Archive for the ‘child gift ideas’ Category

Science For Christmas??

November 28, 2009
What do Diet Coke and Mentos have in common?

Watch this video and find out!

NOTE the 24 second mark or you’ll miss the action!!
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I keep raving about how much my little boy is all over anything hands on. He wants project books for Christmas. He begs to look up project ideas online. He won’t let me check out picture books from the library anymore!

Well guess what?
I’ve found the perfect gift idea for my little science geek.

Review: Steve Spangler Science Kits
Price: $4.95 – $19.95 and up
Size: Small… from test tubes to small canisters to 4″x5″ boxes
Mess Factor: can be high, but with supervision nothing 5yrolds can’t handle

PhotobucketAha Factor: What’s NOT surprising and fun here? A Diet Coke Bottle Eruption!!? The teeny tiny frog robot kit (Robotikits) worked great! And look how cute this is? Hop Hop Hop… we found out it doesn’t work through windows only outside. Great observations to be made.

robotikits Frog solar powered steve spangler

robotikits steve spangler science

Something else we loved playing with was the ‘Insta Snow‘. Talk about fun to watch, fun to play with and if you put it in a big enough bowl it wasn’t messy either. And hey if you order any product today from you get a container of Fake Snow free!

The last thing we had a ball playing with were the test tubes full of growing polymer experiments. From color changing beads to growing orbs, to a tiny alligater that GROWS! All with instructions and explanations and ideas for how to chart your ‘projects’. Was my little boy in Heaven?? OH YEAH.

PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: The frog kit was seriously hard to put together. Partly because the parts were so small. The instructions were good, but no way even my 12yrold could have done this kit. Plus there were no extra parts, and at one point we lost a little screw… had to use a magnet to find it! (extra science lesson there huh?) The rest of our experments were easy and fast and though slightly messy, FUN for my kids!

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PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I think the experiments are priced well. You do have to go buy your own Diet Coke, but the Mentos and tube are provided and $5 is a great stocking stuffer price. The frog solar robot is $14 and so far still working and entertaining us. The Insta-Snow is $10 for a small container but it’s big enough for a LOT of fun, and perfect for stocking stuffing too!

PhotobucketWho is Steve Spanger?
Nobody has more fun teaching science than Steve Spangler. He earned his credentials as a science author, teacher, professional speaker, toy designer and an Emmy award-winning television personality. But, he remains a big kid at heart as he teaches people how to launch potatoes, whip up the perfect batch of slime and turn an ordinary bottle of soda into an erupting geyser of fun. His best-selling science kits and educational toys help to get kids excited about science at home…. (and he) demonstrate his true passion for making learning fun. — website

Disclosure: Product provided by

Crayola: New Products, TONS Of Glow Fun!

November 10, 2009

crayola glow board children christmas gift idea learning toyREVIEW: New Crayola Products!

Crayola Glow Board
Price: $17-20
Size: 12″ by 8″ and 3″ deep. When the product is opened and set up it looks like a small easel & easily fits on table top, or can sit in child’s lap.

PhotobucketAha Factor: Took us a few minutes to understand how this baby works. But WOW! I promise once you realize that there are TWO coloring surfaces, and when you color a ‘changing’ image, then turn on the alternating lights… It Looks Like Your Image Is Moving!!!

I don’t think I can do this product justice. I’m serious. I think I’m more in love with this light/glow board/easel thing than my kids! We keep imagining new ways to use it! My 8yrold begged to take it to church for Pete’s sake! Crayola provides additional drawings and ideas on their website for download… and we’ll get to that but so far.. we are having too much fun drawing our own ‘moving pictures’….

PhotobucketExamples so far: A rocket taking off, a little kid swinging back and forth, and even a watering bucket that looks like the water is coming out on the flowers (leave it to my 8yrold budding artist to come up with this… but honestly my 5yrold draws some cool stuff)!

PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: The markers are kind of flimsy. (One of ours broke outright.) It says right in the instructions these will dry out faster than regular markers. And it says you can replace them but I’m not seeing them sold separately anywhere? I found them for sale directly on the Crayola Store site for $5.99 plus S&H.

PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I think this is a great price overall. Perfect for a gift, and suits really any age kid from 3 and up? I saw this advertised at Micheals for $25 but elsewhere for under $20. Replacing the markers could get expensive though so that’s a bit of a downer. But the fun and learning and creativity make up for it.

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Crayola Glow Station
Price: $20-25
Size: Box is about 14″ by 14″ and 3″ deep. When the product is opened and unrolled it lays very flat but is more than 2 feet tall! Plus it can hang on the wall. (We are LOVING that!)

PhotobucketAha Factor: My kids recognized the product immediately!
: “I’ve seen this on TV! Can we open it RIGHT NOW!!!” They were especially excited when they realized you can use ANY light source not just the glow wand it comes with. They ran and gathered up every flashlight in the house! They soon learned by experiment that larger flashlights deliver too much light and the whole board lights up!

My kids love this just as much as the glow board. I’m super impressed with the ‘science’ of the thing. They are experimenting with it in a completely dark room (yes the bathroom) and in a less dark room. What happens when they flip the light on? How long do the images last in a dark room VS a lighter room?

PhotobucketExamples so far: We took the whole thing to a group playdate at my church one night, and it was a total hit. They did a good job of taking turns. Using the stencils and cut outs to create pictures and writing ‘scores’ after kids were putting on dances and such! The other day I found they had hung it on the wall in preparation for a ‘play’ they had made up. When I walked down the stairs it said:

How cool is that?

PhotobucketThumbs Down Thoughts: I’m having a hard time coming up with anything we don’t like about it? You have to change the batteries?? So far we haven’t had to though. The light wand can be fitted with a prism-like tip and the light bounces around all zainy brainy.. or without it the tip is fine and better for writing. I was on the Crayola Site and they had all these examples of games to play using the Glow Station. We are all over THAT!!

PhotobucketYGWYPF: (yougetwhatyoupayfor) I think this is fabulously priced. $20 for hours of fun and no additional cost? I call that a winner. And worth every penny.

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GIVEAWAY and #GNO! is hosting a Girls Night Out via Twitter (#GNO) This Tuesday night! Join me I’ll be on the panel!

@Crayola will be there to offer up more Holiday creative gift ideas! Don’t miss it…. and… YUP. Giveaways included! Wow, TONS of Crayola products and even a Kindle!

Products provided by Crayola, as part of the MomItForward #GNO campaign.