Sparkup Reader–Outstanding Toy for Kids

Disclosure: The SparkUp Reader mentioned below were provided for me in order to 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.

I absolutely love reading to my children. Occasionally I am gone at bedtime or have to be out of town. I always want to still be able to read with my children as they are going to bed. I know that it isn’t always possible, but it would be great if it was. SparkUp Reader has made it possible to read a variety of books to your child at anytime.

About SparkUp Reader:

Sparkup is a privately-held company based in Israel. It is managed by young parents who understand first-hand the challenges facing children’s reading and playtime experiences in a digital era. The investors and management team are passionate abou enhancing the lives of children and their families.


The SparkUp Magical Book Reader is a revolutionary devices that clips directly on to any picture book and reads it aloud in your voice. You can record the book yourself, in any language, and add your own personal touches, or download professionally recorded stories, complete with sound effects, directly from the Sparkup website. While recording, Sparkup’s tiny camera takes a picture of the book’s front cover and each page. later on, when a child connects Sparkup to the book, Sparkup immediately recognizes its front cover. Sparkup follows the child’s place and reads aloud as he or she turns the pages – even out of order.

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Win Tiggly Counts to help your Child Count

Disclosure: The Tiggly Counts mentioned below were provided for me in order to 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.

With a two year old and a four year old we are always working on learning letters and numbers and all the wonderful things in the world around us. I was very excited to give the Tiggly Counts a try to see if they truly helped my daughter with counting and adding numbers together.

About Tiggly Counts:

Tiggly is a New York-based company that develops interactive toys and apps for the digital generation. Toddlers and preschoolers love the iPad as much as Mom and Dad, but 70 years of academic research has demonstrated that manipulating physical objects is essential to early childhood development. Tiggly enables parents to bring this critical component of early learning to the “digital sandbox” today’s kids inhabit.

Their debut product, Tiggly Shapes, was designed by educators specializing in early childhood development and tested by parents and toddlers at homes and in preschools. Their second product, Tiggly Counts, is an award-winning math learning toy for ages 3-6.

Their products are fun for all ages, but specifically intended to help children between 18 months and 6 years old develop spatial reasoning, motor skills, language, and creativity.


About the Apps:

Tiggly Cardtoons – You can now count, drag, match, and enjoys as the simple buttons that you create come alive in a wildly imaginative story. Shuffle the basic pieces of digital cardboard and watch as they become one bluefish with a fancy bowtie, two peanuts for a hungry elephant, tree candles for a cow’s birthday cake, etc. Tiggly Cardtoons will help you learn basic math ideas such as one-to-one matching, counting, and equal sets.

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WIN! Back To School With Alex Toys and Crafts

With back to school upon us, we want our kids to be as ready as they can be.  We also want them to have as much fun as they can both in and out of school.  Learning can be fun, and is easily incorporated into play.  Having mom and dad around to share learning time and help and encourage children grow will let your children thrive and feel confidant as they had back to school this year.

ALEX toys, favorites of ours, make going back to school fun and easy.  Check out some of the awesome items they have for your little ones!


ALEX TOYS Ready, Set, Write by ALEX BRANDS

We love this!  We took it with us on a recent road trip to Maine and Canada, and my son used it in the car and in restaurants.  “Learn to write A,B,C’s and numbers with ease! This spiral-bound pad contains 19 pages of numbers and letters that wipe away for lots of practicing.”  It is perfect for practicing your letters and getting to know them, or for older children like my son, getting better with handwriting (which, like his mother, is usually a mess).

Ready, Set, Write costs $13.95 on the ALEX site, and is well worth it.  It can be used over and over again, as well as passed on to younger siblings. It is aimed at kids aged 3 and up, but can be used by younger if they can grip the pen.  The one thing I would watch for is that the pen does stain both hands and clothing if you are not careful.


ALEX TOYS Ready, Set, Tell Time by ALEX BRANDS

My son is not the best at telling time on any sort of clock or watch- it is a skill we are working on.  This kit is aimed at children 4 and up, but again can be used with younger children as well as older. I would have for sure used it for circle time when I was teaching Pre-K, and my son is getting use out of it as well.  It sells for $18.95 on the ALEX website, and comes with more then just a clock face.
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Filmmakers Return to Beloved Stories of Lewis Carroll for

All-New Adventure to Underland and Beyond

BURBANK, Calif. (Aug. 4, 2014) – Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Muppets Most Wanted”) helms the film, which revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time. “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” is produced by Joe Roth (“Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Jennifer Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”), Suzanne Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”) and Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”). John G. Scotti (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “The Muppets”) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (“Maleficent,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) penned the screenplay. Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.

The all-star ensemble cast includes:

Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Alice In Wonderland,” “Mortdecai,” “Black Mass”) returns to the big screen as the Mad Hatter—Hatter Tarrant Hightopp.

Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérables,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Rachel’s Getting Married”) portrays the White Queen—Mirana.

Mia Wasikowska (“Tracks,” “Jane Eyre” and “Alice In Wonderland”) once again appears as Alice Kingsleigh, who’s on a quest to help the Mad Hatter.
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Into the Woods Teaser Trailer


“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.
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Win FarFaria iPad App

Disclosure: The Farfaria iPad app mentioned below was provided for me in order to 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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As I’m sure that you are all well aware by now, I am all for allowing my children to play/use the iPad as long as it is only occasional and it is an educational/positiveexperience. The FarFaria iPad app has a wide variety of children books that it will read to your child, or allow your child to read.

About FarFaria:

FarFaria is an iPad app that provides the perfect story time experience. They have more than 600 amazing children’s stories – and five new ones added each week – story time has never been easier.

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This app was created for children ages 2-9, FarFaria helps children develop a passion for reading and encourages families to spend quality time reading together. FarFaria’s engaging story-discovery experience encourages children to stumble into new stories they’ll love forever.


  • Unlimited reading from the reading library of more than 600 stories.
  • Interactive experience is fun for kids and easy for parents
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Nursing- Considering a Degree?


Many career fields have options when it comes to expanding your horizons and exceeding your goals. In the field of nursing, there are many possibilities to keep upgrading your education so that you can move on to the next great job. Those who are just starting out may work towards an associate’s degree so that they can get working as a nurse’s aid or assistant. Once all the coursework is completed, you can go right to work, but if you want to get to the next level, which often include more income, you will have to study to earn additional degrees and certifications. These can all be earned through a traditional university classroom setting, or through online courses.

After an associate’s degree, you can go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This will take you to the next level and open you up to a variety of specialties that you can explore. If you are interested in working with kids, you can focus on a concentration in pediatrics. If you would rather help older people, you can concentrate on geriatrics. These concentrations may require additional certifications, but many of these can be earned through weekend seminars or short six week courses.
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Let’s Rhyme With Time (Kids Educational)

Has your child ever asked you what time it was when there was a large clock hanging nearby? Author Carmine Dapice believes that children are losing the ability to tell time on round clocks rather than digital.  A retired schoolteacher, Dapice wrote “Let’s Rhyme With Time” designed to teach children in school, at home or independently.

Dapice has created a book and included workbook with pages that contain catchy rhymes and illustrations synonymous with the Letter People – things children are already using in kindergarten.  So Carmine, do you have time for a little chat?


Samantha- What inspired you to write the book?

Carmine Dapice- The writing of this long poem came by way of inspiration to write down my thoughts in poetic form, which I had already been doing for several years. It was later that the realization came to me that many kids were unable to tell time on regular, round clocks and it proved to be a problem for many since their orientation was toward digital clocks. The lively animated numbers and poetic form – hopefully – would attract their interest to numbered clocks that are still found in many areas of life.

S- Why do you feel children are losing this skill?

CD- Simply, ask several children in the age bracket of 5 years and up – even in later years to give the time from an analog numbered clock and you might be shocked with some of the results. My granddaughter was asked to give the time and even though an analog clock was present in that room, she had to walk into the next room to give the time from a digital clock. Now if that isn’t a strong motivation that a learning tool for analog clocks is necessary, what else would be! At the time, she was ten years old. It was sort of shocking to me.
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