Snort! Hog Wild stuff is Fun for Kids.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

When you order chinese food, do you use chopsticks? What's your favorite food of asian persuasion? Myself, I prefer sushi over pretty much anything else on earth. I adore the ones with avocado in it, crab, or that crunchy tempura and cream cheeze one...My daughter, only eats the noodles from the chinese food place, usually the ones in the chicken noodle soup. Up till now, I didn't know what to give her to eat her soup with... a fork? Spoon? Well, these little training chopsticks for kids make eating fun. Hog Wild Toys carries a plethera of fun and dynamic toys for kids. I found their site recently and couldn't stop browsing. Then I saw these little choppy sticks, aptly named Fish Sticks, Farm Sticks and Dino Sticks, and I just had to try them. Hog Wild is a super fun company, and I can't wait to try more stuff on their site, like Spyro Gyro activity book, Zoo pops, and Moo Mixer.

Go check out Hog Wild Toys yourself, then come back here and leave a comment, and 3 readers will get a pair of these cool chopsticks for kids. Make sure you tell me in your comment "What is your favorite thing to eat with your chopsticks, or, what your kids will likely eat with their chopsticks"... Sushi? Noodles? Maybe Peanut Butter and Jelly, or Hard Boiled Egg? What exactly CAN you eat with your Dino Sticks?

Contest ends September 15th. good luck!

Two years Without Her...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vicki died two years ago today and it still feel like it happened last month. She's missed so much. I feel so selfish sometimes. I feel like I miss her more than I should. But I can't help it.

Sorry for the downer. She was so amazing. Heres a vid I made on her anniversary last year.

Miss you, Vicki.

High Five is a Highlight of our Evenings!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Remember Highlights magazine? I remember always reading them in the pediatricians office while waiting to see the doctor. I loved Goofus and Gallant. My husband often quotes them... well, in a funny way, but, still the memories are there. Well, now, the editors of Highlights magazine has a new magazine geared specifically for the 2-6 set and we love it. The quality of the pages is uncanny. The colors are perfectly bright, the stories short and cute- it is really a great, great little magazine for your kids. The pages are super durable, printed on some sort of thick paper, the ink is also safe for little mouths... like Sagan's.

Highlights High Five is intended to be enjoyed by the child with an adult or older sibling, although there are features that many children will be able to enjoy again independently after they are introduced to them. Each issue features a high-quality mix of Highlights fun, such as read-aloud fiction stories—including stories that introduce the Spanish language - as well as age-appropriate crafts and cooking activities, poems, finger play, and rhymes. Based on widely accepted and well known theories of child development, Highlights High Five is designed to help stimulate children's social and emotional growth, their ability to reason and to think creatively, their physical well-being, and their acquisition of language skills. But your little ones won't even think about that technical stuff. This magazine quickly became a bedtime favorite in this house, and I highly reccomend it for kids. Check out High Five today and subscribe here.

Where the Heck ya Been?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sorry 'bout the lapse in posts, but we were on vacay for a few days at Great Wolf Lodge. You know, its that resort; that big, indoor waterpark you've heard about and you know your kids would love it there.... well, we just finally said well, what the heck, its only money, and we headed out to the one in the Poconos. I will write more about it later, because right now I am waterlogged, chorinated up to my eyeballs, and tired to the point of hallucinations, but MAN we all had a fantastic time. Best of all, it was 100% quality family time, and I think thats what it's all about. Just look at my happy kids, and I'll be back with reviews starting tomorrow! Night!

Kisse Girl products for our little ladies!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sophia is at a weird age right now, and I don't really know how to put my finger on it. Too old for baby things for sure, but also starting to get too old for pre-school things now, she tends to toggle between Barbie slash Polly Pocket things, while keeping one foot firmly planted in princess dress up. Now, there is the addition of a new love - make up, lotions, and lip gloss. Especially lip gloss and anything that is made to look like liquid glitter you apply to the body. My little girl is growing up and becoming more self aware, but also, she loves to sing along to Dora with her brother just as much as stealing my makeup.

