No-Sew Card Table Forts for Kids + Free Camping Printables

Parents everywhere, rejoice!  There is finally a cheap and easy way to create an indoor (or outdoor) fort for your kids!  As a parent, the fort struggle is constant.  My kids drag sheets and blankets all over my house, sling them over chairs, tables, bar stools and couches, drag their toys to play with underneath – and leave it all for me to clean up!  Not a day goes by that they don’t ask to play under some sort of structure.
Browsing around Pinterest, you’ll find a bazillion options for DIY fort kits for kids, but they all require so much effort.  And money.  And time.  Amazon Prime it is!

Have you found that you’re more of an Amazon Prime mom than a Pinterest mom?  There’s no shame in that.  I’ve found some amazing products on Amazon recently, including a couple of Hideaboo Hideouts that will not only save me money, time and effort, but they’ll afford me more opportunities to play with my kids without stressing so much about the mess and clean-up.
My girls and I absolutely love the vintage camper fort and free printables that came with our purchase.  We love to camp as a family and can use this fort indoors or out.  It will even be perfect for the kids to play in while camping, since we already take a card table with us to eat on.

To Buy

These easy forts simply slip over your standard card table and require no other effort on your part.  There’s no sewing involved like some of the DIY fort kits I’ve seen on the market and they are fairly inexpensive to purchase from Amazon.

  

Use promo code NAPREV20 during checkout on Amazon.com to get 20% off your Hideaboo Hideouts order. (Code valid until the end of February 2017)


Free Camping Printables 

(right click each image to save to your desktop)

These images were made for an standard sheet of paper.  I printed them as 8×10’s with white borders for my frames.

You also might like these Easy Card Table Lemonade Stand from Hideaboo Hideouts
The idea of using a Lemonade Stand slipcover over a card table is absolutely brilliant.  Finally, there is no need to create a vintage-looking wooden lemonade stand like so many of you have already done.  This is so easy, inexpensive and can be washed if lemonade spills on it.
Learn more about Hideaboo Hideouts and their fantastic forts for kids at http://shoprelive.com/product/hideaboo.  You’ll find other great fort themes like Down on the Farm, Enchanted Castle, Outer Space Rocket and Underwater Submarine.
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Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 2 Hideaboo Hideouts using the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway will end on 2/13/16 and winners will be emailed soon after.  We are giving away 1 lemonade stand Hideaboo Hideout of your choice and 1 themed Hideaboo Hideout of your choice.  Good luck!

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Unique Arts + Crafts Projects, Games, Toys and Apps for Kids | Seedling

This article is part of a sponsored collaboration with Seedling as part of my holiday gift guide.  I have hand-picked my holiday gift guide brands this year because they fit in well with my lifestyle and are a good fit for my audience.  As always, all opinions are my own and are never influenced by compensation.

This has proven to be my most difficult year for gift shopping for my girls.  My oldest is five and my youngest is two.  They have very different personalities and are into very different things.  My oldest is really artsy and loves project-type gifts.  My youngest loves princesses, dolls, Barbies and dress-up things, but already owns pretty much everything that Target sells.

I recently connected with a brand called Seedling to share their unique arts and crafts projects with you all, but I’m stocking up on gifts for my girls in the process.  I love their products so much that I even added them to my holiday gift guide!  They are a perfect fit for my girls, and most likely a perfect fit for your kiddos, too.

What I really like about Seedling’s kits for kids are that they are mostly very usable products.  We have purchased countless art kits from other brands that are really only good for building and not playing with. Seedling offers so many different types of projects for all ages of kids and are very affordable.  These kits are especially great for rainy days!

MAZE Collection (For ages 8+)

I recently featured Seedling’s MAZE collection of products on Good Day Sacramento.  I absolutely love this entire collection because offers a modern take on the traditional Labyrinth marble maze game.

  • Design Your Own Marble Maze ($59.99)
    • This is a fun kit that allows kids to design their own virtual reality maze.  They start by building their own maze with the high quality materials provided in their kits.  They can place walls onto the grid, add traps, choose start and end points, then drop the marble into their Maze to play.  They can challenge their friends and family to race to the finish.  With moveable walls, there are endless ways to redesign and play each Maze.  
    • Once their maze is complete, they can take a picture of it via the MAZE App (iOS or Android), where they can transform their maze into a spaceship, a kingdom, or even an ancient ruin. They can add photos, sounds, riddles, and more.  And every Maze comes with a free virtual reality viewer so the entire family can experience the Maze in a VR world!  Place your iPhone, iPod or Android device into the viewer and step inside your own virtual reality adventure.
  • DIY Virtual Reality Viewer ($29.99)
    • Design your own cardboard VR headset, slide your device in and experience your maze in a whole new way.  Seedling offers a variety of Virtual Reality Viewer kits to appeal to a variety of styles.
  • Design Your Own Headphones ($29.99)
    • You’ve built your MAZE, you’ve downloaded the app, you have your custom VR headset, now hear what your MAZE sounds like with your own set of custom headphones.

You may have seen some of these project kits in stores like Target:


Giveaway

We’ve partnered with Seedling to offer our readers a fun giveaway!  Enter to win 1 of 2 prizes using the Rafflecopter form below.  We will choose two winners after 12/16/16.  Good luck!

Holiday Gift Idea: smarTrike Dazzle 5-in-1 Trike for Ages 10 mo – 3 yr

I’m proud to partner with smarTrike this holiday season.  As always, all opinions are my own and are never influenced by my sponsors.  I only work with brands that align with my lifestyle and that are a good fit for my audience.

If you could see my backyard right now, you’d probably cringe.  It’s a complete mess.  We have two kids outdoor dining tables, a water table, two balance bikes, one tricycle, a bucket of pool toys, a bucket of non-pool toys, kids chairs all over the place, etc.  It makes me cringe every time I look out there.  I have set a goal (but no timeline) to clean that space up, though.  Obviously I need to set a timeline because it still hasn’t been cleaned.  I plan to reduce the amount of clutter by donating products we don’t use anymore.  I also plan to replace multiple products with single products that serve multiple purposes.

I have always been a proponent of products that serve multiple purposes and grow with my children.  From nursery components to toys to travel gear, I try to make a conscious effort to buy purposefully to avoid wasting space.  Since my home isn’t ginormous, I need to save on space where I can.

I recently featured the smarTrike in my holiday gift guide segment on Good Day Sacramento as a great multi-purpose product for kids ages 10+ months to 3 years.  This Trike easily goes from stroller mode to independent Trike mode with just a few simply adjustments.  It’s one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve seen in my five years of parenting and is going to help tremendously with my “save the space” mission.

 smarTrike Stages

  • Stage 1 – From 10 months: Reclining Seat sleep mode, allows your precious cargo to sleep comfortably and securely with our high backed seat and safety bar.
  • Stage 2 – From 10 months: Stroller Mode, your child can safely use the foot rests and sit up comfortably in the padded seat.
  • Stage 2 – From 18 months: Guided Trike, when your child can sit upright on their own, simply remove the safety bar, allowing your child the feel of independence and a more comfortable ride while still having the security of the multi point safety belt.
  • Stage 4 – From 24 months: Training Trike, turn the Dazzle into a training trike, allowing your child to learn how to pedal by themselves, develop motor skills and gain confidence while you’re still in control.
  • Stage 5 – from 30 months: Classic Trike, remove the parent handle, turning the Dazzle into an independent trike which your child pedals and steers on their own.

My youngest just turned two and has been wanting her own big girl bike for quite a while.  She’s so tiny, though, and can’t really handle a 12″ bike with training wheels.  She can’t quite reach the pedals on a regular bike which is why the smarTrike has been perfect for her.

Kendall is a very timid child when it comes to new products, but she jumped right on her smarTrike and said “my new bike, mom!”  And although my daughter refuses to wear her “buckles,” as we call them, I do like that this Trike has the option to buckle your child in.  I’m a huge fan of the reclining seat and the sun shade, too.

Q & A

Many of you have asked me questions on Facebook about the smarTrike after seeing the Good Day Sacramento segments, so I’m going to do my best to answer a few of them.

Q: Does the handle feel sturdy?
A: The handle does feel pretty sturdy.  There is a little flex in it, but I’m not concerned about it breaking.

Q:  Does that big bottom bag come off?
A: Yes. You can remove the entire parent handle and backpack unit.  Underneath the backpack, there is a black storage cubby to hold extra drinks and snacks.

Q:  Does the smarTrike Dazzle come in more colors?  I don’t want purple for my little boy.
A:  Yes!  The Dazzle model also comes in red and grey.



This product has completely eliminated the need to take the stroller on our family walks.  I’m all about getting kids out and active and this is a great product for that.

Learn more about the smarTrike Dazzle 5-in-1 Trike by visiting a Toys ‘R Us store or toysrus.com.

Realistic-Looking Pretend Makeup for Kids by Cutegirl Cosmetics

This article and photoshoot is sponsored by Cutegirl Cosmetics.  As always, all opinions are my own and I only work with brands that align with my lifestyle.
If you’ve been following The Naptime Reviewer for a little while, you might remember one of my favorite posts and kids’ products – CUTEGIRL COSMETICS PLAY MAKEUP + DRESS-UP GAMES.  Cutegirl Cosmetics makes the most realistic-looking pretend makeup I’ve ever seen and my girls just love their products.

Some would argue that teaching our little ones to “need” makeup is probably not the best, but I personally love makeup.  Makeup makes me feel for confident.  It allows me to express myself in an artistic kind of way, and it’s just plain fun to do.  Of course I teach my girls that they are beautiful and that they are perfect just the way they are, but I personally do not feel like makeup is a bad thing.

Cutegirl Cosmetics‘ products are toys.  They are pretend make-up products designed to look like designer cosmetics and they’ve done a darn good job with the designs.  The colors do not transfer onto the realistic-looking brushes or onto the skin, so it’s completely mess-free – and my girls love it!

You may notice the adorably chic cosmetic bags that come with Cutegirl Cosmetics‘ new makeup sets.  My favorite is the hot pink arrows bag, which I plan to steal from my girls for my own makeup.  The bags are really well-made and durable and are a nice bonus that comes with their makeup sets.

A newer product to hit the Cutegirl Cosmetics line this season is the foundation bottle.  It looks like the real deal and my girls have had a blast pretending to do each other’s makeup.

If the arrows bag isn’t your thing, you might like this super cute hearts cosmetics bag.  This one is definitely more girly and appeals to the younger crowd.  This bag also comes with the same set of designer-inspired pretend makeup as the arrows bag and is the same price ($19.95).

Pretend makeup is going to be one of the hot holiday gifts this year.  I suggest you forego the cheap products from your local superstore and shop Cutegirl Cosmetics on Amazon or visit www.shopcutegirl.com.

Encouraging Open-Ended Play with Bunchems Alive

If you have been around long enough to remember my article about open-ended play, you’ll know what a big fan I am of toys that encourage kids to use their imagination and express creativity.  The only problem with a lot of crafty-type toys we purchase is that they either get lost, dropped, sucked up into the vacuum, or they dry out.  This leads me to my recent partnership with Bunchems, a brand who was awarded the 2016 Toy of the Year Award in the Activities category.

My five-year-old has been begging for Bunchems since she first saw them on YouTube kids.  I’ve done my best to avoid them until I felt she was mature enough to play with them, and she’s having a blast with them.  I typically don’t like to purchase toys or craft supplies that contain tons of tiny pieces that can potentially get lost around my house, but Bunchems has sucked me in.  The clean-up process is extremely easy due to the fact that they stick together, so we literally just wrap our arms around the entire lot of Bunchems and plop them into a bin.

Something that I cannot stress enough is make sure your child’s hair is pulled up out of his/her face before playing with Bunchems to keep the toys from getting entangled in their hair.   If by any chance your little one gets Bunchems caught in their hair, they are super easy to remove as demonstrated in this Bunchems Safety Video.  To avoid any hassle, though, simply pull their hair back.

Bunchems encourages open-ended play by offering tools for kids to create.  Kids get to use their imagination and don’t have to follow any rules if they don’t want to.  Your child can create the suggested shapes and characters found on the Bunchems instructional sheet or they can design their own characters and shapes.  Bunchems easily stick together and come apart without the use of glue and their coordinating accessories are equally as easy to add or remove.

A fun new way to bring life to your Bunchems creations is with the NEW Bunchems Alive Motorized Action Pack.  You can squish, connect and create with Bunchems and watch them come to life with animated set. There are no limits to your creativity!

This set comes with 300 colorful bunchems, 13 accessories, 1 Bunchems Motorized Stick’em Ball and a guide book.  My daughter has been having so much fun with this set.  It has literally provided hours of fun and entertainment for her and it’s so fun to see how excited she gets when she creates a character.

Giveaway

To help encourage open-ended play in your home with kids ages 4+, we’re offering a giveaway!  Enter to win one Bunchems Alive Set and one Bunchems Megapack ($64.98 ARV) using the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only, ages 18+.  One winner per household.  Winners will be randomly selected and notified by our sponsor by October 14, 2016.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Cutegirl Cosmetics Play Makeup + Dress-Up Games

This advertorial is in collaboration with The Wonderland Company. As always, I only post about products that work for me and my family.  All opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated.  This post contains my Amazon affiliate links.  Ordering through my links does not cost you anything, but helps fund The Naptime Reviewer.

Cutegirl cosmetics - fake makeup

It’s no secret that little kids love to get into their mom’s makeup stash.  I can’t even count how many lipsticks I’ve owned (and have loved), that my girls have ruined.  My youngest daughter, Kendall, has been into makeup, pretend play and dress-up since she was moving around on her own.  At just 21 months old, she understands that lipstick goes on the lips, eyeshadow goes on the eyes, etc., but she obviously isn’t careful with my real makeup.

Some people may argue that it’s not good to teach kids about makeup and being superficial, but for me personally, I use makeup because I like to.  Sometimes I use it to cover blemishes, sometimes I use it because it makes me feel special and sometimes I don’t even use it at all.  I definitely make sure to tell my girls that they are beautiful without makeup or fancy clothes, and make sure to teach them that nobody has to have makeup.  They are both very artistic and makeup is just another form of art.  It’s fun and it’s expressive.

As I mentioned above, my girls love to get into my makeup.  They’ve dropped countless blushes, powdered eyeshadows and highlighters, and have ruined lots of lipsticks.  Needless to say, pretend makeup is the obvious choice for girls their ages (21 mo and 5 yrs old), but all of the sets I found at Target just don’t look real.

Cutegirl Cosmetics takes the cake when it comes to realistic-looking fake makeup.  I just recently received a couple of sets for my girls, ordered from Amazon, and I thought they were the cutest things ever.  Each makeup case has been designed to look like the big brands’ makeup cases, so my girls feel like they are using mommy’s makeup.  One of the sets even came with a cute little beauty bag.

(scroll down for dress-up games ideas for girls)

Cutegirl cosmetics - fake makeup

Each set came with makeup brushes and assorted play makeup products like lipstick, blush, glittery eyeshadow, nail polish and face powder (sets may vary).  Since these products are just toys, they don’t actually apply to the skin, which means no mess, clean-up or hazards.  The makeup cases are filled with an eco-friendly foam that is glued in really well.

Cutegirl cosmetics - fake makeup

How to Order Cutegirl Cosmetics

Check Cutegirl Costmetics’ products out on Amazon!  They are inexpensive, colorful and would make a great gift for any little dress-up lover!

Cutegirl cosmetics - fake makeup

Cutegirl cosmetics - fake makeup

Giveaway

We’ve partnered with The Wonderland Company to offer you a Cutegirl Cosmetics giveaway!!  Two winners will each receive both kits shown above.  Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.  We will choose our winners after 7/28/16.  Good luck!*
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Dress-Up Games for Girls 

My daughter’s love to dress up (as seen in the photos above) and I thought I would share with you some fun dress-up games that I have recently discovered.  Tuck these away on your Pinterest page for later or give them a try today!

Dress-up dress display


1.  Dress-Up Relay Race

With this game, you can use store-bought dress-up items, or you can use your own fancy attire.

How to Play:  Find a space indoors where you can lay out various dress-up pieces in a line.  Start by placing a dress on the floor.  A few feet later, place a necklace on the floor; a few feet later place a crown on the floor; followed by dress-up shoes.  Establish a starting point for all participants in this princess relay race and when you say “go,” everyone runs to the first item and puts it on, followed by each piece after that.  For added fun, lay out pretend makeup and a cosmetic bag, and require each child to place all items in the cosmetic bag.  The first to return to the start line with all items on is the winner!

Little girls with pretend makeup

2.  Blindfold Makeover Challenge

This is a game that requires real makeup, so now’s the time to whip out that old lipstick.  Try to stay away from eyeshadow and mascara, as that can get a little dangerous for this game.

How to Play:  Each child picks a partner.  For the first round, one partner will wear the blindfold and the other will be receiving the makeover.  Give each team 15- 20 seconds to apply lipstick to their partner the best they can while blindfolded.  Whichever team does the best with both teammates, wins.

3.  Toilet Paper Princess Dress

Toilet Paper princess dress game

This game is similar to the toilet paper wedding dress game we play at bridal showers.

How to Play:  Kids grab a partner or two and try to make the best toilet paper princess dress they can under 10 minutes.  No other materials can be used.  One child can be the dress model and the others can build the dress.  This can also be played in mommy/daughter teams.

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube. We hereby release Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube of any liability. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email! Open to US 18+ Only  Giveaway prize is subject to availability.  If the named prize is not available, a substitute will be awarded. No purchase necessary.  A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.  A winner will be chosen at random using Random.org.

TOMY’s Zootopia Toys Giveaway

In collaboration with TOMY.


If you haven’t had a chance to watch Disney’s box office hit, Zootopia, now is the time!  The Blu-Ray/DVD just arrived in stores and it’s definitely a must-have for your Disney movie collection.

My husband and I took our 4-year-old daughter to see Zootopia in the theater when it first came out.  The movie completely surprised me and had a ton of adult humor in it (which I love).  Without revealing too much about the movie, check out my favorite song from the film below:

About Zootopia

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia.  Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia’s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case – even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery.

TOMY Zootopia Toys

TOMY has come out with an awesome line of Zootopia toys ranging from figures and role play toys to plush characters, all priced under the $25 price point.  My girls are loving their Judy’s Police Cruiser and Nick Wilde plush  Of course, my four-year-old snagged the Police Cruiser right away and handed the plush to the baby.  Both toys are equally adorable, though.

My oldest sat and watched the movie this evening while playing with her new toy.  She showed me that the trunk of the car turns into a jail cell to hold the bad guys.  Also, when you roll the car, the front lights flash on and off.  Knowing that she can only choose one toy to take on vacation with us next week, she shyly asked to bring her Zootopia toy.

Our Nick Wilde plush character says a variety of phrases including a joke from one of my favorite scenes in the movie, “what do you call a three humped camel?”  (You’ve got to watch the movie to find the answer)

You can find the TOMY line of Zootopia toys at www.tomy.com/zootopia, Amazon and Toys ‘R Us.

Zootopia Toys Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of the Zootopia Blu-Ray/DVD, we’re offering you the chance to win two TOMY toys including a randomly selected talking plus character and a Judy’s Police Cruiser toy.
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  We will choose one winner after 6/17/16.  Good luck!

If you have a second, please vote for us on Top Mommy Blogs to let us know you think we’re awesome!  (this is not a requirement to enter our giveaway)

Vote For Me @ The Top Mommy Blogs Directory

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Diverse Families Dolls – Designed to be as unique as you!

In collaboration with Diverse Families. 
I have a family.  My family consists of a mom, dad and two little girls.  One of my girls has copper-brown hair and my other daughter has dark brown hair.  One of my daughters has light skin and my other daughter has tan skin.  One has perfect hearing and the other was born with hearing loss.  One is mellow, the other is spunky.  But I love them equally and love their differences.
You have a family.  Your family might consist of a mom, dad and kids, too.  Your family my have just a mom and kids.  Your family might be just a dad and kids.  Your family might have two moms or two dads and only one kid.  Your family might be really tall, really short, really shy, really outgoing and really – whatever your family wants to be!
Just because our families are different, does not mean we should be loved any less or treated differently.  To celebrate the differences in every family and individual, Diverse Families creates customized handmade dolls that are as unique as you are!


Most dolls these days come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different skin, hair and eye colors.  You can buy clothes for them and even accessories; but Diverse Families is doing it differently.  Their dolls are handmade plush dolls and they are on a mission to do good in every sense of the meaning.

You can order a customized “Me to a T” doll for $89 which would look similar to the doll made for my daughter Kendall.  We had her dolly customized with hearing aids to celebrate her hearing loss.   The doll is very well-made and durable.

These days, getting Kendall to wear her hearing aids is a huge challenge, but we want her to know that her mild to moderate hearing loss does not define her.  She will get along just fine with or without her hearing aids and her dolly will be there with her.

If you would like to see if Diverse Families carries a Readymade Doll that looks similar to you, this is a cheaper option.  You can get a readymade doll for $49, which come in a variety of colors, genders, ages, etc.

Something that I LOVE about the Diverse Families online shop is that they don’t assign races to their dolls.  In real life, a dark-skinned person isn’t necessarily African-American, and a light-skinned person may not call themselves “white.”  With so many mixed-race people in the world, they felt it was important to leave the race label off of their dolls.

The Diverse Families concept is simple – humans are different; celebrate the differences!  Period.

Visit www.diversefamilies.com to get started making your perfectly customized doll!

Summer Break Boredom Busters

This post is sponsored by the brands mentioned below.  As always, all opinions are my own.

I feel like we go through the school year counting down the days until it’s Summer break – and then Summer break actually arrives.  Now I am responsible for keeping the kids occupied and for keeping their brains working.  Great!

Now what?

We can only craft and go to the park so many times in a week.

And how many snacks can these kids possibly eat in a day?

Will I ever be able to get the house clean?

Summer Break Boredom Busters

Aside from the obvious Summer break activities like family vacations, trips to the zoo, camping, etc., I wanted to share some fun idea for kids around the ages of 4-5.  My daughter asks me a million times a day if we can do something fun – so here’s my little solutions.

These should get me through at least a week of boredom… right?

Chores

Chore Board Ideas for Kids

Kids HATE the word chore.  Shoot – even I hate the word chore!  It sounds so horrible.  But, turning boring chores into instantly rewarding activities is a win/win for you and the kids.

Idea:  Work for Hire Board (more ideas on Pinterest)

How-to:

When kids can see the reward beforehand, they are more likely to do the work.  Find a magnetic board and label it WORK FOR HIRE.  Cut out a little rectangular piece of paper and write a chore down on it.  Stick it to your board with a dollar bill or a pack of candy and kids can pick and choose which task/reward they would like.  You can also use a piece of string with clothes pins!

Play-Based Learning Activities

Telling your kids that they are going to learn something sounds boring.  When they are learning while they are playing, you’re more likely to hear less complaints.
Wikki Sticks and Sight Words
Idea:  Sight Words Smart Cards with Wikki Stix (picturefirstlearning.com – $29.99 with Smart Doodles Book)
How-to:  
Going over sight word flash cards is borrrrring! Picture First Learning, winner of the 2016 Family Choice Award, has come up with a way for sight word flash cards to be interactive and hands-on.  
Each pack of 30 sight words cards comes with a set of wax Wikki Stix so kids can create each letter or word.  Each card has a brightly illustrated front and a detailed back which includes a way for kids to “see” the word and “live” the word.
Example:  The letter A
See it: “A” means picture any one thing.  “Lingo says, ‘A dog.'”  Picture any one dog.
Live it: “Let’s Get Moving!  Stand up with me.  Walk to a door.  Tap the door with a finger.”
Playing with the Sight Words Smart Cards with Wikki Stix from Picture First Learning is a little like playing with play-doh, only less messy.  It turns sight word practice into a fun, artsy activity.   Both of my girls love to play with Wikki Stix and Picture First learning really got it right with this set.
You also might like:  Sight Words Smart Doodles (which comes with the set of Smart Cards).

Reading

The Moodsters Flashlight and Book
Idea:  The Moodsters Feelings Flashlight (Target – $19.99)
How-to:  This colorful flashlight help teach kid a lesson about their emotions and feelings.  It allows them to shine a light on their feelings with a dash of humor and some wisdom.  The 32-page storybook titled The Scary Sleepover talks about a young boy who is not so sure if he wants to do a treehouse sleepover.  There are dark shadows and spooky noises in the backyard, but The Moodsters can help Zach face his fears – and save the sleepover.

Games

Board games for young kids
Idea:  Interactive Board Games – Zippity Do!, Red Light Green Light 1-2-3 and Cupcake Race (endlessgames.com)
How-to:  Playing board games that get kids up and moving is always a great idea.  These action-packed games from Endless Games would make for a great Family Game Night.
Red Light Green Light 1-2-3:  The classic schoolyard game is now a fast-action, quick-to-learn card game for the whole family!  Game play is simple.  Just follow the pattern RED LIGHT – GREEN LIGHT – 1-2-3.  Play as many cards on your turn as you can IN THAT ORDER.  Can’t play a card?  Draw one from the deck and play passes to the next “driver.”  Play all your cards first to dodge traffic and win the game.
Zippity Do!: Six picture cards are spread out on the table.  Players then try to sing a song with one of the images.  Sing the song and pick the card you’re singing about.  Then replace it with another card from the deck.
Cupcake Race:  There’s a party tonight and you and your opponents have been asked to bring cupcakes.  The race is one!  Be the first player to MIX, BAKE and FROST your cupcake by visiting all four corners and collect sprinkles along the way.  The first player to reach the party with a completed cupcake and a sprinkle of each color wins the cherry to put on top.
Idea:  Hot Potato or Indoor Bowling with a Rainbow Soft Ball (edushape.com – $9.95)
How-to:
You’ve been saving all of those old food containers for a reason!  Get a game of indoor bowling going by lining up old coffee creamer containers at the end of a hallway.  Take turns rolling the Edushape Rainbow Soft Ball to see who can knock over the most containers.  Littler kids will enjoy watching the mini balls roll around inside the Rainbow Soft Ball!
Who doesn’t love a good game of Hot Potato?  Sit the whole family down in a circle or across from each other if playing with two people and pass the ball back and forth as quickly as you can.

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