Hand2Mind Moving Creations

Looking to fill your “shelter in place” days with a little more then TV? If you are like me, you are worried about all the school your little one is missing. We are really looking at learning toys and hands on learning, experiments, and anything that lets them learn by doing while they are home with us.

One toy that we have recently tried was the Hand2Mind Moving Creations with K’nex. My youngest son (and husband) love K’nex, and we were excited to try this kit out.

Your kids can learn to apply STEM principles just like an engineer. “Moving Creations from hand2mind, a leading developer of classroom learning tools for over 50 years, is created in partnership with K’NEX®. The step-by-step illustrated guide contains 9 different builds, educational science content, 18 STEM experiments and “Think Bigger” challenges to practice the scientific method. Includes a 98 pg. book with storage box attached.”
(according to Hands2Mind website)

PRODUCT PERKS

STEM building activities teach engineering through play
Walks junior engineers through 9 builds and 18 STEM experiments
Explores the fascinating science of pneumatics (air) & hydraulics (water)
Includes “Think Bigger” challenges to deepen understanding of the scientific method

INCLUDES

  • 98-Page build and experiment guidebook
  • 73 Standard K’NEX pieces
  • 3 Custom pumps with k’nex connectors
  • 3 Tubes
  • 4 Pumps
  • 1 Rocket


PROS

  • Learn STEM just like an engineer

  • Step-by-step illustrated guide contains 9 different builds, educational science content, 18 STEM experiments and “Think Bigger” challenges

  • Explores fascinating science of pneumatics (air) and hydraulics (water)

  • Grades: 2-8

MSRP: $39.99 | Buy It Here

Get a DVD Player and 5 Movies for only $19.96 #GiftGuide @walmart @redbox

Yes I know, I know. Who even watches DVDs anymore? Me, that’s who. And everyone over 40. And honestly, I like having kids DVDs I can hand over that can just be repeated on a long road trip or plane ride. My grandparents and everyone my parents age still use them- so it’s not a totally lost form now, is it? And its easy, it just it. But the price is right- you can’t get EVERYTHING on streaming services, unless you are a hacking genius or don’t mind gritty and grainy watches, so even just the movie rentals make it worth it. I’ve never used Redbox, and I don’t even know of any of the rental boxes around here, so I will have to see how that works, but hey- nothing ventured, nothing lost. It’s always good to try something new.

Just in time for the holidays, for a limited-time only, Walmart is offering five free rentals from their local Redbox with the in-store purchase of an ONN DVD player that only cost $19.96, available on November 1st. That’s less than renting four on-demand movies, making it a great deal for families and friends who are planning their next viewing party.

So head on over to Walmart and see if they have any still in stock. If they do, it’s a gift under $20, and those are hard to come by. Good for someone hard to buy for, moms with little kids, grandparents, and more. Check it out and let me know what you think.

You can also enter to win one here, contest ends Nov 29, 2019. Good luck!
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Learning Apps- Keep Your Mind Active

Summer is a great time to relax and enjoy time together with friends and family, but you don’t want to let your mind turn to mush during that time. According to the Northwest Evaluation Association’s research,  “summer learning loss was observed in math and reading across third to eighth grade, with students losing a greater proportion of their school year gains each year as they grow older – anywhere from 20 to 50 percent.” How do you keep your child from losing their learning or falling behind? Keep their minds active, keep them reading, and keep brains stimulated. No, Fortnight totally doesn’t count, sorry!

Got a little one? Start young and keep them active. There are some amazing books out there, and of course your local library will likely have summer reading programs you can do with your child no matter what age. There are also puzzles and educational games you can play with your child on technology and “real life” touchable options- we recommend a bit of both.

We recently tried out these fun and “edu-taining” science based apps aimed at preschoolers, and found them both adorable and fun. I’m a teacher by trade, and I love that there are these apps that let kids have fun while learning.  Since science is an area that is a bit neglected in many schools, the more ways a child can be exposed to it, the better.  Cosmic Cubs (www.cosmiccubs.com) help kids pre-k and up learn about ecology, the solar system, and just for fun, a space dress up game as well.

The website has lots of coloring pages you can download as well as information sheets in addition to the apps. The apps are technically free but cost $1.99 for full access. Kids will have access to puzzles, games, learning about the planets, asteroids, meteors, comets, problem solving, and more. They also teach new vocabulary words.The three apps available are the Cosmic Cubs Eco Puzzler, the Cosmic Cubs Dress Up, and Cosmic Cubs Space Puzzles. $1.99 on Android and IOS platforms for full access.

