Gift Guides, Kids, Reviews by Anthony, Toy Reviews

New and Addicting Games and Toys from Wham-O Stay ‘N Play

I have partnered with Wham-O for this feature

New and Addicting Games and Toys from Wham-O Stay 'N Play

New from Wham-O are these highly addictive Stay ‘N Play games and toys for kids and adults. By addictive, I mean that in a positive way. If game nights have become redundant these games are a must! They get you up and moving as well as competitive and a lot of fun!

Hut Hut Hoop is definitely one to bring out on game day! It is so much fun and you race to make as many balls through the hoop in this competitive game. Ether start your party off right or end it to burn off ll those game day snacks at the end of the game. Because it all fits back in the box it is very portable and sets up in under a minute.

Sharp Shooter is one of my favorites and is just as fun for adults as it is kids. It is a simple rubber band gun that comes with plenty of bands and a stack of cups and spin board. Spin to see what aim you have ton play with and try to knock the cups down better and faster than your opponents.

Below is the slingshot gun for 3D Zombie Hunt! Wear the 3D glasses it comes with for a better image on the zombie canvas while you sling velcro grip balls to the board. If they stick you collect those points.

Wham-O has many play options in the Stay ‘N Play line of toys. Anthony shows you how each of his toys and games are played in the video below.

Take a look…..

See all of the new products from Wham-O at the Stay ‘N Play webpage.

Back to School 2017, Education, Gift Guides

Build Your Own Marbleocity Mini Skate Park

I have partnered with Play Monster for this feature

 

Ready to build? Who doesn’t love tinkering, gluing and creating? These Marbleocity sets one is for the older kids, age 9 (with some help) and older will have fun building their own marble run in the theme of a mini skate park. The standard Skate Park set is a step up from this one. You can also find the Marbleocity Dragon Coaster and Mini Coaster. Whether mini or the standard size sets you are actually building with wood and glue.

 

Build Your Own Marbleocity Mini Skate Park

Inside the box are all the pre-cut pieces and instruction booklet with a fun comic story to motivate your child to begin the build. Like the wheels of the skateboards in the story, their marbles will do jumps, lifts and slides through the set once complete.

 

He is 9 1/2 and needed some help but the instructions were common sense. We did our own mods like gluing in extra spots and using small clamps to really make sure glue dries well overnight where the gears are placed.

 

You can find these building sets at Toys “R” Us stores and are a great STEM-based play and build set.

 

Blogger Resources, Gift Guides, Reviews by Anthony

Blog Conference Recap – Blogger Bash and Sweet Suite 2017

I did it! I booked a trip to NYC with Anthony and we attended Blogger Bash and Sweet Suite 2017 last week. I can tell you that by far, this is a conference worth every dime and effort. Why? It was less of a school about blogging and more about collaboration. It is one thing to collaborate with other Bloggers and there is plenty of that too but it is quite another to meet the brands and PR companies face to face.

The conference had an agenda that you could pick and choose the events right for you over 2 days. I love that it broken into 2 days. It would have been too much in one day especially being a new NYC visitor and learning transportation options. Here is a recap of the events I attended which are about all of them.

Day One

Armitron Breakfast: Turning Passion Into Adventure. This was a panel of speakers including Lyss Stern (DivaMoms), Sara Roberts (Creative Service Director at ELLE), Barbara Weichselbaum (EVP Armitron), Mary Kate McGrath (EIC PureWow), Olivia Jeanette (Style Influencer) and Rebecca Dube (Editor Today Parenting Team). It was great to hear the challenges of starting a brand and maintaining it in this ever-growing social media age while keeping true to the women, Wives, Mothers we are.

A special thank you to Armitron Watches as we went to their booth first after breakfast. It was the first booth over the 2 days my son was at and I wanted him to learn to speak well for himself and his channel. I told him to think of a question and ask-he went up, looked at the watches and asked if they make kids watches too. Not only did they explain that they do but they had one his size in a box and kindly asked if he would like to have it. What they didn’t know is that Anthony has been looking for a watch. As we have been shopping town he was wanting a watch and you should have seen the look on his face when he was handed one. This really helped motivate him and think kindly of everyone at each booth over conference, not because he got a watch but because he walked away and said, “Mom. That was too nice of them.” It was and a great start to a great day.

