Fun Family Games with Yulu #Giveaway

Yulu Games

Is it just me or is the “family gaming” aisle in toy stores extremely overwhelming?! Jam packed with hundreds of different games, I literally pace back and forth looking at all the titles and then most the time I walk away empty handed and frustrated because I just can’t seem make a decision.

At one point I brought my 6 year old to the store to have him pick a game (I thought maybe it would be easier for him to choose) … BIG MISTAKE! He picked out a game he saw on one of the YouTube channels and after I couldn’t get it to work, I instantly regretted my decision (and the money I spent on it). You live and learn!

If you are like me and are overwhelmed in that aisle and just looking for a recommendation for some rainy day games, after-camp games, quiet time games or witching hour games, I have two fun one’s that my kids had a blast playing!

Safe Breaker
Safe Breaker Game
Object of the Game:  to break open the safe by cracking the code and breaking into the safe to collect the coins. Win by being the first to collect 5 coins or 3 diamond coins but make sure you don’t get caught by the police. 

How to Playlay out all the cards with the numbers facing up. Have one person pick the first card, turn the dial to the chosen number, next use the fingerprint scanner to test the number and if the light shows green the safe door will open and if the light shows red listen through the spy listening gear to hear a secret clue as to whether the code is higher or lower than the number chosen (there are sounds which prompt you). When you crack the code, the safe door will open and coins will spit out. Don’t be fooled though, sometimes you could break open the safe and there are no coins inside or you could get the alarm coin and you have to give back all your coins! Keep playing until 5 coins or 3 diamond coins have been collected. Careful though, if you hear a siren that means the police have been alerted and you lose a turn. 

Where to Buy: Toys R Us and Mastermind in Canada, Target and Walmart in the USA
Price: $30.00 CAD

Break Free

Object of the Game: be the first to pick the lock on your hand cuffs and break free of them!

How to Play: there are three maze levels to choose from (easy, intermediate and challenging). Put the chosen maze into the handcuff, attach the handcuff to all players wrist. Using the lock pick, players must try to get through the hidden maze by moving the lock left, right, up and down to release the handcuff and escape as quickly as possible. The winner gets a coloured token to match the colour maze they chose. There are points on the back of each token and the player with the most points at the end of the three rounds wins!

Break Free

Where to Buy: Toys R Us and Mastermind in Canada, Target and Walmart in the USA
Price: $25 CAD

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY
Thanks to our wonderful friends at Yulu, they are giving away both games to 1 lucky reader. The contest is open to both Canadian and US residents. Here’s how to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The New Hottest Toy on the Market

Thumb Chucks

Everyone is looking for the new hottest toy for their kids and Thumb Chucks has earned it’s spot on the shelves!

Test your skills and show them off learning how to control the roll. Now, this is not an easy task, but the more you practice the better you will get and well if your mini just can’t get the hang of it no worries … they are just a fun toy for the kids to play around with.

My big guy truly had no idea what to do with them when we opened the package (nor did I to be quite honest) but then we watched the Thumb Chucks video and he was really into trying to figure them out. I mean, I was pretty mesmerized by the video – it’s truly amazing the tricks people can do with these but this is no easy task! I have told my mini he needs to keep practicing and he will get better and better. He still hasnt got the full hang of it. I can tell you that my boys had a blast in their dark room swinging these around! They got such a kick out of them.

Fun Features:
– they glow in the dark using their montion-sensitive LEDs inside the balls
– small enough and lightweight enough the kids can keep them in their pockets
– endless trick combos
– there’s an app that kids can download that includes over 20 tutorials that teaches users amazing tricks
– (for the older kids) the app has an easy to use recording feature with built-in special effects to create cool videos
– post your kids (or your) mad thumb chuck skills on social media and hashtag #thumbchucks for a chance to be rewarded with custom belts
– colours: red, orange, green and blue
– you can switch out the balls so you have different colour combinations

Thumb Chucks2

Price: $10.00 (makes a really great loot bag)
Where to buy: Toys R Us, Walmart, Mastermind Toys and Amazon

