Learning Resources Stem Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set

IMG_20160413_152154966We have been working on STEM/ STEAM activities for some time now. While I have the science, math, art and engineering activities pretty well situated finding suitable technology has been harder for me to incorporate. When we look for new toys we are always looking at what and how the kids will be learning from them. By introducing children to the fun of coding and puzzle solving with this colorful, programmable mouse with a build-able customizable maze we have introduced our technology. This toy offers a  great way to introduce young children to science, technology, engineering, and math. Children program the mouse with easy push-button controls to follow their created maze and find the cheese. The Mouse lights up and makes adorable sounds setup is perfect for tabletop or floor play. My children love setting the maze up in different ways. Children experience STEM through hands-on activities and experiments while challenging them to think critically, solve problems effectively. While this toy is definitely ideal for ages five plus my three year old also loves helping his big brother and sister set up the maze and he really enjoys watching the mouse after it has been programmed go through the maze. I have also let me try coding just on a much smaller scale where the mouse only needs to be programed one to five paces. If it is nice and simple my three year old can feel accomplished and we can work towards more complicated coding.

There are also two different kinds of cards that come with the Learning Resources Stem Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set. One type of card is a maze card that shows examples of mazes you can setup, they help to give ideas. My kids do prefer creating their own mazes. But it is also a learning experience to try and duplicate and follow an example. The other type of card is one that helps with the coding. The cards have the symbols for the coding patterns so you lay out each card in front of you so you can see the code you will need to input into the mouse. We have found it helpful especially when our mouse doesn’t find the cheese and goes a little astray we can follow the code we set and find the kinks in our coding a little easier.
stemThe race is on to build hands-on coding skills! Build your maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for Colby, the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch Colby race to find the cheese! This deluxe set includes 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and Activity Guide to provide the perfect hands-on introduction to coding concepts. Create your path with 16 maze grids to create a 20″ x 20″ maze board, 22 maze walls, and 3 tunnels for endless possibilities. Colby lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing. Add multiple players with Jack, the Programmable Robot Mouse (LER 2841), sold separately. Colby measures 4″L and requires 3 AAA batteries (not included).

Disclaimer: I received a free product to help facilitate this review. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and unbiased.

HABA Geomix Arranging Game Review

There are some toys out there that are just so beautiful and fun that they are just as much fun for adults as kids. While our children might not know that while playing with the HABA Geomix Arranging Game they are learning Geometry they very well could be. The bright colors and fun patterns you can create make this game just as fun for adults as for kids. I have this on my coffee table and adults play with it to. This is a game that also grows with your child in the beginning stacking, color recognition, shape recognition, and counting. And as they grow this can become a great game as they learn geometric patterns, problem solving, cooperation, and more. This is a game that truly does last, the pieces are made of wood and are beautifully crafted.
Challenge your little builder and yourself with these colorful blocks and building tray. These multicolored wooden blocks can be put together in all kinds of ways: as a 2-D puzzle or a mosaic using the 9-inch tray, or in 3-D constructions out of the tray. The set is great for pattern and shape recognition, and for encouraging creative solutions to basic geometric problems. Made from recycled wood with a nontoxic finish.
Buy it: Visit the HABA store to fin the Geomix Arranging Game as well as many other great games and toys.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS Coming to Honda Center July 25 – August 3

Prepare For A Family Experience Of Mythic Proportions With The All-New Show
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS
Coming to Honda Center July 25 – August 3

**Debut of New Ringmaster Zone Behind The Curtain VIP Experience**

Behold the living legends! Children of All Ages will believe in the unbelievable with the all-new circus spectacular, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS, coming to Honda Center Friday, July 25 to Sunday, August 3.

Tickets go on sale Sunday, June 8 at 10:00 AM via Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster retail outlets and charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000. Tickets will go on sale at the Honda Center Box office beginning Monday, June 9.
Iconic Ringling Bros. stars meet fabled mythological creatures at the place where legends live…The Greatest Show on Earth®! Experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing circus athletes perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on his quest to discover real, living circus legends from around the world…along the way encountering the fantastical Pegasus, a Unicorn and the remarkable Woolly the Mammoth!
Featuring over 100 performers spanning 25 countries, plus more than 85 animals from nearly every continent around the world, the Ringling Bros. 144th Edition features several unique acts including:

China National Acrobatic Troupe from Beijing perform several impressive acts including balancing 20 people on two bicycles, fast-paced hoop diving and graceful Diabolo juggling skills
Introducing the Double Trapeze, especially designed for Ringling Bros., with the attempt of four consecutive triple somersaults in a row

Plus additional circus legends highlighted in the show such as Big Cat trainer Alexander Lacey; edge-of-your-seat Cossack Riders equestrian stunts; Globe of Steel motorcycle daredevils; of course no show would be complete without the Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and treasured performing pachyderms!

