As far as I’m concerned, my son’s sense of humor is one of his better qualities. I think that he’ll be getting PicWits! for his birthday so we have a new game to play together on family game night.
PicWits! features full color photos and silly captions. Players try to choose which caption is most appropriate for each photo. One person gets to be the judge and choose a winner for each caption contest. It sounds like a spinoff of Apples to Apples, which is a game my son really enjoys playing at Grandpa and Grandma’s house.
The PicWits! game includes 504 full-color photo cards and 144 caption cards. It is intended for four or more players. It is recommended for players age 10 and up, but I think younger children could probably play just fine as long as they can read fairly well.
You can purchase the PicWits! game on the MindWare website for $24.95.
PicWits! has won several product awards, including:
It also gets a five star review from MindWare customers. Most reviewers said it is equally fun for children and adults, although a few parents recommended going through the cards and removing any photos or captions you found inappropriate before playing the game with young children.
Have you played this game before? If so, what did your family think of it?
Photo credit: MindWare
If you love planning birthday parties, check out the Birthday Express website. In addition to all the standard types of party decorations, Birthday Express offers unique party decorations personalized with your child’s name and/or photo.
The Little Golden Books theme shown in the photo accompanying this post is my personal favorite, but some of the other themes they offer include:
Personalized birthday items start at $8 for personalized invitations or thank you notes. Everything is purchased individually, so you can choose what fits in your budget and fill out the rest of the decorations with cheaper plain items. Some themes have more options for personalized goodies than others, so check a few listings for your favorites to see what fits your needs.
Although I love the idea of decorations personalized with photos, I don’t think my budget could accommodate this. The invitations are the most affordable, but my family lives so close that we don’t normally even send formal invites for my son’s birthday. The plates are cute, but it would bother me to spend good money on stuff that would just get thrown away.
For me, the most realistic option would be splurging on a banner and using it to decorate my child’s room once the party was done.
What do you think of this idea?
Photo credit: Birthday Express
Tatum Bradley & Co. specializes in personalized hand stamped jewelry. This shop has beautiful cuffs and monogrammed bracelets to give as gifts or to buy for yourself as a way to remember the special moments in your life.
My favorite item in this shop is the bracelet featured in this post. I love the idea of using Roman numerals to personalize the bracelet in a way that’s meaningful to you without being overly showy. I think it would be awesome to order bracelets with all the special dates in your life, such as when you were married and when each of your children were born.
The bracelets measure 1/4 of an inch wide and can be made from either brass or aluminum. They sell for $23.75, so they’re very affordable. If desired, you can get a secret message added to the inside of your bracelet for a small additional charge.
If dates aren’t your thing, Tatum Bradley & Co. also has a similar bracelet with longitude and latitude coordinates. This would be a neat way to remember your honeymoon or a special going away present for a young woman moving away from home for the first time.
Tatum Bradley & Co. is owned by Natalie Taylor Hill, an artist and stay-at-home mom residing in Warren, Ohio. She’s been selling on Etsy since 2010 and has had over 2,000 sales to date.
Since all of the items in Tatum Bradley & Co. are one-of-a-kind creations, you need to allow 12 to 14 days for your order to be created and shipped. Plan ahead if you’re thinking about ordering bracelets as holiday gifts.
Photo credit: Tatum Bradley & Co.
Emily McDowell Draws specializes in hand lettered and illustrated greeting cards, prints, and calendars. Her Etsy shop features a variety of quotes and sayings for both children and adults.
Most of the prints in this Etsy shop come in three sizes: 11×14, 8×10, and 5×7. The 11×14 prints are $32, the 8×10 prints are $26, and the 5×7 prints are $20. Some of the prints are also available as greeting cards, which sell for $4.50.
The prints are archival quality images on heavyweight matte premium stock. They are carefully packed in a cello sleeve and shipped in a sturdy cardboard flat mailer for protection. You will need to purchase your own frame for displaying the print in your home. I’d suggest getting a larger frame that features a decorative mat to add extra visual impact to the print you’ve selected.
My favorite prints in this Etsy shop are the prints in the Design Mom Collection. This collection of prints, created in partnership with designmom.com, features quotes from popular children’s books.
The print in the photo accompanying this post is from The Velveteen Rabbit. I’d love to get this print to frame in the hallway next to my bookshelves, but I can see many of these prints being adorable in a baby’s nursery.
Emily McDowell Draws ships orders within five days of receiving payment. Orders in the United States are shipped via USPS First Class Mail, but can be shipped via Priority Mail for an extra charge.
Emily McDowell has been selling on Etsy since 2011. She lives in Los Angeles and worked full time at an ad agency before she decided to start selling her own work. Her shop has had over 3,200 sales and she has a 100% positive feedback rating.
Photo credit: Emily McDowell Draws
Why settle for ordinary party decorations when you can have a customized birthday banner featuring your favorite photos? Walmart lets you order personalized photo banners for several different occasions.
The birthday bunting banner in the photo accompanying this post is my favorite. I think this would be a great way to celebrate a special birthday, like a child’s first birthday or Sweet 16.
It would also make a cute keepsake for the birthday boy or birthday girl to enjoy after the event. If you purchased it for a young child, I could see them wanting to use it year after year to celebrate their birthday.
The banner comes in 2′ x 6′ and 2′ x 8′ sizes. The banner is printed on 36 lb. bond paper with vibrant fade-resistant inks. It comes packaged in a sturdy mailing tube to protect it from damage.
Prices start at $24.96.
Visit the Walmart website to design your banner. There are designs for both one photo and multiple photos.
Shipping to your home is 97 cents, but you can get same day pick up in store if you’ve waited until the last minute and need it for your party right away.
I wish that the banner was laminated or had ribbon hangers to make it a little sturdier, but I really like the idea of a photo banner for a special birthday party.
What do you think of this idea?
Photo credit: Walmart
If you’re a homeschooling mom, or just looking for an educational activity to teach your child about geography, this coloring chart of the United States from MindWare looks like a fun activity.
The chart measures 40″ x 28″ and features state facts, brain teasers, and a picture hunt.
A set of 12 markers is included with the chart, but reviewers say the paper is so large that the markers will dry out before the project is done. So, I would plan on having extra markers on hand for your kids just in case they need them.
The activity is recommended for children ages six and up. You could certainly try it with a younger child, but I know my son didn’t have any interest in detailed coloring projects until about first grade.
The coloring chart sells for $14.95 on the MindWare website. You can also buy a coloring chart world map for $14.95 or a set of both maps for $24.95.
If you have the space, it would be fun to get this map laminated when it was finished and then display it someplace in your home. You could use pushpins to note places that your family has visited or all of the locations where your child’s aunts, uncles, and cousins live.
Do your kids like to color? If so, do you think they’d enjoy an activity like this?
Photo credit: MindWare
I’m not a big believer in spending a lot of money on furniture for a child’s room until they are old enough to take care of their things properly. However, these giant googly eyes are cool because you can stick them on inexpensive secondhand furniture and still give it a fun look that will appeal to your child.
The googly eyes are made of plastic and have a self adhesive backing. I’m assuming they are a one-time use product, although it doesn’t specifically say that in the product description. They measure seven inches in diameter.
You can purchase the giant googly eyes on the Urban Outfitters website for $10. There are just two eyes in a package, so you can’t decorate more than one thing unless you buy multiple sets.
My son loves sticking googly eyes on his craft projects. A chair decorated with googly eyes would definitely be something he’d like, although I’m thinking they might stick better to a bookcase, toy box, or dresser. Also, if you put them on something made of wood, you could paint a mouth and nose on the piece to make it look really unique.
What do you think? Would your child like furniture decorated with giant googly eyes?
Photo credit: Urban Outfitters
Even if your child has a large bedroom, you’ve probably noticed that a fair amount of toys end up in your living room and in the common areas of the house. I know my son has always wanted to be wherever my husband and I are. Instead of constantly yelling at him to pick up his toys, I’ve just purchased a basket or toy storage bin for each room so we can keep the clutter under control.
If you need stylish toy storage that blends with your home decor, this KidKraft espresso toy storage bin is an excellent option. The see through panels make it easy for kids to see what they’re looking for at a glance. Hopefully, this prevents your child from dumping everything out in search of that one special item.
The box has three divided compartments to help keep toys sorted. I don’t believe the dividers are removable. The product measures 32″ x 16″ x 15″ H. It has casters on the base for easy mobility.
You can purchase the KidKraft espresso toy storage bin for $79.95 on the EZ Buy Furniture website. There is no added charge for shipping, which is a real bargain for a furniture purchase. When I’ve purchased furniture online in the past, I’ve found that many places charge almost as much for shipping as they do for the product itself.
When your child is past the age of needing this for toy storage, it could easily be used for corralling blankets, magazines, board games, or whatever else needs a special spot in your living room.
What do you think of this toy storage option?
Photo credit: EZ Buy Furniture
Camilla V. Saulsbury’s 250 Best Meals in a Mug shows you how to make your own homemade microwave meals in just minutes. Ms. Saulsbury is an experienced food writer who has authored over a dozen cookbooks and won top prizes in cooking competitions such as the $100,000 National Chicken Cook-Off and the Food Network’s $25,000 Ultimate Recipe Showdown.
This book would be the perfect for any college students or young singles you know. The recipes are healthier and much cheaper than having them live off TV dinners or make huge batches of food that end up going to waste because they don’t feel like eating the same thing every day of the week.
It would also be a good cookbook to keep on hand if you’re trying to teach your older children how to be more independent. My son still isn’t allowed near the stove, but I’ve been letting him cook a few things in the microwave. 250 Best Meals in a Mug has several recipes he can handle on his own, such as the spaghetti and meatballs, brownies, cheese fondue, and poached eggs.
To cut prep time, the recipes incorporate convenience foods like frozen cooked meatballs, frozen veggies, canned tuna, and ready to use broths.
Types of recipes featured in 250 Best Meals in a Mug include:
The desserts were some of my favorite recipes in this cookbook, since I tend to overindulge when I make an entire cake. A dessert in a mug satisfies my sweet tooth without unnecessary temptation.
Here’s a sample recipe, reprinted with permission of the publisher.
A delicious lemony dessert made quickly in a mug in your microwave!
For the cake: In the mug, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, beat in egg, sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice until very well blended.
Microwave on High for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (checking at 1 1/2) or until risen and center is just set. Let cool slightly or entirely in mug. Eat directly from mug or gently remove to a small plate.
For the icing: In a small bowl or cup, use a fork to stir confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over cake.
Prep Ahead Option: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the mug; cover and store at room temperature. Whisk the egg in a small airtight container, then add sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice; cover and refrigerate. Prepare the icing in a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Tip: Using oil, instead of butter, in this recipe helps to keep the cake extra-moist. You can use 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) lemon extract in place of the lemon zest.
Photo credit: 250 Best Meals in a Mug