– Brainzy Free Trial!

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I just love educational games for my girls.  Much better than apps that suck them in but do nothing for their brains!  And when they are fun, they don’t even realize they are learning.  Win Win!
Sign up today and try Brainzy free for 7 days

Unlimited access to hundreds of math and reading games plus teaching videos and stories. Brainzy helps develop a lifelong love of reading by making practice fun. 

Brainzy can be played on iPads and on desktop and laptop computers. 

Makes a great holiday gift for a friend or relative! 

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Animal Jam– Great FREE Game for Kids from National Geographic

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Animal Jam is an online virtual playground for children who love animals and the outdoors, and is the result of an ongoing creative collaboration between Smart Bomb Interactive and National Geographic Society. Our goal is to provide a fun, exciting, and safe environment for kids to play online, while inspiring them to explore and protect the natural world outside their doors. 

Click on the play now banner in the middle of the page to create an account and start playing for free!

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Planes Fire & Rescue – Race To The Rescue Printable Activities #FireAndRescue

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Download Race To The Rescue Activities

 My family and I saw Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE last night and loved it.  Keep an eye out for our upcoming review.  Meanwhile, check out these great printable activities and see Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE now in theaters!

“Like” Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE on Facebook:

“Follow” Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE on Twitter:

Visit the website:

Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE now in theaters!

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Rio 2 FREE Printable Coloring & Activity Sheets #Rio2Insiders

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Disclaimer- I received a copy of the Rio 2 DVD and lunchbox as part of the Fox Home Entertainment Insiders Blogger Program but all opinions are 100% my own.
rio2 box art
It’s finally here!!!  My girls and I missed out on seeing Rio 2 in theaters so we are so excited that it is finally available on video today.  So get ready to shake your tail feathers with Rio 2!

Get More Music, More Fun and More Laughs When the Hilarious Comedy Adventure Flies Home on 3D Blu-ray™, Blu-ray™ & DVD July 15

The Blu-rayTM Comes with More Than an Hour of Special Features Including 15 Exclusive Levels of ANGRY BIRDS RIO and Two Bonus Songs!

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (June 2nd, 2014) – Get ready to shake your tail feathers! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment takes you deep into the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest for the most fun you’ll have all summer, as RIO 2 debuts on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD July 15. Just in time for summer vacation, this “hilarious family adventure” (Jeff Craig, Sixty Second Preview) will samba its way into your home with exciting bonus features and extras everyone will enjoy.  Projected to eclipse more than $490 million worldwide at the box office, the animated hit is the must-own family title of the season.

The cast of the animated hit comedy Rio returns — along with a new flock of all-star voice talent, including Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Garcia and more — in this high-flying sequel for the whole family. The party continues when Blu (Oscar® nominee Jesse Eisenberg1), Jewel (Oscar® winner Anne Hathaway2) and their three kids take a walk on the wild side and embark on a colorful, comical, music-filled journey through the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit into his new surroundings, he goes beak-to-beak with the villainous Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law!

The RIO 2 Blu-ray™ and DVD brings everything you loved from the first Rio, but with even more laughs, excitement and music! Not only will kids get nearly an hour and a half of bonus features on the RIO 2 Blu-ray™, but they’ll also get their groove on with two downloadable bonus songs from the RIO 2 soundtrack: “I Will Survive” and “Poisonous Love,” both performed by Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) and Nigel (Jemaine Clement). For even more fun, every Blu-ray™ comes with 15 exclusive levels for Angry Birds Rio™ and Music Machine Sing-Along and Dance-Along songs for a whole family party!  There’s also Janelle Monáe’s “What is Love” lyric video, a deleted scene, character auditions and much more!

Head to Best Buy and you can not only get the Rio 2 DVD but also this exclusive Rio 2 metal lunch box:
rio 2 lunchbox

 Just in time for back to school here are some great, free printables from Rio 2.
What are some of your favorite back to school tips?
Please click each one to open in a new window to print it.
spot the difference 3d soccer ball family tree rio 2 party invitations rio 2 sing along rio 2 sing along2 rio 2 lemonade acai bowl back to school rio 2 labels rio 2 bookmarks ispy rio 2 finish the lyrics rio 2

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 Disclosure- I received some promotional items in exchange for my review but all opinions are 100% my own.


Don’t let your kids have all the fun.  The creators of the UK’s Ultra-Successful Moshi Monsters Franchise Come to the US with a New Game for Mom and Dad That Takes Match 3 Gameplay Further than Ever Before.  Mind Candy, the UK based entertainment company behind the incredibly successful Moshi Monsters brand, launched Moshling Rescue, the first game targeted to moms and dads. This free-to-play Match 3 title is available on iOS and Facebook and is already receiving five-star ratings!

Moshling Rescue‘s deep character-driven narrative and unique collection mechanic provides hours of enjoyment for an older audience. With fun yet challenging gameplay, players must match the gummies to rescue the Moshlings as they explore hundreds of adventure-packed levels.

I was asked if I would review Moshling Rescue and I have to admit that even after I played it enough to write my review I’ve been going back to play some more just because it is fun.  If my family asks, I’m doing research! 😉 Map

London, 18 June 2014: Mind Candy, the UK based entertainment company behind the hugely successful Moshi Monsters franchise which has spawned several games, a theatrical feature film, a top 5 music album, the number one selling kids’ magazine in the UK, toys and more, have launched their first game targeted to the moms and dads of their millions of young fans with the new Moshling Rescue . This free-to-play Match 3 title is the latest installment of the franchise available now on iOS and Facebook, and marks Mind Candy’s first major foray into the North American market.

 photo Boss_ipad_zpsf478920a.jpgMoshling Rescue is the next evolution of Match-3 gameplay, combining a variety of unique gameplay modes with a character-driven narrative and a unique collection mechanic, to provide hours of enjoyment for an older audience. With fun yet challenging gameplay, players must match the gummies to rescue the Moshlings as they explore hundreds of adventure-packed levels. When the going gets tough, players can purchase boosts and extra lives to enhance their entertainment.

Moshling Rescue is unique in game functionality, with six game modes:

  • Home mode ­ For the first time in a game of this genre, players must collect specific gummies to move the Moshling across a game-style track to reach home.
  • Boss mode – Big Bad Bill tries his best to prevent players from reaching their goal.
  • Dig mode ­ explode and select gummies to dig further down the screen to complete the level.
  • Drop mode – Rescue the Moshlings by dropping them down through a big stack of gummies.
  • Clear mode – Everything is covered in gloop! Match over it to clean it all away.
  • Treasure mode ­ Unlock treasure and win jellybeans by merging sacks, crates & chests together.

Additionally, players can connect their mobile or tablet edition of Moshling Rescue with their Facebook account to pick up and play where they left off for even more fun.  Players will also receive an extra life across both platforms by connected to their Facebook account.

 photo Dig_ipad_zps637670fe.jpg“Moshling Rescue is a fantastic game that makes great use of the Facebook platform, not only on Facebook canvas, but also on iOS” said Bob Slinn, Head of Gaming at Facebook EMEA. “It’s a great game, with huge potential and we’re very happy to see our partner Mind Candy bringing quality content on Facebook.”

What sets Moshling Rescue apart from other games of this genre is the deep character driven narratives, which are synonymous with all Mind Candy games. There is a unique collection mechanic where players earn a Moshling after completing certain levels, with rewards earned for completing a full set of characters that can then be viewed at any time in The Tree House.

 photo Treasure_ipad_zpsa867a4a7.jpg“Mind Candy has expanded from just kids entertainment to becoming a broader family entertainment company.” said CEO and founder of Mind Candy, Michael Acton Smith. “This is our first game aimed at an older audience and we’re incredibly excited about launching it.”

Moshling Rescue was developed in house by Mind Candy and can be downloaded for free, however some game items can also be purchased for real money.  In the coming months, Mind Candy will offer content updates and enhancements to the already feature-rich game as well as release the game on Android devices.

 photo Clear_ipa_zps34fa6da0.jpg I LOVE this infographic that shows the evolution of the Match 3 Game.  I’ve played several of these games.  How about you?  Remember Tetris?  My thumb used to be so sore from it!  And Dr. Mario, another favorite of mine!The Evolution Of Match 3_Moshling Rescue Game


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Maleficent Printable Fun Activity Sheets, Coloring Pages and Mazes #Maleficent

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Don’t the the Maleficent fun end!  Here are some great FREE printables including fun activity sheets, coloring pages and mazes! I wanted to post these before the movie came out but I had technical difficulties.  Sorry about that.  If you haven’t seen Maleficent, what are you waiting for?!?!  My whole family loved it.  It’s a nice twist on a familiar story.  Go see it! image002 image004

Click below to grab these great sheets and more!

Like MALEFICENT on Facebook:

Follow MALEFICENT on Twitter: @Maleficent

YouTube Playlist:




MALEFICENT is rated PG and now in theaters everywhere!

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Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue Free Printable Educational Activity Book #FireAndRescue

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planes fire and rescue posterSmokey Bear, National Parks, and the heroes from Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue have teamed up to help your kids have fun with fire safety this summer. Download the free Educational Activity Guide by clicking the picture below.  There is a word search, safety guide, quiz, and more!  Make sure to check out Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue when it soars into theaters July 18th!

Planes Fire and Rescue Booklet

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Keep ‘Em Learning All Summer Long

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south florida parenting june
The June Edition of the South Florida Parenting Magazine is out.  It features lots of great ideas for summer including an article by yours truly.  Check it out!
Summer Learning FunSummer is a time for fun but that’s no reason for children to stop learning.  If children are given learning activities during the summer it will make the transition back to school much easier.  Keep your children’s minds active all summer with these ideas that turn summer activities into fun learning opportunities.
summer learning1. Blow up a beach ball and draw a line around the center of it like the equator.  Now write one number 0-9 in each of the colored sections.  Toss the ball around and when your child catches it have him/her add the two numbers that his hands are on.  Older children can multiply the two numbers.

2. Have a kiddie pool?  Fill it up and give kids various size containers- 1 cup, 1 pint, 1 quart, 1 gallon, etc.  Kids can play in the water while transferring water from one container to another.  How much water is needed to fill each container?  How many quarts fill a gallon?  If you have lots of kids over, make a relay race using a measuring cup to carry water across to a larger container like a gallon.  The team that fills their gallon container first wins.

3. Going out to a restaurant?  Have your child find various letters on the menu.  Have older children search for various words on the menu or have them read the menu to you.  Getting ready to pay the check?  Have older children figure out the tip and the change.

4. Have kids practice writing letters or words on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.  Older kids can write sentences or a poem with chalk.  Raining outside?  Use dry erase markers inside on a mirror the same way.

5. Set up a lemonade stand.  Not only will your children get to practice measurements and following recipe directions but they’ll also get to practice counting money and making change.

6. Children love helping in the kitchen so dig out some cookbooks and let your children go through them and pick recipes they’d like to do with you.  Older kids can read through the cookbooks while younger children might need some help.  Once you select a recipe, your little chef can practice measuring while helping you cook the recipe.

7. Make a summer journal where children can write what they do each day.  Younger children can draw a picture and write a few words while older children can write longer stories about their daily adventures.

8. Going on vacation?  Get out a map and have your child help you plot out your route.  Staying local?  Get a local map or print one from the internet.  Have your child plot each place he/she goes all summer with a colored dot.  By the end of the summer you might be surprised how much you got around.

9. Practice calendar skills by counting down to upcoming events, a vacation, the first day of school, etc.  Practice telling time- Going to the park at 3:00?  Have your child figure out how many hours until you go?  How many minutes until you go?

10. Read, read, read!   Read with your child as much as possible.  Have your child read to you, a younger sibling, or even a pet.  Set a goal for how many books you’ll read over the summer and a special reward for completing your goal.  Check with your local library to see if they have any summer reading incentive program for children.  Some banks and other companies also have similar summer reading incentive programs.  When your children are riding in the car have them read the signs.  Younger children who can’t read can point things they see such as letters, colors, etc.
Summer Learning Fun

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Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends on Nintendo 3DS

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Disclosure- We received a copy of Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends to facilitate our review.  We received no other compensation and all opinions are 100% our own.

gardening mama 2It’s finally here!  The sequel to the best-selling Gardening Mama DS game that’s sold more than 13 million copies, Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends is now available now for Nintendo 3DS.   If your children like the original Gardening Mama, they’ll love this new game.  In the game, players can plant and tend to their gardens with the help of furry critters while learning the importance of food.  Mama and her woodland friends need your help growing flowers, fruits and veggies for Bear’s Restaurant, Cat’s Beauty Shop, Rabbit’s Flower Shop, Squirrel’s Cake Shop and several other fun stores.
gardening mama screen shot3Your stylus is used as your gardening tool as you plant, grow, and harvest your crops.  You can decorate your garden with over 100 items that you earn while playing.  What will you grow in your gardens?  Juicy watermelons?  Plump eggplant?  Spicy hot peppers?  Your animal friends will mail you asking for help and you’ll need to plant, nurture, harvest, and deliver the garden items to their various stores.  If you do a good job you’ll be rewarded with items such as seeds, flower bulbs, trees, and more so your garden critters can expand your garden, make their shops bigger, and attract even more customers.  There are also fun mini games as well like ironing and mowing the lawn.
gardening mama screen shot4Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends is a great game for children to learn all that goes into growing a garden.  My girls really enjoy playing it.  The animals are adorable and the game is lots of fun.  Fruits, veggies, flowers, and woodland animals…..what’s not to love!

gardening mama screen shot

Check out the Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends Gameplay Trailer:

gardening mama screen shot2

Game Overview:

Mama is back in her gardening gloves planting the seeds of friendship! Make your animal friends happy by growing flowers, fruits and vegetables they can sell in their forest shops. With intuitive, stylus based-activities, customization and tons of fun rewards, Garden Mama 2: Forest Friends will get you growing in no time!

Key Features:

  • The latest addition to the successful Mama franchise: 13 million+ games sold worldwide!
  • Sequel to the best-selling Gardening Mama DS game that defined the gardening genre.
  • Use your stylus as your master gardening tool to plant seeds, bulbs and saplings, then care for them with water and fertilizer. Grow 50+ different plants, from gorgeous hydrangeas to delicious watermelons to sizzling hot peppers!
  • New play mechanic! Your animal friends send you mail asking for help. Nurture, harvest and deliver garden items to 6 different animal stores including: Bear’s Restaurant, Rabbit’s Flower Shop, Cat’s Beauty Shop and Squirrel’s Cake Shop.
  • Earn rewards like new varieties of seeds, flower bulbs and trees from your critter friends so you can expand your garden and they can grow their shops into bigger, more extravagant businesses that attract additional customers.
  • New activities with multiple variations star Mama’s friends and family featured throughout franchise games. Sort, pick, clean, organize, mow, arrange, water, harvest and much more!
  • Protect your plants from lack of nutrients, viruses and bugs to maintain a healthy garden.
  • Customize and decorate your garden with 100+ items: fences, fountains, playground equipment, topiary, pergolas, sculptures, benches, pets and more. You can even dress up Mama in fun new outfits!
  • Interact with your animal pals and earn garden points by fulfilling their requests. Trade points for items and decorations that let you create a one-of-a-kind garden. Use shop tickets to purchase more flowers, fruits and vegetables to enlarge your garden and make it more productive.
  • Use Spot Pass to receive new backgrounds for your garden.




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101 Questions and Conversation Starters For Kids- Great Time Fillers

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101 questions and conversation starters for kidsI am so tired of my kids telling me they are bored after 5 seconds of having nothing to do.  If we go somewhere and there is a wait, they have NO patience.  Both of my girls have ADHD so that makes it even worse.   All the usual games that we used to play like I Spy, I’m Thinking Of, and Alphabet Games (where you think of words that start with each letter of the alphabet or think of a word that starts with the letter the last word ended on) are no longer of interest to them.  I have been looking for things to keep them busy lately that don’t require any supplies.  I once bought a set of conversation starter type cards that were laminated and on a ring and could be kept in my purse for when we had some time to kill.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where that ring of cards went.   Instead of trying to purchase something similar I decided to create my own list of questions, topics, etc. to use with my children.  Instead of needing to keep a ring of cards with me, I can bookmark this post so I can quickly pull up the list from my cellphone and keep my kids busy.  And the best part, they’ll be busy THINKING instead of playing electronic games that require little actual brain power. 🙂
If you have questions I should add to my list, please comment and let me know!
Make sure to bookmark this post so you, too, can have it handy when you need some time filler!

  1. What was something fun you did this week?
  2. What is your favorite meal that your mom makes?
  3. What is your least favorite meal that your mom makes?
  4. Describe your day if you were a zoo keeper.
  5. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
  6. What cartoon character would you most like to meet and why?
  7. What job would you like to have when you grow up?
  8. What is your favorite movie?  What is your favorite part of it?
  9. What is something you are afraid of?
  10. If you could redesign your house, what would you change?
  11. What is your favorite joke?
  12. If you were to create your own country, what would you call it?  What laws would you have?
  13. If you could do anything for your next birthday party, what would you want to do?
  14. What would you do if someone teased you?
  15. How would you describe your father to someone?
  16. How would you describe your mother to someone?
  17. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you want to go and why?
  18. What television show would you want to be on and what would your character be like?
  19. Who is the funniest person you know?
  20. What 3 words would you use to describe your teacher?
  21. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
  22. What is something you are really proud of?
  23. What is something that you wish you hadn’t done?
  24. Where is the best place you have ever been?
  25. If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
  26. Do you want to have children and if so, how many?
  27. What is your favorite song?
  28. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
  29. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
  30. What actor or actress would you most want to be friends with?
  31. What television parent would you want to be your parent and why?
  32. If you were invisible, where would you go and what would you do?
  33. Name 5 things that make you smile.
  34. Name 5 things that make you sad.
  35. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  36. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you want to go?
  37. What book character would you most want to meet?  What would you do with him/her?
  38. If you could invent something, what would it be?
  39. If I gave you $1 million dollars what would you do with it?
  40. If you could decorate your room any way you want, what would you do to it?
  41. If you were a parent and your child wasn’t listening, what would you do?
  42. What is your favorite family tradition?
  43. What family tradition would you like to start?
  44. Who do you think is the best television mom?  Who do you think is the best television dad?
  45. What is the hardest part about being you?
  46. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose?
  47. If a time machine was real would you rather go back in time or go to the future and why?
  48. Describe what you think your parents were like as children.
  49. What would be your ideal meal?
  50. Would you rather be a child or be an adult?
  51. What is your favorite store to shop in?
  52. If you were locked in the mall overnight what would you do to pass the time?
  53. If you could plan the most perfectly fun day, what would you do? Where would they go? Tell me everything from waking up to going to bed.
  54. If you could own any store what store would you want to own?
  55. If you could make a new law for the country, what would it be?
  56. If you could make a new rule for your school, what would it be?
  57. What are 3 ways you like to get exercise?
  58. Make up a silly word, tell me what it is and what it means.
  59. What famous person would you like to meet?  What would you ask them if you met them?  How would you spend your time with them?
  60. What is something that makes you angry?
  61. If you could only keep one thing to save forever what would it be?
  62. Who is your hero and why?
  63. What is your favorite thing to do during the summer?  What is your favorite thing to do during the winter?
  64. What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
  65. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you want to be and why?
  66. What is your favorite room in your house and why?
  67. What is the worst job in the world? Why?
  68. If you could only eat 1 food for a week what would it be?
  69. If you had $1,000 where would you spend it?
  70. What was the best part of your day?  What was the worst part of your day?
  71. Why did the chicken cross the road?
  72. What is one food you’d never want to taste again?
  73. Where would you choose to live, the ocean or the moon?
  74. What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time?
  75. What is one thing you wish your parents knew about you?
  76. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
  77. What one chore do you wish you never had to do again?  What thing around the house do you wish you could do?
  78. If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would you trade with?  What would you do?
  79. What is your favorite game to play?
  80. What is one thing you want to learn how to do?
  81. Describe the steps it takes to cook your favorite meal.  What items do you need to make it?  How long do you cook it for?
  82. What song do you know all the words to?  Sing it.
  83. What is your favorite holiday?  How do you celebrate it?
  84. Who is someone you think is brave?  What do they do that makes them brave?
  85. What could you do to make the world a better place?
  86. What do you think the biggest problem in the world is?
  87. What do your parents do that makes you crazy?
  88. Who do you think has things easier, boys or girls, and why?
  89. What food would you never eat?
  90. What is your favorite subject/class in school?  What is your least favorite?
  91. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
  92. What is the bravest thing you have ever done?
  93. Who is the smartest person you know?
  94. What is your favorite snack?
  95. What do you love most about your sibling?
  96. Name two things you want do as a family on the weekend.
  97. What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now?
  98. What would be the ideal allowance?  What would you do with it?
  99. What advice would you give your parents?
  100. What do you like about being a kid?
  101. Would you rather have wings to fly or gills to breathe under water?

BONUS- What question do you want to ask your parents?

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