Shop Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs for gifts this year! Review and #Giveaway! #HolidayGiftGuide

Disclaimer: I received product in order to facilitate this review. 

knex-logo-holiday

Building toys are always wrapped tight under my Christmas tree every year! It is the #1 on my children’s list every year~ and it is one of those gifts that actually continues to be played with long into the new year. Building toys have 5 qualities that make them an irresistible present for children! 

giveaway, knex, lincoln logs

We LOVE K’nex Lincoln Log, and Tinker Toys~ each have their own great features that stimulate my children in different ways! I love their varying difficulties, making them all great for the varied ages of my children. My favorite is by far…….Lincoln Logs! This classic construction set is made from REAL wood and is fueled by imagination alone! As a child,  I remember playing with Lincoln Logs for hours so it’s sweet to connect with the kids over this childhood memory. 

lincoln logs, building toys

The Lincoln Log Collector’s Edition Homestead is an amazing addition to your building toy sets! This set includes 361 pieces of real wooden pieces that after pieced together will create an entire homestead complete with a covered wagon and horses! It is the BIGGEST Lincoln Log set available! 

building toys, knex, lincoln logs

It allows for children to dream up anything they want~ with 361 pieces your child can build to their heart’s desires! Geared for ages 3+, even my little ones can enjoy time with the older siblings building together! 

Tinker Toys is another great building set with pieces that snap together and stay together! Fun fact: Tinker Toys were created in 1913 after an inventor watched children play with thread spools and pencils. It’s so great to think a timeless toy does exist! 

tinker toys, knex, building toys

MADE IN THE USA!! Tinker Toys feature great bendable rods so no breakable pieces! I found the instructions super easy for younger builders to navigate, that even my stubborn 5 year old completed one from the book!

tinker toys  

Luckily for all of us Moms……K’Nex, Tinker Toys, and Lincoln Logs are all available in local stores everywhere and on Amazon! Opt for 2 days shipping and have it here in time to make it under the Christmas tree! 

BUY IT: Lincoln Logs Collector’s Edition Homestead is $99.99 online, but look for it in stores!

1 giveaway (1)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

HGF was not paid for this post.  We were provided with the products mentioned to facilitate this review and have provided our honest opinion.  Thank you to the sponsoring company for working with HGF. You can view our complete PR policies here.  U.S only except where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Giveaway starts at the moment of the posting of this article and will run until December 31, 2014 at 11:59PM! The prize is the Lincoln Logs set above with a total retail value of Ninety nine dollars {$99.99}  All prizes will be awarded. A list of winners will be available after 3/10/2015 by writing MomToSprouts {at} yahoo {dot} com. All prizes are awarded and forwarded to the winner by the sponsor; in this case, a HGF. Please see Official Rules for more details.  We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Creative Baby: Under the Sea Educational learning Mat with Voice Pen #HolidayGiftGuide

I have received product in order to facilitate this review. 

educational toys

 Christmas time with children means tons of toys~ this year make it count with educational and creative toys. Creative Baby Inc offers an award winning  interactive foam mat with voice pen where kids direct the learning!  Featuring a HUGE interlocking foam mat, children can simply touch the mat anywhere with their voice pen and the learning begins! Last year, we partnered with Creative Baby Inc and had the chance to try out their new Voice Pen with the My Animal World Mat * an educational toy review you will want to read again! My daughter at just 19 months fell in love with the bright colored mat and the animal sounds! *You will gasp at how much she has changed in 1 year! 

educational product

Creative Baby Inc has continued to expand their line of educational mats to include an alphabet mat and an Under the Sea mat! The voice pen is easily plugged into your computer, where you can download the new mat software! The voice pen is lightweight, and can be used as early as 18 months. Since it has a flat tip with a sensor, no worries about breaking the tip or the mat! Little ones can simply touch and learn! 

