Interactive Homework Helper: Wise ‘Ol Owl Blackboard Calculator

We were sent the Wise ‘Ol Owl Blackboard Calculator in exchange for our honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Learning got a ‘lil more fun around here for Evan and the twins with the Wise ‘Ol Owl Blackboard Calculator from Singing Machine. With three different languages and the basic math functions, there are plenty of learning opportunities for my ‘lil ones.

Wise ‘Ol Owl Blackboard Calculator

Wise 'Ol Owl Blackboard Calculator

Here are the basic details on this calculator, the first educational toy that Singing Machine (known for their in-home karaoke systems) has created for preschoolers and early learners:

The Wise Ol’ Owl Blackboard calculator teaches kids basic math functions such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in three different languages (English, Spanish, & French). The interactive calculator includes a large LCD display for easy viewing and has playful sounds that engages kids to learn. For kids age 4 and up the Wise Ol’ Owl is available for a suggested retail price of $24.99 and sold through major mass merchandisers and online retailers, including Walmart, and Amazon.

Evan (with the help of Big Sis) was excited to share his thoughts over on our YouTube Channel:

So tell us – are you interested in making learning fun, getting homework done faster, or picking up some math facts in another language with this calculator? What makes you excited about it?

CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio

*articles may contain affiliate links* Arianna was extremely excited to give CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio a try while the kids had some snow days this week. She is our creative kid, so giving her the opportunity to make her own jewelry was pretty cool.

CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio

If your child loves creating their own jewelry pieces, the CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio is a great set for them. The one we got to test out was “Sweet Treats” but there are other themes (like “Fashion Icons”). Each kit has over 100 pieces for making colorful sparkling charms.

The set is recommended for 6+. Arianna worked on her set far from the twins because these pieces are definitely tiny. Dad supervised, but the charms were easy enough for her to put together with some patience. (When you put the charms together, there is water-activated fusing materials on the charms that requires one-minute+ holding the charm together, then it must dry for about 20 minutes.)

Once the charms are created, they can be added to bracelets or necklaces (in the kit) or displayed on the drying stand.

Love it? Get your CharMinis Deluxe Jewelry Studio here now! 

See the Studio in Action!

Arianna did a quick video to show what you do with this set. She has made a few charms so far, but is very cautious to keep this away from her little sisters.

Doesn’t it seem like a fun toy? Definitely brings out the creative side.

The CharMinis are available on Amazon with an MSRP of $24.99. Add-on packs are also available.

What is your child creating? What do you think of the CharMinis?

Lottie Dolls: Birthday Girl Sophia

Disclosure: This post is a collaboration between this blog and Lottie Dolls. We were provided a Birthday Girl Sophia in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are 100% our own.

Tomorrow is a big day – our oldest ‘lil girl will turn nine! We celebrated a ‘lil bit tonight and shared with her a doll this mama is swooning over – the Lottie Dolls Birthday Girl Sophia! She was the perfect addition to Arianna’s doll collection – she already has a Lottie Doll and LOVES her – so both of us spent some time checking out all her cool features.

Lottie Doll

Birthday Girl Sophia is part of the Lottie brand, one created to empower kids to be themselves and engage in imaginative play. They are built proportionate to a nine-year-old child, can stand, and have realistic hair. The best part? They encourage both girls and boys not to grow up too quickly. (If you have to have her, head over to the Lottie Dolls site to find Sophia, Lottie, Finn and more friends!)

Our set came with a fun friend, Biscuit the Beagle, and adorable accessories like a tiny bone and dog bed. Arianna was quick to start imagining how Sophia and Beagle could be best of buds! (Head over here for information on how to purchase Biscuit.)

Our Experience: Birthday Girl Sophia and Biscuit the Beagle

I admit I hung onto Sophia a little longer than I wanted to because she was going to be perfect for Arianna’s birthday. I think it was worth the wait. Arianna loves realistic dolls (Lottie Dolls have flexible limbs – that’s one of the things she looks for in dolls), especially ones that have a theme or story. Sophia fits the bill perfectly. And the accessories that come in the Lottie Dolls Pets make for tons of imaginative play, too!

Check out this video to watch Arianna unbox Sophia and Biscuit. Listen for what I love most – Arianna just might agree with me! =)

Isn’t she just adorable? I’m thinking that Sophia (+ friends like Biscuit and other Lottie Dolls) are going to be a hit this holiday season…and top the birthday girl gift lists!

(PRO MOM TIP: Get Sophia now and keep her on hand for those surprise birthday party invites that sneak into your kids’ backpacks!)

If you’re in love like we are, join Club Lottie and follow Lottie on Facebook and Twitter! You can purchase any doll from the Lottie Dolls collection online at lottie.com.

Win Your Own Birthday Girl Sophia and Biscuit!

We love to spoil our fans and are sure you’ll love having a Sophia and Biscuit of your own! Enter our giveaway which is open to US Residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 15. Good luck!

