Tag - learning

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Review

I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission to cover media events.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Charlotte-Concord North Carolina Review MommyB

Being on the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I’ve had lots of opportunities to check out the progress of Charlotte, North Carolina’s newest, family-friendly attraction. I must say when I heard SEA LIFE was coming to our area I was thrilled, and after visiting with my family earlier this week, I can still say I’m thrilled.

Overall we enjoyed our visit, learned lots of exciting facts about the sea life that we saw, and had fun doing it.

Some fun things you want to know about SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord:

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Kids Love Learning Review MommyB

They make learning fun.

When you arrive, children receive a passport which is their, ticket to learning about the world under water. This passport encourages children to engage in the very interactive displays around the aquarium and they even get rewarded at the end if they get all of their stamps at the, “Dive Stations“.

All around the aquarium are signs pointing out cool facts about individual tanks and exhibits. My girls loved trying to figure out how many species of manta rays SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord had {we won’t give away the answer.}

This is one of the most interactive aquariums I have seen. Not only can children touch and explore Caribbean Hermit Crabs, Pencil Urchin, and varieties of starfish {to mention a few}, but there are ipads located at exhibits so that children can learn even more details about what they are looking at. We really enjoyed the Cabarrus River exhibit and learning about the underwater life that’s in our very own “backyard”.

These are just a few ways our girls were soaking in learning about God’s awesome underwater creations.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Kid Friendly Review MommyB

They cater to kids.

Talk about kid-friendly, first off, the aquarium is open and spacious and gives you the opportunity to spend as much or as little time at each exhibit as you like. Everything is kid-level. We appreciate that the attractions have viewing windows that are easily accessible to smaller children so they don’t miss out on any of the fishy-fun.

Nothing that I noticed was scary or too loud for little ones. I personally think that preschoolers to grandparents would love SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord because it has something for everyone. Aside from the awesome exhibits and tanks full of amazing underwater creatures, SEA LIFE also has a coloring area and climb-and-play station at the end of your visit.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Cares and Educates Review MommyB

They care about the world.

It’s very apparent as you walk around the exhibits that SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord takes great pride in educating not only about the species of sea and freshwater life, but also in educating attraction goers on the environmental status and concerns that some of the sea life featured face.

We learned how seahorses are used in Chinese medicine even today, and that more than 70 million sharks are killed for their fins every year, not to mention many more, heartbreaking facts. We even got to vote on what species we want SEA LIFE to focus their donation efforts on at the end of the exhibit.

I know it’s not always smiles and rainbows talking about how not-so-great things happen in our world, but very important to educate our children as to why this is wrong {age appropriate discussions of course}. I’m very thankful that SEA LIFE doesn’t shy away from these issues and wants to help prevent them.

Now that you’ve heard about our experience, check it out for yourself!! Be sure to check out my other post on SEA LIFE for more details: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Announces Opening

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium Visit Details:

LOCATION
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd, Concord, NC 28027

VISIT LENGTH
On average, guests will spend 60-90 minutes in the attraction.

REGULAR HOURS
• Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Sunday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Last admission is 2 hours before closing each day

TICKET PRICES
• Pre-Opening General Admission Special: $16, all ages {ages 2 and under free}

• Pre-Opening Annual Pass Special (12 Months Unlimited Entry):
-$50, individual
-$192, family of 4
-$45, additional family member

• Special group rates available for schools and other groups

CONNECT
• Website: www.VisitSEALIFE.com/Charlotte-Concord
• Facebook: www.facebook/SEALIFECharlotteConcord
• Twitter: @SEALIFECC
• Instagram: instagram.com/SEALIFECC
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/SEALIFECC

Thank you to the amazing staff at Spark PR, Jack Stevenson, Marketing Manager of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium for showing us around and David Cochran, Displays Curator of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord, Sydney {who was super informative} at the touch and feel tank, not to mention all of the great people behind the scenes of our visit.

