Category: toys

Christmas Scouting Mission

Every year I take the kids on what we call a “scouting mission”.

Kraus House Mom

This is when we go to the toy store and look at all the toys and take pictures of or point out anything that they may possibly want for Christmas.

It doesn’t matter what it is, they can take a picture of it.

As it gets closer to Christmas, they need to narrow their choices down to the top three items they want to put on their list for Santa, within reason.

Right now, Stella has about twenty two things on her list.

There’s a reason they only pick their top three items. In their top three items, they know that Santa doesn’t bring them electronics or elaborate gifts.

One, Teddy and Maizie both have birthdays fairly close to Christmas (November and December).

Two, because of what I do, they get a lot of toys sent to them anyway.

And three, they know that Santa needs to make sure that he gets gifts to the less fortunate kids before them.

Because of reason number three, my kids know that Santa won’t bring them electronics or anything expensive. If they get something like that (tablet, game system) it will be from us.

We have done this for several years and they love it.

When we go see Santa and he asks what they want for Christmas, they can tell him without hesitation.

This way everyone can have a Merry Christmas.

How do you handle super long Christmas lists?

Stella Built a House with Arckit

If you have a young builder on your list or a budding architect, then I have a toy for you.

I was sent Arckit GO Colors to review. It was nominated for Best Construction Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association.

Arckit Go

What is it? It’s a creative, free form model making system that opens the world of architecture to everyone.It’s a fun way to learn design skills using large floor plates and easy “click and connect” components make this perfect for budding architects.

Well, it was really for Stella, she loves to build. She couldn’t wait, she loves to have houses for her small toys.

When she opened it the first thing she was thrilled about was that all the pieces came in a big ziptop bag, she didn’t have to worry about them getting lost. (Great thinking in the packaging department.)

Kraus House Mom

The instructions are all illustrated, step by step.

I’m not going to lie, she got stuck on some parts. That was because she wasn’t paying close enough attention to which pieces she was using.

Once she realized she was using the wrong piece (a four block instead of a three block) she was good to go. She had the house together in less than an hour.

There are interactive directions on the website (which I suggested she look at) but she wanted nothing to do with it. She was going to figure it out on her own.

It is kind of a challenge to get the ceiling for the first floor on, it takes patience, but she got it done.

Kraus House Mom

She was thrilled to have a new house for her room.

Kraus House Mom

The age suggestion is 10+ and Stella is 8, if it can be built, she’ll get it done.

Stella says she wants a to build an entire neighborhood.

Now, do you have a builder on your list?

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I was given an Arckit Go Colors to facilitate this review, but all opinions are completely my own.

Designing with Gemmies

Kraus House Mom

We were sent the Gemmies Design Studio and some Gemmies Activity Packs to review and if there’s anything that Stella loves, it’s a crafty kit.

She was so excited when this arrived. She immediately opened one of the smaller activity packs and went to work.

We opened the Design Studio Create Your Own Kit and it was magnificent. There is storage for all the beads and elastics. Then to top it off, there’s a light up display area where you can place your finished designs.

Kraus House Mom

The kits come with template cards for specific designs. We started to make the ice cream cone. I’m not going to lie, this is where frustration set in…for both of us.

The elastics and beads are easy to maneuver at first, but connecting them takes some finesse.

At times the directions are tricky to follow, but manipulating the beads to match the card helps.

The hardest part was at the end, trying to connect the ends together. She couldn’t get them to connect without other beads falling off, sending her into a mini fit.

We tried another design and she ran into the same problem.

Since the name is “Design Your Own” she decided to start making her own designs.

Kraus House Mom
Creating

Within fifteen minutes she made not one, but two bracelets for her and her sister and another for her doll.

Kraus House MomKraus House Mom

She is determined to make the designs that are on the templates and I am sure she will succeed.

Did we like Gemmies? Absolutely!

This is fantastic for anyone that wants to create and sparkle.

You can check Stella out here…

 

Disclosure: I received these products in order to facilitate this review, all opinions are strictly my own.

Be The Cool Mom With Whiffer Sniffers

Kraus House Mom

Do you want to be the coolest mom ever?

I can tell you how.

Whiffer Sniffers!

I was sent some Whiffer Sniffers to review, and now my kids think I am the greatest. They can’t wait to show them off when school starts.

