Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I adore the Discovery Store folks. I mean, they have the coolest stuff for kids, so whenever Parent Bloggers Network sends out one of their emails with something new to try out, I jump at the chance. Who doesn't love a good toy that also helps you learn?
Recently, we received the Bug Net Launcher to try out. I thought it was going to be super cool, but when I opened the box it was greeted by the typical six-year-old eyeroll and the declaration that there was no way that it could be cooler than this cool bug thing that his friend Jacob had.
Oh no, my son, you are wrong.
It's easy to use. Take the net, put the darts that are attached to each corner of the net into the appropriate holes and push down until they pop into place. Aim at your target, and BAM! You are now the proud captor of a bug.
Let me tell you, the thing has some oomph behind it. We tried it out on some of the targets that are included in the set (funny pictures of bugs on laminated cardboard cutouts) and not only did we catch the cutouts, but with some serious force behind it. And let's admit it, how cool is it to shoot some big old bugs? Monkey Man adored it from the word go - and what red-blooded boy do you know that wouldn't like to play with a bug gun? I think the key part here is just keeping the aforementioned boys from shooting siblings or animals. Ahem.
The weather around these parts has been pretty crappy lately so we hadn't had much opportunity to do a lot of hunting for bugs - and as of yet everything has gotten away from us including a lizard that happened to be in close proximity to the gun. But he's had a blast just practicing and waiting for the moment when he can finally catch a preying mantis just like he saw on Animal Planet last Thursday night.
The Bug Net Launcher sells for $24.95 and would be a great gift for your little bug-lover so they can work on their collection all summer long! And don't forget to stop by Parent Bloggers Network where they will also have other reviewers talking about this toy as well as the Venus Fly Trap.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Remember the first time you were truly out on your own? The giddy taste of freedom when you finally had your own place - no Mom or Dad looking over your shoulder, no siblings getting into your stuff and stealing your favorite sweater, no grandparents or aunts or uncles there to watch over you? Remember how great that felt?
But then remember the first time you had to have people over for dinner that you wanted to impress. Or your first day at a job that was somewhere other than Chuck E. Cheese. Or even better, the first day you discover that yes, you have overdrawn your checking account. Remember how crappy that felt?
Being on your own for the first time is extremely heady yet scary as hell. Facing the unknown before you without your family safety net is a pretty daunting time. Didn't you wish that you had a manual like "Growing Up for Dummies" to use?
Enter "Were You Raised By Wolves: Clues to the Mysteries of Adulthood" by Christie Mellor. If Christie's name rings a bell, she's also the author of "The Three-Martini Playdate" and "Three-Martini Family Vacation." In this book, Mellor delivers practical advice in a tongue-in-cheek manner that is funny yet gets to the heart of the matter - just because you're on your own for the first time doesn't mean that you're excused from acting like a civilized adult.
For example, the first chapter which is called "Home Sweet Home" discusses making a bed, cleaning your house (including a step-by-step list of directions of what to clean if you're, oh, having a few people over and only have a short time to prepare), and the importance of having a clean bathroom. I can honestly think of a few old boyfriends who could've used THAT advice. She then goes on to tackle topics like working in an office ("Your Wacky Boss!"), preparing food at home ("Getting Acquainted With Your Kitchen"), social graces ("You. In the World. Not Being An Embarrassment"), and generally what the responsibilities of an adult are ("If Your Mom Still Chews Your Food For You").
Is this book appropriate for anyone? Well, it's a fun read. It's probably a little too young for someone who's already faced all this stuff in their lifetime, but I think it would make a fantastic graduation gift for a friend or family member who is going out on their own for the first time. It's witty without being snarky, charming without any simpering, and lets the reader know that Yes, You Can Do It! And Keep A Sense Of Humor Too.
Make sure you stop by Parent Bloggers Network to see what other bloggers have to say about this book as well as what other hot campaigns are going on right now!
"Were You Raised By Wolves: Clues to the Mysteries of Adulthood" can be found at Amazon.com just in time for the perfect graduation gift! Check it out!