Tag: Toddler

4 Must Have Games For Family Game Night

Family game night is a popular theme in most households and it’s one that we have recently incorporated. Therefore, there was no better time than to try some games and see which ones will make it to our top four must have games.

I must say that this was one fun article to write and our daughter Nikki had a blast as she is getting the hang of the #MelAndNikkiReview now! 😉

Let’s begin shall we?!

Paint-Sation Easel

Painting with ease and without the mess sounds ideal doesn’t it? Well, that is exactly what Paint-Sation Easel by Goliath Games is all about. The easel keeps the paper secure and the side of the easel are designated spots to securely place the paint pods.

You just simply touch your brush along the specially-designed bristles, and you’re ready to paint!

We love how you can turn the pod upside- down and the paint never drips! This comes in handy with an energetic three year old. 😉 The Paint-Sation Easel provides hours of fun, creativity and art pieces for your home.

Contents: 3 Paint Pads, 1 Easel, 2 Paint Brushes and 10 Paper Sheets.
Recommended Age: 3 years and up.
Number of Players: 1 to 4 players.

 

The Original Mr. Bucket

Mr. Bucket is the original moving chasing racing action game and it is made by Pressman Toy. Just place Mr. Bucket on the floor and watch the fun begin!

Mr. Bucket moves around the floor pops out colored balls and you have to scoop them up using your colored shovel. Now the catch is that you need to catch the ball that matches your shovel. So it is bundles of fun with friends to play. Once you catch the ball you need to put it back into Mr. Bucket and the first player to get all three colored balls wins!

This game provides a lot of fun and laughs as the kiddies try to catch their color. We love the energy this game gives and it gets kids moving! Nikki loved being able to know her colors quickly and make sure she always caught the right one. Mr. Buckets makes learning fun too!

Contents: Mr. Bucket (some assembly required), 4 shovels (1 of each color), 12 balls (3 of each color), and complete instructions. Please note that this toy does require 3 AA batteries which are not included.
Recommended Age: 3 years and up.
Number of Players: 2 to 4 players.

Lucky Ducks


A game that has adorable little ducks going around while your little ones build their developmental skills is a matching perfection. Lucky Ducks offers all the benefits of memory and matching games in a format that’s easier for little fingers than cards. It also helps kids with shape and color recognition.

You switch on the circular pond, and the ducks start swimming – the bottom side of each duck has a colored shape. Each player takes turns picking up a duck and looking at the color and shape; if it matches their color and shape they get to keep he duck. If it doesn’t match then the duck goes back into the pond.

This game was really fun and had loads of learning. The best part is to see how excited Nikki would get when she got all the matching ducks. Seeing her so proud really made this game so great for us!

Contents: 1 Pond Shaped Game Unit, 12 Ducks, 1 Sticker Sheet, Complete Instructions and Requires 2 AA batteries (not included).
Recommended Age: 3 years and up.
Number of Players: 2 to 4 players.

Let’s Go Fishin’


The game that I remember and loved as a kid has me reminisce on family game nights with my sister. Now I get to share it with my daughter with Pressman Toy, Let’s Go Fishin’. This classic kids game teaches hand-eye coordination as players use their mini fishing poles to try to catch the most fish. The challenge is that the board game spins, and the fish open and close their mouths.

This game was an ultimate favorite for Nikki as she played for endless hours and each time her skills on catching the fishes were getting better and better. We adored this game and we know it will

Contents: Deluxe Motorized Game Unit, 21 Colorful Fish, 4 Plastic Fishing Rods, Complete Instructions, and Requires 1 C Battery (not included).
Recommended Age: 4 years and up.
Number of Players: 2 to 4 players.

What Did Nikki Think?

We put the real judge to the test to see if it passed the Nikki standards.

Nikki loved all the games and she was excited to play them all everyday of the week! All these four games have passed our #MelAndNikkiReview with 5 High Fives Out of 5.  All the games provided hours of entertainment, learning and fun for the whole family.

