Thursday, March 26, 2015

Playmobil Eggs for Easter and Springtime Play - Review and Giveaway



Playmobil makes high quality playsets that children can build and then have imaginative play with when completed.  I first saw these Playmobil Eggs at Toy Fair NY 15 and knew they would a perfect grandparent gift for Easter or Spring.  I like to feature toys that a grandparent and grandchild can enjoy together.  This toy is one that works perfectly in our house as my five year old grandson sometimes comes early for dinner and plays with his grandfather for an hour before dinner is ready.  They may do a little building project or puzzles and share some conversation about how it works. My husband and I are both engineers and enjoy seeing our grandson’s interest in how things work.
This post includes a giveaway. See the details at the end of the post.

 
Playmobil Egg - Boy with Children's Tractor Package
Here is what the package looks like. The playset is inside the egg.  The egg is 5 inches tall and 3 ½ inches wide at it widest point.  There are four new eggs available this year.  Amazon also lists some older varieties.

Boy with Children’s Tractor – Blue Egg
Princess with Vanity Station –  Pink Egg
Fun at the Beach – Yellow Egg
Pirate with Rowboat – Red Egg

Choose your grandchild’s favorite theme or favorite color to decide which one you want to start the collection with.

Playmobil Egg - Boy with Children's Tractor Side of Package
I have the Boy with Children’s Tractor to review for this article.  This is what the other side of the package looks like.  This set has 33 pieces – some are very small.  The ages on the package say 3 – 10.  In my opinion a three year old is too young to play with this alone. Some of the pieces are too small and I don’t think that 3 – 4 year olds will have the dexterity to work with the small tightly fitting pieces.  This may be an excellent toy for children of different ages to play with together.  I can easily picture an older sibling (6 – 10) putting it together with a younger sibling (3 – 5) helping and enjoying playing with the completed playset.

This is what you have when you open the egg – two bags with pieces (one has just the wheel parts), easy to follow assembly instructions and a small Playmobil booklet. Notice the slot in the bottom of the egg - the egg can be put back together as a bank if you aren't going to take the playset apart and store it in the egg.



Here is the Tractor and Boy when assembled.  You can see that it is brightly colored and has nice detail.  The front loader moves up and down, the trailer with three carrots (they are so cute) detaches, and the boy’s arms and head move.



The Eggs retail for $9.99 and can be ordered at the Playmobil website or at Amazon for a slightly higher price. Amazon order details are at the end of this article. They are also available at specialty stores but I did not see them at the ToysRUs or Walmart websites.  

Giveaway Details
It is easy to enter and there are two ways. Both ways count as an entry so you get two entries if you do both.  I need to be able to contact you if you win. If you enter -  email me with your email address at marion@grandmachronicles.com.  I will not use your email address for anything except to notify you if you win.  Grandmother’s Honor.


  •      Leave a comment here on the blog 

     and/or



You can have two entries by doing both.  Deadline to enter: April 6, 2015 at midnight. The winner will be selected using random.org.

 This item can be sent to US addresses only.

Full Disclosure:  This review is completely my own opinion and I was not reimbursed for it.  I did receive a review sample. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Beautiful Morning Puzzle by eeboo - Review and Giveaway






Every year at this time of year I like to feature items that are a good choice for Spring and may be something that grandparents would like to give for Easter or Passover celebrations. I am always interested in alternatives to candy.  When I saw this appropriately named “Beautiful Morning" puzzle at Toy Fair NY in February I knew right away it was something I would like to feature in this Spring giveaway post.  The large bright Spring scene is eye catching and will bring a smile to your face.


My grandson is a self declared “puzzle expert” – he just loves doing puzzles.  In the past we would do them together but now he wants me to be hands-off and to complete them himself.  I have a bunch of 48 and 64 piece puzzles and he is quite capable of completing those himself but he enjoyed this 36 piece panoramic puzzle too.  I am convinced that rather than “number of pieces” as a way to choose a puzzle you are much better off choosing one that will be enjoyed when completed.


This puzzle has large pieces and when completed is 9 ½ inches tall and 3 feet wide.  It is quite large but I was glad that it could be done on the table and not on the floor.  I must admit that I try to avoid getting down on the floor if a can.



Anyway, my grandson is five years old and he enjoyed putting this puzzle together. A younger child will enjoy doing it with someone. The pieces are large and sturdy.  The colors are bright and it is a playful nature scene when completed.  It is a perfect grandparent Spring gift.

You can purchase this puzzle or other puzzles, games and crafts for kids of all ages at the eeboo website. There are many reasonably priced items on the website and many provide the opportunity to do something together with your grandchild. Click here for the website.

You can go directly to the link for the BeautifulMorning puzzle here.  It is very reasonably priced at $12.99.
Giveaway Details
It is easy to enter and there are two ways. Both ways count as an entry so you get two entries if you do both.  I need to be able to contact you if you win. If you enter -  email me with your email address at marion@grandmachronicles.com.  I will not use your email address for anything except to notify you if you win.  Grandmother’s Honor.


1.      Leave a comment here on the blog 
     and/or

You can have two entries by doing both.  Deadline to enter: March 26, 2015 at midnight. The winner will be selected using random.org.

 This item can be sent to US addresses only.

Full Disclosure:  This review is completely my own opinion and I was not reimbursed for it.  I did receive a review sample. 



Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Grand Share #2 and Trying to Enjoy Thor



Thor as seen from my kitchen

It’s March and it is of course in like a lion in New Jersey.  That is always the case and the good news is that it goes out like a lamb. "Thor" - the second snow of the week -  is coming down like crazy.  The good news is that my grandson lives in town and I get to see him even when the weather is bad.  Zach was here for a sleepover over the weekend and I wrote about it on Sunday – you can see that post here. (It's been a popular post so check it out.)



In January I wrote my first link party post and it was wonderful to have other bloggers post their links on my blog.  So here we go again.  I am naming this series "The Grand Share."  But you don’t have to be a grandparent to join in.  All are welcome to share your link.  Only rules – no porn and no violence in the posts.


As I said everyone is welcome and I really want to develop the grandparent network so grandparent bloggers - please, please do join in.


In case you haven't joined a link party before you should know that is super easy.   Just provide a thumbnail and link to your blog and my readers will visit your blog.  Any topic is okay.  Share a story about your kids or grandkids, a product review, a recipe, a travel story, even advice etc.  It's all welcome.
I guess you can see that I haven't started to shovel out of Thor yet....Maybe tomorrow.



I am going to start off by sharing one of my own links.




Sunday, March 1, 2015

I'm Better at This As a Grandparent than I Was As a Parent



Have you ever felt that you are better at something with your grandchildren than you were with your own kids?  I had that positive senior moment this morning with my five year old grandson, Zach.   

We have a standing sleepover date on the Saturday night before the first Sunday of the month.  On the first Sunday, our church has a family service.  There is no church school, the kids are in church for the whole service and our pastor invites the kids to the altar steps where she includes them in an interactive way during the sermon.  Zach likes to come to church with me on these Sundays and he particularly likes going to coffee hour in the parish hall afterwards.
 
My son was always a problem in church as a young child.  He would not sit still and keeping him quiet was a project.  Either my husband or I frequently would have to leave the service with him for a while.  I remember a father of 2 older boys telling me not to worry – “they grow out of it.”  And yes they do.  My grandson is a different child than my son was but I think I am also doing a better job with him and this whole issue of getting a little boy to behave in church.

First of all – I make sure we are always five minutes early and have a chance to settle in before the service begins.  This morning when Zach asked me if it would be long, I looked at the bulletin/service order in my hand and showed it to him.  “We will have to read all of this and sing some hymns so it won’t be short,”  I said, adding,  “There are two parts.  In the beginning there are readings we listen to and music.  Then you go up to the altar for the sermon.  After that you should watch as the priest prepares the communion and we will go up together to receive communion.  Then we’ll sing one last hymn and go to coffee hour.”  He flipped through the service order and said,  “It will be long to read all this.”  I braced myself - but there was no need.

At the Peace I told Zach that people would want to shake his hand and say Peace and sure enough he exchanged the Peace as many people approached him.  Before we said the Our Father, I told him this would be the prayer we said at bedtime.  And when I was looking for the Lift EveryVoice and Sing hymnal, he found it on the lower hymnal rack for me.

I realized that when my son was young I concentrated on his behavior and used various techniques to have him behave enough that he didn’t embarrass me too much. It was more about me than him.  With Zach I have a different intention when I bring him to church.  I want to introduce him to our faith and hope he will learn values here that will stay with him for life.  By taking the time to talk with Zach about what to expect and breaking the service into parts he would recognize it helped him.  He did have a quiet toy to play with and sometimes he played with it –especially during the hymns, but other times he watched and listened.

This is a lesson learned for me and it happened by serendipity.  Once I answered the question, “Will this be long?”,  I sort of got into explaining more.  If you want to share something with a young child who might have difficulty giving it attention, there may be something here of help – whether you are a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle or adult friend.

Do you have something you do better as a grandparent than you did as a parent?  Please leave a comment and share with us.

Marion