Posted on | May 31, 2012 | 1 Comment
If you are sick of buying endless amounts of gory electronic games for kids, and mindless gadgets that will be thrown away when the updated version comes out, then why not try a more personalised idea? With advances in technology like image manipulation it has never been easier to create meaningful, unique and touching items for children that are a lot more thoughtful than an ipod and a heck of a lot cheaper!
For younger children who won’t necessarily appreciate their name engraved on a photo frame, there is a huge selection of exciting personalised possibilities. One of the most unique of these is personalised storybooks. Children as young as 2 years old will get a kick out of seeing their own face in pictures on an adventure in a book with their name described on every page. There is also the option of parents or the gift-giver making an appearance in the story and incorporating several other familiar and personal items to the child. This would work for either gender and really brings a sense of magic and wonder to a child young enough to be amazed at how they ended up in a storybook.
For slightly older children from 5-10 the options are endless. You could get their face printed on a teddy bear, a jigsaw made out of their favourite photo or even their name assembled in carriages on a train track to identify their room. Personalised CD’s are another alternative where children’s names are included in songs and even their photo’s incorporated into the artwork. Schoolbags, pencil cases and lunchboxes can even be personalised to the point where the child is pictured hanging out with their favourite cartoon character on their bag. Or why not even get the child’s name enlarged in print as decals for their room?
For older children over 10 years there is just as many options. Girls at this stage are usually intrigued by jewellery so an engraved locket or signature necklace would be a fantastic gift. Their birthstone infused in a pretty ring is another quite similar choice here. For boys, why not get a football photo of them emblazoned onto a makeshift football magazine cover where they are the star? Or even their image placed within a Harry Potter scene? With image manipulation services the alternatives within this category are truly endless.
Personalised items are not reserved for mothers and grandmothers keen on nostalgia and sentiment. With a little thought there are a huge array of gift options for children that are truly meaningful and unique and that they will actually like! All kids want to feel special so what better way to achieve this than by giving them something that no one else has and that they can treasure long after?
This is a guest article is by the team at Keep It Personal.
Posted on | March 7, 2012 | Comments Off
I don’t usually recommend clothing items as gifts for kids, but this one is worth making an exception for.
It can be hard sometimes to convince a young boy to wear a raincoat. I know my son sometimes insists on leaving home with no coat on, even though it’s clear this is going to be a rainy day. I’m not sure he minds the cold or rain as much as I do, frankly.
This rain coat is an awesome solution for boys aged 5-8 or so. They love dressing up (Halloween anyone?) and they love their super heros, right? So what’s better than wearing a Batman cape when going out? Who cares if Mom thinks it’s a raincoat?
And this is what it looks like from the back -
Is that a neat idea or what?
Posted on | February 22, 2012 | Comments Off
No wonder this thing has become an instant hit! Just imagine a huge Great White Shark flying through your home – can you say wow? I admit, it sounds so wild, I wasn’t sure at first if this thing would even work, but apparently it does. There are lots of YouTube videos featuring these inflatable marine balloons, but I chose this one, because it shows you how kids can easily operate it and how happy and thrilled everyone is with its performance. It’s a longish video, so feel free to stop at any point and move on to the rest of this post.
Actually, once you see even just a short sequence of that video, there’s not a lot more to add… You can read the technical details (and the positive reviews) on the product page on Amazon, where you can order this beastly toy (or the clownfish variety) at a very affordable price -
Personally, I like the shark balloon best, because of the potential for homemade versions of Jaws. However, for younger children, the clownfish Air Swimmer may be a better choice -
Posted on | February 7, 2012 | Comments Off
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! While it started out as a grown-ups kind of holiday, utterly romantic and adult in nature, it has long since become a family favorite, often even celebrated in schools. After all, love is a big concept and is very appropriate for families, albeit with a different flavor.
Speaking of flavors, I think the best and easiest solution for Valentine Day’s gifts for kids would be of the yummy variety. It doesn’t have to be all chocolates either, and it can definitely be something you make at home, with a selection of heart-shaped and other Valentine-themed pans and cookie cutters. In fact, if you celebrate at home, how about a LOVEly breakfast with hearty heart-shaped waffles and heart-shaped pancakes? Don’t forget to involve the kids in making these – it’s fun!
Here’s a Valentines image celebrating some of these wonderful innovative tools of the trade to help you create a perfect Valentines Day breakfast and/or gifts -
You can get all of these from Amazon using these links -
Posted on | January 5, 2012 | 1 Comment
I still fondly recall the synthesizer I had as a kid. With very little musical talent, I could still produce the most entertaining audio pieces. At least, entertaining to me! I used to spend hours creating what sounded to me like little tunes. Enhanced with built-in rhythms and tones they were, literally, music to my ears!
I can only imagine what more talented children can do with this wondrous instrument. It provides such a wonderful introduction to the world of music, making it into child’s play, for real. The only “problem” with this is competition from siblings and even parents – everyone will want to have a go at playing Mozart.
If you’re looking for a fun educational gift for a kid of any age, the Casio SA-76, the most popular mini synthesizer on Amazon, is now available at a 30% discount. And as always, you can easily sign up for their free s&s program. It’s very popular for a reason. Well, many reasons, actually. Starting with a 100 tones, 50 rhythms and 10 integrated songs provide variety and all with Casio’s seal of quality. Check it out here.
Posted on | December 22, 2011 | Comments Off
I’m about to remove our little Crystal Garden from the kitchen counter, where various forms of exotic-looking crystals have been growing and flourishing over the past two weeks. Before I do, I wanted to take a minute to recommend this as an absolute gift for kids!
In fact, this kit was a gift to my own son for his eighth birthday, and what a huge success it turned out to be. The kit included several viles and plastic cups, small bottles of liquids and bags of various powders. Assembling the “garden” took about ten enjoyable minutes, where we all got together to play chemists. Then we waited.
The next morning, we woke up to a festive colorful little tree of crystals. The kids were absolutely overjoyed, and pretty much everyone who saw it was impressed. Over the following week, crystals sprouted from the other containers, in more impressive shows of color and structure. Fractals, was just one topic we covered studying together at home, triggered by our Crystal Garden.
So, not for the holidays, by now, but a great gift for winter time, or any time of the year, I can wholeheartedly recommend a Crystal Garden kit.
This kit is great and fairly inexpensive – get it for a colorful garden of nice furry crystals:
And if you want something a bit more elaborate, try this one -
Posted on | November 30, 2011 | Comments Off
Lego has been fuelling the imaginative and creative skills of children (and adults) since 1949. Since then Lego estimates that over 300,000,000 children have built something with Lego bricks – including some of the weird and wacky creations listed here! If you’re keen to attempt a record-breaking Lego construction of your own you’ll find the best deals on Lego and Lego Star Wars sets over at the Dooyoo.co.uk site.
The World’s Tallest Lego Tower (So Far…)
Competition between Lego tower enthusiasts is fierce, with several record-breaking attempts made almost every month. Records have been set all over the world, from Germany, to Chile, Denmark, Japan, Russia and Israel. The current record holders hail from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their record was set in April 2011 with over 6000 participants of all ages working together to build a huge 31.16 m tower using 500,000 Lego pieces.
The World’s Longest Lego Train Track
This new record was set in October 2011 at the Model Building Fair in Ried, Austria. With a train track spanning a phenomenal 1190.88 m, it took the train 44 minutes to complete a full circuit of the track!
Han Solo in Carbonite
The Lego Star Wars range is the most popular Lego range in America, and inspired ingenious Lego artist Nathan Sawaya to create a full-scale replica of Han Solo trapped in carbonite, a famous scene from the original Star Wars movie. Taking more than 3 months to complete, Nathan used over 10,000 Lego pieces to create his astonishing masterpiece.
This incredible feat of ingenuity and design was constructed entirely from (over 100,000) Lego parts, including the keyboard, plectra, soundboard, bridge, hitch pins, tuning pins, wrest plank, nut, case, legs, lid and music stand. A fully functioning harpsichord, the only parts not created from Lego are the wire harpsichord strings. It took designer Henry Lim more than two years of puzzling, theorising, building and rebuilding to create a Lego masterpiece that weighs in at 150 lb and has a range of 61 notes. Want to hear the Lego harpsichord at work? You can listen to a sample here http://www.oddmusic.com/gallery/om21250.html.
Full Size Lego House
One of the most impressive Lego constructions in history, this remarkable shiny, stripy, two-storey full size home was constructed by a team of over 1200 volunteers. Using a staggering 3.3 million Lego pieces, and not one single drop of glue, the house in Surrey, England was completed in just over a month. Featuring a working toilet, shower and sink, and complete with Lego furniture, Lego kitchen appliances, a Lego stained glass window and even a Lego cat, the house was created for James May’s Toy Stories TV series in 2009.
Image: pauliepaul / Flickr
Posted on | May 9, 2010 | Comments Off
There’s a reason why this classic computer game/teaching software is a best seller on Amazon right now. Actually, I can think of five good reasons!
- Kids love it and will play with it for hours on end.
- Parents love it even more knowing their kid is actually learning how to read or do math.
- It comes in several levels, so kids can work with the same familiar interface, from per-schoolers to 2nd and 3rd grades.
- It works right on your computer. No need for any specific gaming box – just use your PC!
- It’s affordable! At the cost of a couple happy meals at McDonald’s you get hours of fun AND learning!
Is it any wonder this is the #1 reading software on the market? oh, and math too…
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