Category: Products for Children

Starting the School Year Right with DK Readers #review

Reading is one of my favourite past times. It is also an essential skill that I want my children to master and feel comfortable with while still loving it. Sometimes children can become frustrated with their reading, not knowing a word, the material may not be something that they like or the book itself is too complicated.

DK readers are designed to allow readers to find their current reading level and gain confidence as they develop their reading skills. Readers will progress through simple to read sentences, simple words to more challenging story lines and vocabulary. The image below is the how their levels are determined as well as the corresponding descriptions of how each book is set up (vocabulary and sentences).

The books in this boutique range from historical to science to nature all the way to super heroes and Star Wars! With such a great selection your child will have plenty to chose from without being bored.

Our youngest chose Little Dolphin and Stars Wars A New Hope. Both of these books were a Level One and had short, simple sentences (although the names in Star Wars were a bit tougher for him to grasp). The illustrations were large and kept him entertained while we read the story together. The books are light weight and easy for him to hold. Our eldest got in on the fun and read the stories to his brother (made my heart melt watching them!).

DK Canada wants to help your child get back into the reading routine the right way and is offering a special deal in their DK Readers boutique – buy two and get one free! Make sure you head over there and get a look at their full collection.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned books free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Get Ready for Back to School With the Nokia Lumia 635 #NokiaBTS

Summer vacation is winding down and if you haven’t already done so it is time to start preparing our children for back to school. The new school year brings changes, meeting new people and for some of our children it will be their first time walking to and from school or even taking a city bus to high school. As a parent this is a terrifying moment for us – I swear I now know why my parents never wanted to let us go out alone! We want to be able to communicate with our children and let them have a security measure to be able to call for a pick up or assistance if needed. The problem? Tweens and teens can sometimes not be as careful with their electronics as we would hope they could be. Broken screens anyone?

Nokia has introduced the Nokia Lumia 635 a one of a kind smart phone in the affordable range that you will feel comfortable with purchasing for your tween or teen. How affordable you ask? You can pick up one for $0 down on some plans or purchase the phone itself for $199.  Despite the affordable price the phone does not look nor feel any different than any other smart phone out there. It still has a good solid feel while holding it in your hand as well as having full capabilities of any other smart phone.

Our son is slowly wanting to gain his independence and this was the perfect starter phone for him to help transition him to walking to a friend’s house, walking to the park and practice walking to and from school with his friends. He still had the confidence to walk alone or with his friends but knew that he was always one swipe away from being able to call us. Not to mention he fell in love with all of the apps and social media features he can use.

Nokia has developed several features that are unique to their line of phones. I wanted to share some of the ones that I felt your teen would love!

 Top Features for Tweens and Teens

  • Mix Radio App. This is probably one of the coolest apps I have ever seen. It comes already installed on the phone and is a FREE music playing radio app. Yup – FREE! That’s one perfect word to my ears especially since my son loves his music. You can even personalize your mix so that the app will recognize the type of music you like to listen to and play these songs.
  • Navigation App. I have the Nokia Lumia 1020 and became familiar with the navigation apps using that phone and it is a fantastic feature for those constantly on the go. The Nokia Lumia 635 has a built in GPS with no subscription or fees required to be able to use this. The three navigation apps are: Here Drive+, Here Maps and Here Transit. Your child can use the app to navigate routes home from after school activities, map out routes to their friends house and even check the local transit system! You can check out this app in motion here.
  • WiFi & Data Sense. Now this feature will be appreciated much more by the parents then their children but I had to highlight this feature. I have gone over my data plan only once and it was horrendous. An extra one hundred dollars in just data alone! With the Nokia Lumia 635 you can turn on WiFi sense so that it will automatically switch to WiFi while they are out and about or at school which helps prevent data overages. Your child can combine this with Data Sense – a feature that allows set limits on data usages, warnings when you are close to your limit as well as limiting data usage to WiFi only.
  • Social Media Apps. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – the essentials! All can be found on this phone and easy to use. With the large screen pictures can be viewed easily.
  • Customizable. The phone is easily customizable. Your child can change the display, accent colours, update the tiles, add more or less tiles as well as change the shell. We chose the bright green shell – flashy, bright and easy to find once he misplaces it!

