Tag - tech

Fun Summer Activity for Indoors and Outdoors

Our Summer break has begun and we are in full-force entertainment mode. If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about. The, “Mommy, I’m bored” can start as early as half a second after the last moment of school and I like to be prepared.

We have lots of lists for the Summer, I keep them put away until Summer break comes and then voila! they magically appear in our family command center (aka the place we keep our monthly calendar, chore charts, etc).

You may have already seen my post on Summer Schedule – Summer Rules but if not click the link HERE to get some ideas to a semi-relaxed semi-scheduled Summer that will help your household run more smoothly.

Another way we combat Summer boredom is by playing creatively. We always try to mix some old games/toys/activities with some new ones and this Summer we had the opportunity to check out the All-New Laser X – Laser Tag set

My girls usually opt out of playing laser tag at amusement venues because they aren’t sure what to expect and being highly sensitive, it can be intimidating with the loud noises and dark unfamiliar place. So when it comes to being able to play laser tag in the comfort of our own home and/or backyard, they were super excited.

Laser X features sophisticated electronics and optics that give players pinpoint blasting accuracy up to 200 feet. You can purchase sets of 1 or 2 and play with friends. Players can
choose to be on teams or select “rogue” mode where it’s every player for his or herself.

All Laser X sets work together, so games can have as few as two players – or the whole neighborhood can play. Advanced sensors in the Laser X blaster know when players are blasting, being hit, running or hiding. An interactive “coach” uses this information to give players tips and tricks throughout the game. Players can even plug headphones (not included) into their chest receiver and play music.

We tried out the Micro Blasters, but you can also purchase Original Blasters, Gaming Tower, and Long Range Blaster depending on the kind of play experience you are looking for. We highly recommend these as a fun summer or year-round toy for hours of fun (and a definite way to get rid of summer boredom!)

Sets range from around $29.99 to $49.99 and are sold online and at retailers nationwide. Get yours at GetLaserX.com before they are sold out for the summer!!

Thanks to Element Associates for sending a sample for review.

Code Ninjas – Kids Coding Program

With STEM fields continuing to grow, both parents and children alike are looking for effective and fun ways to join the movement.

As a technology savvy family we love that our girls want to learn more about coding. For Christmas Miss A got a coding robot that she loved figuring out how to make move, spin, and turn. We can see both our girls love for figuring out how things work and that not only includes things they can touch but also things in the computer world. It’s pretty inspiring to see their curiosity.

Entrepreneur David Graham created Code Ninjas for Children ages 7-14 to learn how to code in a fun, non-intimidating way — by playing and building their own video games with peers in a social environment.

In addition to coding, children gain skills in robotics, math, logic, and problem solving. The game-based curriculum and welcoming atmosphere enables kids to have fun, while parents see tangible results.

If coding wasn’t fun enough Code Ninjas is taking it one step further. The program is set up in martial arts style with different belt levels for children to work on, a fun belt color bracelet allows them to check-in for their twice-weekly hour-long sessions.

The Greater Charlotte area is now home to two Code Ninjas locations – Fort Mill, SC and Concord, NC. We had the privilege of visiting the NEW Concord location and meeting with owner Anjali Dighe who is one of the most passionate business owners I have met.

Whether it was finding the perfect school for their son, being part of organizations that encouraged growth and development, or how they are adding personal touches to their Code Ninja programs to bring learning to life, it is very clear that the Dighe family values learning no matter what form it takes.

As they open their doors at the Concord location and prepare to open in Ballantyne, Meyers Park, and Chapel Hill, {for starters} there is one thing that shines through, Anjali’s commitment to excellence.

In speaking with her she was excited about the Code Ninjas program that features Scratch programming, Java Script, Roblox, Python and so much more. Seeing the world with a different set of eyes is very important at this Code Ninjas location and their senseis (the name appropriately given to Code Ninjas instructors) who work with students.

One thing I thought was very fascinating and a great touch to the Code Ninjas program is that in the upper levels students learn how to create, develop, and even market their own apps. Kids are not only learning how to code but so many great life skills; perseverance, consistency, business ethics, creativity, and the list goes on.

We are so excited at the opportunities and love that Code Ninjas is giving the community something different and very valuable in this technologically focused world.

If you haven’t checked out Code Ninjas and live in the North Carolina area request more information or come visit codeninjas.com. If you’re not in North Carolina never fear Code Ninjas are quickly popping up across America as we speak – Locations Near YOU!

 

 

Thanks Code Ninjas Concord for letting us visit and play, we can’t wait to come back again soon.

Tips for Teaching your Family Safe Online Behavior

This is a sponsored post in partnership with KidGuard. Any opinions or thoughts are that of MommyBKnowsBest.

Navigating the web as an adult can be tricky, whether you’re faced with security problems, or just overwhelmed by the harsh comments on social media, it always seems like there’s something you have to look out for.

 

 

In an age like today it’s almost impossible to not be online especially for younger generations. For parents, if your child is on a social media platform or website that you’ve never seen that’s a big problem.