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Brick Loot

*articles may contain affiliate links* This post is brought to you by Brick Loot, a monthly subscription box for ages 6-99.

Remember a few months ago we went to Brick Fest? At the time, I had no idea how much the Bigs loved their bricks. Good thing we found out about Brick Loot! Arianna and Evan got to check out August’s box (late on our part because, well, life). Here’s what they have to say:

Arianna: It was good! We really liked the bricks and emoji in the box!

Evan: It was really fun and I liked what I got. I really like that we could get it every month if we wanted to!

But even better, check out their thoughts as they unboxed the August Brick Loot box:

Well then. Guess we have some subscribing to do?!?! The August box brought us these items:

Here are the details on this box, invented by a 9-year-old!

This surprise box is delivered monthly to customers of all ages (40% of our subscribers are adults) and is filled to the brim with the latest and greatest brick sets and accessories, including the fan favorite, LEGO. The contents include custom LEGO kits, LEGO Minifigures, accessories, lights, Brick Loot exclusives and more. The best part of the box is it keeps kids creative and engaged. You can not find these products at your local toy store making them very collectable. The box subscription starts as low as $24.99 a month and varies depending on your subscription selection.

Each box has a theme, with is pretty neat. August was Emojis and September will be Titanic. Wonder what is in store for future months?

You can sign up to subscribe to Brick Loot for as little as $24.95 + shipping per month. (Check out the options here.)

Magic Sketch by Boogie Board

*articles may contain affiliate links* Have a long car trip coming up? The Magic Sketch by Boogie Board might just be the perfect toy to accompany your kids. We’re talking drawing, sketching, doodling, math, and more. My creative kiddos are all about their newest toy!

magic sketch

Your ‘lil ones can draw until their heart is content, then with the touch of a button erase the crystal screen! The features are sheer magic – I’ve tried to figure out how it works and I just have to accept that it’s magic!

The kit we checked out had different tools for writing, stamps, and games to slide behind the clear screen. How about we let Arianna explain what she loves about the Magic Sketch by Boogie Board?

As a mom of creative kids, the Magic Sketch is a win in my book. The pen that clips and the button that erases are my favorite features. Arianna’s loving the see-through screen and many different tools she can use on it. What we didn’t realize when we did the video is that the screen is also water resistant!

Another perk of the Magic Sketch’s transparent screen is that you can slide a coloring book page under it and trace over and over. I’ll let you decide if Arianna did a trace or freestyle drawing here:

This is a must-have toy (listed on Amazon’s Top 100 Toys currently), so head over to Amazon and get your kiddos one before they sell out this holiday season! (MSRP is $29.99 | Ages 3+) What are your favorite features of the Magic Sketch? 

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You can find out more about this toy on their website. Find Magic Sketch on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Toy Tuesday: July 18

*articles may contain affiliate links* This edition of Toy Tuesday is going to bring you some fun toys we recently got to check out thanks to our friends at The Learning Journey and The Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite. We love getting a sneak peek at some of the coolest toys out there!

Find It! Dinosaurs!

The Learning Journey has a line of “Puzzle Doubles” which include a 50-piece 2’x3′ floor puzzle that once completed becomes a matching game. It’s recommended for ages 3 and up (and admittedly my 6 and 8 year olds put it together in no time, so Evan says it would be best for 3-5 year olds in his opinion). The pieces are big and sturdy, but they’re also beautiful when put all together.

Once the puzzle comes together, use the included cards to find the matching object on the puzzle. There’s either a picture or a word to match to the images on the puzzle’s border. The Bigs tried to use the words then confirmed their guesses with the picture on the back (making this a fun challenge for your older learners).

Puzzle Doubles are available online (get the Dino version HERE) and retail for approximately $14.99.

Disney Junior’s Puppy Dog Pals & Dreamworks’ Spirit Riding Free

The Bigs love getting blind bags, so of course they were excited that Just Play Toys sent me home from Sweet Suite ’17 with a set of blind bags from some of the most popular kid’s entertainment brands out there today. We checked out a cute dog crate from Puppy Dog Pals and a miniature horse pen from Spirit Riding Free.

These toys are coming out soon – keep an eye out!

Check out what the kids thought here:

What are your kids loving in the toy space right now?

Splashlings Medical Center and Wave 2 Blind Bags

[Review Disclaimer] Today we’re opening up the Splashlings Medical Center and Wave 2 Blind Bags. If you’ve not yet heard, Splashlings are a set of collectible toys that my kids (ages 8 and 6) are obsessed with. They are ocean-themed and include over 200 characters to collect and trade. Our favorites are the mermaids and the sparkly treasures.

splashlings wave 2

The Splashlings Medical Center lets your child pretend to be doctor – a like when their mama accidentally drops one of the precious ones. They can measure height and weight, conduct an exam, or even take an x-ray of their characters.

Each set we opened came with blind bags – actually ultra-cool shells – that keep some of the characters a mystery. Part of the fun is opening up the sets and seeing who is hiding inside. According to Arianna, duplicates aren’t a problem – they give kids a trade or let them enjoy as twins. But the best part is when you find characters who are not common (the Splashlings call these rare, ultra-rare color change, and super treasure).

Splashlings Medical Center

Check out our video to see what happened when Arianna opened up the Medical Center, a 6-pack (with two surprises), a 12-pack (with two surprises), and a blind bag star-fish shell.

PRO TIPS:

  • Keep some Splashlings Collector’s Shells on hand for those moments when you catch your kiddo being good.
  • Use ICE COLD water to change the color of your ultra-rare color change Splashlings. This didn’t go so well in our video until we did so!
  • Store your Splashlings in a cool container (Arianna uses a pencil box) so their siblings don’t lose them (Arianna’s tip).

As an 80’s kid, it’s really cool to know my kids are enjoying collectibles brought to them by the same creator that brought Pound Puppies® to my life – Mike Bowling.

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Splashlings are available at Walmart, Toys R Us, Justice, and Amazon. MSRP starts at $3.99 for the shells to $19.99 for the larger playsets.

In addition to the complete line of collectibles, fans can collect Upper Deck trading cards and tap into the Splashlings Official Checklist & Collector’s Guide companion app, offering a fun way to keep track of their growing toy and card collections.  The brand will see apparel, bedding and food/beverage products in the coming year. Splashlings assortments are available at Toys “R” Us, Amazon, Justice Stores, and Walmart beginning February 1, 2017.

Stay up to date with Splashlings via Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

splashlings

What to Do When Mom Won’t Buy You a Fidget Spinner

(*articles may contain affiliate links*) Hey, guys. It’s Arianna. Today I’m going to offer up some ideas on what to do when mom won’t buy you a fidget spinner. Trust me, I know from experience. My mom won’t put one in our Amazon shopping cart. The struggle is real.

“A lot of people have them,” Evan says. “Some of the fidget spinners spin for a long, long time and that’s why I want one.”

If you’re like us, and don’t have a fidget spinner, you will have to come up with something else to do instead. Here are my suggestions!

What to Do When Mom Won’t Buy You a Fidget Spinner

Balls. You can use them like they are a fidget spinner. So like you twist it on the carpet and you can throw it up and down. It kind of looks like it when it twirls around, especially if it is different colors like a baseball or softball. If it’s just like a plain color like red, whenever you throw it, it looks like a fidget spinner that is one color.

Help put away the groceries. It will keep your mind off spending money on toys and remind you that mom and dad just spent money to fill your hungry tummy!

Make a fake computer. You can fold a piece of paper in half and draw on it so it looks like mom’s laptop and pretend to blog along beside her.

Play with your brother and sisters. You can draw pictures with them, fix their guitar, play monkey in the middle, or watch some Sesame Street.

Clean your room. Who knows. You might find something else really cool that you forgot about and you can play with that instead.

Not beg and complain. Fidget spinners are a fad! Soon enough, you will find something else to make you happy. Don’t make mom feel like she is messing up the mom thing by not buying everything you want. Give her a hug and be good!

If you don’t know about fidget spinners, here are some facts:

  • They are two or three sided and can have a color on each side.
  • You can spin it with your thumb or fingers, or even spin it on your head.
  • You can use them to relieve stress and help you pay attention.

If you have a cool mom, she can head over to Amazon and get you one like this galaxy fidget spinner that I really, really, really want (sorry for begging, Mom!). Maybe if you do some chores, you’ll end up with a surprise!

Floof

*articles may contain affiliate links* This post, Floofis one such post. 

The kids absolutely love their arts and crafts time. When I brought them Floof, there was no doubt in my mind they’d like. I mean, I did (because mess free fun), so why wouldn’t they?

I was wrong. They didn’t like Floof. They loved it and are constantly begging for time to play with it (at the table, of course). Indoor snow that doesn’t melt? Yes. A bucket to put it all away in at the end of play time? Yes. This toy that is lighter than air was a hit in our house for sure.

Floof

What is Floof?

From the makers of Sands Alive!, this new compound looks like snow, feels like a marshmallow, molds like clay and can be reused every single day! It’s lighter than air, soft and smooth to the touch, and easily molds into amazing detail. You need to feel it to believe it!

The bucket of Floof is full of fun. Arianna says, “it’s really smooshy and really cool. It’s really fun to use!” From molding into shapes (our set has penguins, but there are other options out there) to just moving it from hand to hand, Floof is a unique toy for kids.

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Like the description from Play Visions says, you do have to feel it to believe it. Check out what Evan and Arianna had to say as they played with it for the first time.

Evan advises to be sure that you have dry hands before playing with it – he’s learned the hard way a few times. 😉

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Floof is available from Play Visions and at various toy retailers. MSRP is $14.99+ depending on the kit you select. Check out the winter themes and the s’mores theme! The kids are recommending it be on every Santa list in 2016.

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