 Nokia Lumia Specifications for the Techies!

  • Display screen is 4.5″
  • Touch screen technology
  • Dimensions: 129.5mm X 66.7mm
  • 222.1 ppi
  • USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows One Drive

The only drawback with this phone is no front camera. Now what does that mean for your child? It just means it is a little harder to take that selfie! Knowing this, Nokia developed a Glam Me app that helps guide the user to take their own selfie using the back camera. Once the timer is started it will beep to help you position the camera into the appropriate spot for that perfect selfie. Problem solved!

The Nokia Lumia 635 is the best and affordable starter phone out there. Our son fell in love with it’s easy to use features, bright display screen and mix radio.

What are your favourite features of the Nokia Lumia 635? What features do you look for in a phone for your child?

Disclosure: I am part of the Nokia BTS campaign and received product as well as compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Eyewitness Dinosaur @DKCanada #review

The iconic Eyewitness book series has been the most trusted non-fiction series in classrooms and in homes for 25 years! DK Canada has updated this popular series to paperback (a first in North America!) as well as adding new covers, improved layouts and a better ratio of text to photo. You can check out the full twelve updated Eyewitness Series books here on the DK Canada website.

My kids are huge dinosaur fans (as if you couldn’t tell from my other post here!). To be able to combine that love with learning is my number one goal as a parent. Eyewitness books are perfect for this! With clear and bold heading they highlight for our son what the page will be about. In Eyewitness Dinosaurs the images on each page are striking and in full colour making you feel as if they are really bringing the dinosaurs to life. With over 150 images this book kept him (and me) engaged for hours!

I read the book before giving it my son (I have to be honest with you, I love learning new things and this book was incredible for this). I spent an hour going through each page reading all the tidbit information and looking at the beautiful photographs. I learned so much (who knew they can classify dinosaurs into two groups and many had feathers?!). If we stumbled on anything we were not sure of there was a fantastic glossary at the end of the book. Together we were able to follow their evolution straight to extinction.

Right now DK Canada is offering 30% off the Eyewitness series (making the books only $7.69 CDN!). Make sure to check them out here.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Big Book of Things To Make from @DKCanada #review

Are your kids hitting the mid summer slump yet? You know the point where the idea of school being out has worn off and now they just want to do be doing more (anything more – science, physical activity and learning to name a few!) – mine are.

The Big Book of Things To Make from DK Canada has over 200 activities ranging from simple to a little bit more complicated to keep your child learning and having fun at the same time. Activites include simple science experiemnts, learning to juggle, building castles as well as outdoor activities. There is the perfect combination of physical activities and more sedentary activities to keep your child engaged.

We did several of the experiemnts already including making solar systems and soap monsters. We cooked, we were outside playing our favourite games (those ones that they always say they hate but now somehow they are super cool because they are in the book – yup those ones!), they practiced juggling (ouch!) and so much more. We have so much more to get through in this last month of the summer and can’t wait!

Feeling like you need some more summer time fun to keep the kids active and learning? Don’t forget to check out the Summer Fun Boutique running now over at DK Canada with 30% discounts!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Doodlepedia Dinosaurs with @DKCanada

It’s summer time and you want your kids to have fun but don’t want them to stop learning. Why not mix learning with fun? Try out Doodlepedia from DK Canada.

The newest edition to the Doodlepedia series features everyone’s favourite topic – Dinosaurs! Doodlepedia Dinosaur edition features 96 pages of fun including loads of different dinosaurs, plenty of activities with facts and as well as many opportunities to colour and create your own dinosaurs. The coolest part about this series? You colour right in the book. Pretty awesome right? How many times has your child wanted to colour (or gone ahead and coloured in) in a book – well now they can! Kids can jump in anywhere to colour as there is no real start to finish approach which is great for young children. Both of our boys loved the activities and the pictures that were featured.

The book is a great size (300x251mm) and the paper is thick enough that it wont rip but still easy to colour on. It was easy to bring to the pool, soccer field, car rides and so much more.

Check out Doodlepedia and more in the Summer Fun Boutique where you can currently receive 30% off!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned book free of charge. All opinions expressed are my own.

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