Let’s see how you control the roll
T.
xo

 

Unwrap Hasbro’s Hottest Toys #HolidayToyList

HolidaytoyList

Furby Connect

Furby’s baaaaack and with a vengeance!!! Prior to getting the new Furby Connect to review, I was always curious about him. I mean how could you not, he is so damn cute and looks so lonely on the shelves sitting in that box (shame). When I heard that the new Furby Connect was one of Hasbro’s hot items for the 2016 Holidays, I was intrigued right away. I was sent one to test out and my kids went apeS^&T, in fact he started a huge fight with my kids because both my boys wanted to play with him at the same time (what’s new).

Furby Connect

Now for those of you who have had the previous Furby I can happily say that now he now has an off button (well sort of) it’s his sleep mask. Once you put that sleep mask onto Furby he immediately falls asleep. If you are wondering if he wakes up ever with the sleep mask on that is a NO, when that thing is on he is OFF!

We (including me) couldn’t get enough of him. He dances (he moves from side to side and his ears move around as well), he laughs, he farts, he burbs (I mean what more could you want from a toy) and talks to you (he has over 1000 phrases). The most interesting part of all is that you download the Furby Connect app and through Bluetooth your Furby toy and app communicate (FYI you have to pair them first – read the directions when you get it) and while you are playing the game Furby knows what is going on and helps you along the way providing you helpful hints). He has a real time clock causing Furby to react differently at different times of the day.

Furby Connect

My kids love that his eyes are full colour digital displays so when he has hearts in his eyes he is happy and when he is hungry and you feed him (you just stick your finger in his mouth) his eyes will show you what he is eating. It really is a blast and your kids will love it.

Where to Buy: Toys R Us
Current Price: $39.99

Dreamwork’s Trolls Glitterific Guy Diamond 

After seeing the movie, my kids are Troll obsessed which doesn’t surprise me considering when I was little I collected Trolls and funny enough a year ago (before we even knew about the movie) my mom brought them out for the boys to play with and loved them. Glitterific Guy Diamond is a 14″ poseable figure which is great for those little one’s who have a very active imagination. He is glittery from head to toe, comes with sunglasses and a comb to style his crazy hair. These Trolls have come a long way since my days!

Trolls Glitterific Guy Diamond

Where to Buy: Toys R Us
Price: $39.99

Now time time to run out and grab these and put smiles on your little one’s faces like you can see are on mine
Happy Holidays

T.
xo

Leap into the Holidays with LeapFrog #HolidayToyList

Leap Frog Toys

LeapFrog #1 fan right here, always have been, always will be! Now it’s time to leap into the Holiday toy buying with LeapFrog.

If you don’t know the LeapFrog brand (not sure there are many people out there that don’t know their brand) their products are educational, age appropriate, interactive and simply just fun.

My kids recently tested out 2 of the products, the Count Along Register and LeapStart Learning System and both were huge hits. The Count Along Register my youngest son went crazy over because for whatever reason he absolutely loves cash registers (I think it’s an age thing). The last two cash registers he got as gifts for his birthday didn’t last more than a few weeks (1 broke as it was thrown down a flight of stairs and the other, the cash drawer got stuck and wouldn’t close) so he was ecstatic to get this. As for my older son, he is in grade 1 now and is getting homework weekly which oddly enough he LOVES to do (that was a big shock for me) and when he saw the LeapStart Learning System, he was intrigued and immediately wanted to try it. Now we only had the demo book for it, but he thought it was pretty cool how you take the pointer and put it on a picture and it knows what you are pointing at by saying it out loud.