Learning a language is great for any age, and Rosetta Stone has options for any age learner at any level of knowledge. There are so many benefits that come from knowing a second language, and the younger you start, the better off you are. The benefits are really endless, from being able to get better job opportunities, to making better connections in the community and beyond, improving your memory, enhancing your ability to multi- task and decision making skills, improving your first language, and more.

For kids, there is Rosetta Stone Homeschool, which uses pioneering technology that “promotes long-term retention and correct pronunciation—without memorization or drills” (as per the company).
Using an immersion method, language is taught the way you would naturally learn. With patented speech-recognition technology, TruAccent®, your child’s speech is analyzed and corrected. There are reports and progress data so you can see how your child is progressing, and your child can learn from a computer, phone, tablet, or whatever is convenient, on or offline.

Not just for kids, Rosetta Stone helps kids or adults learn the language of their choice. With more than 30 options to choose from, choosing the language you will learn might be the hardest part.

It starts with a core lesson that introduces you into a bunch of new words. The core lesson takes about 30 minutes. This is followed up by several smaller lessons that focus on different aspects that you learned in the core lesson. These range from about five to ten minutes each.  Tutoring is also available.

We have started learning a new language here -and I will update you in 6 months and let you know how it’s going.

WIN Boudreaux’s Butt Paste With Natural Aloe

This weather is great for the beach and for barbecues, but it can wreak havoc on skin. If you have a baby, you know that their skin is extra sensitive year round, so it’s no surprise that hot and steamy weather might bother baby a little more then usual.

Of course, keep baby cool, change diapers often and keep them fresh, and at the first sign of a rash or irritation, try a nice cooling balm to help sooth the skin. We are fans of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, and they now have a new variety to try out.

Just in time for the warm weather, one of your favorite and most trusted baby care brands, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is adding Aloe to it’s ingredients. With the beginning of Summer has launched the new Boudreaux’s Butt Paste with Natural Aloe. When tough diaper rash appears, give Boudreaux’s Butt Paste With Natural Aloe a try – a solution with plant-based ingredients for getting rid of rashes in a rush. We also use it at the first sign of redness sometimes- an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. No use waiting until things worsen, at least in my opinion.

More information on how you can say “Aloe” to summer below!

  • Boudreaux’s Butt Paste With Natural Aloe

o   Comprised of over 75% plant-based ingredients to help keep baby’s booty relieved of diaper rash

o   16% Zinc Oxide – helps treat diaper rash by creating a barrier to seal out wetness

o   Plant-Based Ingredients: Natural Aloe, Natural Carnauba Wax and Castor Seed Oil

o   Available in a 4 oz. tube

o   Suggested Retail: $7.99

  • Available at Target, Walmart and Amazon.com

One of you can win some to try for yourself. Feel free to use the RC code below to enter to win. Good luck! Ends Aug. 2, 2019.
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Built For Your Growing Family

Thinking about adding on to your family? That can be a fun, even if somewhat stressful time. Trying to choose what essential everyday items you will need for your growing brood can be difficult, as you need to think about cost, size, durability, safety, ease of use, and more. We are hoping to help you with some of our favorites, as well why we like them and think you will find them useful.

One of the first and most important things to decide on is a car seat. Once your baby outgrows his or her carrier “snap and go” type car seat, the DualFit Harness-2-Booster seat by Britax is a good choice that is both safe and less expensive then some. It easily transitions from a three point harness seat to a booster that is best for older and larger children. As your child grows, the seat will grow with them.

Designed to fit children from 25 pounds to 65 lbs in harness mode, then in booster mode for children up to 100 lbs. Britax’s “patented system of safety components work together to transfer energy away from your child and 2 layers of Side Impact Protection shield your child in the event of a crash” (as per brand). It is easy to install, and has easy-on and easy off lower connectors that lock into place with a click and are released with the push of a button- however this mom always lets the fire station install with me the first time. It’s a service offered for free by many towns, and one I like to take advantage of to make sure I’m doing things right.

You can find this seat (as well as others) at https://us.britax.com for $169.99

Britax also makes the B-Lively Double stroller, which is a smooth, easy ride for two children. It has a lightweight aluminum frame (which is a necessity for packing up and getting into the car) as well as a quick fold. It takes storage seriously as well, knowing how much moms and dads have to lug about. With six storage pockets as well as a large under-storage basket, there is quite a lot of space for what you need to bring along. The stroller itself is easy to push, and not clumsy or cumbersome. No one likes to feel like a pack mule, or like they are taking up all the space in the aisle. It corners easily, and doesn’t “stick” on you, which is something I find ever annoying about larger strollers. Something else that makes the B-Lively Double Stroller extra handy is that it is compatible with your infant car seat should you need to do so. (*When paired with a infant car seat adapter kit, sold separately.) If your baby is still in a “snap and go” type seat, that makes it that much easier. It sells for $399.99 on https://us.britax.com

colic baby

It breaks every parent’s heart to see their child in pain, and a colicky baby will make you cry right along with him or her. Dr. Brown is looking to assist with this, by putting out a feeding and soothing system that will help calm baby.