There is a wonderful line of young girl bath and body products called Kisse Girl. We tried out the Pineapple flavored gift set and Sophia is hooked. I was really impressed with the gentle scent, the quality of their lip gloss ( complete with sparkles and cool brush applicator!) and their deliciously creamy body lotion. Their bubble bath and lip balm are also great. Most of all, after looking at their web site, I was moved by the message Kisse Girl's creator conveys to our young girls:

  • "Kisse Girl™ was created November of 2006. One year later, the product line was launched. I grew up with very little confidence and low self esteem. It took me years to overcome these issues. My sole mission is to provide girls with products designed to help them feel good about who they are. When you smell good, you feel good, when you feel good, you look good and that makes you a Kisse Girl! All of the products are made by me. The lip balm, lip gloss, dry oil spray, body splash, and the body icing are all made from scratch and do not contain any preservatives, harsh chemicals or petroleum which means they are all natural. I want every girl to know that no one can replace you. You are special and your existance matters. Nobody can walk in your shoes but you. BE YOU!"

Isn't that nice? Kisse Girl products come in a wide range of delicious flavors and offer such items as "The Athletic girl's bath soak", and "Skin Dessert" - that one looks like a Banana Parfait ( and probably smells like it too). Here's the best thing... the price for all natural products like this can't be beat as Christmas approaches. Hook your favorite little lady up with some really high quality skin products today at Kisse Girl.

Blog to Fight Diabetes - contest, check it OUT!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

As many of you know, Sophia's best pal Tyler who is 6, has Type 1 Diabetes. ( or as Soph used to say, "the dinabeanies"). One woman over at Soy is the new Black recently found out her daughter is also a Diabetic. Check out her blog to fight diabetes and win some fabulous prizes as well here.

  • She writes "My four-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This is a chronic condition that she unfortunately will deal with for the rest of her life. For more information about Type 1 Diabetes, visit the American Diabetic Association and the Juvenvile Diabetes Research Foundation International.Though this is a lifelong chronic condition, researchers are making great strides in both treatments and improving the lives of those with Type 1 diabetes. Fundraising efforts, such as the Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes, can raise substantial funds and make real changes in the lives of children and adults who struggle every day. Diabetes can be life threatening, but it doesn't have to be.Please show your support and help fund research by making a donation on behalf of my Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes campaign. Every single dollar adds up. Contributions can be made securely through ChipIn. 100% of your donation goes toward the Step Out Walk charity event.

So won't you check it out for Tyler and this little girl and thousands of kids all over the world, so we can help put an end to Juvenile Diabetes forever?

Review: Dropps makes Laundry Less Boring

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dropps are a cool and eco-friendly alternative to messy and gritty liquid and powder detergents. These handy pre measured paks are incredibly easy to use, and get your clothes super clean. While Dropps provides a powerful scrub for your duds, it isn't the harsh kind of cleaning found in other detergents. Instead, their kindly formula gets ferocious on the dirt, but is easygoing on your clothes. I found it to be perfect for Sagan's super dirty clothing and it got my towels very clean and left them smelling nice.

Best of all, at least for me, it is HE washer friendly. We got a great deal on a front loading LG washing machine a few months ago and it takes only the HE kind of soaps. Now, don't fall over and off your chair or anything, but - my husband does ALL the laundry in the house, and yes, usually, he is the one who folds it too. I have been known to throw a few loads in a month, like if the kids laundry is particularly foul or there is a crib poop out. So, technically, I had to ask Stu if he liked these, and he said they were fine. I loved how my towels felt after using Dropps. Stu's only complaint is that in the humidity of our basement washroom, the next day when he went to do laundry, the Dropps capsules were slightly tacky and stuck together. This probably could have been avoided had he remembered to shut the top of the bag better! Any hoo, I think Dropps are a great idea. Smart, economical ( if you do the math) and great for sensitive skin. And the best part is you can find Dropps at Walmart, Target, and their complete line, including buing them in bulk, can be found at Amazon.

Try some Dropps, and you won't go back to big sticky, leaky bottles of blue stuff ever again, I promise.

Giveaway: Land's End Back Packs are Synonymous with Back-To-School!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Have you seen the back to school line this year over at Lands End? Slammin. I didn't know what to do with myself over there, the sweaters and tights and shoes... oh my. They have the richest colors, great quality fabrics I can wash a million times and they never thread, and this year the clothes for little girls ( and boys of course) offers the cutest selection ever. However, before I go off on one of my Lands End tangents over here, I want to talk to you about their brilliant idea in back packs.

Land's End Class Matetm and Junior ClassMatetm back packs are not your regular packs. The Junior Back Pack is sized for smaller kids, 4-7, but trust me, it will still hold all their library books, school gear, workbooks, and projects as they return from school. Sophia and I stuffed hers full of books off her shelf, stuck all her pencils and marker boxes in it, practiced zipping and unzipping it, and gave hers quite a pounding to test it out. Results? I love this pack. The Classmate tm is for ages 7 and up and even has compartments for a CD/MP3 player and CDs.

ClassMate™ packs are doubly durable where it counts—the bottom. It happens all the time with some packs—halfway through the year the bottom blows out. Not so with ClassMate. Maybe that's because in addition to the extra-tough bottom, they double-stitch all seams for a long life. Comfort features include padded c-shaped shoulder straps that fit kids better, and a padded lumbar panel that cushions their back. The Junior Back Packs were ranked as "Best for ages four to seven" by Real Simple Family Fall 2007 magazine!
Head over to Land's End and check out these packs for yourself. Right now they are on sale, so hurry! Make sure you get the matching lunch sacks ( so cute in pink I can't even tell you) which are also on sale right now. And the grey area is reflective for safety. You can't go wrong with this pack.

Want one for your little scholar? Land's End has generously provided a gorgeous Red ClassMatetm for a back to school giveaway. If you are like me, you waited till the last minute to get your kid's their packs for school didn't you? Ok then enter this contest, because when school starts? The contest stops!

How to Win: Go over to Lands End and check out their entire site. This can include their packs, girls outfits, swim suits, jeans, pull overs, canvas totes, shoes, boy's things, etc. (You can also buy their products at Sears, did you know that?) Build a "wish list" of a few of your favorite products Lands End provides. Throw it in a comment...... and you are entered, Folks! The winner will be pulled on Sophia's first day of KINDERGARDEN - SEPTEMBER 3rd by random selection.Here's what ya' win! Good Luck!

Excuse me theres a Frogpod in Your Shower...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh Boon, you make the best stuff. Here we have innovative bath toy technology - in other words, a way to keep those bath toys from getting crumby, and at the same time, makes it easy for your kid to help you clean up the tub after bathtime. The Frogpod is a smart choice for any parent who a) bathes their kids regularly and b) doesn't like moldy bath toys all over their bathroom. If either of these descriptions fit you, then go and get yourself a Frogpod. the Frogpod provides a drainable scoop for collecting and rinsing toys and a wall-mounted base for storing bath products.

The Frog Pod attaches to the bathtub wall with one of three options: adhesive strips, suction cups, or screws. We opted for the adhesive method. At first I worried how I would get behind the frog and clean it, but it turns out the frog comes off the mounting and all thats left is a small green rectangle that it snaps onto. Easy to clean around. You just scoop up all the toys with the brim facing away from you, click it into the froggy base, and it drains right into the tub. Ingenious. It even has a little shelf on the top for baby shampoo and the like.

I found my bathtoys to go with it at Baby's R Us. You can too! Boon has a ton of great line of colorful, high quality, Mod baby and child products that are really quite unique. I visit their site all the time to see what's coming up next. I think I am drawn to Boon stuff because of the hip colors they use and their modern, almost European feel. Their feeding gear is also really great, I love their spoons and forks for little ones learning to eat.

Won't you give them a gander and tell your friends to look for Boon in their favorite local retailer?

Bad idea #244 - Banana Flavored Oreos

Monday, August 18, 2008

You know how bananas don't actually taste like banana "flavoring"? Like for example banana laffy taffy. Remember that stuff when we were kids? I mean it was yellow and it hinted of banana, but compared to the actual fruit you peel and eat, it wasn't very similar. Well, The folks over at Nabisco have done it again. Created something that not only has empty calories galore for your mid section, but a chemical replica of banana so intensley wrong, that it challenges your taste buds and your mind to a duel of who can cut and run first.

