Category - Toys & Games

Keep Your Sanity During Holiday Travel

As an ambassador for Rayovac I have been compensated for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions on the products are my own.

Travel during the Holiday season can be a bit overwhelming. Add some children (maybe even a bitty baby), maybe a pet, inclement weather, traffic, construction, and the stress level can be almost unbearable. Trust me, I’ve been there!

Here are some tips on how my family stays sane during Holiday travel, {hope they come in handy!}:

Keep Your Sanity During Holiday Travel MommyB

It’s electric! Boogie Woogie.

{great now I have that song stuck in my head} Seriously though, we’re not HUGE screen time parents on your average day, but a 4+ hour trip, especially those longer than 10 hours call for some sort of electronic play, at least in our car.

This can be tricky though for several reasons, but here are a few tricks to keep a handle on the situation.

1. Charge EVERYTHING up before you leave. The night before or the day of your trip get your charge on.

2. Bring extra batteries. I recommend Rayovac Alkaline batteries because they’re a trusted brand name AND hold charge just as long as their competitors plus they’re a lower price, great for energy sucking travel toys. **

3. Set time limits on electronics (don’t let the kiddos play on screens for several hours on end or you’ll have crabby kiddos).

** Rayovac has some great coupons available for even greater savings on their already low priced products! Head to the Rayovac Facebook page to unlock them!!

Rayovac Coupons

 

MommyB Happy Traveling Baby

Baby Love

1. If possible, it’s best for someone to sit next to baby. It’s easier (and safer) than stopping the car or trying to reach back.

2. Plan for several stops for feeding and changing.

3. Consider buying a car-safe musical toy or mobile to keep baby entertained on the ride. Bring some extra batteries just in case!

Keep Sane During Holiday Travels MommyB

Game Plan

Decide ahead of time what games and activities you’ll bring or use to keep the kiddos occupied.

1. Of course this varies by age, but we like to bring mini dry erase boards for them and us to write words, draw pictures, and do math problems {bonus points for fun learning}.

2. Other great activities for kiddos are counting cars (choose a color and get counting), car bingo (find great printables on Pinterest), I spy, and any versions of animal, mineral, vegetable (we use nouns – person, place, thing).

3. Plan to stop at interesting places along the way. It can be planned (preferably) or impromptu, but this will give the whole family a break and if it’s an activity something fun to do, and if it’s just a beautiful scenic rest stop something to talk about on the rest of your trip.

 

What tips and tricks do you use to keep your sanity during Holiday travel?

 

Whatever you come up with for your family’s travel plans, just make sure you enjoy it. Not every second will be the most fun or memorable, but taking the good from what can be mundane is what truly builds up our family time.

Safe travels this Holiday season!!!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of my partnership with Rayovac. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Back to School – 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading

Are you in Back to School mode? Miss A has already started 2nd grade and Lil’ C is getting ready to start Pre-K for the first time this week. Though we encourage our girls to read with us and read independently throughout the Summer we often find that schools recommend or require a form of reading throughout the school year, which, being a book-worm, I love. We recently received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples to work on Summer reading lists to challenge our kiddos and keep their brains going through the Summer. We also realized it’s coming in handy for the school year for Independent Reading.

Here are 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire for Independent Reading:

10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading on MommyB

 

1. Set a time limit for reading/use. While I don’t ever want to stop Miss A from reading, sometimes it’s necessary to move on to our next task or work on another piece of school work. The Kindle Fire allows us to create profiles for each child and set time limits with Kindle FreeTime.

2. Technology encourages reading. While we have our own library and occasionally check physical books out from our local library, often times our girls want “screen-time” aka to play on technology. We have noticed that even though books are often the same on the Kindle Fire, the novelty of having the book in electronic version makes it more appealing, and however we can get our girls excited about reading we’ll take.

3. Easy access to books. Another great thing about the Kindle Fire are no last minute trips to the library and books are never out of stock like bookstores or libraries. We love heading to storytime and the bookstore, but we also enjoy the Kindle Fire’s easy access to a variety of books.