 

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I receive admission in return for writing about events and reviewing the aquarium. As always, any opinions expressed in this post are the honest thoughts of myself and my family. Your opinions may vary.

Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium to Open February 20, 2014 at Concord Mills

I am a member of the Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Parents Council.

SEALIFE

A public event and celebration is planned to kick-off UK-based Merlin Entertainments’ 100th attraction and introduce 5,000 sea creatures to the region’s visitors.

Today, Merlin Entertainments announces that its newest aquarium attraction will open on Feb. 20, 2014, at Concord Mills in Concord, NC. Specifically designed to educate and engage kids and the young at heart, the 36,000-sq-ft aquarium will bring visitors face-to-face with the underwater world.

More than twenty displays will feature 5,000 amazing creatures, including sharks, stingrays, an octopus, seahorses, jellyfish and thousands of colorful fish. (Visit the top creature list here: http://www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/explore-our-creatures/)

The grand opening festivities for the public as well as regional and state tourism officials begin at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 20 with a ribbon cutting, welcome speeches, the unveiling of the custom mural painted by area children, and a celebration of Merlin’s 100th attraction. Doors to the aquarium open to the public at noon.

Visitors to Sea Life Charlotte-Concord can expect:
A 180° ocean tunnel that allows visitors to see sharks, rays and other fish swim right over their heads
An interactive touchpool (touch a crab without fear of pinching!)
Seahorses in the mangrove (learn which parent carries the babies)
The highly intelligent Giant Pacific octopus, the largest octopus species in the world
Educational talks and creature feedings throughout the day
A kids’ quiz trail to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the attraction
A presentation video theatre to learn more about marine conservation
A children’s soft play area to enjoy at the end of the experience
At Sea Life Charlotte-Concord, visitors will travel from the fresh waters of the Catawba River in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean and beyond in about an hour.

SeaLife CharlotteConcord SeaLife

Ticket information
Regular admission tickets cost $21 for adults and $17 for kids ages 12 and under. Kids ages 2 and under are free. Through Feb. 19, tickets are only $16 for all ages if purchased in advance, online: http://www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/buy-tickets/. Annual Passes, offering unlimited entry to the aquarium for 12 months, are also on sale for special rates through Feb. 19. An Individual Annual Pass is $50. The Family Annual Pass (for four) is $192; additional family members are $45 each. Annual Pass holders are invited to attend a sneak peek of the aquarium Feb. 15-16.

Visiting Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
Hours are daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is located at 8111 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC 28027 at Concord Mills. Look for parking on the backside of the mall at Entrance 7. For more information, visit:
http://www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/
https://www.facebook.com/SEALIFECharlotteConcord
https://www.facebook.com/SEALIFECharlotteConcord https://twitter.com/SEALIFECC

SEAL1003P_ParentLogo2

 

I am a member of the Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission and product in return for covering events. 

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.

Earn FREE Scholastic Books with Kelloggs® Mini Missions Program

Giving. December is THE landmark month for giving to others. I feel like lately I’ve written a million posts on how our family is giving back, whether it’s sponsoring a child in Africa, packing Christmas boxes for needy children, giving a homeless person a meal, or helping a stranger with the door. There are opportunities to give your services every single day.

We want our girls to know serving is an opportunity and not a chore. They loved making finger puppets for little ones in the local children’s hospital and placed each adornment with care, knowing their work would brighten another child’s day. This my friends, is what life is about. Not YOLO or “doing you”, but genuinely caring for others.

That is why we love the Every Day is a Big Day program. This program encourages families to completes a Mini™ Mission {this month is Give and Get Back}, and as a bonus, you can earn free Scholastic books and a chance to win prizes for your school and community too.

This month, log in and complete the Mini™Mission to earn 2 free Scholastic books for your family, and while you’re there, check out

Visit scholastic.com/minimissions to register your family for the Every Day is a Big Day program and start giving back to those in need.

Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® and Scholastic have partnered to bring you the Every Day is a Big Day program, created to benefit families, schools and communities across the country.

Your family is invited to complete monthly Mini™ Missions to get free books for your family. Also, each month you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 131 valuable prizes for your school and community. As you earn books and enter the sweepstakes, your family is sure to have a blast and learn something new along the way!

Start here and register for your first monthly mission!

This is a sponsored conversation by me on behalf of Kellogg’s(R) Frosted Mini-Wheats(R). The opinions and text are all mine.

Hi Babyboo! from the Brains Behind Yo Gabba Gabba

We love Yo Gabba Gabba, I mention them in posts here and there and of course in the Yo Gabba Gabba: Music is Awesome Review.  So, of course are super excited to find out that YoGG co-creator, Scott Schultz, and YoGG music supervisor, Ben Schultz, along with Night & Day Studios, are creating a new video series and app for babies!

hibabyboo logo

Hi Babyboo! will bring music, art, puppets, sign language, and giggles to the youngest audiences with Hi BabyBoo! But to do it, they need help.

Scott and Ben are taking this project directly to friends and fans with Kickstarter. Funding will help produce a new multimedia experience for toddlers and babies, including five-minute episodes of the new show and an interactive iPad app that kids and grownups can enjoy together.

In case you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, often times projects will give supporters rewards for their donations. If you are a Hi Babyboo! supporter, rewards include a variety of exclusive Hi BabyBoo! items, like T-shirts, onesies, plush dolls, baby books, posters, a production diary, the finished app, and even chances to meet the crew and join the cast. {How cool!!!!}

Please join us in supporting the Schultzes to bring this magical project to life! To view the project and enter for a chance to win a bunch of cool prizes, check this out:

In honor of Hi Babyboo! and their Kickstarter program, I’m excited to giveaway an autographed photo of Yo Gabba Gabba’s DJ Lance to one lucky winner.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is not a paid post, however I am receiving some cool goodies and am giving some away too.

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.

SEA LIFE – Charlotte Concord Aquarium Groundbreaking Event

I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council.

Goodbye NASCAR Speedpark and hello SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord. SEA LIFE aquarium will be the newest addition at Concord Mills mall, a Simon Mall located in Concord, North Carolina.

SEA LIFE Generic Logo AW (Holding CMYK 100-80-0-20)

This new, family-friendly attraction will be coming to the Charlotte area in Spring 2014 and will host a variety of sea creatures in their 30,000-square-foot, $10 million aquarium, and I can’t be more excited!

SEA LIFE currently has 50 locations, including five in the United States and even more overseas. SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord will feature interactive exhibits and about 30 displays of marine life that will highlight some marine life local to the Carolinas. This attraction will also be able to tout an amazing underwater tunnel, that is sure to appeal to people of all ages and will prove to be not only entertaining, but educational as well.

Here are a couple of artist’s renderings as to what the new SEA LIFE attraction will look like:

harbour copyflat

rockpools copyflat

Other aquariums in the area include N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, both of which are larger than SEA LIFE will be, but of course not as convenient for those of us living in Charlotte or visiting the area.

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Inaugural Parent Council Program, I am excited to have access to exciting news, upcoming events and even offer giveaways to you right here on my blog.

Speaking of which, SEA LIFE will be holding their first event, which will be a family-friendly groundbreaking event at Concord Mills mall on Thursday, September 25th, 2013 with festivities starting at 10:30 am. If you’re able to attend there will be several activities going on during the ceremonies that you and your kiddos won’t want to miss.

City of Concord Mayor J. Scott Padgett and Donna Carpenter, President/CEO of Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau will lead the ceremony.

“The new SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium is going to be a very positive addition to Concord,” remarks Concord Mayor Scott Padgett. “Not only will it have a major impact on tourism by drawing new and repeat visitors to our area, it will also boost our local economy by creating new jobs. We are very pleased to welcome SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord and Merlin Entertainments to our city’s growing roster of outstanding attractions, hotels, shopping and dining options.”

Find out more about SEA LIFE Aquariums & Attractions here: www.visitsealife.com/Charlotte-Concord, follow on Facebook and Concord Mills here: www.simon.com/mall/concord-mills

 

As a member of the Inaugural Parent Council I receive media passes and promotional items from SEA LIFE. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. Yours may vary.

Little Pim Language DVD Review

I received two random Little Pim DVDs in order to review and post my honest thoughts on their product.

LittlePim_LogoR-FWLHave you heard of Little Pim? If not, Little Pim is a foreign language learning company that introduces children between the ages of 0 and 5 to a different languages using DVDs, music CDs, flashcards, and books.

Check out this short video:

**We were able to test out a couple of DVDs from the Little Pim collection, so please keep in mind that this review is only based on our viewing of the two DVDs and not the entire Little Pim program.

As we were watching the DVDs my girls (Lil C age 3 and Miss A age 6) really enjoyed the different characters that Little Pim has come up with. The characters themselves do not speak but are adorable and act out focus words.

The videos are geared towards children under 5 and held the attention of my 3-year-old longer than my 6-year-old, so I think the company has a good grasp on the age of their audiences.

Little Pim DVDs

The words that the videos were teaching were simple, but helpful words that I would want my girls to learn in a language program.

Again, we were not able to test the full program, but from the DVDs that we received we really enjoyed the program and I think with the activities and other DVDs included it would be a good language learning program for smaller children.

Find out more about the award-winning program by heading to their website www.littlepim.com

 

What language would you want your child(ren) to learn??

 

 

This is not a compensated post. Little Pim provided review samples in order for me to give you my honest opinions and thoughts. All opinions are my own, however yours may vary.

Camp Food Sprouts {Guest Post}

If you are like most parents, you are probably excited that school is out and that summer is almost here! No more car lines, packing lunches, homework or time sensitive projects. Summer is a time for fun and most of all it’s a time for your child to relax and make wonderful memories.

If your kids are like most American children their summer activities may consist of hanging out with friends, swimming, playing in the sprinklers, reading books, watching movies/TV, playing video games, and depending on their age, spending time on electronic devices.

If you’re like me, you don’t want your kids sitting in the house, watching tv or playing video games all day. You want them outside, playing and running and being an active kid. Let’s face it, our culture is an online culture and is becoming even more so every day.

We all want our children to be well rounded individuals, to have more than we had as children, to know more and of course to be greater. We strive for our children to be both tech savvy and earth savvy. We would love for our children to build a website and to build a garden. The question is: how do we get that balance in this fast paced, media-centered world that we are in? How do we show our children how the basics when that’s not the space we live in?

What if your child had the opportunity to go to a summer camp to learn real life skills while having a blast with other kids and making memories? Personally, it would be so fulfilling for me to see my little S walk into a room sporting a tie die shirt she made from veggies. I am giddy thinking of the look on her face when she sees the first sprouts from her egg carton garden. Can you imagine your child enjoying this wholesome experience??

These are just some of the many invaluable experiences that Camp Food Sprouts will facilitate for your child.

Camp Food Sprouts in Charlotte is a two week, summer day-camp, dedicated to teaching your child real-life skills and ensuring that your child has fun while doing it. At this unique camp, your child will engage in themed sessions that include art projects, cooking, gardening, water play, yoga and more. The camp also has chefs, farmers and nutritional experts throughout the camp to teach your child and give them a hands-on learning experience.

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Camp Food Sprouts offers invaluable life skills and arts that your child may not experience at home or at another camp. This is truly a one of a kind, unique experience that your child will learn from and take with them throughout their life.

If your child is between 6 and 12 years old and interested in cooking, baking, gardening and having FUN this is the camp for them.

Check out more details on Camp Food Sprouts on their website: www.knowyourfarms.com and tell them you heard about their camp on MommyBKnowsBest.com!!

Do your children love nature? Cooking? Gardening?? What’s their favorite outdoor activity??

Lisa is a Florida Native who currently lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. B.C. {Before Children} Lisa was an R.N. Currently Lisa has a love for hairdressing, finding fun play spots around North Carolina and giving great parenting advice.