There are things that don't go together -Bacon and Chocolate. Orange juice and toothpaste. McCain and youth. Saddly, I have to add "Oreo filling and banana" to that list. Sorry Nabisco. The only thing worse than these would be Onion Oreos.

When you enter the grocery store and see these things on the end caps, try to avoid them. I mean, not just because they are yellow and taste like bananass, but because you don't wan to contribute monitarily to a company whose next cookie flavor just might be "Tabasco Oreos".

Greasy Faced Bean Boy says eh.... so so.

The MimoBots are coming! Squeeeeee!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One of my favorite things about having this blog is showing people something they have never seen before. It's quickly becoming the highlight of my week. So, Let me tell you about this great little deisgner USB drive I found called a Mimobot. Just LOOK at all the choices you have. Our personal favorites around here are Mimobots from the Star wars Collection. This little Ewok over here came in a little velvet tree carrying case and his face pokes out. I mean, its so ridiculously cute.

Cute may be the way to go, but these are still infact, a utility for your computer or laptop. These are 2 Gig flash drives, after all. I assure you if you have one of these little suckers plugged into your laptop the next time you hit the internet cafe' people will notice it.... and want to know where you got it. So make sure you send them over to Mimobots, because they have a HUGE selection to fit any mood. Check these out:
I have mad love for the galaxor, myself. They are made of durable matierials, are very affordable, and best of all, they are cute with a capital C. Go check out Mimobots today!

Bugalug - Stay-Put Hair Accessories for the Urban Girl

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Head bands and hairclips sometimes annoy me. Sophia has thick hair that is rather curly and nothing lasts in place more than a few minutes. Well, Finally the problem has been solved. These amazingly ingenius hair acccessories for little girls, babies and even tweens and teens will revolutionize the way you put pretty things on your head.
When I first heard Bugalugs were coming to me for review, I wondered how they were going to get a headband to stay in place on Soph...- Traction? Pins? Sticky tape? Its nothing like that actually. It's one of those simple, head thumping technologies that truely makes you say, "OH! Why didn't I think of that?" brilliant idea, Bugalug.

On top of these snazzy, mod head "ribbons" that stay in place, they also make some of the best hair clips I have seen, and believe me, we have ALOT of hair clips. Their design is fantastic, and they also stay in place in some magical way that I really appreciate them inventing. They also have other things like soothies and bib clips coming soon. All their fabrics are colorful and trendy, and the quality can't be beat.
So as school once again approaches, head over to Bugalug and pick up some slammin hair accessories to send your little girl to school in style.
Check out Bugalugs site here!

We Interupt this blog to bring you: a Husband on an Elephant

This weekend we headed over the state fair. Granted we got there a little late, and had to leave a little early due to a torrential rainstorm, but boy, we had fun. While I do not condone the use of elephants in a circus sitiuation, we did however contribute to the traveling zoo's bank account with an elephant ride for Stu and Sophia. Stu's leg immediately cramped and he was stuck on the back of the elephant with a grueling Charlie Horse.

The NJ State fair is a great family activity, and brings back so many memories of being a kid and going to the NY state Fair in Syracuse. I remember being young and thinking the "giant horse" and the "fun house" were the coolest things going. Who can resist barn after barn of chickens, cows and horses, and these gorgeous miniature Donkeys? I wanted to take one of these donkeys home SO BAD. Stu said we had no room for them. I say poo! We can make a lean too in the woods! And of course the food, funnel cake, zeppolis, gyros, skanky women in dirty flip flops and tattoos.... oh wait, I got a little ahead of myself there.

So as we were exiting the fair in the pouring rain, I ran across a booth, colorful and remeniscent of a pack of bubble gum, and purchased the following drink:

This is, apparently, Bubble Tea. For the first-timers, ordering a Bubble Tea can be an event. A confusing event, as your brain and your mouth can't figure out what on earth it is experiencing, The tea or, some sort of gummy candy. The unique ingredient of Bubble Tea is the tapioca pearl. About the size of pearls or small marbles, they have a consistency like gummy candy (soft and chewy). Being heavier than the drink they tend to always stay near the bottom of the glass. These drinks are usually served in large see-through plastic containers with an extra-wide straw to sip these jumbo pearls. Just sucking on the translucent straw creates a show, with pearls floating up in succession. I ordered the "Vanilla Chai" which tasted fine, until I got a mouth full of gummy balls that tasted like a cross between Molasses and coffee grounds. I read that children like to blow the balls out from the straw to shoot at targets or at each other.

