Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

“…and I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

Those famous words of the big jolly elf, Santa Claus, ring through the ears of little ones all over the world.

Remember the magic that is Santa Claus?  Remember how you felt opening up that special gift from Santa when you were young?

Help bring that same magic back to your kids this year with a letter hand-signed by Santa that is uniquely theirs.  Each letter is personalized with only special information that Santa would know.  You can choose from 3 cool letters:

  1. Basic – includes letter, stickers, crayons and coloring book
  2. Reindeer Food – includes letter, personalized wooden scoop, a package of reindeer food and a recipe card from Mrs. Claus’ kitchen
  3. Pillowcase – includes letter and a personalized Santa themed pillowcase

Click on the following link to order this little piece of magic and watch your child’s face light up!



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Product Name:  Silverlit Gyrotor X-Rotor RC Electric RTF Mini Helicopter
Submitted by:  Melissa Birckbichler; New Castle, PA
Rating:  8
Where to buy:  Amazon.com

Description:  The Silverlit Gyrotor X-Rotor RC Electric RTF Mini Helicopter comes ready to fly with an already installed two-channel proportional radio control. It comes with an auto stability system, which makes this great little helicopter safe for both inside and outdoor use.

It comes with everything you need so there are no additional products you need to buy to start your teens flying experience. It’s lightweight at only 38 grams and will provide up to 10 minutes of flight between charges with its lithium polymer flight battery that is integral.

Made from expanded polypropylene foam, the Gyrotor Helicopter is made to last. It also is supplied with a portable charger, r/c transmitter, flight battery and instructions.  Your teen will need not need any experience to fly this helicopter and will be off having hours of fun in no time.


* Miniature design for indoor flying
* Built-in Li-Poly batteries for long flying time
* Unique roto-blade system for steady lifting-up
* Stabilized by sophisticated gyroscopic effect
* Precision speed control and excellent flying stability
* Two channels digital proportional control
* Pre-selected Tri-bands system
* Power indicator for throttle
* Rudder Trimmer
* Equipped with LED light while flying
* Real-shape body design
* Durable foam body


* Length: 240mm (9.5″) excluding rotors
* Rear Rotor Diameter: 75mm (3″)
* Product Weight: 38g
* Rechargeable Flight Battery
* High capacity integral Lithium Polymer battery
* Charging Time: 20-30 minutes for full charge
* Flight Duration: 5-10 minutes between charges
* Control: Supplied completely assembled and already charged ready-to-fly, with pre-installed 2 Channel Proportional Radio Control. Take off, hover and descend, turn left and right. It has a pre-set forward motion.
* Range: Up to 100ft
* Frequency: 27MHz Bands A, B, & C to allow up to three Silverlit models to be flown together, on different Spot Frequencies.
* Batteries Required: 9v Battery for Transmitter
Review:  Sometimes it’s harder to grab the attention of teen boys and pull them away from the fun and excitement of computer’s and video games.  This hot little product will keep your teen boy entertained for hours. 
Criticism:  The cons I have found with this product though can be the ten minute flight time with up to a 30 minute recharge time so make sure you have something to captivate your child’s time while your waiting for this item to recharge.  It is best used in calm outdoor weather. Despite these issues I have experienced the kids having fun and enjoying flying their Gyrotor. The kids will be lined up waiting for the time to pass when they are recharging.

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Do you hate the mall this time of year?  Sometimes the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be too much.  I’ve found a great alternative and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home!

My Special Note has the perfect solution to “what do I buy little Susie this year?” – Personalized Children’s Books

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Your child (or niece, nephew or grandchild) can become the star of their very own story with some of their favorite cartoon and comic book characters.  They’ll never tire of reading their special story.  It will become a treasured keepsake for years to come!

What are you waiting for?  Get over to My Special Note and check out all of the cool titles!


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Anyone watch Desperate Housewives?  I’m hooked again…this season, for some reason, has got me hooked.  Maybe it’s Dana Delaney’s new secretive character…I don’t know.  But, one of the storylines that has caught my interest is Lynette’s cancer.  My mom had cancer when I was a teenager, and it frankly scared the crap out of me.  You’re always afraid your parents are going to be taken away from you.  I am enjoying the Lynette storyline because of the open communication she is having with her entire family.  Cancer is hard enough for adults to deal with, but it is extremely difficult to explain to children. Kids usually can understand a lot more than we think.  It just has to be explained in a way that makes sense to them.  Whether it’s an adult in their life that has the cancer or the child themselves, honesty is the only way to deal with explaining it.

  1. Keep it simple, especially with younger children.  A good rule of thumb is to let them ask questions and simply answer what they ask.  Don’t give them more information than they need at the time.
  2. Practice what you want to say before you sit down with the child.  It won’t prepare you for all their possible questions, but it will help you to have a better idea of the direction and tone of your conversation.
  3. Reassure the child that the cancer is not catching.  When they hear it’s a disease and it makes people sick, they will want to know if they can get it.
  4. Talk to them in terms they will understand, such as the cancer cells are like the bad guys attacking the body and the doctors are like Superman or Batman, trying to fight the bad guys.
  5. Tell them it’s ok to be scared and mad.  Show them healthy ways to express and deal with those feelings.
  6. When treatments begin, explain the changes that will occur: the stomach problems, the hair loss, weakness and any other differences to what they are used to.
  7. Find a support group for the family because it helps them to know they aren’t the only ones going through this. Knowing someone else has been where they are can really help a child to feel like there is hope.
  8. Let them know that people can and do survive cancer, but it will be a tough fight and the family will have to work together to make the most of their time.
  9. Talk to the child about death, especially if they haven’t lost a loved one before.  It’s a tough concept, even for adults, but it will help even if just a little.  Remember to keep it in terms they can understand.
  10. Always take the time to make memories and tell them you love them.