What are Whiffer Sniffers?

Just the cutest, best smelling backpack clips I have ever seen.

The Original Whiffer Sniffers are high-quality scented plush characters with quirky personalities to match their scents.

When the box arrived and I told my kids that Whiffer Sniffers were inside, the first thing Stella said was that she hoped there was popcorn backpack clip in there. There was, and it smells great.

Kraus House Mom

Not only are there Backpack Clips (the ultimate school yard collectible), there are also Super Sniffers; which are 12 inch huggable plush pals that also smell spectacular. (Maizie jumped right on that one and hasn’t given it up yet.)

Kraus House Mom

I thought that only my girls would want them, nope. Teddy couldn’t wait to give them a sniff and he wants to put some on his backpack as well. Although I do think it may be a ploy get his lady friends interested.

To add to the excitement, there are also Mystery Packs…what kids doesn’t love a mystery pack? Here is where the rare characters are hiding. You may even score a super rare gold bag, a mix of two existing characters.

The Backpack Clips we received were popcorn, doughnut, and strawberry. Our Mystery Packs were apple and chocolate chip and our Super Sniffer was strawberry cupcake.

Kraus House Mom

Once you, as a parent sniff these, you will be thrown back to your childhood. Whiffer Sniffers will take you back to all your scented toys and accessories (especially if you grew up in the 80s). Not to mention that there are also Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Stickers!

You can find them here…www.WhifferSniffers.com

The Original Whiffer Sniffers Everything Else Just Stinks

You can watch the Kraus Kids as they first check out Whiffer Sniffers here

Disclosure: I was given Whiffer Sniffers to review, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere

KrausHouseMom

I received the Bubble Windstorm and the Bubble Flurry from Bubble Blitz and Imperial Toys to review with my kids. The second that box arrived at our house, they couldn’t wait to open it and see what was inside.

Bubble Blitz bonanza
Bubble Blitz bonanza
Bubble Windstorm: Create endless streams of bubbles with the Bubble Windstorm! This incredible bubble machine shoots hundreds of Bubble Blitz bubbles into the air at the press of a button.
Bubble Flurry: Dip the handheld Bubble Flurry’s wand into bubble solution and press the button to make hundreds of bubbles in seconds.

Once they opened it it was a race to the park to give it a try; we wanted plenty of room to use the bubbles. (They do require two AA batteries each.)

Let the bonanza begin
Let the bonanza begin

I was amazed at the amount of bubbles these created. They were everywhere and it was fantastic. The bubble solution is scented which was an added bonus.

So many bubbles, so much fun!
So many bubbles, so much fun!

The amount of bubbles created was crazy, I can’t get over it.

Bubble Blitz bubble toys can be found at Target, Walmart and other retailers. In March you can also get 25% off all bubble products at shop.imperialtoy.com with the promo code CELEBLITZ.

My kids have had several bubble toys over the years, but this takes the cake.

Disclosure: I was given the products to review, but the opinions expressed are completely my own.

Dolls and Jewelry, What More Could One Want?


Now is the time of year that you look over your Christmas list and see who you need to buy for. If you have a little girl on your list, I’ve got the gift for you. Our Generation Me & You Jewellery Kit is perfect for that doll lover on your list.
Stella and Maizie were given the opportunity to try out the Our Generation Me & You Jewellery Kit and they were thrilled.
 

What is it? It is a craft kit that coordinates with Our Generation dolls  (sold exclusively at Target) and little girls. The kit makes bracelets for girls and for the dolls as well.
Stella love dolls and jewelry, she almost exploded with joy when this came into the house and Maizie wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass her by.  They begged and pleaded to get started.
The kit comes with three bracelets for the girls and two for the dolls. There are five ribbons to make the bracelets and four sets of string to embellish them. What more could a girl want?

The hardest decision was which ribbon to use on which bracelet. Once the decisions were made, we started. It took a few tries to get the hang of it, but once we did, it only took a few minutes to complete the bracelet.

The girls couldn’t wait to get them onto the dolls (and themselves).

Stella wore her bracelets to school every day.

*Disclosure-I was given a Our Generation doll and the Me & You Jewellery Kit to facilitate this post, but as always the opinions are all my own.