Tag Archives: gift guide

Sunday Funday: Getting To Know Ozobot

23 Nov

The past few days have given us a glimpse of what winter will be like.  I see many states blanketed in snow and the temperatures are ridiculously cold.  Finding engaging activities when stuck inside is challenging.  It’s easy to throw on sweats or pj’s and turn on the TV.  My girls love technology and they love drawing.  We were recently introduced to Ozobot, an interactive robot.  Ozobot teaches robotics and coding through fun, creative and social games. The perfect activity for cold, rainy or snowy days.

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How Ozobot works:

Turn on your Ozobot.  Let it calibrate and start playing.  Ozobot comes to life when you create mazes, tracks and playgrounds on paper, game boards and digital screens.  Ozobot follows a set of instructions by detecting color sequences you create. Once Ozobot recognizes the color sequences it flashes its light letting you know it read the code and continues to move.

There are several ways to play:

  • You can let your child explore or create different play grounds, mazes using different codes on the FREE OzobotDraw App.  There are two types of codes used.  Static codes which are short color segments and Flash codes which are rapidly changing combinations of colors.  You speed, direction, when to start and when to stop.  You can create your own or use pre-made mazes for Ozobot.

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  • Your child can create their own path using markers to create various codes found here.  Your child is in control and sets the boundaries as to where Ozobot goes, if it turns, speeds up, slows down, spins, and more.  They can make a small maze on an index card or a large maze on a piece of computer paper.  Learn how to draw and create codes in the Drawing Area.

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An example of a printable activity.  Image from Ozobot.com

An example of a printable activity. Image from Ozobot.com

Single box sets are available in crystal white or titanium black for $49.99.  Each set includes 1 Ozobot, 1 cover skin, game & instruction cards, 1 protective carrying case, 1 micro-usb cable for charging. Purchase a set here.  Also available at brookstone.com, momastore.org and amazon.com.

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Our thoughts:

My girls and I enjoyed getting to know Ozobot together.  They are still a little young so it’s taking us a little while to learn how to use Ozobot independently.  They enjoy helping me come up with instructions for their Ozobot, especially when we add the spin and zig-zag commands.  My oldest attempted to make her own mazes using markers because she LOVES to draw.  At first she made the codes too thick and long.   When she realized they weren’t working she made them a little smaller.  My husband saw her working on it and was so amazed that our six-year was learning how to code.  Our mazes are starting out simple but as we get to know Ozobot more we hope to make more complex activities and instructions for Ozobot to follow.  We think Ozobot would make an amazing gift for any boy or girls this Holiday season.

Ozobot is really cool and you can make your own patterns on paper.  My favorite activity was making my own maze on the paper with my markers and watching Ozobot follow. -My 6 year old

Wow, this is so cool! You have to tell my mom to get me this for Christmas! – My daughters 6-year-old friend who was over for a play date

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For more information, how-to-videos, games, and more visit www.ozobot.com.  Click to see Ozobot in action.

Disclaimer:  I received an Ozobot single pack for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics (not bolded) are from ozobot.com.  All images are mine unless otherwise noted.

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Harley’s Holiday In NYC (And A Gift Guide For Dogs)

9 Dec

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Meet Harley, the family dog!   He lives with my parents but my girls have claimed all ownership.  He’s their best friend.  My youngest is head over heels and gives him  tummy rubs, hugs, and kisses all day long.  My parents are in the process of moving so Harley will be spending the Holidays with us!  A 75 pound Old English Bulldog in a NYC apartment with two busy girls and lots to get into! Crazy, right?  But the girls are so excited and they even picked out some Holiday attire and gifts for Harley to have on Christmas morning! See their gift guide below:

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Harley’s Gift Guide from Petco and Unleashed by Petco:

HarleysGifts

Petco Holiday Spiffy Pals Fox Dog Toy, $9.99, What does the Fox Say?  I had to reference it, my girls LOVE the song.  Back in Virginia, Harley, got worked up by a fox in the neighborhood.  The girls thought this Holiday fox would be a funny gift for Harley!

Large KONG Goodie Bone Toy for Dogs, $17.99, Petco  Hide the treats in the bone and let the dog try to get the treat out.  A great way to keep Harley entertained and out of all the kid’s toys.

Petco Holiday Spiffy Pals Owl Blanket Dog Toy, $9.99  My youngest has a bunny blanket she loves.   She is so excited to give this owl to Harley because it is “just like her blankie”.

Petco Waste Bag Christmas Tree for Dogs, $14.99, Petco You can never have too many waste bags, especially in NYC.  One thing I cannot stand is when people leave dog waste in the middle of the sidewalk.  Pet waste bags are also great for baby diapers, I used them with both of my girls so they didn’t stink up the apartment! These bags are evergreen scented and fit most roll dispensers!

Petco Waste Bag Candy Cane for Dogs, $14.99, Petco Peppermint scented.

