Learning Apps Review: Tiggly Words and Tiggly Math

We received the following products for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.

Our family is pretty excited about the Tiggly toys and apps. My 3-year-old daughter tried out Tiggly Words and my 7-year-old son tried Tiggly Math; see them both in action below.

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Ever since I introduced the kids to these toys, they both often ask for a chance to play. Instead of denying them the screen time they desperately desire, I’m glad to let them enjoy these games.

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The toys are interactive, engaging, and relevant to their curriculum at school. The toys are great for kids with different strengths and weaknesses and are great for building reading and math skills.

Tiggly Words (Ages 4-8)

Tiggly Math (Ages 3-7)

There’s also a Tiggly Shapes toy for ages 2-5.

The Tiggly Learning Systems include interactive toys, 3 free apps, and a carrying pouch. The systems are compatible with all generations of iPad and iPad mini (except iPad 1), and leading android devices (Samsung, Kurio). Each system retails for $29.95.

Educators! There are Tiggly systems for the whole classroom, too. Check it out!

10% OFF Brainy Toys from Smart Games: IQ Fit and IQ Twist

I received a Smart Games IQ Fit in my swag box when I attended Sweet Suite at Blogger Bash NYC 15 and an IQ Twist when I attended Sweet Suite 14. We’ve been enjoying these little brain teasing toys ever since.  They’re both compact and portable, so they’re great for the car or for restaurants. I’m glad to hand one to my 7-year-old to keep him busy instead of the ipad or iphone!

IQ Fit

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IQ Twist In Action

See our video review of the IQ Twist!

Get 10% off using the code SweetSte when you purchase Smart Games and Toys from the Amazon Store! The promo code is good until October 30th, so act fast!

 

 

YSL Pur Couture VoxBox Unboxing

I received two Yves Saint Laurent Pur Couture lip colors for free from Influenster for testing purposes.

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YSL Pur Couture Lip Color

My Yves Saint Laurent VoxBox included two Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks (#9 Rose Stiletto and #19 Fuchsia). #19 Fuchsia is way to bright for me and my complexion. #9 Rose Stiletto is a little darker than I’m used to, because I’m so fair and I prefer not to wear any lipstick at all. But I love it! It’s soft and smooth and the color is beautiful. It even has a lovely rose smell. It’s a luxurious lipstick.

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Yves Saint Laurent VoxBox Unboxing

Sign up to get your VoxBox at Influenster.com.

The Peanuts Movie Opens November 6th!

I attended an event sponsored by The Peanuts Movie and received a swag bag of products from All Detergent, Horizon Organics, and Hallmark. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

We’re counting down until The Peanuts Movie comes out on November 6th, 2015.

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If it seems like you’re seeing images of The Peanuts Movie everywhere, it’s because everyone’s buzzing about it. And because big brands like All Detergent, Horizon Organics, and Hallmark have teamed up with the Peanuts Gang and are featuring their characters in their campaigns and products. We’re counting down until The Peanuts Movie comes out on November 6th, 2015.

When I attended Blogger Bash 2015 in July, I saw a full trailer of The Peanuts Movie and met the cast. During the presentation, I was glad to hear that the production team was committed to maintaining the integrity of the Peanuts comic and shows that we all recognize.

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My son has been a super fan of Snoopy FOREVER. I know it was because, every year, we made sure to watch every Peanuts holiday special from Halloween to Valentine’s Day. Therefore, our whole family is eagerly awaiting The Peanuts Movie.

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Are you going to see The Peanuts Movie with your family?

Long Island Apple and Pumpkin Picking at Harbes Farm

Today, we  truly had the best Fall visit to the pumpkin patch and orchard at Harbes Farm in Riverhead, Long Island. Despite the fact that it’s a beautiful Saturday during Columbus weekend, we had a fun and stress-less trip at Harbes.

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Harbes is Huge

We only visited the Riverhead location (there also are Harbes locations in  Mattituck and Jamesport). Here, we were able to do every single Fall activity on our list.

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We were disappointed with ourselves for arriving a half hour after it opened (at 10:30), but, with so many attractions,we had no problem with crowds. By what felt like a miracle, there still was plenty of parking when we arrived, and the lines didn’t appear until about 1 p.m.

At Harbes, there are enough activities to fill the day, all without a bouncy castle in sight!

Apple Picking

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Pay by the person ($8); each person gets a bag to fill. There are 24 varieties of apples in 15 acres, so there are plenty to pick. This was such a memorable experience for the kids.

Pumpkin Picking

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Pick your pumpkins off the vine and find all shapes sizes colors and varieties in the 4-acre patch.

Wine Tasting

What? Taste and purchase wine produced at the Harbes farm by the glass or bottle. This is an unusual but delightful little perk that makes a trip to the farm a fun adult activity.

Candle Making

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Dozens of different scented wax powders are lined up to guests to use to customize their own candles. My kids made their own and they’re so proud of their creations.

Apple Cider Donuts

Holy mole, these are the most amazing donuts I’ve ever tasted. Don’t bother with sticky messy candied apples. Have a donut and a roasted corn cob, and you’ll be good until dinner. It hit the spot for us!

Hayride

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Must do. Nice and quick so the line wasnever too long.

Robin Hood Corn Maze

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Adventure through the corn maze and even grab equipment in the maze to help Robin Hood defeat the Sheriff’s Companion.  At night there’s a Spooky Maze that sounds like a blast.

I’m so glad to have found a one-stop farm for Fall activities. Where do you go to pick your pumpkins?

Holiday Gift Guide: Preschool Learning Toys

It’s time to start testing and reviewing toys for the 2015 holiday season and passing my favorites on to my readers. The two important things I look for in toys for the kids are: (1) How engaging are they and (2) Do they have some educational value, especially for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning. So, here goes the first in a series of Holiday Gift Guides for kiddos.

We received these toys from  Educational Insights to review. All opinions are our own.

Magic Moves RainbowJam

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My 3-year-old daughter is a little diva, so I knew she’d love a microphone, but this toy is way more than that. When she presses the microphone on a color (anywhere!), a sensor on the bottom reads the color. Then the microphone plays a different note for each color. It’s fascinating even for adults to try the microphone on colors around the house.

The RainbowJam comes with a 16-page activity book that includes a color-coded keyboard for composing, and several original songs about the colors.

This is a fantastic toy to help preschoolers learn colors and encourage creativity. Plus, it provides hours of entertainment.

Design & Drill Flower Power Studio

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I LOVE this toy because it’s basically a power tool that inspires STEM learning with little girls. It’s not just a pink pretend drill, it’s a battery powered drill with two drill bits and a case that unfolds to become a flower board for creating designs with the included bolts. The Design & Drill comes with a guide for creating 12 patterns.
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IMG_8625My favorite things about the Design & Drill are that it encourages STEM learning, hand-eye coordination, spatial relations, and problem-solving skills. Plus, this is another toy that was a hit with my daughter and kept her busy FOREVER!

GeoSafari Jr. Jungle Crew Lab Set

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This 6-piece, animal-themed chemistry set comes with 10 hands-on activity cards with directions for how to conduct mini science demonstrations. We tried out the slime-making activity and had a great time. We still have many more activities to try.

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This is another great STEM learning toy that introduces key scientific principles and processes, supports early math skills and measurement, and provides hands-on experience with physical science and the senses.

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What do you think of these preschool toys? Do you have any good recommendations for learning toys, especially in STEM areas?

Fun Indoor/Outdoor Toys for Boys and Girls: New Reviews

I received sample toys to test and review. All opinions are my own.

I first saw these toys at Sweet Suite during Blogger Bash NYC 2015 and knew they would be on my holiday must-buy list. The Firetek Zeon Bow from Zing and the Unicorn Popper from Hog Wild are great toys for kids like mine (7 and 3 years old, respectively).

Firetek Zeon Bow

The Firetek Zeon Bow is a mini version of the Zeon Bow, but it’s not so mini. It launches light-up mini Zartz arrows up to 35 feet, and will stick to most flat surface targets with soft-foam suction cup tips.

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An arrow is launched by hooking it up to two elastic cords on the bow. This mechanism ensures that the user can’t replace the safe soft-tipped arrows with something more dangerous.

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The Zeon Bow is available in two colors, green and orange and the arrows light up for fun nighttime play. It’s meant for kids age 5+ and it will retail for $14.99.

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Unicorn Popper

The Unicorn Popper is an adorable little ball-launching toy for kids ages 4 and up. It comes with 6 cute rainbow balls that shoot up to 20 feet just by squeezing the unicorn’s belly.

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It was difficult for my 3 1/2 year old daughter to squeeze the unicorn hard enough to shoot the ball, but she was able to to it a few times. With just a little more strength, I think it will be easy; and I like that she’s strengthening her hand grip just by trying.

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The Unicorn Popper is in stores now and retails for $9.99.

 

GIVEAWAY! Super Lice Solution

I received a Vamousse Mousse and Shampoo for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

It’s the louse’s favorite time of year! Kids are coming back from camp and they’re on their way back to school. Their adorable little heads are just asking for lice to make themselves at home. And now news reports claim that lice are resistant to traditional over-the-counter insecticides. All the more reason to choose a natural prevention and treatment product, like Vamousse. We’ve used Vamousse and here’s our review.

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We experienced lice once, and it was one time too many. Even the idea of lice was something I refused to face, and I was completely blind-sided when it happened. I had received a free treatment mousse from Vamousse and kept it in the closet, thinking it was only taking up space. I was so very thankful to have that bottle in my closet when it hit because, instead of having to go drugstore shopping, I was able to treat the kids immediately.

There was nothing pleasant about treating lice; however, one 15 minute treatment and a few subsequent shampoos for good measure were effective for us. None of us experienced any unpleasant side effects either, perhaps due to the natural ingredients. Ever since then, I always keep at least a full Vamousse treatment bottle and prevention shampoo in the closet.

Vamousse Lice Treatment

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  • Kills lice and eggs fast
  • Single 15-minute treatment, no need to reapply
  • Quick and precise application with easy-to-use mousse
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Pesticide-free

Vamousse Lice Protection Shampoo

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  • Gentle daily shampoo kills lice
  • Helps keep your entire family lice free
  • For use during outbreaks at school, prior to camp or sleepovers
  • Allows kids to return to school even after an outbreak has occurred

Vamousse Lice Treatment (MSRP $24.99) is available nationwide at Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Kmart, and in some regional chains, including Harris Teeter, and online at Amazon.com and Drugstore.com.  Vamousse Lice Protection Shampoo (MSRP $12.99) is available nationwide at Walmart and online at Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and Walmart.com.

GIVEAWAY: Vamousse Lice Treatment and Protection Shampoo

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Para’Kito Natural Mosquito Repellent Wristband GIVEAWAY

I received a sample PARA’KITO wristband for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

PARA’KITO is a new line of refillable mosquito repellent wristbands that use natural essential oils and are DEET, GMO and spray free. They can be worn on the wrist or ankle, fit adults and children, and are waterproof. The wristband comes with two repellent pellets. Once opened and inserted into the wristband’s mesh pocket, each pellet lasts for 15 days.

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The wristband I received is comfortable and stylish – I love the fuchsia! It’s comfortable and it fits the children and adults in the family well.

My tough girl wearing her Para'Kito well.
My tough girl wearing her Para’Kito well.

I’m really loving the smell. The citronella is identifiable, but it also has a floral scent from the geranium oil and a freshness from the mint, rosemary and clove.  We’ve been using it for about two weeks, which is the maximum time Para’Kito promises to be effective, and it still smells potent.

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The Para’Kito reifill in my little girl’s hand.

Does it work? I have to say…when I wore the wristband on my wrist, I noticed that I was free of bites on my arms, but had a bunch of bites on my legs. Perhaps my arms were protected because I was wearing it on my wrist. If this is evidence that it works, then I’d wear another one on my ankle! I’ll definitely check out the other products from Para’Kito like the Refillable Clip and the Role On Gel.

Enter to win and check out other products from Para’Kito.

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Minions Bowling Party for My 7-Year-Old

We celebrated my son’s birthday with an AMF bowling party and Minions-themed goodie bags. It was the perfect party for ten 7-year-old boys and a few little female family members.

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I scheduled the party over the phone and maintained contact with the same AMF representative over email. Instead of having to come to the bowling alley to sign the contract and give my deposit, everything was done electronically. It was so easy. AMF helped me plan a great party for an affordable price. All we had to bring were the goodie bags and the cake.

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AMF has a kitchen and bar, so in addition to the pizza served to the kids, the adults (mostly family) were able to order dinner. A server was assigned to our party, and he was always available and accommodating. He kept the party moving by suggesting the time to stop for pizza and cake, then guided all the kids to each activity.

Goodie Bags
Goodie Bags

My mother has a creative and crafty eye, so she offered to make and fill the goodie bags. They were so adorable and they were filled with some great bowling-themed goodies, like little plastic trophies and glow sticks from Party City.

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My son loved his party…look at that smile!

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parenting and lifestyle topics from a psychologist and mom of two