Saturday, March 2, 2019

How To Train Your Dragon Mystery Toys



We just saw the new How To Train Your Dragon- The Hidden World, last week and I even wrote a review for it because I LOVED the movie... Perhaps even more than my kids, although, they loved it, too.

      Related- How To Train Your Dragon- The Hidden World Review

I don't know how it happened, but it took me a week later to get out of the house and go shopping. It was in the midst of dreadfully walking through the kid's toy aisle at Target when we happened upon a whole section filled with How To Train Your Dragon Toys and we couldn't resist getting something for each of our kids. We have three children, so we decided to get something on the cheaper side and got them the How To Train Your Dragon Mystery Toy. "What's that?" you ask? Well, it's these guys!

Disclosure- This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means that should you purchase from one, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I was not asked or sponsored to write this review, all opinions are my own and we had just coincidentally happened upon these toys and purchased them because we liked them.  




If you can't tell what it is from the picture, it's a package with two dragons. One is one that you can see and the second one is a mystery dragon. I don't know about your kids, but my kids LOVE to open up mystery packages. The thing that I like about this toy is that you already know what one of the dragons is. You can try to collect the ones you don't have or find one that you want and then get the second dragon as a bonus. It's a really cool win.





The detail is great! Don't mind the chocolate? on my finger. I didn't realize it was there until I put this up. 

I think it's time for a manicure.




We have a couple of Gronkels and Deadly Nadders, too that aren't in this picture. Amazon has these for $10-$20 a piece, (the night furies are the more pricey) but Target had them for $5 today.

One thing that is also really cool is that they are supposed to also be able to interact with this Dragon Lair.



When you put the dragon toy into the lair and then push the button, a little black light lights up and it makes a hidden pattern on the wings light up- how cool is that!?!?!

Conclusion

This is a really great toy for kids. Its the size that my kids have been really into and enjoy playing with and they are also small enough for easy storage. You can literally collect 50 of them and they'd fit into one of those $0.99 bins you find at Walmart. 

My youngest is 4 and my oldest is 9. Both really enjoy playing with these and I don't have to worry about my four year old trying to swallow this toy. I'd recommend for ages 4 and up because, lets face it, this big kid will enjoy playing with them too.


Monday, February 25, 2019

How To Train Your Dragon- The Hidden World Review


I have been looking forward to seeing the newest How To Train Your Dragon movie since I saw the first trailer. I love the first two installments and was so excited to know that a third was coming about.

See how exciting this looks?!?!


So naturally, I preordered tickets from Fandango to go to our Marcus Theater for the first weekend that it opened. I didn't give my husband much of a choice, but we were both on the same page about seeing it.

This is not a sponsored or endorsed review. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to write this. This post was written because I wanted to see the movie and let everyone know how awesome I thought it was. This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links which means that should you purchase from one of these ads or links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

There was a little hesitation about bringing all three of our kids since they are 9, 7, and 4 (almost 5) because the second movie had had some scary moments and we knew that there was going to be a bad guy in this movie. We hadn't pre-screened it and didn't know if the kids would be too scared with no where to hide, but they were all just as excited to see it as well.







About the Previous Movies

If you haven't seen the first two movies, you should know that the series starts with a Viking boy named Hiccup who lives on the Island of Berk where dragons come to terrorize the island. Hiccup is kind of a scrawny little guy who gets in the way of the other vikings when they are trying to kill the dragons that keep attacking their Island. Hiccup, an inventor, wants to prove that he can be useful and kill dragons, even though he isn't strong or the most coordinated, so he invents this contraption and uses it to kill the most deadly dragon- the Night Fury. 

He ends up capturing the dragon and injures him, but he doesn't have the heart to kill him. From this one dragon, he is able to learn more about dragons and discovers that the dragons and vikings can actually live in peace and harmony and needs to convince  his father of this. 

In the second movie, all the vikings on this island have their own pet dragon. Hiccups father (the chief) wants to leave the island to Hiccup one day, but Hiccup isn't ready for the responsibility. Instead, he explores the lands outside of Berk and discovers a long lost secret and also a man who wants to use all the dragons in the world to take it over. Hiccup and his gang have to figure a way to destroy the bad guy's secret weapon in order to keep their dragons and not be defeated.

Which then brings us to the third movie.

The Hidden World Review

If you are an emotional person who cries during movies, you may want to bring some tissues. I used to laugh at my mom for crying while watching movies, and now I am just like her. Having kids has softened my heart and if I see anything that can tug at my heart, I'll get emotional and cry.... Which is what I did for probably a third of the movie. 

The hidden world starts off with Hiccup and his friends taking over a ship that had captured dragons. The way that the gang maneuvers and does their own thing outside of the original plan is comical and unless you have no sense of humor, you're going to laugh. 

In the end, the gang releases the dragons on board, but the crew that was left behind is furious and contacts the world's best dragon hunter to help them get revenge. 

This is the part that got really scary for my youngest and even I cringed a bit. 

Grimmel is this movie's villain. He is evil and conniving and a true hunter. Thankfully, Hiccup seems to be even smarter because he's able to keep a few steps ahead of Grimmel for the most of the movie. Grimmel has a long, gaunt, face with blondish white hair. He has learned how to train these dragon killer dragons by drugging them. These dragons spew poison and shoot fire from their mouths. These are definitely the most creepy dragons with their scorpion like shape and spider like fangs. If you take your children to see this movie, I definitely recommend you see a matinee because these dragons can give them nightmares and they're going to want a distraction afterwards.

Eret- one of the dragon hunters turned dragon lover from the second movie warns Hiccup of Grimmel. He tells him that Grimmel is the second best dragon hunter (Eret had been #1) and was ruthless. Hiccup shakes the warning off because they had Toothless and all of the other dragons and so he thought that they'd be unstoppable.

In the meantime, Toothless- the cutest puppy/catlike dragon you've ever seen, begins to get restless. He senses that something is out in the wild and goes to track it down. He's discovered another kind of his species and she just so happens to be a beautiful Light Fury. Toothless is captivated and wants to win the light fury over, but he's been domesticated by the vikings that he's gone a little silly and has forgotten how to act like a dragon around a wild one. 

Unfortunately, the light fury gets spooked and flies off. Since Toothless can't fly without Hiccup (due to the injury his sustained in the first movie) he can't fly off with her. 

Toothless is in love and starts behaving like he's twitterpated and distracted, which is what Grimmel wants. Grimmel makes an attack on the village and Hiccup sees that the village is no longer safe and convinces the village to find a new home away from those who hate dragons. During this move, the light fury follows Toothless. Amidst a serious situation, we get some comic relief and get to witness the beginning of a new love story. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make you cry giggle. I was very glad that it was dark in the theater because my eyes kept tearing up like a waterfall. 

I took these during the credits when the lights were still on. I'm not THAT person who takes pictures when the movie is going.
During the movie, we see Hiccup struggle with thoughts of being incompetent and self doubts. Astrid, his fiance, is coached on how to be there for Hiccup because every great leader should have someone they trust on their side in order to help them see clearly what they cannot. 

We witness a childish leader become a dependable man and it's awesome and heart warming, and really, you just need to watch the movie because I don't want to give away too much!

My Rating

I don't want to say too much more because I don't want to give away the whole movie. I really enjoyed this movie. There were a few spots in the beginning where they were reintroducing the characters that got a little slow, but other than that, the movie was easy to follow.

If you have younger kids and you want to bring them, I'd really advise the matinee viewing. It does get pretty intense and the villain and more specifically, his dragons are scary. 

My four year old was plastered to grandma for the first half when we could see what the killer dragons could do. He was scared, but not scared enough that he wanted to walk over to me to snuggle or say, "Let's get out of here." However, he's almost 5 and he's getting used to watching some slightly scary things since he likes to watch some of the things his older brother watches.

If you like cats and dogs, you'll really enjoy watching how the dragons interact with each other. The light fury has this cute little purr and everything about the nice dragons is either funny or adorable.

If this were going to be the last installment of this series, I think they ended it well. 

I would give this movie a 4.5 out of 5 for a children's movie and a 5 out of 5 for adults who like animated films. 

I actually told my husband that I would like to watch it again the day after and when this movie comes to dvd, we will definitely be buying it.

My kids ratings- "This movie was so good!" "We have to buy this!"

When I asked each individual what their favorite part was, my oldest said, "I like the part where they battled on the ship! Both times!"

My daughter- "I liked when we saw Toothless fall in love!"

My youngest- "This wasn't How To Train Your Dragon, this was Toothless. I like the movie with Toothless in it." When I asked if he'd watch it again, he said, "Let's buy the movie, now."
He was a little upset when I told him that it would probably be a few months before we could buy it.

Have you seen the movie, yet?
If you have, what did you think?
Do you love these movies, too?
By the way, we updated the look to our site. Do you hate it? Love it? Should I bring back the old look?

This is not an endorsed or sponsored post. This is a movie that I really wanted to see and wanted to write a review for. All opinions are my own and was not asked to write this. This post does, however, contain Amazon Affiliate links which means that should you purchase from one of them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 





Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Paint In A Bag- A Mess Free Activity For Your Child

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links and Ads which means that if you purchase from one of them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 


My kids are messy when it comes to arts and crafts. When they were younger and even more clumsy, I used to rip a head and arm holes into garbage bags and throw them over my children's heads so they could wear them and the bags would act as aprons to keep their craft off of them. Then I would lay table clothes on the floor under them so that clean up was easy and efficient.

I always want them to be creative, but I don't like the headache of cleaning up after them.

Imagine my delight when I first heard of suggestion of painting in a bag. "What's that?" you ask?

Oh, it's so simple! You literally put paint into a gallon bag and then let your kids move it around.


What You Need

  • Clear Gallon Bags- I find that those that zip work better because they seal better. 
  • Paint- Any type of liquid craft paint should work. I recommend something that's nontoxic and washable for the kids. (It should be obvious, but no spray paint or paint for a house with toxic fumes)

  • White Sheet of Paper- I used computer paper, but any sheet of paper will work. 
  • Tape- (optional)  Masking or something wider than clear tape works best. 
  • Glitter- (optional)


What to Do

Step 1: Pour in any colors that your child likes. Try to keep them separate from each other so your kids can work them together. Add colors that blend into different colors. Ex: Pour red next to yellow for orange. Add glitter, if you'd like, but you'll need a lot of it to show.

My daughter wanted pink and white so she could make a lighter pink.



Step 2: Seal the bag and tape over the white piece of paper. The tape is to hold the bag in place. I skipped this step because I misplaced the tape. The paper is there to help as background of sorts. Once your child has finished blending, they can run push the paint around and make "pictures" with the white background. 


Step 3: Enjoy!



Conclusion

This is an activity that my kids like to do. 

Unfortunately, now that they are older, it doesn't hold as much appeal for them as it used to. My daughter who is seven likes to play with this for a few minutes before wanting to paint "for real". Perhaps if I had more of the other colors that she likes, she would have played longer. 

My youngest who is four, still enjoys doing this more and spent more time playing with this. 

I think that if we were in the car, traveling, this would be a huge time passer as long as the paint stayed in the bag. 

Questions for you

What do you think of this project?
Are there any tips that you'd recommend?
Have you tried this before?
Are their similar projects that you've done before?

As always, if you like what you've seen here, please share with a friend and sign up for emails!




Monday, February 18, 2019

How to Make a Sensory Bottle

This may contain Amazon affiliate links and ads, which means that if you purchase something from them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I love sensory bottles. I love to shake them up watch as all the glitter and other objects swirl in them and head to the bottom.

When my oldest started having difficulty at school and then at home, I became particularly interested in them as a way to time time outs with hopes that they would be an easy and painless way to get my son to settle down and listen.

They worked for a little bit, but my sensory bottle at the time was kind of a flop.

So a couple of years later, I decided to try it again, but this time, just for fun and as a way to keep my kids busy and entertained for part of the day since we'd be home for President's day.



What You Will Need

  • Clear Plastic Bottle (with lid)- Any bottle will probably work, but I prefer the ones with a smooth side. For this project, I used left over bottles from Sparkling Ice. With 21 different flavors, it should be easy to find a favorite. You can either buy them as a pack or as a single in stores. 

  • Water
  • Clear Glue or Clear Liquid Soap (Dish or Hand)- For the project we did today, we used blue dish soap before remembering that we had some clear hand soap, but it still worked out. It's ok to use a colored glue or soap, but make sure that you can see through it and also be aware that it could change the color if you add food coloring. 









  • Glitter, Sequins, Beads (water beads), or Buttons- anything that is small enough to fit inside the bottle that you don't mind ever using again because once you use it, it's stuck in there. 




How to Put It Together

Step 1: Gather what you need. 


Step 2: Rinse out Clear Water Bottle so it's clean.

Step 3: Add water- the instructions that I got said to fill the bottle halfway with water, but I found that to be too much. Fill bottle 2/5 with water.

Step 4: Add food coloring- a little goes a long way. 

Step 5: Add beads, buttons, glitter, sequins- Choose just one, add a little of all- it's your bottle, add what you'd like. If adding water beads, be aware that they grow, so less is more.

Step 6: Add soap or glue the rest of the way. Leave a small space for air.

Step 7: Super glue the lid onto the water bottle.

Step 8: Shake or flip and watch the magic happen!


The sensory bottles my son and daughter both made.


My Tips and Suggestions

This is the second time that I have done this DIY Sensory Bottle and although it's better than the first time I've made one, there are still things that I would change.

This time, I filled the bottle halfway with water and then halfway with dish soap. I would make that 2/5 of the way with water and 3/5 of the way with glue/soap.

We used a blue dish soap, so when my daughter added her red coloring, it made a really dark purple. I told her that would happen, and she was ok with that. Clear is better if you want to make a true color.

I used a liquid coloring for soap. I didn't have a dropper, so I poured a little bit into each bottle and it made each sensory bottle darker than I would have liked.  Start with a drop of dye and add a drop at a time to reach your color. 

The blue sensory bottle shows the glitter and buttons, but the red/purple was too dark to show them. The silver and gold glitter show up, amazingly, though.

Hold your sensory bottles up to a bright window and watch it shine!

Conclusion

Enjoy your sensory bottle! It's a pretty quick and fun craft to make. Make sure that the top of the bottle is dry when you glue the lid to it or, there could be disaster, but once it's dry, you should expect a mess free activity that you can use to entertain your child for a while.

My kids are a little bit older, so their appeal didn't last as long, but it's something that they can enjoy when they feel the need too... kind of like a lava lamp!