Merry Christmas, all ye faithful Learning Express readers!
There are only three measly little chocolates left in our advent calendar...and you know what that means! The big day is almost here. For my kids, it really can’t come soon enough. I think they’ve almost given up hope that Santa will actually come. The wait to them has seemed excruciatingly long. I’m wondering, when do toddlers start to have a better grasp on time? Because telling them, “He’ll be here on December 25th, when all the chocolates have run out,” just hasn’t quite clicked for them.
It’s been a bit painful to see their daily disappointment as they look under the tree and find it empty yet again. Who knows though, maybe their joy on Christmas morning will be all the more pure after such a marathon wait. I’m telling you, these kids have earned those gifts this time around!
And yes, I’ll still be heading to the mall and braving the crowds this weekend. I have a few more people on my list to shop for. And I’ll certainly be taking some tips from the Top Toys list as I finally complete my Christmas shopping. This week’s reviews cover two more fantastic gifts that are only available at Learning Express and are sure to be a home run for that special child on your list!
Learning Express Exclusive! My First Scrapbook by Alex®
Four-year-old Mia was truly over the moon for this sweet scrapbooking kit. It includes everything kids need to make a custom, keepsake book documenting their life in their own style. It was really neat to see Mia take ownership of the project. She loved reflecting on her life and thinking back to all the vacations, birthday parties, school recitals, and holidays she’s experienced. It was amazing how much detail she actually remembered!
One tip for anyone overseeing this process: gather everything you need ahead of time. Print out those pictures sitting on your smartphone. Collect any memorabilia you think your child might want to include in the book (ie award ribbons, party invitations, movie ticket stubs, etc.). Write down details about events you’ll be covering in the scrapbook just so they are there and ready to go when your child gets to work.
The recommendations/directions have no words yet are very easy to understand, which is always helpful to parents. Mia was on the younger side for this kit yet still was able to fully enjoy and utilize it. A child even a year older could have managed this kit with very little oversight from an adult. Mia, however, did need help understanding that one page is all about her birthday party, and the next page is for her dance recital, etc.
But once she got the idea, she was off and decorating all on her own. She loved the stickers included in the set best. They were really high quality, and the kit contains far more than you could ever use. That’s always a plus, given that stickers are so prized among the preschool crowd.
The kit includes crayons and scissors, which I love because that means you could take the kit anywhere and have everything you need to get the job done. Mia, however, preferred to supplement the project with her own art supplies, and that worked great too.
As a mom, I feel a lot of pressure to document my kids’ existence. And with two kids’ lives to keep track of, it always feels like I’m behind – scrambling to get the memories of these special years down on paper. The best part about Alex’s My First Scrapbook Kit is that it recruits your kids to help with this task and helps you cross one more thing off your to-do list. And boy do they delight in the process!
This is a winning gift for any preschooler or kindergartner on your list, and for their moms for that matter!
Learning Express Exclusive! Sparkle Skins by SparkeUps®
10-year-old Brooke devoured our next toy, Sparkle Skins by SparkleUp. It took me a minute to figure out the purpose of this gemmed wonder kit, but Brooke knew right away. She’d seen other kits by the company SparkleUps. Sparkle Skins are thick, reusable stickers that kids embellish with glittering rhinestones, and this particular kit is designed specifically to bedazzle tech toys of all kinds: smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.
Brooke got to work sticking colored rhinestones one by one onto the stick-by-number designs. The first one she completed was a sparkling orange flower for her cell phone.
Once affixed, the orange flower was very sturdily in place. I did manage to peel it off, however, just to make sure that it didn’t damage the phone. It peeled off cleanly, leaving the cell phone surface perfectly undamaged and amazingly leaving behind no sticky residue. We then put the flower back in place, and it stuck just as firmly as the first time around.
If there’s a tweenie girl in your life who loves rhinestones and all things glittery, she’ll adore bedecking her tech toys with Sparkle Skins.
Thanks so much for reading. I wish everyone the best of luck with their holiday shopping. And when everything’s wrapped and ready to go, I wish you a blessed holiday with your family.
I hope these ideas have been helpful! Catch you in 2013.