We recommend all of these games for your next family game night!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Honey Nut Cheerios Launches Their Third Year Of Bring Back The Bees

Honey Nut Cheerios has launched their third year of Bring Back the Bees! If you haven’t heard the buzz about the bees then you have come to the right place!

Bees have been around for millions of years but in the last few years, their population has been on a dramatic decline. Did you know that bees are a crucial part of our agriculture? It is called pollination. In fact, one third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. They keep our plants and crops alive. So it is very important to help the bees to thrive.

“Bees love to live in urban settings where there are short flight paths and a variety of different plants and flowers to sample just as much as they love the country.”

This year in honor of the #BringBackTheBees Campaign, Honey Nut Cheerios has partnered up with Canadian author, Paulette Bourgeois and illustrator Josee Bisallion. They have created an engaging new children’s book to encourage Canadian kids to do their part to help, Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees!


We got a chance to review this book and we are so glad that we did!

Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees tells the story of two kids who learn about the threats to our bee populations and are inspired to do their part to help bring back the bees.

The beauty of this book is the ability it has to teach children the importance of bees and how we need to help them. I know that as we read the book my three old was very concerned about bees and said, “We need to help Momma!”

Since we got our Wildflower seeds, I showed her how we were going to use them to help the bees. Now my three year old is very excited that she can do something to help her buzzing friends. As soon as Spring gets to our backyard, we will plant them in our garden.

We give Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees, 5 BUZZZZZ out of 5! The great news is that Honey Nut Cheerios is giving away 100,000 free copies of the book nationally, through Indigo, Coles and Chapters and online. Just visit Bring The Bees website to see how you can get your own copy of this adorable book.

“Bees have good colour vision. That’s why flowers are so showy. They especially like blue, purple, violet, white and yellow.”

How You Can Help

Honey Nut Cheerios is making it easy to help by providing wildflower seeds across the country to help preserve and grow the natural habitat bees need for survival.

Over the past two years, the Bring Back the Bees campaign has helped Canadians plant more than 600 million wildflowers across the country, and this year they’re hoping to plant another 300 million seeds.

So how can you get wildflower seeds? You just order them online for your free packages of wildflower seeds and they are sent to you ready to be planted in the spring weather. It is that simple to help out the amazing bees!

We can’t wait to plant ours and do our part to help the bees and our agriculture. Make sure to order your seeds and remember that its FREE! Once you get your seeds and plant them, feel free to take a picture and tag @MommaBraga , @CheeriosCA and #BringBackTheBees as we would love to see your photos!

For more information on this great campaign and all things bees please visit,  https://bringbackthebees.ca/.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

Eggspiring Easter Hunt For Newborns

Easter egg hunts are fun to do and one that we enjoy doing in our home. With my daughter being three, her understanding of the Easter Egg hunt is impeccable especially if it involves finding chocolate. This makes the preparation for the Easter Egg Hunt easier but with a new addition to the family I had to think of a way to involve her as I would hate for anyone to feel left out (my newborn niece won’t notice but I will). 😉

My sister is the much more creative one and she has always come up with ways to make holidays and occasions fun for my daughter so this time I wanted to do something special for her daughter this Easter season.

I thought long and hard about how I can incorporate a newborn friendly Easter Egg Hunt and after a trip to my local dollar store…I came up with a simple way and it was going to include the parents!

I am calling this activity, “Eggspiring Easter Hunt.” So how does it work? Let me give you my simple instructions for some Easter fun for all.

Eggspiring Easter Hunt

This Easter Egg Hunt will involve the parents to do the hunt on behalf of their newborn but of course they can carry their baby with them as they search. There will be decorated eggs hidden in the areas that you have picked for the hunt. As each egg is found, there will be an inspirational quote attached to each one. These messages can be kept to inspire the baby as they grow. These can be used as good wishes for the baby.

