Posts Tagged ‘ video games ’

This Month’s Screen-Time Finds

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Here are some of our favorite new movies, games, and more!

Movies and DVD

In Rio 2, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and their kids leave Rio de Janeiro for an adventure in the Amazon rain forest. They soon discover that the jungle is under threat and that their nemesis, Nigel the cockatoo (Jemaine Clement, from Flight of the Conchords), is seeking revenge.
G; opens April 11

Embrace Earth Day with Disneynature’s newest wildlife documentary, Bears. Follow a mother and her two cubs for a year, as they emerge from hibernation and evade predators. G; opens April 18

Spring may be here, but there’s still time to enjoy Disney’s Frozen. The hit movie based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen” warmed hearts of all ages over the holidays. Now, Blu-ray bonus features include deleted scenes, music videos, and behind-the-scenes footage. PG; $45

Set sail on a magical journey with Sofia the First: The Floating PalaceWhen our heroine visits the mermaid kingdom, she soon becomes involved in an attempt to rescue her friend Oona. Luckily, Princess Ariel is on hand to help. 3 years+; $20

Jump into action with Power Rangers Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit, out on DVD. In their latest endeavor, the group of young superheroes from the popular Nickelodeon series works to earn new ultra powers. 7 years+; $15

Doc McStuffins: Mobile Clinic teaches that helping others is a delight. Doc and her dad have built a mobile clinic, and they’re now making house calls to fix toys in need—and singing some songs while they’re at it, of course. The DVD comes with a reusable tote bag too. 4 years+; $20

Sites

BatteryPOP is a new and free kids entertainment platform—and a safer alternative to YouTube. All of the videos are curated by Nickelodeon vets, so content is age-appropriate. Your kid will enjoy watching tutorials and sharing videos with friends.

Apps

Answer your kid’s toughest questions, such as why people speak different languages, with the Handy Answer Book for Kids (and Parents) app. Or click “Surprise Me” to learn new info. 4 years+; $2 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Make meals more fun for little ones with Yo Gabba Gabba! Party in My Tummy. The colorful characters encourage both healthy eating and trying new foods in this cute animated app. After feeding time is over, your child will need to help his friends clean up—and join them with a song and dance too.
3 years+; $2 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Young Luna visits her grandfather and learns all about his exciting job in The Cloud Factory, an interactive storybook. Help gather ingredients for the clouds by swiping and tapping the screen. The black-and-white illustrations and smooth accompanying music give the app a classic and inviting feel.
5 years+; $2 for iPad

If your preschooler is interested in cars, she will love Things That Go ~ Touch, Look, Listen. The visual dictionary features interactive 3D-style animation, cheerful narration, and bright photographs of more than 55 vehicles such as trucks, tractors, and trains. And if your kid is bilingual, you can also let them learn in French, German, Spanish, or Chinese. 2 years+; $2 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Anglophiles won’t want to miss Alph and Betty’s Topsy Turvy World, a charming storybook created by a development team that includes those who worked on the Harry Potter movies and Doctor Who. The tale follows an older British couple living in a house full of gadgets and inventions. Puzzles and mini games encourage letter recognition, rhymes, and alliteration. 3 years+; $3 for iPad

Video Games

Fans of the TV series will love Lego Legends of Chima OnlineCustomize your outpost and your armor, complete missions, and explore new environments. Plus, a variety of parental controls provide peace of mind for Mom and Dad. 7 years+; free for basic version, with membership options available for extra features, for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and PC

Get three games in one with Cut the Rope: Triple Treat. Help the green monster Om Nom fill up on candy by avoiding obstacles and collecting bonus stars. With  more than 650 levels to defeat, the challenges are exciting enough for adults, while still entertaining for young kids. 7 years+; $30 for 3DS

Help a little armadillo named Armillo travel through space while protecting the galaxy from Darkbots. Gamers roll and jump through different worlds, solve puzzles, and gather power-ups and orbs to gain more power. A variety of 2-D and 3-D graphics make the action even more interesting. 6 years+; $8

 

Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

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This Month’s Screen-Time Finds

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Need something to entertain your kids while the family is stuck indoors this winter? Here are some of our favorite new movies, apps, and more!

