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Toy Review and Giveaway!

Sorry, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

Yesterday, MyBlogSpark.com and Hasbro sent me 2 toys to review. (You can see Burke and Marjorie testing them out in yesterday’s post.)

The Elefun & Friends collection, which includes Elefun, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Gator Golf, provides a great way for parents and their kids to enjoy silly, active playtime together.

We received SCATTERPILLAR SCRAMBLE and GIRAFFALAFF LIMBO. The kids started out with Scramble and then went to Limbo and then came back to Scramble. Both games are for kids 4 years old and up.
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In SCATTERPILLAR SCRAMBLE kids do their best to balance marbles in the hands of one very wiggly caterpillar. Kids have fun dancing along to the music with Scatterpillar in this fast-paced marble game. The first player to securely place all 8 marbles in Scatterpillar’s hands wins. SCATTERPILLAR SCRAMBLE was named the 2009 Preschool Game of the Year by Creative Child Magazine.

Burke and Marjorie started out with this one…and quickly got frustrated because the Scatterpillar moves so much. However, they did come back to it when we talked about how it takes practice and that if they kept at it they’d be able to do the game in no time. I think part of their frustration was that the marbles would get away from them. Mike fixed this by putting the Scatterpillar in a box top – no more runaway marbles!

As the kids practiced, they actually got pretty good at it. They never really played the game, but they had fun putting marbles in Scatterpillar’s hands.

I liked this game because it teaches kid persistence and hand-eye coordination. It’s also fun to watch the Scatterpillar dance around.

GIRAFFALAFF LIMBO is the crazy new game of “how low can you go?” Spin the dial to try one of the 6 limbo styles: classic limbo, crab walk, crawl, giraffe walk, bend forward or backward. The game’s built-in sound will play an encouraging song as preschoolers try not to bump into Giraffalaff. If he’s knocked over, he´ll roll on the floor in laughter. The player who passes under Giraffalaff at the lowest level wins.

This one makes me laugh. Every time you knock the giraffe off the poles, he laughs…and it’s infectious. And I like that it gets the kids up off their butts and active! I don’t quite understand why the giraffe is up-side-down (apart from, you know, gravity), and it makes the limbo-er have to go very low, but it’s for kids, so I suppose that’s okay. (You won’t catch ME trying to go under that thing though!)

Burke and Marjorie had fun running around and ducking under the giraffe, but didn’t quite get the “spin and do the funny walk” part of the game. We’re working on that. They were really digging the music though – and doing well taking turns walking under.

Now for the Giveaway part.

Would you like your own Giraffalaff Limbo and Scatterpillar Scramble games to enjoy?

There are multiple ways to enter – you do not have to do all of them to be entered!

One entry each for the following comments left. Pick and choose the ones you want to do, but please leave a separate comment for each option – makes for easier random.org picking. 🙂

  • What is your favorite children’s toy? (And if you’d like to state why, I’m curious about that as well…but that won’t impact your entry 😉 )
  • What is your child’s favorite toy?\

You can also get more entries (1 each) if you:

  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to me (let me know with a comment please)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (please let me know with a direct link in your comment)

You have until Midnight on Monday, October 12th to enter. Random.org will choose the winner and I’ll post it on Tuesday the 13th.

But Wait! There’s More!

Once you’ve purchased (or won!)  an Elefun & Friends game, Kids can also experience the fantasy world of Elefun & Friends online by visiting www.elefunandfriends.com and entering the special code that can be found inside each Elefun & Friends game box. Once the code is entered, kids can access The Tangled Tale, an Elefun & Friends animated short. This entertaining tale features Elefun on an adventure to untangle a kite string, which ultimately leads him to the true meaning of friendship. The Elefun & Friends online experience also lets kids play games and sing along to songs like “Friends’ til the End” and “Follow that String” that help remind children of the importance of fun and play!

