Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nolan's best day ever!!

Nolan told me Sunday was his best day ever. Find out why here!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Big Star Reward Chart

I've been looking at reward charts for behavior modification and everyday life. I was chosen to test out a My Big Star Reward Chart which is geared towards little ones 12 months and older. It was perfect for Carter!!

Upon first seeing it, I like the simplicity. Carter is almost 2 so this is our first attempt at rewarding good behavior so I needed it to be something he'd understand and enjoy. It allows you to pick daily behaviors or chores they get rewarded with vibrant fun stickers as they complete. Some of our favorites included sharing and eating our food. Two things we work on. Too bad there isn't a "I practiced not screaming a million times today" sticker!! If your behavior isn't one of the pre-printed stickers there is room to make your own and write/draw it in.

It's not a miracle worker but it's a fun way to help little brother start to feel like a big boy and earn some rewards like brother. We plan to keep using it and see how it grows with him as he approaches his second birthday and beyond! If your little one is slightly older, they make great charts geared for the bigger kids too.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Best Beach Bag Ever!!

I have been scouring the internet looking for a cool beach bag. Friends carry large wagons and such but that is such a hassle to me. I want something that doesn't get full of sand and is organized enough to carry lots for each kiddo and for me! I found Saltwater Canvas on Amazon and thought this might be the perfect bag. They were awesome enough to send me a bag to review. It's everything I thought it would be.

The straps are thick (doubled polypropylene) and the entire bag is made form really sturdy and thick mesh that's still lightweight. I have a few scuba bags with similar construction but they are all made of a thing mesh that's more fabric like. This is much thicker and feels so much more sturdy. The whale bag is the one we have and it is 15" tall and machine washable and water safe.

Sorry for the stock photos!! I went to the beach and forgot my memory card!!

The pockets are all along the outside so they add to the size of the bag and don't detract from the inner area. There is a handy dandy clip perfect for securing your keys! We've been carrying this to the pool every time and were lucky enough to hit the beach with it too. I didn't stress about the super sandy toys being stuffed into the pockets as all the excess sand dropped through as we walked to our car.

If you have kids and frequent a pool or hit the beach this bag is a must have!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Little Programmers!

We are definitely a tech friendly family and my husband is a computer programmer/software developer. He's been coding since he was young and I imagine our boys will at least learn the basics at some point. When I saw the chance to try out Robot Turtles, I knew it was perfect. When it arrived I sent it straight to hubby to get his opinion.

The game helps encourage skills in kids ages 4 and up that build the fundamentals of programming. It started as a KickStarter project and is the most backed board game to date. I could definitely see why. Hubby had seen it advertised on his geek/tech forums and knew about it already. He dove right in and we started right away with out 4.5yr old. Nolan couldn't' get enough. He kept asking to play more and was getting everything. I don't know much about computer programming myself but I could see the skills when he'd put together a sequence of steps or when he would mess up and call out "bug". Nolan told us after playing it was his favorite game and he wanted to play it every day (which he has continued to ask for daily!).

I love that this game brought together father and son doing something more than counting cherries or basic memory play. They were both involved and it's great to see them gain hobbies and skills that they both enjoy. Interested in trying it out yourself? You can get your own copy on Amazon!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Treasure Trax treasure hunt!

You probably remember me posting about Nolan loving to play detective and treasure hunt here. When I saw the game Treasure Trax I jumped at the chance to try it out. Treasure Trax is an all in one treasure hunt scavenger hunt game for children from ages 3-5. It comes complete with location and clue cards you disperse as instructed to set up the game then sit back and watch the children search.

I set up a playdate with my moms group and we had 10 kids from ages 3-5 in attendance. We split the group up trying to make each team even and set up a different course for each group. The game starts with location cards that direct the children where to go. They are locations pretty much eery house has. Then there are clue cards there. these are letters and colors. So once you've sent the kiddos to the kitchen table they might find a clue card wit the color yellow. Standing where they are they can look around for something yellow. Under the yellow object they'll find a new location to continue on to and a "reward" card. The reward cards are pictures of various animals.

The kids had a blast playing the game and form their standpoint it was a hit. When the adults were worn out the kids were sad to stop playing. The game does require parent involvement as you set the entire thing up. It takes as long to set up as it does to play most times. I think in the future we'll skip the reward cards and hide actual tiny rewards along the way (stickers, suckers, animal toys) because the children were a little confused as to what was a reward. Since they found so many cards along the way a card with an animal didn't seem too different.

The clue cards direct the children to either colors or letters. The letter part can be tricky for those closer to 3 so a good age range is best.  For example, one of our clue cards ended up being the letter B on the kitchen table. We also placed a Bag on the table and under Bag (is for B) we hid the reward. The kids had to realize that the B card directed them to look under the Bag to find the next step. Overall I love the idea of the game. I wish there was a magic genie to set it up as I as pretty exhausted setting up and then walking through and helping them with each step. It's still much easier than starting from scratch with your own treasure hunt though!

 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.