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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Djubi {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Remember how I posted about those scary bunnies?  How I publicly aired my fears of creepy clowns and the Easter Bunny?  No?  You don’t remember?  I mean seriously.  How could you forget???  I’m still having nightmares about it.  This year the “bunny” brought Banjo the Original Djubi Game. (Thank you, Djubi for sending us this dandy toy for the boy’s Easter basket.) catch6   If you are looking for a fun backyard game then here it is.  This is it.   Good thing I’m posting this just in time for summer, eh? original-djubi-game

Banjo and Ruby both love it.

Here they are showing their Boompa how it’s done:

catch5 catch This is at my parents house.  Don’t they have the coolest setup with that lake behind their house?!  My kids love spending time out there. Djubi is perfect for teaching kids of all ages how to aim and catch.  Adults like it, too! catch2 catch3 The Djubi ball has a band on it that when hooked on the handle and pulled back will then soar through the air for the other player to catch.  Such a unique concept and fun for all ages!

Go HERE for the stores where you can find Djubi!

*This posting and review are sponsored by Djubi, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Squashed {Giveaway} Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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You might say we have a fair amount of board games. You might even say we’ve played a lot of board games. We like to have fun, that’s what we say! Whether we’re playing at home just the two of us or getting together with friends for a game night, My Man J and I are always keeping an eye out for a new game to add into the mix. At first when PlaSmart sent me Squashed I thought it would be all too easy and there wouldn’t be any thrill or thought to it. How wrong I was! Let me give you a run down of this game and see what you think of it. PlaSmartLogo-1024x427 Their mission states “(PlaSmart Inc.) seeks out interesting, one-of-a-kind toys that meet its ‘smart and simple’ philosophy and avoids toys that are difficult to understand or operate.” I would have to say that this game totally lives up to that! The content is basic and the instructions are simple. IMG_4463 Squashed is for ages 6 and up. The ‘board’ of this game is actually a large, grey cube with holes in it. One side opens so you can store all of the other pieces inside of it. Also included are a felt playing mat to rest the cube on, instructions, a 6 sided die, and 16 pegs in 4 colors. You can play with 2,3 or 4 players. I’m so glad you can play with 2, finding games for 2 or more players can be difficult. IMG_4469 The whole object of the game is to be the last pawn standing. You roll the dice to determine the amount of moves you get to make. With each turn you take you can squash pawns into the cube or make your way to the king. IMG_4471 If you make it to the king you get to flip the cube and squash all of the pawns on one side into the cube! Some times you have to sacrifice your own pawns to win! There was more than one point in the game that I was sure I had My Man J bested, then the cube would flip and I’d be in a bad way. IMG_4478 Pros:

  • There is a lot of replay value on this game. We only played with 2 but I’m sure when adding more players it would get even more intense!
  • This game is really simple to get the hang of. I think younger children could definitely learn to play quickly. It also gives you the opportunity to add some strategy, so I think it’s great for adults as well.
  • One round of this game can be quick. With just two of us playing it only took us about 10 minutes to complete one round using two colors a piece (a recommended way to play with 2 players).

Cons:

  • The cube was a little hard to open at first, but now that we’ve opened it over and over it’s getting easier to manage.
  • One round of this game can be quick. This can also be a con if you’re looking for a more competitive game and want to spend a half an hour or more playing one round.

Overall I like this game. It’s different and gives you the opportunity to be strategic or you can play relaxed. You can play it with your young children or take it to your next game night. It’s definitely worth having in a game collection.

The winner of this giveaway will receive one Squashed game to add to their game collection!

 

*This giveaway is open to entries in the US only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of May 30th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by PlaSmart Inc., but all opinions are my own.

…..

Connect with PlaSmart

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Puzzles from Winning Moves Games {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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We have a Christmas tradition at my house called a “Chocolate Puzzle Party” where we eat chocolate and bust out a certain nativity puzzle.  We usually pull it out a few nights before Christmas, but it must be finished in order for Christmas to come.  Some years we’re putting the last few pieces together on Christmas Eve in a rush to get it done in time!

