This Page

has been moved to new address

Parent Club

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
body { background:#123; margin:0; padding:20px 10px; text-align:center; font:x-small/1.5em "Trebuchet MS",Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; color:#ccc; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } /* Page Structure ----------------------------------------------- */ /* The images which help create rounded corners depend on the following widths and measurements. If you want to change these measurements, the images will also need to change. */ @media all { #content { width:740px; margin:0 auto; text-align:left; } #main { width:485px; float:left; background:#eec url("") no-repeat left bottom; margin:15px 0 0; padding:0 0 10px; color:#333; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } #main2 { float:left; width:100%; background:url("") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 0 0; } #sidebar { width:240px; float:right; margin:15px 0 0; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; background:#eec; } #main2 { float:none; width:100%; background:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Links ----------------------------------------------- */ a:link { color:#9db; } a:visited { color:#798; } a:hover { color:#fff; } a img { border-width:0; } #main a:link { color:#347; } #main a:visited { color:#666; } #main a:hover { color:#68a } /* Blog Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { background:#357 url("") no-repeat left bottom; margin:0 0 0; padding:0 0 8px; color:#fff; } #header div { background:url("") no-repeat left top; padding:8px 15px 0; } } @media handheld { #header { background:#357; } #header div { background:none; } } #blog-title { margin:0; padding:10px 30px 5px; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; } #blog-title a { text-decoration:none; color:#fff; } #description { margin:0; padding:5px 30px 10px; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; color:#abc; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 28px 0 43px; font-size:85%; line-height:2em; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#586; } .post { margin:.3em 0 25px; padding:0 13px; border:1px dotted #bb9; border-width:1px 0; } .post-title { margin:0; font-size:135%; line-height:1.5em; background:url("") no-repeat 10px .5em; display:block; border:1px dotted #bb9; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; color:#333; } #main a.title-link, .post-title strong { text-decoration:none; display:block; } #main a.title-link:hover { background-color:#fff; color:#000; } .post-body { border:1px dotted #bb9; border-width:0 1px 1px; border-bottom-color:#eec; padding:10px 14px 1px 29px; } html>body .post-body { border-bottom-width:0; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } { background:#fff; margin:0; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; border:1px dotted #bb9; border-bottom:1px solid #eee; font-size:100%; line-height:1.5em; color:#666; text-align:right; } html>body { border-bottom-color:transparent; } em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #586; } blockquote { margin:.75em 0; border:1px dotted #596; border-width:1px 0; padding:5px 15px; } .post blockquote p { margin:.5em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:-25px 13px 0; border:1px dotted #6a7; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:20px 0 15px 0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 14px 2px 29px; border-bottom:1px dotted #6a7; font-size:120%; line-height:1.4em; color:#333; } #comments-block { margin:0 15px 0 9px; } .comment-data { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .3em; margin:.5em 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; color:#666; } .comment-poster { font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0 0 1.25em; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#fff; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#fff; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #profile-container { background:#586 url("") no-repeat left bottom; margin:0 0 15px; padding:0 0 10px; color:#fff; } #profile-container h2 { background:url("") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 15px .2em; margin:0; border-width:0; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#fff; } } @media handheld { #profile-container { background:#586; } #profile-container h2 { background:none; } } .profile-datablock { margin:0 15px .5em; border-top:1px dotted #7a8; padding-top:8px; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0; border:4px solid #bec; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } #profile-container p { margin:0 15px .5em; } #profile-container .profile-textblock { clear:left; } #profile-container a { color:#fff; } .profile-link a { background:url("") no-repeat 0 .1em; padding-left:15px; font-weight:bold; } ul.profile-datablock { list-style-type:none; } /* Sidebar Boxes ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .box { background:#234 url("") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 15px; padding:10px 0 0; color:#abc; } .box2 { background:url("") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 13px 8px; } } @media handheld { .box { background:#234; } .box2 { background:none; } } .sidebar-title { margin:0; padding:0 0 .2em; border-bottom:1px dotted #456; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#abc; } .box ul { margin:.5em 0 1.25em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; } .box ul li { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .25em; margin:0; padding:0 0 3px 16px; margin-bottom:3px; border-bottom:1px dotted #345; line-height:1.4em; } .box p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; margin:0; padding:15px 0 0; } @media all { #footer div { background:#357 url("") no-repeat left top; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #footer div div { background:url("") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #footer div { background:#357; } #footer div div { background:none; } } #footer hr {display:none;} #footer p {margin:0;} #footer a {color:#fff;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding:0 15px 0; }

