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Friday, January 3rd, 2014
It’s a snow day here in New York City…super-rare for us, I can only remember my 11-year-old daughter having school called off a few times in her life. My kids ran right out to play, but it being 18 degrees, they didn’t last long. Now they’re inside and we’re looking at a three-day weekend that’s sure to include a lot of indoor time.
Even if you’re not one of the 100 million people the weather forecasters say were hit by Hercules, you may still be out of creative things to do with your kids if they’re indoors this winter. Here’s a roundup of some of our best ideas!
Our 50 Ways to Play story, part of our October’s special creativity issue, includes short ideas to challenge your kids. Ask, “can you lie down and then get up without using your arms?” “If I blindfold you, will you know what food you’re tasting?” or “Can you play ‘mirror’ and mirror all of your brother or sister’s movements?” Click on the link for 47 more fun ideas!
Is your preschooler learning to write letters? We’ve got beginning handwriting videos that you can watch together. They’ll help you be more confident as you teach your child to write at home. May as well practice today…if not on paper, then maybe in shaving cream.
If you feel like making something in the kitchen, these melting-snowman cookies feel appropriate! You can use refrigerated cookie dough to get to the fun decorating part fast.
Stuck inside with a baby who is not yet ready to be a sous-chef? We also have these 11 Fun Activities for When Winter Weather Traps You Indoors, aimed at little ones who have already burned through their usual toys by noon.
Finally, before you take the tree down, you might make one last ornament. These polar bear ornaments are adorable and will remind you, when you pull them out next December, of these crazy snow days!
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Friday, October 11th, 2013
With the hefty mix of apps and games available, it can be hard to determine what’s not only fun, but also appropriate for your child.
If you use LeapFrog products, they’re helping parents decipher the daunting world of gaming with their recently-released Parent’s Guide . From skill-building to privacy concerns, six key points help you decipher what to consider the next time you’re purchasing Leapfrog games or apps for young ones.
Another way to keep track of kids’ games, especially for the older crowd, is a free mobile app from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Search for titles by age rating and filter out apps that share personal information or location. You can also flag options that contain violence, strong language or other mature content. Check out how to navigate through the app below.
If you’re still at a loss, ESRB’s Resources for Parents offers even more websites to decode everything gaming for your son or daughter.
What ways do you check for fun and safe games and apps for your tyke? Do you try every app yourself? Ask other parents for their reccs? Share your strategies below and help other parents!
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apps, ESRB, ESRB app, Games, gaming, kids apps, kids games, LeapFrog, LeapFrog Insider Checklist | Categories:
Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun, Your Child
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
October is finally here! I wait for this month all year around. Our family’s annual pumpkin-picking trip is approaching, as are our haunted-house and corn-maze trips. We love our traditions. But after years of doing the same things, I wanted to try something new. So I brainstormed and asked around for unique Halloween traditions, and I couldn’t keep these ideas to myself. Here are the top 5 new Halloween traditions that my friends, family, and I have come up with:
1. Pumpkin Painting Party
Gather your crafty kids for an afternoon of pumpkin art. Mini pumpkins are perfect for little hands to paint, and your guests can take them home as favors.
Add a movie: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
2. Witches Brew Party
Give each of your culinary creators a bowl and the following ingredients to choose from:
Black Shoestring Licorice
Watch them create and name their own witches brew.
Add a movie: Matilda
3. Harry Potter Party
Have your guests come dressed as their favorite witch or wizard. Supply the following and help them decorate their own broomstick and wizard hat:
Pencils, Markers, Crayons
Add a movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
4. Scare Games
It’s not too cold for the outdoors yet! Get the kids outside for Monsters University inspired Scare Games. Adult referees can dress in costume, and the kids can compete in potato sack races, tug-o-war, and hula hoop contests. Award candy bag prizes to the winners, and end the day at home with a big pot of pumpkin soup.
Add a movie: Monsters Inc., or Monsters University after the October 29th DVD release date.
