Top 10 Gifts for 8 Year Old Boys

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I’m not sure if it’s just me or it my friends are also having this same problem but as the kids get older I’m finding that it’s harder and harder to find out exactly what they want for Christmas. Or, as I’m experiencing with my son, things change from week to week so the one thing you thought was at the top of their list is now just eh. Frustrating, right? 

Well this year I did a bit of research and if you’re like me and have an 8 year old boy, I’ve got you covered! Different price points, different types of toys, and all perfect 8 year old gifts. 

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Stikbot Studio

Create , Animate and Share! Stikbot Studio Pro is the perfect way to get kids interested in stop motion video. This set include 1 tripod , 2 stikbots (solid red and solid orange color, 2in1 stage green and blue screen. With green screen , you can capture the best photo and video and save time editing. Easily cut and edit footage to create the sequence you need by using green screen. You can digitally recreate the background of your scene

Buy here on Amazon (Prime available): http://amzn.to/2guca5u

LEGO Sets

What 8 year old doesn’t love LEGO sets? From Minecraft to LEGO City to Superheros, LEGO sets come in all themes, sizes, and price points. Perfect for boys or girls. 

Video Games

My son is obsessed with video games. But of course he loves the ones that aren’t actually available to purchase easily. Top of his list? The Isle, Subnautica, and Terraria.

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IDo3D Vertical

IDO3D uses a cool blue LED light and soft, squeezable 3D pens that enable you to easily draw 3D objects! The IDO3D Vertical light attaches to each pen by clicking firmly into place. The light can easily be removed from one pen, and placed on another by simply pulling it off, and popping it onto another. It’s a snap!

With IDO3D Vertical, you can draw vertically, straight into the air. To do so, turn on your light, and simply draw upward by squeezing your pen and moving the tip vertically, away from your drawing surface. You can also make solid sheets of material by drawing on flat or curved surfaces, first with the light off, and curing afterward by shining the light on your art. Draw on non-sticky textured materials or objects like coins or buttons, and then remove for very cool effects. 

Buy here on Amazon (Prime available): http://amzn.to/2hjPMeN

Osmo

Osmo is an award-winning hands-on game system, fosters creativity & problem solving skills. The starter kit incldues 4 games – Words: puzzle form spelling, Newton: creative problem solving, Tangram: expand your visual thinking, and Masterpiece: supercharged drawing and is designed for kids 5-12. So siblings can play along as well!

From coding to tangrams to everything in between, my kids are obsessed with Osmo. Their current favorites are the Osmo Coding and Osmo Pizza Co

Cosmo

Now this is one of those gifts my husband checked out before the holiday season and purchased as a joint gift for himself AND the two older kids. Yeah, you read that right. A gift for him and the kids. But boy were his instincts right! Cozmo is a real-life robot like you’ve only seen in movies, with a one-of-a-kind personality that evolves the more you hang out.

Cozmo expresses real emotions in response to your actions. He requires a free app and the processing power of your compatible mobile phone/tablet to access high level robotics functions that brings Cozmo to life. New games and upgrades are unlocked the more you play.

Cosmo may be hard to get now but keep an eye on when he comes back in stock: http://amzn.to/2gqt3sY

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Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum Blaster

One way to get my kid out of the house (and off his video games) is to start a fun game of war. And this Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum Blaster is the perfect accessory for a friendly competition. 

Grab yours here: http://amzn.to/2hjHEKY

Minecraft anything

What kid doesn’t love Minecraft, right? My son is still just as obsessed with Minecraft now as he was last year. And while he has the game, he still wants all of the toys, t-shirts, and stuffed animals out there. So many options for a Minecraft lover! 

Magic Treehouse Box Sets

One thing I love finding for each kid is a good book for them for the new year and the Magic Treehouse series is one my son enjoys reading with us and by himself. Anything that will get him to read is a win-win in my book! 

Grab books 1-4 here (more available if you’ve already read these!): http://amzn.to/2hk2DuC

Little Live Pets

I don’t know what it is about these little guys but both my 6 year old and 8 year old are obsessed with them. There are turtles, frogs, and mice available and each has their own little habitat they come in (or you can purchase them separately. 

