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Stocking Stuffer ALERT*

Well, here’s another one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” items for kids! Doodle Roll is a simple, portable coloring set for kids to use all over the place.  You can easily use at a restaurant, when traveling, or just when your child wants to color.

My kid loves it. She already played with it at home and brought it in the car recently.

I say simple, because it is. This is a little roll of paper and crayons packed into a little holder/dispenser. The paper rolls out, a little at a time, for kids to draw. Seriously, this is one of those things …like kids playing with a box. Sometimes less is more when it comes to helping kids express their creativity!

I actually quit buying coloring books last year when my Artist son mentioned to me that there are some studies out that show children actually draw more lifelike representations of items when they are raised doing freestyle drawings, rather than coloring stuff in. No joke!  So, when left on their own, they access the right side of the brain more. Cool. So, I like that Doodle Roll is blank, waiting for my Em’s creations.

I like the sizes available, a small one that is super easy to pop into my purse (4” Doodle Roll) and a larger one just because they can, I guess (6” Doodle Roll). The regular crayons are fine, and they have added double sided crayons in our pack. They did mention they are upgrading the paper dispenser, which I think is good, although I really think the one we got is fine for the cost.

I also like that these are a reasonable cost. At $3.99 for the 4” roll w/4 crayons, and $5.99 for the 6”roll w/8 crayons, this makes a cute stocking stuffer or little gift for a child. This would even make a nice party favor. You could roll the paper out and let kids make banners together or something like that, also.

Hmmm. Just very creative! And others must agree with me, because they have won a bunch of awards, such as Dr. Toy.

I get to give a Doodle Roll set away! Enter by rafflecopter, by clicking on MORE below!

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It is so fun to take a look at some of the new Bibles available for children these days. I was looking for a good one for Em the other day and I was surprised by how many there were.

How does one choose? Well, for me, I look for one in the translation I prefer and get one that uses real scripture. One with readable font, sturdy, and small for a child to hold…I still haven’t found the perfect one!

We did, however, get to review one that I think is perfect for preschoolers. I am sending it to my nephew and I hope he has as much fun poring over it as Em has.

This hands-on Bible for preschoolers features scripture from the New Living Translation. There are over 400 pages of Bible stories in a nice sized hardback, each story complete with colorful illustrations and activities. These activities make the stories come to life for the little ones, as they learn to try to imagine themselves in the Bible time period…or place.

While there are several activities for each story, the activities are easy on Mom or Dad. Activities range from “close your eyes and imagine how dark that was…to…take your blocks and pretend you are building a Tower like the Tower of Babel…to doing little action plays with poems. So you are interacting with your child, yet not working really hard. Which, I think is nice, because I will actually follow through!

Now, also, for each story, there are some other engaging things to do. In many ways, this Bible is like having a Preschool teacher give you ideas.  There is a “Let’s Talk” Section, with age appropriate questions based on the story. And, even more fun for kids– you’ll find “Cuddles” and “Pockets,” two little characters who pop up in every story. Pockets leads you and your child in a little prayer based on the story, and cuddles has even more options for some hands-on activities to wrap-up.

A final and neat element to each story section is a “The Jesus Connection” at the very end of the story page. In a line or two, the authors show how Jesus is the center of all scripture and help your child relate the stories and the love of Jesus to real life.

This retails for $16.99.

“This is a MamaBuzz Media review. The product was provided by Tyndale Blog Network for this review.”

Chromolithograph from The Library of Congress

Image via Wikipedia

GIVEAWAY for The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing!!

I love Shakespeare. To read the plays is to step into the very best of stories. Seeing a play live is even better! The rich language, exciting and universal themes, fights and the love stories, and gorgeous costumes take my breath away.

As a kid, I was lucky enough to have several teachers who were in awe of Shakespeare’s writings, yet at the same time not intimidated by the bulky books and our initial utter lack of interest.  (Thanks, Dr. Gaspar)

I think the last time I read Shakespeare was probably before my last baby was born. And the last live show? I am pretty sure it was Macbeth, with my husband, on a special date night, over three years ago.

Where does the time go?

As a homeschool mom and teacher, I have tried to get my son into reading Shakespeare. We had some luck with the tragedies, but he had little interest in plowing through the comedies and most of the other works. They were just too long in his mind.

60 minute shakespeareWhen I saw these books, abridged versions of six of Shakespeare’s popular works, I just had to check them out. I went ahead and requested a comedy, Much Ado About Nothing (The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare Series) as I really needed the laughs.

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy these are to read and follow. The language of the texts has been condensed, yet not changed or modernized. Just as in some of my college texts, notes are given at the bottom of each page to help the reader follow the language.

But the best thing about these, to me, is that they are formatted both for reading and acting out the plays. I went ahead and read mine and now have my son and daughter acting out several of the exciting individual scenes.

I really felt unable to do this before on my own, but this book allows this non-thespian to make Shakespeare fun for my kids!

The Sixty-Minute Series (and several others) are written by Cass Foster, a Professor Emeritus of Theatre, experienced Fight Choreographer and Stage Director.

Published by Five Star Publications, the series includes six books including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twelfth Night.  Buy the entire series for $45.89 or individually for $8.99. Already used in many schools, these books would be a welcome addition to any home library.

Find more information at www.GetShakespeare.com and http://fivestarpublications.com/ You can also follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.

Want to win a copy of Much Ado About Nothing for your home library?

Just leave me a comment telling me either: your favorite Shakespeare play OR if you are going to try to teach Shakespeare!

For additional entries, you can:

Please leave separate comments for each entry method.

A winner will be chosen on September 15, 2011.

“This is a MamaBuzz Media review. The product was provided by Sixty Minute Shakespeare for this review.” Opinions are mine.

SmartLab toys have some very creative toys, craft kits, puzzles and games. We just tried out Snap Fashion Jewelry Studio. Below, Em shares what she thought about the jewelry making kit:

Overall, I thought the kit was perfect for her because she could do all the creations by herself. With many of the other craft kits we have purchased, there is always something I need to help her with, rather than letting her just enjoy the freedom of doing it herself.

With the Snap Fashion, she sat and looked through the enclosed book full of jewelry ideas and then stayed busy for over an hour, choosing items to make and then picking out what colors and fabric designs she would use. She was able to make rings, bracelets, necklaces, hairclips and more with the fabric covered snaps. All the pieces were easy to use and assemble for a little one and nothing was sharp or dangerous. You can see the Snap Fashion Jewelry Studio on the SmartLab Toys website.

Snap Fashion Jewelry is available for $24.99 at www.smartlabtoys.com, Amazon.com and select retailers. Save 25% at smartlabtoys.com by entering BLOGBUZZ at checkout! (expiration 6/30/11)

You can also follow SmartLab Toys for deals and discounts, playtime ideas and free stuff on Facebook, twitter and through their newsletter.

This is a MamaBuzz Review. i received the Snap Fashion Jewelry Studio Kit from SmartLab Toys for review purposes. I have given my opinion.

Pirose, a Fashion Nursing Accessory

Heather —  February 28, 2011

IMG_4451_mediumI am so jealous of all the amazing items available lately for new mommies! I begged asked to do this review because someone special in our family is expecting and I got so excited watching the video about how this stylish scarf is a light airy nursing cover with full coverage.  It is even hands-free!

I would love to have a little bitty one again. And getting the Pirose Scarf in the mail definitely made me worse. While they have numerous designs, I got the Jordyn (see left). The print was so feminine and the fabric so soft and delicate –if I had to use one word, I would say, airy–that I could easily imagine using this (and looking gorgeous) while nursing a little one.

Designed for new mothers who refuse to sacrifice style for function, the revolutionary Pirose works as a multi-way nursing scarf and fashion accessory providing discreet coverage and a stylish touch.”

I love all their choices for prints and I was pleased with the design I received. I did get it with a new mommy in mind and I plan to send it to her to enjoy!

If you are a nursing mommy, or looking for a good baby gift, I TOTALLY recommend getting a Pirose scarf.

I have to admit, I love the fact that this fashion item is like a secret mom tool and you can go from Fashionista to modest nursing mama in just a second!

PS: Yes, I am a nursing proponent! No, family, I am not pregnant. Also, if you like to nurse without a cover, cool. I personally, liked my privacy when nursing and I wish I had had something like this instead of fussing with dumb blankets

You can visit the Pirose website to see many more colors and designs and click here to see how to wear Pirose while nursing. You can also visit them on Facebook to see how other women are enjoying theirs.

The Official word: Why modern mothers love Pirose

  • Functions as a nursing cover, scarf, shawl, head band and stroller or purse accessory
  • Lightweight and breathable for portability and comfort
  • Use as a stroller or car seat cover when on the go
  • Easily tucks into your purse or diaper bag
  • 100% polyester material allows for easy washing and drying
  • With more than 12 ways to wear, Pirose instantly becomes your go-to accessory

I hope my brother’s new baby likes this one–I’ll check back in a few months and let you know!

This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Reno Rose for this review. I have given my honest opinion on this product.

Meet Einstein, Science for Kids

Heather —  February 24, 2011

Want to get your preschoolers excited about Science? About how to be scientist? Take a look at this new children’s book, Meet Einstein.

Wonderful, colorful and whimsical illustrations help introduce science concepts to little ones in this story. As you can see from the video, my daughter enjoyed the book wholeheartedly. It did take a few discussions for her to understand some differences between Einstein and Edison…but what great discussions to have with a five year old!

While the text is easy to understand for young readers, the writing is designed to get children thinking about what Science is…about who scientists are and how they can be involved. I think the author does a good job of catching our attention and making the reader want to go out and enjoy Science.

A neat addition to the book is a section in the back that gives parents an update about Einstein and talks about the concepts of light and gravity–and a page of questions that you can discuss with your child.

Just a great book for kids!

Take a look at the Meet Einstein website for more information and to purchase the book.

You can visit their facebook page also.

This is a MamaBuzz review. The product was provided by JKS Communications for this review. I have given my honest opinion about the book.
Meet Einstein Beach

Yes, the little one is striking a pose with big sister!

I got the cutest celebrity sunglasses for my daughter recently, when we tried out the online store Sunglass Replicas. I do not often review products like this, but I thought it would be fun to think about summer as everyone was snowed in for the week.

As you can see from the photos, my daughter looks fantastic in these! These Dolce and Gabbana style replicas suit her shape face so wonderfully and are fun for a teenager.

There are tons of options on the Sunglass replica website and I could have spent a few hours looking through their inventory. They offer sunglasses for both men and women. Personally, I like the Aviator glasses for my shape face.

The glasses we got were pretty inexpensive at $16.95. They are attractive and seem pretty sturdy. The shipping was $2.95 which seems reasonable, and I got the glasses super quickly.

Guess what? I get to give away a pair of sunglasses!

For the mandatory entry, please tell me what type of sunglasses you would purchase. You can check out styles on Sunglass Replicas.

For additional entries you can:

I’ll choose a winner on 2/15. Giveaway is open to US only.

This is a MamaBuzz review. The product was provided by Sunglass Replicas for this review. I have given my honest opinion of this product.

purely-products-logo

Looking for a cool addition to the baby’s nursery? A way to help your whole family breathe a bit easier and healthier during the long days of winter?

Check this out–Purely Products has released a Healthy Night Light. This is an air purifier inside a night light…basically an LED light with a built in ionizer. The light has an energy efficient long life LED 35,000 hours and cleans the air even when the light is off–it is an automatic on-off light (so you don’t have to do a thing!) Also, the light is cool to the touch an important aspect to me with my young child.

puvhnl1pp_400So, how does it work? The built in ionizer releases negative ions that clean the air, removing dust mites, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, smoke and other airborne allergens. Each one is effective in a room up to 12’x12′.

Health Benefits
  • Built-in ionizer emits refreshing negative ions
  • Cleans the air, controlling pet dander, pollen, dust mites, mold spores, smoke & other allergens
  • Negative ions have been shown to increase levels of serotonin, delivering more oxygen to the brain
  • Great for people with asthma, allergies & pet dander issues

My husband commented that he thinks we have been sleeping a bit easier since we got this in December…with our cat and dog and the fact that I cannot keep up with the dust around here, I figure using this healthy night light in our bedroom is a simple, beneficial little addition. I have it placed near my youngest daughter’s bed and my only complaint is that I didn’t get it in pink! I have a few other Purely Products and I find their items really fascinating–I especially like my handy-dandy germ killing pocket purifier.

The Healthy Night Light comes in cream, pink and blue and can be used anywhere you’d want some low-level light at night: nurseries, children’s bedrooms, seniors living spaces…

There is also a two year warranty. The Healthy Night Light single pack is $19.95, or purchase 2 for $29.95–you can even mix and match your colors.

You can visit the website at Purely Products and interact with Purely Products on Facebook and Twitter.

AND…I get to give one away to a lucky winner!

I want to make this a quick turn around contest as I am late posting this already (I know, I’m usually so perfect. No laughing!) Seriously, I think this is an ingenious product and I would love to have one of my readers win it. So, lets make this simple.

To enter, go “like” Purely Products on Facebook. Come back here and tell me that you did for your entry. If you feel chatty, also tell me what color you’d get:)

I will draw a winner on 1/10/11 (my son’s birthday!!) Good luck.

“This is a MamaBuzz review. The product was provided by Purely Products for this review.”