How to Draw Beaker from Muppet Labs {Printable}

I have some wonderful childhood memories of watching The Muppet Show with my family.  It was a show that made us smile, laugh, and chuckle…together.  By looking at the design on my blog, it should come as no surprise that Beaker from Muppet Labs is my all-time favorite Muppet and I am so happy to see that he makes another appearance in the soon-to-be release Muppets Most Wanted movie.

To build excitement about the movie, check out this great tutorial on how to draw your own Beaker!

Download the PDF Printable Here.

 

Who’s your favorite Muppet?  Don’t forget to head to the movie theater on March 21st to support your favorite character!

Barbie Hug N’ Heal Pet Doctor Review

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

My youngest daughter is a very compassionate soul. She always wants to engage in pretend play as a doctor, dentist, waitress, cook, teacher or vet…really any profession that serves people in order to make life better for them.  I love encouraging that side of her personality so when I was asked to review the Barbie Hug N’ Heal Pet Doctor, I knew it would be an instant hit.

Role play as a veterinarian in training with all the supplies to help take care of this soft plush pup with a glowing nose that tells her when he’s not feeling well. Perfect for ages 3 and up, the electronic puppy comes with a travel bag that features all kinds of accessories to interact with. Just press his paw to see how he’s feeling, then use all the included supplies to nurse him back to health! The kit includes a travel bag, thermometer, stethoscope, prescription pad and more.

First of all, the plush puppy is simply adorable.  It’s hard not to love the floppy ears!  My daughter instantly fell in love and couldn’t wait to make the puppy feel better.  Within seconds, the puppy began to sneeze and her nose glowed red.  My daughter quickly figure out that the puppy needs a tissue and put the provided accessory up to it’s nose.  She was shocked when the puppy actually blew her nose!  And she found it fun to give the puppy a shot and cheer them up with a bone.

The Barbie Hug N’ Heal Pet Doctor is now her “go-to” toy and my daughter takes it to school for show and tell every week.  You can find it for just $29.99 on Amazon.com and it would make a great Easter basket gift!

How to Throw a Barbie Birthday Party #TRUBarbieParty

If you could take a sneak peek back in my own bedroom when I was 8 years old, you would notice one certain over-arching theme….BARBIE.  Between the dolls, the dreamhouse, the car and the pool, I have to wonder how I managed to move through my own room (an now totally understand why my Mom always wanted me to clean it up).

With two daughters of my own, it is so fun to watch them delight in playing with their own Barbies just the way I did.  Do you know that 90% of kids living in the United States ages 3-10 have at least one Barbie of their very own?  That’s a LOT of dolls.  And Barbie has been quite busy with over 150 careers to date!  I love that my daughters can not only pretend that Barbie’s life is full of glamor, but they can create inspiring storylines where she can be a Doctor, a Vet or a teacher, to name a few.

It’s time to celebrate all of Barbie’s accomplishments (after all, “With Barbie, Anything is Possible).  March 9th is Barbie’s Birthday!  Want to help celebrate?  Here’s how to create your own Barbie Birthday Party:

1.  Start by making your own Barbie boxes as a great photo opp when your guests arrive.
2.  Get your guests runway ready with their own spa station for makeovers.
3.  Show off your fashion sense and strut your stuff on a DIY “pink carpet.”
4.  Treat the audience to popcorn/snacks while they watch the show!
5.  After the fashion show, treat your guests to a screening of the new DVD movie, “Barbie: The Pearl Princess” which will be  released on March 11, 2014.  In this film, Barbie learns the importance of leaving the world a better place than she found it.

Need even more ideas?  Join Toys “R” Us for a #TRUBarbieParty Twitter Party on March 11 at 2pm EST.  Simply follow @toysrus and the party hashtag to learn more fun tips on how to host a Barbie birthday party at home, full of party decorations, games, treats and tricks of the trade.  Plus they will feature a special Twitter Only offer!  I also found some great ideas on the Toys “R” Us Barbie Birthday Pinterest Board!