Check em out here: http://amzn.to/2htBjxg

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What are your kids asking for under the tree? 

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go

After having our third kid, we realized that keeping baby entertained on the go isn’t as hard as it was with the first and second child. It’s even easier with Playskool’s new on-the-go line! I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Playskool. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go

I don’t know if this is how it is for all third babies but our little Norah has turned out to be very adaptable. She just goes with the flow and takes to change easily. As long as her mama or dada are with her, and she has something to entertain her, she’s pretty cool with just about any new situation. So when I had to have my gallbladder out last week, I wasn’t too concerned about her being without me. Except  for the fact that she hadn’t successfully taken a bottle in quite a while.

Well she did absolutely awesome with her dad when I spent the night at the hospital the night after my surgery. She surprised us in not only taking one bottle, but taking two for her dad. And she was in high spirits when she came to visit me around 9:30am the next morning. Better yet, she just wanted to play! And luckily we saved some new toys for her to enjoy as I recovered.

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I have a little confession… Norah really hasn’t had any new toys purchased for her. She plays with a few hand-me-downs from her cousins and friends. And she loves playing with her siblings’ toys. So when my husband busted out a few fun toys from Playskool’s new on-the-go line out of his backpack to keep her entertained at the hospital, she just about tackled her new Dressy Bessy to play with her zipper and button. It was absolutely adorable to see Norah play with Dressy Bessy’s button, then go and find her buttons on her dress as she played in the hospital room.

And? Dressy Bessy comes with a secure clip that we can use to attach to the stroller or my diaper bag. That way we can take her wherever we go and she takes up little to no room. Clipping her onto the stroller also means that Norah can play and have fun and I won’t have to worry about Bessy being thrown overboard. And her Fold N Go Elepant? It folds up into a cute little package for easy storage. Talk about convinience. Great for staycations or travelling around.

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go - Fold N Go Elephant

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go

  1. Distractions… er… Toys – Toys are an important part of keeping baby occupied on the go. Whether on a road trip and stopped at a rest stop (toys should not be played with in a moving car), or during a day trip to the park or beach, having a fun toy like Playskool’s Dressy Bessy clipped onto the stroller or the Fold N Go Elephant stashed away in the diaper bag can turn into a great distraction for baby to keep them happy and occupied.
  2. Snacks and Drinks – One of the best ways to keep Norah entertained while we’re out and about is to offer her a sippy cup. It doesn’t even have ot have water in it. At this age she just loves playing and chewing on it. Water makes it more fun. And little snacks like puffs or yogurt melts keeps her distracted and working on her pincer grip for quite some time.
  3. A Change Of Scenery – I’ve found that keeping babies in the same position with little to no change drives them crazy. It’s probably the one reason why my kids always hated the carseat at that age. They couldn’t see the changes taking place outside the window! So whether it’s moving them from the stroller to the carrier (change in view) or simply walking around a bit with them to show them some new cool things to explore, a change of scenery is very inportant when keeping baby entertained on the go.
  4. Music – If you’re trapped in the car for a few hours and can’t resort to toys or snacks, playing a little music and singing along may get baby to focus on the sounds vs. complaining about being trapped in their carseat. We put on a little Hulabaloo and start singing along to get Norah distracted enough to start enjoying herself.
  5. Games – Even though babies might not understand the games, the repetition of some games like patty cake, peek-a-boo, etc can help baby learn how to interact with you and react to what you say. Plus, when you start playing a game that’s familiar to them, they are immediately interested and distracted from what they were doing before. Which is super helpful when you’re on the go.

Keeping Baby Entertained On The Go - Dressy Bessy

How do you keep baby busy on-the-go?

Now your baby can enjoy Playskool’s new on-the-go line too! Influence Central (I-C) is hosting a contest for the new Playskool on-the-go line through which you can enter to win one of five Playskool Prize Packs. Contest opens on September 9, 2015 and closes September 30, 2015

Enter by choosing a social media sharing option from the social media amplification tool below!

Playskool Audience Engagement Tool

*I-C will randomly select five winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

Creative Gift Ideas to Encourage Imagination

This post featuring creative gift ideas to encourage imagination is sponsored by RadioShack. #GiftSmart

Creative Gift Ideas to Encourage Imagination

Is there any better feeling than waking up Christmas morning to watch the joy on your child’s face as they open up a gift they’ve asked for all year long? I really don’t think there is. And for my little engineers, any gift that puts their mind to work and gets their hands involved is something they will have on their list.