Instructions

  1. Purchase Easter eggs that are either already decorated or that you need to decorate yourself. We purchased our ready decorated Easter eggs from our local dollar store.
  2. Come up with some inspirational quotes to add to each egg. We used some classic Disney inspiring quotes as they mean a lot to our family.
  3. We added the quotes to a bunny shape template. Once the quote is added you can cut out the bunny and if you have an older child, they can color it for the baby. If you would like a printable template, click here.
  4. Attach the bunny with the inspirational quote to each egg. We used a pipe cleaner that we attached to the string already on our eggs.
  5. Then on Easter, hide them when the parents are not looking. 😉
  6. Then start the Easter Hunt magic. Watch as each message is read out loud and see the parents enjoy the inspiring wishes for their newborn.

With these steps above, you will have included one of the youngest members of your family and even though they may not know exactly what is happening. They will appreciate the thought as they grow with the inspiring messages around them. But this too will make the parents of the newborn glow with love. I know this is how my sister will feel.

We can’t wait to try this activity out this Easter and spend some great family time together. That is the one thing that I love the best about the different occasions we celebrate as we get to spend time with those that we love and care for.

If you are celebrating Easter, I would love to hear from you on how you are celebrating in the comments below.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


 

 

 

Harlem Globetrotters Are Dribbling Into The GTA

The Harlem Globetrotters are dribbling their way into the GTA for five games with their 2018 Amazing Feats of Basketball Canada Tour. It will be a star-studded roster that will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages.

GLOBETROTTERS (Photo Credit: Harlem Globetrotters)

The Globetrotters represent nine decades of breaking down barriers, acts of goodwill and a commitment to fans that goes beyond the game. Since their first game in 1927, the Globetrotters have entertained more than 144 million fans in 122 countries and territories worldwide – introducing many to the spot of basketball – pioneers in popularizing the slam dunk, fast break, the forward and point guard positions, and the figure-eight weave.

Photo Credit Brett Meister

High-energy tricks, talented athletes, and heart are all the ingredients that create a recipe for some spectacular family fun for all ages. That is exactly the type of event that The Globetrotters perform. With their long history, it is no surprise that they perform with all heart to impress the masses and that is why we can call it epic!

Photo Credit: Harlem Globetrotters

This event has no age requirement to attend and it can be enjoyed as a family. There is never a dull moment and the Globetrotters are always keeping the audience engaged with their high flying tricks and skills.

We are thrilled to hear that they are taking their tour to Canada and one of their stops is at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The Hershey Centre is one of our favorite venues as the location is convenient to travel to, the staff are all great and did I mention FREE parking?! I know that is a HUGE perk for me with a young family and they have ample parking spaces available too. Of course parking spaces are at a first come first serve basis but it is free. 😉

Get Your Tickets!

Don’t miss out on your chance to watch them live! Tickets are now on sale and you can purchase them by clicking here.

You won’t regret it as it will be an experience of a lifetime. It is an event full of history, passion and fun! I know that we won’t be missing it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

My Mamma Wants To Eat Me Up

We truly love our books at our home as it is the most peaceful time for all of us. We especially love books done by local authors as those are extra special for us. This is why we were delighted to receive, My Mamma Wants To Eat Me Up, written by Faiza Venzant and illustrated by Patrick Girouard.

Of course as soon as we received this special book (before it hit the bookshelves) we had to read it right away. But before I go into the review of the book, I want to provide our readers with a deeper look at to how important this book is to the author, Faiza.

Faiza is a mother of two children. There is two year old, Qayam and almost one-year old, Malik. Qayam was born in November of 2015. During the first couple of months together, they spent it indoors since winter was in full force outdoors and spent their time with books and songs. Qayam loved music which inspired Faiza to create a song that she sang with him several times a day.

“Oh geez! Just my luck! I love you too much to eat you up. From the top to the bottom, from the left to the right, gonna love you all day and all through the night.”