If your own daughter has a birthday coming up, Toys”R”Us, the go-to destination for all things Barbie, is having some great deals during her birthday celebration.  From March 9-March 15 to get a Free Barbie Purse Perfect Makeup Case with ANY Barbie doll, play set or accessory purchase of $30 or more (quantities are limited and this offer is for In Store purchases only).
Are you ready to wish Barbie a Happy Birthday?  In celebration, one Experimental Mommy reader will win a Barbie prize pack valued at $90 which includes the following:
  • Barbie The Pearl Princess DVD 
  • Barbie The Pearl Princess Lumina Doll 
  • Barbie The Pearl Princess Lumina and Prince Dolls 
  • Barbie The Pearl Princess Mermaid Co-Star Doll
  • Barbie The Pearl Princess Mermaid and Pet
  • Barbie The Pearl Princess Mermaid Style Coloring book and Crayons

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Taking a Stroll in the Simmons Kids Tour Buggy

This post was written by Andrea of Adventures in All Things Food.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

Getting around with a new baby and all their gear is tough enough, taking the stroller shouldn’t be. The Simmons Kids Tour Buggy Elite Stroller made getting my little one around much easier.

This model goes from infant to toddler with the option to convert into a baby carriage. I didn’t have the chance to try out that feature since my son is already sitting up easily at 9 months. I put the stroller together in the upright position. I appreciated the 5-point harness was easy for me to get on and off easily.

This model arrived unassembled in the box. No tools were required though and it even came with a convenient air pump to inflate the air-filled rear wheels. There is even a convenient pouch on the back of the stroller to store the pump for easy access.

Four wheels kept this stroller stable on the road and sidewalks. Shock absorption and swivel wheels made it very easy for me to steer and handle, even one-handed. The lightweight aluminum frames makes this stroller light and easy to manage. That left me free to hold hands with my older children, and that made us all happy.

There were a few features of this stroller that really set it apart for me.  The Simmons Kids Comfort Tech Tour Buggy Stroller has a very long handle which gave me the ability to take longer strides on our morning walks and would be very comfortable for a taller parent. It also has a large cargo basket underneath for all of our essentials. And probably the best feature of all was the rain cover that pulls out all the way over the baby to keep him dry on our rainy day walks. It also did a great job of keeping him out of the sun and had a convenient peek-a-boo flap.

Overall, I have loved taking the Comfort Tech Tour Buggy Stroller out for a spin. It is both baby and Mom approved.  You can find it online at Toys “R” Us for just $149.99.

Go Glamping with the Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘n Play Camper {Giveaway}

This post is written by the Experimental Mommy.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

One of the best things about having kids is watching them develop individual personalities, likes, and dislikes.  My youngest (now in Kindergarten) is really starting to shine in certain areas.  It seems like creative activities are going to be the things she loves and masters.  She has the concentration to sit for hours and draw, paint and create but the free spirit to imagine the impossible.

I love it.

Now, she is still a girly girl at heart and loves everything pink, glittery and glamorous and can often be found playing with her Barbies and baby dolls.  So, when we had the opportunity to try the Mega Bloks Barbie™ Build ‘n Play Luxe Camper, I knew she would be excited!

Barbie™ and her little sister Chelsea™ head out on a coast to coast, fun-filled road trip in the Mega Bloks Barbie™ Build ’n Play Luxe Camper. Build and decorate the sparkling pink camper any way you want as Barbie™ and Chelsea™ visit all of their favorite attractions and hottest stores. Now it’s time to unwind and take a dip in the hot tub before setting up the picnic table for a tasty treat. Later, Barbie™ builds a fire and lazes around on a lounge chair, while Chelsea™ heads out for a quick scooter ride. Glamping has never been more relaxing!

With our busy schedules, I try to carve out time to spend with each of my daughters as I believe one on one time is very important.  On a night where my oldest was at a long dance rehearsal, I sat down with my almost 6 year old and started to build.

I was amazed at how much she was able to do independently.  The directions were clear and easy to follow making this activity fun and low stress for Mom.  Watching her confidence grow with her piece she places correctly was a joy.

And Barbie is definitely not roughing it in this camper!  With a hot tub, bunk beds, hair dryer, lipstick, scooter, ice cream and more, even I wouldn’t mind going camping with this get up.

Not only did I get to spend some quality time building the Mega Bloks Barbie Camper with my daughter, but she has spent lots of time in imaginative play creating scenarios for Barbie and Chelsea.  She can’t wait to get started on our next building project!

Does your child love to build?  One Experimental Mommy reader will win the Mega Bloks Barbie Build n’ Play Camper!  Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easter Basket Idea: Here Comes the Octonauts DVD

This post was written by Beth of the Experimental Mommy. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

If there is one thing that I have learned from my son over the past five years of his life is that a daily routine makes life a lot easier. We have tried everything to calm him down at night and the thing that seems to work the best for him is laying down and watching 30 minutes of television.  If you are like me, you are probably tried of the same on shows on their favorite station or recorded on the DVR.

Here Comes the Octonauts from NCircle Entertainment is the first ever DVD for the Octonauts and contains six episodes which are about 11 minutes each. I love the 11 minute episodes, it makes it easy for them to watch a quick episode before school or when they ask for just one more, it is only for 11 minutes. The episodes include: Sea Snakes, Walrus Chief Adelie Penguins, Electric Torpedo Ray, Colossal Squid and Crab & Urchin.

In Here Come the Octonauts, Captain Barnacles must figure out how to free an old friend who is trapped beneath the ice; Kwazii tries to rescue a reef full of creatures before an undersea storm strikes; and Peso must help a school of frightened fish who have invaded the Octopod!

Not only are the Octonauts fun to watch, but they are also very educational. Each episode is about the Octonauts adventures and the creatures they meet along the way. They teach our children how to help each other in order to make their world a better place. I also love how the Octonauts show how if they work together they can accomplish their goals. My favorite is when the baby sea snake gets rescued from the outside of the Octopod.

The DVD also contains Creature Reports, which gives you more information about the sea creatures from that specific episode.  To add to the fun, you can also join your friends, Captain Barnacles Kwazii and Peso Penguin, to play games, watch videos and other fun activities.  Can’t get enough Octonauts? Check out these printable activities.

The Octonauts: Here comes the Octonauts DVD which can be found at Walmart and retailers nationwide would be a great addition to your child’s Easter Basket.

Shopping Fun with the Barbie App-Tastic Cash Register

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% mine.

My girls have gotten quite a few of my good traits and perhaps a few of my vices.  Probably one of the most prominent is my love of all things sweet, but in a close second is their love of shopping.  Sweets + Shopping=Best.Day.Ever.

I love spending quality time with my daughters by creating a fun Girls Day Out, but sometimes shopping is not always feasible or in the budget.  Sometimes we need to just have some fun at home so I knew giving my girls the opportunity to test out the new Barbie App-Tastic Cash Register Set from eKids would be an instant hit.

Shop ’til you drop! This cash register lets girls shop for whatever they want. But don’t just sit behind the cash register, take turns with your friends to be the shopper and the cashier.  Download the App on your iOS device (iPad/iPhone/iPod touch) to complete the true shopping experience. The App lets you scan real UPC codes using the camera on your device, customize 5 fabulous shops, create your own personalized membership cards, and play a fun express checkout game. It’s time for a shopping spree!

After taking the toy from the box, my youngest was drawn to the working microphone.  I pity the pretend shoppers in her store because for the next hour she sung the sales karaoke style.  But she moved on as soon as she realized she could swipe the credit card and actually watch the app authorize the purchase!  I hope she has a high credit limit!

Once my oldest was allowed to check out the Barbie App-Tastic Cash Register Set the pair quickly decided to play cashier and customer which went on for hours.  The app allowed the customer to choose items from one of five stores and check out choosing cash, credit or gift card (they could even take a picture of themselves to personalized their very own VIP cards).  My oldest loved choosing credit and signing her name to verify the purchase!

My daughters had a great time pretend shopping and selling!  As a Mom, I love that this toy can be used with or without the addition of your own iOS device and the app can be played without the toy making it portable fun, too.

Play MG Gaming Device Ends the Cell Phone War in My Home {Giveaway}

This post is written by Lena of the Experimental Mommy.  While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

My sons are ages 14 and 8. Like most teenagers, my 14 year old has a phone but there’s no way I’m paying for phone service for an 8 year old that only wants to play games. So, whenever we’re out I often hear, “Mom, can I play on your phone?” I’m okay with him playing on my phone, but he tends to run the battery down. Plus, I need my phone! It’s embarrassing to admit, but I use the phone a lot. Enter my new best friend…the Play MG.

The Play MG is the first of its kind – an Android gaming system designed just for young people. Now get more than 60,000 app games; a 4-inch touch screen; cool and slim pocketable design; and a super easy way to responsibly make app purchases without bothering or surprising your parents. It’s designed for you, designed for games, designed for some serious, and not-so-serious play.

The PlayMG has all the cool gaming and networking features of a smart phone without the monthly fee. It comes pre-loaded with several premium games from companies like EA and Com2us. And, of course, there are tons of free and inexpensive games available at Google Play. So far, my kids’ favorite game has been Inotia4. (Yes, my older son had to get in on the fun!) Both kids absolutely love this system!

