DIY · For Kids

Pokeball DIY for your Pokemon fans

Have Pokémon crazy kids like me? Looking for a craft to keep them busy these days with supplies you probably already have available? These pokeballs are the perfect craft.  (If you don’t have these supplies,  you can find them all at your local dollar store).

I can’t take any credit for the idea, a Mom in one of my local Facebook groups came up with the idea and allowed me to share it with you.

Pokeball Supplies:

  • Bag of balloons
  • Styrofoam balls (can also use tennis balls or those colored balls for ball pits)
  • Black electrical tape
  • White duct tape

pokeball supplies

Pokeball Instructions:

1. Cut the neck off the white balloon and stretch it over a ball.

pokeball white part

pokeball on ball
2. Cut your chosen ball top colour balloon and cut it about halfway down the balloon horizontally. Stretch that starting from the place where the white balloon starts.

pokeball bottom
3. Cut a black strip from the black tape . Wrap it around the middle.

pokeball middle
4. Cut half circles from the black tape and place over the area where the black strip meets

pokeball circle

 

5. Cut a white circle from the white tape and place in the middle of the black circle.

pokeball white circle

 

And done! Got to catch them all!

pokeball diy pokemon

For Kids

Putting some Zing into our Summer Fun

Disclosure:  Although items in this post were provided to us by Zing, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

A while back, I went to a local event and got the opportunity to try out axe throwing from a company in the area.  It was so much fun and have been dying to get back.  And of course, when I told the boy about it, he wanted to get in on the action as well.  When I told him he had to wait until he was 14, let’s just say he was less than impressed.

Truth be told, the thought of him wielding an axe is a  bit frightening.

So when Zing asked if he would like to give their kid-friendly alternative, Zax a try, I didn’t even need to ask the boy.  I knew it would be perfect for him.

Zing zax

The “axe” is 12 inches tall and made of soft foam so it’s not at all heavy and if the kids give it a throw in the house, it’s not going to break anything.  With suction cups on the end, it sticks to most flat surfaces like walls and windows.  Because it is so light, you don’t have to throw it too hard so even younger ones can enjoy it.  The boy has asked me to make him a bulls-eye so that we can challenge each other.

zing zax axe

Another item the boy has been enjoying is the Zing Hyperstrike bow and arrow set.

Zing HyperStrike

Again, the arrows are made with a soft foam, so it’s not going to hurt anyone.  And man, can they fly – up to 250 ft.  And when they are released, they make a whistling noise that makes them sound like they zooming through the air.  I even enjoyed giving it a try.  The boy went to camp a few weeks back and got to try out archery, so when he came back, he didn’t want to the put the set down.  Again, I was asked to put together some sort  bulls-eye for him.  I guess I best get on that.

Zing toys

So after I get that bulls-eye made, I’m going to sit on my newly made over patio and enjoy the rest of this summer like weather and watch the boy doing the same trying to hit that red center.

Available at Target in the US and ToysRUs, Mastermind and Indigo in Canada, these are some great toys to get the kids outside and having fun.

For Kids

Flexo Takes Brick Play To A Whole New Level

Although samples of Flexo were provided to us, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

We’ve had a lot of rainy days here lately and haven’t been able to enjoy the warmer weather as much as we’d like.  Rainy days can sometimes mean a lot of “I’m bored” comments if I kick the boy off screen time.

The boy has always been the creative type and loves to use his imagination with his brick building toys but now with Flexo, he can take that creativity to a whole new level.

Compatible with the bricks that he already has, Flexo, takes the rigidness away and gives you complete Flexo-bility.  These silicon bendable bricks and flexible tendons allows you make things you never thought were possible with your original bricks.  Instead of rigid square corners, your creations can bend, curve and curl.

Flexo playing

Currently available are their FreePlay series where you can use your imagination to create anything you can dream up, their Ocean Life series where you are able to bring a turtle, crab and other sea creatures to life and as well  as their foil packs where you can create keychains, bracelets, etc.

Flexo sets

I know in the past when the boy had asked me to play bricks with him in the past, I felt  limited a bit in my creativity.  Flexo allowed me the freedom to make all kinds of thing and let my imagination run while.

Flexo bracelet

I am not asking for any more rainy days, but I know that the boy won’t be giving me many “I’m bored” comments now that he has Flexo to keep him occupied for hours.

For Kids

Ritzy Rollerz – Wheels with Bling

Disclaimer:  Although Ritzy Rollerz were provided to us to review, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

When I am asked review toys, the first thing I always do is ask my son if it is something he his interested in playing with. I tend to think I have a pretty good idea of the types of toys my son will like and what really isn’t his cup of tea. But this time, he proved me wrong.

He first saw Tomy’s Ritzy Rollerz at a preview event we had attended and was surprisingly drawn to them. What are Ritzy Rollerz?  They are basically toy cars that are in the shape of different animals that have charms to decorate their wheels.  Each Ritzy Roller comes with additional surprise  charms in their booty box (trunk).

Ritzy Rollers

Each of the characters come with a cute name like Groovy Gabi or Cheery Cherry.  Available at ToysRUs in Canada, you can buy individual Rollerz, a Besties 2 pack or a 4Ever Friends 4 pack.

Ritzy Rollers Individual

Ritzy Roller Besties

Ritzy Rollers Sprinklez on Wheelz

There are also playsets you can use with the cars and also have areas within them to hold all your extra charms.  For a Mom that doesn’t want to be constantly picking up the charms or getting them sucked up in the vacuum, this is a great feature for them to have.

Ritzy Roller Bootie

Rityz Roller storage

My son has always been an animal lover so the incorporation of the animal characters into the cars was definitely something that drew him to Ritzy Rollerz and having the collectible wheel charms was also something he enjoyed.  What this Mom enjoyed was listening to him making up stories and voices for each of his characters.  Even when he had a friend come over, they instantly started up a whole little story line and played with them for quite a long time.

Having toys that are video games or based on video games and just involving pure imaginative play was such a nice thing to see. And when I said earlier, I didn’t think it was something he would be excited about is because of as of late, he’s been very hooked on video games, anything based off video games and building bricks.  This was such a nice change of pace.

For Kids · Parenting/Life

Mini Movie Makers with Stikbots

Disclosure:  Although Stikbots were provided to us, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

My child is your typical tween and totally obsessed with electronics and always wanting more screen time.  It’s the mindless, unproductive games that I have the most problem with.  But if he’s actually using his screen time for something educational or creative, I am a little more willing to let him use his electronics.  That is why I am a big fan of Stikbots.

Stikbots are poseable figures with suction cup hands and feet that you can stick to almost anything.  They come in an array of colors and can be used with the downloadable app on both iOs and Android to make your very own stop motion movies.

Stikbot character

Kids can use the figures to make their own movies anywhere they want or they can use the Stikbot Zanimation studio complete with green screen and tripod and incorporate some of the backdrops within the app to make their movies even more creative.

StikBot Zanimation Studio

In addition to the “human” characters, there are also pet/animal characters that the kids can incorporate into their story line.  My son was a big fan of having the animals available.  I really enjoyed watching him create his own videos and bringing his own creative style into them.

Stikbot posing

Stikbot in motion

stikbot gang

In addition to the backdrops, there are also sound effects and music that they can add to their movies.  Because they use the Stikbots in stop motion, it can definitely keep them busy for a long time.  If you child is like mine and wants to make a “real” movie, it will hold their attention for hours.

Stikbot backdrop

I loved watching him put together all the elements into his movies.  He’s often spoken about wanting to get into some sort of video game/video creative field when he grows up and this has really given him a glimpse into the work that even the most basic of videos take.  It’s been not only fun for him but a learning experience as well.

stikbot movie

It’s a perfect middle ground between parents and kids.  Parents get them away from mindless gaming but the kids get their desired screen time.  And with the app being free and all it takes is one individual character to get the kids started, it’s an inexpensive learning tool that is perfect for all the rainy days we’ve having lately when the kids are able to get outside.

For Kids

Getting Back to Creative Play With Playmobil

Although items were provided to us by Playmobil, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

This past week, our social media blew up with talk of the Momo Challenge.  Whether or not it was a hoax, it definitely made me re-evaluate the quantity and the quality of screen time my son was having.  And surprisingly enough, he did as well.  It was the perfect opportunity for him to take a break from the screen and have some creative play time with his Playmobil.

I had been starting to think now that he’s pushing 11, that he was starting to move away from imaginative play with his toys but I happily surprised how much he enjoyed playing with the new sets that he received.

Playmobil setting up

Playmobil has launched four new themes this year for all kinds of imaginations to enjoy.

  1. 1.  The Mars Mission for the space lover
  2. 2.  The Police Tactical Unit for rescue missions here on earth
  3. 3.  The Shopping theme with a Grocery Shop and the Bike and Skate Shop
  4. 4.  The Pet Hotel for the animal lovers.

My son received 2 of the sets from the Pet Hotel themes and they were perfect for the animal lover that he is.

Playmobil small pets

Playmobile Cat sanctuary

What I love about the Playmobil sets is that although the kids get to put them together, they don’t take much time before they are able to use there imaginations and start creating stories in their head.  And there are so many different themes, every kid will surely find something that interests them.

Playmobil House

Each set really focuses on the details.  Whether it was the tiny little cat food cans or the colors of the hamsters, every little detail made them seem so realistic.

Playmobil hamsters

I was happy to see the boy spend several hours at a time just playing and telling me stories based on his animals and the people within his sets.  He even was able to convince to take him out to buy some additions to what he already had.  This was a pleasant change from the Fortnite and other video game stories he often tries to tell me as I just smile and nod as I have no clue what he is talking about.

Playmobil cats

A few days later, he wasn’t feeling well and I kept him home from school.  One of the first things he asked is if he could just lay on the floor and just play with his Playmobil sets.  I was happy to oblige.  The fact he didn’t want to just lay on the couch in front of a screen all day was music to my ears.  It was so nice to see him enjoying imaginative play.  He’s even added several other sets to his birthday wish list, so I don’t see him losing his interest anytime soon.

It’s been a nice change to have the TV screen off and engaging with him while he enjoys his Playmobil and I hope that his love of creative play never goes away.

For Kids

Weird But True! Facts to Amaze Your Friends

Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and to post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Throughout my life, I have always had this affinity for weird but true facts.  It’s often been useful when playing trivia games.  On more than one occasion I’ve had people ask me why I even knew those facts, so when Moms Meet asked if I was interested in reviewing some of the National Geographic Kids Weird But True! books with my son, there was no hesitation.

It is the 10th Anniversary of the original Weird But True! series and there are 10 volumes of the series available to share with your family.  In addition to the main series, there are also specialty themed Weird But True! books.  We received the Weird But True! Canada and the Weird But True! Christmas editions of the books.  It has been a while since my son and I have sat together and enjoyed reading a book together.  Normally he wants to read on his own.

Weird But True books

Being so close to the holidays, the boy decided he wanted to read the Weird But True! Christmas edition and learn some facts that he could share with his friends.  One of his favorite holidays facts was a 10-year-old girl (same age as he is) recorded the hit song “I want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” (our favorite Christmas song).  She got one (but donated it to a zoo).

As a true Canadian, I am always interested in learning facts about my country, so I grabbed the Weird But True! Canada edition first.  Did you know that Hawaiian pizza (a pie topped with ham and pineapple) was invented in Chatham, ON?  I grew up not far from Chatham and had no idea.  Another very interesting fact in the book says that it is illegal to climb trees in Oshawa, ON.  When my son heard that fact, his eyes grew very wide and asked “Mommy, does that mean I am going to go to jail?  I’ve climbed a few trees in Oshawa?”  I couldn’t stop laughing and reassured him, he was fine.

Several times now I have found the boy curled up on the couch enjoying these books which is amazing because getting him to read can sometimes be a bit of a struggle.  Anything that gets him happily reading is definitely a winner to me.  And if your looking for some age appropriate and useful content for your kids to enjoy on YouTube, the National Geographic kids channel has a ton of great content.

Weird but true reading

So with the holidays just mere days away, if you are still looking for some great gift ideas that you can enjoy as a family or that will get your child enjoying reading, I would definitely stock up on some Weird But True! fact books.

If your Canadian kids (ages 6-14) have a verifiable weird fact about Canada, their hometown or province, submit it to natgeokids.com/wbtcanada by March 1, 2019 to win some Weird But True! books of your own.

For Kids · Parenting/Life

Hunting for gold with Treasure X

Disclosure:  Although the Treasure X item was provided to us, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

I had a look at the calendar today and couldn’t believe how close we are to Christmas again.  I guess it’s time to start thinking about my holiday shopping.  Luckily, I have already come across a great stocking stuffer idea for my son – Treasure X.

Treasure X

He always seems to be drawn to collectibles and I like things that are more than just a package that he opens and is done with it.  Treasure X is the perfect combination of both of these things.  Each contains a collectible figure that you have to assemble but it also includes a “treasure”.

Upon opening the package, you will find a treasure map, digging tool and the treasure you must dig for.  The first part of the dig, you will find all the pieces to create your figure.  Each package comes with a different character for you to assemble.  This can get a bit messy so I recommend you do this somewhere where you can easily vacuum up the powder.

After you have dug up all your character pieces, you can assemble your character and start searching for their treasure.  You will find a box that you need to remove the plastic and add some water to see it dissolve and reveal your treasure.

The treasure revealed could be an ultra rare that is dipped in real gold.  My son loves collectibles that are designated as common, rare or ultra rare and was thrilled when ours was an Ultra Rare gold dipped pocket watch.