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Micro Spy Kit X-2


Product Name: Micro Spy Kit X-2
Submitted by: Caleb Lauth, Atlanta, GA
Rating: 8
Where to buy:  Amazon.com

Description: The Micro Spy Kit X-2 contains a micro ear light that you wear around your ear which has an adjustable stem to make it fit. It has a secret agent pen that writes with invisible ink, and a decoder light to use with it to read the messages you wrote. It also has a spy micro listener with microphone, ear bud and carrying clip that lets you hear things far away. It also has a spy motion alarm that you can use to detect intruders. It comes with a utility belt that you can wear all the gadgets on for convenience. It costs around $20 at toy stores and needs.

Review: My favorite tool would be the secret agent pen and spy motion alarm. Sometimes when my brother isn’t looking I turn the spy motion alarm on. And the secret agent pen lets me write secret messages to my friends. I like the  micro listener because I can hear what my brother is talking about even when he’s far away. The micro ear light is cool because it helps me see in the dark (I’m afraid of the dark). But if your kid likes Spy Kids, he’ll like this toy.

Criticism:  The micro ear light doesn’t fit my ear so well.

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Cost and time are always the two main factors when you’re deciding whether you should purchase or make your Halloween costumes.  One other factor to consider is the FUN FACTOR.  Making a costume from scratch is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and also a great way to get your kids to appreciate using their heads and their imagination.  Lots of costumes can easily be made from clothing that’s already in your closet.  The FUN FACTOR comes in with the accessorizing and makeup!

Here are some ideas to help give you a jumpstart:

Somewhere in your family closets there is likely to be a well worn, torn and frayed pair of jeans, and an old shirt. You may even be able to find an old straw hat. From that foundation costume, glue some straw under the hat and around the cuffs of the shirt and pants. You might find a bird you can sit on the hat from your Christmas tree decorations. From there, most of your effort will go into face painting and finishing off the overall look.

A basic costume can begin with an old shirt and cut down old jeans, with a bandana around the head. Your main effort would go into setting up the accessories such as a broad belt and sword, an eye patch, face painting and artificial tattoos.

Basic Outfit to Jumpstart Many Costumes:
Start with a long sleeved turtleneck top and pants (sweatpants or skinny pants).

Witch – A black outfit like this needs only a black cape, a witch’s hat and some makeup and you are ready to cackle!

Animals – Other colors could become animal costumes with the addition of a tail, ears, mittens and some face paint. Some costume shops have partial costumes such as faces, noses, tails and ears available to add these features to your basic costume. For a tiger, for example, some black fabric paint on a yellow outfit could be used to create stripes. A little stuffing under a yellow outfit and you have the beginnings of a plump Winnie The Pooh.

Skeleton/Zombie – Use luminous paint on a black outfit like this to draw a skeleton front and back and you have a very scary Zombie costume. Just add some white fabric around the head and some face paint for a skull.

Tin Man – This beloved character from the Wizard of Oz could be represented by spray painting this basic outfit with a metallic paint. Gloves, old shoes and a hat could also be painted to complete the costume.

By using this approach, instead of spending a lot of time cutting out and sewing fabric, most of your effort in making the costume will go into the FUN FACTOR that your children will take pride in helping with.

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When I was a kid, if homework didn’t get done, there were severe consequences.  Today, with TV, video games, and other distractions available for kids to put off studying and completing homework assignments, encouraging study habits at the beginning of the school year can make all the difference in a child’s educational achievements.

Need some good ideas to help motivate your child?  Here are a few:

  • Designate an area or room where your child has a desk and chair.
  • Ensure there is no TV, stereo or other distractions in the room.
  • Determine when homework should begin.  Some children are eager to begin and get their homework done right after school, while others need a little time to regroup and rest before tackling the assignments.  Decide with your child which method will work best for him.
  • Allowing a specified time for homework is also recommended.
  • Taking ten minutes breaks in between homework assignments can alleviate the child becoming too tired to continue.
  • Getting up and walking around the room or simply stretching can also alleviate leg and back pain.
  • Ask family members to eliminate as much noise as possible during study time.
  • If your child has a problem with a subject area, it is recommended that you offer assistance but not to engage in completing any homework assignment.
  • Ensure the child has a good night’s sleep.  Oftentimes children are so tired they come home and take a nap, thus they begin their homework at a late hour and the cycle continues the next day.

It is estimated that children today have to spend more time attending to homework and studying than the average person spends in an office.  Whether your child attends elementary, middle, or high school, having the tools to achieve success begins with a set of rules and regulations for the entire family which can help your child maintain good study habits.

Children have a lot of pressure at school and are bombarded with assignments every day.  Whatever can be done to alleviate any stress associated with homework and studying can only lead to good habits and a happy and healthy outlook.

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