dolls that you can take apart, reassemble and mix and match pieces with both dolls.

You can mix and match heads, hair, arms, legs, fashion and accessories.

Lalaloopsy Workshop

These dolls are adorable. My only issue with this play set is that it wasn’t easy to get the pieces to snap on and stay on. I’m an adult and I had a hard time getting the arms and legs to snap into the torso. There are tiny holes in the torso and you need to squeeze the post on the limbs into the holes. The legs were especially hard because they were made to move so the leg piece kept moving forward or backward as I was trying to get the post into the hole. I got frustrated a few times and had to put the dolls done, wait a few minutes and try again. A young child might get equally as frustrated.

The idea of the Lalaloopsy Workshop with the mix and match pieces is great as long as you are able to do it.

Double Pack

I adore these little dolls. I can see how they would give a young girl many hours of imaginative play. I also think they are darling and they make me smile every time I look at them. There is something so sweet and charming about their faces and expressions.

Lalaloopsy has their own website with games, downloads, recipes, product information and so much more. Visit www.Lalaloopsy.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets. All the links are found at the top right corner of their official website.

Are you a fan of Lalaloopsy? Did your little one get any Lalaloopsy toys for Christmas? Do you have a favorite Lalaloopsy?

PS - Please excuse my awful pictures. My camera is broken and my cellphone doesn’t take good pictures.

Lalaloopsy Babies

Lalaloopsy Babies

Kimberly

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

 

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