What I love about the Count Along Register
– I love the size of the register, it’s small enough for little fingers but big enough not to over power the little one’s
– there is a lot to touch and play with
– It comes with a bunch of coloured fruit, credit card and coins
– helps children learn their colours, teaches them how to count using the coins and learn about recognition with fruit
– has volume control
– sings songs to your little one that they can learn and sing along to
– great for imaginative role playing
– very reasonable priced at $26.99

LeapFrog Count Along Cash Register

What I love about the LeapStart Interactive Learning System
– they have two separate LeapStart systems for different age groups
– replayable activity books
– educational without them really knowing it is because they make it a fun kind of learning
– the activity books (sold separately) $14.99 include reading, math, vocabulary, science and many more (these are books for 1st graders) there are also books for Kindergarten
– retails for $49.99

Notes:
– the product does not come with batteries so make sure you have them on hand when your little one unwraps it
– I have not had the opportunity to try out the activity books beyond what it comes with, but I have already purchased some (waiting for them to come in the mail) as I know these will make learning just a little more fun and i’m excited to see how
– there is another interactive book for younger kids available

LeapFrog LeapStart

Where to Buy: Toys R Us, Amazon.ca and Well.ca

Happy Shopping
T.
xo

 

The Toy that will Make your Kids Laugh #HolidayToyList

Sing-A-Ma-Ling's

I was recently introduced to a new toy called Sing-A-Ma-Lings and when I mentioned these cute toys to a friend thinking they were new, she looked at me as if I was crazy for not knowing them!

I gave these funny looking yet totally adorable little things a go, handed them to my mini toy reviewer and let him decide if they were worthy enough of his time. Within 2 minutes of figuring them out, he was belly laughing because the Sing-A-Ma-Lings (we got 2 of them) were talking in their own funny language … TO EACH OTHER.  They communicate! He was so fascinated by them singing together that he tried to have them FaceTime to see if they can do the same thing over the phone

Sing-A-Ma-Ling Toy

I played around with them for a bit (during my mini’s nap time because there was no way I was laying a hand on them when he was up) and figured out there are three modes of play: Harmony (they harmonize together), Jibber Jabber (they talk in their funny language together) and Song (each one sings a word of a song together). Combine any of the 6 Sing-A-Ma-Lings and enjoy listening to them harmonize together.

This is definitely on my hot toy list for the holidays!

Sing-A-Ma-Lings

Where to Buy: Toys R Us
Price: $16.99

As if your mini can’t get enough of their Sing-A-Ma-Lings, you can catch them here on their Youtube channel

Happy Sing-A-Ma-Linging
T.
xo

Good Bye Tech and Back to the Basics with Good Ol’ Hasbro Family Gaming

Hasbro Games

I remember when I was a kid my mother always yelling GET OFF THE COMPUTER to either myself or one of my siblings and now fast forward 30 or so years and I sound like my mother yelling at my own kids GET OFF THE IPAD about a million times a day!!! Now, I am not 100% opposed to tablets, I think there are some great educational websites and apps, however being on that damn thing morning, noon and night is just ridiculous and to be quite honest was our reality (NOTE: my judgement here is strictly based on my own household and children and nobody else’s, I do not pass judgement on other families and I ask you do the same).  

My husband and I had a long talk after one of our family vacations and decided there were going to be limits with the iPad and by not following those limits, there would be repercussions. Now, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy as there would be a lot of fights, but we figured let’s replace the games they are playing on the iPad (some educational and some not – depending on the kid) with … well … games! We went to the store to buy 1 game (Monopoly Junior) to test and it worked!!! When my older guy saw the game, he immediately put down the iPad and wanted to play. Even my littlest guy wanted to dump the tech and join in the board game fun. He didn’t get it at all, but he loved the act and laughing with all of us (especially with Operation … full on belly laughs from both kids).

In case you didn’t know: Hasbro has created junior versions of our old school games (Scrabble, The Game of Life and Monopoly) which is just brilliant! With these junior versions, they made the games shorter, they changed some of the rules making it WAY more kid friendly and created cute characters that makes them excited to play the game. They have also taken some other old time favourites (Connect 4, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders) and made them smaller making them perfect for long airplane rides or airport waits.

Hasbro Board games

So now our evenings are full of good ol’ Hasbro family gaming instead of hours of tablet gaming so THANK YOU Hasbro and get your gaming on!

