Category: PTPA

Little Champion Reader 3-Level Reading Kit

Reading is one of the most important skills we can teach our children and also one of the hardest. We want to ensure they are challenged but that they are still having fun so that they do not become discouraged. There is nothing worse then a discouraged child when it comes to reading. You want them to know that reading is  important but also fun too!

The Little Champion Reader 3-Level reading kit has everything that you could possibly need to ensure a successful introduction into reading. The reading kit combines phonics, sight word memorization and whole language to help young readers get off to a great start. If you have looked into each technique they each have a wealth of advantages as well as disadvantages. The perfect part about this kit is that each one overlaps to ensure your child has the best opportunity to learn.

The kit comes in it’s own box that is easy to carry which is perfect because our eldest son wanted to help out his little brother (and siblings can be the best teachers!). It also keeps everything together so that nothing becomes lost or broken – and as a Mom to two boys this happens more often then not! The kit comes with three DVDs designed to introduce the learning session to your child at the beginning. The DVDs set up for your child what they will be learning without the pressure of being given a list of words to learn.

You then follow up those lessons from the DVD using a combination of phonics books and sight word cards. We love the books! They have beautiful, large and bright photos with an interesting story line. This is actually what sparked our eldest son’s interest to help his brother. The stories were just so funny and cute that he could not resist helping read them aloud!

If you are familiar with sight word cards (or even made your own like me) you know how easily they can be lost, ripped or ruined. These sight words cards are made from a thick material that will not easily rip and are thick and stable for little hands. I also love that they include a slide out picture to help children if they become stuck on a word.

The Little Champion Reader 3-Level reading kit is the perfect resource material to have in your home as your child begins their reading journey. It is easy to use, full of a variety of activities and extensive background research that went into the developing stage combine to bring you one of the best reading kits out there. It is also a PTPA award winner and definitely well deserved.

What did you use to help your child on their reading journey?

Continue Reading

Skinfix: Natural Skin Care for All Your Skin Needs

Do you suffer from dry skin? Eczema? Are you familiar with the Skinfix name?

Skinfix is a Canadian company who specializes in all natural balms for the entire family. The products are centuries old (they came over from England with family!) and are composed of wound healing botanicals and emollient protective oils. They provide instant relief while soothing and repairing skin affected by eczema, dermatitis, diaper rash, minor bedsores, adult incontinence rash, pressure ulcers and other common skin conditions. They can treat the acute flare ups but also chronic conditions.

Skinfix has four all natural balms: Body Repair Balm, Diaper Rash Balm, Gentle Eczema Balm, Rapid Repair Balm.

Their Body Repair Balm is used to treat dryness and irritation. Eczema and dermatitis flare ups tend to get worse in the cold weather. These conditions affect 1 in 5 adults!

The Diaper Rash Balm is used to treat irritated and raw skin from the constant exposure to wetness and irritants. The balm is formulated specifically to safely halt diaper rashes on the spot. Have to add in the diaper rash balm is nut free! Check out the graph below comparing the most popular brands of diaper rash creams. You can find the original graph here. The Diaper Rash Balm is also a PTPA Award winner!

The Gentle Eczema Balm is perfect for the red and itchy rashes that affect at least 20% of newborn babies. The balm is formulated for their delicate skin and helps reduce chronic flare ups. It is infused with oatmeal and is nut and soy free. Their Gentle Eczema Balm is also a PTPA Award winner!

The Rapid Repair balm helps to sooth and protect skin from wetness, friction and irritation. This balm is perfect for the everyday skin conditions. These skin conditions range from skin chafing, wetness in skin folds, minor burns, razor burns and post waxing.

My favourite features of Skinfix are the thick texture of the product which allows you to feel it working. Only a small amount is needed each time – a little truly goes a long way with these products. Since they do not contain water like moisturizers they last on the skin longer and less is required. It is all natural (such a bonus!) and no steroids.

Skinfix products are dermatologist tested, pediatrician tested, steroid free, fragrance free, gluten free, paraben free, phthalate free and BPA free packaging.You can purchase them online here.

Disclosure: I am a Skinfix Ambassador. I received no compensation for this post besides bringing a fantastic product to you! Clicking on the above links will take you to my affiliate page but I receive no compensation from this unless an order is placed.

Continue Reading

Medieval Times: Thrilling and Educational Entertainment #Giveaway

Brave knights, mystical horses, a strong and fair King and a beautiful Princess. This is what awaited us at the incredible Medieval Times in Toronto, Ontario.

When I was chosen to be a #MedievalTimes Brand Ambassador, I can not even begin to explain how excited I was! Anyone who knows me knows what a huge history buff I am! I love the Middle Ages so this was a dream come true for me – not to mention for my boys! All those moments of playing knights at home were about to come true!
Walking into the castle is like walking through a piece of history. Medieval Times goes that extra mile to make you feel like you have stepped through time and arrived at an eleventh century castle for a tournament and feast. After thirty years of experience (yup thirty years!) they have perfected the tournament!

Surrounded by history we were able to teach our boys about the Middle Ages in a fun way that had them craving for more. For the past week following the tournament we have researched on the internet and visited our local library for books on the Middle Ages.

Here are a few of our favourite highlights from the night:

See those lovely bowls above? I did not realize we weren’t going to be using cutlery and waited five minutes for a spoon while my boys laughed hysterically at me! They have since decided that we need bowls like this at home.

Our eldest son and my husband cheering on our victors! It was so cool to watch him take out his iPod and take as many pictures as possible for his school’s Brag and Drag talk on the Monday following the tournament!

This was our youngest favourite part! This beautiful bird was flying high above the crowds!

 Medieval Times runs weekday matinees (11AM and 1:30PM) for elementary aged students. This includes a thirty minute seminar, meet and greet with the birds of prey and demonstration. My youngest sister was able to participate in this when she was in elementary school and still brags about it to this day! You can find out more about their educational programs here.

Medieval Times and PTPA are proud to bring you a very special contest!

Medieval Times wants you to experience the magic and thrill of the Middle Ages for yourself and are hosting a giveaway that will see four winners win family pack tickets to Medieval Times! These tickets include both dinner and tournament! Pretty awesome right?!! You can enter via the Rafflecopter below! Good luck! This giveaway is only for tickets to the Medieval Times in Toronto, Ontario.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to follow Medieval Times on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with great promotions and information!

Disclosure: As a Brand Ambassador with PTPA and Medieval Times, I received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions expressed on this blog are my very own.

Continue Reading

A New Look for PTPA!

I am so proud to be a member of the PTPA blogaholics! This community of parents means so much to me. I found the Parent Tested Parent Approved Community while I was on maternity leave with my second son. Maternity leave was not easy on me – I felt so alone and isolated. It took us a long time to conceive our second child (not by choice!) so I was very anxious when it came to purchasing items for him or even just trying out new brands. Overall I was a mess of nerves!
PTPA became more than just a website to me. I was able to talk with other parents during their chats online which helped ease my loneliness and I was able to read fantastic reviews on products tested by other parents! Not to mention the fabulous blog posts that I still sit through and read through my morning coffee time.
PTPA has welcomed their new website specifically designed with you in mind!
The website is clear and easy to navigate. It still contains all the same great information and the products we love but the layout is a lot easier to follow.

Have you signed up to join the Parent Community yet? By signing up you will have the chance to test and review products before they ever make it to the winners circle. You have the chance to help out other parents! If you would like to sign up you can do so here.

To celebrate the new website, PTPA is having a fantastic twitter party on October 25th from 12pm to 2 pm. Make sure to RSVP so that you can be entered to win some great prizes.
Continue Reading

ESET: Protecting Families Online #ESETProtects

My family and their safety is so important. Their security means the world to me. As parents we are constantly striving to protect our children while giving them opportunities to learn and grow.
Every September we send our children off to school and they in turn return with homework, research and projects. There is no denying that we now live in a technological age where most of our work is centred around our computer and the Internet. The computer is the hub of our house! It stores memories, allows us to connect with family overseas as well as research topics and explore. That being said the Internet also brings with it dangers for our children (and ourselves if we are not careful!).

As a parent, I want my children to learn lessons in life for themselves and I want them to know that I trust the decisions that they make. We give them the tools and knowledge that they need to use the Internet safely but sometimes we all still need that extra bit of security and peace of mind! I am very excited to be working with ESET and PTPA over the next two months to bring to you the knowledge of online protection with ESET Smart Security 6.
 ESET Smart Security 6 is an award winning antivirus software that works to proactively protect your family online. ESET has over twenty years of experience engineering antivirus software that is highlighted in three main areas: proactive protection, peak performance and usability. They also rank number one with the most virus bulletin awards and advanced awards. As part of this program I was given access to the software to download on our home computer. Downloading the system was easy and painless (something that I was so grateful for!). The software also came with essential information and tools to safeguard my family while using the internet.
Do you know how to keep your children safe online? Or are you like me and know the basics but not quite sure where to start? The online and social media world can be very overwhelming sometimes and a guide is excellent as we face new parenting challenges with technology as it stands today. What I loved when reading through the information on their site was how ESET strives to share important information on how to protect our children online. ESET outlines five main areas to help protect our children online that are so important and sometimes overlooked in our busy days. You can find their detailed tips here.
  • Educate your children! This is very important and should be done before allowing your child access to computers, iPads and mobile phones. Our children should be educated in how to identify scams, malware and how to be aware of predators. You should spend time talking with your child and getting to know their patterns online. Let them know that they can come to you when something happens online that they feel uncomfortable with.
  • Educate ourselves. I’m not even going to pretend like my eldest son isn’t insanely smarter then me when it comes to computers! He is a little genius! I find myself now re-learning everything I can about social media and it’s platforms and the preferred websites for pre-teens and teens. ESET even has Cyber Security Education as part of their product.
  • Set those parental controls! They are there for a reason -use them! It is one further step we can take to ensure the safety of our children.
  • Block an entire category of website if you feel strongly against. It will save you a lot of time worrying whether or not your child has listened to you.
  • Set parental controls on your network. Go right to the source and block it from there.
Setting up parental controls has always made me nervous. There are so many topics and sites that you can and probably should control but when forced to think about them my mind draws a blank. ESET Smart Security 6 was incredible! Not only was the program easy to install but setting up parental controls was done in seconds. For each user on our desktop you typed in their age and the program broke down each age group and recommended content to control and block! You could pick and choose from these lists.

Pretty incredible right? And this is just touching the surface! Not only is the program an antivirus system but it also functions to:

  • Theft protection and location tracking – you can even block files and turn on the webcam remotely if your laptop is stolen
  • Powerful firewall to prevent hackers from accessing your computer.
  • Anti-phising to protect you from accessing fake websites.
  • Customizable settings and parental controls.
  • You can even extend your protection to Facebook!

 I am very impressed with my new ESET Smart Security 6 software and all the extra protection it extends to my family and I. Even more exciting is that not only has the program received many awards in the past it also has won the PTPA seal!

I am looking forward to sharing more information with you over the next two months as we dive into the world of online security – make sure to follow #ESETProtects for all the latest information!

Don’t forget you can also follow ESET on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure you check out their products for yourself online!

ESET is extending a 15% coupon for their Security Software for the next two months to all of you! Follow this link to take advantage of this great offer!

Disclosure: I received the product to review for this post but as always the opinions expressed are my own.

Continue Reading