4. Features to personalize their reading experience. Kindle Fire HD offers your child adjustable fonts, line spacing, text-to-speech, built-in reference and dictionary. Students can also add their own notes, highlights, and bookmarks that they can access from their Kindle or any device with the free Kindle app, personalizing their reading experience and making an even more enjoyable experience.

5. Reading incentives made easy. Recently, we decided that we would offer Miss A even more incentives to read {aside from her school work} and give her the opportunity to earn screen-time through reading. The Kindle Fire is an easy way for her to transition from her reading time to her screen-time and has a number of free and paid apps including educational games and fun apps alike.

Miss A Independent Reading with Kindle Fire HD MommyB

 

6. No returns necessary. Have you ever forgotten to return a book by the due date? Kindle Fire allows you to skip the process of returning a book even when you’re just e-borrowing a book.

7. Teach new vocabulary. With some books Kindle Fire can read content with their Text-to-Speech feature. This feature isn’t meant to replace reading for your children, however in some cases it can help your child learn how to pronounce words and read along with books that are above their reading skill.

8. Find a good fit. Sometimes it’s hard to find a book that fits both Miss A’s reading level AND maturity. If you’ve ever been in the same situation you’ll understand that having the option of choosing a new book immediately is a huge relief. I love that Kindle Fire allows us to make that change without having to research, go to the library or store and get a new book, it’s an easy swap.

9. Read on-the-go. Of course you can take a book with you wherever you go, but Kindle Fire HD allows you to take up to 6,000 books* with you, that’s a lot of choices and a lighter load than a bag of books.

10. Shared classroom content. Kindle now allows classrooms/schools to share content using Whispercast. Whispercast allows schools to centrally manage Kindles, provide internet access, control settings, and meet the unique needs of students.

Do your children use Kindle Fire HD for Independent Reading? What are your favorite benefits?

Check out the Kindle Fire HD at Staples.com for more specs and details, protection plans, financing, free ship-to-store, and if you’re not a member already, check out their Rewards Member program for possible discounts. Also

College students – Save up to 80% when you rent and up to 50% when you buy Kindle eTextbooks.

*Kindle Fire HD can hold up to 6,000 books alone or less when you add apps, music, or movies. Wi-fi is needed to upload new books to your Kindle Fire HD.

 

I received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples in order to test out and review the product. I did not receive compensation and any and all opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary.

What’s App-enning Spring Series

MommyB What's App-enning Series

If you don’t know it’s Spring by the beautiful budding plants or baby animals scurrying around (you don’t have scurrying baby animals near you?!?!), then you certainly know it’s Spring by the clouds of pollen in the air. But there are no complaints here (not many at least), because I’d rather have pollen than snow in the Spring.

If you’re not outside playing in the awesome weather, like if you’re waiting for your allergy shots at the doctor’s office, or traveling for a weekend family getaway, you may want to consider some of the following apps for the kiddos and one for parents too.

Here are my What’s App-enning Spring App Picks:

Preschool Penguin – $2.99

Preschool Penguin App

Preschool Penguin is great app for children ages 3-5 that offer quick mini games that involve colors, numbers, and fun. This app has great animation and also offers videos as intermission/rewards for children playing. The game does not have an end which is good for continued play, however if you have a smart child they may tire quickly of this repetitive game and not be challenged. Overall I think this is a great learning app for little ones.

More info: PixelPlayApps.com

Champs of Numeria – $0.99

Champs of Numeria App

Champs of Numeria is a math app made for children ages K and up depending on what setting you select. At first I couldn’t figure out how to play Champs of Numeria, but luckily they have an in-app tutorial to help. I would highly recommend using this feature before your child begins playing. I think the game has a great idea but some of the numbers are a little harder to interpret since they are shapes rather than numbers. Once your child recognizes the different numbers this game can be quite addicting {in a good way.} I think this is a good math game, plus you can’t beat the price.

More info: Evanced Games

 

YAKiT Kids – FREE

YAKit Kids App

 

We all need some mindless entertainment once and a while and YAKiT Kids definitely provides that. This app allows your kiddos to take a iPhoto and make it fun. Choose from face settings, record voices, and let the hilarity ensue. If you want guaranteed giggles definitely upload this free app from YAKit Kids. Warning: they also have a similar app for adults.

More info: YAKiT Kids

 

Yummiloo Rainbow Power – $1.99

YummiLoo Rainbow Power App

I love this game and so do my girls. Honestly I’m not sure exactly why we like it so much. It could be the adorable characters, the fact that it encourages healthy eating and gardening, or that it’s nicely animated. This game features a garden with veggies and fruits and your objective is to pick the color of the rainbow in order to power up the Rainbow Machine. Once your kiddos play for a while the game becomes really short, but my girls will play this over and over again. Depending on your child however they may tire of the game after 5 or more times of play. I still highly recommend this app, if it were a higher price point however I may have to rethink the purchase, even with those cute carrot eyes staring at me.

More info: Yummiloo Rainbow Power

 

Parents: Momentage – FREE

Momentage App

 

If you’re into taking photos with your iPhone, iTouch and iPad this app offers a variety of ways to showcase your images, organize your images, and share them as well. I use Instagram often and think this is a great way to create moments through using my images. Think of it as virtual scrapbooking in an app. I would definitely recommend this app to parents, plus it’s free so other than storage space, what have you got to lose?!?!

More info: Momentage App

 

What’s your kid’s favorite or your favorite app right now?

 

This is not a compensated post, however I did receive some of the apps for review purposes only. All opinions expressed above are my own honest thoughts. Your opinions may vary.

How to Show Your #disneyside Princess Style

It’s no secret that we love to have parties and playdates, but having two girls a princess party is a must! We’ve thrown a Sofia the First Princess party, and a Princess Birthday party for Lil’ C and of course many princess dress-up parties in our time.

Realizing that all of our #disneyside attendees were going to be girls, {we wish we could have invited millions of friends but with the party limits and space inside our house, only Disneyland could have held us all}, our obvious choice for party theme was a princess party. Don’t worry though, we had plenty of Mickey, Minnie, and the gang too.

How to Show your #disneyside Princess Style MommyB

Here’s our recipe for a great #disneyside party:

A Spoonful of Beautiful Princesses:

#disneyside princesses MommyB

and some Disney pals, including one of the new Disney Princess Palace Pets exclusively from Build-a-Bear Workshop. Pumpkin, who is Cinderella’s Palace Pet friend can now be made at Build-a-Bear Workshop and you can win a Build-A-Bear gift card at the end of this post to make your own!

Disney Princess Palace Pets and #disneyside friends MommyB

A Heaping Helping of delicious drinks and snacks:

Heaping Helping of Delicious #disneyside Drinks & Snacks MommyB

Our snacks included:

  • Disney Princess Fruit Snacks and “Snow White” bunny gummies
  • Pepperoni and Ritz cracker Mickey heads (with cheese because every mouse loves cheese)
  • Pink Princess Punch {aka strawberry lemonade} in our Mickey-fied Aladdin mason jar.
  • Mickey themed cupcake liners filled with Craisins
  • Hidden Mickey kid-friendly snacks and veggies in black round bowls
  • Hidden Mickey cupcakes*
  • Mini Mickey cupcakes*
  • #Disneyside Mickey cookies*
  • Mickey chocolate cake pops *

* Thanks to Cupcrazed Cakery for providing the delicious baked goods, the moms and princesses loved them and even got to take their cake pops home, some of them shared with siblings too! These treats were amazing!

A dash of decorations, crafts, games, and goodie bags:

#disneyside princess party mommyB

Our guests got their photos taken in front of the Mickey and Gang Step and Repeat, chose their favorite Disney Princess tattoo, made Disney inspired t-shirts from Hanes brand, {of course most of the shirts featured Mickey and favorite princesses}, listened to the Disney Frozen soundtrack, played Disney trivia and Disney Bingo, and of course left the party with some pretty cute purple and pink princess swag including headband crowns, star wand lollipops, and a variety of Disney goodies.

