Category: gifts

Cross The Family Gift off Your List with Enchanted Forest Observation Puzzle

Cross The Family Gift off Your List with Enchanted Forest Observation Puzzle

Every Christmas holiday season, I begin the search for the perfect family gift (which I am sure so many of you do too). Every Friday night we try to have a family game night, it helps us unwind after a busy week and we can re-connect over friendly competition and team work. We get to hear about the kid’s week at school and we can tell them a little bit about our week. For an hour or two there is no thought about work, what needs to be done around the house or worry about driving to extra-curricular activities.

Not all family games are suited for bonding and unwinding. You need an activity that requires team work, encourages talking, has a goal and is not connected to an electronic (sorry for all you gamers!).

Cross The Family Gift off Your List with Enchanted Forest Observation Puzzle

The Observation Puzzle Enchanted Forest fits all these must have requirements and more. The Enchanted Forest has 100 puzzle pieces to put together as a family. Once the puzzle has been put together around the edges are images of items that you will need to find inside the puzzle.

Cross The Family Gift off Your List with Enchanted Forest Observation Puzzle

We had a lot of fun putting this puzzle together. While it is a 100 pieces, the puzzle pieces are on the medium size so that little hands can put the puzzle together with just enough difficulty to help them with their fine motor skills. The box includes a large poster of what the finished puzzle should look like which helps you fit the pieces  together.

Cross The Family Gift off Your List with Enchanted Forest Observation Puzzle

Once the puzzle was completed, your family can move onto the second challenge – find all the images on the outside white frame within the puzzle. Some of the images were easier to find while others really made you think. This was a great addition to this puzzle and added extra fun to this activity. You can even through some competition in this one – the person who finds the most items wins something special or gets to choose the family movie.

Cross The Family Gift off Your List with Enchanted Forest Observation Puzzle

You can find more information on the Observation Puzzle Enchanted Puzzle on iLo307. The puzzle can be purchased at specialty toy stores and select book stores across Canada. The puzzle sells for $19.99 CDN.

What is your favourite product to purchase for a family gift?

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Collect and Battle with the Awesome Little Green Men

My kids love to create battle scenes and whenever their cousins come over, our toy room becomes a huge battle ground. We have soldiers versus soldiers, soldiers versus superheros – anything is game!

Collect and Battle with the Awesome Little Green Men

Awesome Little Green Men bring a whole new take on your typical soldier figure. These small little figures are full of spunk and authority! These characters, both male AND female, are truly epic with fantastic features and even better names (Sgt. Major Attitude and Major Boo Book to name a few!).

Collect and Battle with the Awesome Little Green Men

Your child can create their own battles OR follow the super easy Battle Game Guide (which can also be found online). Each player picks their army so that each player has the same amount of power points, which can be found on the bottom of each soldier. They also require a small coin, large coin (which are included in the packs) and a “prized possession” – which can be anything but each player should have an equal sized possession that becomes the goal to capture. The smaller coin becomes the attacking slider and the larger coin the march slider.

Collect and Battle with the Awesome Little Green Men

Your child should set up either on the floor (no carpet!) or a long table in order to have a good-sized battle. The youngest player always goes first (this is actually in the rules not just our youngest making it up). Each player can use their march slider to advance their soldiers or their attack slider to hit an enemy soldier. They have to hit the enemy enough times to match their Hit Points in order to capture that soldier. The main mission is to capture the prize behind the soldiers but if your children are anything like mine they will love the marching and attacking just as much if not more. All the obstacles and bandaids that you will need for your attack are included in the package or you can print them online.

Collect and Battle with the Awesome Little Green Men

The boys even made up their own battles too which was pretty awesome and fun. They enjoyed battling just as much as they did playing and setting up their characters in their rooms. The characters are well designed and they loved showcasing and just carrying them around as is.

Check out this video showcasing these adorable and spunky characters:

You can purchase Awesome Little Green Men at Toys R Us, Amazon and Walmart. They are sold in starter packs of four, deluxe battle packs and blind box. The starter packs include 4 soldiers, 4 dog tags, 1 chain and a collector poster. The deluxe battle pack includes 8 soldiers, 8 dog tags, 2 chains and a collector poster.

Make sure to check out the Awesome Little Green Men website for more information, super cool videos and more!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Build, Battle and Learn STEM with HEXBUG!

HEXBUG

We all know how important education is – I am personally very fond of the sciences. I did my Bachelors in Kinesiology and many of my electives were in Biology and Chemistry. I want my boys to understand this same love I have for sciences and how much fun the sciences can be (how can you not love mixing chemicals for reactions or building up a car that moves?). When you can combine learning with fun in a toy, this is a definite win win for this parent!

This year, HEXBUG has released a whole new line of products that are perfect for children from three to their teens. These products will find your child building, using their imagination, battling and so much more.

Build, Battle and Learn STEM with HEXBUG!

The HEXBUG nano Space Discovery Centre allows your child to take their HEXBUG adventures to space and beyond. The set is very easy to build and put together. My son and I had it ready to go in under ten minutes flat. The set comes with two nanos, space suit, a rover and all the necessary pieces to make their space adventure come to life.

Build, Battle and Learn STEM with HEXBUG!