Coupon, Coupon, Coupon: visit http://bricks.coupons.com/bstart.asp?o=59048&c=EL&p=ERf0P5lm to download a printable coupon for $4 off any Elefun & Friends game! This valuable coupon offer is valid until December 31, but it´s only available for download through October 31.

Giveaway: $10 Stop & Shop Gift Card

Sorry, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

The wonderful people from MyBlogSpark have provided me with a $10 Stop & Shop Gift Card to give to one of you!

Stop & Shop is offering a great Back to School promotion, where you can save on both groceries and gas!

This Back-to-School Saving Event is taking place at Stop & Shop stores
September 4-10.

Here is how it works:
General Mills and Stop & Shop are teaming up to give families a great way to stock up and save as they gear up for back to school.

Here’s why you should shop at Stop & Shop’s big Back to School Event.

  1. Great sale pricing on the participating General Mills brands:
    Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Reeses Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp Sprinkles, Cookie Crisp, Fruit Snacks, Old El Paso Dinner Kits, Pillsbury Strudel, Pillsbury Scrambles, Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, Yoplait Yo-Plus Multi-Pack, Fiber One Yogurt Multi-Pack, Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookies, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Pillsbury Sweet Rolls and Yoplait Delights.
  2. Additional savings for you or your school, depending on which Stop & Shop location you shop

If your Stop & Shop store sells gas

  • Buy four (4) participating General Mills items and you’ll automatically earn 100 points on your Stop & Shop card
  • For every 100 points earned, you’ll save 10¢ per gallon of gas (Please note: Total discount cannot exceed price per gallon)
  • Just swipe your Stop & Shop Card at the pump to redeem your Gas Rewards

If your Stop & Shop store doesn’t sell gas

  • For those Stop & Shop locations without gas stations, don’t worry – you’re not left out of the savings – if you buy five (5) participating General Mills products, you will receive 20 Bonus Box Tops for your school

MyBlogSpark is providing a $10 Stop & Shop Gift Card for me to offer to you!
Because the sale ends on the 10th, this is going to be a short giveaway period so I can try to get the card to you before the sale is over.

To Enter:

There are multiple ways to enter. Only one of the ways to enter is mandatory, all of the others are optional – you do not have to do all of them to be entered!

You have until Midnight on Saturday, September 5th to enter. The winner will be posted on Sunday the 6th. If you get your address to me before Monday morning, there’s a good chance the gift card will get to you before the Stop & Shop sale ends.

Mandatory – 1 entry:

  • Tell me, does the Stop & Shop around you have a gas station – and do you use it?

Optional – 1 entry each:

  • Tell me the most money you’ve ever saved at a grocery store (and how!).
  • Twitter about this post and leave a comment with a direct link to your tweet.

Optional – 2 entries:

  • Blog about this post and leave a comment with a direct link to your post.

Reminder: Giveaway Ends Tomorrow

Don’t forget to enter the Dance Me, Daddy book and CD giveaway!

You have until Midnight tomorrow.

Giveaway! Children’s Book: Dance Me, Daddy

Sorry, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

I just received this beautiful story – Dance Me, Daddy by Cindy Morgan –  in the mail yesterday. The illustrations are just wonderful and the story is inspired by a song Cindy wrote called King of the World. I seriously had tears in my eyes while reading it (when did I get so sappy??)

I enjoyed the story, but I was surprised that it ended so quickly. I thought it would have a few more pages about the later-on-in-life aspect. This didn’t take anything away from what was already there, just my initial thoughts.

The best part? It comes with a CD! The song, King of the World, is performed by Point of Grace (see below, I found it on YouTube). This, too, brought tears to my eyes (seriously – do kids make you go sappy?? I used to be a hard-a$$, just ask my best friend…I never cried!) Anyway, I can totally see this song as a father/daughter dance at weddings.