Some people find the tapioca balls bizarre and repelling. I was somewhere in the middle.

"The Bubble Tea craze has been huge in Taiwan, and other parts of Southeast Asia for the last 15 years. In fact, Bubble Tea has taken Taiwan by storm over the past decade. The drink originally started as a childhood treat in Taiwan in the late 1980's at small tea stands in front of the schoolhouses. Teenagers and elementary school children looked forward to their after school tea. Tapioca pearls are made mostly from tapioca starch. Tapioca starch is starch made from tapioca or bitter-cassava plant, sometimes called manioca or yuca in some parts of the world. The bitter-cassava plant is native to South America and was introduced into Asia sometime during the 19th century. Someone came up with the idea of adding tapioca pearls as a bit of novelty, and the idea spread. This created a new fad of adding tapioca pearls into the children's favorite tea drinks. "

So now you have learned something new... that we love the state fair, and that there's a new drink craze out there that I didn't know about that will remind you of eating frogs eggs.

VIDEO REVIEW: Step 2 Goes Retro for Phenomenal 50s fun!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Can you imagine the squeals in my house when we received this fantastic toy from Step 2? I have a boy and a girl, and I was looking high and low for some gender neutral food-play toys to encourage my daughter and my son to play and work together, instead of always fighting. I have to look no farther, because the Step 2 50s Diner is that very toy. The 50s Diner is chock full of some of the most creatively designed play food items I have ever seen in a play kitchen, all neatly packaged in a cheerful, adorable diner situation with a throughly retro feel. I wanted to run out and get my daughter a poodle skirt. Heck, I still might.

Get a jump start on your big ticket Christmas shopping at Step 2 and see what other amazing new products they have lined up for us. They have many different styles of play kitchens to fit every family and yard size, bouncey houses, train tables, playgrounds, I mean, I could get lost over there looking at their selections. Each toy is expertly created by their very own design team, most of them with small children of their own, so they know what parents and children like when it comes to playtime. Durable, American made, and super affordable. That's what Step2 is all about.

Watch my review in high quality here, have a giggle, then head over to check out their other new products.

Want some Run around Fun Around? Animal Scramble.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Well, since I seemed to have overtaken the Hyper Dash game for myself, I was thrilled that there is yet another awesome shake and move target tagging game from Wild Planet called Animal Scramble. Animal Scramble is brand spankin new and is great fun for preschoolers to age 5.

Animal Scramble features an electronic hand-held tagger (sound familiar? Yes! It is like my favorite game Hyper Dash, thanks for asking!) shaped like a giraffe and four fist-sized friends (a monkey, parrot, tiger and elephant). The giraffe calls out which animals kids should run to and tag and tracks the amount of time taken to complete each course. In team mode, kids are instructed to pass the giraffe to other players as they work cooperatively to achieve their fastest time. The giraffe houses a microchip that uses Radio Frequency Identification to recognize the different animal targets, which can be set up side-by-side, or spread out across the length of a football field. Personally, I think it reminds me a little bit of a bar code scanner technology!

When the giraffe is placed over the correct animal, the circuit is complete and the players advance. As the game progresses, the commands become more challenging. In early levels, the giraffe calls out the first letter or full name of the animal to tag. Once kids master the names, the game adds in animal sounds, colors and characteristics. (Who says "roar!" "Who is orange?" "Who has stripes?")

As a side note, my kids SLAM that giraffe down on the animals and they hold up. The materials that this game is made of can stand up to a toddler and a preschooler slamming it around with out so much as a scuff. Good quality!

Animal Scramble requires physical exertion through running, bending, reaching and tagging movements that aid in the development of large and small muscle groups while improving coordination and motor skills. The sharing, listening and turn-taking aspects of the game practice positive social behaviors. Animal Scramble is just another fun, fast paced game that causes kids to giggle, run, think on their feet, and most of all, have fun.

Interested in getting in on the fun too? You can find Animal Scramble at many retail locations, or, order it here, from our friends at Wild Planet.

