3 Inexpensive LEGO Storage Ideas {Under $25}

February 21, 2014 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Welcome back for our last day of LEGO blogging! We’ve covered everything from snack to apps and today we are looking at inexpensive ways to store LEGOs.

1. Basic Sterlite Cart, $21.88

We like this cart because not only can it store blocks, but its drawers are deep enough to store LEGO plates as well.

cart

2. UTZ Cheeseball Containers Turned DIY LEGO Container, $12

This is a genius idea and CHEAP! All you need is a large jar of UTZ Cheeseballs, around $8, and yellow and clear spray paint, about $3, and you can make these super cute LEGO containers! For step-by-step instructions, click here.

DIYLegoStorage


3. Under Bed Storage, $14

Go with us here…This might be a great shoe organizer, but with the compartments we thought this would make a great LEGO sorter and storage system. Best off all this container will slide neatly {and be hidden!} under your child’s bed keeping all the LEGOs out of sight.

underbedstorage

Thanks for following along this week during our LEGO blog series!

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DIY LEGO T-Shirt

Welcome back to our LEGO craze blog week! We kicking off Wednesday with this easy DIY LEGO man shirt. How cute would these be for a birthday boy or a visit to LEGOLAND?!

Many craft stores sell plain yellow shirts for just a few dollars and with a few more inexpensive materials this shirt could belong to your Lego fan!

LEGOteeshirt

Head over to Busykidshappymom.org for the six simple steps to create this shirt!

10 {FREE} LEGO Apps for Kids

February 17, 2014 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

With the new Lego movie debut Lego lovers everywhere are in a Lego overload! Legos are always a huge hit with kids and we’ve rounded up 10 FREE apps perfect for all your little Lego fans.

LEGO Ninjago REBOOTED

legoninjago

LEGO City My City

legocity

LEGO Duplo Train

duplotrain

LEGO Movie Maker

legomovie

LEGO Duplo Circus

duplocircus

LEGO City Rapid Rescue

legorescue

LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles

legostarwars

LEGO Galaxy Squad

legogalaxy

LEGO Legends of Chima: Speedorz

legochima

LEGO Duplo Zoo

legozoo

The Duplo apps are great for preschoolers while the other apps are perfect for schoolage children.

As of 2/15/14 all these apps were marked as FREE. Subject to change anytime.

FREE App: Max & Ruby: Max’s Mole Mash

February 15, 2014 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Calling all Max and Ruby fans! Preschoolers will love this free app featuring Max from the hit Nick Jr. show Max and Ruby.

maxapp

This is a fun, arcade style game similar to whack-a-mole.

Download your app for free here.

As of 2/15/14 this app is listed as free. Subject to change at any time.

{FREE} App for Kids: Tap the Cat

October 4, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Alright Mamas, this app is a great, all-in-one, FREE app perfect for kids ages 3-6! The main skill focus of this app is reading, and who doesn’t want to help their child hone in on those much needed reading skills?! There are two levels of play, level one being a little less challenging.

reading-eggs-app2 (800x558)

My young preschooler (age 3) enjoys the letter matching game, which teaches the letter and letter sound. Great practice! There are also word building games, writing games, vocabulary and sight word games…In my opinion this app is best suited for young learners, ages 3-6. If your child is struggling with beginner reading skills this app make for great practice as well.

reading-eggs-app1 (800x565)

This app is brought to you by the makers of Reading Eggs and we have never been let down by this program! We have used the full online version of Reading Eggs and had great results. This app is just small snippet of the what the whole program has to offer!

This app is FREE for iPad. Download it here!

*This post is based on personal opinion. SharpMoms was not paid to endorse the Reading Eggs program.*

5 Fabulous Back-to-School Must Have Items

August 17, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Back to school has never looked this good! Here are 5 great items you’ll want to add to your shopping list!

1. Chalkboard School Year Kit, $29.95

school-days-kit

We LOVE this kit! It comes with a photo album, journaling cards, faux chalk inserts, chalk board and chalk–everything you need for a great first day of school picture! The best part is that each grade sign DOES NOT have a year on it–perfect to reuse if you have more than one child.

2. Alladin Lunch Bowl, $11.99

thermos-cup

Skip the sandwich and pack your child’s favorite soup, pasta, or mac n cheese in this fun, insulated lunch bowl. Food stays warm up to 2 1/2 hours, plus there is a pull out drawer in the lid with a spoon! Shown in pink, also available in blue.

3. Bento Box and Water Bottle Set, $8.99

bento box

While the water bottle may not be needed, if you’re even thinking of trying a bento box for your child’s packed lunches then this is the one for you! This box has several sections, some with lids, and comes in a red and pink color combo–great for boys and girls! For the price, this can’t be beat!

