When I was asked to review the new VTech Switch & Go Dinos, I thought it would be a breeze. Send me some dinosaur transformers for Bean to play with? Are you kidding me? SIGN ME UP!
The dinosaurs are actually transformers that morph into cars. Two of Bean’s favorite things in one toy. This was going to be a breeze. He loved them, and they are virtually indestructible (believe me, Bean’s tried…). Bean likes that the faces of the dinosaurs (or the windshields of the cars, depending on what shape you’re playing with) are little bitty LCD screens. he thinks they are computer screens. And they make a LOT of noise, which Bean loves, but they have an OFF switch, which I love.
But then I got an email asking if I could actually make a video which shows Bean creating his own dinosaur creation in order to promote the new VTech Switch & Go contest. Now, Bean Man is only three years old, so I sat there for a couple days and thought, “How in the world am I going to create this dinosaur and then try to pass it off as Bean’s own creation?” (Don’t judge. You know you would have done the same thing.) Finally, Chris suggested that maybe I actually let Bean try himself. Like, without me. “But he’s THREE!” I protested. “He can’t create a dinosaur!” Ignoring my Debbie Downer attitude, Chris asked Bean if he could go to his room and create a dinosaur. That was it. No instructions. No ideas. No limitations. No rules. Just, go make a dinosaur. To which Bean replied, “OKAY!” and off he went. Ten minutes later, Bean called me upstairs to show me his dinosaur. I was flabbergasted. No, it isn’t the most genius toy I’ve ever seen, but it was exactly what a three-year-old would come up with! In ten minutes!
All this is to say that if my three-year-old can create a dinosaur, then I’m willing to bet your child can, too. Which is good because VTech is having a Switch & Go Contest to promote kids who transform their imaginations. Contestants will upload a 15-30 second video to the VTech Facebook page of your childís home-made Dino creation. In the video, your child can show their new Dino by drawing, building or customizing their existing Switch & Go Dino. You can also take it a step further and encourage your child to expand their imagination by explaining what cool things their dinosaur does!
One grand-prize winner will get a kids lifetime supply of educational toys from VTech. And your video will air on a VTech commercial on Nickelodeon, which you can watch at your very own viewing party with your friends and family. And VTech will also transform your living room into the ultimate Dino den. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me!
So take a little time to imagine with your child, then pop a short little video on the VTech Facebook page, cross your fingers, and hope for the best!
Check out other bloggers’ reviews and videos on the VTech brand page on BlogHer.com
Let me tell you about this birthday party. It has not been my finest parenting adventure. And let me share a few reasons why:
A) A few weeks ago, I found these birthday invitations on sale on Vista Print. I had a great coupon on top of that, so I got them for super cheap. I think I paid 20 or 25 cents an invitation. The downside? The only kid friendly invitation on the discount list was a pirate invitation. So, that’s what I ordered. The problem is that my Bean Bean is deathly afraid of pirates. Hates ‘em. BUT THEY WERE ON SALE!!!! For the past three weeks, I have been trying to get Bean to warm up to pirates. So far, he’s warmed up mildly. He no longer cries when he sees them. Which is good. Cause that really would have been a downer at his party.
B) Not only did I order scary invitations and make a scary theme for Bean’s party, but I didn’t order enough invitations. I ordered enough for his classmates, but completely forgot to order enough for our family and friends. I didn’t even have one to send to my own mother. So, I ended up sending out an Evite to our family and friends.
C) When I sent the Evite out to family and friends, I put the wrong birthday number on the invitation. It says, “Michael’s Birthday!” and then it has a big giant number 2 next to it. (FYI – Bean’s turning 3.)
So, the invitations have been a bit of a mess. The next big obstacle has been the guest list. We invited about 40 kids to this party. 20-something were Bean’s classmates (from two separate classes at school) and then we had an extra 10 or so from friends who have kids. I really wasn’t expecting a big majority of those kids to come. I mean, no one comes to MY parties… But apparently that’s not the case with kids. We’ve had over 20 kids who have confirmed their attendance. And with each of those kids comes parents, and, occasionally, other siblings. So, our small, simple, inexpensive little party has quickly become a large, overwhelming, expensive soiree.
I ended up placing a desperate phone call to my sister this afternoon for a little planning pep talk. Ginny is the Queen of Organization, and has been known to put together pie charts, graphs, complex Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations for weekend family gatherings. No lie. So, Ginny talked me through everything I needed to do in the next few days to get ready for this party. Here are the details we decided on today:
We’re serving “pirate pizza” for lunch. Which is really just Hungry Howie’s pizza. We’re also having sliced watermelon. We’ll put juice boxes and water bottles in coolers for drinks. For Bean’s cake, I found this really cute “Little Pirates” cake design at the Publix bakery. Instead of having a sheet cake, though, we’re doing cupcakes with the tops all iced as one cake. It will make it so much easier to serve.
We are having the party at a local splash park because that’s one of Bean’s favorite things to do. The party is from 12:00 – 2:00. We’ll have pizza and watermelon ready for everyone as they arrive, and people can help themselves to lunch as they arrive. We rented a big pavilion, so we’ll be all set up with the food in the shade (super important in the Florida heat). As the kids finish eating, they can head on over and start splashing around. We’ll pull everyone out of the water around 1:30 for cake, before handing out goody bags and calling it a day.
I’m heading to Party City tomorrow to find pirate eye patches, Mardi Gras beads, and gold chocolate coins. Each goody bag will get an eye patch, two “treasure” necklaces, and a couple coins.
Because we’ll be outside at a splash park, I’m keeping the decorations pretty minimal. At Party City, I’m hoping to find a pirate banner or flag, and then some plates, cups, and table cloths. I’m also ordering helium balloons in black, red, and yellow to designate our pavilion. Chris told me tonight that he thinks there might be some pirate decorations in their prop shop at work, so he’s going to see about bringing home a decorated treasure chest, a giant sand castle built out of foam, and several 6-foot fake palm trees that we can affix to the pillars in the pavilion.
I’m actually getting really excited about the party, even if it did get off to a rough start with planning. My last day teaching is on Thursday, so I’m hoping that I can go out on Friday while the kids are still in daycare and pick up all the trimmings for our pirate party.
Oh, my Gracie Girl. How I love that child. I simply cannot believe that she is turning one at the end of March. I keep redoing the math and checking my calendar just to be sure that it really is here. Gracie, on the other hand, has been counting down the days. I think she thinks she gets a drivers license on her first birthday. I haven’t had the heart to tell her that the only car she’s getting will be made by Fisher Price. And have pedals.
I really need to start planning Gracie’s birthday party, but there’s been so much going on that I haven’t sat down yet to really think it through. I do know that I’m going with a “You Are My Sunshine” theme. There will be lots of yellow and white, lots of daisies and baby’s breath, and lots of sunshine and cloud balloons (because Pinterest has me believing that I can just whip up balloon figures now…).
I think I’m going to try to bring in some pink and maybe a few brighter colors, too, just to give it some pizzazz. All the pictures I’ve seen online (Pinterest strikes again!) have given me great ideas, but I think adding some more color would make it much more playful. I mean, it is a first birthday party, and not a champagne brunch…
(I do love this white ruffled table cloth, don’t you?)
Last weekend I bought this outdoor table cloth at Target for our deck table. I thought it added just the right amount of color, especially if there were yellow and white decorations and place settings on the table.
And I definitely think I’m going to try making this tissue paper wreath for our front door, but using yellow tissue paper. I thought that would be super cute with maybe a big pink and white gingham or polk-a-dot bow on it, maybe?
And I found this on Pinterest, too, and I think it would be really cute to try and make. I’ll be honest, though, I doubt very seriously that I will have the patience or the time to make something this cute. But, maybe I could do a giant flower pot with these photo flowers sticking out of it instead? That might save some time.
Whatever I do, it’s going to be low key and easy. I went back and forth about whether or not to have a big party for her birthday, with friends and some of her classmates from school. But then I reconsidered. I mean, one is tough for entertaining. It’s not like she would really play with anyone yet. I remember Bean’s two-year-old party was fun to have friends at, but for the first birthday, I think family will be better. We’re sticking with family and a few close friends for this soiree. But, of course, that means all my imaginary friends get to attend via my blog posts, of course!
Puffalump is getting bigger and bigger every day. She’s crawling, cruising, and standing like a champ. She keeps us on our toes more than ever, but I guess that’s what one year olds do, isn’t it?
One year olds.
HOW IS SHE A YEAR OLD ALREADY?!?!