5. Spooky Sleepover
Get out your pumpkin pajamas for a halloween themed sleepover. Roast pumpkin seeds, make s’mores and swap scary stories deep into the night. Add to the fun with a Halloween craft like this adorable paper owl.
Add a movie: Monster House
For more Halloween ideas visit our 100 Days of Holidays page.
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Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Do your kids love Nick Jr.’s show Tickety Toc? My daughter does, and she added a Tallulah doll to her 2013 Christmas list right after opening all of her presents last year. The only problem is that there are no Tickety Toc products available in stores. Really. They don’t exist.
According to Ticktey Toc’s website, lots of parents have been requesting Tommy and Tallulah toys and our wishes are finally being answered. Tickety Toc products will become available in stores this September, which leaves Santa enough time to do his job.
What news could be better than that? This week we’re giving away a whole Tickety Toc product bundle to two lucky winners!
Leave a comment below, up to one a day, between now and September 4th for your chance to win a Tickety Toc prize pack that includes a Clockhouse Train Set, Talking Tommy Doll, Talking Tallulah Doll, Tickety Toc “Chime Time Adventures” DVD, Tickety Toc Floor Puzzle, Tickety Toc Matching Game, and a “Welcome to Tickety Town” Book. Each bundle is worth $118!
Here are the official rules. Goody Luck!
Congratulations to our winners Rachael L. Roberts and Renee Madeline!
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Book, dolls, DVD, Games, Giveaway, nick jr, prize, puzzle, sweepstakes, Tickety Toc, toys | Categories:
Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear
Thursday, July 11th, 2013
If you’re looking for a little portable entertainment for your child while traveling this summer or simply seeking a quiet activity out of the sun, I’ve got you covered with some of my favorite apps for kids ages four and up. Moderation is my motto when it comes to screen time. But let’s face it: Sometimes it can be nice to keep your little one occupied for a bit while you enjoy some much-needed downtime. (After all, I enjoy a little screen time just as much as my little ones do.)
It can feel impossible navigating your way through the endless sea of apps to find ones that are entertaining, educational, and suitable for your wee ones. Plus, those 99¢ apps add up, and, before you know it, you’ve spent a whole lot of money on not very much value. Here’s my round-up of favorite apps for preschool-age kids:
1. More Pie by Maverick Software allows little ones to make 30 varieties of pies with over 45 choices of toppings. If your child enjoys this app, check out the others in the series, such as the cupcake making or BBQ grilling app. $1 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
2. Team Umizoomi Math: Zoom into Numbers by Nickelodeon is great for building math skills like counting and number identification. $3 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
3. The Little Engine That Could by Once Upon an App is a fun starter app for any little train lover. Your child can choose to read the book by himself, or have the app read the story aloud to him. $4 for iPad and iPhone
4. Pip and Posy: Fun and Games by Nosy Crow features cute English accents as your child plays matching games and completes jigsaw puzzles with lovable characters. $3 for iPad and iPhone
5. What Does Not Belong by Brain-Go LLC builds vocabulary and classification skills which are essential for preparing your child for kindergarten. $2 for iPad and iPhone
6. Little Fox Music Box by Fox and Sheep is a fantastic interactive music app available in multiple languages for kids with over 100 interactive elements and sounds. $3 for iPad, iPhone, and Android
7. Koi Pond HD Lite by The Blimp Pilots is a calming, introductory app to get your wee ones used to using a touch screen. Enjoy seeing the water ripple and the Koi fish react as your child plays the game. $1 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
8. Dr. Panda’s Hospital by TribePlay Ltd. is perfect for little ones who love to role-play. In this app, your child can fix broken bones, ease stomachaches, and measure the blood pressure of furry patients. $2 for iPad, iPhone, and Android
9. Snackerdoodle by Maverick Software is a fun drawing app that allows your kid to use fruits and veggies to create their own pictures. Plus, it’s a fun way to start talking about healthy food choices with your child. $1 for iPad and iPhone
10. Zoo Train by Busy Bee Studios combines puzzles, music, and spelling games into one app filled with five fun activities featuring two kid favorites—trains and animals. $1 for iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Nook, Windows 8, and Android
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Friday, April 13th, 2012
It’s time to get your kids off the computers, Wiis, and cell phones and outside kicking soccer balls, swinging, and playing tag. Good old-fashioned outside play needs to make a comeback. On average, kids have eight hours less of outdoor playtime than their parents did. The folks behind CLIF Kid recognize the importance of outdoor play and are doing their part to help with their 2012 CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year program. “This contest tapped into something that kids need, which is inspiration to get outdoors,” said Jennifer Yun, CLIF Kid brand strategist.