And then Cindy herself reads the story with an instrumental version of the song in the background. As I said, I enjoyed the story when I read it (with my New England accent), but when hearing Cindy read it in her slight southern drawl, words rhymed! Words like “girl” and “world” – do those rhyme when you say them? I was quite impressed and it brought on a whole new level to the book.

To round it all out, there’s an interview with Cindy. I loved hearing about her inspiration for the song and how she presented it to her husband. She also talks about her children and the differences between writing and singing.

I get to give two of these gorgeous, hard-cover books (with CD!) away!!

Now for the Giveaway part

There are multiple ways to enter – you do not have to do all of them to be entered!

One entry each for the following comments left. Pick and choose the ones you want to do, but please leave a separate comment for each option – makes for easier random.org picking. 🙂

  • What is your favorite Cindy Morgan song?
  • What is your favorite children’s song?
  • What’s your favorite daddy/daughter song?

You can also get more entries (1 each) if you:

  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to me (let me know with a comment please)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (please let me know with a direct link in your comment)

You have until Midnight on Tuesday, June 16th to enter. Random.org will choose the winner and I’ll post it on Wednesday the 17th.

BUT WAIT! There’s more!!

Zonderkidz™ is currently hosting a “King Of Your World” contest on dancemedaddy.com, where children and parents alike can enter to win a Sony BRAVIA for Dad on Father’s Day.  Simply tell a story about your own father, or a special father figure in your life or your children’s lives.

Press Release

In her new children’s book Dance Me, Daddy (Zonderkidz™, May 2009, 978-0-310-71762-1, $16.99, Hardcover) singer/songwriter and 2009 Dove Award Winner Cindy Morgan celebrates the bond between fathers and daughters everywhere. With lively illustrations by Philomena O’Neill, Dance Me, Daddy recalls the days when Daddy was the “King of the World.” The final copy of the book will include a CD with the song “King of the World” (written by Morgan and inspiration for the book) performed by Point of Grace, as well as a reading of the book by Morgan.

Cindy Morgan is a wife, mother, and singer-songwriter. She has recorded eight records, enjoyed 18 number one hits, and has won ten Dove Awards over her career.  Dance Me, Daddy was inspired by a song she wrote for Christian/country stars Point of Grace – “King of the World” – which dropped to stations nationwide on June 1.  A CD recording of the song, along with an interview and book reading by Cindy Morgan, are included in each copy of the book.

Lots of Reminders!

Wow…a lot going on here.

First, a reminder to check out the Spoonfuls of Stories giveaway. You have until Sunday night to enter!

Second, same post…are you yearning to be a children’s book author? Go check it out! There’s a $5000 first prize reward and the chance for a book review by Simon & Schuster Children´s Publishing. (Cool, right??)

Third, the Fishful Thinking $10,000 scholarship giveaway is still going on! All you have to do is create a cute little Fishful Thinking story (with guidance) and then fill out the form. Yep, that’s it!

Fourth, I know you can see the Fishful Thinking links over there on the left-hand side, but I’ve also created a Fishful Thinking page. Right now it’s pretty much the same links, but in all my spare time (ha ha), I plan to add to it. And I’ll be keeping it up-to-date all summer with the new activities that come out weekly. The page lives at the top of my blog…see? Up there where it says “Go Fish!”

Have you been doing the Fishful thinking activites? Do you like the articles? Drop me a line and let me know! I’m dying to hear what you think 🙂

Giveaway! And Looking for Potential Children’s Authors

Sorry, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

A few days ago, MyBlogSpark.com sent me 4 children’s books: Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett, Duck for President by Doreen Cronin, When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach, and The Great Dog Wash by Shellie Braeuner. (My kids are really enjoying the dinosaur one.)

What do these books have in common? They are all a part of Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories. The Great Dog Wash even won last year’s New Author contest!

And I have the opportunity to give away a similar book gift set to one lucky reader!!