November 16, 2007


LeapFrog asked Parent Club to test some toys with our infants & toddlers. Of course, our panel jumped at the chance (see, didn't use that "leap" pun). As always, we invite older and younger siblings to play with the products -- to make the toy testing fair and fun.

Bilingual Counting Maracas
Ages: 6-36 months (6 months - 3 years)Suggested retail price: $19.99

These maracas introduce bilingual learning through counting numbers 1-10, colour names, and vocabulary. It features twinkling lights, silly sounds and music. There are 3 learning modes. Babies and toddlers will be singing, dancing and learning with fun. (Parent Club note: only one of the maracas has lights, counting, and music. The second maraca is a shaker only).

PARENT CLUB panel: "The maraca with the lights and sounds appeared very entertaining for my 19-month-old son. He played with both the English and French settings, having fun switching from one to the other.

I did notice that the kids were able to shake the maraca faster than it was able to count or recite colours.

Both my toddler and 4-year-old were not interested in the maraca that simply made a rattle sound when shook. “This one is no fun!” was the statement my 4-year-old made and a confused toddler asked for “Light on?”. When I explained that only one maraca had lights he promptly asked his big brother to “Switch please?”."

PARENT CLUB panel: "Fun, but my daughter was wondering why only one was lighting up and making music, so she ended up playing with only one.

What attracted her the most was the colour and to be able to repeat the name in french. She had no concept of shaking the maracas, but instead liked staring at the different light colour.

The 2 volume setting is nice but the loud setting is far too loud for their little ears and as they play with the button, it is hard to keep it at low…it can be a concern for a mother...

Far from being challenging for a 3 yrs old. And the language is too slow, she gave up waiting for the next word after a while."

This is the general feedback; one fun, twinkling, musical maraca and the second just not as much fun. Parents said these toys were very well made. The toys held the children's attention for short time spans.

Bilingual Animal Sounds Guitar
Age: 12-36 months (12 months - 3 years)
Suggested retail price: $24.99

This colourful guitar (with whammy bar and fret button)introduces numbers and animal sounds in English and French. It also encourages music and guitar sound effects. It has 3 learning modes; numbers, animals and music.

PARENT CLUB panel; "Fun at first, although, even at 3, my daughter doesn't really have the concept of playing guitar. Except for pushing the button to see the wheel spin, my daughter had very little interest. Of course for her age, we are past the animal sounds stage, but we are starting counting so that part of was fun.

There are a lot of buttons that are more of a decoration and they don't do anything and she was disappointed.

Not very challenging for a 3 year old.

As much as my daughter loved to boogie, dance or sing, it didn't really get her attention.

However it is a sturdy toy considering the amount of time it fell to the ground."

PARENT CLUB panel; "This toy was fun! My two kids (19-months and 4 years) already have fun playing with other electric toy guitars we happen to have, so the younger one was excited to see a little guitar that was more his size.

The number and animal settings were played with the most. The sound setting seemed limited and was rarely played with. My toddler appeared to enjoy both spinning the red knob in the centre of the guitar or pushing the whammy bar to turn the coloured number and animal wheel.

I liked to see learning of number order and animal sounds while building fine motor skills."

This toys seems to be a hit for the younger age range. The Parent Club panel loved the bilingual aspect of the toy.

We would like to, again, thank LeapFrog for bringing this challenge to Parent Club. We certainly throw our support behind toy manufacturers (like LeapFrog)that produce high quality, educational toys which engage children and promote fun.

Labels: , , ,

November 15, 2007

Santa Clause Parade this weekend - TRAFFIC ALERT

Free Clipart

I heard on the news yesterday important information regarding the Santa Clause Parade. Please be aware that there is a big Toronto Argonauts game on at the Rogers Centre at 1:00pm on the same day as the Parade (Sun. Nov. 18).

This means there will be lots of traffic on the Gardiner, Lakeshore Blvd. and of course on the subway. Plan your travelling accordingly. Also think about staying downtown a bit after the parade to let the crowded traffic pass.

The Toronto Santa Clause Parade starts at 12:30pm at the corner of Bloor & Christie. A full parade map is available HERE (yes, click that link).

November 14, 2007

PARENT CLUB tests - Leap Frog

Parent Club was called on to test some Leap Frog toys. Our panel of Parents & Kids (ranging from infant to tween, anglophone and bilingual) leaped at the chance (excuse the pun).

Leapster Learning Game System
Recommended age; 4-10 years
Suggested retail price: $79.99
The write-up for this toy states that; "Leapster offers learning opportunities and fun to kids at home or on the road". With activities that include; writing, drawing, painting and educational games -- this toy seems to have it all.

This toy came with a Leap Frog game (featuring our friend Tad).

We also tested the Scholastic Clifford the Big Red Dog Reading software (ages; 4-6, suggested retail price; $34.99)

As always, when the test panel takes a toy challenge we invite older and younger siblings to have a play.

PARENT CLUB panel; "Leapster was given 10/10 by my two kids, boys aged 8 and 12. They thought it was fun, light, and portable. However, thought that if they were aged 4 to 6 - it would be perfect and that they would have fun and learn.

The games were too young for both of them, however, they still played for quite some time."

PARENT CLUB panel; "My girls, 4 and 7 LOVED this toy. So much so, that we had to use a timer to respect turns. They enjoyed the drawing feature the best. Their favourite game was Clifford. This toy really caught their attention. As a mom, I loved the headphone jack. This would be a great toy for a long car ride."

We should also note that the toy comes with an attached plastic cover to protect the screen. Plus volume control! Durable product, easy-to-change batteries and fits in your Parent bag.

Summing up the general feedback - this toy is a huge hit.

Thank you Leap Frog - we enjoyed the challenge.

Coming later this week; Parent Club tests Leap Frog (Again). Our panel results for some bilingual infant/toddler toys.

Labels: , , ,

November 12, 2007

Parent Club Holiday Gift Ideas - Happy Mail

Happy Mail For Kids is a Canadian business (based out of Nova Scotia) that sends smiles to kids.

The smile comes in the form of mail sent directly to your child. The themed monthly mailing features; a letter to the child (you can also add a special message from the sender like "thinking of you...Love Grandma"), the Happy Sheet (fun poems), the Yummy for the Tummy Sheet (supper time recipe )The Sweet Sheet (dessert recipe) and coloring sheets. There is always a fun pencil, stickers, other little surprises and an awesome craft kit with everything needed to complete the craft (except glue).

You can send a one time mailing or choose to subscribe every 3, 6 or all 12 months of the year. The multiple subscription choices come with bonuses like a "Believe in Yourself" wristband and other goodies.

There are also specialty mail packages available;
  • Animals are cool

  • Crafty girl

  • Deluxe birthday for girls

  • Happy birthday for boys

  • Happy birthday for girls

  • It's a boy thing

  • It's a girl thing

  • Under the sea

  • I Lost My Tooth - which includes a tooth bag that hangs on the
    child's door knob to help the tooth fairy find the tooth!

  • Prices are reasonable and range from $9.99 - $24.99 (add taxes on top). The website is fun, informative and all priced in Cdn. dollars. Shipping is across Canada and included in the price!

    This is a smart gift for grandparents, family & friends to give. Even a parent living outside the home (or who travels frequently) can enjoy being closer to their child even when they are away.

    Happy Mail for Kids

    Labels: , ,