Posts Tagged ‘
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Here are some of our favorite new movies, games, and more!
Movies and DVD
An intelligent dog (Ty Burrell) and his adopted son (Max Charles) time-travel in Mr. Peabody & Sherman. While the two experience world-changing events and meet some of the greats, including Mona Lisa, King Tut, and Abe Lincoln, Sherman almost alters world history, with comical results.
*What’s in it for you The goofy sense of humor and one-liners will bring out your inner kid.
PG; opens March 7
The gang returns with Muppets Most Wanted. The sequel to the popular 2011 film opens with the characters on a sold-out tour around Europe. But mayhem begins when Kermit’s doppelganger—and the world’s number-one criminal—appears.
PG; opens March 21
Action fans eagerly awaiting the next blockbuster can prepare with Transformers Prime: Ultimate Bumblebee. The DVD release features four exciting episodes about the brave and determined Autobot.
7 years+, $10
The DVD release of Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Big Help features three episodes focused on teaching children to help out whenever they can. Whether it’s Strawberry babysitting or Orange adopting a homesick tadpole, the girls learn that a little assistance can go a long way.
2 years+, $15
One of the highest-rated sports-game franchises is back with MLB 14 The Show. Realistic enhancements let users play faster than ever before, as well as save games to be carried over to future versions of The Show.
6 years+, $60 for PS3 and PS4, price not yet released for PS Vita
Mario lovers will want to check out Yoshi’s New Island
, the third installment in the popular franchise. Use Mega Eggdozers to mow down obstacles, destroy pipes and blocks, and reveal hidden doors. The new binocular ability lets players uncover hidden areas and improve their aim.
6 years+, $40 for 3DS
School-age kids can test their vocabulary skills with the WordGirl Superhero Training app, based on the PBS Kids TV series. Players choose a superhero name, customize an avatar, and complete mini game challenges involving logic, navigation, and memory to defeat the evil villains.
6 years+, $2 for iPad and Android
Learning the alphabet is a blast with Jamaroos Musical ABCs. There’s an animal and an instrument for each letter. When you put them together, it creates a fun medley of music and sounds that will help preschoolers develop reading skills. Bright colors and bold graphics make the app even more engaging.
2 years+, $3 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android
Pet Bingo makes learning basic math—including addition, multiplication, and geometry—a playful and fun experience. As kids solve problems and complete bingos, they earn virtual pets. Plus, a Report Card section lets Mom and Dad keep tabs on all the activities.
4 years+, $2 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android
Both kids and adults will get a kick out of Skee Ball Arcade, the only officially licensed game from the classic franchise. It’s all the fun of the original activity, without the need to spend your quarters or carry around a big bag of tickets. A variety of different challenges and power-ups keeps the activity fresh and exciting.
4 years+, free for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android
The Sesame Street
gang is here to help your little one build her vocabulary with Big Bird’s Words
. Using augmented reality technology, the app’s Word-o-Scope recognizes 1,500 food words through the device’s camera. As your kid hunts for certain items at home or in the grocery store, Big Bird offers trivia and encouragement.
3 years+, $1 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation
Add a Comment
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
By high school I became a real choir nerd. I had always been in music class, but after competing in a singing competition my junior year, it became a serious outlet. I was a bit on the shy side growing up, so singing in front of a crowd helped me break out of my shell in ways I never thought possible.
Once my parents realized my interest, they got me my very own karaoke machine to practice on. I’m telling you, I used that thing religiously every day, not just for voice lessons but also for my own amusement. Despite the fact that writing will always be my first love, there are still days I miss practicing those tunes.
Not to get too carried away with the power of a karaoke machine for a kid, but mine really did help me find more confidence in myself. That’s why I got super excited when I learned about the Singing Machine Home, the first Bluetooth speaker to turn into a karaoke machine. All you have to do is plug this baby into your TV and connect using Wi-Fi to access a platform of 8,000 plus HD karaoke videos. It also lets you create playlists, choose avatars for singers and share clips on social media.
This week, ONE lucky winner will have the chance to nab the Singing Machine Home for their family; that’s a $300 value! To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day March 10. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on March 11 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
Before you know it, you’ll have your own little star on your hands! Now, you can get your kid’s vocal chops going by having them sing along to this beloved tune.
Congrats to our winner Nina Lisk!
Add a Comment
Entertainment, fun, Giveaway, karaoke machine, Music, prize, singing, singing machine, sweepstakes | Categories:
Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Thinking of buying flowers or chocolates for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? Roses and bonbons are classics for good reason, but consider a more savory idea. Something you know your spouse really wants.
Yes, I’m talking about bacon.
Back in September I was the most popular girl in the office (and on my Facebook feed) after I received a bacon bouquet from Smithfield. At first glance it looked just like a bunch of long-stemmed roses. But after a closer look—and sniff—the flowers turned out to be little bundles of porky goodness.
Smithfield has kindly shared bouquet-making instructions with us. If you’re feeling crafty, this is one Valentine’s Day gift I suspect most husbands (and, heck, most wives) will swoon for.
Valenswine’s Day Bacon Bouquet
Makes 12 Roses
1 Package of Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
12 Rose Stems
1 Mini Muffin Pan
1 Drill with bit (1/8” suggested)
1 Broiler Pan
1 Glass Vase
STEP 1: Prepare your pan
Drill holes into the bottom of the mini muffin pan. These holes will allow the bacon drippings to drain while the bacon cooks. Place mini muffin pan on top of broiler pan.
STEP 2: Prepare your bacon rose buds
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Open pack of Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon and tightly roll the individual rose buds, one slice at a time.
Place all bacon rose buds into the mini muffin pan. Slightly push the bacon rose buds down for added support.
Place bacon rose buds, muffin pan, and broiler pan in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Check on the bacon rose buds occasionally.
STEP 3: Prepare your rose stems
While waiting for your bacon rose buds to cook, pull all roses off their stems.
Typical components of a faux flower include a rose stem, green leaves, a green cap, and petals. Discard all flower petals, and with only green components remaining, reassemble.
STEP 4: Assemble your bacon roses
When bacon rose buds are fully cooked, remove from oven and place on paper towel to cool.
Pick your best looking rose buds and carefully slide them onto the protruding stems.
Arrange roses in a glass vase to your liking.
STEP 5: Present & enjoy!
Share the deliciousness with someone you love.
Not in the mood for bacon? Find recipes for more traditional, no-pork-added treats.
For more family recipes delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter!
Add a Comment
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Here are some of our favorite new movies, apps, and more!
DVDs and TV
Walk on the wild side with The Jungle Book Diamond Edition. The beloved film is coming to Blu-ray for the first time February 11.
*What’s in it for you Grown-up fans won’t want to miss the bonus features: behind-the-scenes interviews, an alternate ending, and a “Bear-E-Oke” sing-along.
Rated G, $40
Teach your child about important social and life skills with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s Big Feelings and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Life’s Little Lessons. The PBS Kids series—which is inspired by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood—is coming to DVD for the first time. The little tiger attends many everyday activities such as going to school and visiting the doctor, but things never get boring when he utilizes his imagination. 2 years+, $13
Four popular films are returning to DVD on the My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection. Join the girls as they dance in the clouds, plan a party for friends, and deal with a dragon. 2 years+, $15
A young plane trains for a prestigious flight competition in Wings. In order to follow his dreams, he must remain determined and learn to become a hero. Rated G, $15
In Angelina Ballerina: On With the Show, Ms. Mimi loses her voice right before a big recital. But her performers get creative to keep the celebration going. 2 years+, $15
If your family loved The Lego Movie, continue the fun with The Lego Movie Videogame on February 28. Help Emmet save the world—with the help of some new friends, of course. 10 years+, price varies by platform for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS, PC, and Wii U
Gamers of all ages will love celebrating the Olympics with classic characters in Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Compete or work cooperatively in 24 exciting events including bobsleigh, skiing, figure skating, and snowboarding. 6 years+, $50 for Wii U
Football season may be over, but your little athlete can keep playing with Madden NFL 25. New technology allows gamers to have more control over moves and makes the physics seem more realistic. Plus, the brand-new Owner Mode lets your kid manage personnel, set prices, and build a new stadium. 6 years+, $60 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4
Experience The Little Mermaid like never before with Ariel’s Musical Surprise app. Your child can explore Ariel’s grotto, teach fish to sing, and even create her own music. Unlock even more games by purchasing select toys, like a light-up dress or musical-instrument set. 4 years+, free for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
Help little ones recognize faces with NameGames. Start by uploading pictures of family and friends and record your voice saying each name. Young kids can then play games that will help them learn the important people in their life. 8 months+, free for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android
Kids can learn geography with Travelzoo’s Map the World app. Players select from nine interactive maps including the 50 states, oceans, and seas around the globe. A narrator announces the name of each place, so little ones can learn correct pronunciation. And for those looking for a challenge, the timer monitors speed. 4 years+, free for iPad
Encourage healthy habits with a new app from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. I See the Animals Sleeping stresses the importance of getting enough rest, whether you’re a child or a critter. Explore different sleeping habits from around the world with a story, coloring pages, a puzzle, and quiz games. 3 years+, free for iPad and Android
Sofia the First: The Floating Palace takes readers underwater for a thrilling adventure. In the interactive story, our heroine befriends a mermaid and must help save her kingdom. After the story is over, your little one can create and record her own virtual puppet show. 4 years+, $5 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Gather up to four players around your device for some word-building fun with Sushi Scramble. Compete or work cooperatively to collect letters from sushi boats, and complete challenges—such as creating the highest valued word—to “serve” customers. 4 years+, $3 for iPad and Android
The Jungle Book image courtesy of Walt Disney
Add a Comment
app, digital, DVD, electronic, Entertainment, fun, movie, screen time, Television, TV, video game | Categories:
Monday, February 3rd, 2014
Did your family catch Free Birds when it was in theaters this past holiday season? The animated film tells the story of two turkeys traveling back in time to make some alterations to the original Thanksgiving menu (perfect for vegetarians!) Stars Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler all lend their voices to the zany comedy.
Now, the movie is coming to Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, February 4. Aspiring film buffs will get a kick out of the bonus features, which offer an in-depth look at the production process, including the animation and composing the score.
Get a peek behind the scenes with some of the filmmakers in this exclusive clip:
Check out our selection of electronics on Shop Parents.
Add a Comment
Monday, October 28th, 2013
If you’ve been on Facebook over the last few days, you may have noticed that your Newsfeed is now inundated with cartoon comic strips about your friends. At first, I thought my old college buddy had suddenly become very artistic, but as more and more people began posting the images, I started to wonder what the deal was.
It turns out that the images are from a Facebook mobile app called Bitstrips. It allows users to customize an avatar, choose a scene and then add text to the bottom. (Check out my first attempt on the right!) You can also select a Facebook friend (or your child, if she has an account) to appear in the scene with you. And of course, once you’re done, you can share on your social media accounts. New background images are added every day, so it’s no wonder my friends have been so busy lately.
Bitstrips actually launched on Facebook back in December 2012, but thanks to its recent releases of iPhone and Android apps, it is now seeing a massive surge in popularity. Currently, it is the top free app in the iTunes store, and when I first went to check it out, the site was unavailable due to “unprecedented user growth.” According to the official Twitter account, the team is working hard on fixing the program so it will be available on all platforms again. Still, the delays and crashes do not seem to be deterring users. (FYI, if you’re receiving error messages on the website, you may want to try the phone app instead, as it seems to still be running.)
Have you tried Bitstrips yet? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Add a Comment
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
It’s a sad truth that animated movies rarely focus on an entire family, but The Croods is working to fix that. If you missed it in theaters back in March, the film is about a family of cavemen (and women), who face change and search for a new home in prehistoric times. The fun feature—which is now available on DVD—stars the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.
We caught up with co-director (and father of two infant twins) Kirk DeMicco to get his take on kids’ movies:
Is there a particular message you want children to take away from the movie?
The characters are very pure of heart, especially the father, Grug. I felt like he was just afraid of anything happening to his family. It came from a very good place, even if to his children, it seems like he was wrong. The idea is that parents and children need to keep the lines of communication open.
How have families received The Croods?
It’s been really cool to watch our movie around the world. This is a story about a family and it transcends different cultures. There’s nothing outwardly American about it, so everyone could relate. In Italy, they’d say, “This must be an Italian family because the grandma is there.” And then the Spanish people would say, “This must be a Spanish family because the mother-in-law is there.” And so it was really interesting to see how many cultures took it on as their own, saying “Oh, that’s us.”
Your movie focuses on a whole family, but most animated kids’ movies only have one parent, if any. Why do you think this is the case?
We have a theory that there are often no moms because these movies are always about characters making giant mistakes, so they can learn a lesson in the end. The problem is, a mom would be like “Yeah, don’t run away.” And then the character would realize it was really stupid and then there would be no movie.
What are your favorite animated movies or TV shows?
As a kid, I loved the Charlie Brown episodes. I love how those stories never talked down to kids. They were just kids going through pretty profound situations and having big thoughts about life. Plus, the fact that the animation is not perfect makes it really charming. You see mistakes and it feels handmade, like you could see people working on it. Now, movies are so polished. It’s the little imperfections that bring charm sometimes.
We are excited to announce that Twentieth Century Fox is letting us give away a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of The Croods to five of our readers! To enter, just leave a comment on this post. You can comment once a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. You can also read the official rules. Goody luck!
Update: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winners: Nicole Amorosi Rollins, Bonnie Leigh, Carmen Van Deursen, Mary Singer and Dana Amorosi.
Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
Add a Comment
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Now that October is here, it’s time to get into the spooky spirit. But finding Halloween-related entertainment that’s not too scary for little ones can be tricky. The Smurfs: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow is a cute mini-movie involving the annual Smurfberry Hunt—and possibly a ghost or two. The film is rated G and features the voices of Hank Azaria, Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen and Anton Yelchin.
We are excited to announce that Sony is letting us give away a prize package—which includes the DVD and two Smurf figurines—to five of our readers! To enter, just leave a comment on this post. You can comment once a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, October, 9, 2013. You can also read the official rules. Goody luck!
Update: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winners: Amanda Pacurar, Evan Rollins, Livivua C. Chandler, Renee Madeline and Marla Wessland.
Add a Comment