Friday, November 21, 2014

Getting Ready for Black Friday

I always wanted to be a Black Friday shopper. I remember as a teen watching my siblings so my parents can go out midnight and come back early in the morning with most of the gifts. It sounded like fun and I wanted to be part of it until I discovered the internet.

Yes. I fell in love. I spend a few days searching and finding the best deals from product rates to free shipping. I like staying in the comfort of my bed and getting what I need and want without having to push and shove others. 

Some of my favorite places to shop online include Walmart and Target because they have everything for everyone.

My all time favorite place to shop for the past few years has been  Amazon.

I think the real reason I love them is because they have sales all week long. It is like waking up to Black Friday for a full week.

The list of sales is always chaining from toys and games for the kids to jewelry and tools for the adults. It is amazing what I can find and free shipping is so low, I do not have to worry.

Check out the toy section. I get to excited every time I pay a visit because they really have all the top sellers at amazing prices.

Before I do my shopping, I try to have a list of what I know everyone will want. I like getting both practical and fun gifts for the adults and toys and games for the kids. As you know we are really into playing and just having fun.

This year, I wanted to share some of our favorite toys and games with all of you. Starting on Monday and going all the way to Wednesday, I will be sharing lists of some of the best toys and games we have tested over the course of the year.

As my blog has seem some amazing products, narrowing it down will be difficult but I almost got it.

I cannot wait to get going. It is going to be really exciting.

See you all Monday.

What are some of your favorite toys?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crazy Visual Game Pix Mix

I got this game to help teach skills image differentiation and to help increase focusing. Well what we got was so much more. This fast paced game is just great. Fun for the whole family and can be modified to help include both young and older children.

click image to purchase pix mix by mindware
Click Image to Purchase

Pix Mix



mindware pix mix game contents
Pix Mix: Contents
  • 80 clear playing cards
  • 4 window envelopes
  • 1 timer
  • 1 score pad
  • 1 instruction booklet

Game Play:

mindware pix mix playing game
Playing Pix Mix

This is a fast game so get your speedy hands ready.

Before you start the game, place 6 cards in all 4 envelopes and close. After each player has an envelope and score pad, it is time to go. turn the timer over and see if you can guess all 6 line objects before time runs out. When time runs out, pass the card to the next player and repeat until you have gone through all 4 envelopes. The player with the most correct guesses wins.

I know you are thinking this game sound really simple but it is far from it. Once I guesses a shovel and it really was a broom. Depending on how complex the combination of objects are, this game can really be tricky and so much fun. We usually end up laughing at some of the silly guess we took. 

Little Kids:

It is natural for our little ones to want to join in the fun. At times they just cannot but Pix Mix allows for great modification. For example my 2 year old nephew wanted to join in on the fun. Rather then saying no, we gave him an envelope with only 2 pictures and he had to guess. I would say it got it right about 75% of the time. Not bad for an adult game. As he gets more correct, I will be increasing the cards until he is ready to join us in the real game. 

Bottom Line:

As you can tell,  Pix Mix is so much fun. Fun and filled with education. A local speech therapist has used this for object differentiation and recognition. It is also good for figure ground separation and even abstract image recognition. The list goes on. Basically it is fun for education and at home use. An overall great holiday gift. 

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Click Pix Mix to purchase. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Increase Scanning Skills with Speedy Shapes by Beleduc

One way to help kids develop pre-reading skills is through scanning and decoding. Now when you have a little one, doing this can be challenging as they are first developing skills and have no real method of thinking. This game is lots of fun and will help kids differentiate between different shapes helping them with reading later on.

hape beleduc speedy shapes game
Click Above Image to Purchase

Speedy Shapes Game


game pieces for hape beleduc speedy shapes game
  • 41 wooden playing tiles
  • 3 wooden dice
  • 1 circular playing mat

Set Up:

hape beleduc speedy shapes game set up
Setting Up Game

This part the kids love. Just unroll the blue mat in the box and lay out the shapes face up. The mat creates a limited distraction environment so the kids can really focus on the difference shapes and patterns.

Game Play:

The child rolls the die and has to select the proper pattern from the cloth. You start off with all 3 dice and eliminate one at a time. If a child rolls two of the same dice, you go for the tile with two shapes. If the child rolls all of the same, he gets to keep a tile with one shape. After the children collect all the 3 shape tiles then you roll two dice. Same goes for when only shapes with one is remaining. The child who has the most tiles is the winner.

Educational Benefits:

There is so much this games has to offer from scanning to figure ground recognition and even patterns that I am so happy my girls loved this game. 

playing hape beleduc speedy shapes game with one shape
Playing with One Shape

Of course it was not always this simple so when I play with really young kids, I like to start off with only one shape. The goal is help build the kids confidence while building on important skills in a fun way. As the children master one, I add two and then of course we finish with the regular game. 


  • Figure ground skills
  • Scanning
  • Hand eye coordination
  • Memory building


  • The sides of the wooden tiles are not as finished as I would have liked. They are slightly rough. Not rough enough to splinter thankfully not not smooth.

Bottom Line:

I like a game that does multiple skill building and Speedy Shapes Game is one of them. The fun keeps on going as the child progresses form finding one large shape to 3 smaller shapes with the roll of dice. Fun game that keeps on educating.