The new DrBrown’s Natural Flow® Options+™ Anti-Colic Bottles have some pretty cool innovations.  There are enhanced internal vent system in the Options+™ Bottle, which is meant to improve the system that Dr. Browns has been using, and has made it #1 pediatrician recommended and #1 selling bottle in America. Both of the new bottles (available in wide or narrow neck styles) are designed to make feeding easy, and let baby go from breast to bottle and back as needed with no troubles. According to Dr. Brown, the breast like nipples on these bottles “provides a correctly contoured shape that’s flexible at the top and gradually firms, encouraging a proper latch and more natural bottle-feeding experience”. This helps baby go back and forth from breast to bottle as they (or mom’s supply) need to. Dr. Brown’s bottles are clinically proven to reduce colic, decreases spit-up, burping, and gas, better preserves nutrients in breast milk and formula, and aids in digestion for a better night’s sleep. They are available at https://www.drbrownsbaby.com

The New Mojobot Available Now on Kickstarter

It may seem that board games are becoming a thing of the past, as most kids these days would rather play video games or apps. As parents, we can use this technology to help our kids learn and develop skills that they will be able to use in our tech-driven world.

The new Mojobot is the world’s first tangible coding robot and board game that makes it easy for adults and kids to learn the core principles of coding and robotics.

Mojobot is a multiplayer game where players compete to undertake Missions and earn star points. It is equipped with many features such as lights, sounds, sensors, motion, and actions. Mojobot can even pick up tokens, carry them around and deliver them to different locations. It allows kids to get away from the screens and have a hands-on experience learning a valuable skill while having fun at the same time. And the best part is that the whole family can enjoy it together – it’s great for ages 4-99+.

The Mojobot is available now for backing on Kickstarter. The Mojobot Basic Kit includes the Mojobot robot and the Main Console as well as the coding tags, cards, tokens, storybook, map, and charging cables. You also have the option to purchase the Mojobot Extension Kit which will get you an extension console, logic coding tags, additional cards, a book, and a paper origami box.

Basic Info About Mojobot

Mojobot picks up Tokens using a magnet and solenoid actuator. For communication with the Console there is a Bluetooth chip. The robot uses the differential drive and has two wheels and motors for navigation. Mojobot has a microphone which can record sounds and also act as a sound level sensor. The recorded sounds can be played back using its speakers.  Mojobot’s eyes are LEDs that can show different expressions. The tail light can be commanded and changed to different colors. In front of Mojobot there are infrared sensors that can detect distance and presence of objects. Mojobot has infrared navigation sensors that ensure that Mojobot will always move correctly to each location in the map. The infrared sensors will detect the marked square pattern on the corner of each block in the map. This means you can code Mojobot to move in an infinite square loop and still keep its correct position.

Tangible Coding

Tangible coding solutions have been shown to be more effective for teaching, as it is more attractive and easier to play than alternative screen based coding. Having physical coding pieces that kids can touch and feel helps to improve their engagement and memory. Coding and computational thinking is an essential skill for our present time and will be even more important as we progress into the future.

Hoppey Easter! Filling Those Bunny Baskets

It’s already April, and of course that means that for many, the Easter Bunny will soon be hopping his or her way into their houses with a basket of treats.  Here are a few ideas to consider for your kids- or kids at heart.

Tired of hearing your kid’s video games or other noisy electronics? Tell them to put on a pair of headphones, we deserve some peace and quiet once and a while. I don’t need to hear every time your character get a coin, LOL.  BuddyPhones are volume-limiting kids headphones, which are perfect since kids cannot ruin their hearing by playing the volume too loud.  These fun looking and good quality headphones keep the ears of little listeners safe by providing them with the safest, toughest headphones for a decent price. Really- they don’t cost an arm an a leg. They are available in popular colors and designs, including the uber trendy unicorn. Your kids are quiet and  entertained (perfect for car and air travel as well!) and parents are not subjected to the same movies, games, or shows over and over again. Thank you, I’ll have that.