Movie Releases

A squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett) is banished from his park and must learn to survive in the city in The Nut Job. He stumbles upon Maury’s Nut Store, and wacky heist hijinks ensure.
*What’s in it for you Adults will get a kick out of stars such as Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, and Liam Neeson voicing the crazy critters.
PG; January 17

In The Lego Movie,  a case of mistaken identity takes Emmet (Chris Pratt) on a quest to defeat evil President Business (Will Ferrell) with the help of an old mystic (Morgan Freeman), tough girl Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), and Batman (Will Arnett again!).
*What’s in it for you This flick is a fun Lego experience for the family — sans cleanup!
PG; February 7

DVDs and TV

Big is turning 25! In his first Oscar-nominated performance, Tom Hanks stars as a 12-year-old who wakes up one morning to discover that he’s turned into an adult. The special anniversary edition offers plenty of bonus features including deleted clips, extended cuts, and behind-the-scenes footage. Rated PG, $20

Celebrate the season with Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Ice Skating Spectacular! Our heroine comes to the rescue of the Snow Princess and the Snowy Forest creatures when the Ice Witch steals their skates. The DVD comes with two other bonus episodes for extra fun. 3 years+, $15

Flint Lockwood’s infamous machine cause enough trouble the first time around, but in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, the mayhem has only just begun. Now, the device has started creating crazy food-animal hybrids such as Wild Scallions, Shrimpanzees, and the fearsome Tacodile Supreme. Rated PG, $31

Based on the beloved children’s book by Sam McBratney, Guess How Much I Love You: Hidden Treasure explores the world of Little Nutbrown Hare and his father. This debut DVD release features seven episodes of the Disney Junior series, in which the son learns important life lessons, like embracing others’ differences and the value of friendship. 3 years+, $13

All aboard the Dinosaur Train! PBS KIDS is airing a new hour-long special called “Nature Trackers Adventure Camp.” Watch the family of pteranodons participate in fun activities ilke rafting and ziplining as little ones learn all about paleontology and geography from the lovable characters.
3 years+; January 20

Apps

Educate on the go with Sesame Street Family Play, which offers more than 150 games organized by curriculum, location, character, and mood. Simply input where you are — such as at the grocery store or in the kitchen — and the app will suggest a learning activity that doesn’t require screen time to play, such as organizing food items by size. 3 years+, $1 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

Turn learning a language into a game with Quick Tap Spanish. Players gather around the device and race to match Spanish vocabulary words — in categories such as numbers, colors, and time — with the English translation. The app is also available for French, German, and Portuguese.
5 years+, free for iPad

Toddlers and preschoolers pick up knowledge while feeding their virtual pet with Sago Mini Pet Cafe. Games such as sorting treats and creating fruit smoothies teach about shapes, numbers, and colors. The critter animations are adorable and there are no in-app purchases, making this a great app for young children. 2 years+, $2 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

Fans of the PBS Kids’ series can join in the fun with Peg + Cat Big Gig. Your child can make music by solving simple addition and counting problems — hitting the correct answer plays the next note. Aspiring composers can create original songs as well in Sound Check mode. 3 years+, $2 for iPad and Android

Snuggle up in bed with Goodnight Mo and your little one. The e-book — which features pop-up-style illustrations — tells the tale of a friendly monster winding down and preparing for sleep. The soft music will have everyone yawning in no time. 15 months+, $3 for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Android

Video Games

Animal lovers can get up close and personal with Zoo Tycoon, available on Xbox for the first time. Design and manage the zoo, and take care of all the different species — and your customers too, of course. The game’s development team worked with experts to make sure everything is scientifically accurate, so kids can learn about the real environments and feeding habits while they play. 6 years+, $50 for Xbox 360

Explore the paper world of Tearaway. Gamers will meet a variety of friends and challenges while on a quest to deliver a special message. The technology of the PlayStation Vita allows players to actually see their fingers appear inside the game when they place them on the back touch panel.
6 years+, $40 for PS Vita

Get your groove on with Just Dance Kids 2014. For the first time, the hit franchise features original recordings of popular songs by artists such as Selena Gomez, One Direction, and The Wiggles. Younger children can develop their skills by moving to nursery rhymes and the Family Fun mode lets gamers play cooperatively. 6 years+, $30 for Xbox 360, Wii, and Wii U

 

Valentine's Day Treats: Waffle Heart Sandwiches
Valentine's Day Treats: Waffle Heart Sandwiches
Valentine's Day Treats: Waffle Heart Sandwiches

The Nut Job image courtesy of Open Road Films/Toonbox Entertainment

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Win a Disney Infinity Video Game Prize Package

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Every Disney buff loves reliving classic moments with their favorite characters from the screen. So it’s safe to say you’ve probably also wondered what it would be like if your beloved pals crossed paths outside the movies.

Launched this past summer, the Disney Infinity video game makes that dream a reality. Kids and their nostalgic parents can put iconic characters, like Sully and Captain Jack Sparrow, alongside each other in locales from films such as The Incredibles and Cars.

The figures work across multiple platforms, so whether you’re an Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo user, you can play at a friend’s house too. Plus, families will love the fact that the game encourages cooperation and teamwork (like using your character to pick up another and help them complete a mission). Kids can also get their creative juices flowing by downloading the free Disney Infinity: Toy Box app for PC or iPad, and using it to create their own worlds, which can later be shared across consoles.

Disney Interactive is offering an awesome prize package for ONE lucky gamer, including Disney Infinity along with its base, three Infinity figures and play sets, and a first power disc, which introduces extra powers or gadgets into the game. Plus, the winner will receive exclusive web codes to unlock content online and on mobile devices.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and December 23, and don’t forget to read the official rules. Be sure to check back on December 26 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!

Congrats to Angie Uribe!

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Win an Awesome Nintendo 2DS Prize Pack

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

As a mom, there are many reasons to appreciate the Nintendo DS and especially its newest incarnation, the Nintendo 2DS. Unlike gaming systems that hook up to your TV, this can be played quietly in any room of the house without involving the television or control paddles. You don’t need Wifi, either, unlike the iPad or iTouch. (Those don’t strictly need Wifi, I think it just seems like my kids always insist on being on the Wifi when they take out their Apple devices.) Finally, a DS battery lasts a long time, making it the best choice for travel. 

The 2DS is larger than previous versions and also seems easier for my kids to use, because the screen and controls are all on the same plane. It took them a minute to get used to the new format, but then they were off and running with their Mario games (seems to be a forever-favorite!). If you’re thinking of investing in a gaming system for the holidays, it helps that this is only $130, which is cheap compared to the usual alternatives. P.S., most old Nintendo cartridges and also Nintendo 3DS cartridges are compatible with this, so friends can bring over their games to share and they all should work.

Just in time for Christmas, Nintendo is offering TWO lucky winners the chance to nab a red Nintendo 2DS system plus two games: Super Mario Bros. 2 and Mario Kart 7. That’s $200 per prize pack!

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and December 16, and don’t forget to read the official rules. Be sure to check back on December 17 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!

Congrats to our winners Maria Wessland and Erika Ortlieb!

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Student Fires Police Officer’s Handgun On Northern Virginia School Bus
A student accidentally shot a police officer’s handgun on a Northern Virginia school bus on Monday. Four students were on the bus at the time, along with the police officer, the bus driver and a bus aide, and no one was hurt. (via Huffington Post)

Bed rest during pregnancy could worsen risk for premature birth, study shows
New research is raising fresh concern that an age-old treatment for troubled pregnancies – bed rest – doesn’t seem to prevent premature birth, and might even worsen that risk. (via Fox News)

Video Game to Help Kids Fight Cancer
Re-Mission 2 is a collection of six free online games–accessible via Web browser or Apple iPad–that share the theme of taking the fight to cancer. They do this by arming patients with a virtual arsenal of chemo, radiation and targeted cancer drug attacks designed to crush advancing malignant forces. (via Yahoo News)

Philadelphia doctor guilty of murdering infants in late-term abortions
A Philadelphia abortion doctor was found guilty on Monday of murdering three babies during late-term abortions at a clinic serving low-income women. (via Yahoo News)

Buena Vista School District Officially Closes For Year, Offers ‘Skills Camp’
For the 400 or so students in Buena Vista, Mich., school is over, even though the academic year isn’t supposed to end until the middle of June. Instead, they will likely attend “skills camp.” (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Chicago School Closings Provoke Parents’ Confusion, Anger
Nanette Fouch does not understand why her granddaughter may have to transfer from a Chicago elementary school earmarked to close partly because of poor academics to one where students scored even lower on a recent standardized test. (via Huffington Post)

Violent Video Games are a Risk Factor for Criminal Behavior and Aggression, New Evidence Shows
People are quick to point the finger or dismiss the effect of violent video games as a factor in criminal behavior. New evidence from Iowa State researchers demonstrates a link between video games and youth violence and delinquency. (via ScienceDaily)

A High School Where the Students are the Teachers
If high school students took charge of their education with limited supervision, would they learn? A Massachusetts school is finding out. (via TIME)

Study Clarifies Link Between Fertility Treatments and Neurological Problems in Kids
Children born from in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments have shown a higher risk of developmental problems, but what is responsible for the heightened risk? (via TIME)

Albany Moves to End Standoff in New York City Over Teachers Evaluations
Amid rising concerns about the promotion and consumption of energy drinks, researchers released new data Thursday suggesting energy drinks may negatively affect heart rhythm and blood pressure. (via The New York Times)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

The Rise of Tablets as Textbooks
Well before the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy was in full swing, students could read about the weather system that slammed the East Coast in their textbooks. Welcome to the new digital bookcase, where traditional ink-and-paper textbooks have given way to iPads and book bags are getting lighter. (via Huffington Post)

CPS Sex Education: Nation’s Third Largest District Extending Lessons to Kindergarteners (VIDEO)
Is five years old too young to begin receiving sex education lessons? Last week, Chicago Public Schools’ Board of Education approved expanding expanding sexual education in their schools as a means of addressing the high rates of gonorrhea and Chlamydia cases among the city’s teens, as well as a teen HIV rate that has risen 43 percent since 2000, DNAinfo Chicago reports. (via Huffington Post)

New Video Game Detects Vision Problems in Children
Technology is changing the way we view the world, and the American education system is no exception. With as many as one in four children living with undiagnosed vision disorders that may be affecting their performance in school, it’s more important than ever for kids to get screened early. (via Fox News)

New Allergy Guidelines Advises Giving Babies Peanuts Earlier
An article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal highlights a new approach to combating food allergies: Introducing allergenic foods like peanut butter and eggs to babies as young as 4 to 6 months old, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. (via Fox News)

Parents to Congress: Police No Solution to Mental Illness
Liza Long’s son first went into the juvenile justice system at 11. He’s mentally ill, but the woman who wrote the viral Internet essay “I am Adam Lanza’s mother” told Congress the police are often the only authorities who can help deal with violent, mentally ill children. (via NBC News)

Rate of Caesarean Deliveries Varies Widely Across U.S.
The rate of Caesarean deliveries, the most common operating-room procedure performed in the United States, varies drastically among hospitals across the country, a new study has found, ranging from 7 percent of all births at the hospital with the lowest share of Caesarean deliveries to 70 percent at the hospital with the highest rate. (via New York Times)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Transgender Mississippi Student ‘Leah’ Supported by High School While Students Protest 
Students at a Batesville, Miss. high school are protesting because they believe that a transgender classmate is receiving “special treatment.” As WLOX 13 reports, over 30 students at South Panola High School have vocalized their opposition to a transgender girl identified only as Leah, who has been allowed to wear female clothing. (via Huffington Post)

Zero Degrees? Time for Baby’s Outdoor Nap
American parents may think they’ve got the naptime drill down, ensuring that their infant is on her back with no loose covers or pillows, possibly in a sleep sack if it’s chilly. But Nordic parents add one element to the mix: fresh air, even in winter. (via Fox News)

BPA Exposure Linked to Asthma in Kids
The list of adverse health effects from BPA exposure continues to grow. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is commonly used to line food and beverage cans, and helps to keep plastics flexible, but studies suggest the compound can leach into the foods we eat. (via TIME)

No Clear Benefits for Kids’ Blood Pressure Checks
There’s no evidence that checking kids’ and teens’ blood pressure – and treating them if it’s high – can reduce their heart risks in adulthood, according to a new analysis. (via Reuters)

Eating Junk Food While Pregnant May Make Your Child a Junk Food Addict
Here’s another reason why a healthy diet during pregnancy is critical to the future health of your children: New research published in the March 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, suggests that pregnant mothers who consume junk food actually cause changes in the development of the opioid signaling pathway in the brains of their unborn children. (via Science Daily)

Action Video Games Boost Reading Skills of Children with Dyslexia Study Suggests
Much to the chagrin of parents who think their kids should spend less time playing video games and more time studying, time spent playing action video games can actually make dyslexic children read better. (via Science Daily)

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