Kids ages 6 to 12 are challenged to create a unique backyard game for the chance to win big. Six finalists will be flown to San Francisco in July 2012 to show off their new games with one being chosen for the grand prize: a $10,000 educational scholarship, Marin Bike’s kid’s bike, and a Bell kid’s bike helmet. The other five finalists will each receive a $1,000 educational scholarship along with the bike and helmet.
Here are the ground rules and instructions for entering: Each game must be able to be played outside with two or more players. Bonus points for game creators who use equipment such as balls, hula-hoops, and chairs. Some past game innovations include Hoop Ball, a rolling-target game; and Eagle’s Nest, a strategic tag game. “The contest focuses on not just getting the kids outdoors, but the positive benefits of nature long after,” said Richard Louv, best-selling author and Chief Outdoor Officer for the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year. Sign-ups end on June, 17, 2012, so be sure to tell your kiddos about the contest and fill out the application here.
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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
There’s no doubt PBS KIDS is great at entertaining and educating (“edutaining”) young children, and they are continuing to boost children’s development with (free!) new games, activities, and mobile apps at PBS KIDS Lab (www.pbskids.org/lab).
Launched at the end of last year, PBS KIDS Lab seeks to blend the latest technology with 50 games to encourage children’s math skills (numbers, counting, addition, subtraction). Games are related to popular PBS KIDS shows such as Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, Sid the Science Kid, etc., and further categorized by skills, age (3-5, 6-8), and device. Recently, a Spanish version of PBS Labs was launched (pbskids.org/lab/es), along with new resources and tools for teachers and parents to make learning fun inside and outside the classroom.
What I love best about PBS Labs are the mobile apps (pbskids.org/mobile) associated with some of the games, in particular Fetch! Lunch Rush with Ruff Ruffman. This unique game uses augmented reality, an extension of virtual reality, where objects in the real world (in this case, printout sheets) are recognized by the downloaded mobile app and integrated into the game. By downloading the app onto an iPad and placing it in front of the printout sheets, kids must figure out how much sushi to order for Ruff’s crew.
But you don’t need an iPhone or iPad to help your kids become math whizzes. PBS KIDS also offers these simple but fun ways to get kids to love numbers:
- When driving in the car, count the trees as you pass by.
- Call out street signs and identify their shapes.
- Count aloud the seconds it takes for a child to brush his/her teeth.
- Cook with the kids; count ingredients.
- Play grocery store with household items. Count out the change.
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activities, children's development, devleopment, education, Entertainment, Games, math, math skills, mobile app, mobile media, online activities, online games, pbs kids, pbs kids labs | Categories:
Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Your Child
Thursday, October 20th, 2011
Ready for a daring, underwater adventure? Dive into the deep with Discovery Kids Shark app for iPad. Inspired by the buzz worthy television program, Shark Week, the app educates kids, ages 5-9, on the ocean’s greatest predators through live-action video footage, photos and animated games—including a feeding game! Kids can learn about the different shark species, their feeding habits and where they live. Download from iTunes for $5 and collect virtual trading cards as you scroll through the underwater scenes to share with family and friends via e-mail.
Watch the demo!
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app, discovery, discovery kids, download, Games, iPad, Maryn Liles, ocean, sea, shark, shark app, shark week, underwater | Categories: