Sunday, June 27, 2010

K'Nex Imagine Build Play Kids Building Set





I and my little girl have been given a wonderful opportunity by K'Nex to do a review of 3 of their products for children ages 2 - 5 years.

Aimee at K'Nex sent us the following products to review:


Kick It! Elmo:

Your child can build Sesame Street's coolest red monster, Elmo, gearing up to kick his soccer ball! This 13 piece set includes parts to build Elmo in his uniform and ready to hit the field with his soccer ball. "Play & Learn" activity sheet filled with collaborative and educational fun for parent and child is also included along with additional building ideas. When playtime is over store the parts in the handy canister for a quick and easy clean-up

Swim Time Ernie:

Your child can build Sesame Street's friendliest resident, Ernie, dressed in his bathing suit and ready to take a swim! This 14 piece set includes parts to build Ernie, complete with snorkel and flippers, on his way to the pool, lake or beach! "Play & Learn" activity sheet filled with collaborative and educational fun for parent and child is also included along with additional building ideas. When playtime is over store the parts in the handy canister for a quick and easy clean-up

Cookie Monster’s Basketball:

Your child can build one of Sesame Street's most lovable - and hungriest - characters, Cookie Monster, getting some exercise by hitting the basketball court! This 15 piece set includes parts to build Cookie Monster dressed in his uniform, including his yellow visor, with basketball in hand. "Play & Learn" activity sheet filled with collaborative and educational fun for parent and child is also included along with additional building ideas. When playtime is over store the parts in the handy canister for a quick and easy clean-up.


I had these put up (actually hid because if Em saw Elmo I wouldn't have heard the end of it) for a bit until we could seriously sit down and review. Well, review for me, but it was playtime for Em.

All three of these kids learning toys can be found here:

K'Nex sets for age 2+

I have included numerous photos to show the different stages of building each of these learning toys.





























If I was to use a grading system for grading these learning toys, I would definitely give K'Nex an "A+."

What did we love about the product




  • Storage cases. The learning toys stored inside of themselves for easy clean-up and it makes it easier to not lose any pieces.


  • Pieces involved. Cookie Monster had the most pieces at 15, Ernie had 14 and Elmo had 13. Less with these learning toys is definitely more.


  • The pieces were big and Em was easily able to pick them up.


  • Of course with the bigger pieces, Em was able to push the body blocks together.


  • They really are learning toys. When we took them out of the cases, we counted the pieces and went over each of the colors.


  • The directions are included, and easy to understand (picture is included on how to build it). They even give you hints/tips on what else you can do with the toys.


  • The toys are fun. So kids think that they are playing, when in reality with each block they stack they are learning.


  • The toys are interchangeable. This in itself is a wonderful idea. Em has been taking them apart and putting Elmo's head on Cookie Monster and vice versa.


  • Even after Em has finished building, she has been carrying them around with her. These are good solidly built toys. They are putting up with a lot of the wear and tear a 2-year old can do to them, and nothing is breaking.


  • The price is very affordable, which is a definite plus. ALSO, "When you purchase Sesame Street products, you are supporting the education at home and around the world."

Dislikes


We didn't really have any dislikes of these products. I think if Em was a little older, maybe towards the upper end of the age recommendations, then she wouldn't of had any problems. The things that I did notice were:




  • At a little over age 2, she had a hard time to get the arms to snap into place.


  • This is the same with Ernie's flippers, she wasn't able to get them on.


  • Lastly, through normal play(Em carrying them around) the arms did keep popping off, but they are very easy for any older child or an adult to snap back into place.


I really would recommend getting these learning toys for your child. They have toys that cover many different ages, not just the younger ones. Just click on the above links and you can check out all of their products.


I want to take this opportunity to thank K'Nex and Aimee again for giving me my first product review chance. They have been a pleasure to work with. Very personable with quick replies to emails and questions.



FTC Disclosure: This product review is my own personal opinion. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my opinion of these products. I did receive the three products I reviewed free of charge.






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Friday, June 25, 2010

Feel Good Friday


Feel Good Friday is brought to you by The Girl Next Door Grows Up .


You know what time of the week it is ~ YES!!! It is Friday and that can only mean one thing. Okay, it means more then one thing, but for this post it means:

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY


I have been slacking on my Feel Good Friday stories.

I apologize. It is not that I don't feel good. Okay, there are days, but we all have them. I hope to do better.

The little one and I just have a short Feel Good Friday story to share.

This happened yesterday afternoon.

I am sure I misheard her.

Afterall, sleep has been a rarity lately, and sometimes it feels like I am running in slow motion.

We were playing catch in the house (shhhhhhhhh), with a wiffle softball. She handed me a spatula that she had gotten out of the strainer.

So, I tossed the ball up in the air, and used the spatula as a bat.

The ball went by her, and she got this look on her face that was so precious.

Then she says, and I swear this is what I heard: "egads Mommy."

Maybe it was lack of sleep, but I just started laughing.

We all know that laughter is contagious, so she started laughing, which made me laugh harder.

I will miss these times when she no longer wants to play spatula wiffle ball with Mommy.


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Thursday, June 24, 2010

There is a whole lotta shaking going on

Some you of may have heard that certain states yesterday felt tremors from an earthquake in Canada. I believe it was somewhere between Ottawa and Ontario, and it registered a 5.5 (I have also heard that it was a 5.7).

Hubby, before he left to run an errand, stepped outside, turned around and asked me if it was thundering out? I said that I did not think so.

Shortly after he left. Things on the desk started shaking.

Things on the entertainment center started shaking.

Sid the cat, well, he started shaking.

Then he started running through the house like a madman high on caffeine.

Em on the other hand, didn't feel anything. Why?!? Because she was to busy make her own tremors by jumping up and down on our bed.

With my best guesstimating I would say that it lasted somewhere around 15 seconds here.

It was quite the news story here, as these don't happen very often in our neck of the woods.

I put up with the snow so I don't have to handle (okay, freak out) earthquakes, tornados (we have had some recent warnings with them) or hurricanes.

I guess old Mother Nature is really starting to get ticked off about what is going on in the world.

I just hope that everyone where the epicenter was is safe and secure.


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reality Break

Have you ever needed one??

You know, a quick escape from reality. An escape away from the phone, tv, computer, or whatever is bothering you?

That is where I have been. On a reality break. I think that we all need them from time to time. Just to get away for a few days, and let your worries float away.

Okay, you do come home to the same thing. But for a few days, you are able to destress just a bit. I found myself destressed enough by day 3, and we returned home on day 4.

This is where I took my break from reality for a few days.








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Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Followers

I just want to take this time to thank my blog followers. Even if I don't respond right away, I do read each and every comment and email.

Without you all, I would be talking to myself. Which isn't a bad thing. Unless, of course, I start arguing with myself, then what happens if I don't win??

Also, I have picked up a few new followers recently and if I'm not already following your blog, please drop me a line so I can.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful day.


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Animal Lover

Most of my friends know that I love animals. Wild animals. Domesticated animals. Farm animals. When I was younger I wanted to be a veterinarian, but knew I would have a hard time putting animals to sleep, and would probably have a household full of pets.

I even underwent the rabies "just in case" shots because I was scratched by a kitten. It was either that or they were going to kill the kitten and they didn't understand that it was my fault that I got scratched, not the kitten.

Living where we do, lots of animals seem to find their way to us. I have taken care of/fed many kittens and cats, dogs, skunks, deer, raccoons, etc. I try not to feed the wild ones intentionally, they just seem to show up sometimes.

Living near farms we have lots of feral cats that mosey on up here, and every year we have a litter or two of kittens that make it out back. The newest cat I have was from a litter last year. We brought both him and his sister in, sadly the sister had to be put to sleep.

One of the feral cats we call "mouth" because you can hear her meowing like crazy when she is in the woods or high grass. You hear her long before you see her. Every year she has kittens and she takes them down to the farm.

This year however is different. I don't know if it is because none of the other feral cats are around, but she has brought them up to the porch and there they stay. They really are alive, just looks like they had a rough night.





At first we thought there were just 3, 2 grey ones and a tiger one with white feet. But when I looked out on the porch last night there were 4 little kittens out there. The question has been asked on what we are going to do with them. As the kittens get older then always go down to the farm. Will we keep one of them?? I want all 4, and to catch "mouth" so we can get her spade, but that probably won't happen. So, until then I will just keep taking care of them the best that I can. We will probably bring in at least one.

I know some think we aren't doing them any favors by not getting rid of them or taking them to the vets to either be put to sleep or to get fixed. But for being outdoor cats, these cats are pretty well taken care of. They have shelter, food and water.


Here are a few more pics of mama and kittens:








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Friday, June 11, 2010

Feel Good Friday


Feel Good Friday is brought to you by The Girl Next Door Grows Up .


You know what time of the week it is ~ YES!!! It is Friday and that can only mean one thing. Okay, it means more then one thing, but for this post it means:

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY


What makes me feel good on this lovely sunny day?

Well, it is sunny {so far}. It is not horribly hot out. I'm not a heat person, and I am sure I have mentioned that in many previous posts. Yes, it is good that the sun is out nice and bright. But we need the rain still. We get some here and there, but it isn't enough.

Lets see: Oh potty training might be starting to get a little better. She went twice yesterday on her potty. BUT, yes there is always a but, not a butt, but a BUT. Every time she would go a little she would jump up and yell ~ PEE and point to the potty. This was in the process of while she was still going.

I am the center of my little girl's universe (or so it seems). Everything is Mommy, mommy, mommy, mama, mom . . . . whether she is yelling to show me something, or she is having one of her mad fits, it all seems to be about the mama. Just a little while ago, when I was talking with my Dad on the phone, she kept trying to grab my hand and take me into the bedroom. I figured it was because she had spilled something or was just tormenting the cats, but she wanted my help in getting one of her toys down so she could play with it. All about the mama.

The new things she learns everyday brings a huge smile to my face. It seems like everything excites her.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend.


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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Funplay Zone

What could be so scary about a place called 'The Funplay Zone?'

Okay, its not a 'Zone."

It consisted of a little slide, a big slide, some teeter-tauters, a set of swings, and a couple of other climby things.

We figured, why not? No one was there. Em has never been to a playground before, let's stop.

She was all excited when she saw the "things."

But the closer we got, it seemed like her excitement faded.

I had told hubby he could take her down the slide, till I saw the size of the slide, and then I did my protective motherly duty and said no. He replied "to late, you already said I could."

The climb up was okay for her.



The sitting at the top and looking down was "okay" for her.




I wasn't able to get a picture of her in mid-slide because, being the protective mother of my little cub, the camera was down and my hands were out.

Here is the end result. A sort of smile. Much different then the slide down.



Then it was on to the swings, which was very short lived.






When she swung back towards me I was close enough to her that she grabbed on to my shirt and wouldn't let go.

Her Daddy kept asking her if she wanted to go back on the slide and she just kept replying "no."

Maybe she is still a bit to young, and it was all a new experience for her. Hopefully her next trip to the playground will be more enjoyable for her.


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Friday, June 4, 2010

Feel Good Friday


Feel Good Friday is brought to you by The Girl Next Door Grows Up .


You know what time of the week it is ~ YES!!! It is Friday and that can only mean one thing. Okay, it means more then one thing, but for this post it means:

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY


I missed this last week. Not sure what I was thinking. Or, even if I was thinking at all. I wrote about fish. Yummy, crunchy, fish. Good stuff, but not Feel Good Friday stuff.

There have been numerous things that have made me smile this week.

~ The little one is learning so much. Picking up new words left and right now. Talking in short simple sentences. Her father was trying to teach her caterpillar this morning, she almost had it.

~ Seeing people pitching in and helping out a friend or a stranger always makes me smile.

~ Your blogs. What can I say. There are blogs that make me laugh quite hard. Some of your posts bring a smile to my face even if I'm having a messed up day. I don't want to name any names as I don't want anyone to feel left out. I just want to thank you all for letting me share your lives with you.

~ Being able to sit outside at night, under the stars with hubby and just relax. Of course, this is after the little one goes to sleep. We started doing this while I was pregnant for her. He'd make sure I was nice and warm, and he still gets me a blanket and makes sure I am nice and warm while we are out there.

~ My hubby makes me smile. He can really tick me off as well. Ask him, he'll tell you. But he does make me smile because he loves me and accepts me for who I am, as I do him as well. I know this road hasn't been easy, but we are trying to walk it together. We've been together about 3 years and 4 months, will be married for 2 this month, and also have a little one that is about 27 months old.

So, how was your week?!?


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Thursday, June 3, 2010

What's next . . .

Have you ever been (almost) knocked out by your child?

When did changing diapers become a hazard? I was trying to hurry up, which was my first inkling that something was going to go wrong.

Why was I speed diapering? Let's just say I wasn't "decent." The front curtain is open but we are so far away from the road that you can't see in. So, normally I am safe with being indecent for a bit in the morning.

Not today. Apparently one of hubby's friends decided he was going to leave his truck in the yard. So, I have strange men, who I have never met before standing outside the house. Did I mention I was indecent this morning?

So, I am moving at warped speed to get the little one diapered. I go to pull her down a little bit on the couch so that she was even and at that very moment she decides to jump up in the air. Catching me solidly in the cheek bone with her head. Her very hard head.

Now I am trying to diaper her with a watery eye and stay away from the front window and out of view. Did I mention I wasn't clothed?

All ended well . . . little one got diapered, I didn't get seen (I hope), and all I ended up with was a bruised cheekbone.


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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So . . .this is my 100th post

I promised myself that I would make a post everyday.

Stick with it.

Roll with the punches.

Keep it updated.

I haven't. I've slipped.

Sometimes life gets in the way. But I really have no solid excuse on why I can't make a post on here daily.

I'm here. I'm reading and commenting on other blogs. But, alas, I let mine slide.

Is it because I don't have anything to talk about?? No. I can always come up with something.

As I said, no solid excuse.

So, the little one fell asleep on the couch, so here I sit, blogging.

Another sunny/hot day here. The weather dude is claiming there is a storm a brewing. We have been hearing this for days. Heavy rains, high winds, and all the fun stuff to go with it. Most of the time, it breaks up well before it gets to us. The county below us will get a nasty storm, us, we get a sprinkle.

But, I have been watching this one on the radar, and I have to admit it does look nasty coming across Lake Michigan. Of course, when it hits Lake Ontario its going to pick up even more steam. So, we shall see.

We need the rain. I was outside talking to the clouds. No, I haven't lost it.

If you ask a few of my friends they will claim that I have. But, I'm still good.

I ask the clouds about the rain they are holding onto. Do they have a connection to it?? Why not just let it go?? The lake is as low as I have seen it in a long time. Doing a load of laundry makes the house smell with a lingering aroma of sulphur from the well being low.

I could go outside and do a rain dance. But trust me, no one wants to see that.

So, I ask again. Hey clouds, how about some rain. Doesn't have to be a heavy downpour because that will just cause erosion. How about a nice, easy rain for about 3 days straight. Can you do that?? Can you hook us up??

Even with all the snow we got over the fall/winter/spring, we are really hurting for rain.

Hey clouds ~ please!!


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