Remember when your child was little, you wanted to know a couple of things right?
It was important to:
  • Know where your children were
  • Know what they were doing

The same rules follow suit online.

Yes, your children are older, more responsible, however it’s still important to:

  • Know what sites and platforms they are on
  • Know how they are using social media and the internet

And how do you do this if you’re not online with them?

We have to educate ourselves every step of the way with parenting. Right? Here are some things you’ve probably done as a parent that you can apply to parenting children who are online.

We ask our parents and friends for advice

You may not ask your parents unless they’re super tech savvy but talk to friends, specifically friends who you know have navigated parenting children who are online and done it well.

We read books and articles

There are so many great resources out there. I highly recommend KidGuard, they have recently published a how-to guide to educate parents on the importance of developing their children’s digital citizenship and safe online behavior filled with amazing tips for motoring cell phone use, GPS tracking, facts about Cyber Bullying that you may not have heard, and it’s a free resource. Check it out here: KidGuard Parents’ Survival Guide to Online Safety.

We buy products that help us parent

Whether you look into downloading software or add apps, choose tools that will give you the end result you are looking for, whether it’s security, limited screen time, privacy, or all of the above. Some are available for free, or trial periods, but I have found that the programs that are paid are often well worth the money spent. Consider it an investment into the well being of your family.
So what’s your first step? There’s no “right” way or formula for teaching your family online safety, rather the important step is to start. Pick one of the three ways above and get started, once you realize how helpful resources like KidGuard {kidguard.com} can be a whole new world will open up to you and you’ll be a step closer to parenting at your best in a tech-savvy world.

I’m a Verizon Wireless Ambassador

pdp_droid_ratings

Yep, that’s right. In case you didn’t notice the cool, new badge on my right side bar, I’m one of the newest Verizon Wireless Ambassadors, and I’m really excited to share this news with you. No, I’m not rubbing it in, not one bit, the reason I’m excited is because this means that I get to share with you.

As a member of this ambassadorship I am testing out the DROID INCREDIBLE 4G LTE by HTC so that means that you get to learn a little more about a cool Verizon product AND if you’re not already familiar with their 4G LTE service (which I wasn’t until I was in this program) you can learn more about that as well.

MommyB Knows Best Droid Incredible HTC Verizon

Not only will I be posting topics around my new phone, but I’ll be posting some general deals, tips for any Android phone, updates on what’s new at Verizon (as a Verizon Wireless Ambassador I’m privy to some cool perks), and answering any questions you may have through my own learning process.

A few things that I recently learned during my initial HTC Droid Incredible tutorial, or what I like to call Verizon School are that there are some great features to this phone.

pdp_droid_ratings

1. This phone can be used as a mobile hot spot – so wherever I need internet service I can pretty much get it, on my laptop, on my iPod, it’s pretty handy if you ask me. I’ve been in some conference situations where the internet was spotty at best and I really could have used this feature.

2. It’s super easy to personalize and make your own. The home screen doesn’t just show you a weather app, it actually shows you the weather. You can also have several home screens depending on your needs and your use of this phone. I love having options.

3. While I do love my current phone, I can definitely see myself falling in love with this phone because of the specs I care about. 4″ screen, great camera and video quality, super light weight (compared to my current phone), and user friendly.

I encourage you, if you’re looking for a new phone, or even if not, to check out my posts in case the Droid Incredible 4g LTE by HTC may be something you are interested in, and also remember, it’s not just about the phone either. 🙂

Any questions??

 I am a member of the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program. In receive complimentary services and technology provided by Verizon in return for my honest opinions. You can count on my posts to be my own thoughts and opinions throughout my ambassadorship, just as in any of my other opinion based posts.

YesVideo {Guest Post and Giveaway – CLOSED}

YesVideo DVD

I am one who loves gifts that have thought and personality to them, not something from a shelf that anyone could get. I want to feel special and loved and YesVideo can help in creating the ideal gift for holidays, anniversaries, or any special occasion. With Christmas just around the corner this would be a perfect chance to create a gift for someone you love.

YesVideo DVD

As a child I loved making family videotapes on VHS tapes, but now we have no way to view these fun memories. Instead of having them collect dust in your house, you can now through YesVideo conveniently transfer them to DVDs. This a great service where you can send your old homemade videotapes, 35mm slides, movie film reels, prints, and digital videos and photos and have them nicely converted to a DVD or Blu-ray disc to view in your home. Through YesVideo you can also add some personalization to the DVD which is a nice feature if you are planning to use it for a gift.

So how does it work? Log onto Yesvideo.com and start the easy step-by-step guidelines for your order. I chose to send some old VHS tapes and prints that were not in digital format. When creating your DVD, you are able to choose special features like a personalized title, background, and music style. I was also able to choose the order in which the photos would be in for the DVD. Then print out a shipping label and send it off. In a few weeks you will be enjoying a new DVD format. This process can also be done through local retailers in your area; visit their website {http://bit.ly/YesVideo} for details. Read More