Monday, September 26, 2016

Family Chores Turned Into Play Time

Let's face it, chores are not popular with kids. Why would they want to spend an hour cleaning the bathroom when they could be playing? But, busy family schedules make it imperative that everyone in the family pitch in with the weekly chores. Unless you're lucky to have a cleaning service, chores don't magically disappear. Turning family chores into play time can make the weekend to-do list less painful.

Here's how our family makes chore time a little more like play time.

bObsweep Pet Hair Plus
Many kids love playing video games. Their hands are adept in maneuvering the controller. Why not put those skills into good use with bObsweep Pet Hair Plus. While the bObsweep Pet Hair Plus can run via an automatic program, the kids can involved with the vacuuming and floor cleaning too. With the remote control, the kids can get bObsweep to vacuum their rooms, clean the kitchen floor and pick up messes.

bObsweep makes quick work of any type of mess. From the dog hair in the carpet to the breakfast spill under the kitchen table, the kids can control bObsweep to clean it all up. My kids think that vacuuming is not like controlling their own robot. They now jump at the chance to vacuum and clean the floor\s (thank goodness since it's my second least favorite cleaning chore - behind bathrooms).

bObsweep is available at or other retailers. Various models are available.

Reward system
Turn simple, daily tasks into a reward system. In our house, we have turned a month calendar into a reward calendar. After a month of all completed chores, each kids gets his special reward. The key is that I can't remind them to do the task.

For example, each of my kids must clean off the table after each meal, put dishes in the dishwasher and wash out the sink. If all of these items are completed all day, every day, the kids get a star. I can't remind them to perform these tasks. If I find that one of the task isn't completed, no one gets a star.

The idea is to create a sense of daily responsibility. If everyone does their part, the weekend chores seem less cumbersome. More importantly, I'm not constantly cleaning up after everyone (which leads to a crabby mom). I would suggest starting small and building on it. My one son completed a month and he got his surf lesson - he's on board.

These two items work for our family. We keep adjusting the system as our schedules, activities and busy lives change. Overall the idea is to show that everyone has a responsibility in the house. Whether you can hook the kids with remote controlled vacuum like bObsweep or a reward system, building a sense of chore responsibility can help everyone in the family.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

3D Coin Art, a visual representation of personal savings

Putting coin after coin into the darkened hole of piggy back can be un-rewarding. How much is truly in the pig? Is it close to be filled? How long will it take to achieve my savings goal? With 3D Coin Art, kids have a clear, visual representation of their savings.

The 3D Coin Art is a puzzle that uses coins to create a piece of art that is also a savings bank. Shaped like an American flag, the 3D Coin Art holds $25 in coins. With this 3D puzzle/coin counter, the kids can visually appreciate how much they have saved.

The 3D Coin Art contains 1 coin tray, 1 coin lid, 1 stand with 2 brackets, 3 stickers, 2 coin counters and an instruction sheet. The puzzle takes pennies, nickels and dimes to complete. The total value of coins, once complete, is $25.

Encouraging kids to save money can be difficult, especially with change. The day when my son thought a credit card came with unlimited spending told me that he had some money lessons to learn. While change can often end up at the bottom of a purse, car cup holder or even the couch cushion, all those forgotten coins can add up to bigger money. My hope is that this 3D Coin Art teaches that lesson.

One afternoon, I asked the kids to gather all the coins that they could find around the house. From bags to cushions, we found quite a collection of coins. Before we started counting, I asked the boys "How much money do you think we have?" One son said $5 and other said $35 (neither one was right). As we counted out the money, it lead to many discussions. What would you do with $25? More iTunes gift cards, more starbucks, I want to save it for my birthday, I want new swim goggles, I should put it in my bank account, etc. etc. We talked about money, spending and savings. Do we really need something? Should we wait and keep saving for something we really want?

Through the course of the afternoon, counting money and putting together this American Flag, we realized that we shouldn't just dismiss all that change laying around the house. Think about how many times you take the change from the grocery store or fast food stop and it is left in the car. What if we took that money and put it towards something good? Save it, give it to charity, but overall appreciate what we have and be more conscious about money. Putting the 3D Coin Art together was a good physical activity that sparked an important conversation.

While our flag didn't get completed with our house "spare change," it served a bigger purpose. Before we buy something, we discuss whether it is a necessary purchase. We try not to let change go un-noticed or discarded. We want to save for a big family experience. The 3D Coin Art helped our family have good talk about money and its purpose. Maybe this puzzle and activity can spark a conversation in your house too.

The 3D Coin Art American Flag is available online and at various retailers. The puzzle retails for approximately $19.99.

Disclosure: The writer received this item for purposes of this post. All opinions are her own and were not influenced by any person or entity.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Super Wubble Ball, bigger, bouncier and more ball playing fun

The simple act of throwing, bouncing and playing with a ball never goes out of style. Kids can spend endless hours playing with a ball. But, how can you take this classic activity and make it more extreme. Super Wubble Ball makes play playing bigger, bouncier and more ball-tastic. 

Building on the original Wubble Ball, the new Super Wubble is a favorite activity toy with families. Made from top secret Xpandium material, this ball can be inflated to gigantic proportions. The super strong, tear resistant material can withstand much punishment. From big drops to hard throws, Super Wubble is ready for the big bounce. 

Children have always been fascinated with bubbles. As they float around the air and fly freely, they can play for hours. But, when the bubble breaks, the fun ends. With the Super Wubble, the squishy, stretchy fun can keep kids amused for hours without fear of a pop. While sharp objects can cause an issue, the stronger material can withstand more play. 

One of the extreme aspects of the Super Wubble is its gigantic. With the air pump, the Super Wubble can be inflated to humongous sizes. Bigger than a normal ball, kids can jump on, bounce on and play to extremes.  Even if mom and dad fell on the ball, the super strong, stretchable ball can withstand the bigger play. At the park, in the playroom or even at the beach, the Super Wubble brings the extreme fun. 

As a parent, I greatly appreciate that the Super Wubble can be deflated when not in use and (and later re-inflated for play). The ease of inflation and deflation is a big key for parents. It is not necessary to find a large space to house the Super Wubble when not in use. 

Super Wubble comes in four color options, red, blue, green and pink. The toy retails for approximately $19.99 at various retailers. Each Super Wubble comes with the Wubble, inflate pump and patches (if a puncture occurs).  

It's bigger, bouncier and extreme ball-tastic fun with Super Wubble. Get your bounce on. 

Disclosure: The writer received this item for purposes of this post. All opinions are her own.