When Qayam was about five months old, Faiza had the idea to expand the song into a story from his point of view and this is how My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up! was born.

Now the story does not end there. In February 2017, Faiza gave birth to Malik who was born 13 weeks early and they spent 11 weeks together in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital. This was a terrifying, isolating and a difficult time for Faiza as she watched her son fight, thrive and cling to life. The only thing that she could do in the early weeks was hold and sing to him. Faiza would sing her song to him as she did with his brother and this brought her so much comfort and healing. The song was a powerful way to spend those crucial weeks together and it established their bond together. As he got stronger so did their bond.

When Malik was released from the hospital, it motivated Faiza to self-publish her book and she made sure to include a biracial child in the illustrations to reflect the diversity within her own family.

That is how it all began and we just love it as it’s inspiring for all of us as parents. We love hearing about the story behind the story and we have to say thank you to Faiza for sharing it with us!

#MelAndNikkiReview

So how did this book do on the #MelAndNikkiReview? I sat down with Nikki to get her thoughts on the book and what she rated it. You don’t want to miss hearing it below. 😉

As you heard from Nikki, she gives the book 10 stars out of 5! Of course you can not get a better rating then that! The book is easy to read and it was very easy to get into character as a parent. The illustrations are also very beautifully drawn and they are bright and appealing to the little ones. You may find yourself loving the book so much that you start telling your child “I want to eat you up!” Then your child might be like mine and say “That’s just like the book!” 😉

We highly recommend this book for children newborn to toddlers as they will all love it and parents will have fun reading it too.

This book is now available for purchasing (click here) and it would make a great addition to your little ones library.  Make sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram too.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

My Pet Wants A Pet

Pets are great additions to families and they bring us so much joy. But what if our pet wanted a pet to care for and love like we do?

That is exactly what happens in the book, My Pet Wants A Pet written by Elise Broach and illustrated by Eric Barclay.

“Once there was a boy who wanted something to take care of. Something of his very own. He begged and begged his mother for a puppy. Until, what do you know? She said YES! The boy loved his puppy. He fed him and played with him and cuddled with him in his arms. But soon, the puppy wanted something to take of – something of his very own. So the puppy got a pet; then that pet wanted a pet…and on and on until – HELP! How many pets are too many?”

We just adored this book and we loved how each pet picked a pet that you would never expect to…but we think that is what makes this book awesome! This is why we give this book, 5 barks out of 5! The storyline is adorable and the message that we all want someone to care for us as much as we care for others is perfect! It is absolutely a sweet book for any child to read or have it read to them. The illustrations are also very beautiful and captivating with each page turn.

As we read the story, my daughter picked up on the common theme throughout the book. Therefore, I would ask her before I turned the page what did the pet want? She would excitedly tell me, “A Pet Momma!” Then as we turned the page and I told her that she was right, she boosted with proudness that she knew. That to me was perfect as I can see that this book has helped her pick up on a theme and learn it.

This is why we recommend this book to any little one who enjoys a good read and especially those who really love to care for people and furry family members. 🙂 If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Adventures In Veggieland Takes Us On A Taste Bud Adventure

Melanie Potock is no stranger to the Momma Braga audience as we have featured her and her amazing books a few times and we just love her!

Therefore, I am delighted to say that Melanie is back but with a new and exciting book called Adventures in Veggieland. This new book is designed to help your kids learn to love vegetables with 100 easy activities and recipes.

We were excited for this book ever since we got a sneak peek of it!

Now I get to introduce all of you to this great book! Adventures in Veggieland takes us on a trip to healthy eating and it is done in such a colourful and fun way.

The book is divided into four parts: Winter Vegetables, Spring Vegetables, Summer Vegetables and Autumn Vegetables. This was very creative and makes the book flow nicely.

