Portable North Pole – Fun App for Kids

Disclosure: I am a Portable North Pole Christmas Magic Ambassador. I received compensation and complementary Portable North Pole products in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The clock is ticking on Christmas and its time to brign it up a notch with Portable North Pole.  But instead of the full Portable North Pole site, we are looking at the portable versions of Christmas fun.  Portable North Pole have bucked the tradition this year and released not one but two Christmas themed apps this year.  PNP Santa Sprint and PNP Portable North Pole 2013.

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First we will look at PNP Santa Sprint.  This is a game where the player moves a young Elf around various North Pole themed settings to collect items and restore Santa’s workshop.  After each level the big man himself, Santa tells a video story. The game is optimized for iPod 5th gen, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and all higher versions.  The game retails for $2.99 as is available now on iTunes.

The Portable North Pole 2013 app is the mobile gateway to all things Portable North Pole, for parents and for kids.  Parents are able to create personalized personal video messages from Santa, personal phone call from Santa, and access to their PNP account.  Kids on the other hand have access to a whole other side os the app.  This includes a digital Advent calender, acess to your child’s personal video, a Christmas sleep countdown to the big day, and Christmas Radar to show you where Santa’s village is located.  The app retails on iTunes for $3.99.
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React Mobile Safety App

Have you ever stepped outside and realized its a bit darker and more ominous then you originally thought?

Maybe the quick walk over to your car after a long night at work, through a dark parking lot, where corners could hide any sort of savage criminal mind.  When these times occur, there is a new app available to help make you feel better and if need be, act as a life saving device.  Enter React Mobile.

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React Mobile is an app for iPhones and Andoid smart phones.  The way the app works is easy.  There are a few different ways to activate the app, one way is with SOS, this mode sends a text message and email to your contacts and emergency contacts while also prompting to dial 911.  In an emergency this can prove to be incredibly helpful.  Instead of being a victim lost to the streets everyone will know where you are.  There is also a “Follow Me” mode which sends updates with where you are to a  selected few in case something happens where you cant click the S.O.S. button.  Follow Me can also be used when trying to get someone to get to you in a crowded area, like a concert or live event.  This can be quite empowering for anyone who feels lurking eyes on them, or just wants an extra layer of safety while running in the morning or at night.  The app is also good for your loved ones.  I know it would make me feel better knowing my little guy had this on his phone, if he had one, when he is out and about.  I’d imagine a parent of a new driver would appreciate this as well as a parents of a child aged student.  A spouse of a late worker or someone with a night shift position.  The situations where React would come in handy are numerous and unfortunately more common then you’d hope.
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Tabeo e2 Tablet

Tablets are a revolutionary way to interface with technology, and kids need a way to get used to using them in a  way where it is both safe and educational.  Parents need to keep their phones and tablets safe from rugrats. Toys R Us has just the tablet to fit in new niche the Tabeo e2.  The e2 has all the specs needed to run the newest apps, 8GB of Flash memory, Jelly Bean 4.2, Dual core 1.0 Ghz CPU, Quad-core GPU and 1GB of RAM.  All this makes for a zippy tablet which is a breeze to use.

tablet for kids

One of the little oddities we ran into upon initial setup is, a wireless internet connection is needed to set up the parental settings.  Without this connection none of the apps can be run.  But once the connection is made setup is simple.  With a few steps and an email address.  What I really like about the tablet is its sleek slim design.
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VTech Kid Connect App- WIN AN INNOTAB3S TABLET

Disclosure- I was able to try this app free of charge to facilitate this review.

There are some things in life that parents miss at work that stink the most.  Most of them involve their families.  How great would it be to be able to send your son or daughter an “I love you” message as easily as a text message without giving your little one a phone?  Innotab has just this in mind with their new Kid Connect app for the Innotab 3S.  The way the app works is pretty easy- first downloads for everyone. Download the app to your iPhone/ Android and Innotab 3S.  Then get to the fun parts.  Parents can easily send texts, stickers, voice messages, drawings and photos to their kids and the kids can also send to their parents.
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Ouya Gaming System

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There is a spot in your living room right now that is one of the most sought after spots in America.  No, its not that spot on the couch where Sheldon sits or Dad’s recliner.  It’s the game console, hooked to your TV.  With the holiday season upon us and the forthcoming releases of two power house systems, this spot is happening.

In our house, there are more video consoles then there are TV’s.  We have a problem with video games.  Video games are a fun distraction from everyday life that are creative and engaging.  One of the inhibiting factors with video games can be cost.  Video game consoles have been creeping up in cost over the years as have the games themselves.  With this in mind we are taking a look at the new kid on the block- Ouya.

Ouya started life as a Kick starter campaign, and quickly became fully funded and then some, becoming one of the most funded projects.  Ouya is an android, 4.1 jelly bean, based micro console.  The hardware itself is quite small, measuring only 2.95 and cubic in shape, it is about the size of half a pound of butter, but with way less calories.  Under the hood the console sports a Quad-core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MP Core and 1 GB of RAM.  The hardware does its job well and because of Ouya’s open source thought process has great potential for upgrades and do it yourself add-ons.
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PlayOn – Home Entertaining

 

Disclosure: The below was provided to me to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” tab for more information.

In the current world of downsizing and cost cutting there is always a new way to shave a dollars off your expense.  One such way is your entertainment costs.  Specifically TV.

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In our house TV is used usually at night while unwinding.  Not only is TV good for watching those great new shows but also its a good way to just get lost in a show.  My grand idea is to cut the cord with the cable company. The main issue being the TV has two uses, can a replacement be found which fits both of these difficult niches?

We gave PlayOn a try.  PlayOn is a service provided which gives just about any DLNA- compliant devices including: Playstation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Google TV, brite-View CinemaTube, and Sony Bravia DLNA-compatible HDTV.

PlayOn works by unlocking TV channels from the internet.  There are tons of channels, with hours of TV shows ranging from old TV shows, to newly released movies and music videos.  By downloading new  Plugins new channels are opened to you.

The process is quite simple as well.  First download the software to your desktop.  Next download a few plugins and start up the software.  After teh software is running turn on your TV connected device and find your media stream.  Then watch your show.
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Monsters Mixer Twitter Party!

This is a sponsored post as part of my being asked to host this Twitter party.  Opinions are my own.

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Halloween is nearly here!  While the kids are off at school, stop by the #MonstersMixer twitter party at 11am EST to win games and gift certificates.
Monsters Mixer is not only an Ebook, but also a kids creative app.
This app is a monster builder where players can edit their own monster by choosing among plenty of different options.
Players can give their own voice to the monster by recording it, feed the monster and make it grow, play jokes like splashing a cake on his or her monster’s face, take a picture with their monster, save their favorite monsters into a photo gallery, and more.  Who says monsters need to be scary?

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Skylanders Swap Force

 

Disclosure: The below was provided to me to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” tab for more information.

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The Skylanders are invading, for a third time.  This time they are coming in pieces.  Skylanders Swap Force is the newest Skylanders game and revolves around the mechanics of swapping the top and bottom powers to make new combinations of characters.  For example if one character can move quickly with a tire and has an arm cannon, but you would rather have tentacle feet and an arm cannon, the cannon top can be attached to the tentacle feet for the best of both worlds.  The way the Swap Force figures stick together are by two small magnets.  These hold the figures together while playing, but are easy to pull apart when you would like to.  By combining characteristics from both top and bottom players are able to reach new areas in the game as well.

skylanders swappables

New Skylanders Game

The story itself takes place on Cloudbreak Island, where you have to with the help of some new and old friends take on Kaos once again in order to save all of Skyland.  This time around characters can now fly, climb, dig, bounce, or teleport their way through their adventures.
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