Our son had so much fun creating space battles and even added in extra nanos to race around the space centre. He used his larger HEXBUG as an alien that would attack the Space Discovery Centre and the smaller nanos would have to do everything they could to protect the centre and not allow the alien to take over.

Build, Battle and Learn STEM with HEXBUG!

The Space Discovery Centre provided hours of imaginative fun and can be found at many retailers, including Amazon, Chapters and Toys R Us. There is also a nano Space Cosmic Command and nano Space Zip Line in this product line that would go perfectly with this set.

Maybe you have a child that is a budding engineer? Then the VEX Robotics Tombstone by HEXBUG would be a great gift option for them.

Build, Battle and Learn STEM with HEXBUG!

This set will have your child putting together pieces to assemble their own VEX BattleBot. This set is definitely for the older child or a younger child with a lot of patience and a parent nearby to help them. The instructions are excellent (some of the best that I have ever seen) and also includes real size image of many of the smaller pieces so that you can compare each piece to the instructions during each stage (which really helps to ensure that you don’t get near the end and realize you used the wrong piece in step two). The BattleBot took us about two hours to put together, although to be fair we took a lot of breaks.

Build, Battle and Learn STEM with HEXBUG!

It was really fun to put together and the pieces snap together easily, although they are a bit trickier to pull apart. I found if you used one of the smaller pieces and pushed from the bottom the pieces would unsnap easily. Once the BattleBot was fully assembled, it looked incredible. We were both quite proud of the final product!

The VEX Robotics Tombstone can be purchased at Amazon and Toys R Us. You can also purchase the VEX Robotics Minotaur by HEXBUG to get into full battle mode.

What features do you look for when purchasing educational but fun products for your child?

Make sure to follow HEXBUG on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with all the newest products and more.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

Make Bedtime Easier with Charley the Chameleon

Make Bedtime Easier wtih Charley the Chameleon

Both of my boys are awful sleepers. They hate bedtime (you mean we have to stop playing??!) and definitely don’t like falling asleep alone. We have worked hard over the last couple of years to get them transitioning to sleep on their own but we still struggle, especially with our free-spirited youngest.

Our youngest loves the comfort of having someone beside him while he falls asleep. It gives him security and comfort knowing we are there beside him. We also know we have to encourage him to fall asleep on his own. We have tried pillows and a giant teddy bear (literally bigger than three feet tall) to trick him into sleeping on his own. It has not worked!

Make Bed Time Easier with Charley the Chameleon

Charley the Chameleon is a sweet, plush chameleon that helps children transition to bedtime while feeling secure and safe. Unlike the pillows and teddy bear that we had tried, Charley lights up and plays music for your child to help soothe and secure them. This really helps to battle those feelings of being alone and being scared of the dark. Charley the Chameleon, who is blue, has scales that light up in amber, blue and green. He also plays a rain forest tune (we thought it sounded kind of like Hawaiian music) and tropical tunes. He is about the size of a regular stuffed animal that a child would take to bed, about a foot long and half a foot wide. He is soft and cuddly, with no hard parts on his body (nothing worse than getting hit in the head in the middle of the night with a battery pack!).

Make Bed Time Easier with Charley the Chameleon

Our youngest was playing with Charley long before he laid down for bed and when it was time for bed he didn’t fight us as he hopped into bed. We asked him to try out Charley for a bit to see if it would help him and if he got too scared we would come lay down with him. Charley the Chameleon really helped calm his fears of the dark and of being alone. The first couple of nights we still came back in to help him fall asleep but each night he was able to stay alone just a bit longer with Charley. This in itself was an amazing bonus for us! We usually spend either the whole night in bed with him or back and forth through out the night (and both of us are left feeling like zombies come the morning).

Make Bedtime Easier wtih Charley the Chameleon

Charley from Cloud b is more than just a sleeping aid but a fun, cool companion that your child wont be afraid of carrying around during the day. His fun music and soothing lights help to draw your child away from thinking about being alone or the darkness in the room and instead focus on Charley (hey you may even find them talking to him!).

Make Bedtime Easier with Charley the Chameleon

You can find Charley the Chameleon at many retailers across Canada just in time for the holidays and he will cost you roughly $39.99, which is an excellent price to pay for some sleep. Make sure to follow Cloud b on Twitter and Facebook for more awesome products and news.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading

DIY Hand Print Keepsake

My children are growing so fast – every time I look at them it feels like they have grown another inch! We wanted to capture them in this moment and decided to make hand print keepsakes to display in our home. It was the perfect holiday craft for our family – quick and simple! The boys loved it because they were able to get their hands nice and dirty although trying to get them to not paint each other was fun!

You Will Need:

  • paint
  • paintbrush
  • canvas print (8×10)
  • 8×10 frame

Using the paint colour your child has chosen (our boys wanted blue so blue it was) I painted their right hands applying a good amount of pain so that their hand was quite saturated with the paint.

One at a time, I took their hand and gently placed it on the canvas print. I gently put pressure on their hands to ensure the hand print would take to the canvas. You may have to help your little one to lift their hand back off of the canvas without smudging the print.

Allow the painting to dry, ours took roughly three hours to dry. I then placed it inside the 8×10 frame and hung it by our front door. Visitors love looking at their hands and this would be a fantastic gift for Grandparents!

Continue Reading