{{Giveaway}} Something to add to the Christmas List! #PlasmaCar

This week a special delivery arrived in the mail…

If you’ve heard of PlasmaCar, you know this is an awesome toy! If not, it’s time to climb out from under that rock!

PlasmaCar

PlasmaCar is an amazing kid-powered ride on toy that they won’t get enough of! It’s driven by inertia, centrifugal force and friction, which means no batteries, gears, pedals or power cords!

And the cool part…us grown-ups can ride it too! (As long as you’re under 220lbs, that is.)

Our kids love it! They are normally fighting over whose turn it is, but on the rare occasion, they to ride it together, taking turns on who does the steering.

Riding the PlasmaCar

Check out these fun, innovative toys at PlasmaCar.com and if you need to find some more toys for the kiddos on your Christmas shopping list, go to PlaSmartToys.com where you will find toys that will occupy, entertain and educate them!

PlasmaCar{{The GIVEAWAY}}

We have a PlasmaCar to giveaway to one lucky Raincity Parent reader!! This contest runs until December 6th, 2015 and is open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) and the US. Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For another chance to WIN a PlasmaCar, pop on over to British Columbia Mom and enter there too!

PlasmartToys.com | Facebook/PlaSmart | @PlaSmart | YouTube/PlaSmartVideos
PlasmaCar.com | Facebook/PlasmaCar | @PlasmaCar

{{Giveaway}} Santa’s Little Helper! #KaboodlesToyStore

Yep, it’s that time again…

Hitting up the chain toy stores armed with your kid’s massive list of all the toys that they “need” for Christmas, complete with detailed drawings.

I’m not really a fan of jumping aboard the current toy trends, so I tend to visit the shops that are unique and locally owned.

Kaboodles Toy Store

Kaboodles Toy Store is an über awesome place to get exactly what the kiddos will love!

Playmobil, Lego, Minions, board games, puzzles, wooden toys and even fun stuff for grown-ups.

Goodies from Kaboodles

From now until Christmas, Kaboodles Toy Store is running their annual toy drive in support of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, who supports families who can’t afford gifts for their children’s. You can participate in the toy drive by bringing in any unwrapped toy, or you can purchase some from any of the Kaboodles Toy Store locations, and receive a 10% discount when you do! All gifts collected will be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau who will pass them on to families in need.

Kaboodles Toy Drive

In the spirit of giving…Kaboodles Toy Stores have given us a LEGO® DC Comics Super Heroes Black Manta Deep Sea Strike play set to give away to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! Contest open to Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec), ending December 6th, 2015. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Missing Link {Kickstarter Campaign} #ToboToys

If you recall last year, I introduced you to the Tobo Track from Tobo Toys

Tobo Toys

Just in case you missed it, Tobo Track is a fantastic track set made from wood that your kids can use to play with all their cars and train sets. They can create different paths by connecting the pieces in a variety of patterns.

This year, Tobo Toys is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the new adapter!

Tobo Toys Kickstarter campaign

The adapter will allow your kids to attach their Tobo Tracks to Thomas the Train and Lego sets that they may already have 😃 Now they can play with all their sets together!

If you would like to support Tobo Toys Kickstarter campaign for the new adapter, please follow this link to make your contribution.

Tobo Toys

Looking for an alternative to the big box store’s toys this Christmas? #KaboodlesToyStore

Ask any kid what they want for Christmas and you’ll know exactly what they want…

TOYS! TOYS! TOYS!

Give them clothes and you’ll see the disappointment on their faces, or worse…a tantrum equivalent to a nuclear meltdown!

Kaboodles

Kaboodles Toy Store, a Vancouver institution with four locations in Vancouver and Victoria, carries toys for every kid on your Christmas Shopping List.

Our kiddos fight over who gets to use the Mini Etch A Sketch, and bath time was so much fun when we tossed in the Sprudel and watched it fizz and dissolve in the water, then VOILA! a surprise popped out!

