Totally Cool Augmented Reality Books from Scholastics

My kids are bookworms! There’s no question about it. Aside from being bookworms, they’re also advanced readers.  One factor that contributed to this is that we kept them away from gadgets during their early years. They learned to appreciate and to love books because of this.  I’m guessing that they love smelling the pages just as I do. Ebooks may be convenient and more affordable but it cannot parallel the satisfaction we get from flipping through page after page of paperbacks.

However, when they reached school age and became exposed to games their classmates play, we eventually allowed them some gadget time – always closely monitored and timed though. 😆 They do look forward to being able to use their tablet or my phone to play games or watch videos. Old-fashioned mom though still prefers that they just stick to their paperbacks.

Most likely, Scholastic knows that many other moms have similar sentiments. This is probably why they came out with their augmented reality books – books that encourage children to read while enjoying their gadget time.

The Magic of Augmented Reality

Whoa! It’s AWESOME!!! This was the first reaction of the two kids when they first tried out the app.  It’s like VR only better!  In virtual reality, the kids play in an artificial environment; but, in augmented reality, they play in their actual environment.  It’s bringing something inanimate to life and interacting with it in real time.

It’s totally cool! It’s showing on the screen like it’s really real! Like it’s really there in real life! – Jade

If you’re still confused about what augmented reality is, just think of it as something like 4-D.  It’s like adding another dimension to a 3-D image. When you hover your phone or tablet over the page, a lifelike image pops out and becomes part of your own environment. THEN you can interact with this image by making it move around and even taking pictures together with it.

 

In the books from Scholastic, our kids’ favorite characters come to life with the power of Digital Magic.  Now that we’re hopefully all clear about what augmented reality is, let’s check the books out in the next two posts.

Click here for Transformers Robot in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life.

Click here for My Little Pony: Where Equestria Comes to Life

4 Hacks for New Parents to Ease Adjustment into Parenthood

As a new parent, you suddenly become bombarded with a plethora of baby products and (often unsolicited) advice. But as a first-timer, it can be hard to distinguish the must-haves from the gimmicks. Likewise, the tips and tricks that worked for others may not be conducive to you and your new bundle of joy. With that in mind, here are four hacks to make the transition to parenting a little easier to manage.

1. Get More Done with Babywearing

Your new bundle of joy no doubt craved being in the womb, but life doesn’t just stop after you’ve given birth. Of course, there’s still cleaning and cooking to do, other kids to look after, and often work to catch up on. You may get a break for the first few weeks, but soon enough you’ll need to figure out a rhythm to get it all done with a new baby on board.

If you need a little assistance carrying your newborn, an age-old practice could provide immense, mutually-desired enjoyment. In fact, embracing babywearing can help you get more done, while also meeting your baby’s needs. Furthermore, studies have shown that moms who practice babywearing for three hours a day see their infant cry 43 percent less than babies who didn’t receive the same — or any — amount of nurturing.

One of the most comfortable carriers for little ones is the Solly Baby Wrap, an ultra-thin stretchy wrap designed for use throughout your child’s first year. Tula also makes a variety of carriers to make babywearing comfortable and seamless. And, most carriers can even be used for discreet and convenient hands-free nursing, too.

2. Minimize Startle Reflex with Swaddle Suits

Sure, we all know swaddling babies is a great way to soothe and prevent them from startling themselves awake. However, because babies tend to wiggle out of this cozy wrapping, swaddling is a battle many babies end up winning. To decrease the chances of your baby popping free, keep them securely swaddled — and ultimately asleep longer — by using swaddle suits instead of traditional swaddle blankets.

Love to Dream makes one of the most popular options, the Swaddle Up, which features an ultra soft, stretchy material and a two-way zipper to make nighttime diaper changes a breeze. With this genius design, babies can keep their hands near their face for comfort. Plus, the Swaddle Up is light enough to be worn over the top of the baby’s sleepwear.

3. Make the Most of Your Smartphone

There’s an app for nearly everything these days — and there are certainly no shortage of options aimed at parents. To ease the stress of tracking all of your baby’s newfound habits, you can leverage this type of technology with an app like Total Baby. For example, you can use this app to easily keep track of feedings, soiled diapers, sleep times and baths. Meantime, because your child will start to grow up before you know it, use an app like FirstYear or Baby’s Firsts to record all of your baby’s precious milestones, from their first smile to their first steps.

You can also keep your baby soothed by loading your smartphone with gentle melodies to the tune of popular hits with the online program, Rockabye Baby. Likewise, if your baby needs some white noise to fall asleep or calm down, your best bet is to download an app that provides some ambient white noise. Ultimately, whatever works best for your little one, be sure you can download musical tracks for offline play to avoid exceeding your data limit on your smartphone plan.

4. Manage Messes with a Change of Clothes in the Diaper Bag

You know to never leave home without a change of clothes for your baby, but what about for yourself? After all, when you’re constantly holding, rocking or changing your little one, it’s only a matter of time before you get covered in spit up, urine or a blown out diaper. Your best bet? Stash a spare shirt for yourself in your diaper bag, so you can quickly change when your precious bundle of joy doles out a wardrobe malfunction.

Buying for Baby’s First Year: Do’s and Don’ts for the First Year of Life

Having a baby can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. It’s estimated to take new mothers up to 4 whole months to get the hang of motherhood so, if you’re a first-time parent and are struggling to manage, it’s totally normal!

Mother Carrying Her Child Stock Image

Photo by Rattikankeawpun

In addition to love and care, babies also require a lot of material possessions too. With an average of $12,000 being spent during a baby’s first year of life, it’s essential you spend wisely and don’t waste your hard-earned money on pointless items. If you’re a new parent struggling to establish which purchases are necessary and which aren’t, here’s a few key tips to ensure you buy the most useful items for your baby.

 

Do’s

For first-time parents, having a baby is a completely new experience. It can be difficult to know exactly what you need and what you don’t, so here’s a few must-have items to make sure you have ready for when your little one arrives.

  • Diapers – A common essential, but many new parents underestimate the amount of diapers their baby will go through. It’s estimated a baby will go through 10-12 diapers a day during the first few weeks of life, so ensure you have enough stocked up.
  • Clothes – We all want our babies to look cute, but comfort is more important. Opt for comfortable, breathable fabrics and an array of different clothing sizes. Sizes will vary from brand to brand, so it’s a good idea to get a couple of different sizes to establish which fits best on your baby.
  • Car seat – An absolute essential as without one, you can’t safely drive your baby anywhere. Stay away from a second-hand seat and ensure to purchase the correct type for your baby’s age. Visit this site to discover a variety of spacious, family-friendly cars ideal for car seat fitting.

 

Don’ts

Whilst the baby market is saturated with new and upcoming products, not everything is wholly necessary or appropriate for a new-born baby. Here’s a few items you should avoid purchasing.

  • Blankets – A popular gift-choice, fluffy blankets can actually cause more harm than good. They put your baby at risk of overheating and can cause them to feel very claustrophobic. If you are going to get a blanket, opt for a thinner swaddling-type blanket instead.
  • Toys – Whilst a huge essential when your baby gets a little older, toys are often a waste of money for newborns. They’re far too young to properly engage with anything other than your voice and face, so save the toy buying until your baby is old enough to properly use them.
  • Shoes – If a baby can’t walk, why bother with shoes? A pair of cozy socks will be more than sufficient for a new-born.

Having a baby for the first time is a huge life milestone, and it’s important to spend wisely and be as prepared as possible. As long as you don’t waste your money on unnecessary items and only buy the vital essentials to begin with, you’re sure to have a happy baby as well as a happy bank balance!

Animals Toys Stock Photo

4 Great Baby Apps for New Parents

If you’re about to welcome your first child into the world, you’re probably overwhelmed with thoughts of feeding times and crib safety measures. Let these four apps take away some of the stress!

1. Total Baby

Cover artThis “baby logging” app will keep track of all the details that you’re too busy or too tired to write down. From bath times to changing schedules, all you have to do is input the data and let Total Baby work its recording, archiving and organizing magic. You can even monitor things like immunizations and growth charts when you utilize the app’s tracking utilities.

2. DecorPad

Image result for DecorPad appThough not technically a baby app, DecorPad can help you get your home in order before the newest member of your family arrives. Offering all kinds of pictures and galleries from top interior designers, you’ll be able to re-create or re-design your entire home from frontroom furnishings to nursery paint colors. Just make sure that you get it all done before you go into labor!

3. My Pregnancy & Baby Today

Cover artThis day-by-day app will help you track and record every moment of your pregnancy and first year as a parent. Not only will you enjoy things like countdowns, health tips, daily calendars, sonogram images and time-lapse videos of your belly, but you’ll also be able to connect with other moms-to-be who are expecting at the same time as you. Share your joys, triumphs and milestones with a community of like-minded people who will support your parental journey just as much as you support theirs.