Water resistant and durable with as much as 24 hour battery life, these also sport wireless connection capability. More then one kid? BuddyPhones offers their patented shared BuddyCable, which is a great option for families with multiple kids and only one device, or when one of them inevitably loses one of theirs at the worst moment. Good backup plan.
Available now at www.buddyphones.com or Amazon ($69.90-$79.99).
yoshi's crafted world
Speaking about games, do you have a little Yoshi fan in your life? Yoshi has a new game just out, Yoshi’s Crafted World. This is Yoshi’s first starring adventure on Nintendo Switch, so it’s a big deal for fans. Yoshi will venture through his crafted world, collecting costumes and gems, battling ShyGuys (the most familiar faces in the series) along with thieving mice, and other enemies who await. There is a level that flips stages, and you must do them backwards. Yoshi must help Poochi her puppies back, as they ran off (as bratty pups will do from time to time).  Baby Bowser is back, causing a ruckus, as are an all star team of favorite characters your child will love to interact with.
Fun and funky graphics, with accessible yet challenging gameplay that is perfect for younger audiences but still fun for older ones, this game can be played with two players at a time, which makes it great for family fun.  $60 on https://www.nintendo.com/

For cute additions to your child’s basket, take a look at Rescue Runts Babies. These adoptable mini plush pets let your child rescue, groom, collect and love them. These four-inch plush pets come in small, brightly covered, plastic crates that your child can use at their “home”.  These little stuffed animals are in need love, cuddles, and care. Your child can remove “fleas,” brush their fur, and tie collar ribbons, and more to help them go from ragged rescue to valued and loved pet.

There are more then 20 pets to choose from, including cats, dogs, wild animals, and mythical creatures. Each Rescue Runts Babies is sold separately, and the package comes with the pet of choice, convertible crate, 3 fleas, brush, ribbon /collar, as well as stickers. $10 at Walmart.

easter chocolate

If you, like me, like to give a basket to your partner/spouse (or need a gift for friends, bosses, co-workers, clients, etc), look no further then Godiva. These gourmet chocolates are bound to be a hit,  the melt in your mouth delights will be savored by any chocolate lover. With many sizes and options available, the most inclusive and varied would be the Enchanted Easter Chocolate Gift Basket.

Available in stores or online, this basket comes pre-filled with a collection of the best chocolates as well as GODIVA’s sweet plush 2019 Easter bunny. There are eight different chocolate gifts placed inside, including

One 2019 Limited Edition – Plush Bunny with Chocolate Foil Easter Eggs, One Milk Chocolate Bunny, One Eggstra Special Assorted 5 piece Chocolates Gift Box, 5 One Classic Milk Chocolate G Cube Box with 22 candies inside, One Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny with 5 Foil-Wrapped Chocolate Eggs,One Truffle Crème Egg 4 piece Assortment,One Milk Chocolate Bar, One Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bar. Something for everyone- or just me. Just me it is.

Prices vary per item, this particular basket is $99.95; at Godiva.com with all items included as described and listed.

CanvasDiscount.com to Make Your Photos into Wall Hangings, Blankets, and More #CanvasDiscount

If you are anything like me, you take a lot of photos. Like, have to download all the time or you crash your phone a lot of photos. And I don’t just leave them online or on my computer, I’m the weirdo that still prints them and makes photo albums and hangs up photos on the wall- a real traditionalist like that. Sometimes you want a little more then your average photo, and that’s where a company like CanvasDiscount.com comes in.

The #1 Best Rated canvas shop in the USA, CanvasDiscount.com gives you plenty of options in size and items. Calendars, wall portraits, throw blankets, and more- whatever photo gift you would like, you can get at a great price at Canvas Discount.

We just got these two wall portraits made. We are so excited, they look great. Recently, I noticed I’m not in any photos, not since my kids. I became invisible- I think this happens to a lot of moms. We are always behind the camera, behind the scene- but we matter too. So I decided to make sure I’m in more photos both that are taken AND that are hung and in photo albums. I should be represented in our lives, in my own life especially!

canvas discount

One is a photo of myself and my partner on a recent trip to New Hampshire, on a hike to some lovely waterfalls.  The second is the family at one of the organizations we volunteer for, the Alzheimers Association. We spend a lot of time working with them, plus it’s rare to have a decent shot of the whole family, haha.

canvas discount

We really love how the photos came out.  CanvasDiscount.com did a great job. If you want, you can also include frames and other items to help you hang your canvas prints on the wall as well, there are all sorts of accessories and ideas on the site.  There are also many sizes to choose from so you can get what works best for you.