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Because of our tradition, Christmas and puzzles just go together with fond memories in my mind, so welcoming this Hobby Hill puzzle into our collection of holiday traditions seemed only perfectly right!logo

Winning Moves has an impressive collection of games for all ages, and many of them have been featured here on Dandy.  Their puzzles are just as wonderful, and this Holly Hill Pastime Puzzle makes such a wonderful gift!

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I’m impressed with every part of this product.  The box is sturdy and glossy, and the pieces are crisply cut and vibrant in color.  This picture is so fun!  There is so much to look at in all its festive wonder!  We’ve been doing a lot of puzzles around here lately, but they are mostly for 3-yr-olds and I don’t get to help much.  I was really in the mood to do a puzzle on my own and enjoy the calm pleasure of piecing it together myself, so I selfishly cleared the kitchen counter and put this together a piece at a time throughout the day.  I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how much I enjoyed it!  I’ll share the experience next time, but I really loved being the first one to put it together on my own.

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What makes this more than a standard puzzle are the 30 whimsical pieces that can be found throughout the puzzle!  In putting this together, I feel like I am constantly coming across the most wonderful Christmas shapes.
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The details on every home, window, and wreath are beautiful!  The original painting must be huge, because a LOT of details went into this number.
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Wouldn’t this make the perfect Christmas gift for your children, a friend, a teacher, or even a grandparent?  Puzzles are so classic and ageless!
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One lucky winner will receive this Holly Hill puzzle, and just in time to enjoy it during the Christmas season!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Dec 4th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  

Winning Moves Games {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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The weather is getting colder, and isn’t it grand?  We’re certainly jazzed about all the upcoming Fall festivities (aka, hay rides, apple picking, and the oddly phrased Boston tradition called ‘leaf peeping’).  Once we cross off all the items on our autumn bucket list, I’ll be more than happy to take it easy for a few months and enjoy the comfort of my cozy home!  When baby its cold outside, I am perfectly happy to stay indoors for up to a week at a time!  One of my favorite parts about winter hibernation is all the games we pull out during the day!
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Winning Moves Games (who also brought you our Sorry! game giveaway a few weeks ago) sent me two new ones to try, they are new family favorites!
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The first game is called 5ive Straight, and really, the rules are as simple as: draw a card, put one of your pegs on that number or higher, and try to get five in a row, but it is not as simple as it sounds!  Especially when you have a team of players.  I chose this game because you can play with 2-9 people.  That is so rare!  It makes this game great for date night as well as family night.
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My husband and I have pulled it out several nights in a row to play a quick game before bed (just like we did with “Sorry!”), and this one is just as fun!  There is certainly some strategy involved, and you really have to start playing to figure it out.
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While I’m sure this isn’t recommended for children under 3 because of the small chokable pieces, but the kids really liked playing with this one!  With a hundred colored pieces and a board covered with numbers, you can use your imagination and come up with all sorts of counting games, color games, and creative play.  My toddler will sit with this game for quite a while, putting all the colored pieces in specific numbered spots.
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We also busted out this Swan puzzle!  My mom is visiting us this week, and I can’t wait to bust this out tonight while we visit all night.  These whimsical pieces are so fun!!  There are THIRTY of them so you feel like you’re constantly coming across the most bizarre cut-outs and recognizable shapes.
IMG_6677Go check out all the new and old favorites from Winning Moves Games!

One winner will get to choose whether they’d like their own 5ive Straight game or Swan boats puzzle!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Sep 14th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  

Swish, Jr. {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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As you may recall, our family LOVES playing games together.  The kids and I still play card games together almost every day, and my husband and I like to challenge each other to a strategy game at night once the kids are in bed. So, naturally, I gravitate toward game companies when seeking out products to review. I stumbled upon Think Fun and found out that they have tons of great family games in their collection!

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I first heard of Think Fun in Parents Magazine. Their newest game, Word A Round, was named one of the Top 10 Family Board Games by the magazine, and it looked like my kind of game. The company makes all sorts of family games, from Early Learning to Logic Games to Brainteasers to Mobile Apps. They sell puzzles, card games, board games, and everything in between. In their shop you can search for games by Skill Set (reasoning, memory, math, etc.), Type, Age and Price, which makes searching for just the right game for your family so easy. One of their more popular card games, Swish™, has a kid brother, Swish™ Jr., and we were sent this game to review.

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Swishâ„¢ Jr. is a visual game in which you ‘re trying to make matches, or “swishes. ” The cards are clear and have different designs on them–some designs are opaque and some are just outlined–and your goal is to match the designs so the object can “swish” through the hole of the other design. You can stack as few as two and as many as 12 cards on top of one another to make swishes, but no design can be left hanging.  And just like most card games, the player with the most matches at the end of the game wins. If my description made absolutely no sense to you, watch this short video below, and you’ll get it.

My husband and I played Swishâ„¢ Jr. and at first followed the easy variation of finding only two cards to “swish.” I am the first to admit that I’m TERRIBLE at anything spatial, so I knew I would be pathetic at this game. However, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was able to hold my own this round and had a good time playing.  After that, it all went downhill for me. The 3-card version (having to match 3 cards to create a swish) for me was way harder and was even challenging for my husband, though he was definitely smoking me. I realize that this is the junior version and is meant for kids, so I think after playing a  few times through and getting the mechanics of the game we’d be just fine. However, I do think it would be challenging for younger kids, but it is meant to be an educational, brain-building game, so a little challenge is good! Think Fun recommends the game for ages 5 and up, and I think depending on how you play (2 swishes vs. 3 or more), that is an appropriate age range.

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We had a fun time playing together and I think it would be even more fun with a few other players (you can have up to 6 players). Having more people would definitely change the pace and the strategy of the game. This is a great game for your children who struggle with visual/spatial learning to help them improve that area while still having fun–I wish it had existed when I was younger! You can buy Swishâ„¢ Jr. online  for $12.99 and at select Walmart stores nationwide.

Enter to win a copy of Swishâ„¢ Jr. for your family!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of August 31st, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Think Fun, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Patch Products {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Once my son turned 3, my husband and I decided he was old enough to start playing games, so we got Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders for our family for Christmas. We had fun playing for about the first 10 times. After that, my husband and I would both cringe when he would ask to play either game. It wasn’t necessarily the game’s fault–he was young and would make up his own rules or would get really mad when he wouldn’t win–but the games definitely got real old real fast. Now he’s almost 4 and can handle more complicated and mature games, like card games. One of my favorite  card games that I played with my dad growing up was Go Fish, and Patch Products has put a new spin on this classic game with Go Oink® and Go Ape®!

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Patch Products sells games, construction sets, educational toys and puzzles, all with the main goal of families having FUN! They began making just puzzles in 1985 and since then have grown to produce hundreds of games and toys for kids and adults alike. Some of their more popular games include Farkle Frenzy®, The Game of Things…®, Bed Bugsâ„¢, Malarky® and Shark Attackâ„¢. They also have a huge line of  brand-licensed games including Dora, Clifford, SpongeBob and Where the Wild Things Are.

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I was sent a copy of both Go Ape® and Go Oink® to review. Both games immediately became family favorites! We play Go Ape® at least once a day, and we rotate in Go Oink® every few days. Both games are similar to Go Fish, but instead of asking for a specific card to get three-of-a-kind, you have to act out what is on your card. So, in Go Ape®, you act out the action that the monkey is doing on your card. There are some really funny ones, and playing with a 3-year old is even funnier. We definitely have some favorite cards that, when one of us picks, make us giggle in anticipation to act it out. Of course, just like in the regular game, if the other player doesn’t have the card you asked for, you say “Go Ape” and they pick from the pile. Go Oink® is similar, except there are cartoon pictures of animals on the cards and you have to make the corresponding animal noise to ask for a card. We found that, before you play, you should go through all the cards and designate sounds for each animal. Most are very straightforward, but a few, like the lion and the bear, can sound similar, and it’s best to establish your “house rules” before you play to avoid confusion.

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These games are definitely fun and hilarious to play together as a family. My 3-year old was able to pick up the mechanics of the game after about 3 games, though he still has a hard time holding his cards without showing them to us, so we have to employ a little creative cheating/non-cheating when playing with him. My 1 1/2-year old can even play Go Oink® with us when someone is helping because she can make the animal sounds! The cards are sturdy and mostly durable; we’ve only had one get permanently creased after being sucked on for about 5 minutes by my teething daughter. The illustrations on the cards are colorful and cute and for Go Ape®, are fairly easy to mimic.

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I would HIGHLY recommend these games to anyone who loves to play games as a family. They are playable for ages 3+ and would even be funny with a group of adults. We have LOVED both games and will continue to play them as long as we can. Seriously, I don’t even mind playing them multiple times a day, unlike some other games I’ve already mentioned 🙂 You can purchase them online or at select brick-and-mortar retailers (JoAnn Fabrics and Sears are some I saw in a quick online search). The games are $9.99 in the cute Ape– or Pig-shaped carrying case, but just the Go Ape® cards by themselves are only $6.99–what a deal! Seriously, go check these games out and have fun with your family tonight!

Enter below to win either Go Ape® or Go Oink®!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of August 26th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Patch Products, but all opinions are strictly my own.

eBeanstalk.com {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I remember one time when I was about 15 years old, we had a two-year-old boy from our church come over for the afternoon.  It was interesting to have him in our home (which was NOT childproofed at all since my youngest sister was about eight years old at the time), and it was especially interesting to see everyone in our family try to figure out how to work around this little person.  While we all had a good time and enjoyed playing with him, we all breathed a sigh of relief when his mom came to pick him up so we could return to our normal activities without a toddler around.

The funniest comment to me, though, was one that my mom made later when she said how odd it was to try and remember what two-year-olds could do.  Could he drink from a cup?  Would he want to play with stacking blocks?  Can he put on his own shoes?  What type of words can he say at this age?  I was shocked!!  How could my mom have had four children and not know what a two-year-old can do??

Well, I just had a little girl who is just 10 months younger than my own little boy come play on Monday morning, and I admit that I had a flashback to that snippet of conversation.  I (wrongly) assumed I would be able get something done since she would play with my son and wouldn’t need much from me, but I completely forgot that 18-month-olds also like to get in to everything and need constant supervision.  How could I have had two active little boys and not remembered what it’s like to have an 18-month-old?  🙂

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This sort of dilemma also comes up when birthdays and Christmas roll around and we try to think of something that our nieces and nephews would like, especially those in the pre-teen years.  Our families are on the West coast while we’re here on the East coast, so we only see them maybe once a year, which can make gift-giving a challenge.  I’m sure that many of you feel this same way, so I was thrilled to have the chance to feature eBeanstalk.com to our Dandy readers!

eBeanstalk.com is a website that sells “expert-selected toys matched to a child’s development”, meaning that the toys are not only appealing to children in that age group but are also developmentally appropriate (no pieces that are too small or include words that are too big).  You might remember my own feelings about wanting “toys” or, rather, activities that offer open-ended play and use of imagination, and these toys absolutely fit that bill!

In thinking about developmentally appropriate toys and activities, though, eBeanstalk.com offers a website for children with special needs that includes a list of 16 different categories (ADHD & ADD, Physical – Gross Motor, Socialization, etc.).  In each of these categories, experts have reviewed toys that would be beneficial for a child with these special needs.

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I also love that eBeanstalk.com offers Birthday Reminders for those who sign up for this free service through an account.  This reminder is perfect for our growing extended family that is continually growing and is now spreading out all over the country (and world)!

My oldest has a slew of toys, games, and activities that he’s received over the years, but my younger son doesn’t always get a brand-new toy just for him.  I usually already have something stored away for him that his older brother had played with months/years beforehand.  Because of this, I was most interested in taking a look at the toys for 2 year olds to see what might be fun for him to explore right now.

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Seaside Sidekicks Sand Molding Set

Since he’s especially interested in the alphabet right now the alphabet toys for 2 year olds caught my eye.  He can recognize that something is a letter (or number) but doesn’t usually say the right letter.

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Alpha Pops

And, thinking about a few friends who will have birthdays this summer, I headed over to check out the top selling toys for 2 year olds, especially since most of these little friends are girls — we’re not exactly up to date on girl toys here in our all-boy household!

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My First Purse

I would highly recommend eBeanstalk.com for anyone looking for a gift or looking for some good ideas for developmentally appropriate toys, games, and activities for a certain age group.  There are great products from some of my favorite brands, and their items are all high-quality.

**This post was sponsored by eBeanstalk,com, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Duck Duck Moose Educational Apps {GIVEAWAY} — CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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At my house, we have a little thing we like to call “Quiet Time.” Since my 3-year old no longer naps, we have Quiet Time when my daughter is napping and Mommy needs a break. Quiet Time used to involve my son, “Ralph,” watching (the same) movie every day, but ever since my brother and sister-in-law so graciously gave us an iPad for Christmas, Quiet Time has turned into iPad Time. My brother and sister-in-law are Apple Genuises (really!) and gave us the iPad pre-loaded with all sorts of cool books and educational apps for kids. There are a few that are pretty annoying that I wish he’d never found, but some of my favorites come from a company called Duck Duck Moose.

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Duck Duck Moose was started in 2008 by three friends who were having a hard time  finding educational apps for their own children. Since then, they’ve created 16 apps that teach kids skills like reading, math, music and creativity. All 16 apps are available for iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone, and two are available for Android (with more to come in the future). In addition to their educational apps, they also have two music albums, Favorite Spanish Songs by Jose-Luis Orozco, and Duck Duck Music, which can both be purchased on iTunes. Duck Duck Music is a collection of favorite kid songs like “Bingo,” “Yankee Doodle,” Old MacDonald,” and my favorite, “Down By the Bay.” The singer’s voice is lovely and the arrangements are such that they have made songs that are usually annoying become fun and sing-along-able. It’s definitely a favorite at our house!

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But back to their apps. We have Wheels on the Bus, and we were sent codes for Musical Me and More Trucks, all for the iPad (HD versions).  Wheels on the Bus is more of an interactive book than a game-type app. It takes you through the song verse by verse and you can click on things like the wipers, the door, the horn, etc., and they make their respective sound/action. The “Wheels on the Bus” song plays in the background while you are in the app, and the coolest part is you can change the song to play in Spanish, Italian, German, a few different instruments (including the kazoo!), OR you can record yourself singing and play that in the background instead!

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Musical Me is an app that  teaches rhythm, pitch, instruments and notes. There are different activities you can do and they are all set to classic children’s songs. You can change songs for each activity and the instructions are fairly easy to follow. However, my three-year old son, who is fairly musically inclined, had a hard time staying interested in the app. I’m not sure if it was a little too advanced for him or just not his thing, but it does say it is recommended for ages 3 and up, so take that as you will.

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If I couldn’t get “Ralph” to get into Musical Me, I couldn’t get him to STOP playing More Trucks! This app is totally his thing. You can watch my video review of it below, or, just know that if you have a two- or three-year old boy and you want something to keep him busy for at least 30 minutes, THIS is the app to get him!

What I love most about Duck Duck Moose’s apps is that they are all colorful with cute illustrations, easy-to-follow instructions, and they teach usable things. I figure if my son is going to spend time playing a game on the iPad, I’d rather him learn something while he’s at it, and he’s bound to with any Duck Duck Moose app. You can check out the rest of their apps on their website or the iTunes store, where they are all $1.99 each (expect Wheels on the Bus, which is $0.99). The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus apps are available for Android, also for only $1.99. If you can’t make up your mind on which apps to buy, you can see some clips of each app on their YouTube page.

Enter to win TWO apps of your choice for your Apple or Android device!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of May 20th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Duck Duck Moose, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Ravensburger {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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One of my favorite things about being in the military is meeting new people and having lots of new experiences.  We had an amazing Thanksgiving this past week with a great group of friends from all over the country — we’re from the West coast, another family was from the South, and yet another from New England.  Our spread included a pretty good variety of sides to go with the delicious turkey.

When we woke up this morning, though, it felt like the Christmas season had arrived!  We put up and decorated the Christmas tree, my boys looked through a bunch of our Christmas books, and I pulled out all of recipes for holiday baking.  I love this time of year!

One of my favorite traditions from my family is doing puzzles — specifically one holiday puzzle that we leave out all throughout December and work on here or there.  I was searching online for some new puzzles for our family this year and was ecstatic to come across the Ravensburger website!

Ravensburger has an amazing variety of games, puzzles, and activities for all ages, from the WOW toys Camille featured a few weeks ago to 3D puzzles of well-known landmarks.  Here are some of my favorite items from their website:

Great family games like FITS games for ages 8-99

Activities like this Mandela Designer that definitely would have made it on my wish list when I was younger!

The Ravensburger Photo Puzzle can be personalized with your own photos and can be made into a puzzle with anywhere from 100 to 1000 pieces!

My son is enthralled with anything related to geography, and this Children’s Globe Puzzleball is something I’ve been eyeing since I spotted it a few weeks ago.  They have other puzzleballs for all ages, along with other 3D puzzles.

My favorite item, though, is this Night Before Christmas Floor Puzzle with 32 large pieces that is perfect for both of my boys to play with right now; I love to see them discover this tradition that has been in my family since I was their ages.  :)  The pieces are sturdy and can withstand anything from my two young, active boys — I also liked that this puzzle is shaped to provide a bit of a challenge for my older son.

Head on over to Ravensburger to check out the fun items they offer — I loved everything I saw and will definitely keep them in mind as I shop for Christmas now and for birthdays and other celebrations throughout the year.

Ravensburger is giving away one of these Night Before Christmas Floor Puzzles to one of our Dandy readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
**This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

**The winner of this giveaway will be posted no later than the morning of Monday, December 3rd and emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

**This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Ravensburger, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Hungry much?

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Do you ever have those days where you feel totally inadequate as a mother?  Not sure if this should really be classified as dandiness, but there is a positive ending, so I guess classify it as kind of dandy?  Ruby is still not crawling, but she has figured out how to roll to an intended target with ease.  She knows what she wants and she’s quick about.  I honestly think she’s starting to grasp the concept that everything doesn’t belong to her.  I swear she just knows when it’s something that belongs to her older brother.  She gets this glimmer in her eye and goes for it.  At just under 9 months she’s already a little bit naughty.  When she and I had our girl’s night Ruby went straight for the dinosaurs that Banjo had left out.  Of course she did.  She sees him playing with them and knows they are his.  I even caught her in the act with one of Banjo’s favorites:

 

 

She has that total look of “Busted!” written all over her face.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t worry I was totally supervising this whole time.  I mean what kind of parent allows her child to play with non age appropriate toys???  Read on to find out…

Today Ruby decided that she needed to make her way around the corner to the game closet.  I mean it is an area that is totally off limits to her, so of course she was just drawn right to it.  And she discovered this:

On the floor, not in the closet, and it became her accomplice in crime…

 I heard the clatter that could have only been the sound of the Hippo food being moved around.  Rounding the corner I found her with both fists clinched around several plastic marbles.  (Thank goodness they are now made of plastic instead of the glass marbles in the Hungry Hippo game when I was a kid.)  Her left fist was at her lips.  The expression on her face was strangely reminiscent of the look when she’s trying super hard to get a puff into her mouth:

 

I grabbed her and to her dismay pried the marbles from her grip.  Then I counted.  Only 17 marbles.  What kind of game has an odd number of pieces?  I knew then that is was highly probable that she had succeeded in getting some number in her mouth.  Sure enough the game comes with 20.

I remained calm and called the pediatrician’s office immediately.  Confidently I told the nurse that she didn’t make any choking or gagging sounds.  That there appeared to be no signs of respiratory distress.  Then Ruby began to cough and cough and cough.  (She had coughed a couple of times in the night,  but not like this.)  The nurse heard the cough through the phone and told me to bring her in.  I did not hesitate in doing so.

I walked my little marble eater into the office with my head held in shame.  I had failed.  Fortunately Ruby’s breath sounds were normal and the chest X-ray was negative for a foreign body.  Thank goodness!!!  But the cough?  Ruby has croup.  What were the odds???

It still didn’t change the fact that I felt awful about the whole situation.  I beat myself up for hours on end.  How could I allow this to happen?  What kind of mother am I?  I’m so winning the award for most obliviously negligent mommy of the year.  Get your acceptance speech ready now.  When suddenly… Wait…a…minute.  Ruby is so ahead of the game that she knows already how to make sure to be seen by a doctor to get her croup diagnosed.  *wink*   I guess I must be doing something right.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m still an alright mom.

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