I don’t know how it happened (ok, maybe I do) but both of my kids seem to have the drive to create and imagine up these crazy contraptions and inventions. So when I find gifts that will fill that need to work on something I snatch it up right away.

[Read more…]

Great Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

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Great Gift Ideas for the Whole Family - from pregnancy and newborns to kids and adults!
So one of my girlfriends reminded me the other day that there are only 6 more Fridays before Christmas. Whaaat?? That was totally a wake up call to get the ball rolling and start thinking of gift ideas for the whole family.

Good thing my kids never stop adding things to their “list” year round when we’re at stores and when they watch a show on one of “those” networks with all of the kid-geared commercials.

I’ve rounded up a few of our favorite gifts this season and have included something for each member of the family! Including me. Because you can’t forget the big pregnant lady, right?

[Read more…]

Star Wars Rebels Star Destroyer Inspired Paper Airplanes

This shop featuring Star Wars Rebels Star Destroyer Inspired Paper Airplanes has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Star Wars Rebels Star Destroyer Inspired Paper Airplanes - a fun and easy way to let imagination reign and let kids be kids

Sometimes you have to just give into your inner kid, sit on the ground, and start making paper airplanes based off of your favorite movies and your son’s new favorite TV series.

That’s exactly what my husband did after we took home Star Wars Rebels on DVD last Friday. He even let my son pick out a Star Wars toy so that he’d stop playing with my husband’s Millennium Falcon and X-Wing fighters.

Luckily Walmart has a great selection of Hasbro Star Wars toys that piqued my son’s interest. He ended up deciding on a pretty sweet Star Wars Rebels Comand Star Destroyer Set. [Read more…]

10 Holiday Stocking Stuffer Ideas from Dollar Tree

This post is sponsored by Dollar Tree.

Holiday Stocking Stuffer Ideas from Dollar TreeOne thing I absolutely love seeing my family open every year are their stockings. While Santa usually brings a few traditional items that are always included as stocking stuffers, he also throws in some fun goodies that the kids can play with and enjoy the morning of Christmas.

In an effort to reduce the amount Santa spends this year, we’ve decided to ask Santa for one big item each and then let him decide on a few smaller items for the stockings. So we headed out to one of my kids’ favorite stores, Dollar Tree, and checked out what they had in store for us this year.

And what do you know? We found plenty of awesome ideas for Santa! From board books, to dolls, do bugs and snakes, there was plenty at the Dollar Tree to keep my kids occupied. They even had stockings to purchase in case we didn’t have ours already. What a great idea for wrapping a gift!

Oh, and did I mention that for one of my family’s get togethers we’re planning on grabbing 5 things we love from Dollar Tree and wrapping those in lieu of our Secret Santa gift exchange? We’ll do it White Elephant style and everyone goes home with 5 new things! I can’t wait to go shopping and see what I find. [Read more…]

Top 10 Gifts for a One Year Old

As it nears closer and closer to my daughter’s first birthday (how did that happen!?) I’ve began to think about what top ten items she would love to receive from us as well as suggestions for friends and family members who want to give her something.

Some of the items I’ve thought of are items we’ve already used and love with our son and others are new items we’ve played with or used at friends houses and play places. Do you have any other suggestions to entertain a 1 year old? You know, besides cardboard boxes and pots (and the given money for her college education)? I’d love to hear them!

I’ve included pinks and purples in with the blues and greens because honestly, my kids don’t care about the colors yet, just about the toy and playing with it. My son plays with dolls and my daughter plays with trucks. And I’m cool with that.

1. Little Tikes Push and Ride Doll Walker
We played with this push toy at our last visit to Kidding Around and Miss M just loved it! She sat on it and let me push her around. And the whole time she was on it she was grinning from ear to ear. When I stopped pushing her long enough to take a picture she started crying. That was immediately resolved by pushing her around again. And after we were done with riding on it she used it to “walk” around a bit. Win-win because it serves two purposes.