But there’s also something cool in here for us parents…it has parental controls! Yes, you read that right, PARENTAL CONTROLS. There’s a Family Collaboration System app that has some really cool features:

  • Digital Wallet – lets parents create “game allowances” with a prepaid MasterCard®.
  • Activity Tracking – it tracks what apps are used and for how long. This ends the, “…but I’ve only been playing for 15 minutes” argument.
  • Weekly Report Emails – parents are sent a weekly summary of the app usage. But, you can log onto the system any time to review the summary.
  • The best part, the Family Collaboration System is password protected, so the kids can’t turn it off.

The PlayMG is available in stores like Target, Amazon, and ToysRUs, or you can buy it directly from www.playmg.com. MSRP is $159.99 – $166.99 (a LOT cheaper than a smartphone).  Want to learn more?  Check out the video on how the Play MG works.  Ready to play?  One lucky winner will get their very own Play MG system right here on Experimental Mommy!  Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Meet Isabelle the 2014 American Girl Doll of the Year

While the ball was dropping on New Year’s Eve, my daughters were stalking the American Girl website to get the first glimpse of the 2014 American Girl Doll of the Year.  They were elated to meet Isabelle, a blonde hair hazel eyed doll who happens to be a dancer!  With two dancers in my home, you can imagine the squeals and excitement that followed.

Isabelle is an inspired dancer with a flair for design who lives in Washington, D.C. and attends a performing arts school, Anna Hart School of the Arts.  Along the way, she discovers a unique talent to call her own.  She arrives in a sequined coral tee with a glittery ballerina graphic and mesh tutu, metallic denim pants, and gold dance shoes.  And the best part? She has removable pink highlights! To some her up in one word:

Sparkle.

My daughters can’t wait to explore the accessories including a dance case which stores Isabelle’s bun helper, ballet shoes and hair ties.  But they are most excited about Isabelle’s Dance Barre!

If your girls are as excited about Isabelle as mine are, check out the Isabelle Dance Studio app (99 cents) or one of the three books (available as e-books, too) so the fun can begin right now!

Gift Ideas for Girls: Little Tikes Cook ‘n Grow

This post was written by Beth of the Experimental Mommy. While a sample was received to facilitate this review, all opinions remain 100% honest.

With only one shopping day left to the big day, it is decision time. If you are like me you can walk around a store for an hour and have no clue what you are going to get for your spouse, children, parents, etc.

Since I have young children, I always walk through the toy aisle to see what’s new out there. One of the hardest things about buying infant and toddler toys is the fact that they outgrow the toys before they use them.

A couple of years ago for my daughter’s first Christmas, I really wanted to get her a kitchen set. She loves to make tea in the bathtub. I thought the kitchen would be a great gift for her. The only problem was the fact that she was not tall enough to stand and play or crawl up to any of them. I wish I would have known about the Little Tikes Cook ‘n Grow!

The Cook ‘n Grow literally grows with your child. With the two stages of this toy, your child will get plenty of use out of it. When your child is around 1 or so, the Cook ‘n grow adjusts so that it is at the right height for them to be able to play independently. In the second stage of the kitchen, your child will be able to play with the same Cook ‘n Grow. Simply follow the directions and change the layout which in turn adjusts the height. There will be no need to waste your money on another kitchen. Your child will be able to us his/her microwave, oven and refrigerator, just like mom and dad do.

You will have an inspiring little chef with this realistic kid’s kitchen playset that grows with your child. When this Little Tikes kitchen is opened it is the perfect height for toddlers. When the kitchen is compacted it is now the perfect size for your preschooler to cook your dinner. Browse our full Play Kitchen collection for more fun toys.

Features:

  • Kitchen has 2 age grade configurations
  •  Kitchen is expanded and the height is just right for toddlers
  • Compacting the kitchen makes it just right for preschoolers
  • Electronic cooking sounds
  • Hooks for hanging cups
  • Molded in slots to hold plates
  • Oven, refrigerator and microwave doors all open and close
  • Shape-sorting lid for pot helps develop fine motor skills
  • 26 accessories included

With Cook ‘n Grow, your child will develop new skills and will have fun doing so. Like all of Little Tikes toys, the Cook ‘n Grow is durable and sturdy while remaining light weight for easy portability.

If you are looking for that last minute gift with a serious WOW-factor, check out the Little Tikes Cook ‘n Grow Kitchen!