4. Lunch Box Notes, $5.25

lunch box notes

If you’re on Pinterest {we know you are ;-) } then you’ve probably seen all the very adorable, printable lunch box notes floating around your friend’s boards. These note cards are available from Oriental Trading and for the price you will get 48 cards {making each card about 11 cents a piece}. There are fun messages on the one side and on the other lines for you to write your own special message. PERFECT!

5. Thermos Essential Lunch Box, $6.50

thermos-lunch-box

Just the right size! Room for all the usual lunchbox items at a great price!

Monsters Inc Celebration Ideas {Crafts, Treats, and More!}

We’re getting very excited to see the upcoming Monsters Inc movie, Monsters University. To gear up for the show, we are going to have a “Monstrous Day of Fun” at our house complete with crafts and treats themed after the movie’s characters! Here are a few of the scaretastic ideas we’ve rounded up so far!

1. If you’re a Monster’s Inc fan, the you probably love Sully and Mike and we think these fun printable cut-outs via learnlovecreate.com are adorable! Get your FREE printable Sully and Mike here: Printable Sully OR Printable Mike

2. These Noise Maker add-ons are fun and inexpensive. Usually we get our party blowers at Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store and the price is always around $1-$2 per pack.

monsters-inc-party-blowers-printable-photo-420x420-fs-img_9272

3. We plan on watching the original Monster’s Inc movie and these slushies would be the perfect movie treat!

sully-slush

Sully Slushie {via  http://thedragonsfairytail.blogspot.com}

To make these tart drinks you’ll need one pack of blue kool-aid or Ice Blueberry Jello, ice, and 1/4 cup or less lemon juice. Just crush ice in the blender, add Kool Aid pack contents and lemon juice, and serve! {for more fun monster drinks visit here}

4. Love these fun Mike plates to use for meals and snacks (under $2/pack)!

mikeplates

5. It’s summer and we love traditional smores, but how about these fun Smore Doors inspired by the movie–LOVE! All you’ll need are: graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, and Hershey bar pieces. {This genius idea via}

smores

6. This Pin-The-Eye-On-Mike game would make the perfect addition to your Monsters Inc party, but we might make it to just play at home!

monster-inc-game

We also plan on attending this FREE event at our local Lowes!

We hope these ideas help you plan a spookerific day before you head to the theater!

FREE Lowe’s Build and Grow Kid’s Clinic: Monsters Inc. Theme!

June 10, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Are your kids as excited as mine are about the new Monster’s Inc movie? We can’t wait to see it. Get your kids in a monstery mood with Lowe’s FREE kid’s clinic. The weekend of June 22 they will be offering a class specifically for little monsters where they will build their own Monsters University chest!

monsters-inc-chest

This project is recommended for ages 5 and up. For full details, location participation, and registration click here!

Popluar Baby Names: A State-By-State Comparison

Even though my baby-naming days are over, I still find it interesting to look at the yearly “Top Baby Names” lists. I always like knowing if my child’s name is still in the top ten or which new names are trending. The folks over at Nick Mom put this image together showing the most popular baby names by state.

baby-names-by-state

Looks like Mason is reigning high for boy names and it’s no surprise that Emma is still tops for baby girls. While some of these names are very timeless/traditional i.e. Emma and Jacob, some have just gained popularity over time. Looks like we need to get a little more creative–perhaps Hashtag will make it to the top of the list soon ;-) .

New Pampers Gifts to Grow Code

May 13, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

pampers

Grab this code before it expires!

FBMD76C7HMEXT13, 10 pts

This code expires May 17, 2013, so head over to Pampers.com today to redeem!

Make Reading Time Fun: 4 Tricks for Boosting Your Child’s Reading Confidence

May 13, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Reading with your child everyday is so important. Not only does it help them become more familiar with phonics and spelling, it’s also a great time to cuddle and bond. But what happens when your child is ready to begin learning to read?

girl reading

Most all children will learn basic phonics and reading skills in Kindergarten {times have changed since Mama was a Kindergartener!}. For some children reading will come easily and naturally. For others it will be a daunting task of sounding out words and learning their meanings. The goal is to make reading something to look forward to, not something your child will dread doing! Here are a few tips:

1. Make reading a game. As your child struggles with words, he will get frustrated. Ease the stress by making the book fun. Help here and there, but also use the pictures to help tell some of the story. Look for words on the page that your child already knows and read well. You can also break words down. Your child may not be able to read “splat” but he can find the “at” in that word easily.

2. Use your pets. Sounds silly right? But think about it–teachers and, yes, even parents, are quick to correct when a child misses a word or struggles with sounds. This can really deflate a child’s confidence level. On the flipside of people, pets are nonjudgmental. Your dog, cat, or even fish can make wonderful listeners. They don’t speak and even if your child makes a few mistakes they will feel great at the end because they completed a story on their own without help!

3. Keep it short. Kids get tired and frustrated quickly–especially when they need  help with a lot of words. After reading a few times with your child find out how long he can last. It may be 10 minutes or 20, but keep your reading time short at first. As your child becomes more confident and comfortable you can lengthen your sessions.

4. Look beyond the books. Keep in mind reading takes place all around us and words are everywhere. Have fun reading labels at the grocery store. Read billboards and street signs during your drive to school. At breakfast, take a look at the cereal box. These are just a few fun ways to incorporate reading into your daily activities without your child realizing they are having fun AND reading too!

FREE iPad Apps: Preschool Books for Kids

April 30, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Free apps are back! Here are two great finds for your preschool aged children!

littlecritter

Little Critter: Just Me and My Mom — FREE, iPhone and iPad, Great for all Little Critter fans ages 4 and up

threelittlepigs

Three Little Pigs: FREE, iPad, Interactive and suitable for ages 4+

Earth Day Reads for Kids

April 19, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Earth Day is approaching and we LOVE that Marc Brown author and creator of the lovable book character Arthur has written a book all about Earth Day,  Arthur Turns Green. In the book Arthur and his curious sister D.W. are at it again and of course it does not disappoint! Perfect for all Arthur lovers and budding readers!

arthur

For some fun Arthur related games and ways to help your family turn green with Arthur visit www.arthur-books/green.html.

And, of course, there are always great games at PBSKIDS. org: http://pbskids.org/games/earthday.html

Interested in more Earth Day books for your kids? Check out these titles:

  • Celebrating Earth Day: Circle the Year With Holidays, by Janet McDonnell
  • Every Day Is Earth Day: A Craft Book, by Kathy Ross
  • Keeper of the Swamp, by Ann Garrett
  • Mr. Garbage, by William H. Hooks
  • Gover’s 10 Terrific Ways to Help our Wonderful World, by Anna Ross
  • Tanya’s Big Green Dream, written by Lida Glaser
  • Pollution? No Problem!, by David Morichon
  • For the Love of Our Earth, by P.K. Hallinan

LEGO Store Event: FREE Mini Model

April 2, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

mini-lamb

Visit your local LEGO Store on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 and you can learn how to build mini model, and take it home – for free! Quantities are limited and offer is good while supplies last only. One free per child. Event is open to children ages 6 to 14 only and will begin at 5:00 p.m. and continue until supplies run out.

3 Great Toy Organizers

March 25, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Spring cleaning is underway! Here are 3 pieces to help you {re}organize your child’s toys.

1. Bongo Buddy

bongo-buddy

These might be good as a fun laundry bin, but we like these Bongo Buddy bins for storing all those stuffed animals your child collects! They come in fun colors and as kids’ favorite animals–duck, puppy, gator, and more!

2. Pencil Bookcase

pencil bookcase

We love this adorable pencil bookcase! Wouldn’t it be cute in a little boy’s bedroom or a unisex playroom? It’s perfect for storing your child’s favorite books, special toys, or art supplies!

3. Hanging Wall Bin

wall bin

Ever get tired of seeing baskets of things on the floor? Hang up your child’s toys, books, and more with these sturdy wall bins.

5 Quick Ways to Add a Little Extra Fun to Your Spring

March 21, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Family, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

The weather is warming slowly but surely. It’s a great time to get outdoors when you can or have some fun indoors when a spring shower pops up. Here are five ideas to add to your day when you might need a little something extra to occupy your child.

1. Start a Nature Scrapbook

craftbook

My kids LOVE collecting things from the outdoors. Sometimes it’s just a weedy flower, but to them it is very special. Usually these items get left behind or shoved in the bottom of my purse for me to find days later, dried a crumbled. Starting a nature scrapbook is a great way for your child to keep their favorite outdoor treasures. It’s also fun for them to glue new things into their book, decorate each page, etc. All you need a notebook and craft glue!

2. Make Pizza Cookies

All you need is some pizza dough, sugar, cinnamon, and sprinkles to make these fun treats. Just divide pizza dough into lumps and let your child flatten them out {they can use their hands or a potato masher}. Sprinkle with sweet toppings and bake!

3. Garden Together

tomatoplant

All kids love digging and getting dirty. Boys like finding bugs and worms and little girls love smelling flowers {and finding bugs, too!}. Planting some small potted flowers or pulling weeds together is a great way to spend some time outside AND get some work done too. Tomatoes are very easy to care for and can be planted in a pot. Your child will love caring for it and seeing their yummy tomatoes grow!

4. Visit Your Local Library

On rainy days a great way to break up your morning or afternoon is visiting your local library. My kids like just reading in a comfy chair in the children’s section. Sometimes we luck up and visit right at story time and every loves checking out a few books to take home and read.

5. Take a Photo Walk

You can do this at your local park or around your neighborhood. Be sure to wear comfy shoes and pack your camera! As you take your nature walk be on the look out for creatures, critters, flowers, etc. You can snap pictures as you go and when you get home you can have your pictures to review with your child. Take it a step further and print your pics to make a book all about your photo walk.

Printable Coupons: My Little Pony, Play Doh, & More!

March 15, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

We’re loving these fantastic coupons from Coupons.com. Some of these toys and games would be make great, affordable Easter basket fillers or birthday gifts.

Remember you can print 2 or each coupon per computer!

$3.00 off CANDY LAND or CHUTES AND LADDERS game
$1.00 off PLAY-DOH Case of Colors 10-Pack
$5.00 off Draw Something or Words with Friends
$2.00 off PLAYSKOOL HEROES™ Toys
$5.00 off one NERF N-STRIKE ELITE ROUGHCUT Blaster
$5.00 off one SESAME STREET LOL ELMO Toy
$2.00 off BABY ALIVE KICKS & CUDDLES NEWBORNS Doll
$1.00 off any one MY LITTLE PONY Figure
$3.00 off one OPERATION Game or BATTLESHIP Game
$2.00 off MR. POTATO HEAD toy
$2.00 off 1 PLAY-DOH Playsets
$5.00 off LITTLE PONY WALKIN TALKIN PINKIE PIE Toy

Kids Bowl Free Summer 2013!

March 15, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

The popular Kids Bowl Free program is back for 2013! All summer long and lanes all across the U.S. kids can bowl for free (up to 2x per day!).

bowling

For more info on free bowling in your area, registration, and more click here.

Fun with Food: Monkey Snack

March 14, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection, Meals In Minutes

monkey-snack

We recently saw this cute money snack in our grocer’s ad. How easy and simple! All you need is bread, bananas, raisins, cheerios, peanut butter or Nutella and you have a cute, healthy snack for your kiddo!

Travel Tips: NYC Hotspots {for Kids}

Thinking of venturing to The Big Apple with your family? There is so much to see and do! We’ve narrowed it down to 5 must see spots around the city.

1. Dylan’s Candy Bar off 3rd Ave.

dylans-candy-bar

Most children have a major sweet tooth and if your child does then Dylan’s Candy Bar is a place you’ll want to visit. This store is the mega candy heaven {Wonka himself would be jealous}! Wall-to-wall goodies all around! When you’ve head your sugar fill, moms will delight in a little shopping at Bloomingdales {it’s right across the street!}.

2. Serendipity 3 on 6oth St., Upper East Side

serendipity-3

Known for its famous frozen hot chocolate, Serendipity 3 is another spot not to missed. Aside from their killer dessert, Serendipity also offers a great menu–burgers, chicken pot pie, an array of pasta dishes, and much more. As you can see form our photo, there was a wait and patrons were waiting outside for their reservation time. We suggest making reservations in advance. To make a reservation for lunch or dinner please call 212-838-3531 {also note that this eatery can not accommodate strollers and the like}.

3. FAO Schwarz off 5th Avenue

FAO-NYC

You can not visit NYC and pass up a trip to the flagship FAO Schwarz store. From modern toys to Muppets and candy, this toy store has it ALL! Aside from the toys and trinkets, there’s also the very famous Big Piano. Your whole family will love jumping on those keys!

big-piano-FAO

4. The Rink at Rockafeller Plaza, 5th Ave. at 49th and 50th St.

rink-at-rockafeller-plaza

If you visit NYC during the holidays or winter months a stop at Rockafeller Plaza’s skating rink is another must do! If it’s a nice day another great thing to do is visit The Top of the Rock, also right on the plaza and offering a great view of the entire city. There is also some great shopping nearby, including an ever-popular American Girl Store.

5. Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 83rd St, Upper West Side

splash22

{image via}

Take a break from sight seeing and window-shopping and venture over to this 5-story children’s museum. There’s fun for all ages here, but it is mostly geared for ages six and under. Some fun features are a Dora the Explorer play area, Play Mobil exhibit, City Splash water exhibit {spring/summer only}, and more!

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