Some 0ther great Hasbro Games Include: Jenga, Clue, Sorry (this was my FAVORITE game when I was a kid), Trouble, Twister, Guess Who and Perfection

T. xo

The Next “Epic” Kids Tablet #LeapFrog

LeapFrog Epic

Dictionary.com defines the word Epic as “spectacular; very impressive; awesome” which perfectly describes why the new LeapFrog tablet is called the LeapFrog Epic.

So here’s how it all went down! I brought the LeapFrog Epic tablet home, I showed it to my oldest son to get him all excited about it and then realized I had to set it up (which didn’t take long) and charge it. So then this happened before bed …

LeapFrog Epic

After it charged, I spent the night navigating the LeapFrog Epic for myself and I have to say, I had a lot of fun with it. I found this great app that was pre-loaded onto it where you take a selfie with the tablet and then insert your face where the animals face is supposed to be (by the way, my little guy stumbled upon this picture the next day when he was playing with it and the laugh that came out of him was truly “epic”) making for one funny pic.

LeapFrog Epic

Even though the tablet is recommended for ages 3-9, for some reason I really didn’t think my oldest would be so into it … well was I wrong! The next morning after a full night of charging, the fighting over the tablet was CRAZY!!!! Both boys wanted to play with it so what was the best solution for them so I could stop playing referee? Play together boys or mama makes the tablet magically disappear and poof just like that, this happened …

LeapFrog Epic

Each of my little men have had solo turns playing with the LeapFrog Epic and with my younger one, he might be slightly too young for it (he’s 2), but he chooses the app he wants to play with from the main page and he just touches images and he is either navigated by a verbal prompt to do something else or he gets a response from what he has touched and then tries to touch more things (not bad for a 2 year old). My older son on the other hand navigated through it like had been using it for years.

LeapFrog Epic

What I love about the LeapFrog Epic:
There is a removable bumper (so far we have dropped the tablet about half a dozen times and it is still in 1 piece) though I am told that the tablet is very durable without it
-You can scale it up or down for difficulty or ease
-You have up to 3 accounts per tablet (I have set up an account for each of my kids) so it makes the kids feel like it’s their own
-20 apps are pre-installed
-It grows with the child
-No in app advertisements and no in app purchases (one of my favourite features)
-It doesn’t only test children it teaches children
– Can download over 1000 apps
– Parental Controls
– With parental controls, we can control the time they are playing (you can put on a timer)
– Can take pictures
– Expandable memory
– Under the parental controls you can search the internet
– Great apps to buy like Umizoomi, Paw Patrol, Doc McStuffins, Finding Nemo and other great names
– Real time weather
– Daily game with surprises
– 7″ tablet (has a great big screen)
– A virtual world that kids can create by adding characters, watch the night fall
– Android powered tablet (which means it has the latest technology)

I’m so overwhelmed by the amount of amazing features the LeapFrog Epic Tablet has and I would HIGHLY recommend this product for your kids, you (and the kids) won’t be disappointed. Add it to your holiday shopping list.

Where to Buy: Toys R Us
Price: $169.99
Happy Holidays
T.
xo

Tiny Love Dual Motion Developmental Mobile

Tiny Love

It’s common practice that after you find out you are pregnant you register … easy right? WRONG! It’s overwhelming enough sharing your body with this little creature and not knowing what is going on in there, not to mention figuring out what you have to buy for him/her and which are the trusted brands. Sure, it would be easy if there was only one brand for every product, but clearly that is not the case.

Tiny Love is just one of those brands you just know, whether it be a friend who has one of their products in their house, a blogger you follow loves the brand or your older sibling has passed along their hand-me-down.

With my first born, I was super anxious about the transition from bassinet to crib as I didn’t want him to feel alone and neglected (I know you moms understand), so when he was about 3 months I started putting him in his crib for a short period of time daily, turned on his Tiny Love mobile and just let him watch in amazement. He would just lie there kicking his legs and wouldn’t take his eyes off the mobile watching it go around and around listing to soft music (I remember at one point it almost put me to sleep it was so calming). I continued this for a month and when it was time for the big transition, I actually felt at peace with my decision knowing that he was comfortable there and that he had his mobile to keep him company.

The newest Tiny Love mobile to hit the market is the Tiny Love Dual Motion Developmental Mobile and it’s amazing (kind of makes me want another baby … for a minute).

Tiny Love Dual Motion Developmental Mobile

What I Love about the Tiny Love Developmental Mobile
– It’s Tiny Love what’s not to love
– The first mobile to have a hide-and-seek function where the animals disappear (well to them they disappear) and as the mobile turns it magically appears again
– Has cute little animal characters
– Was soooo easy to put together
– 15 different melodies
– 40 minutes of music
– Music includes: nature, lullaby, white sound and reggae (I love living in the 21st century)
– Just when you think the baby is done with the mobile, take it off the crib remove the arm and put it on the floor for your little one to play piano with
– Has a soothing moon and star nightlight
– Volume buttons

Where to Buy: Toys R Us
Price: $79.99

Sweet Dreams
T.
xo

 

 

It’s a Hasbro Kind of Holiday

Hasbro

As much as I dislike winter, I absolutely love the holidays! The decorations, the music, the family gatherings and of course for me, shopping for presents for my kids. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the huge smile on their faces when they open their gifts to find the newest, coolest toy. Now the problem is, which one’s to buy???

I had a chance to preview (and test) some of Hasbro’s newest toys (all ages) for the Holidays and I have to tell you, they were pretty amazing.

Here are my top picks for the Holiday’s

1. Furreal Friends – J.J the Jumpin Pug
By far, this toy is at the top of my list of “must-have” toys. I cant begin to tell you how much I love it, never mind my kids!! I originally brought it home for my younger son because he loves dogs, but as it turns out, my older son is playing with him just as much as my younger son! Wave your hand at him and he jumps up on his hind legs, barks and pants. If you want to calm him down, pet his hand and he sits back down. I have to tell you this toy pup has taken quite a beating as he has been thrown around and shockingly is still working perfectly (which is when I realized this is the closest we are going to get to a dog EVER). MSRP $49.99
*other toys in this category: Happy to see me Pets, Pets with Style, Lil’ Big Paws, Luvimals, Starlily my Magical Unicorn, Get up and Gogo My Walking Pup, Pom Pom My Baby Panda, Daisy Plays with me Kitty, Butterscotch My Walkin’ Pony

JJ Furreal Friend

2. Connect 4
What’s old is new again!! Who knew that something so simple could derive so much pleasure. I got this game for my older son as he is now at the stage where he wants to play games and we played it over and over and over. What I realized is that even though this is for older kids, the little guys can play with it too as it is great for dexterity getting the small chips into the slots. It kept my youngest son busy for at least 30 minutes emptying out the slots and filling them back up (comes in a mini travel version too). MSRP: $10.00
*other toys in this category: Monopoly Jr Frozen, Candy Land Disney Princess Edition, The Game of Life Junior, Monopoly Avengers Edition, The Game of Life Minions Edition, Trouble Minions Edition, Operation Minions Edition, Guess Who Extra Game, Scrabble Junior Game, 

Connect 4

3. Playskool Pop-Up Shape Sorter
With my first born (who was colicky might I add), I had a toy stuffed into my diaper bag or in my purse at any given time anticipating the massive meltdown while I was out. Who’s purse and diaper bag has the room for a big bulky toy??!!! Playskool has introduced a new line of toys which are great for moms who are always on-the-go. This adorable shape sorting kitty comes flat which is great for storage purposes and then pop it up to create a fun sorting game. Play – Stow – Go! MSRP $16.99
*other toys in this category: Stack ‘N Stow Cups, Roll ‘N Gears Car Toy, Wobble ‘N Go Friends, Pop-Up Rollin’ Ramp Toy, Dressy Kids Assortment, Fold ‘N Go Elephant Toy,

Playskool Pop-Up Shape Sorter

Playskook Pop up Shape sorter

4. Twister Moves Hip Hop Spots Game
What a fun game!!!! My kids (and I) had a blast playing even though we realized how terribly uncoordinated we are :) The game is rated for 8+ years but my 5 year old loved it and wasn’t too bad at it either. My 2 year old on the other hand … well let him have a turn because he giggled his way through his turn and made us all laugh. Play solo or with a friend and move to the beat by matching your feet to the flashing colours. Note to self: buy batteries for it! MSRP: $29.99
*other toys in this category: Twister Moves Hoop, Twister Moves Skip-It Game, Twister Moves Tracker

Twister Moves

5. Star Wars BladeBuilder Jedi Master Lightsaber
These toys are getting bigger and better than ever! When I saw this new Jedi Master Lightsaber, I thought I was in lightsaber heaven (I am a true kid at heart). Configure any way you want, make a new lightsaber every day with over 100 combinations. I didn’t have the kids test this one because the thought of having one of these in my house with two very rambunctious kids who like to constantly mount each other and play fight, sounds like … well you get it. MSRP: $49.99

Star Wars Jedi Master Lightsaber

6. Play All Day Elmo
The ultimate of all the Elmo’s on the market … bigger, smarter and funnier! If you are wondering what does he do, the question should be what doesn’t he do!!!! Unlike the rest of the Elmo’s, this Elmo grows with your child having stages of play (toddler and pre-school). Flip him upside down and he will tell you he is upside down, play pat-a-cake with him, put your face close to his and he will kiss you. Squeeze his nose and he plays games like red light, green light (guess what, he knows if your moving or not with his excelerometer) and Elmo says. He will engage with your child by asking what your little one’s favourite part of the day was. Put him into nap mode and he will play a lullaby and his voice will get softer and softer. He truly will be your little one’s best friend!!! MSRP: $79.99
*other toys in this category: Bath Time Elmo Plush, Sesame Street on the Go Friends, Elmo’s on the go Letters

Play All Day Elmo

Now the fun part … buying them, wrapping them and then passing them on to the kids.
Happy holidays to all (well almost)
T.
xo

Custom Growth Charts by Little Monkey Designs

Little Monkey DesignsI’ve never really thought twice about growth charts until I was at a friends house and his brother told me that when they were growing up their father would mark their height on a door frame every year on their birthdays so they could see how much they have grown throughout the years. When their parents decided to move houses, they found a way to extract that part of the door frame and bring it with them for fond memories. Something about this story just brought a big smile to my face as I had a vision of my boys showing their children their growth charts however I shortly then realized that I don’t have a growth chart (or door frame that I couldn’t mark up) and have missed out on years of tracking. Well, it’s never too late!

Lucky for me, I work with a wonderful company called Little Monkey Designs and they offer beautiful, custom made growth charts and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to start a new family tradition which is why I chose to put our last name on our chart (I chose the baseball locker theme) with my kids current ages this way it would be great for both kids and there would be no fighting. Since I decided to make it for both my boys, my plan was to put it on equal ground (no bedrooms) and instead the playroom seemed like the best place but my oldest freaked because we are changing up his room to be a sports room so right now that’s where it is and where it will stay until my little one is older.

Little Monkey Designs Growth Chart

Why I Love Little Monkey Designs Growth Chart
– The quality is amazing
– The charts are offered in two different materials: Canvas and Vinyl (I got the vinyl option)
– Love the vinyl since it’s easy to clean
– You can custom colour match which is great so you can match to your room colour
– Boy, girl and unisex image options
– Lots of fun theme’s/designs to choose from
– Comes with a ribbon strung through making it really easy to hang
– Good ol’ Canadian made

Want to win one??
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Thanks to our friends at Little Monkey Designs, they are giving away 1 Custom Vinyl Growth Chart ($60 value) to one lucky reader. The contest is open to Canadian residents only! Here is how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway