Gift Ideas, Kids, School, School Gifts

Easy Kids Birthday Favors – Free Printable Tags

I am an #HPSmartMom and receive product from HP periodically

Easy Kids Birthday Favors - Free Printable Tags

 Our youngest will be 9 in a few weeks and I just booked his party at and now have Invitations, party favors and classroom favors to prepare. The party is for 10 cards and his class favors are for 24. Because a student in his class severe allergies she does not allow food gifts so kids typically bring in trinkets to hand out. I found some water bottles for under $1 and am doing those, but I needed tags to print and attach.

HP Gift Tag

This is what I use my HP Print and Photo Projects download for. I have it installed on my Mac and I just open it, choose a project and design and print. I found this tablet, changed the text and had them printed in under 10 minutes. It took me longer to cut all the string for tying these onto the bottles.

Birthday favor tags

I have an HP Instant Ink eligible printer. The HP Envy 7640 costs under $130 and can print, fax, scan, copy and do photo wirelessly. I am so excited about the wireless feature on this printer because I can sit on the couch and while reading emails or messages, I save it as a document right on my phone then open my HP All-in-One Remote app and hit print! My copy is sitting on my printer and I never left the couch or promised myself I will print out later only to forget.
Why do I need an HP Instant Ink compatible printer? Because it works with my ink cartridge to send a message to HP when I am low and I have ink at my door within days and before I run out! How simple is that?

Making gift tags

If you can’t find water bottles, try attaching tags to bulk and inexpensive favors like keychains. Until I stumbled across these bottles, I almost used some Emoji keychains I found for under $15 that was enough for his entire class.

gift tag printable

I printed 24 copies, cut them each out and cut 25 strands of ribbon. Used a hole punch so I can insert the ribbon and tie to each bottle. The great thing is that these bottles were under $1 and were BPA free plastic.


Having my HP Envy printer and access to a Project Download that anyone can access makes these party set up projects so easy. See all of the projects you can do with HP Printables.


water bottle favors

Education, Kids, Parenting, School, STEM Learning

DMA STEM Summer Camps Filling Fast – Save $75

DMA STEM Summer Camps Filling Fast - Save $75

DMA STEM Summer Camps

Digital Media Academy technology summer camps allow kids and teens to discover their passion for STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) through fun and exciting hands-on courses and collaboration at a location near you.


It’s our mission to foster a learning community of diversity and excellence through memorable and innovative educational experiences led by the highest-quality instructors; building skills and confidence to empower lifelong learners to follow their dreams and make a lasting impact.

We also know that, girls may shy away from subjects like science, technology, engineering, and math because they are often seen as male-dominated fields. To change that, Digital Media Academy is committed to increasing girls’ confidence in coding and STEM subjects through immersive courses taught by role models and mentors dedicated to empowering all learners, creators, and makers. DMA’s Made By Girls initiative aims to build tech confidence in young women, and was created exclusively to support early positive experiences with technology.


Learn the skills of tomorrow this summer at a location near you! With hands-on summer camps for kids and teens ages 6-17, there is no limit to what you can create this summer at Digital Media Academy.


Popular courses include Intro to Java Programming, VR & Game Design Academy, Wearable Tech & Fashion Design, and the Filmmaking Academy, and much more!

Save BIG on summer camps for a limited time! Use discount code TECHFUN17 for $75 off each summer camp registration. The savings is $35 off our Jr. Adventures courses. Don’t wait – with limited seats available, summer camps are filling fast! Offer expires 5/1/17.

DMA Summer Camps Contact

Question? Call us at 866-656-3342 or send an email to to speak with a Camp Advisor.

Apps, Education, Kids, Parenting, School

Kids Online Math Games with Smartick

I was compensated a 3 month subscription for feature


With the school year about halfway through you would know by now how much help your child may need in math at school no matter what grade level. Smartick is an engaging online math game for ages 4-14. Even if your child is not struggling at math but is unmotivated Smartick has a system just right for them too.


I set up an account for my son who is in grade 3. He does very well in some aspects in Math and ok in other areas. Even though he is not behind, I use this to motivate him to get extra practice. How? By installing incentives via the parent control panel.


There are 2 ways to log in- child and parent. In parent mode you can see your child’s progress, create incentives per number of ticks you set, and get performance reports. For various activities like completing without errors, playing multiple days in a row, completing sections and more they get ticks. These ticks can be used in their virtual world to buy items and upgrade their world. They can buy a home, add to it and other fun world items with their Avatar they can personalize. As a parent, you can set tick rewards, like movie time or choice of dinner after so many ticks as incentive.


In child mode they do 15 minute daily sessions. First they will take a placement test. It is a bit difficult by design to really guage the level of your child and create an accurate profile of games for them. Each day they come back for a 15 minute session. That is enough time to get some practice in yet not too long that they become bored or frustrated.

online math games

The Results:
  • 94% of Smartick students improve their mental calculation and agility
  • 83% of Smartick students improve their grade in math, and half improve in other subjects


You can start a 15 day free trial right now at Smartick

Books, Brands with a Cause, Deals, Education, Gift Ideas, School

Back to School with Kohl’s Cares

Post written for Kohl’s Cares and product was sent free or at reduced price for feature


It’s back to school time with Kohl’s Cares. What a better plush and book character then the friends of Clifford. Clifford The Big Red Dog collection includes a backpack, creativity kit, toys, and hard cover books to finish the summer reading and move on to the next level this school year.


I have always loved Clifford and remember his stories when I was learning to read. In fact, the Clifford The Big Read Dog series was the standard learning set within my kindergarten class I remember. Now they are at the special $5 price point in the Kohl’s Cares selections in store and online. 100% of the proceeds go back into child health initiatives.


The Scramble States of America is a fun addition to the school collection and the activity set is full of coloring fun with a how-to-draw animals book.


To date, Kohl‘s has raised nearly $300 million through the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program. To reinforce the company’s commitment to children’s health, Kohl’s has donated financial support to hospitals across the country. The donations fund hospital outreach programs focused on children’s health initiatives and address the specific issues needed most in each hospital’s community. These tailored programs provide vital resources to families at no cost and include topics such as injury prevention, asthma awareness, dental care, and fitness.


The Kohl’s Cares section is always our favorite stop inside our Kohl’s store and I am so excited to see Clifford featured so my own son can share in the fun stories.


Brands with a Cause, Education, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Kickstarter, Parenting, School

Piano Lessons at home with Hoffman Academy

I was sent sample materials for feature

Free Piano Lessons
This is pretty exciting news for parents! As a child and even now as an adult, I never took music lessons of any kind. I was in choir, but have never played an instrument. I think if I were to start I’d love to learn the guitar. My older (step)boys never took music lessons and my son who is 7 has been asking to play piano. Because music lessons have not been a tradition in this family we do not own a piano and without knowing if he will stick with it I can’t see purchasing one and finding the space for it as well. This was a tough dilemma. I want him to learn, but we don’t have a piano so if I were to take him to lessons he would have no way to practice. He is now taking piano lessons at home with Hoffman Academy.

The Hoffman Academy is a full piano lesson design with video lessons and supplemental mp3 tracks, and downloadable activities to review with after each lesson. 

How much does it cost?

Free: The online video lessons are free. There are 6 units total and each unit has 20 lessons. That is a total of 120 lessons for a long-term piano education. 
$19 for the the supplemental materials. You only play for the downloadable music lesson documents and mp3 download files at only $19 for each unit. So that fee covers 20 full lessons in that unit you purchase for. That is less than $1 per lesson! If you purchase all 6 lessons supplemental activities there is a good discount for you so that is your best option.
What will you learn? 
These lessons are so well done and simple for any age to follow along. In Lesson One of Unit One we were taught correct play technique such as hand position and they will touch on posture as well in the ongoing lessons. We learned how to read a few simple notes and what a staff was. We even learned how to play our first song! And that leaves 119 Lessons to go of so much more learning! As you move through the entire coarse you will also learn how to read and write notes, rhythms and how to listen to music and dictate melodies. You will even learn how to improvise and compose your own songs. From Lesson 1 in Unit 1 you will be well on your way to learn and improve basics of music theory, including key signatures, chords and much more!

Who is the Instructor?

Joseph Hoffman has one of the best history profiles in music I have come across and because he has such a long repertoire, let me just leave you a link so you can read for yourself about his music experience. Can you imagine the cost of private lessons with an Instructor of his experience? Oh, wait, they are free on video for us! Amazing! You can really feel his experience in the way he teaches. Head now and read for yourself  About Mr. Hoffman. He is truly passionate about music with this idea of breaking the financial barrier so families can learn music.

My son is so excited with each new lesson and having supplemental materials really helps make that last connection to all he learned in each lesson. We watch the video lessons in the day and review the extras at bedtime together. We started by using an iPad app of a piano because we don’t own a piano. If you own a piano simply place your device above the keys so the video lessons are played right there! We are now on a search for a key board so he really gets the play practice and experience. 

Start today-even if you don’t own a piano at
They do want to add even more, so head to their Kickstarter page and see some fun specials comin in the 2.0 version:

Unit One Piano Lesson Materials Giveaway
The Giveaway:
1 lucky reader will win the Unit 1 lessons-this includes the downloadable materials and mp3 music files for Lessons 1-20. Open Worldwide and ends on 3/8/2016. Good luck!
2015 Holidays, College Bound, Healthy Living, School, School Gifts, Tips and Tricks

6 Reasons Why You would Need a Personal Emergency Alert Device like V. ALRT

This is a promotional post. Opinions are my own

Holiday Gift Guide Feature
You may have heard of personal emergency alert devices and perhaps you think to yourself that as the elderly become less dependent, these devices were created for them. Do you conclude that alert devices are to give peace of mind to families who have an elderly family member or friend who still live independently? I always felt that about these devices and never gave much thought to the benefits they can bring to people of all ages.
I was able to take 6 reasons why you would need a personal emergency alert device based on suggestions from the V. ALRT device and share some with you. Like other emergency alert devices, the V. ALRT gives personal protection that works with mobile devices and can send texts and calls in an emergency. What makes the V. ALRT unique to the others is that it is multi versatile. You can wear as a wristband or a pendant and it works on both systems-iOS or Android with no monthly fees. You can customize the device, wear it and it is ready to protect!
6 reasons why you would need a personal emergency alert device 
  1. Kids School Safety: If your kids take the bus or walk home alone, there is no other peace of mind than arming them with an emergency alert device. They can easily check in with you or alert you to other activity as you customize within the app and the synched V. ALRT device.
  2. Connecting families: A V. ALRT in a purse or overnight bag will give an instant hotline to Mom or Dad if needed
  3. Fitness: Whether you leave home to jog the streets or attend a 24 hour fitness gym alone, the V. ALRT is your instant connection to family for alerts as you have access to the mobile panic button
  4. College: The most vulnerable time for your child as they become independent on a school campus. This device can be used as a panic button or instant hotline to parents and contacts close by
  5. Accidents: If ever you are alone with an injury and you need help, if the V. ALRT is on you then you have instant access to send a message to a contact or panic button to summon help.
  6. Medical Alerts: many conditions may leave someone feel homebound. You can customize the V. ALRT to get in contact with doctors or professionals while out running errands if you get stuck
Really, the possibilities are endless as to when it would be good to keep protected by a personal emergency alert device. Order your V. ALRT today and no fees are needed. Once it arrives, you can be connected in minutes!