Mini Etch A Sketch

Bath Sprudel

Lee Richmond, the owner of Kaboodles, has been in the toy biz for over 30 years. Each year, Lee and her team travel extensively to toy fairs around the world in search of the most fun toys, which they test personally – with enthusiasm : )

This year, Kaboodles is launching a Vancouver-wide Toy Drive to support families who can’t afford gifts for their children. At every Kaboodles’ location, people can donate a gift to the Kaboodles Toy Drive, and all gifts collected will be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau who will pass them on to families in need.

Kaboodles Toy Drive

If you’re stuck for ideas for the kiddos on your Christmas Shopping List, check out Lee’s Top Ten Toys and Stocking Stuffers for 2014:

Top Ten Toys for 2014:

1. Keva Planks: Simple planks, amazing possibilities. Using wooden planks, you can defy gravity and create your dream city: http://www.kevaplanks.com

2. Laser Pegs: Newly redesigned Laser Pegs are better than ever! This is the ULTIMATE construction toy that LIGHTS UP- Perfect for any builder: http://www.laserpegs.com

3. Corolle Dolls: Calin Yang is the ideal first baby doll for the littlest mommies ages 18 months and up. This adorable 12-inch baby doll is just the right size to cradle: http://www.kaboodlestoystore.com/toycategory/dolls/

4. Wrebbit 3D Puzzles: Push yourself Further into the 3 dimensional world with the original 3D Puzzle from Wrebbit! Perfect for any puzzle expert: http://www.wrebbit3d.com

5. Zingo: Zingo brings fast-paced excitement and learning to the classic game of Bingo: http://www.zingobingo.com

6. Litehawk Motorcycle: Fully functioning R/C motorcycle racing is hotly anticipated: http://www.litehawk.ca/apex/

7. Jenga: The classic block-stacking, stack-crashing game of JENGA!

8. Davinici Trebuchet: Locally designed and created. Have fun assembling the ingenious design and then test it by flinging the soft clay balls (included) over an amazing 15 feet: http://www.pathfindersdesignandtechnology.com

9. Snap Circuits: Award winning Snap Circuits kits offer children the opportunity to experiment in a variety of ways, building amazing creations that lead to electrifying results: http://www.snapcircuits.net

10. Dressups: Cast BEAUTIFUL icy spells just like Elsa with this amazing SNOW QUEEN gown from Great Pretenders: http://www.dressups.com

Stocking Stuffers

Top Ten Stocking Stuffers for 2014

1. Finger Puppets: Put on a magical play with beautifully designed characters from Folkmanis: http://www.folkmanis.com/Content/17.htm

2. Storey cubes: Rory’s story cubes is a pocket-sized creative story generator, providing hours of imaginative play for all ages: http://www.storycubes.com

3. Piggy Paint: Paint all your fingers and toes with this natural, water based, hypo allergenic polish. Available in all sorts of fun colors: http://www.piggypaint.com

4. Tea Duckie: Add whimsy and mirth to your teacup with the tea duckie tea infuser. Any tea lover will enjoy!

5. Frozen: Warm up an Olaf plush with a warm hug or enjoy mouth watering jellybeans inspired by all your favourite Frozen characters. Perfect for any Frozen fan.

6. Sprudels: Just add Children! Sprudels make any bath a good time. Each bath bomb makes your bath water a different colour and comes with a special sponge toy: http://www.loottrading.com/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=59_34

7. Retro Classics: No Stocking is complete without a blast from the past. Classics like Slinkys, Etch-a-Sketch, magic worms, Jacobs Ladder, whoopee cushions, silly putty, and Kaleidoscopes are a Christmas morning must have!

8. Grown your own Yeti: Create your own winter creature with this magic grow Yeti! Add the materials and construct your Yeti, then watch as he starts to grow in a few hours.

9. Lego Minifigs: Don’t forget about all those Lego collectors out there. Minifigs are the perfect stocking stuffer for any Lego addict and perfect for ALL ages.

