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December 05, 2008

Parent Club Calendar

Buy a Christmas tree from IKEA for only $20 and receive a $20 coupon.

Purchase a Balsam Fir for $20 and you’ll get a coupon for $20 off an IKEA purchase of $75 or more.* Redeemable January 2 to March 1, 2009. IKEA will donate a portion of tree sales to Tree Canada.

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December 04, 2008

Video from Santa

This - very cool item - was shared by a member of the Parent Club.
Sympatico MSN has a site where your kiddies can see a personalized video sent directly from Santa at the North Pole.

You type (well, it's mostly drop-down windows) in the child's first name, age, province, what they have done to be "good" this year (listen to mom, helped out around the house)...and it instantly generates a personalized - very good - video of Santa speaking directly to your child (using name, age, etc...) It's very cool.

(hey, you can choose to have it in English or French!)

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December 03, 2008

Kids Media Usage Report

I heard on the radio; there's a new study out tying kids' use of media to bad health. The report findings present that "...more time with television, films, video games, magazines, music and the Internet was linked to rises in childhood obesity, tobacco use and sexual behavior."

Hello!? Did this report consider that kids have GROWN UP with media? Media is every-friggin'-where. Generation Y(born in the 90's) and Generation Z (born after 2000) do NOT know a world without text messaging, ipods, mp3 players and portable dvd players. Ok - parents - let's do a show of hands -- how many of us have brought crackberries on field trips? Huh!? Huh!! Media is a part of life. A big honkin' part of life.

"Media" ties with bad health, tobacco use and sexual behaviour?! Then, riddle-me-this-if-you-please - what exactly is the magic number of hours of permitted media before my kid is in danger of becoming an obese, chain-smoking, ho? I'd really like to know. Anyone?...

Do I really need to feel guilty for my kids' media usage?! Are they watching too much? Is it too late? Because really, my job in life is to keep Thing 1 off the pole - if you know what I mean...

Parents don't need any more fear mongering. Anything - everything -in excess is bad for you. We KNOW this. This report points the finger at informative tools that are in the school and home. The life-blood of most offices (and since I do hope, one day, my children will find jobs and move out -- I'm pretty sure they will need excellent "media" skills to compete in their chosen field). I'm ticked off by this condescending report.

And the irony of it all -- I learned of the report through media :-O

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December 02, 2008

Kids & Colds

Thing 2 hab a bab colb. Enough to look and sound punk but not so sick there is a fever or disrupted sleep. It's sad and great both at the same time.

Sad - to be sick of course. But great because; sick just enough to stay home from school and hang out with me. Cartoons, rest, juice and Mom-time -- all day long. (My true confession: I'm loving today).

There is something so - needed - about a sick child putting their head against your shoulder. The quiet, pathetic, sniffles heard just above scooby-doo.

It would just, well, suck (that's the word for it) if I had to rush this sniffly, sneezy, stuffy kid off to school so that I could make a meeting in the office. I am, again, reminded how lucky I am to be able to work from home. WAIT. WORK? TODAY? Heck, no. Office is closed people. Sick child - you know.

Just sick enough ;-)

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December 01, 2008

Parent Club Review - Leapster 2

The Parent Club test panel gave thumbs-up reviews to Leapster 1 back in 2007. How would Leapster 2 do in the hands of our honest parent and child test panel?...

Another thumbs up for LeapFrog! This company is reliable for fun and education. The panel parents applauded LeapFrog
on packaging the Leapster games with the tag "works with all Leapster systems". Our wallets thank you!

The new generation of Leapster games are also expanded for for Leapster 2. Kids can play on the go, and then connect their handhelds to your home computer for extra online games, activities, and fun rewards they've earned. Parents connect to get updates about what their child is learning.

The games (those tested are pictured above and below)were fun, challenging and age appropriate. Parent Club kid test panelists (who ranged from 4-9 years old) all raved about the games.

The Leapster 2 is different from Leapster 1 as it is more compact and does not have the protective shield. However, you can purchase (separately of course) a carrying case.

Parent Club parent test panels (who would not give their ages - we can't blame them) had positive feedback. One parent stated "My kids LOVED this game! They were, each, doing math and spelling -- at the same time as using fine motor skills. I'm impressed.

Another parent noted "My pre-reader could easily figure out how to play the games."

In general, Parents appreciated the system having volume control and headphone capabilities.

Leapster 2 is well worth the value in terms of cost, education and fun. Parent Club approved!

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