Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Build-A-Bear Workshop and a Giveaway

Thanks to BSM Media and Build-A-Bear Workshop we received this adorable guy today for review.

His name is Hal Moose, and do the girls ever love him! His cute little antlers light up when you press his hand. They took turns carrying him around and lovin' on him while I checked out this book "Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure" which was included as well.

It is an adorable little 10 chapter book about a sibling duo who work together to save Christmas and their friendship in time for Santa to make his famous flight. The storybook is FREE when you purchase both Holly and Hal Moose ($12 each), or it is sold separately for $15.99. Ella and I will certainly enjoy reading this book together in the days to come!

In addition to Holly and Hal Moose, there are more than 30 furry friends to make at Build-A-Bear Workshop this holiday season. Everything from bears, turtles, monkeys, bunnies, dogs, and cats.... there's a perfect animal for everyone on your gift list. The fun doesn't end when you leave the store because all the furry little friends come with a special code that can be used to bring them to life online in, the Build-A-Bear Workshop's virtual world.

We also received a $10 Bear Bucks gift card for Build-A-Bear Workshops with our review materials to give away to one lucky blog reader.

First things first, go check out Build-A-Bear Workshop then come back here and leave a comment telling me what you would do with the $10 Bear Bucks if you win. Leave your comments here by Friday January 2, 2009 for a chance to win. Wow, 2009 already?!? You can earn extra entries by subscribing to this blog and/or posting about this giveaway on your own blog with a link back here. Just be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra entry. Be sure and include a valid email address.

Parents Toys for the Holidays

Every toddler parent knows the disappointment of having a box be more exciting than the actual gift inside. Just in case you haven't completed your Christmas shopping and have toddlers and preschoolers on your list, Parents Toys are sure to get them excited about what's in the box for a change.

We received the Parents Bristle Blocks Spinners two weeks ago for review from Team Mom, and this was one of those toys that the girls all loved immediately. These are the newest addition to the popular Bristle Blocks collection. According to the press release, "Spinners is an action-packed, 57- piece building set filled with colorful, easy to connect blocks, as well as wheels, axles, and quirky character faces to make creations come alive! Even a beginning builder will feel a great sense of accomplishment, which will grow as his dexterity improves and the complexity of his creations increases, yielding everything from rolling roadsters to twirling merry-go-rounds to propeller-spinning airplane- the creative options are endless. These non-toxic, washable blocks are sure to provide hours of stimulating play."

In our house these blocks have already provided hours of enjoyment. When we first opened the package, we set out together to construct the roadster. It was finished, with my help, in no time. Then the girls spent the next 20 minutes taking turns rolling it back and forth around the living room. Often the car was crushed in the "gentle" transition from one child to another in the sharing process, but that just meant they had to work together to get the wheels back on and make it roll again.

Now that we've had our set for a while, they have all individually constructed completely different creations using these blocks. As a mom, I love that I am able to literally watch their minds expand with the increasing complexity of each new creation!

The philosophy for the Parents Brand Toys is this: When a toy does less, the child does more. I couldn't agree more! You can find these at most Target stores. I actually searched around for a cousin who was hoping to find some of these exact same blocks for her 2 year old and found them at Costco.

Happy Shopping!

Word World

Since the girls have recently started to give up their one and only nap during the day, I have been searching for something for them to do quietly for a little while that won't lend to destruction so that I can have a few minutes during the afternoon for essentials like laundry, prepping dinner, blogging, you know, just the essentials... he, he. Time in their room doesn't work well because they seem to get into too much trouble, but if I contain them in the living room with gates I can keep my ears and eyes on them much better.

I was thrilled to come across the PBS show WordWorld at around 6am one morning, and tonight after reading about it over at An Island Review I checked the viewing times and discovered that it comes on at 2pm here as well. Perhaps I'll have the girls watch a little educational programming at the peak of their fussiness in the afternoons from now on!! If you have toddlers and preschoolers in the house you might want to check it out as well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Can Do That!!

Sometime last month the folks at I Can Do That Games sent us a copy of their Cat In the Hat, I Can Do That game for review.

The games are designed to get kids up and moving: laughing, playing, jumping, singing, and I can attest to the fact that they do exactly that!

I have to giggle every time we attempt to play because this game expertly shows the differences between our two sets of twins *wink, wink*. Apparently ours is a house divided. In the one camp we have our true identicals, Maggie and Kate, who carefully select one red, blue, and yellow card each and then give each other high fives after flawlessly following instructions to the best of their abilities until the completion of their required tasks as read by mom.

Then over in the other camp we have our identicals that were separated by 17 months, Ella and Sarah. These two play Cat in the Hat, I Can Do That 'my way or the highway style'. Both are obstinate about reading their own cards... which neither of them can do yet, and they want to make up the rules and their given objectives to suit themselves every single time.

I suppose technically Maggie, Kate, and Sarah are all a little too young to fully enjoy this game just yet, but I can tell that personality of the child makes a huge difference in whether they will enjoy it at a younger age or not.... clearly Maggie and Kate are there already and Ella and Sarah may never be!?!

As a mom, I love this game. The players start by drawing 3 cards and then following the instructions to complete the given task. The cards are both numbered 1,2,& 3 as well as color coded, so kids that don't know their numbers yet can choose based on the colors. The materials all the props are made of have withstood a great deal of "kid testing" from the girls... what with Ella and Sarah's penchant for making it up as they go along and all and getting angry when things aren't going their way. The game has a very simple concept, yet one that builds confidence in the young players (especially those who try to follow the game rules) and their ability to honestly say "I Can Do That!".

We give this game lots of little thumbs up!

Delgo: Movie Review

Atlanta based Fathom Studios' very first independently produced and distributed movie Delgo will be out in theaters in just a few short days on December 12th. I am painfully not "in the know" regarding exactly what else is in theaters this holiday season, but after viewing the trailer and reading up on the positive message this film contains, I have to say I'd love to check it out. The voice cast alone is enough to peak my interest. It includes: Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Delgo), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Princess Kyla), Anne Bancroft (exiled Empress Sedessa) as well as Chris Kattan (Filo), Val Kilmer (Bogardus), Lou Gossett Jr. (Nohrin King), Michael Clarke Duncan (Lockni Stonesage Council), Kelly Ripa (Kurrin), Burt Reynolds (Delgo’s Father) and Sally Kellerman (Narrator).

From the press release, "Fast-paced action and adventure, a mystical land, an unlikely hero, a princess, and a message of acceptance between different cultures make Delgo the perfect family-friendly movie this holiday season."

The image above was provided by Team Mom and Delgo.