10. Jean Tattoos: Add some style to any pair of jeans with wash off tattoos: http://peaceablekingdom.com/Products/Peace-and-Love-Jean-Tats__JT4.aspx

Stop by Kaboodles’ Point Grey location this Friday, November 28th for the Point Grey Shopping Night! You’re guaranteed to not leave empty handed! Even visiting celebrities can’t miss shopping at Kaboodles Toy Store

The Baby & Tot Show, Oct 18-19, 2014 at the Tradex in Abbotsford {Giveaway}

Is there a new baby in your family?

If your answer is YES, then you’ll want to be sure to check out the Baby & Tot Show at the Tradex in Abbotsford on October 18th & 19th, 2014!

B&T Show

There will be over 150 exhibitors to shop and sample from.

If you have a crawler in your midst, sign them up for the Baby Races where you can WIN a prize for the first baby to cross the finish line.

And just for the Mommies, make you you pop into the Yummy Mummy Lounge where you can learn the latest make-up tricks, check out what’s hot in the fashion world, shop and save on beauty products and also WIN prizes!

Anita Alberto Photography will be on site to take photos of your little darlings for the Photo Contest, where you can enter to WIN a $250 gift basket and possibly become the face of the Baby & Tot Show 2015!

Anita Alberto

If you’re bringing your active kiddos along to the show, check out the Kid Zone, sponsored by My Gym Children’s Fitness Centre.

My Gym

When it’s time to feed or change the little ones, there’s a Nursing & Changing Lounge available with complimentary diapers and wipes, courtesy of Costco Wholesale.

The Seminar Stage will be featuring:

KristenYarker_squarecropped_medium (1)
Kristen Yarker, MSc, RD is a child feeding expert who helps Moms and Dads support their picky eater to try new foods on their own   (without being forceful or sneaky). A speaker, Author, and dietitian, Kristen is a picky eater turned food-lover herself. Kristen worked behind-the-scenes at the BC Ministry of Health to create many of the resources that health professionals use throughout the province. Since 2008 she has been working with families to support them in providing good food for their kids today…and, instilling in them a life-long LOVE of healthy eating. Following Kristen’s teaching, parents learn how to get their kids to try new foods on their own without resorting to the forceful methods of the past, negotiations, or being sneaky. Get a taste for Kristen at www.KristenYarker.com STAGE TIME: 2:15pm

 

Modern Family Expo (1) Ricky Shetty is the owner and operator of the family-friendly website Daddy Blogger where he writes about parenting from a father’s perspective. Ricky will be sharing 3 Tips for Being a Better Dad. This will be a content-rich, engaging, and highly practical presentation. Ricky will be giving out a few copies of his Amazon Best Selling Book “Wisdom from Daddies: What I Learned from Interviewing 100 Dads about Fatherhood” to parents who will be attending. To find out more about Ricky, check out his website:  www.daddyblogger.com STAGE TIME: 12:15pm

 

 

Marnie_blog

Marnie Huard – CheekyChops Sleep Consultant

Having experienced the negative effects lack of sleep has on a family and a relationship, Marnie understands all the challenges that come with it. Choosing Cheekychops Consulting to help her son sleep better was one of the best decisions she ever made for herself and her family.

Marnie is originally from Newport, Quebec, and moved to BC five years ago. She now lives in Langley with her husband, their very active son, and their dog. They are raising their son in a trilingual environment: French, German, and English. Marnie is fluent in both English and French. Marnie will be speaking about the about the myths of infant sleep and explain why they aren’t accurate and what should be done instead.  Visit her website hereSTAGE TIME: 3:00pm

 

square-photo-ginger500px (1) Justine Pearson, BA Psychology, CD (DONA) has been serving families over the past 15 years as a Birth and Postpartum Doula, Prenatal Educator, and Breastfeeding Consultant. She believes how a woman births her baby as well as her breastfeeding experience can greatly affect a family long term. She will be sharing practical ways to feed your baby with ease. Working with families, she regularly experiences how breastfeeding is most successful with up-to-date education and support. Justine has dealt with many difficult situations including; latch issues, breast and nipple pain, repeated clogged ducts, insufficient milk supply, multiples, and helping moms establish a stress-free pumping routine.  She is a passionate expert in the birth field who is gifted in what she does. Get her updates here. STAGE TIME: 3:45PM

Jaydene (1) 10 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Birth Photographer

Jaydene Freund is one of the first professional birth photographers in Canada. She’s been photographing births over 5 years and has captured nearly 70 births. Her photos have been featured in The Vancouver Sun, Globe and Mail, Canadian Family and Global News. After co-founding Canadian Birth Photographers in 2012, Jaydene has continued to establish birth photography as an accepted genre of professional photography.

10 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Birth Photographer will show incredible images that will promise to leave you inspired and wanting to birth again. See more at www.CradledCreations.com STAGE TIME: 1:00pm

vanessa Vanessa Wideski is a qualified financial security advisor holding her LLQP certification, she specializes in helping families to plan for their children’s future and to save for their education.

RESP, TFSA, GIC; with so many choices available, it can all be quite confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! When you attend our workshop you will learn the difference between an RESP, TFSA, and a GIC. You will also learn about the three main government grants that are available for your child’s education, did you know that all residents of B.C. are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in free government grants!?

Lastly we will also introduce you to a concept that very few are aware of, we’ve coined it “the million dollar baby program.” This workshop will explain these facts in layman’s terms making it very simple and easy to understand. New parents have a lot to think about when they’re expecting a new addition, we’ll take the guess work out of finances and help you make a well informed decision when choosing the best way to save for your child’s education and invest in their future. Click here to view her website. STAGE TIME: 11:30am

 

portrait Martin Sunderland is a Fire Inspector and Public Educator with the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.  Prior to joining the fire service he was a high school shop teacher working with inner-city teens, first in Ontario, then in Surrey.

Since joining the fire department, Martin has used his experience and training as a teacher to develop and implement a series of new initiatives designed to connect with youth and reduce injuries, property damage and other consequences connected with risky behavior.

He is a leader in the field of youth firesetting intervention and works closely with Abbotsford schools.  Martin has also found new methods of connecting with preschool and elementary school children about safety in ways they not only understand but remember long after he has left the classroom.

Martin is an experienced and passionate public speaker and has been a guest presenter at fire prevention conferences in BC as well as Washington, Oregon and Colorado. He is also a sessional instructor at the Justice Institute of BC. STAGE TIME: 1:30pm

Be sure to enter to WIN hundreds of prizes, including the Grand Prizes :  a Family Vacation and $1000 CASH PRIZE!

Ticket Prices

Ticket price includes: a reusable shopping bag (for the first 500 attendees in line each day), official show guide, access to all exhibitors, seminars, stages and meet & greets.

On-line admission rates:

Adults: $12

Children 12 & under: Free!

Click here to purchase online.

*Tickets will also be available at the door. Ticket sales at box office are CASH ONLY.
THE GIVEAWAY!
The Baby & Tot Show has generously provided Raincity Parent with a 4pk of tickets & a $50 Gift Certificate to give away to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs from October 5th-15th and is open to residents of the Vancouver, B.C. area and the Fraser Valley. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to beat the heat this Summer! #YMCCommunity

Finding ways to stay cool during the Summer can really make Summer that much more fun!

Mom, it's too hot!

Mom, it’s too hot!

When I was a kid, our options were:

1) the sprinkler ; usually a fan-type one that we just jumped back and forth over

Girl jumps through water sprinkler.

2) Slip ‘N Slide ; long strip of yellow plastic that we ran and slid down as the water from the sprinkler fell on it to make it slippery

Slip n Slide

3) a trampoline ; you either tied the hose to one corner of the trampoline and had the water run into the middle where every bounce sent the giant puddle into the air, drenching everyone around. If you happened to have the “mesh” trampoline, we would put that awesome fan sprinkler underneath and have it spray through the mesh. Add some dish soap, and you had a slippery good time.

Photo credit: Little Girl Big Glasses

Photo credit: Little Girl Big Glasses

4) waterballoons ; balloons filled with water and tossed at your friends or an unsuspecting passerbyer

waterballoons

5) waterguns ; this was where the Super Soakers made their appearance!

super soaker

6) swimming pool ; you had to make friends with the kid who had the only pool in the neighbourhood

backyard pool

7) the waterslides ; hopefully there was a Stay-At-Home-Mom with a mini-van that could take a pile of kids

waterslides

There are so many options now that I’m a parent.

All of the above options mentioned, are still available, but the sprinklers have improved and are WAY more fun for the kids.

There are water tables, a variety of pools to choose from, and inflatable water gyms/ slides/ castles etc.

inflatable water slide

Inflatable slip n slide

 

Other than buying a pre-made water toy, you can fashion your own DIY ways to keep the little cool this summer.

1) Kids car wash ; Lowes has a how-to guide online here.

Photo credit: Lowes.com

Photo credit: Lowes.com

2) Water blob ; check out this tutorial from Homemade Toast

 

Photo credit: Homemade Toast

Photo credit: Homemade Toast

3) water filled air mattresses; fill, lay back and enjoy the coolness without getting wet

image

4) sponge balls; Here’s the DIY instructions from Livingnspired

image
5) DIY pop bottle sprinkler; self explanatory

6) a kiddie pool; the whole family can enjoy this too!

Photo credit: Married with Dogs

Photo credit: Married with Dogs

7) a good old fashioned water fight; no one is safe if one of these breaks out!

 

Photo credit: Earnest Parenting

Photo credit: Earnest Parenting

What creative ways have you come up with to keeping the family cool when it gets hot out?

My first bike! #MammaCangura {Giveaway} #YMCCommunity

Kids and bikes go hand in hand.

Kids on bikes

When I was a kid, I rode my bike EVERYWHERE! And this was before the helmet laws were in affect. I even rode my bike to places that I should have never gone, like from my home in North Vancouver, over Lions Gate Bridge and down to Second Beach in Vancouver. Not a huge deal to me because I LOVED my bike and I was an awesome bike rider. I was probably 12 years old.

Now as a parent, I want my kiddos to learn how to ride their bikes as well as I did and get just as much enjoyment out of it.

We had a tricycle for our daughter when she was smaller, but never really had the opportunity to pull it out as we live in a condo in a neighbourhood where there is a lot of traffic. The underground parking that we have also wasn’t the ideal location to practice and the parks nearby didn’t have the best conditions for learning to ride a bike.

Over the past few years, I’ve seen a significant increase in the number of balance or stride bikes that the little kids are zooming around on. There are metal ones, wood ones and even plastic ones. How do you decide which to choose?

MammaCangura

We chose the MammaCangura B-Bip Balance Bike.

Here are the features for this bike:

  • Reviewed by Prôtegez-Vous!
  • Non-toxic certified plastic frame, lightweight, sturdy and easily washable
  • Removable and washable soft padding on saddle and handlebar
  • Wide range of saddle height settings
  • Synthetic anti-puncture tires; full rim to avoid finger traps
  • Stickers set included. The child will enjoy placing them on the toy, without any health risks: our stickers enjoy the non-toxicity certification.
  • Flush bolts to avoid scratches and injuries
  • Steering lock to prevent sudden turns on uneven ground
  • Hand guards protection

b-bip-balance-bike_26_222x296

Our little guy is loving his B-Bip! At 22 months, he’s still using his tippy toes to sit on it, but everyday he’s getting taller and a bit more brave and as soon as we know it, he’ll be taking off and Mum and Dad will certainly get a great workout trying to keep up with him.

MammaCangura has provided a Raincity Parent with s B-Bip Balance Bike ($149 values) to giveaway to one lucky reader! This giveaway runs from July 7th-13th, 2014 and us open to residents of Canada and the US only. Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MammCangura made in Italy