2. Music Instruments
My daughter is already in love with drums. She constantly steals her brother’s drum and drum stick and beats just about everything she can find on in (including poor Sophie the Giraffe). So when I saw this music set from one of my favorite toy brands, B. Toys,  I knew that it would be a perfect fit for our home. And while we haven’t used it yet I’ve heard rave reviews from many friends about the instruments included and the durability of the product.

3. Pull-Along Toys
Now this is a toy that my son received for his first birthday by our dear friend Alanna. And he still plays with it. He’s almost three! He was able to play with this toy as he crawled around on the ground, when he started to toddle and now he runs through the house with the snail behind him. I’ve never seen a snail run so fast!

This snail has taken quite a few beatings over the years but still looks as new as the day we took it out of the box. Miss M is having quite a fun time chasing after the snail, and her brother. And I love Plan Toys. They are an awesome toy company that use green materials and green manufacturing. They not only make quality toys, they are a quality company I love to support.

4. Fisher-Price Little People: Animal Sounds Farm
Every little kid needs a Little People farm. Seriously. They’re awesome. I find myself gravitating to our farm every time I go into my son’s bedroom to play. And Miss M loves playing with her brother’s animals and farm. She even puts the animals in and out of the barn. There’s also a tractor that goes greatly with this farm. The farmer gets to ride around in the tractor and a little piggy pops out of the hay bale in the back. M laughs every time she sees it!

5. Baby Stella Doll
My son asked for his first doll at about 18 months so we purchased one at the mall we were at and didn’t really put much thought into what doll we bought. We have three baby dolls now but whenever my daughter tries to play with them (or gnaw on them) her brother quickly takes them away. So I know I need to get a doll just for her. This Baby Stella doll is perfect. Soft, small and cute, just like her! And I’m considering getting a boy doll for my son so he can play with her.

6. Activity Cube
We got this awesome Activity Cube for my son’s first birthday. He and his friends still play with it to this day. This cube is a great investment. It is a great toy from kids ages 6 months to 3+ years. And even though I can’t find our exact cube for sale anymore I still have seen great reviews for it. And there are plenty of activity cubes out there to choose from.

7. Bath Accessories
While this isn’t technically a toy we really love our faucet covers. When our kids started getting more mobile in the bath tub we knew we needed to protect their little noggins from hitting the bath faucet. And we wanted to make bathtime fun. So we got a super cool Crayola octopus bath faucet cover and were gifted an equally cool Boon Flo cover.

And toys to go in the bath as well as something to scoop up the toys (like this awesome Boon frog) are also great gifts for a 1 year old. I know my son loves playing with his Discovery Toys stacking cups and his Fisher Price Amazing Animals™ Tubtime Tugboat™ the most. Baths stop being about getting clean and start being about having fun in the water!

8. Sensory Balls
My kids love balls. They love to throw them, attempt to eat them and bounce them. We have them all over the house. But the best ones I’ve found for one year olds are the ones they can get a grip on. We found a large pack of sensory balls at Costco last Christmas and they have held up very well. Half are in the house and half are in the front yard. What kid doesn’t like to play with balls?

9. Blocks
We have many different sets of blocks for the kids to play with. From soft, cloth blocks to squishy, squeaky blocks to wooden blocks. Each different set helps teach the kids to stack, line up and make fun structures. Every kid needs a good set of blocks to play with. And the best part about these sets is that they don’t just last for a small period of time, most of the block sets we own will be used for a few years. Especially the wooden one. That’s a favorite of my son’s right now (thanks Aunt Miranda for buying them!).

10. Anywhere Chair
Every kid needs their own sized chair. Whether it be the Anywhere Chair or one similar, smaller, child-size chairs always seem to attract kids of all ages. My son loves to grab a book and pretend to read in his chair. He also likes to watch movies while sitting in it. When he was 18 months old I remember that he grabbed his chair, dragged it into the living room and pushed it into place between mine and my husbands chairs. It was so adorable! He wanted to be just like us. So we know we’ll have to get our daughter one of her own for Christmas this year. It just makes sense!

This is not a sponsored post. I either own and have used the toys with my own children, or have heard great reviews from reliable friends and family. I was not compensated by any of the companies listed above. The opinions stated are my own. 


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