We had so much fun with our friends and had a blast showing our princess #disneyside. I can’t wait to take the girls to Disneyland as a part of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference in April. They will be beyond excited to visit and DaddyB and I can’t wait either.

We want to know, how do you show your #disneyside???

As promised, here’s your chance to show your #disneyside with Build-a-Bear Workshop, enter to win a $25 gift card and be sure to check out their new Disney Princess Palace Pets friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks to BSM Media, Walt Disney World Resorts & Parks, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Cupcrazed Cakery, SmartFab, Aladdin for helping us with our #disneyside celebration and share it with friends.

North America’s Leading Children and Maternity Consignment Event – Just Between Friends Franchise

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Just Between Friends.

Have you ever thought about running a business of your very own? Being able to set your own hours? Helping your neighborhood and community? Making some extra cash for your family?

As moms, often times we want something in addition to being a mom and turn to jobs outside the home. As a blogger, most of the time I work from home, but there are opportunities for me to attend media events and work with the community, much like owning your own franchise with Just Between Friends Franchise {JBF}, North America’s leading children’s and maternity consignment event. I get to be mommy first and work at my own pace and as much or little as I want, and I really enjoy what each job, {different in it’s own rite}, brings me.

Shopper 25

With the opportunity to turn your passion for helping other families save money, and wanting to step into a role of business owner for whatever reason it may be, Just Between Friends may be the perfect fit for you to become a business owner.

Some benefits to running your own business:

  • Make your own hours – if your children have sports or extracurricular activities that you can’t miss you can plan your working hours and event hours around your family’s needs.
  • Know your customer base – living in the area that you are hosting your consignment events gives you a great advantage of knowing what the best dates for sales will be and how to promote your sales.
  • Help families save money – JBF helps more than half a million families save and earn money every single year and you will be a big part of that!
  • Make extra income for your family – supplement income, save up for vacations that you might not have been able to go on before, or start or build on your family savings.
  • Work with others – Should you decide to run a business with friends, you’ll be working together to help create a successful business and enjoying that relationship that may be stronger

The Today Show calls it “the hottest ticket in town” and you could be the person or people who bring this to your area. Check out this video to hear more about the Just Between Friends consignment franchise.

 

Just Between Friends currently has 138 franchises in 28 states and Canada and expanding. That’s where you come in. JBF is looking a mom, or several moms to be the first to bring this super-successful event to area where there aren’t any.

At this point you may be wondering how it all works:

• Local moms/families/friends run the consignment event twice a year – spring and fall (a few ambitious owners may add in a holiday sale or summer event if they decide to)

• Families in your community sign up as consignors and sell the new and gently-used items their children have outgrown (or never used)

• Consignors earn 60 to 70 percent of the price of their sold items

• Other families shop the sales event and generally save more than 50 to 90% off of retail prices

Because JBF is part of a franchise, you have all the tools you’ll need to help you succeed at your fingertips and a great support system to help you build this business. That means you still have the flexibility to put your family first AND enjoy your passion AND help others. JBF is great for any “mompreneur” who is interested in owning a business that will help earn extra money without taking long hours from your family every week.

JBF Franchise Owners WantedHere’s how you can get started:

– The Franchise Fee is $14,900 in the United States and $16,900 in Canada

– The total investment is between $25,000 to $30,000

– Traits of a successful franchisee include:

  • Experience in sales and/or marketing
  • Outgoing personality
  • Goal-driven with a “get-it-done” mindset
  • Management experience is a plus

If you or someone you might know may be interested learn more about Just Between Friends franchise opportunities here:

Click here to fill out a franchise application online

Click here for more information on franchise opportunities

Let’s not keep this a secret Just Between Friends.

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Just Between Friends. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own. I love empowering families and helping others save and enjoy being a working mom, and wanted to share this information. Your opinions may vary.