You can't accuse me of being a stiff....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Explaination: It was cold. Night fell early, the snow, blustery. I hadn't slept in a year because of Sagan. My house was trashed, my brain, fried. I watched too much Oobi over those cold winter months. This is the result. A side of Stacy not many see... and not many should.

This post will self destruct in 20 days.

Safe & Stylish Teething Jewelry For Mom And Baby...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dr Bloom's Chewable Jewels are a great idea. We don't have any teethers in this house, as Sagan has had all his teeth since before his first birthday ( yea, I know, he's a freak) but we do have a child in this house with some issues that cause him to want to put EVERYTHING in his mouth. Yup, that's right, Sagan is speech delayed and has oral motor issues, on top of some other things we will get into at a later date, but our number one concern right now is keeping him safe from his non stop desire to mouth things. One of the things we are working on now is showing him that certain things are "ok" to chew on, so he doesn't chew on things like, ya know, paper clips, electrical wires, wallpaper, etc... and these cheweable jewels are just the thing he needs to keep that mouth busy! I can imagine they would be perfect for teething babies too! And they come in the coolest colors.

Dr. Bloom, Inc. was founded in 2003 by female entrepreneurs, and loving mothers, Dr. Helen Bloom Smith (DMD), Joy Bloom Wright, and Mary Wheeler Settlemier. The company, Dr. Blooms's conceptualized and manufactured the original teething and nursing jewelry known today as Dr. Bloom’s Chewable Jewels ®. All products are made from FDA approved materials, phthalate, BPA, PVC free, lead and latex free, both waterproof and dishwasher-durable, and are officially endorsed by dentists nationwide. Today, the company is proud to be offering moms and babies everywhere a chance to be Safe & Stylish with over 50 different product options, colors, and packages. Personally, I am a huge fan of their bangles. Just layer them up and down your arm and let your little teething munchkin chew away. You don't have to worry they are getting lead, or chemicals in their system. It's a brilliant idea!
Feel like getting some of this unique and lively colored jewelry for yourself and your little chewer? ( teethers or mouthers alike!) Dont be shy! head over to Dr. Boom's Chewable Jewels today to order your own!

It's like the Baskin Robbins of Girls Clothing - maggie delaney

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Set aside a chunk of time when you visit maggie delaney's website, because it transforms you into the designer of your very own masterpeice.

Sophia loves zebras and zebra prints, so, that part, she picked. I love polka dotted anything. That touch is mine. And their "Lacey Candy Aqua" fabric, a big seller, is a delicious touch to any style dess. So, here you see Sophia in her custom made maggie delaney dress, and oh, what a dress it is. Fun to make. Fun to wear. Countless possibilities. Bright, high quality fabrics in many styles and colors, detailed edging, and a perfect fit. I am highly impressed with this site and this product.

Now a little bit about them. Just design a dress or design a skirt on their interactive online clothing design website, in three easy steps: 1. select a style. 2. choose your fabrics. 3. pick a size.
Your custom girl's dress is made in the United States and will be shipped to you in 2-3 weeks. With custom dress design and custom skirt design, you can coordinate maggie delaneys for family events or photographs. When you design a dress or design a skirt on their online clothing design website, you choose the style that best suits each girl and fabric combinations from funky to demure to match each girl's personality.

Other great options:

maggie delaney dresses are perfect for a baby girl gift, a birthday gift for a girl, or any special occasion. Not sure what to order? Choose a maggie delaney gift card and let the young girl in your life design a dress or skirt on our online clothing design website.
BUY DRESSES OR SKIRTS If you need the perfect girl's dress or skirt for a party, birthday, or family reunion right away, you can also order ready-made maggie delaney girls' dresses and skirts in our online store.
HAVE A DRESS DESIGN PARTY You can host a party in your home. Or find maggie delaney at upscale arts festivals. Create maggie delaney designs day or night at the maggie delaney interactive online clothing design website.

Stop by to create your dress today!

VIDEO Fun Idea - An easy Ball Pit for One!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Here at Sagan's Universe, we will be offering a plethora of videos to entertain and stimulate! Or, just to make fun of my kids.