Kyjen Dog Games Tic Tac Twirl Dog Toy Puzzle, $17.99.  Harley is having a difficult time adjusting to the small apartment living.  He needs more activities to keep him busy.  Using eye-paw-mouth coordination and problem-solving skills, dogs learn to maneuver the doors to reach hidden treats.

Gift Card for a day at the salon, price varies on size of dog and service selected.  Who doesn’t love a spa day!  Harley will head to Petco for a nice Holiday bubble bath, nail trimming, toothbrushing, and more!

Chilly Dog Hand Knit Organic Wool Hoodie, $34.99, Unleashed by Petco  This sweater is adorable.  Harley got it a little early so he could walk the streets of New York in Holiday style.  He’s also not used to the cold so it keeps him nice and warm.  It was also used in our Holiday photo, posted on Instagram.

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Disclaimer:  I received a few sample products from Petco.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Images in gift guide are from  Petco and Unleashed by Petco.  Information in italics came from Petco.com

Holiday Gift Guide for Girls

26 Nov

My girls have worked on their wish list for some time now.  See their picks for this Holiday season below:

Madeline's Holiday Guide

Easy-Bake Oven, $54.99:  Recommended for ages 8+, however I think this gift might really be for me :). Read my story about Easy-Bake Oven here.

Ice Skates, $34.99 +shipping:  Since the Ice Rink at Brookfield Place started going up, my daughter has expressed great interest in learning and wants her own pair of skates.  I found Lake Placid adjustable skates on amazon.  Ideal, so she can use them next year as well!

Zeenie Dollz, $49.99: Each Zeenie Doll has a cause and passion for the environment. They are made with non-toxic and recyclable plastics.  A percentage of every sale will be donated to organizations working to preserve the environment and protect all animals and the places they call home. My daughter received Kazumi and loved learning about her cause; fighting to protect the polar regions and defend against global warning, so asked for more dollz to protect our earth.  Other dolls include:

  • Evee, Protector of the Skies and Defender against Pollution
  • Lina, Protector of the Rainforest and Defender against Deforestation
  • Sini, Protector of Farmland and Defender of Mistreated and Abused Animals
  • Yana, Protector of the Oceans and Defender of Marine Conservation
  • Zennia, also known as Mother Earth, is the protector of our planet

Flutterbye Flying Fairy, $34.99, temporary price cut at Target $27.99: Flower fairy brings love and beauty to all who fly her. Magically guide her through the air with the movement of your hand.  She launches easily from her charging base, and she twirls and dances for 5 minutes with a 25 minute charge.

Goldie Blox and the Parade Float, $19.99: GoldiBlox was created to help engage and continue to spark girls interest in science.  In this much-anticipated sequel, Goldie’s friends Ruby and Katinka compete in a princess pageant with the hopes of riding in the town parade. When Katinka loses the crown, Ruby and Goldie build something great together, teaching their friends that creativity and friendship are more important than any pageantIncludes a book series plus construction set introducing Ruby, Goldie’s best friend and princess-turned-engineer. Builds spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem-solving.  Comes equipped with 9 design ideas, a DIY project, and unlimited building possibilities. Compatible with all other GoldieBlox toys.

Personalized Glow Pet, $29.99 + 8.99 to personalize:  My daughter had a hard time adjusting to daylight savings.  It was hard for her to go to bed because she is scared of the dark.  She has a Dream Lite that she loves and gives just enough light and she counts the stars to help fall asleep.  We were shopping one afternoon and she saw a Glow Pet.  It’s softer to cuddle up with because it doesn’t have the hard plastic on top.  I saw that you are able to personalize them so they won’t get mixed up at sleepovers.

Zazoo Alarm Clock, $89.99 available at Babesta TriBeca:  My daughter has been asking for this alarm clock for quite some time.  It has many cool features: alarm clock, rotating digital photo frame, music & audio book capabilities, and naptime photo alarm setting.

UGG Australia, $120 :  As the weather gets colder and she sees her friends wear their UGGS, she decided she needed to add them to her list.  She said she wants a pair that sparkle and shine.  I love the purple Bailey Bow Lizard for her.

Pelas Holiday Guide

FuzzyNation Stella Pug, $85.99:  The picture says it all.  There is nothing my little one loves more than accessories that sparkle and dogs.  I can’t remember when my daughter discovered this dog at Koh’s Kids in TriBeCa but every time we walk past, she has to stop to see Stella displayed in the window.  I finally stopped to find out who designed it and found out it was FuzzyNation, bringing the pets we love to fashion.

Disney Talking Sofia the First and Friends, $39.95 at Barnes & Noble:  We watch Sofia the First at home often.  We have dress-up clothes , play sets and books so it’s no surprise she chose this for the Holidays.  The talking Sofia doll has over 30 phrases to share with her friends: Clover the Rabbit, Mia the Bluebird and Robin the Robin.  When her animal friends come close to her, her amulet will light up and they will talk to each other.  So cool!

Disney’s Frozen Pajama’s, $24.95: We went to a preview with the MOMS but had to leave because my oldest wasn’t feeling well and got scared in the beginning.  My youngest loved what she saw and definitely wants to go see it again when it comes out November 27.  Since seeing a little of the movie, she has asked for Frozen Pajama’s.  She will love the skirt that goes with the set from the Disney Store.

LEGO Duplo Neverland Hideout, $24.99 on YoYo.com: We love to spend afternoons building on the floor.  Although, all items on the list look extremely girls, Pela is obsessed with Disneys Jake and the Never Land Pirates.  She has asked for this set with Izzy and Cubby so she can build their hideout!

Kid O A to Z Magnatab, $21.39 on Amazon:  Wanting to learn to write like her older sister, the Magnatab will help her learn to write letters and hold a writing instrument.

Our Generation 18 ” Holiday Doll with Wrap, $22.00 at Target:  Along with accessorizing, my daughter LOVES her dolls.  When I’m folding laundry or  doing dishes I sneak up to find her laying in bed talking to her dolls or pushing her doll around while carrying her purse (playing mom).  The Our Generation Dolls are $80 less than American Girl dolls.  My oldest received one and of course Pela asked for one too.  I love the Holiday edition doll!

Our Generation Doll & Me Fashion Set, $29.99 at Target: Both my girls love dressing like their doll.  I had no idea Target sold Doll and Me clothes until recently.  My oldest received the pink skirt and grey sweater set.  The quality is nice, it’s is adorable, and it’s a great price.  Another matching set will definitely under our tree for Pela.

Crewcuts  by J. Crew Girls Glitter Bow Ballet Flats, $69.00:  My fashonista loves dress shoes.  She refuses to wear anything else.  She fell in love with the Gold Glitter Ballet Flats at Crewcuts.

Happy Wrapping this  Holiday Season!

Disclaimer:  I received samples of some of the products featured.  All opinions expressed are my own.  All links direct you to a site you can purchase the product from.  All photos and information in italics came from the linked sites.

“Let’s Get Cooking” Pretend Play Gift Guide from YoYo.com

23 Nov

As the days get colder and we get cramped inside, it’s easy to turn on the TV or electronics to keep little ones entertained (at least it is for me).  It’s extremely important to keep our kids imaginations going and encourage them to use their imagination.  One of our favorite activities is the girls pretend they are chefs at a fancy restaurant and they take my order and make me food in their kitchen.  Their kitchen (featured in the gift guide) could use more pretend food and accessories to keep their imagination going.  Here are some of my favorites from YoYo.com:

yoyo.com gift guide

KIDKRAFT MODERN CORNER KITCHEN W/STOOLS – ESPRESSO, $225: Your child will love waking up to this YoYo.com exclusive KidKraft Espresso Kitchen. Whether baking some cookies or preparing a holiday meal,this kitchen will let your child’s imagination run free.  The two stools and extended countertop make it perfect for a tea party! If you live in a small place, it’s sleek modern look will still look great in a living room or dining area. If you plan on putting this kitchen together the night before, put the kids to bed early because it takes a while to assemble.
KIDKRAFT PASTEL SMOOTHIE SET, $24.57: We love smoothies! Kids can pretend to make smoothies in their kitchen for siblings or friends.  The knob on the blender turns. There are 6 fruit halves that are attached by Velcro and can be pulled apart easily.

HABA BIOFINO PANCAKES, $28.49: Kids can pretend to make pancakes for breakfast.  Included in the set is an aluminum skillet, chocolate sauce and a strawberry garnish to make “breakfast” extra special.

KIDKRAFT ESPRESSO TOASTER SET, $25.99: The interactive set includes a pop-up toaster, a stick of butter that can easily be pulled into smaller pieces and then put back together, 2 slices of pretend bread, a butter plate, and a butter knife.

KIDKRAFT ESPRESSO BAKING SET, $25.99: Get your little chef baking, cookies, cakes, and other pretend creations. Includes a rolling-pin that rolls back and forth, a cooking pan, a measuring spoon, and 2 chocolate chip cookies.

MELISSA & DOUG TRIPLE-LAYER PARTY CAKE, $19.99: Mix up this layer cake in the baking set for a surprise party for a friend or parent.  Each slice has a self-stick tab so the wooden pieces stick together.  A wooden knife is also included to slice the cake into pieces.

SCHYLLING CUPCAKE TIN TEA SET, $19.99: Adorable cupcake tea set.  Have a tea party after baking the layer cake in your kitchen.  Set consists of four teacups and saucers, four serving plates, tea-pot and serving tray.

Find fun toys and more this Holiday without stepping into a store at YoYo.com. All gifts are delivered to your door with free 2-day delivery (or faster) on orders over $49. Other sites include: BeautyBar.com, Casa.com, AfterSchool.com, BookWorm.com, Look.com, Wag.com, soap.com, and Vine.com

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Happy Shopping (& Cooking)!

Disclaimer:  I received a sample kitchen to review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Some information about the products came from YoYo.com  Images for gift guide are from YoYo.com.