I’m also happy to promote the opportunity for anyone out there who has dreamed of becoming a children’s author! (If you’re interested in the giveaway but not the author part, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs.)

cheerios_spoonfuls_of_storiesOver the past seven years, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories has given away more than 35 million children’s books by distributing them free inside cereal boxes and has donated nearly $3 million to First Book, their non-profit partner, which provides books to children from low-income families.

In addition to encouraging children to read, Cheerios is looking for anyone interested in writing children’s books. Now in its third year, the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories New Author Contest is a way to encourage previously unpublished, up-and-coming children’s book authors and to continue to nurture a love of reading. Entries are being accepted March 16 through July 15, 2009 and will be judged on appropriate story and content for children ages 3-8, emotional connection, writing quality, uniqueness, and read-aloud potential. More details on the contest can be found at www.spoonfulsofstoriescontest.com.

Shellie Braeuner, the first year’s winner, won for her book “The Great Dog Wash”. This nanny from Nashville won a $5,000 cash prize and the opportunity to have her book reviewed by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing. Simon & Schuster offered Shellie a book deal – and will publish her book, illustrated by Robert Neubecker, in hardcover this summer. In addition, Cheerios will be featuring “The Great Dog Wash” free inside 1.5 million boxes of Cheerios. The book has been specially printed in paperback in both English and Spanish and will be available free inside boxes of Cheerios this spring.

Cheerios is also announcing the winners of the second New Author Contest:

  • Lori Degman, of Vernon Hills, Ill., won the top prize for her story, “1 Zany Zoo.” In addition to winning a $5,000 cash prize from Cheerios, Degman earned the opportunity to have her book reviewed by Simon & Schuster Children´s Publishing. Simon & Schuster has since offered Degman a book deal; her book is expected to be released in 2010, initially in paperback distributed inside Cheerios boxes, and later in hardcover sold in the market.
  • Cheerios also named two runners-up in the contest: Tameka Fryer Brown, of Charlotte, N.C., for her story “I’m Not Eating That!” and Joan Stradling, of Star Valley, Ariz., for her story, “Who Invites a Pig to Dinner?” Both Brown and Stradling will receive a cash prize of $1,000 from Cheerios.

Are you or someone you know an aspiring children’s book author? Then GO FOR IT!!

Now for the Giveaway part.

There are multiple ways to enter – you do not have to do all of them to be entered!

One entry each for the following comments left. Pick and choose the ones you want to do, but please leave a separate comment for each option – makes for easier random.org picking. 🙂

  • What is your favorite children’s book? (And if you’d like to state why, I’m curious about that as well…but that won’t impact your entry 😉 )
  • What is your child’s favorite book?\
  • If you could be a character from a children’s book, who would it be?

You can also get more entries (1 each) if you:

  • Blog about this giveaway/children’s author opportunity and link back to me (let me know with a comment please)
  • Tweet about this giveaway/children’s author opportunity (please let me know with a direct link in your comment)

You have until Midnight on Sunday, May 17th to enter. Random.org will choose the winner and I’ll post it on Monday the 18th.

Fishful Thinking: Enter to Win a $10,000 Scholarship

Have you been following along with my Fishful Thinking posts? (Something’s Fishy Here, More About Fishful Thinking, Fishful Thinking Video) Have you been trying out some of these wonderful tools with your children? Do you have stories to tell about your adventures? Then enter to win a $10,000 scholarship for your child!

There are 5 areas you can choose from to get your story started: Optimism, Emotional Awareness, Goal Setting/Hope, Resilience, and Empowerment. Sound familiar? They should! I’ve been talking about these Fishful Thinking Ingredients all along! AND, the best part is once you create the story, you can share it with friends and family!

Write your Storybook before 7/31/2009 and get the chance to enter to win the scholarship.

Click here to start: Fishful Thinking Storybook
(You can also see samples of Storybooks there.)

You can enter as many times as you want, but there is a limit of one (1) sweepstakes entry per person/email address per day during the Promotion Period. This doesn’t limit you to the number of Storybooks you create though – there is no limit to those!

Full Disclosure: I’m a Fishful Thinking Ambassador.. .if you click the links, I will receive incentive points. However…I would NEVER sign up for something like this if I didn’t believe in it. And I would participate (and pass the information along) even if I didn’t get the points :)

Giveaway: $25 Macy’s Gift Card!!

Sorry, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

The wonderful people from the Fishful Thinking program have provided me with a $25 Macy’s gift card to give away!

Show Me What You’ve Learned about Fishful Thinking

There are multiple ways to enter. Only one of the ways to enter is mandatory, all of the others are optional – you do not have to do all of them to be entered!

You have until Midnight on Monday, April 13th to enter. The winner will be posted on Tuesday the 14th.

Mandatory – 1 entry:

  • Go visit Fishful Thinking and browse through a bit. (Go ahead, I’ll wait!) Come back and leave a comment about something you learned.

Optional – 1 entry each:

  • Twitter about this post and leave a comment with a direct link to your tweet.
  • Blog about this post and leave a comment with a direct link to your post.

(Feel free to use this link for your posts: http://tinyurl.com/dlhoyt )

Optional – 2 entries:

  • Leave a comment about a Fishful Thinking activity that you successfully completed with your child. Here are a few to choose from:

Optional – 5 entries:

  • Do you have a child between the age of 4 and 12? Sign up to be Fishful Thinking Ambassador! Send me a message me via the Fishful Thinking site to confirm you’ve made it, and you’ll be entered 5 times. (Let me know if you’d like more information about being an ambassador – I’m more than happy to go on and on about the program 🙂 )

UPDATED 4/8/09: The Fishful Thinking Ambassador positions have all been filled up, so I’ve been asked to remove this part of the entry options. Sorry!!

More Fishful Thinking information to come!

Giveaway: Yoplait Kids Get Active Prize!

Sorry, this giveaway is now CLOSED.

Look what arrived on my doorstep from MyBlogSpark yesterday:

yoplait34

A free sample of Yoplait for Kids yogurt
and a Yoplait Get Active prize pack!

Just look at the COOL stuff in the Get Active prize pack! There’s a beach ball, a jump rope, a water bottle, a soft-sided insulated lunch box, a Frisbee, trackball, paddle ball, and a coupon for *FREE Yoplait Kids yogurt!!

*Apparently this coupon offer for a free six pack of Yoplait for Kids yogurt is not valid in some states, including Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee. Sorry 😦

My kids were so excited. First, yogurt is one of the only healthy things Burke asks for…and then requests more of when he’s polished off the first container. We always have kid’s yogurt in the house. And then both Burke and Maggie were calling “dibs” on the stuff in here, so you can see how desirable it is to kids. Although, I have to admit that Mike and I were excited too because we both had trackball sets when we were growing up. LOL

The best part? I get to give away THREE of these to my readers!! How do you enter to get one, you ask? Lots of ways! You’ll get one entry for each of the following if you:

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your kid’s favorite yogurt flavor.
  2. Leave another comment telling me what you do as a family to keep active. (Please keep it separate from the above comment so it’s easier for me to count!)
  3. Twitter about this giveaway, then come back and leave another comment with a direct link to the tweet.
  4. Blog about this giveaway – with a link directly to this post, then come back and leave another comment with a direct link to the post.

(Feel free to use this link: http://tinyurl.com/dzl54p for numbers 3 and 4 above.)

You have until midnight on Monday, March 30th. Random.org will choose the winners and I’ll announce them at some point on Tuesday, March 31st.

P.S. If you don’t win one of these prizes, you can still go here to print a coupon and learn more about Yoplait for Kids.

Giveaway: Reminder!

Don’t forget to comment on the Giveaway post and/or send me an email with a recipe (or link to your blog recipe) before the end of the day on Monday (tomorrow)! 🙂