Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Entertaining Kids During the Holidays {GIVEAWAY}

The holidays mean LOTS of great gifts for the kiddos and LOTS of time spent around the table, breaking bread with loved ones.  Uncle John's For Kids Only has a couple great products that will keep your children entertained!

4First launched in 2002, the Uncle John's For Kids Only series is designed for young trivia fans, infomaniacs and reluctant readers.  The latest installment in this series is TOTALLY QUACKED (ages 8+) -- 288 pages packed with strange science, weird news, obscure history, odd sports, and the interesting origins of everyday things. Special to this edition:  amazing animal quack-ups, history’s biggest quacks, ducky weather, fine feathered friends, quacky fashion, and things that are “Just Ducky” (which could mean really good or…soaking wet).  It's also perfectly sized to make an excellent stocking stuffer:).

You can also check out Uncle John’s For Kids Only website for more fun activities and games. Purchase you own copy of Totally Quacked HERE.

And now, two MUST-HAVES for keeping hungry young diners from gnawing off the table legs at those extra long holiday meals...feed their brains with Uncle John's Riddle Me Timbers! Placemats and Magic Cupcake Placemats (ages 6+). Each cleverly themed tear-off sheet in these 36-page placemat pads is filled with brain-building activities: a "Ship Shape" puzzler, a "Fairy Pie" maze, brainteasers, jokes, and weird facts, noodle-while-you-doodle activities and even Polly-Wanna-Doku and Wand-Doku (Sudoku with pictures!).  

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You can purchase your own placement tear out books to keep the kids busy and entertained during the holiday season.

Magic Cupcakes- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/uncle-johns-magic-cupcake-bathroom-readers-institute/1118762436?ean=9781626862876

Riddle Me Timbers! - http://www.amazon.com/Uncle-Johns-Riddle-Timbers-Placemats/dp/1626862885

GIVEAWAY: Want to win some of these fun books? Just enter below!

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Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Special Edition Pop-Up Book {Holiday Gift Guide} #GIVEAWAY

61Qm2SGAH8LEvery year let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve, and it’s usually pajamas so the kids can put them on and go to bed. Sometimes we even get them coloring books so they have something to do while they are so full of excitement they can’t fall asleep. I know quite a few families who do this and at least with us it’s come to be something my kids expect so it takes some of the fun out of it. Why not mix it up this year and try something different? How about a fun Rudolph Pop-Up Book to read before bed?

This Special Edition Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pop-Up Book tells the story that we all know and love (and most have seen on TV) about Rudolph. The pages are all full color with pop up pages that they kids love!

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Start a new holiday family reading tradition with a delightful pop-up retelling of this beloved Christmas special. Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer® is now a stunning pop-up book that is sure to wow Rudolph fans of all ages. All of the classic characters join Rudolph for his North Pole adventure: Hermey the elf/aspiring dentist, Yukon Cornelius, and the doe-eyed Clarice. The impressive large-scale pop-ups re-create classic scenes using actual movie stills. Fly along with Rudolph, join in the reindeer games, flee from the Abominable Snow Monster, visit the Island of Misfit Toys, and save Christmas one foggy night. Gather the kiddos, grab a snuggly blanket and be touched by the timeless story of acceptance and discover the true meaning of the holiday spirit.  

Copies of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Special Edition Pop-Up Book can be purchased here: http://www.silverdolphinbooks.com/product/Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-Pop-Up-Book,466.aspx.

GIVEAWAY: Want to win you own copy of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Of course you do! Two of my lucky readers will win their own copy but since Christmas is approaching so soon we are doing a quick flash giveaway for only 24 hours! So get your entries in quick!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Kid’s Smithsonian Discover Books and Puzzles {Holiday Gift Guide} GIVEAWAY

Is a trip to the Smithsonian Museum not in the budget this winter?  This holiday season you can wow your little scientist, naturalist and explorer by giving him or her the best of the Smithsonian, without ever having to leave your home! Through a unique collaboration between Silver Dolphin Books and the curators of this legendary museum, curious kids who are fascinated with the world around them can dive into their favorite subjects -- dinosaurs, oceans, flight and space -- with four interactive, fact-filled books and box sets.  Attractively packaged and affordably priced, each book or set comes with either a fact book or facts cards, a large fold out poster, and interactive activities -- the perfect gift that will keep them busy and engaged long after the last of the ornaments have been put away for another year.

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These Discover books are amazing for the older kids. Suggested age is 8+ and I agree. My 6 year old liked the colorful pictures but didn’t really get as much out of them as my 9 and 10 year old did. They just ate them up! They loved the glow in the dark stickers included in the Space book and the intricate designs for paper airplanes (paper included) in the flight book.

Perfect for the 8 and older crowd:

Smithsonian Discover: Flight  and Smithsonian Discover: Space. These books, geared for ages 8 and up, come with fun and engaging activities such as paper airplanes to fold in Flight and glow-in-the-dark star and planet stickers in Space. Each title also includes a set of fact cards and a large fold-out poster. These deluxe, concealed spiral-bound, hardcovers are affordably priced at $16.95. 

Of course my 6 year old was super excited after not getting too much out of the books to see puzzles! These aren’t just any puzzles though they also include a 32-page full color book in a pretty cool snap shut case.

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Just right for those 6 and older:

Smithsonian Young Explorers: Dinosaurs and Smithsonian Young Explorers: OceansThese playful and informative activity sets each contain a 32-page illustrated book, a poster and a 130 piece puzzle all in a handy snap shut case ($18.95 each). Each set provides the ultimate introduction to the fascinating world of dinosaurs and oceans, including the cutest sea creatures, the smallest dinosaurs, the science of the ocean movement, how the mystery of the plates of the Stegosaurus was solved and everything in between!

GIVEAWAY: Want to win your own copies of the two great books here? Just enter below!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Splash Math for Kids {Holiday Discount}

Why wait until Christmas to get a discount? Get 20% off a Splash Math to enjoy fun math practice for your child for an entire school year! 

Splash Math is an award winning math program for kids of ages 5-10 which can be used both at homes and in schools. Splash Math has benefited over 9 million kids and has been used in over 50,000 classrooms. Available on iPads, Android tablets and web, Splash Math works across multiple platforms and devices.

Mother and daughter back against a tree playing with touchpad

Splash Math is an adaptive program. It personalizes math practice depending upon the child's level of mastery and covers all math skills for all grades - Kindergarten through 5. Splash Math collects the practice data and shares analytical reports with the parents/teachers.

Splash Math combines the best of both worlds. For a child, Splash Math appears to be like a game which rewards on getting answers correct, keeping them engaged all the time. For a parent, Splash Math covers all necessary math skills for their grade levels and provides crucial insight on the child's performance.

Special 20% discount - This holiday season, Splash Math is offering a Special 20% discount.

Go to Save 20% Off Splash Math to access the discount.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

VTech Toys for Kid’s Milestones {Holiday Gift Guide}

I forgot how fast kids grow up my youngest is 2 years old but my next youngest is 6 years old so I’m repeating these toddler stages all over again with a whole new experience. Right now his vocabulary and confidence in speaking has just blossomed! He talks like crazy! I’ve noticed him mimicking words he’s heard us or his siblings say, some good and some I’d prefer him not to repeat. He’s just soaking up everything right now like a sponge. Doing school at home with my 1st grader he’s also getting to participate a little bit learning about numbers, colors, shapes, and letters so this holiday season I’ve been on the lookout for toys that will encourage this type of continual growth.

VTech has some great toys that provide and encourage educational opportunity and milestone growth. VTech has also launched a new feature on their website for parents who want to read more about milestones with questions and answers by leading experts in milestones for babies and toddlers.

The Expert Panel is compiled of six experts including, Dr. Lise Eliot, Early Childhood Mental Development Expert, who collaborated with VTech to develop the Milestones resource.

  1. · The milestones are broken down by ages that range from newborn to nine years old. 
  2. · Each age range is broken down by three categories of learning:
    • Language and Cognitive
    • Social and Emotional Development
    • Physical and Motor

The categories explain different characteristics and developments that your child is faced with at a specified age and is then followed by recommended products that best cater to your child.

We were lucky enough to receive a couple of toys from VTech to try out.

I thought the Roll and Surprise Animal Train would feel a little too young for my 2 year old but he loves it! I think it has to do a little bit with the fact that it’s a train and it has wheels because he’s into anything and everything with wheels. The colors are very vibrant and he thinks it’s so much fun when the animals pop up, he giggles every time. It encourages not only development of recognizing animal names and sounds but colors as well.

8193qjH9m6L._SL1500_Roll & Surprise Animal Train™

(Ages 6-36 months; MSRP: $15.99)

  • · Your little one will enjoy peek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities.
  • · Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors.
  • · This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases.

The Comp and Count Dino was his absolute favorite! He already really likes dinosaurs and roars every time he sees them trying to scare us but I love that this one teaches him colors, numbers, and shapes. Both toys are musical and make fun sounds that have helped keep his attention.

81qUvpA2BjL._SL1500_Chomp & Count Dino™

(Ages 12-36 months; MSRP: $19.99)

  • · Simply place one of the eight brightly-colored play pieces in the dino’s mouth and watch as he eats and recognizes each piece.
  • · Play in either food or counting mode and the dino responds with rewarding sounds and phrases all while introducing colors, numbers, shapes and more.
  • · Press the question button and kids can answer the dino’s questions to show what they’ve learned.
  • · Five shape buttons help kids learn shapes and numbers, while spinning the disc on the dino’s back will play sing-along songs.
  • · The dino can also be pushed or pulled by a string for even more fun melodies.

We also received the Lil’ Critters Play and Dream Musical Piano from VTech and while my son loved the music it made when he pushed the keys and buttons it was a little too young for him. It would be a great toy for younger babies still on the floor who could kick the toy to create sounds. This toy has 70+ different melodies, songs and phrases so it won’t play the same thing over and over again and get old. It can also be attached to the side of a crib.

91HlQ3EGXkL._SL1500_Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano™

(Ages 0-12 months; MSRP $24.99)

  • · Learn and play music with animal friends! The Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano by VTech has a variety of fun musical activities that engage your child on the floor or attached to the crib.
  • · This soft piano features five animal piano keys that introduce music, instruments and animals.
  • · The piano also includes a light-up sun that shines and flashes to the music to attract your baby’s attention.
  • · Choose from two modes of play for fun learning and music activities.

This is one of my favorite questions that the expert panel answered because I felt like it applied to my child so much! My youngest is 2 and has 3 older sisters so when he first started talking I was very concerned this would happen but like the panel says “giving your child the confidence that she is being heard will provide great reinforcement to encourage her to speak more”. For us I think it was just finding a balance between older siblings talking and the younger one- he needed to feel like people could hear him and now he’s really blossomed and learning new vocabulary every day.

Q. My 2 year old (26 months to be exact) barely talks unless she wants to.  She has two older siblings who tend to speak for her.  She can string a few words together like "me up" or "love you."  How can we encourage her to talk more and what VTech products would be most beneficial for her?

A. There's a simple equation to verbal development:  "Language in = Language out"  The more words you and others address to your child, the larger her own vocabulary will eventually be.  You are right that younger children sometimes do have trouble getting a word in edgewise in a big family.  Find opportunities when your daughter can be the only one speaking.  Try to carve out some one-on-one time, when you are just focused on each other, and make sure to listen and respond to every word or babble she makes, acting as if you understand her.  Imitate her words and sounds and offer lots of praise.  Just giving your child the confidence that she is being heard will provide great reinforcement to encourage her to speak more.

Also, VTech's infant toys can promote this language development since most produce simple words or phrases that babies love to control.  Toys such as Cody The Smart Cub™ and Cora The Smart Cub™ introduce children to first words, emotions, stories, sing-alongs, and more.

A huge thanks to VTech for providing us with the opportunity to learn more about their great new site features and find a place were we can go to for milestone help and development encouragement. These VTech toys will definitely be under our tree this holiday season! (Yes sometimes we wrap up toys our little one already owns, he gets excited no matter what.)

You can find more fun VTech information on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

*All opinions are my own and no monetary compensation was received in exchange for this post.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Sale & Giveaway {Digital Designs}

cyber-monday-giveaway

All digital designs are on DEEP discount-

BOGO Sale!


Yes for only $1 you can grab 2 of your favorite designs and be entered to win 5 more

OR your own custom design.
(For every $1 spent you’ll get one entry.)

Purchase & Enter to Win HERE.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday Sale! {Digital Designs- $1 each}

Check out this SMOKIN’ Black Friday sale!

All digital designs only $1 each! 55 designs available!

https://www.facebook.com/vinylcreations4you

You'll receive your high quality digital image as a jpg emailed to you. These can be printed off your own printer, at an office store on card-stock or anywhere that has a photo lab, your choice!

Normal retail ranges from $5-8 and deal prices have been running at $2.50-2.99 so grab it now while it's hot!


Sale will run now through midnight on Cyber Monday (Dec 1st).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grandparent Rules Printable {Holiday Gift} Only $2.99!

Looking for a great holiday gift for those grandparents in your kid’s lives? This Grandparent Rules Printable is on sale today through November 18th – 58% off – for only $2.99. Just purchase, download, print, and add to a frame for you a great holiday gift.

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Your purchase will include the file in both sizes 8x10 and 11x14 in both color and black and white.

Purchase Here!  just use the link to head on over to Jane.com and purchase this great deal. Hurry and get yours quick, deal ends in 2 days and 16 hours or when stock runs out!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Christmas Budgeting -FREE Mobile Tool {Dave Ramsey}

Take some financial stress out of your holiday season by keeping track of those holiday purchases in one easy place. Dave Ramsey’s Christmas Budget tool is not only FREE but mobile friendly too so you can track while you shop. MyChristmasBudget.com 

 

WANT TO WIN? Don’t forget to check out Dave’s $100,000 Baby Steps Giveaway going on at DaveRamsey.com where you can win money and  prizes the weeks leading up to Christmas that correspond with each of Dave’s baby steps.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Better World For Kids {Online Game}

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If you’re a parent like me whose kids are growing up in the age of technology it’s really hard to avoid them wanting to play games online, but it’s so tough to find something that’s both fun and appropriate for kids. I was contacted by a company to help promote an online game called A Better World for Kids. As I started to look into it I was happy to find a game somewhat similar to the ones my kids are wanting to play online but much better. My kids are very into the whole make your own avatar where you can change it’s hair color, eye color, and outfits. A Better World offers this and so much more!

A Better World is geared towards offering uplifting games and apps to brighten the world. To bring out the best in kids, helping them shape into positive people, and making the world a better place. No more worrying about those violent and time-wasting games.

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How to Play:

Kids will create avatars in the game that live in the virtual community, the BetterWorldians Neighborhood, interact with other kids, and get jobs to make the world a better place. They will then be rewarded with Do-Good Gold for positive actions and a positive attitude. This gold can be used to decorate their home, visit friends, buy more outfits for their character and even purchase pets that they can take care of. The more good deeds they do the faster they’ll progress.

Much More than Just an Online Game:

A Better World is so much more than an online game! It also encourages kids to get up and get out into their community “doing good”. The more real-life good deeds they do the more they’ll be rewarded in the game. Parents can even assign real household chores for kids to earn gold in the game.

Safety:

As any online community game I always as a parent worry about whether or not my kids are actually safe. A Better World for Kids will be located on its own website and be compliant with all child privacy laws and regulations.

How to Get Started:

Right now this great game is in pre-launch on Kickstarter trying to raise money to make this great game available to all of us. You can help by making a pledge- anywhere from $10 – $10,000. In exchange your pledge will get you some great rewards. For example pledging just $35 will give you a 6 month game subscription.

Check out A Better World for Kids today to help support this uplifting game for kids.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Compensation was provided to me in exchange for this posting.  All opinions here are 100% my own and were not influenced in any way.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mountain Resorts- Steamboat CO {Save up to 35% on lodging and 25% on lift tickets}



Mountain Resorts offers a wide variety of attractive, well-maintained accommodations at prime locations in Steamboat Springs, Colorado surrounding the Steamboat Ski Area, with rates ranging from affordable to indulgent. If you're planning a winter vacation to Steamboat Springs there is no better time to book your trip. 

When you book early you have access to the best properties at the greatest discounts. Check out these early booking deals. Up to 35% off lodging and 25% off lift tickets!

For more information and reservations call 800-995-6049
or visit us online at http://www.mtn-resorts.com/bookearly?camp=CRN