Babypalooza: We were able to mingle with some of the best baby and toddler brands. We also met Kandi Burress of the Real Housewives and saw her adorable line of baby and toddler products called Raising Ace. Started with her husband and inspired by raising their son, Ace she found the passion to create products that will stay with baby into the toddler years.

We met some other great brands such as Mustela, RePlay, Austlen, Baby K’Tan, Lansinoh, Today, Oilogic (I got a great oil for Anthony when he is stuffed up and suffering with his seasonal allergies), After Bite, tasted delicious Tickle Water and more. Zuliliy was there and took some fun, complimentary photos.

CE Week: I was able to leave Anthony with my Mom who cane to NYC so I can mingle with some of the best tech brands. What was great is that I got to meet some of those I have worked on campaigns with in person from Nixplay and Canary and played with some fun products you will see real soon.

Sweet Suite: This is the true night of fun and play. Over 60 brands of toys, snacks and games waiting to show us the latest and coming soon! I can’t list all of the brands but it was great to meet certain people in person like Jacqueline from YumEarth and LeapFrog representatives as I am a LeapFrog Ambassador. We have a lot of brands to thank publicly so keep an eye out as we get through these products and share our experience and give you even more information.

Day Two

Breakfast at the Toy Association: We ate some delicious food and met such a sweet staff at the Toy Association, a non-profit group with a passion for assisting in the development of play and safety. I was impressed by the standards they hold in the US and all of the hard and dedicated work the staff puts out so we can play safely. With the toys around the office and the swag they handed us it is obvious they love to play.

Stuff For Mom’s and Dad’s: On top of the Cantina Rooftop I was able to mingle some more with great brands for every household. From pets, laundry and sleep I saw some fantastic products I will be sharing about real soon.

I met some new Bloggers

How about that? Oh, the fellow Bloggers. I was jet lagged, there with Anthony and overwhelmed (in the best way possible) and it was over so soon before I really spent time mingling with everyone I wanted to. So, in support I will say that it was geat to chat with the following who also attended Blogger Bash 2017:

Neena Nandagopal of Almost Practical.com

Kendra Darr of Simply Darrling.com

Shauna Silverman of BarefootAndLovingIt.com

Jennifer Tammy of SugarSpiceAndGlitter.com

Tips for attending Blogger Bash

  • Bring A LOT of business cards. I thought I was overdoing it taking a large stack and I had 1 card left in the end. 100 cards may not be quite enough.
  • Have a pen handy. This was my first year and I realized something now that I am home and sorting through all of the cards and sheets handed out. If you take a card from a PR agency, make sure you write what table you are at with them. I had 4 cars with just PR contacts and they did not write their brand on the card so I don’t remember who they were representing. In the same if you take a press release and don’t see a card ask for one or have them write their personal contact on that release for you.
  • Plan to check a bag. Sweet Suite sends you a box by mail with a lot of product but you also get handed product as well. I had my son with me so maybe we have a tad bit more but not by much. I cam home with all of our clothes shoved into the large suitcase and the carry on on size suitcase was full to the brim of swag, cards and souvenirs.
  • Transportation: I had plans to cab it but ended up falling in love with using Uber. It is confusing finding the right corner to flag a car to. With Uber I was able to pre-schedule my ride the evening before conference and the times I ordered on the spot I waited no more than 5 minutes for a car to arrive. It shows you a map of your drivers car location as it is driving to you. This allowed me to see ahead of time which direction he is approaching from and make sure I am on the right side of the road for them. I had never used Uber before this trip and I will use them every trip I take now. I tried some other companies and they were not as interactive in the app and no prescheduling with them wither. Feel free to use my code and once you download the app and enter erins16695ue you will get your first ride free (it’s a max $15 discount for that first ride).

Tell me….

What was a memorable conference or fair you have attended in the line of work you do? I’d love to hear about it.

 

Gift Guides, Kids, Reviews, Summer, Toy Reviews

Magnetic Travel Games from The Purple Cow

Thank you to Purple Cow for sending games for feature

Magnetic Travel Games from Purple Cow

In two weeks Anthony and I head off to Blogger Bash in NYC. At age 9, this is such a fun conference for him as he will mingle and meet many toy and children brands. It is also his first long flight. We are flying from Seattle to New York and need some entertainment for the flight. My husband cannot break from work events so it is just Anthony and I. These magnetic travel games from The Purple Cow and going to be a blast.