Once all the items had been revealed it was time to assemble our character and give him his treasure.

Of course, being the collector that he is, my son has already asked for more of the Treasure X boxes, so I will be off to add a couple of these in his stocking this year.  Who knows what other treasures he might find.

For Kids · Parenting/Life

Sticky Brick Tape, a Lego lovers dream

Disclosure:  Although items in this post were provided to me, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

A few months ago social media seemed to be a flutter with all kinds of posts talking about the latest and greatest in the Lego world -that being flexible Lego compatible strips that could be attached almost anywhere.  My little Lego lover informed me almost immediately he HAD to have this and I have to admit,  Sticky Brick Tape is probably one of the coolest things that I have seen in the toy world in the longest time.

The tape comes in 1 metre ( just over 3 feet) lengths and is 2 Lego dots wide.  The Sticky Brick Tape versions come in 4 different colors – grey, red, green and blue.  The material is quite flexible and can be cut to whatever length that you want to use which means the different ways to use it are limitless.  The tape portion it quite strong and will hold on well to whatever surface you choose.

My son and I have so many ideas of what we could use this for.  We decided we would start by using it to attach some of his minifigures to his Lego storage unit so he could display them.   We weren’t sure if we wanted to do one long strip or individual blocks, so we started with a smaller 2×2 block.

After attaching it to our storage unit, he was able to attach one of his minifigures to display.

The figure attached very easily and has a strong hold like regular Lego so I am not worrying about them falling off.  We decided we would add longer strips on the side of the container and then be able to add multiple figures randomly along it.

My son has yet to decide which of his overabundance of minifigures he will be putting on there but I am sure it will look fantastic once he is finished.  It will also make it easier to find them, instead of having to dig through a drawer to find the one he wants.

Using Sticky Brick Tape to help display minifigures is only one of probably a million ways you can use this product.  You could stick it on walls, on tables, on notebooks, on whatever your imagination can come up with.  Would your little Lego lover go crazy with their very own Sticky Brick tape?

Enter to win a prize pack of 4 rolls of Sticky Brick Tape by clicking on the image below!

Contest open to residents of Canada, US and UK.

Contest ends September 30, 2017.

 

For Kids · Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Ready, Aim, Fire with Low Impact Paintball

As my son is getting older, I was starting to feel like we had outgrown a lot of the typical party locations in our area.  I wanted something different that the kids would enjoy and have them active to burn off their boundless energy.  When I discovered Low Impact Paintball, I knew this would be a perfect option for my son.

When kids these days seem to love the shoot’em style video games, paintball can somewhat bring the games to life.  However, when I first envisioned paintball, my first reaction was “No Way! That is going to hurt them way too much!”   But then I was told about the low impact version.  Instead of using the normal size ball that are typically used, they use a smaller caliber paintball that takes less impact to explode and therefore, less of a sting.    I know in the past my son has mentioned paintball to me, but at that point I knew he was much to young.  Now with the low impact kids 8 years of age or older are permitted to play.

Low Impact Paintball can be found at many of your local Paintball locations and have party packages available for birthdays or just a general group get togethers.  Our group descended on Defcon Paintball, not to far from us, and the boys were ready for some fun.

Of course, they were ready to play immediately and couldn’t wait to get started.  However, the staff made them go through quite an extensive training and review of all the rules and regulations.  It was implicitly implied that if the rules were broken, they would be immediately removed from the game.  As a Mom, I was very impressed with the time they took to ensure the kids knew these rules and how important it was for their safety.

After suited up and helmets were on, the boys were ready to go.  They could barely contain their excitement.

I was able to slip on a helmet myself and sneak in to get a look a the playing area and see the boys in action.  This was an indoor park and they had it well designed for the kids to get into the action and play.

There were a few points where some of the kids were taken aback initially by the impact of the paintball but I think it was a great learning experience for them.  When they play video games, they don’t get the actual ramifications of the shooting they are doing.  This made things much clearer to them.  My son and I actually had quite a conversation about this on the way home.

The boys flew threw a good allotment of their paintballs in their first round of play but once they understood that they didn’t have an unlimited supply of ammunition, they were much more methodical about how and when they shot.  It was neat to see them talk strategy with each other. By the end, they were quite worn out from all the running around they had to do and were ready for the pizza and snacks waiting for them in the party room. 

They were disappointed that they could go back in after they had some more fuel in their stomachs.  Most commented immediately that they wanted to come back again soon.  I was really happy to hear this as it is always the sign of a good party.   I would definitely recommend parents’ check out their local paintball park as an option for their next party location.

Disclosure:  Although items in the post were provided to me, all comments, opinions and photos are my own.