Debuting this year for the ultimate circus fan, check out the exclusive Ringmaster Zone experience. Access to this VIP area is only available to select ticket holders and offers guests an unprecedented look “behind the curtain” of The Greatest Show On Earth. Fans have the opportunity to walk the Ringling Red Carpet, meet Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and the stars of the show, step inside the Globe of Steel, take photos on the Ringmaster’s float and have an up-close elephant encounter.

Be sure to arrive early to experience several exciting interactive elements before the show starts included with the ticket price – visit the Animal Open House to get up-close with our amazing animal stars and the All Access Pre-Show where families can step onto the arena floor to meet our performers, learn circus skills, try on costumes and much more!






Wednesday,July9        7:30PM

Thursday,July10          12:00PM& 7:30PM Friday,July11  12:00PM& 7:30PM

Saturday,July12           11:30AM,3:30PM& 7:30 PM Sunday,July13             11:30AM,3:30PM& 7:30 PM Monday,July14            7:30PM

Tuesday,July15           12:00PM& 7:30PM

**All shows include the All Access Pre-Show


WHERE:           STAPLES Center (1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90015)


TICKETS:         Prices range from$26,$30,$45–$50(VIP),$75–$85(Front Row)and$125–$155(Ringmaster Zone) Opening Night tickets are only$15 each(not valid for VIP or premium seating)

Tickets available for purchase online at AXS.com,charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or in-person at the venue Box Office.                             *tickets may be subject to service charges,facility and handling fees




WHEN:Friday,July18 –Tuesday,July22

Friday,July18  7:30PM

Saturday,July19           11:30AM,3:30PM& 7:30 PM Sunday,July2011:30AM,3:30PM& 7:30 PM Monday,July21            7:30PM

Tuesday,July22           12:00PM& 7:30PM

**All shows include Animal Open House and  All Access Pre-Show


WHERE:           Citizens Business Bank Arena (4000 Ontario Center Parkway,Ontario,CA 91764)


TICKETS:         Prices range from$20,$26,$42(VIP),$70(Front Row)and $100–$115(Ringmaster Zone)Opening Night tickets are only$15 each(not valid for VIP or premium seating)

Tickets available fo rpurchase online at AXS.com or CBBankArena.com,charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX

or in-person at the venue Box Office.

*tickets may be subject to service charges,facility and handling fees





Friday,July25  7:30PM

Saturday,July26           11:30AM,3:30PM& 7:30 PM Sunday,July27             1:30PM& 5:30PM Wednesday,July30      1:00PM& 7:30PM

Thursday,July31          10:30AM& 7:30PM Friday,August1            1:00PM& 7:30PM

Saturday,August2        11:30AM,3:30PM& 7:30 PM Sunday,August3          11:30AM,3:30PM& 7:30 PM

**All shows include Animal Open House and All Access Pre-Show


WHERE:           HondaCenter(2695E. KatellaAvenue,Anaheim,CA92806)


TICKETS:         Prices range from$20,$28,$42(VIP),$75(Front Row)and$125–$135(Ringmaster Zone) Opening Night tickets are only$15 each(not valid for VIP or premium seating)

Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or HondaCenter.com,charge by phone at 800-

745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office.



Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Comes to So Calif July 10-August 4 – Tickets on Sale Now

FTC Disclosure: This is a compensated post and I will be receiving tickets to take my own family to this circus in exchange for posting. All images in this post from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

The Circus is coming to town and you’re invited. Not just any circus, it’s the one and only original Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. Yes, this is definitely still The Greatest Show on Earth! Tickets are on sale now for all shows in Southern California July 10 – August 4, 2013.

This year’s show theme is Built to Amaze featuring more than 100 of the world’s best performing artists and athletes — representing 17 countries around the world — as well as 95 classic and new animals doing amazing things.

Highlights of some of the unique acts you’ll see this season

Nine-time international award-winning comedic animal presenting duo Alex and Irina Emelin of Russia who will introduce their uniquely-designed brand of magic and humor with animals ranging from poodles and ferrets to rabbits, snakes and a few surprise creatures.
The Trampoline Tower Tumblers, a troupe of ten competitive aerial athletes from the Ukraine who launch themselves from trampolines to scale, rapel and pass through a three-story high translucent tower.
The popular King Charles Troupe from New York City bring choreographed, spirited and comedic one-wheeled excitement and basketball competition to the ring featuring 10 whirling unicyclists shooting hoops.

2013 Southern California
Performance Show Times Schedule
Come Early: All shows include Animal Open House and All-Access Pre-Show Experience

Los Angeles July 10 – July 16
STAPLES Center, 1111 Figueroa Street, L.A., CA 90015

Wednesday, July 10 7:30 pm
Thursday, July 11 12 pm & 7:30 pm
Friday, July 12 12 pm & 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 13 11:30 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, July 14 11:30 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Monday, July 15 7:30 pm
Tuesday, July 16 12 pm & 7:30 pm

Ontario July 19 – July 23
Citizens Business Bank Arena, 4000 Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764

Friday, July 19 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 20 11:30 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, July 21 11:30 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Monday, July 22 7:30 pm
Tuesday, July 23 12 pm & 7:30 pm

Anaheim July 26 – August 4
Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

Friday, July 26 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 27 11:30 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, July 28 1:30 pm & 5:30 pm
Wednesday, July 31 1:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Thursday, August 1 10:30 am & 7:30 pm
Friday, August 2 1:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Saturday, August 3 11:30 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, August 4 11:30 am, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Ticket Prices
Ticket prices range from $20, $26, $42 (VIP), $70 (Front Row) and $100 (Circus Celebrity). Opening Night tickets are only $12 each (not valid for VIP or premium seating). Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com or HondaCenter.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office. *Tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.

Harbor Breeze Cruises: Whale Watching with Children


*I received tickets for whale watching in exchange for this post. This did not change my opinions which are solely my own and may differ from others.
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I love whale watching when Mike and I were younger we used to go once a year. Since we had children we have not gone. I for whatever reason thought they were to young to go on a whaling boat or perhaps they would not understand what they were seeing. Plus a 3 hour tour on a whaling boat with my kiddos was a little scary to say the least. Thinking of all the what ifs kept me from giving my children an experience that I myself loved.
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We often visit our local Aquarium. My kids are always enthralled by the wonderful exhibits at the Aquarium of the Pacific. If you have not visited and you are anywhere near the Long Beach Area you need to check it out. It is especially fantastic for young children. On our last visit my children were so excited to see and learn more. When you walk out of the Aquarium you can see the bay and the boats. Kaia started asking about going to see whales and dolphins in the ocean. So our first Whale watching Tour was booked with Harbor Cruises.
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My children were thrilled. We chose there outfits the day before (layering is essential when Whale Watching). I packed the snacks, drinks, and sun block. We got there early and had fun talking about what we saw in the Marina. The different boats, birds and DOLPHINS. Yes we saw wonderful marine life before even stepping foot on the boat. We knew this would be a good day.
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Once we were on the boat their little faces lit up. They had smiles from ear to ear. During almost the entire tour we were surrounded by Dolphins and Sea Lions. We even got to see a baby dolphin and its mother. The entire trip was filled with my children yelling out in excitement “Did you see that?!”, “I saw one!”, “Mommy, Daddy I love you!”.
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This was such an amazing experience for my family even Liam would smile and kick his legs when he saw a dolphin. We had been surrounded by a Mega Pod of Dolphins. My children got to experience seeing these wonderful creatures in their own element. They saw dolphins leaping and playing through the water. They saw sea lions bobbing in and out and swimming on their backs looking straight up at us.

This experience will not soon be forgotten by my children. As I type my daughter is drawing pictures of the dolphins she saw on the tour. I know we will be going every year now and I am so excited I can share in this experience with my children. The wonder, delight and the exceptional learning opportunities are priceless. Our children are active learners they need active experiences to capture and create lasting memories.

Here is my list of Whale Watching Essentials with Children

Dress in layers
Water resistant jackets (in case of ocean spray)
Snacks and Water (most boats offer snacks and drinks, I prefer to bring our own)
No skid shoes (boats can be wet and slippery, even when they aren’t the rocking can put you off balance)

There you have it, my list of whale watching essentials. Anything I left off? Have you ever taken your kids whale watching? How did it go?