Babies Love Bumbo #bumbocares

When I think about products that are must-haves for parents I think of things like Diaper Genie, Boppy pillows, Pampers diapers, MAM pacifiers, Snack Trap, and Bumbo {to name only a few of my favorites}. Whenever I shop for friends who are expecting a new baby I check to see if they have these things on their list and if so I usually try to buy them because I know they will get plenty of use and are invaluable to parents.

Both of my girls loved their Bumbo seat, we’ve shared with friends over the years, and in fact we even handed it down to another family a couple of years ago.

Babies Love Bumbo.jpg

 

While the Bumbo seat is pretty well-known, their BumboCares program is not as famous. Check out this video to learn more about BumboCares and to see how Bumbo is giving back:

Bumbo Cares Program from Bumbo USA on Vimeo.

BumboCares_SocialMedia_ABumbo is committed to child safety so please be sure to use Bumbo on the floor and make sure your child’s seat belt is securely fastened.

Bumbo is great to travel with, easy to clean, and great for babies and toddlers. The Bumbo seat comes in several colors and also has a play tray accessory. If you’ve never heard of Bumbo I suggest you check them out by heading to their website here: BumboUSA.

One lucky MommyBKnowsBest.com reader is going to win a Bumbo seat of their very own!!! Enter to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

I received product to perform this review, this is not a paid post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest thoughts. Yours may vary.

Ani-mates – Stuffed Animals with Values

Let’s face it, with toys today it’s not always easy to entertain kids and teach them good values at the same time.

20131127-114049.jpg
Ani-Mates from GoBible are talking stuffed animals that bring over 30 preloaded, professionally recorded children’s Bible stories to life for young listeners.

Miss A and Lil C were beyond excited to see their “talking dog” and I appreciated the content and stories being told by the Ani-mates dog.

Animates Puppy

We make sure to read the Bible with our girls and they both hear about God and Jesus in church and school, but also it’s nice for them to hear God’s word in a different way (and if a talking stuffed animal isn’t different and fun, I don’t know what is!!!)

I could tell they were really getting into the stories by watching the intense looks on their faces. After listening to Ani-mates they talked with each other about the Bible stories they were hearing. I also loved watching them dance around to the music.

I would highly recommend this you for parents trying to instill Biblical values in their children in a fun way.

Ani-Mates currently come in bear and puppy form, and a lamb is coming for the Easter season!

Animates Stuffed Animals

You can also download the free app, and your children can watch the stories come to life on your smart phone as they listen to the stories being told!

This makes a great gift just in time for the holidays. Be sure to check out their website for more information and to place your purchase. GoBible.com

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Ani-Mates and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Holiday Gift Guide for Girly Girls #MyKindofHoliday

For some of you savvy shoppers, your Christmas shopping is already complete, and others of us {ahem} still have a long list of people to shop for.

Personally, I love shopping for the many different people and personalities that we have in our circle of friends and family, and because the holidays are already busy, I try to save as much time as possible by shopping in “one-stop shops” like Target.

While we don’t buy our girls a lot of gifts we do like to get them a few things they have been wanting.

Here are a few of my favorite toys for girly girls like my gals: {ps they also play with Transformers and blocks on the regular.}

Holiday Gift Guide for Girly Girls #mykindofholiday

As you can see we have the newest LaLa Loopsies, and an adorable Hello Kitty, the awesome doctor station from Disney’s Doc McStuffins that Lil’ C has on her list, the Disney Princess Cupcake Party that the girls always love playing when we are at friend’s houses, cool craft sets, clothes, a scooter for Miss A, the interactive Jingle Bells book and talking puppy, and last but not least Lego Friends sets that both girls love playing with.

Believe me it was hard to pick 10 of my favorites! What are your girly girls getting this year? 

To check out the Target Kid’s Catalog for yourself and girly girls or non-girly girls you’re shopping for this holiday season, head here: Link to the Kid’s Catalog

New LeapFrog Product – Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App

This post brought to you by MomSelect and LeapFrog.