creative baby

The Under the Sea mat features a heavily illustrated mat that comes in 4 interlocking pieces. The mats are bright with inviting animals that my girls love pointing at and talking about. Each animal is labeled, and when touched with the voice pen will engage your child with facts, sounds, and songs!

educational mat, talking pen, holiday gift guide

The Creative Baby Inc mats are very large measuring 48 x 48, large enough for multiple children to play together with! My 2 little girls even with only 1 voice pen, worked together and interacted in a way that made me smile!

creative baby 1

Each mat has a control panel at the top that is usable only with the touch of the pen. The Under the Sea mat offers 2 games to expand learning! The best feature is the language option that allows you to learn in 3 different language including English, Spanish, and Chinese. The girls had the most fun hearing the animals name in Chinese! 

20141212_130706

Costco member: Right now Creative Baby Inc is running an amazing promotion at Costco! For a limited time, you can purchase both the My Animal World imat and the Under the Sea imat along with the voice pen for $79.99! That’s a $30 discount! 

creative baby imat

Creative Baby Inc. imat’s have been a hit in our home for an entire year- my children still ask to play on their mat and we have used it many times as part of our homeschooling lessons! We have matched letters to the animals and lead discussions on grouping, classifying, and even worked on adjectives.  It offers a visual and auditory learning tool in such a fun engaging way! 

BUY IT: Shop the Costco deal if you can, but you can also order Creative Baby Inc. products online. 

DISCLOSURE: I have received product in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts provided are my own. Please see our PR policies for more information. 

 

Imagine I Can ~ Where little ones can Imagine they are anything they want to be! #Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide

*I received product in order to facilitate this review. 

imagination toys, giveaway

Now little ones can imagine anything they want with Imagine I Can toys! Imagine I Can is part of Manhattan Toys, and  gets kids playing, learning, and imagining! Some Imagine I Can toys come in adorable storage tins~ to keep it all contained and easily stored! 

As a homeschooler, I am always looking for toys and activities to add to our daily learning. While teaching my older 3, I rely on fun hands on toys to keep my toddler busy yet learning at the same time. The Lace & Play Fish is the perfect addition to her learning shelf. He is great for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills which leads to great penmanship!  imagine i can

The Lace & Play series has other characters including a ram, adorable hedgehog, and lion! These are slightly different from typical lacing toys as they come with additions to lace on as well. This feature makes the toy grow with your little one as they develop their lacing skills! Mr.Fish has fish scales you can lace on and the Lion has it’s mane! I do wish these were sold as one large set!  My older daughter is growing up sooo quickly, and as she grows I am trying to teach her (and all the kids including the boys!) basic skills such as ironing, laundry, and sewing! Grooming them into great well rounded adults one day is a hard task! I love sewing, so the Imagine I Can Sew Sweet kit was right up my alley! I was super excited to work with her developing her sewing skills!  toys, kids sewing sets The little sewing kit comes all enclosed in it’s own metal box with wooden handle, and features a little button close sewing case to store needles, scissors, and other supplies.

kids sewing set,

 Everything needed to complete the 4 pattern creations is inside- but you could of course create your 0wn. My daughter was eager to create the dog- she needed quite the adult assist, however she is on the young side for this product. This is geared towards 8+, and that is definitely the perfect age for independent play!

imagine i can

 If your anything like me and prefer toys that inspire your children to be creative, imaginative, or adventurous, than Imagine I Can products are a great idea for gift giving this year!   BUY IT: Imagine I Can products are super affordable with prices starting at just $5.  1 giveaway (1)

Enter to win $25 worth of products from Imagine I Can! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

HGF was not paid for this post.  We were provided with the products mentioned to facilitate this review and have provided our honest opinion.  Thank you to the sponsoring company for working with HGF. You can view our complete PR policies here.  U.S only except where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Giveaway starts at the moment of the posting of this article and will run until December 31, 2014 at 11:59PM! The prize is a $25 gift card with a total retail value of Twenty Five dollars {$25}  All prizes will be awarded. A list of winners will be available after 3/10/2015 by writing MomToSprouts {at} yahoo {dot} com. All prizes are awarded and forwarded to the winner by the sponsor; in this case, a HGF. Please see Official Rules for more details.  We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Kolcraft Baby Sit & Step 2-in-1 Activity Center Review and #Giveaway

I received product in order to facilitate this post. 

baby walker, baby gear, kolcraft

Kolcraft is a family owned and operated company providing Moms with great baby gear! From the beginning of my journey as a new mom almost 10 years ago (insert tears here at having a double digit child soon), I trusted Kolcraft baby gear products with my family. They offer amazing innovative products that facilitate memory worthy moments and easier days with our little ones. BONUS: I know I have said it before~ but I ♥ products that grow with baby and can be passed down, so you won’t be surprised to hear that their Baby Sit & Step 2-in-1 Activity center was quite the hit over here! 

baby gear, kolcraft walker

 

The Baby Sit & Step 2-in-1 activity center grows with baby from a stationary activity center to a push behind walker. As an activity center, it offers sooo many colorful play options (Available in PINKS too!)! Our little one was quickly entertained and easily content. 

baby walker, kolcraft

 This activity center features 10 different things to choose from, and of course rocks SUPER bright colors. I had this at the park for a playdate, and had multiple Moms say “Wow, they don’t make them like they used too- this one is loaded with things to keep them busy!” It has a great balance of toys without being overstimulating, and the toy hooks to add baby’s favorite toys gets a HUGE bonus in my book! 

baby gear, baby walker,

Her facial expressions while she explored, spun in the spinning seat (also easily height adjustable and 100% washable), and found herself in the flower mirror…….were priceless! 

baby walker, activity center

Set up was easy and converting to a baby walker is even easier! Everything needed is already in the activity center- so no pieces to loose! The walker features a wide base and easy rolling wheels making it easy for new walkers to remain upright and stable. No tip overs here! I would have had more pictures if she didn’t run off with it the second it touched the ground! 

baby walker, baby activity center

Kolcraft did an amazing job taking something that is used for only a short period and making it useful for much longer so you get your monies worth and less baby gear in your home! This should be a must have on every expecting Moms registry! 

BUY IT : The Baby Sit & Step 2-in-1 activity center in primary colors or in pinks is available at baby stores everywhere for just $89.99. 

1 giveaway (1)

ENTER TO WIN A BABY SIT & STEP 2-IN-1 ACTIVITY CENTER!! 

Untitled

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 HGF was not paid for this post.  We were provided with the products mentioned to facilitate this review and have provided our honest opinion.  Thank you to the sponsoring company for working with HGF. You can view our complete PR policies here.  U.S only except where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Giveaway starts at the moment of the posting of this article and will run until December 30, 2014 at 11:59PM! The prize is Kolcraft Baby Sit &Step with a total retail value of Ninety dollars {$90}  All prizes will be awarded. A list of winners will be available after 3/10/2015 by writing MomToSprouts {at} yahoo {dot} com. All prizes are awarded and forwarded to the winner by the sponsor; in this case, a HGF. Please see Official Rules for more details.  We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Begin Again~ Responsibly Crafted Toys for little ones! #GIVEAWAY $75 RV #HolidayGiftGuide

*I received product in order to facilitate this review. 

eco toys, ecofriendly, holiday gift guide

Begin Again toys has been a long time favorite of Home Grown Families for their use of natural materials to create toys that inspire creativity and imagination! Begin Again toys are made from plant based materials including natural rubber, sustainably harvested wood, wheat starch plastic, bamboo, and natural rubber. They leave out all of the bad stuff including BATTERIES, and put in everything needed to make amazing toys~” invention, imagination, and good ole’ fashion fun”

Begin Again toys allow kids to just PLAY. Kids were created to be full of imagination, creativity and noise, but many toys of today stifle that. I love that Begin Again toys engage my children in a way many other toys can not. We recently had the opportunity to play with some great new toys and of course share them with you! 

Begin again toys, ecofriendly toys,

There are endless possibilities with the new Alphabites A to Z puzzle~ made from natural rubber wood and painted with non-toxic stains! My children were eager to play the minute they set their eyes on it! This can be used for imaginative kitchen play~ for cooking or dining! 

wooden toys, begin again

The girls cooked together and enjoyed a meal together! The wooden case features a stove on one side and a serving tray on the other. The girls were adorable pretending to nibble on their new foods! 

wooden toys, ecofriendly toys,

They even made a breakfast tray for this Mama! 

wooden toys,

In the classroom setting, these would be perfect for early reading skills and to put in alphabetical order! We will definitely be adding this to one of our daily work bins. 

wooden toys, ecofriendly

The Balance Boat of Endangered Animals is equally as ADORABLE and versatile! Children can play as a game (solo or with others) balancing animals on the boat- while practicing dexterity and patience! The animals are double sided and make the perfect pocket pal for adventures! 

wooden toys, ecofriendly

This new addition to the Begin Again family is great for independent play as well. Children NEED to know how to entertain themselves and need to know how to play with the same object for more than 5 minutes to improve attention span.

wooden toys, ecofriendly toys

I watched as my daughter attempted to balance all the animals upon the ship time after time after time~ she demonstrated patience and perseverance! While she was never able to accomplish getting all the animals on the boat, I watched her move all the sea animals into the pretend water to make room for other “land” animals. I call that a HUGE success!! 

Shop Begin Again toys for your little ones this Holiday season- you will LOVE them! 

BUY IT: Begin Again Balancing boat is $35, and the Alphabites are available at $40.

1 giveaway (1)

ENTER TO WIN THESE 2 GREAT PLAYSETS! $75 RV  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HGF was not paid for this post.  We were provided with the products mentioned to facilitate this review and have provided our honest opinion.  Thank you to the sponsoring company for working with HGF. You can view our complete PR policies here.  U.S only except where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Giveaway starts at the moment of the posting of this article and will run until December 24, 2014 at 11:59PM! The prize is a the 2 sets above with a total retail value of Seventy Five dollars {$75}  All prizes will be awarded. A list of winners will be available after 3/10/2015 by writing MomToSprouts {at} yahoo {dot} com. All prizes are awarded and forwarded to the winner by the sponsor; in this case, a HGF. Please see Official Rules for more details.  We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Lalaloopsy Baking Oven- For sweet treats and smiles! #HolidayGiftGuide

lalaloopsy, gift guide,

I have HUGE Lalaloopsy Fans over here~ Just the cute as a button fans! We attended the World’s Largest Pajama Party with the Lalaloopsy Team and my girls haven’t stopped talking about it yet! Be sure to check out our Lala PJ party post to see some great pictures! Soooo to add to their excitement, we came home to whip up some sweet Lalaloopsy treats with our new Baking Oven

lalaloopsy oven

 

MOMS: There are no pieces to assemble!!! My daughter squealed with delight after pulling out her big pink oven with pink baking accessories! She was ready to have “SEW” much fun! The entire design is adorable with hearts, buttons, and ribbon detailing!

holiday gift guide, lalaloopsy

The Lalaloopsy Baking oven comes complete with a cookie mold, measuring spoon set, a pan, and a spatula for pushing your treats through the machine. The kit also came with 1 cake and 1 cookie mix~ refills can be purchased separately or you could easily make your own little tasty treats and bag them up for your daughter. My daughter loved the miniature cookie tray.

lalaloopsy baking oven

I did need to add additional flour to make it not soooo sticky, so they would easily pop out of the mold!

lalaloopsy baking oven

The kits were easy to mix and the girls enjoyed stirring, measuring, and pouring. 

lalaloopsy baking oven

The preparation was very easy and fun for the girls…..the waiting was not!  Most of our creations stuck to the pan- but they tasted delish and the kids ate them all up! As mentioned before- it would be super easy to make some mini bags for the kids to mix and use with the baking oven. 

BUY IT: The Lalaloopsy baking oven is available at local stores everywhere or can be ordered online at  Amazon
for $39.88 with Prime shipping! 

 Disclosure: I was provided with product in order to facilitate this review. 

#TheAmazingZhus will AMAZE you this Holiday season!

#theamazingzhus

My kids were completely won over by these furry little spinning creatures from the first time they saw them in stores. Now, the silly little Zhus have tons of tricks up their sleeves (pun intended). They have expanded their talents to include thrilling stunts and fantasy magic! The Amazing Zhus have quite the team line up of too! 

The Amazing Zhus

The Stunt Pets are motorized pets trained to do thrilling stunts including diving from 3 ft in the air, running on a circus ball, or disappearing into a box! All of the stunt pets can brave the big HIGH DIVE! My little ones loved to have the stunt ets chase them around the house~ bump into a wall and they quickly turn around! 

But the star of the show is our man man- The Great Zhu!

toys, zhus,

This magician is super talented~ He can read magic cards and can even follow your wand where you want him to go! The kids set up their magic in the park style table and delighted their friends! 

zhu zhu pets,

The Magician pets…..The Great Zhu or Madame Zhu can even play games to entertain small people like The Amazing Zhus Shell game! Hide a ball under a shell and your Magician Zhu will find it every time! 

zhu zhu pets,

The Amazing Zhus would make a great stocking stuffer this year as they are fun all by themselves! Make it an even better gift with some of the accessory playsets! Look for them at all toy stores near you! 

DISCLOSURE: I was provided with toys in order to facilitate this review and playdate!

English Laundry Luxury Fragrances for Men and Women #HolidayGiftGuide *GREAT STOCKING STUFFER TOO FOR $1.99!

I received product in order to facilitate this review. 

English Laundry Perfume

There is just something about the way spraying beautiful smelling perfume after putting the final touches on your outfit makes you feel. It’s the finale. It’s the “I am ready to walk out the door and have adventure” kind of feel. It’s the “I am ready to take on that big meeting kind of feel”. If your a Mom, it’s an “I am still a sweet smelling woman under all this Momness”.  This year, give the gift of perfume for Men and Women with English Laundry

 

english laundry

English Laundry Fragrances has something for everyone. They have a very wide selection of fragrances (and hair care!) for men! Women can choose between their Signature fragrance, the No 7, or the English Rose. We had the opportunity to experience the English Rose fragrance and it smells amazing! 

English Laundry perfume

English Rose by English Laundry can be described as charming, delicate and elegant. It smells fresh and airy with the perfect amount of feminine. 

English Rose includes notes of jasmine petals, fresh kiwis, red lychee, golden quince and white chocolate. This delicate fragrance opens with quince, complimented by white chocolate and jasmine petals at the heart. For a purely peaceful scent, notes of orris roots, powdery musk and sensual woods have been composed at the base.

My favorite part…..it’s age and life appropriate for me. It is not a young flirty smell and it is not an old musk. It is fresh, empowering, and smells of confidence. I am at a point in my life where I feel strong and confident in my ways~ so the English Rose was the perfect combination. 

FREEBIE ALERT! 

Right now you can experience English Laundry’s English Rose fragrance in sample spray size for just $1.99! This is perfect for the purse and would make a great stocking stuffer! Use code “FREEBIE” at checkout to grab the perfume for free and pay just $1.99 for shipping. 

BUY IT: English Rose fragrances and gift sets start at $25. 

DISCLOSURE: I received product in order to facilitate this post, all thoughts are of my own. 

 

 

It’s December which means it’s #Crunchtime !!!! Enter to win big with Pei Wei

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. 

PeiWei_logo

Pei Wei is a family favorite over here~ they offer a unique asian food experience with food that comes out not only fast but made with bold, fresh, and inspiring flavors! The atmosphere is casual and family friendly! This is one of the only places we can get Tofu cooked to absolute PERFECTION! We alway start with lettuce wraps and edamame, and hit the main course with a Teriyaki bowl. It makes me hungry thinking about it! 

Well, Pei Wei has just come out with a great new dish that will have fans screaming! I present the CRUNCH ROLLS!! 

pei wei, pei wei menu

Pei Wei’s newest sushi rolls rock crushed Tempura flakes on top then drizzled with a specialty sauce. Don’t they look delish and starting at just $3.29 you can afford to eat both!!! Right now you can choose between a Teriyaki crunch roll or if you like SPICE than go for the Wasabi crunch roll. In celebration for their new Crunch Rolls AND because Pei Wei knows this we are midst crunch time for the holidays as we all run around frantically trying to crunch everything in in order to have the best Holiday ever…………………………………they are having a #Crunchtime Sweepstakes! 

pei wei #crunchtime

From now until December 14th, by sharing tips on how you survive these stress packed months and you could enter to win Pei Wei for a YEAR! Entering is easy, just stop by Crunch Time on Pei Wei.com to enter, then share across social media outlets with #Crunchtime to grab some additional entries! And if one year of free food wasn’t enough excitement, Pei Wei is giving away a $25 GC EVERY DAY to participants!

So what are you waiting for, your just a step away from delicious free food in the New Year! 

DISCLOSURE: I was compensated for this post. 

SparkUp Magical Book Reader #tech

I received a Sparkup Magical Book Reader to facilitate this review.

 

sparkup magical book reader

Every now and again, I come across a product that has so much potential.  This holiday season, I have fallen in love with the Sparkup Magical Book Reader

The Sparkup Magical Book Reader is an electronic book reader.  But it is so much more than buying books from the companies collection.  You can actually use this with any book you already have.  This is truly one of my favorite products of the year.

It works because of the tiny camera in the Sparkup.  When you record a book, it takes a picture of the front cover and each page.  When your child hooks the Sparkup to the book, it recognizes the book and reads it back to them.  Because the Reader takes a picture of every page, if your child skips a page or goes out of order, the Sparkup will be able to keep up with them.  They can go at their own pace. 

 

And don’t worry about running out of room on your Sparkup!  It has much more than a five book capacity.  The reader can hold almost 50 recorded storybooks and if you need more space, you can transfer what you already have to your computer for storage until you want to put it back on the Reader.

The uses for this are endless!!  How about sending it GrandMa and GrandPa first and have them record a bunch of audio?  Then, they can read to your child every night even if they’re far away!  Do you travel for business?  Record a few books before you go so your child can hear your voice whenever they want.  Is Daddy {or Mommy} deploying?  Fill up the Reader and space on your computer with as many books as you can before deployment.  This would be so amazing and a great gift to give your little one.  I can’t wait until my older girls have the time to sit down and record some books for their sister to listen to.  This would be a great way to keep her busy while I’m working on school work with her older sisters.  Anything to keep her occupied for a few minutes, you know? 

 

Sparkup has come up with their own ideas for it’s use, too.  What about checking kids progress in reading?  The child can record books and have their reading checked by a peer or parent later.  It’s also a great tool for the visually impaired and kids with ADHD!  Some kids with hyper-focus can obsess over something ad nauseam.  Instead of you having to read that book on dinosaurs 50 times a night, you can record it and let your child work through it at their own pace.

I was happy to see that the way the Sparkup connects to the book is frustration free.  It’s easy enough to get it to on and once it’s on, it’s secure enough to stay put.  This is so important because nothing is worse than a children product that requires constant supervision.

SparkUp Magical Book Reader

You saw my videos, so now watch the video from the company.     
 

The Sparkup is definitely worth putting on your list for a special little one this year!

BUY IT: You can buy a Sparkup Magical Book Reader on their site for $30.

 

HGF was not paid for this post. We were provided with the product mentioned and we have provided our honest opinion. Thank you to the sponsoring company for working with HGF. You can view our complete PR policies.  We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.