Throughout the book, Melanie gives parents a great resource and tool to be successful in making vegetables part of your family meal. Melanie states to just follow the “Three E’s”:

  • Expose your child to new vegetables with sensory, hands-on, educational activities. Such as create Beet Tattoos and play Cabbage Bingo!
  • Explore the characteristics of each veggie (texture, taste, temperature, and more) with delectable but oh-so-easy recipes such as Parsnip-Carrot Mac’n’Cheese and Pepper Shish Kebabs!
  • Expand your family’s repertoire with more inventive vegetable dishes – including a “sweet treat” in ever chapter. Enjoy Pears and Parsnips in Puff Pastry and Tropical Carrot Confetti Cookies!


Even though this book is around getting your children to enjoy vegetables, it is also great for us as adults too. Recently, we have started to make better eating choices for ourselves so the timing of this book was perfect!

Now we couldn’t do a review on an activity and recipe book without trying any of them. So we did! We of course are ready for Spring and Summer weather so we picked Asparagus (Spring) and Bell Peppers (Summer) to try out.

We first tried the Asparagus Logs which were a lot of fun to do. The beauty of each activity and recipe is the wealth of skills that each one provides to you and your little one.  For example in the Asparagus Logs provides a description, benefits and how to use the vegetable. Then you have your list of what you need and instructions on how to complete the activity and it is neatly divided on who’s responsibility it falls under (love that!). Then there are some tips and there is a brief description of how your child benefits from this activity – genius!

Nikki and I loved this activity and Nikki loved the feel and texture of the asparagus as she was building. It was a great activity to introduce her to this new vegetable.

“Always celebrate each tiny step and focus on the fun.” – Melanie Potock

The next one we tried involved one of our favorite vegetables, Bell Peppers! So we combined that with another love of ours which is kebabs. This one was a recipe and so simple to follow. Nikki loved helping put the bell peppers onto the skewers and it was delish!

I am sure we will be trying a lot more in the days, weeks and months to come. It is a great addition to our kitchen and our health thanks Melanie Potock for putting together another great resource for families to thrive.

So what do we give Adventures in Veggieland? We give it 5 veggies out of 5! It truly makes veggies fun and not so scary after all. If you would like to purchase this lovely book, please click here.

“Melanie Potock truly takes us on a taste bud adventure with this book! She offers amazing tips, activities, and recipes to make eating vegetables so much more fun for the entire family. A great resource for all parents.”
Melanie Braga, owner of Momma Braga, 2017 Blogger of the Year, and assignment editor at The Baby Spot

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Sesame Street Live Brings Back Fond Childhood Memories

Sunny Day
Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get?
How to get to Sesame Street

The theme song to one of my favorite shows growing up warms up my heart as I attend Sesame Street Live with my three year old daughter. Never thought that we would be able to enjoy a classic together but here we are at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga for Sesame Street.

We first attended the pre-show (this is in addition to the event tickets) and we were very excited as this was a surprise by my sister-in-law who got us tickets to go. There were activities to do like dress-up, crafts, tour of the stage (this was done group at a time) and meet and greet with Big Bird.

We had a blast at the pre-show and my favorite part was meeting my childhood favorite, Big Bird! Nikki’s favorite was touring the neighbourhood and seeing Abby. She was so excited to see Abby and was screaming really loud to get noticed. It was too cute!

After we did all the activities, it was time to find our seat for the main event; Sesame Street Live.

The lights dimmed and it was show time! We saw many of our classic favorites like Grover, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster. There was also some of the next generation classics (ones that I didn’t grow up with) such as Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Rosita. It was full of learning, fun and dancing. After all it was a dance party. 😉

It was a very entertaining show and we loved every minute of it. We didn’t expect anything less since this is Sesame Street and it has been a classic for generations. They didn’t miss a beat with their positive messages and making learning fun. For this #MelandNikkiReview we give Sesame Street Live 5+++ Elmo tickles out of 5! It truly is a great show to watch for the whole family as it is one that many generations can enjoy together.