Lately Lil’ C who is officially 3 and 1/2 {don’t forget the half}, has been VERY interested in writing her letters, and learning how to spell everything on the planet. She’s even been starting to create her own words and asking me, “Mommy, what does EFLG spell?” So I’m super excited that LeapFrog has come up with the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App.

Lil’ C loves playing on my iPad whenever she can get her hands on it, 90% of the apps are kids apps and 80% of the games on it have some capacity of educational value, but the more learning apps I can add or use to replace others, the better.

The girls loved “stepping into the world of Mr. Pencil and the citizens of Doodleberg”, and I like that she’s able to practice her writing and drawing skills. The Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ app come with a really cool, Mr. Pencil stylus that’s kid-friendly and is designed to be gentle on your iPad. {Double duty!}

Lil’ C loves practicing her letters, and unlocking shops and venues in Doodleberg and how much interaction the app allows. Even though Miss A {6} has been writing letters for years, the app had some fun activities that she enjoyed as well.

LeapFrog Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil App.jpg

The app is easy to download and even has a free version if you want to check it out before you purchase the full version of Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App. This product currently retails for $14.99 but is on sale right now at LeapFrog.com for $11.99 {price subject to change}

How do/did you teach your child how to write their letters? Which LeapFrog toy will you be purchasing next? Learn To Write with Mr. Pencil LeapFrog App Toy

Check out the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil™ Stylus & Writing App on LeapFrog’s website, and follow the hashtag #leapfrogapptoys for more reviews, discounts and updates.

 

We received this product as a review sample in order to give our honest opinions on this product. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

New LeapFrog Product – Creativity Camera Protective Case & App

This post brought to you by MomSelect and LeapFrog.

Are your little ones begging to play on your phone? My girls are always asking to play games AND take pictures, and with LeapFrog’s Creativity Camera Protective Case & App I am able to turn my iPhone® and our iPod touch® into the ultimate kid-friendly camera and creativity center.

This case is designed for little ones ages 3-6 years and works with  iPhone® and iPod touch® encouraging children to have fun, get creative and learn all at the same time!

The first thing I noticed is that the camera case protects my devices from accidents and rough play. It’s easy to see that the protective case locks in the iPhone® or iPod touch® in securely, without damaging the device. It’s difficult enough to deter little hands from unlocking, but not too complicated for moms and dads, thankfully!!

After checking out outside function of the camera protective case we downloaded the free creativity learning app. It was very easy to add to my device after scanning the QR code inside the camera case. Once that was fully loaded, Lil’ C was ready to start taking pictures and exploring.

She loved taking pictures of everything around the house and being able to have a good grip on the device. Once she took her pictures, she was able to have some fun adding stickers, distorting images, and of course coloring on her pictures in the app too. She also really loved the augmented reality game with the colorful “bugs” (minus the grey bat-like creature because of his spooky voice). Look at that happy face!

PicMonkey CollageLeapFrog Creativity Camera Protective Case & App

I love that the LeapFrog Creativity Camera Protective Case & App is durable, affordable (retails for $19.99 and includes the app with purchase of the toy), and has multiple games/functions on the app along with taking pictures.

Luckily for my girls my old iPhone®  broke and we have a few iPod touch®’s around the house so I never need to take my phone out of the case to make a call or check email, they’re always ready to play.

We are huge fans of LeapFrog’s toys because they are geared towards learning and creativity, two of many things we want for our girls as they grow. I would highly recommend the LeapFrog Creativity Camera Protective Case & App for a gift perfect for any child ages 3-6, in fact we may pick some up for birthday and Christmas gifts because I know our friends and family will love this toy.

What is your child’s favorite photography subject? Which LeapFrog toy(s) will you be buying next?

LeapFrog Creativity Camera Protective Case & App

Check out the LeapFrog Creativity Camera Protective Case & App on LeapFrog’s website. And follow the hashtag #leapfrogapptoys for more reviews, discounts and updates.

 

We received this product as a review sample in order to give our honest opinions on this product. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.