Family Friendly Video Game Preview: LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ & Game Giveaway

After our plans for a day at the beach were thwarted by combination of horrific traffic and drizzly weather this past weekend, the family wound up stopping at a local mall to eat lunch and do some window shopping.  We eventually wandered into a GameStop store, since my seven-year old son has turned into quite the gamer.

LNN Poster Charging RGB 1as Preview When he’s in a competitive mode, he plays Xbox with either his dad or friends. More often though, he likes playing solo, and turns to his  Nintendo 3DSXL, which he got for his birthday last year instead of having a party.

He’s got quite the growing roster of 3DS games in his collection, but his favorite ones by far are LEGO®-related games. So when he saw an in-store ad for LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ he went crazy and can’t wait to get the game to try it out for himself.

Continue reading ⇒

Kid Lit: Avoiding “Summer Slide” – Read A Book, Or How About Forty Of Them!

Ah, summertime!  It’s what my kidlets look forward to all year.  Two solid months of fun, excitement and no stress.  Days filled with playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, making crafts and eating lots of ice cream.   Hearing about my kidlet’s daily adventures makes me wish I could be a kid again – having a pretty-much carefree summer instead of going to work everyday.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-boy-girl-reading-books-image19977713However, as many of you moms out there would agree, while I want my kidlets to enjoy their break, I don’t want them to suffer from “summer slide.”  That’s what happens when young minds sit idle for weeks at a time without any learning instruction.  To help avoid this, I enrolled both the kidlets in our local library’s summer reading program.

Each of my kidlets – my son is almost seven, my daughter is 4½ – got their own personalized reading log.  We keep the logs hung up on the bulletin board in our kitchen for easy access.

Continue reading ⇒

Dinosaurs Roam The Earth Again! Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular Comes to NJ’s Prudential Center July 23-27

Now we all know that dinosaurs are extinct, but it seems to me like Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular might make you do a double take!

WWD-featured-1The family is excited to go and see this live show next week courtesy of Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

My kidlets are fascinated by dinosaurs.  This show sounds like a perfect way to not only entertain them, but educate them about the role dinosaurs played in our world’s history.

Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular is based on the award-winning BBC Television series that aired on Discovery Channel here in the US. From the commercials I’ve seen on TV to the video below, the show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic realism.Continue reading ⇒

A Day At The Beach – Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Family Fun Place Pass Giveaway

JenksAmbassadorButton-250x250To me, there’s no better way to spend a summer day than at the beach. I love nothing more than having my toes in the sand, splashing around in the waves and sitting on the beach for some, what I call, “golden goddess” time – but covered in 40+ sun block and wearing a big floppy hat & sunglasses, of course!

I’ve been a faithful patron of the Jersey shore since I spent my first summer there when I was six. So if you do the math (and I beg you please not to!), I’ve been frolicking in the sand and surf there for some 36 years. In fact, the family did an overnight trip to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk at Pt. Pleasant Beach last week to celebrate my birthday.

Whether you’re a day-tripper or planning an extended stay, Jenkinson’s is a great family friendly beach and boardwalk destination. You will definitely find something here to excite each member of your family.

Continue reading ⇒

One Brick At A Time – LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester Review

Lego
Back in the early 80s, when I was about nine years old, I had a friend who was totally obsessed with LEGO®.  I loved to have play dates at her house because on the floor of her bedroom she had built an entire LEGO town.

It was completeTHM_LEGOLANDDISCOVERYCENTER_LegoTown2 with houses, police & fire stations, apartment buildings, a hospital, a gas station, an airport and the streets were even dotted with trees, flowers, bushes and light posts.

There were lots of LEGO men doing things throughout the town, pumping gas, flying planes and doing construction.  I don’t seem to remember there being too many LEGO women around, but my favorite ones were the ones who worked at the hospital.  They had crazy 60s-style beehive hairdos that curled up at the ends!

Flash forward to today and you can still find me playing and building with LEGO, but this time it’s with my kidlets.

Continue reading ⇒

Splish-Splash! Visiting Schlitterbahn & Family Tips for Visiting Waterparks This Summer

Summertime is here and that means lots of fun times are ahead with family and friends! We just got back from our first big trip of the summer – Texas!  I know, who goes to scorching hot Texas in the middle of summer – but we do.  We visited with family and took a road trip from Houston to San Antonio.  Along the way we checked out the Alamo, walked through Natural Bridge Caverns, tubed down the Comal River and spent an awesome day at Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort.

THM_WaterParkTips_Schlitterbahn_4The family after a long and fun day at Schlitterbahn – outside the main entrance.

Located in New Braunfels, TX — which is just outside of San Antonio — Schlitterbahn is a family friendly waterpark.  In addition to New Braunfels, they have a few other locations scattered around Texas — in South Padre Island, Galveston, Corpus Christi — and one located out-of-state, “up north,” in Kansas City, KS.

Continue reading ⇒

Kid Lit: Another “Good Question!”

A few months back I wrote about how my kidlets ask me about a million questions a day and how I used Good Question! books to help me answer some of their more probing ones.   My kidlets devoured those books and by the time they were finished with each of the five books we had, they were all smarty pants about things like the five senses, the American Civil War, the Earth, how plants grow, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and our solar system!   And then another round of questions began….

THM_GoodQuestion_1Thankfully a new series of Good Question! books recently showed up at our home, courtesy of Sterling Children’s Books, so once again, I’ve got answers!

Continue reading ⇒

Kids Imagination Comes Alive – Surprise Ride Review

In a world that is filled with hi-tech, battery-operated toys with lots of bells and whistles, I like it when my kidlets to play with toys that encourage them to use their creativity and imagination, just like I did when I was their age.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-imagination-image17766376On a daily basis you can find my kids on any number of fascinating adventures. They make up incredible stories where they ride dinosaurs, battle space monsters, jump over mountains, build magic castles and they even have super heroes save princesses from evil witches.  Sometimes mom even gets to join in – mostly I get relegated to the monster or evil witch parts, but every once in a while I do get to be the fairy godmother!

So when a box to review Surprise Ride, a monthly subscription box that sends kids aged 6-11 a surprise box of activities with all the tools they need to explore and try something new, showed up on our doorstep the kidlets were excited to see what adventure they’d be taking.

Continue reading ⇒

Skylanders Celebrates World Cup Fever With New Kickoff Countdown SWAP Force Character

THM_Skylanders_KickOffCoutdown_WorldCup_1The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off earlier this week in Brazil and soccer fever has taken over the entire world for the next four weeks!  Our house is no exception.  My kids are happily dancing around to “We Are One (Ole Ola)” and are kicking their soccer balls all over the yard trying to copy the fancy kicks and moves of the players/teams they see on TV.

Everyone seems to have World Cup fever.  Even my son’s favorite video game Skylanders has gotten into the game and is celebrating with the release of a new SWAP Force character, Kickoff Countdown!

Continue reading ⇒

Monster Jam Set To Roar Back Into NY/NJ Saturday, June 14 – Win A Family 4-Pack!

A few months back I talked about the “crushing” good time the family had at a Monster Jam show.  That was an indoor arena show and is a totally different experience than seeing one of their shows in a full-fledged stadium filled with a custom dirt track full of obstacles to soar over and, of course, smash through!  For all our friends and readers in the NY & NJ area, Monster Jam is set to roar back into town on its “Path of Destruction” tour at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, June 14.

THM_MonsterJam_PathOfDestruction2014For the un-indoctrinated, Monster Jam trucks are about 12 feet tall and about 12 feet wide custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds.

These trucks are built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, with monster trucks generating 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

Don’t let their monster size-fool you though, these trucks can truly float through the air!  They can fly 125 to 130 feet — a distance greater than 14 cars side by side — and soar up to 35 feet in the air!Continue reading ⇒