Saturday, December 15, 2018

Technology Gifts for Kids Under 12

 This post is in collaboration with Verizon . All opinions (and memories!) are my own.
When we sent our "Letters to Santa" this year, we got a rude awaking that are son is no longer a little boy. He is 9 going on 18!! Where toys used to fill his Christmas Wish list now have been replaced with tech gifts. We have been holding off buying him a phone unlike many of his classmates who already have the newest iphones! We truly felt that having such an expensive piece of equipment comes with a large responsibility that perhaps a 9 year old does not have. As his parent though we need to prepare for the harsh reality of the real world! As he grows so do our needs and wants for him so this year we are talking about kid appropriate technology!
I was first introduced to the GizmoWatch on a Verizon Twitter Party! They asked a question "At what age did you give your kids a phone". Being that we have had some serious discussions about this with our 9 year old I felt it was time to really research this. Turns out the GizmoWatch was more up our alley in terms of what we need. If your child is between 6-10, this might be the perfect solution for you as well. It allows you to know where your children are and have pre-set number of calls if they need to reach you. The GizmoWatch uses the same network as Verizon's 4G LTE smartphones! Even though our son is with us the majority of the time it is perfect for keeping in contact with him at the park, at after-school activities or spending time at his grandparents’.
My next suggestion for the kids on your Chritsmas list are the kid-friendly educational app driven GizmoTablet™ by Samsung. We actually have this already wrapped and set under out Christmas tree! We have customized the content on it and his access limits according to his age and skill levels. You can also set how long they can use their tablet. Limited screen time is a serious MUST with kids because honestly they could game/play/surf ALL day! The Parent Dashboard lets you stay on top of how much time your child spends on the GizmoTablet and find out which apps they use the most. We personally pre-downloaded educational apps before we give it to him on Christmas Day! If you need some suggestions let me know in the comments because we have a good list of great education apps you can use!
My son has always been very responsible when it comes to his toys/devices. I have never had to worry about him treating them with disrespect. Giving him a phone has been a huge step for us. Call it living in the Stone age but we both never had a phone until our late teen years. Having a place to find all of our Tech questions during this Holiday Shopping Season has been truly a blessing.
Learn more about kids-friendly accessories and check out a complete parents' guide to kids and tech by visiting Verizon’s Family Tech page.
At what age did you or your children get a phone?
What Tech devices are you gifting to your children this year?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

7 Card Games for Families

 We are a house of games. Pretty much everyone is aware or taken part in our game nights because we do them so often. I find it helps bond with people I just met or reconnect with those who have busy lives and travel a lot ( that would be me). Not to mention if you find the right games you can enjoy them with not just adults but the kids as well! I have so many suggestions on which card games you have in your arsenal but here are just a few:

Monday, December 3, 2018

Hosting a Christmas Cookie Party Annually

Did you know that December 3rd is the biggest party planning day of the year and when the most people send out party invitations? In true Holiday fashion I am one of those people because we host our Annual Christmas Cookie Party! Need some great invite suggestions?? 
I have the perfect place to snag invites,!
This is a sponsored post on behalf of  Punchbowl.comAll opinions expressed are my own.
They have several invite designs for all sorts of parties including: gingerbread house decorating, Jingle & Mingle parties and even a kids ugly sweater party! I usually send them out 1-2 weeks before our event. With the new texting feature I can send my invites right to my friends and family without the hassle of writing out cards and mailing them.
Once the invites are sent it's time to prepare for the festivities! Since I have hosted a version of this Cookie Party ever year I have this down! I set up our dining room table with my 302 cookie cutters I have collected over the years. Some flour dishes, set out, snacks, water and juice boxes.
I always make cookie dough ahead of time. That way when the kids arrive we could just whip it out, roll it and everything was ready for cut-outs. Nothing is more fun then cutting out cookies with little ones. We started doing this when my little guy was young. He now has so many memories dong this with our family and friends. 
The fun begins when the adults get in on the decorating. 
What is not to love about frosting and sprinkles??
Of course I had to hold the smallest attendee to let his Mom decorate cookies too. I just love throwing fun parties in our home. It really brings in the Holiday spirit! 
These are what each guest brings home with them. 
We usually decorate around four dozen cookies! 
What Christmas Invites if your favorite??
Does anyone else do Christmas Parties??
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