Magnetic Checkers

Magnetic Tic Tac Toe + 4-In-A-Row

 

Magnetic Battlefleet

Each game comes in a slim tin that snaps back together to hold the pieces. They hold very well to the boards and slide easily with your fingers for enjoyable play. The tins stay shut very well. There are even more choices than the 3 games I list above. They are all available on Amazon.

I can see us using these travel games a lot this summer from plane rides to camping and road trips. These make great hotel toys too. They are small and pack well for space saving. There are plenty of playing pieces for each game. Having entertainment is not only fun for the kids, but a piece of sanity to parents.

Education, Gift Guides

Outdoor Challenge Game – Smash Pong!™ Review

 

Thank you Educational Insights for partnering with us for the feature. Opinions are my own

 “Turn the TV off and get outside!” Sound familiar? Welcome to summer! You probably then hear that they don’t know what to do outside or that it’s too hot. Perhaps you can use different words like “Turn off the TV and go Smash something!” Now you have their attention as you hand them Smash Pong! from Educational Insights when they walk out the door. Even I have fun with this one.

Outdoor Challenge Game - Smash Pong!™ Review

Not only does Smash Pong! get the kids outside and moving it fits right into the Educational Insights theme as toys that teach. Within the instructions of this game your children are using strategic thinking skills and working on teamwork and sportsmanship. Add in the element of velocity, precision and spatial reasoning and they are not just playing, but learning too.

Smash Pong! has been a hit with my son and the neighbor kids outside. You take a challenge card randomly or you can just pick one then load, aim, and launch the ping pong balls into the target. The bucket the contents come in is the target. When they are done playing you load the bucket with the contents for easy storage.

Scoring is done if the player misses after 3 attempts, they lose a turn. If the player scores, they get to shoot again. The first to complete 3 different challenges wins. It seems so simple yet you will be amazed on how long they will stay active with this set. Because it stores well we can pack it with camping supplies and take it to the lake or BBQ’s. Find this and other educational games at Educational Insights.

Deals, Education, Gift Guides, Giveaways, Kids, Parenting

Learning Through Pretend Play with Little Adventures- Promo Code and Giveaway

Thank you to Little Adventures for the partnership on this feature. Opinions are my own

Admit it! If you could put on a cape and hold a sword with no one judging you your inner child would pop right out and have you swinging at imaginary enemies and creating ‘dangerous’ scenarios that leave you the hero. This is how kids play. This is how kids learn. Maybe it has you stop a moment before yelling at your child to stop ‘rough housing’ when he flies through the living room in a cape and sword. Perhaps he is on a mission and imagine if you stepped in to ‘help’.

At times I would be stern as my son was too wild inside and other times I remember asking him what the rush was? What was he attempting here? So when I would say “Who are we after? Can I help?” His face would light up and suddenly I knew all the details of his adventure as he would tell me and it was always fun play time together.

I loved the days of his capes and Thor hammers. He carried those 2 everywhere with him. My son was was THAT child who was in the grocery store, superhero costume and all with no shame. He would tell me he needs his cape and hammer…”just in case!” Even as a Ring Bearer at my sisters wedding he insisted on having his hammer down the aisle so she let him!

Learning Through Pretend Play

  • Critical Thinking: through role playing and problem solving, kids use pretend play to learn how to find conclusions. When rough play is involved to a safe extent, they are actually learning to self-regulate.
  • Problem Solving: Someone has to create a solution to rescue the princess or defeat the evil monsters. Your child will find a way!
  • Imagination: this is the natural way that children discover and learn about the world. In the scenarios they create in their games they find ways to use the skills they have to do more such as dress themselves and create scenarios.

Now it is hard to be a real superhero or princess without the right props. Little Adventures has all of the safe props and pretend play costume any child (or adult) needs to save the world. From Fairies to Dancing and Ninjas to Dragons you can find capes, dresses, swords, masks and more. The best part is that these pieces won’t cost you a fortune compared to other online pretend play options. Not only are they fun to wear and learn, I mean PLAY, with, you will be folding these up for their keepsake box somewhere down the road like I do.

The SAVINGS and GIVEAWAY

Everybody gets a little something! Head over to LittleAdventures.com and shop costumes like the Princess Gift Set or Pirate Gift Set for only $19.99 regular price and once you find the costumes you want, enter to code: PH15% to save an extra 15%.

Want to enter for your chance to win a $30 credit? Enter below. Open to US and ends on 6/25. Good luck!