While there was a party on stage, there was one happening in my heart as I reminisce my childhood and embrace my present; parenthood.

Momma Braga, Nikki and Auntie Amanda

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Myfunvelope Brings Creativity Right To Your Door

Have you ever wonder what crafts or activities that you can do with your child? Have you looked for a craft subscription option to help you?

There is a solution and an affordable one. Let me first introduce you to Kyla.

Kyla is a mom of six wonderful children in Saskatchewan, Canada. Five of her children were all under the age of five and it was a bit of a challenge as she needed to find ways to keep her older children engaged in activities. Kyla thought that a craft subscription would be a perfect solution to help her. However, after a lengthy research she found very few affordable options were available in Canada. Therefore, she began prepping little crafts in snack bags to give to her children and they LOVED them! This is where the idea of “Myfunvelope” bloomed. Kyla wanted to offer the opportunity for other moms to access an affordable monthly craft subscription and this is exactly what she did.

Myfunvelope is for children ages three to nine. Every month your child will receive a funvelope in the mailbox. They will discover and have fun with four unique craft projects that follow a fun monthly theme. They will also receive a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity for hands-on building that is fun and sometimes hilarious! Markers and scissors are also provided with your package and the cost of this no tie-ins subscription is $18 on a month-to-month basis. All children can enjoy the activities every month as the themes are never holiday related to make it inclusive for all.

We got to try this month’s Myfunvelope and I have to say it was a great one! It is superhero month and my daughter loves superheroes!

The first thing that our daughter noticed was the cape and mask which was the first to go on (and stayed on for hours after)! Then we got to try the fun activities throughout the weeks.


There was the Pop-Up Superhero Activity, Superhero Straw Shooter, Superhero Magnet, Cape and Mask and the STEM activity was creating a flying superhero to measure distance. That one was really fun!

What we loved about the craft package was that it had everything that we needed to do all the activities. It saved us a lot of time and running around in getting any of the little things needed to make craft success.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give “Myfunvelope” 5 super powers out of 5! If you would like to try this subscription it is super easy to start! All you need to do is sign up and let the crafting begin! Don’t forget to follow Myfunvelope on Facebook and Instagram for some great crafting ideas!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

I Love You For Miles And Miles

There is no denying that we love books in our home as it gives us an opportunity to explore new ideas, worlds and characters.

This is why we were thrilled to receive a new book called, I Love You For Miles And Miles by Alison Goldberg; illustrated by Mike Yamada.

Of course it became top priority on our reading list as soon as it came to our door. We excitedly got ready for bed and got the book out to read. As we read each page, we were captivated by the beautiful illustrations and the message behind the book which is all about how much a child is loved.

I Love You For Miles And Miles is an “I love you” book that speaks the language of the vehicle-obsessed toddler and touches on themes of separation, and loving from afar. It is recommended for children 2 to 6 years of age and that fits perfectly with our household. So what did we think of this book? I had to consult with the expert in my home which is my three year old daughter, Nikki.

Momma Braga: “How did you like this book, I Love You For Miles And Miles?”
Nikki: “I liked it a lot momma! Can you read it again?!”
Momma Braga: “Sure! What did you like the best about the story?”
Nikki: “I like everything and the pictures. Can I take this book when I go to school?”
Momma Braga: “Yes you can take this book when you start school in September.”
Nikki: “Yeah! The kids going to like this book Momma. Because everyone loves love.”
Momma Braga: “That is so nice! So what do you give this book out of 5?”
Nikki: “5 Momma! I did good?”
Momma Braga: “You did great Nikki!”

There you have the official feedback from the expert herself. I have to agree with Nikki as it is a lovely book and a great gift idea for this Valentine’s Day or for any other day, as who doesn’t love love?!

The story is articulated beautifully with the words and illustrations with each page turn. You won’t regret this great addition to your reading line up. To purchase this book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga