Trendy Mom Reviews
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Learning is Fun with Pley's National Geographic Pleyboxes #pleyandlearn


We have our ups-and-downs with our 8-year old. Helping him to live up to his potential is a consuming mission. There is no single answer about the best strategy for raising a child. Do they participate in enough extracurriculars? Do they participate in too many? Is a sport a necessity? Will chess club help to better connect their mind?    I won't claim to know the answer to any of these questions. However, one thing that I am certain about is that learning should be fun! It doesn't matter how old you are - if you enjoy what you are doing, you will thrive.  Now, that's where today's post comes -- Pley's National Geographic Pleyboxes make it FUN to learn new things.  In today's post, I'll share an example of Mission Serengeti.

Pley's National Geographic Pleyboxes come as a monthly subscription that my boys love. As soon as the box arrives, our house is suddenly quiet.  (Thank you Pley for the magical spell of quiet that you cast on our house when the boys open their Pleybox!)


Here’s what’s in the box for this month:

  • A cool T-Shirt with a Serengeti Zebra on it
  • A National Geographic book: all about Lions and how to save them!
  • A sheet of stickers featuring animals from the Serengeti
  • Two mini animal figurines
  • An activity booklet
  • A cloth bracelet
  • Instructions and access to an online digital game that features the Serengeti.
  • ...and the box is a cute travel case with a handle that can be used for years to come!



As I mentioned, my biggest goal in life is to help my children to reach their potential and have happy lives. The Pleybox subscription is part of my recipe to help my son to thrive. Their National Geographic Pleyboxes make learning fun. Let me share a few examples.

Let's start by talking about the immersion. My little one loved that he was basically immersed from head to toe with everything from his cool Serengeti Zebra t-shirt to his little cloth bracelet and fun animal figurine friends.



The online digital game took him to a new world we he got to learn more about the Serengeti. My son had a lot of fun with this game. They made learning fun!


He also loved the flashcards, stickers, and book.



Of course, this was one of those situations where he was so engaged that he wanted to skip dinner and bedtime. (Please, just 5 more minutes.... just 5 more minutes!) Whether you grant extra time to play or not, you'll eventually need to clean up and call it a night. The cute travel case is perfect for cleaning up.



In summary, we love Pley's National Geographic Pleyboxes. My son can't wait for his box next month. They make learning fun! I also can't wait for his next box since it makes me feel good to see him having fun and learning more about the world around him.

While we are hooked on Pley's National Geographic Pleyboxes, they also have Disney Princess and Hot Wheels Pleyboxes. They sound similarly fantastic and are on our wish lists. If you want to learn more, click here.
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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Doze with the Dinosaurs at the Perot Museum: The Ultimate Childhood Memory


In today's post, I will tell you about an amazing one-of-a-kind experience that we highly recommend to families in the DFW metro - a sleepover at the Perot Museum! 
Doze with the Dinosaurs.
My family considers this event to be the ultimate childhood memory! Let me share the schedule and a few photos from our recent experience.

General Sleepover Schedule
  • 6:30pm Museum Shop opens 
  • 7-7:30pm Checkin 
  • 7:30pm Welcome to your sleepover adventure! 
  • 8pm Family-friendly film 
  • 8:40pm Snack time 
  • 8:45-11:30pm Explore the five levels of the Museum and special hands-on activities for sleepover guests 
  • Midnight Lights out! 
  • 7:15am Rise and shine! 
  • 7:30am Breakfast 
  • 8:00am Farewell! 
My husband and son arrived around 7:00pm and were easily able to find parking. It was convenient to park right next to the museum, especially since they had to carry their sleeping bags, change of clothing, and toothbrushes. My husband commented that the check-in was very nice and well organized. The staff members at the Perot Museum are always seem so enthusiastic to be there.

The first item on the schedule was the "Welcome to your sleepover adventure" introduction. They shared the rules and expectations for the evening so that all of the families could enjoy the sleepover. It was interesting to learn that one of the employees has participated in 50+ sleepovers!   (Isn't that the most amazing job perk?!)



The next activity was a family-friendly movie. After the movie, they attended a session with exciting science experiments. For instance, we were able to see an exciting Hydrogen explosion and liquid Nitrogen in action.





After the live science experiments, my husband and son explored the museum.  They visited and experienced everything from hands-on exhibits with robots to races with virtual cheetahs and dinosaurs. My husband and son still rave about all of the amazing interactive exhibits. They were busy the entire time with the exception of a snack break that was included with the event.  My son loved that he scored gummy dinosaurs for a snack!

Finally, they staked their claim on where to place their sleeping bags.  They slept under a pterodactyl and across from an Alamosaurus!  Isn't that truly amazing?  We laugh because my husband  woke up in the middle of the night and flinched because he forgot where he was. They loved waking up in such a unique and immersive environment.



If you look past the lights in the photo below, you'll notice that this is an actual pterodactyl skeleton!



Finally, they enjoyed breakfast at the museum and packed up their sleeping bags to head home.  This is an iconic part of my son's childhood and is a memory that our family will always treasure.  This is a must-do activity for all DFW families and visitors!  


Learn More
Visit the Perot Museum "Doze with the Dinosaurs" website to book tickets for your family to experience this trendy sleepover! 




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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Recipe: Easy Rocky Road Pancakes



Recipe: Easy Rocky Road Pancakes
  • 2 cups Original Bisquick mix
  • 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of miniature marshmallows (cut into halves or fourths)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
Directions   
1. Stir the Bisquick mix, cocoa powder, milk, and eggs with whisk until thoroughly blended.

2. Stir in the chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, and walnuts.

3. Add 1/4 cup of batter to a hot griddle and cook until edges are brown on each side.

4. Optionally serve with extra chocolate chips and marshmallows on top.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Best Valentine's Math Game for Kids


The Best Valentine's Math Game for Kids
Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It offers many ways for our children to practice developmental skills. This includes everything from practicing writing their names on Valentines to focusing on friendship skills.  In today's post, we'll work Valentine's Math into the equation!  This is a fun game to help children to practice their math and memory skills.  Thanks to Oriental Trading for sponsoring this post! You'll find the Valentine Supplies on the Oriental Trading Website.

Supplies

Directions
Setup
  1. Print stickers with a variety of even and odd numbers. Stick the numbers to the bottoms of the candy.  (Optional shortcut: If you want to leave some of the candies without stickers, then those pieces count as zero when the kids add the numbers.)
  2. Organize the candies on a table so that the numbers are face down.
  3. Allow each child to decorate a Mini Square Appetizer Bowl with the Red Washi Tape. The festive containers will hold their candies when they play the game.


Game Rules
  1. Each child picks up a piece of candy. The child with the largest number will play first. If there is a tie, those in the tie will pick up another piece of candy and the largest number breaks the tie.
  2. For each turn, select two pieces of candy and add the numbers.
    • If the numbers add to an even number, they get to keep the Valentine Pair and add it to their container.
    • If the numbers add to an odd number, they need to put them back.
  3. Repeat Step 2 for each child until all of the candy is gone.
  4. Give a cellophane gift bag to each child to secure their container of candy.
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Monday, January 8, 2018

Door Dash: A Trendy Restaurant Delivery Service Helps Moms to Take a Night Off from Cooking + $10 Off Your First Order


Do you ever feel like you are constantly cooking? My boys are able to eat more than me. It's truly astonishing. I feel like I am constantly cooking for them.  One of my favorite strategies for taking a night off from cooking dinner is to use Door Dash.  I featured Door Dash last year and it was one of our most popular posts.  We shared a $10 off coupon for new users and some of you redeemed it quickly.  Since it has been over a year since our last post and Door Dash has further expanded within the Dallas/Fort Worth metro (and across the country), I thought that it was time for another post about this trendy service that is perfect for moms.  (We also have the $10 off coupon for new customers here! It's an amazing deal.)


Door Dash nights are my special evenings when I don't have to cook. I also don't have to listen to any complaints about what we are eating. I never hear questions such as, "When is dinner going to be ready?"  Everyone picks their favorite meals and then the Door Dash tracker keeps us up-to-date on the status of our meals and delivery.  


Let me share an example.  We select a restaurant from the Door Dash website.  There are 50+ options in our town of Southlake and we've tried almost a dozen different restaurants from the list.  I like the transparency of their website where they show the delivery fee for the different restaurants on the main page.  (Here is a confession: I sometimes randomly visit their website to see who is offering free delivery or $2.99 delivery and use a good delivery deal as an excuse to try a new restaurant. This is how I found Taziki's Mediterranean Restaurant and fell in love with it. I know several friends who randomly visit Door Dash for dinner inspiration too!)


Once we select a restaurant, everyone in my family adds meals to our order.  (Everyone is happy!) We've used both the website and the app on different occasions. Both are easy to use. Once everyone adds their order, I double check it and submit. The Door Dash magic then begins and my children watch the status updates. 


If your children are like mine, they will love the status tracker.  The tracker is fairly detailed as it tells you when meals are being prepared and when your Dasher picks up the food and is in route to your house. (My apologies to the Dasher that my little boys excitedly open the door before they even have a chance to ring the door bell.  My children just really love the Door Dash status updates and are excited about their special food.  You are like Santa Clause, but with kids meals and other treats for them.)



If you are new to Door Dash, take advantage of $10 off of your first order here. If you are already a customer and haven't visited in a while, bookmark the Door Dash website and periodically visit to browse the different delivery specials that they have for different restaurants. They seem to change often and it's fun to have an excuse to try new restaurants or menu items.

Thanks to Door Dash for sponsoring this post and for providing a $10 off discount to our readers.
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The Best Valentine's Ideas for Boys (Peanut-free)


The Best Valentine's Ideas for Boys (Peanut-free)
Many schools are peanut-free nowadays due to food allergies.  In today's post, I'll share some fun ideas for peanut-free Valentine's for boys.  Thanks to Oriental Trading for sponsoring this post and making it easy to find allergy-friendly Valentine's for boys.

1. Build a Heart
You'll never go wrong with a Valentine that let kids build. Oriental Trading has fantastic Color Brick Valentine's that include bricks for children to build hearts.  This will easily be the #1 most popular Valentine in a class!



2. Build a Glider
Again, hands-on projects are always fund for kids.  We love the Valentine Glider Assortment from Oriental Trading.  This set is perfect for multiple reasons.  The first is that kids get to build their own gliders.  Second, they get to play with the gliders and figure out how they work.  Third, and this perk is for parents, Oriental Trading sells a 50-piece Valentine Glider Assortment for just $11.99.  This is perfect for parents that have multiple children since the gliders are perfect for a wide range of ages. Alternatively, parents of only children may use half of the gliders this year and set the other half away for next year. Let me share some examples.

Here is an overview of the trendy gliders.



The Super Hero one is popular!


Of course, boys love camo prints!



Younger boys will love the puppy glider!



3. Beef Jerky 
Have you ever noticed that most dad's love beef jerky? Well, so do little boys. Order a Krave Jerky Variety Pack and add a Valentine note to the front of each bag for the ultimate Boys Valentine! My family loves these Valentine's.



We hope that you enjoyed these Peanut-free Valentine Ideas for Boys.  Happy Valentine's Day!

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