Contest: Sagan's Universe Toy Favorite - Hyper Dash!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I have alot to say about this game, so, forgive me ahead of time for going on, and on. Sophia received this game as a birthday gift, and I immediately wrote the company I liked it so much. This may be, in a nutshell, one of the best games for kids I have ever had the pleasure of playing. I know - I am not a kid. But I have clocked more hours on this game than both of my kids. I even had one of my girlfriends over and SHE was addicted by the time she left. Yes, Hyper Dash is that good. You know when you find a gift for those endless birthday parties that is so unique, so fun... that you go out and buy 10 just so every kid you know will get one? Hyper Dash is one of those kind of games. Let me explain.
This game is designed to give kids a fresh and lively alternative to sedentary entertainment. The game is psychically and mentally engaging. It promotes listening, memory, math and coordination skills. I actually think we get an aerobic work out from this game... but all that goes by the way side, because its just so fun you forget its good for you!
Hyper Dash consists of one electronic tagger and five diffferent colored and numbered targets. The tagger ( that blue cone thingie you see there) Plays pre recorded music and calls out which targets you need to strike. It tracks the amount of time it takes to complete each course. The tagger uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to recognize the targets, which can be set up side by side, ( if you are lazy like me!) or, across the length of a football field! ( pant, pant, pant...) The farther the targets from each other... the more they excersize!
As you progress in the game, it becomes harder, and there are four levels. You hear the caller say " Double Strike... Yellow!" and you have to go WHAM WHAM! on the yellow target... then you hear "5 minus 2!" and you have to go find the "3" and smack that target. OMG... It is so much fun! We laugh so hard watching each other run around the house smacking targets. There are so many variations of this game, and the kids can make up their own little micro games, like hide and seek, etc. There is also a tag team option for team playing! I mean, its like organized chaos. It gets kids on their feet, even on rainy days, gets them expending energy, and best of all, having fun!
Also, just as a side note - my husband made a comment about the packaging of Hyper Dash. Don't you hate those mounds and mounds of plastic wrapping, little plastic ties, clips, string bindings... and worse of all the dreaded VACCUFORM! ( my husband's arch nemesis!) This game is NOT packaged like that. It comes in a simple recycled cardboard box... with a recycled fiber container inside holding the actual game. Thats it. Easy to open and incredibly environmentally friendly packaging! Don't think we didn't notice, Wild Planet!
I am now a huge fan of Wild Planet products for children and plan to review more. I firmly believe that these games and toys go one step further than most on the market to enhance childhood, both mentally and physically.
So... have I turned you on to Hyper Dash yet? No? Well, you are in luck, because our friends over at Wild Planet have sent us ONE copy of Hyper Dash to give away to one of our readers. Just leave a comment on this post after visiting Wild Planet and tell me which game seems to fit your families tastes the best! Contest ends August 25th!

Create-a-Tale is Fantastic Fun for a Five year Old!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I have to admit, when I first opened Create a Tale to review it, I wasn't all that impressed. Wait, wait, it gets better. Ok, so the graphics are not Disney. They don't claim to be. And the stories are so so. Ok - is this heading out to be a crappy review?Absolutely not. You see, I may not think this Create a Tale DVD is "da Bomb" but... is it for me? No... It's for Soph. And let me tell you, Sophia LOVES THIS DVD!!!!

Last night after Sagan went to bed I handed her the remote ( a must have to purchase this DVD, the stories will not work with out a DVD remote) and let her at it. You simply play the disc in any DVD player, and at different points, children decide which path the story will take. A new story is created every time! Designed for children ages 3-6, these interactive stories have been acclaimed by parents and teachers for educating children on fundamental reading and critical thinking skills.
Overall, this DVD is addictive. It has a low learning curve, so your little one can get started immediately. the 5 interactive stories have names like "Theres a Fly in my Soup", "The Monster Song" and "The Witches Stew". The controls are easy for my five year old to use. Its entertaining, creative, and funny. Sophia gives this DVD a 2 thumbs up. Im still leary of the production value, but it doesnt matter if your kid wants to play with this thing for an hour... perfect for rainy days!
It may look like it was producted in MS Paint, but I assure you that your kid will never know the difference. Kids love two things, playing with the remote and watching stuff on the TV... so this is a perfect combo! Go get your copy of Create-a-tale today at!