Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

iBitz Activity Monitor for Parents and Kids - Product Review

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There's been a lot of technical advances in the way that we track our activities and fitness in the past couple of years.  We have graduated from simple pedometers that you clipped on your belt into the realm of technology that you wear all the time and it tracks your steps, activity and even sleep.  Of course, this, along with other factors has lead to a push for a healthier society (which is good imho, as I think children spend too much time watching tv and not being active- which is partly in the fault of the parent!).  I have a Fitbit, as well as I have tried several other monitors as a tester and wear mine almost religiously (except for when I take it off to shower and one of my children makes off with it).  I find that it motivates me to get up and move, which is important since most of my ventures have me sitting down.  

Recently, my daughters teachers all started wearing pedometers and tracking their steps schoolwide.  The teachers all had a contest going on to see who could get the most steps.  This really encouraged my daughter to make sure that she was getting active and she kept asking me if I would buy her a Fitbit.  Not willing to spend that kind of money on something that she was more than likely to lose, I started doing research on buying just a simple pedometer but wasn't ready to buy anything for her yet.  

Then, as if by some cosmic force, I got an email from Best Buy asking if I would like to review a new brand of child/parent combo activity monitors.  Suh-weeeeeet!  Sure thing I said!  About a week later, my daughter got her wish PLUS a whole lot of fun to go with it!!   

The adult version came in black and the kids is this neon orange that my daughter loves.  It is iPhone/iPod 5/iPad specific, so make sure that you have one or more of these devices before you get it.  I personally wish it were on Android, as most of the devices in my life are android powered.  We own one iPod and we're lucky it worked for the testing of this device.  It's very specific on which versions it will work with.  I hope in the future that they expand this to allow for android and perhaps even some older versions of ipods.  

The adult version tracks your steps, distance and calories and you can wear it on your hip or your shoe.  It seems pretty accurate.  The kids versions tracks steps, and then uses these steps to allow your children to "earn" game time and power their Geobotz character.  The app for the adult monitor is marketed as "a unified family app", and will sync multiple devices so you can monitor your children's progress.  

 The kids device is pretty awesome.  I love the idea of earning game time through physical movement and the games are ones that kids will love. Parents can set the goals and rewards for the child and even allow for rewards of screen time, adventures with parents or even coins and content on Disney's Club Penguin. 
I also love that it will sync with the parent app, though I'm not sure how it works in terms of distance as we only have the one ipod and I am unable to test syncing across multiple devices. 
It's pretty accurate and the colors are fun for kids (7 different colors, in fact!) rather than just black like the adult version.  
Comes with an extra battery (though gives you no indication as far as how long these batteries should last)
Low cost in comparison to other models, such as the Fitbit or Jawbone Up.
wirelessly syncs to your iOS Bluetooth 4.0® (BLE) phone or tablet
Water resistant.  (I don't need to say more. As a parent, this is important)

Apple only products.  (I really don't like it when companies do this... so limiting!)
No display to show your progress without a device handy (like I'm going to let my 7 year old take the ipod to school)
I wish it came with a band to wear as a bracelet or other form of attachment.  I just don't think children can resist messing with them.  (though that would probably also be true of a bracelet)
No GPS is included on the kids monitor, which would be useful if it was perhaps only used as a locator?

Overall, the concept is so cool and it is a great vision of what is to come in the future to help keep adults and kids (and whole families) active together!

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Guest Post: Amazing Activity Ideas To Help Keep A Child Busy

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Keeping a child busy isn’t always such an easy task. Children always tend to need to be entertained and stimulated. If you need to get dinner ready and need things for your kids to do on their own while you work, or you need some activities or things you can do together, here are some ideas on how to achieve this goal.

Build a Cave or Tent
Give your child some pillows, bed sheets, and blankets and let your child build a cave or tent using chairs and the living room couch as anchors to hold the sheets. Give them toys and a flashlight so they have things to play with while going in and out of the cave or tent.

Drawing and Coloring
Give your young ones some crayons, colored markers, and some paper and allow them to make pictures and drawings. If you have coloring books you can give them those as well to color in. Another idea would be to print online a connect the dots game, where your child connects the numbered dots to create a picture. After your child has connected all the dots, they can then use their crayons or colored markers to color in the picture they just created.

Create a Collage
If you have some old magazines hanging around the house, give them to your kids to make a collage. Give them some poster board, glue sticks, and child safe scissors and let them go to work and get creative! Assign each child a theme for their collage like “my favorite things” or “summer time” and have them cut out pictures and letters to arrange and glue on to the poster board.

How about baking a sweet dessert with your kids such as cookies, cupcakes, or brownies. It’s good for kids to learn to cook and its fun for them to help with the mixing and pouring of ingredients. Kids can practice their math skills as they measure out the ingredients. They can also practice reading skills as they read the recipe in the cookbook. If your children are old enough to use the computer, have them look up recipes on reliable websites. After the goodies are finished baking, let them decorate the cupcakes or cookies with icing and sprinkles.

You can give them a paint-by-number set to play with. Sets usually come with water based paint which makes it easy for clean up, and some paint-by-number pictures. Have your child play the connect the dots game by connecting the numbered dots and then paint the picture they just created.

Have your child pick out a book he or she likes and have them read the book out loud to you. Not only will this keep them busy but it will give your child a chance to improve their reading skills and to fit a little learning into the course of the day.

Teach Them a New Craft/Hobby
This one is for older children. Teach your child how to sew, knit, or make soap. If you’re skilled in one of these areas you can buy the supplies you need and have your child create something. As for soap making, a lot of art supply stores carry soap making kits that don’t require one to work with dangerous Lye, so it’s safe to include your kids when making the soap. The kits often include glycerin soap blocks, coloring, fun shaped soap molds, and maybe even fragrance to scent the soap.
So as you can see, there are tons of ways to keep your child busy with little to no cost. Sometimes all you need are the right tools and supplies, and the rest you can leave up to the imagination of your little ones.
Featured images: 
Laura Macy has a lot of work to do but her two children are home. She decides to find some fun activities that will keep them busy for hours.

Holiday Crafting 2011- Naughty and Nice Themed Gifts

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This year, I thought it would be appropriate to
ask my gift recievers to contemplate whether they have been naughty or nice this year.  With no indication of what was in the box, random selection was going to tell them if they've been good or bad.  
Here's how I set it up.  I chose six packages to be "naughty" and six to be "nice."  On the nice items, were nice names such as "Oh Soup Divine" and "Winter Wonderland Bath Icicles" and "Jingle your Bells" coffee.  The naughty names (which were mostly thought up by my husband) were names such as "Cream of Elf Soup" and my personal favorite, "Stocking Stuffer Stomach Pumper Coffee."
After having named all of the items, I put them all into random boxes, along with my crocheted washclothes, potholders and loofahs, stamped the box with either "Naughty" or "Nice" and then wrapped them all in plain brown Kraft Paper and tied a simple ribbon around them.  I then attached my "Have you Been Naughty or Nice?" stamped tags that Lily and I made, and voila!


Needless to say, even if someone was deemed "Naughty", they still thought I was very nice!  It was a lot of fun making them, and is an excellent project for children.  I recommend only doing one item at a time, having all the stuff ready before hand, and your child could definitely help you on this too!  I know Lily really enjoyed helping everyone make their gifts!