4. Cloud Baby Monitor

Say goodbye to bulky baby monitors! Cloud Baby Monitor is a wireless, cloud-based app that can be integrated with all Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. It will keep you attuned to all of your baby’s sounds and movements with a wide variety of features such as motion alerts and noise level indicators. It even offers two-way microphones and remote night lights with adjustable controls if you want to soothe your baby from another room! Now that’s the kind of convenience that you need during a 2AM wake-up call.

These are just four apps that will help you prepare for your little bundle of joy. It will be a challenging period in your life, but with the help of useful and up-to-date technology, it doesn’t have to be a stressful one!

Barbie I Can Be to Li’l Girls – #YouCanBeAnything You Want To Be!

Have you heard of the new Barbie body types?  It has been all over my FB newsfeed the past week. Mattel has released new Barbie dolls that are curvy, petite, and tall.  These new dolls also come in various ethnicity. Well, well, well…Barbie just keeps on evolving!

Barbie evolves

A few years back, Barbie also released a new line of dolls to show that girls can be so much more than pretty little princesses.  All kids have very wild imaginations.  Many have very lofty dreams of becoming astronauts, superheroes, pilots, engineers, etc. However, for many girls, these dreams are dashed when they enter adulthood. Sadly, in our modern age, there are still those with stone-aged beliefs that some careers are not for women at all.

Well now, little girls have a new champion to inspire them to dream big and to believe that they can be anything they dream to be. ANYTHING!

Barbie you can dream it

The Barbie I Can Be dolls empowers children to discover and harness their limitless potentials.  I saw this video of little girls being given a chance to be what they want to be and it’s just too cute not to share. Watch this!

 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Be It

The Barbie I Can Be dolls encourage young girls to break free from conventional careers for women.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being a fashion designer, a tour guide, or a flight attendant.  I don’t even see anything wrong with little girls dreaming of becoming princesses or mermaids. But Barbie I Can Be helps them discover all their potentials and encourages them to be whatever they want to be – that includes having careers that used to be viewed as for men only.

With Barbie I Can Be dolls, little girls can be space explorers, pilots, secret agents, computer engineers, athletes, and so many others.  They do not have to conform to the typical careers for women and can be anything they absolutely want to be.

Barbie Careers

 

Jade Can Be a Dessert Chef

A couple of weeks ago, Richprime sent our little girl a wonderful surprise – a Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset!  My daughter isn’t too keen about dolls but this was an exception as she loves to bake too.  The first thing she said when she opened the brown bag was, “Ohhhh! How did they know I want to be a pastry chef?!”

What’s Inside?

The Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset comes with a Barbie doll with an apron and a chef’s hat, Blissa the cat with her own little chef’s hat, a stove top oven that “cooks” cake, baked and unbaked cakes, a cupcake that Barbie “bites” into, a fish cake for Blissa, a mixing bowl, a spatula, and a pink mitten.

Barbie playset

The oven tray flips when the door is closed.  Put the baked cake inside first and close the door. Open it again and place the pan with light brown “batter” inside. Close the door and …Voila! The perfectly “baked” cake is ready.

To make sure that her treats are delicious, Barbie takes a bite out of a cupcake.  Attach the cupcake Barbie’s hand, press the lever on her back and watch her take a bite of her delicious cuppycake. Of course, Blissa should also have a share of the treats with her very own fish cake.

My little Jade loves this playset because it allows her to pretend to be a chef.  She says it’s like magic and she wants to be a dessert chef too.

Barbie playset with friend

Jade Reviews I Can Be Dessert Chef

Want to know what else Jade has to say about her I Can Be A Dessert Chef Barbie?  Watch the video below. (forgive the very amateurish vid!!! I know grade schoolers who do better. tee-hee!)

I know our video’s so crude! That’s the fault of a non-techie mom who had just tried her hand at taking and editing videos on her smartphone. 😛 But, as Barbie says, we all can be anything we want to be so I believe that our next video will be so much better. 🙂

Well, back to Barbie I Can Be, unlike her other dolls, this one has not been stashed inside the toy cabinet.  She’s had it for a week already and still plays with it every day.  That’s already a record for her considering that her dolls usually go straight to the toy cabinet after just a day. 🙂

Now, she’s asking me to get her the I Can Be Professor and I Can Be Vet. Look’s like my daughter now has a liking for dolls. 😉

Barbie playset surprise

Barbie You Can Be Anything

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Barbie is exclusively distributed by Richprime Global Inc. Like Barbie Philippines on Facebook to get brand updates, promo, and schedules.

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