Tag: Children

An Amazing Toy Center For Little Ones | Product Review

We appreciate toys that offer more than just bells and whistles. 😉 We love the toys that bring loads of fun and learning. This is why we love the toys from LeapFrog as they ensure their toys encompass all that and more.

We are delighted to share an amazing new toy that will have your little one learning in leaps! We called on my goddaughter, Adriana for her baby expertise to help us with this review.

Little Office Learning Center

Imagine a mini version of your office desk that fits for your little one. That is exactly what the Little Office Learning Center is. The major difference is that this interactive desk is fun!

The Little Office Learning Center includes eight role-play activities including a globe, laptop, clock, book, phone, piano keys, desk lamp and storage.

Product Features

As we mentioned the Little Office Learning Center offers eight features and we will break them down for you as you will be able to see it offers so much for your little one.

It also offers three play modes which are explore mode, learn mode or music mode.

Light-Up Globe

Spin the Light-Up Globe (middle of  the learning center) to explore music and greetings from around the world and hear phrases with light-up color effects.

Light-Up Crayon Piano Keys

Press the Light-Up Crayon Piano Keys to hear color names or musical notes. In Learn Mode, occasionally Scout will ask you to look for another feature on the table in that color to practice listening comprehension.


Clock

Rotate the Clock hand to hear time of day, daily routines, fun clock sounds and music.

Detachable Phone

Pick up the Detachable Phone and shake it to rattle the beads. Press the number pad or call button on the table for role-play fun.

Storage Tray

Flip the Storage Tray lid open and closed to practice fine motor skills. Place items in the storage tray for hide and reveal fun.

Book Page

Turn the Book Page to hear learning songs about the alphabet and emotions, melodies and phrases.

Light-Up Lamp Switch

Slide the Light-Up Lamp Switch to turn the lamp on and off and hear opposites, phrases and fun musical sounds.

Light-Up Laptop Screen and Shape Buttons

Press the three Shape Buttons to light-up and reveal hidden animal friends in the mirrored screen and hear shape, color and animal names.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Little Office Learning Center is ideal for babies six to 36 months and this is why for this #MelAndNikkiReview we got our adorable goddaughter, Adriana, to help us out. 😉

As soon as I introduced her to LeapFrog’s Little Office Learning Center, her eyes just lite up! Adriana was so excited to give it a try. We used the Little Office Learning Centre in the standing up position as she loves to stand up. That is a feature that we love about this toy as it gives you the option to have it on the floor or in a standing up position. It’s great as it literally grows with your child. 😉

Adriana loved every activity on the Little Office Learning Center. However, if we had to pick her top three features it would be:  The Light-Up Globe, Light-Up Crayon Piano Keys and Detachable Phone. The activities are all educational from learning colors; shapes and so much more. It also helps build your little one’s fine motor skills which we love the best about this toy.

For parents who are concerned about “noise” as we all know how much toys can make, this toy has a feature to adjust the volume. #ParentWin

For all the reasons above, we give the Little Office Learning Center 5+++ Globes out of 5! We know that Adriana will continue loving this toy for months to come. In fact, she loves playing with it so much that she even gives her grandpa lessons on how it works!

We know the Little Office Learning Center would be a hit for all the little ones on your holiday list. If you would like to know where to purchase one, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Tough Cookie | Book Review

‘Tis the season for Christmas books! It is our favorite time of year and we will be introducing some great new books that you will all adore.

Our first book up for review is Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story which is written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway. This book would make a delicious part of your reading line-up!

Synopsis

Once upon a time, while Fox was visiting the Land of Holiday Treats, a little cookie, still warm from the oven, burst out the bakery door looking sweet and delicious.

But as it turns out, Cookie is not as fast as he thinks, and when Fox finally catches him, they’re both in for a big surprise: Cookie does NOT taste delicious – and he’s certainly not fit to be eaten. What’s an unsavory cookie to do?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The classic tale of the Gingerbread Man takes a humorous new twist in Tough Cookie: A Christmas StoryAs we read the adorable storyline, we couldn’t help but giggle along the way. We loved the friendship that was built between Fox and the Gingerbread man. Their quest to find out what Gingerbread Man was meant to do was heartwarming.

We especially loved the recipes in the back of the book – amazing touch! This book will be in our reading line-up all the way to Christmas as it is so much fun to read. By the second time that the book was read to Nikki, she had parts of the story memorized which was awesome. That was the key sign that the book must be great if she had her favorite parts memorized. 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 5+++ Gingerbreads out of 5! For its creative and humorous storyline, illustrations and the recipes in the back.

This will make the perfect holiday gift this season! To purchase your very own, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

How Sara Josephine Baker Saved The Lives of America’s Children | Dr. Jo

Teaching history to children in book form is a magical way to tell the story.

We are excited to introduce our readers to Dr. Jo How Sara Josephine Baker Saved The Lives of America’s Children which is a new book that does just that; telling history in a child friendly way.

This book is written by Monica Kulling and illustrated by Julianna Swaney.

Synopsis

Sara Josephine Baker was a strong girl who loved adventure. But growing up in New York in the late 1800s was difficult. When she lost her brother and father to typhoid fever, she became determined to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. In Jo’s day, people did not think that women should be doctors, but times were changing, and Jo was at the forefront.

Jo persisted and attended one of the only medical schools open to women. After graduating in 1898, Dr. Jo took a job with the New York Public Health Department. She was sent to a neighbourhood called Hell’s Kitchen, where many poor immigrant families struggled to survive. She focused on treating the most vulnerable patients: babies and children. Dr. Jo was determined, compassionate and full of innovative ideas to improve the health of inner-city families. Her successes made her famous across the nation for saving the lives of thousands of children.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We were very intrigued with this book in our reading line-up as we haven’t heard of Sara Josephine Baker or the amazing impact she had in the American history books. We loved everything about this book! From the easy to read story, illustrations and to the empowering history lesson – it was a perfect combination for a great book.

I loved how I was able to read the book and educate my daughter at the same time. Best part was how easy it was to explain since the book was child friendly. Not only did the book provide an inspiring women to know but it helped educate myself as a parent too. This is why we give Dr. JO 5 stars out of 5!

To purchase your very own copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

The Real McCoys Series | Book Reviews

Mystery and comedy is what you can expect from the REAL McCoys series and they are great books for middle grade readers!

We had the pleasure of reviewing both books for this review – two for one deal! 😉

The Real McCoys

Synopsis

“When someone kidnaps beloved school mascot Eddie the Owl, the world’s greatest fourth-grade detective is on the case. But Moxie’s forced to fly solo now that her best friend (and crime-solving partner) has moved away.

First, Moxie must interview her classmates – as possible suspects and as potential new best friends. She finds clues and points fingers but can’t save the owl on her own. Enter Moxie’s little brother, Milton. Quiet, cautious, and boring as a butter knife, he listens carefully and connects the dots. Can the Real McCoys form an unlikely alliance and solve the crime of the century?”

#MelAndNikkiReview

It has been awhile since I read a good book that made me laugh out loud. The story is full of adventure, mystery, problem-solving and a whole lot of comedy. The artwork throughout the book made it a breeze to read right through it and it brought the story to life. The Real McCoys characters are a great balance of one another. On one side you have a lively and spunky Moxie and on the other side you have a quiet and calm Milton. They make the perfect pair in solving the toughest of mysteries such as the missing mascot.

“For the first time, I can see the possibility that he’s my actual brother – that he’s a real McCoy.”

We give this first book in the series a 5 hoots out of 5 for creativity, mystery and a whole lot of laughs of joy.

To purchase this book from the series, click here.

The Real McCoys Two’s A Crowd

Synopsis

“When a baffling mystery strikes Tiddlywhump Elementary, sibling detectives and absolute opposites Moxie and Milton McCoy are on the case. She’s the doer. He’s the thinker. She’s the heart. He’s her heartburn.

Moxie’s friend Emily has received a suspicious letter signed with nothing but a sinister purple squiggle. Then more letters arrive – along with more questions. Who sent them? What do they mean? Is the world on the brink of collapse?

Milton and Moxie are the perfect problem-solving team…if only they could get along. When their partnership falls apart, Moxie races to identify the mysterious Squiggler first – while learning the hard way that two McCoys really are better than one.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

It is no surprise to me that this book went beyond our expectations as it was as captivating to read as the first book in this series. The added “Moxie’s Dictionary” was a very cute touch in the book too. We don’t want to spoil the book as it is a must read but we loved it. The mystery, creativity and laughs went to a new level with this second installment and we can’t wait to read the next one! For The Real McCoys Two’s A Crowd we give it 5 Squigglers out of 5! 

To purchase this book from the series, click here.

Overall, both books are great and if you are looking for a gift idea for a middle schooler who loves to read, then this would be an amazing series for them!

We also love the face that the series is created by husband and wife writing/drawing duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr. The series were inspired in part by their own children and you need to follow them on Instagram and Facebook as they are a hysterically funny couple!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Eleanor Wyatt Princess and Pirate | Book Review

Empowering little girls to be who they want to be is a message that we love in our household. Especially since we are raising a little girl of our own. We believe that it is best for children to know that they can be whatever they want to be. This is why we are in LOVE with this book that we will be introducing all of you to.

Eleanor Wyatt Princess and Pirate, written by Rachael MacFarlane and illustrated by Spencer Laudiero the book you will want in your reading line-up!

Synopsis

“Her name is Eleanor Wyatt, and some days she’s a princess, some days she’s a pirate. Eleanor’s parents have taught her she can be anything she wants to be, from a ninja to a cowgirl to a fairy with wings. She can even star in her own book! Join Eleanor and her friends as they romp through tea parties and sword fights to discover the best treasure of all – being yourself!”

#MelAndNikkiReview

To say that we loved the book, would be an underestimate of the year! Eleanor Wyatt Princess and Pirate is a must read for every child as it is empowering. The message is loud and clear – you can be anything! Nikki loved it and felt that she could relate. One day she is fighting crime as a Superhero or she is playing princess with her toys. Either way she is herself and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Our favorite is that “there’s no right or wrong way to play.” YES! YES! YES! We love that message as there is no room for “gender” type play as we can be anything.

Overall the story flowed easily and the illustrations are captivating with the colors and characters. This is why for this review we give this book 5+++ stars out of 5! It is an empowering story that instills great confidence in being who you want to be and that is why this book is on our most recommended list!

“Let your inner light shine, and be who you are. Let your friends do the same, and you’ll shine like a star!”

This wonderful book will be available on November 6, 2018. If you would like to purchase your own copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Corduroy Takes A Bow | Book Review

A beloved children’s favorite, Corduroy is back in a brand new adventure as he takes the stage.

Corduroy Takes A Bow is a bow-tiful story about Corduroy is taken to the theater for the very first time. It’s so magnificent and exciting that he just had to explore on his own. From the orchestra pit to the prop table to the dressing rooms, Corduroy sees it all. With all the action happening to get a better view, Corduroy ends up getting the best view of all – the stage!

It has been fifty years since this lovable, inquisitive teddy bear was first introduced to readers and he’s now the star of the show. With the magic touch of author, Viola Davis it is no surprise that this book takes centre stage. Ms. Davis’ uses her own experience as an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar Award-winning actress to imbue this story to come alive.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We adored this book and it was so great to see Corduroy again in a new adventure. He is such a classic! The storyline was beautiful and the illustrations complimented it perfectly with a classic feel. This book is a great introduction of theatre to young children and we are fans of theatre. It was a heartwarming story as well and you will want it in your reading lineup. This is why we give, Corduroy Takes A Bow, 5 stars out of 5! 

If you are a fan of great books and of course of the adorable Corduroy, then this is the book for your little one. Like it says in the book:

“It’s the role of a lifetime for America’s best-loved teddy bear!”

To purchase this lovely book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Dr. SEUSS’ The Grinch Is Scheming BIG This Holiday Season | Hitting Theatres This November

“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch…
You really are a heel…
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel…
Mr. Gri-INCH!”

A beloved holiday classic, The Grinch is a well-known tale for many by Dr. Seuss. It is one of our favourite stories to read during the holiday season and we are delighted to see it grace the big screen once again in its natural form, animation!

Synopsis

For their eight fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present Dr. SEUSS’ The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, it’s a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism.

Academy  Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company. With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Who-ville when he runs out of food.

Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations. When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch realizes there is only one way for him to gain some peace and quiet: he must steal Christmas. To do so, he decides he will pose as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, even going so far as to trap a lackadaisical misfit reindeer to pull his sleigh.

Meanwhile, down in Who-ville, Cindy-Lou Who – a young girl overflowing with holiday cheer – plots with her gang of friends to trap Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve rounds so that she can thank him for help for her overworked single mother. As Christmas approaches, however, her good-natured scheme threatens to collide with the Grinch’s more nefarious one. Will Cindy-Lou achieve her goal of finally meeting Santa Claus? Will the Grinch succeed in silencing the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all?

Find out when the Grinch hits theatres this November!

We know that we will be checking it out and we will be doing a review of our thoughts once we do. Stay tuned!

Special thank you to Universal Films Canada for the opportunity to promote The Grinch and host a giveaway on our Facebook page (contest only valid on November 1, 2018).

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Unicorn Oo Brings A Personalized Touch To Your Child’s Storytime | Book Review

Having your child part of reading time is always great and it is even more special when your child is the main character in the story. Bang on Books is a web store for personalized children’s books. The books are adventure stories where children’s photographs are magically transformed into illustrated characters that go on exciting adventures. The stories are all; hand illustrated, written and printed in house at their offices based in the UK.

We had the opportunity to review one of their personalized book options called, Unicorn Oo. It was simple to customize online and the only thing left was to receive it to read.

Unicorn Oo is an adorable adventure about a unicorn and all his friends. The main character of the story is your child; therefore, Nikki was the star of our book. Nikki was transported into this magical world to help Unicorn Oo and his friends stop a sorcerer from casting spells to make the weather bad. During their journey they help their friends and they teach the sorcerer the power of friendship.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Unicorn Oo has been a reading favorite ever since it arrived in our home. Nikki was thrilled to see her picture in the book and was excited to hear that she was the brave lead in the story. We loved the storyline and the message about kindness and friendship. Such important messages for our children to learn and Nikki loved that she was the one saving the day. One of Nikki’s favorite parts was singing Unicorn Oo’s special song.

“Clip – clop – Oo! Clippety – clop – Oo!”

The illustrations are beautifully hand drawned which to us makes it extra special. Unicorn Oo by Bang on Books encompasses all that we love in a book: personalization, great adventure, positive messaging and captivating illustrations. This is why we give Unicorn Oo, 5 clippety – clops out of 5!

This is why Unicorn Oo is on our recommended list. So we are thrilled to announce that we have a special offer for all our amazing readers! If you purchase Unicorn Oo or The Golden Key you can get 15% off the price of the books. Just use promo code: mommab15%.

There are new books coming out so make sure to follow Bang on Books on Facebook.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Super Mighty Makers | DIY Kindness Cloud Craft

A new series is launching on Saturday November 3rd at 10:30 AM on tvoKids called Super Mighty Makers!

A TV series around kindness, crafting and a lot of fun is what we can look forward to with the Super Mighty Makers.

Series Synopsis

The Super Mighty Makers (SMMs) are a team of in-the-field kids with special powers to help a friend real Craft Kids with a problem that can be solved with kindness, through crafting.

In each episode, one of our four SMMs gets the craft alert from Bondini – uber crafter and blimp pilot – that sets off the MAKER MISSION! Together in the CareCraft blimp, Bondini and the SMM learn all about the Craft Kid – who they want to help, what that person needs help with, and figure out the perfect craft to make for the situation! Then, they “sparkle up” the Craft Kid and get cracking on the coolest craft ever. When the one-of-a-kind creation has been completed, Bondini and the SMM “sparkle down” their friend and watch on as he or she gives the craft to the special recipient.

Another act of kindness. Another MAKER MISSION completed!

Join The Mighty Maker Movement

The SMMs are out to spread the message of crafting for kindness across the nation, making the world a better place one craft at a time!

So we at Momma Braga had to take part as we love kindness and crafts! The SMMs gave us all the tools that we needed to make a very special craft, a Kindness Cloud. 

We are delighted to share with all of our amazing readers on how to make this very simple and thoughtful craft to be given to a special family member or friend.

DIY Kindness Cloud Craft

What You’ll Need
  • 1 Cloud (pre-cut)
  • 6 Strips of construction paper (pre-cut)
  • Marker
  • Frame
  • Glitter
  • Glue Stick

Craft Steps
  1. Pick a family or friend you want to spread kindness to and think about the things you love about them. Write their name in the cloud followed by “__________ is amazing because he/she is…”
  2. Write a word on each piece of coloured construction paper that describes your friend (i.e. giving, funny, kind, etc.). Be sure to leave room at the top of each piece for glue.
  3. Flip the cloud over so the written side is facing down. Place glue on the top of the written side of each coloured strip.
  4. Please the coloured strips on the cloud with the written side facing down and place the colours in order from left to right. Let the glue dry for five minutes and then flip your card over to reveal your beautiful craft!
  5. Once the cloud and rainbow strips are glued together secure the craft to the inside of the frame.
  6. Once your craft is finished, give it to your family or friend and remember to spread kindness wherever you go! Make sure to upload a picture to social media using the #MightyMakerMovement tag and show us how your spreading kindness in your community!

Nikki picked her baby cousin Adriana as she loves her dearly and thought what a great keepsake for her little cousin. Nikki told me that you are never too young to learn and teach kindness (heart melting at the moment).

8-month old Adriana is the recipient of the Kindness Cloud.

The craft is so creative and adorable to do! We had a blast making it together and gets us excited to tune in to the Super Mighty Makers on tvoKids on November 3rd and onward. We would love to see your kindness cloud craft or any other craft that you come up with! Just make sure to tag us @mommabraga.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Hydro Strike and Pikmi Pops™ “Lollipop Chase” Hits The Game Scene | Pressman Toy

We are BIG fans of Pressman Toys and they keep giving us reasons why to keep loving them. We are delighted to announce two exciting games that you will want to try out!

Hydro Strike

Pressman Toys brings a great new game and perfect for the pinball game lovers!

Get ready to make a splash with Hydro Strike! In this head-to-head pinball game, you’ll need fast flipping fingers to shoot the ball into your opponent’s goal. Score and your opponent will get sprayed in the face with water! Since a sprayer is aimed at both players, strike quick when you play, or you’ll get the spray! The first player to score 5 times wins.

Talk about an exciting game to play for family night! It is great for two players and for ages 7 and up. We think this will be a great hot game for the holiday gift list!

If you would like to purchase this game for a loved one, click here.

Pikmi Pops™ “Lollipop Chase”

If you have a young child at home then you may have already been introduced to Pikmi Pops and if you haven’t, you will soon! Pikmi Pops are sweet scented and full of surprises! The special lollipop container opens to reveal a scented plush with surprises. Its a great addition to any collection!

In this adorable new game, help the Pikmi Pops fill their Pikmi trees with lots of lollipops! To earn lollipop, you may need to dance, sing, or even tell a story. Some special places on the board will unlock surprises! Be the first player to collect four different lollipops to fill your Pikmi tree and win!

Game includes one exclusive sweet scented Pikmi Pops plush and it is ideal for children ages 5 and up. This game is great for two to four players and hours of fun!

To purchase your very own, click here. This would make a great gift idea too!

We are so excited to introduce you all to these two games and we know you will love them. Pressman Toys has done it again by bringing interactive games to families. Make sure to follow Pressman Toys on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga