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Top Gift Ideas for Girls Aged 10 Years Old

Ten years old is a preteen age. The kid becomes aware of their image and the surrounding world. They are quite picky, hence finding the right present is difficult. Girly gifts are excellent ideas but having some balance is essential and for more ideas check out StarWalkKids. Make her face light up with a gift that is not only entertaining but improves creativity, reasoning and logic skills. Some suggestions of gift ideas that will help a girl explore their personality include:

1. Origami brainteaser 

An Origami brainteaser has ten puzzles which kids can take as much time as they need to master. There are a variety of outcomes for puzzles such as the Flexi twist and Lotus of the Heart. The puzzles are brainteasers with many bold colors that spur creativity and art. It helps the kid master patience, think logically and overcome a challenge. The kid learns to stick to a project until its completion.

2. Spirograph deluxe design set 

Spirographs assist kids in creating a variety of shapes. The endless designs are fascinating to children. The kit has swirls and geometric patterns that make it easy to create any spiral shape imaginable. Children can learn the art of layering and alternating colors to come up with a transformative piece that they can show off to friends. Spirograph brings to life traditional hands-on art that enhances imagination. Kids can design with their friends hence fostering social relationships.

3. DIY wear friends forever jewelry 

Affirming long-lasting friendship is vital for 10-year old girls. Friendship bracelets are a great physical representation of a bond. The kit comes with looms for making bracelets, embroidery floss of different colors, beads, and a beading needle. The gift is perfect for nourishing social relationships and learning teamwork.

4. Hearth song large super soft plush 

Get your child the Hearth song large super soft plush if they love cuddling toys or are big fans of Dazzle the Unicorn. The plush has hearts, a pink collar, and the mane and tail are also fluffy. It is a perfect travel buddy or a bedtime companion for your kid to stroke and cuddle. It is a durable gift and easy to launder.

5. Color your pillowcase

The child can color and design the pillowcase using washable fabric makers. You can launder the pillowcase due to the washable makers. It encourages creativity; a child can draw their favorite their favorite characters or doodle anything.

6. Fabulous flowers hair accessories

The kit is meant to keep the girls busy making great hair accessories. It has crystals, glitter gel, and rhinestones for decorating the hair accessories. It is the perfect gift for girls with an inclination towards art. It fosters creativity as the kids spend hours creating unique patterns and designs.

7. Melissa and Doug friendship stamp set

It is a unique art and craft kit that encourages children to stamp a variety of pictures and then color. The set has colored pencils for sketching and coloring and pads of washable ink. The game promotes creativity and concept. The kids can use it to make cards and various scenes which enhances the motor ability and coordination skills.

Always pick a gift that enhances the kid’s personality or develops their hobby. Do not forget to include something pink and pretty.

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Wordless Wednesday- What Happiness Looks Like

This photo was taken at a recent field trip to the zoo with William's kindergarten class.

Trash to Toys: 10 Recycled Educational Toys #earthday

Earth Day is a yearly reminder to consider our role in protecting the
environment.    Parents can make a positive impact by creating fun, educational
toys from everyday items that may initially seem like trash, but can be
repurposed into teaching tools.

"Children are natural learners, and often see educational opportunities that
adults can miss," says Richard Peterson, vice president of education for Kiddie
Academy® Child Care Learning Centers.  "Anyone who’s given a child a new toy and
then found him playing with the box can appreciate a child’s gift for creative

Want to feed your child’s imagination, while helping the environment?  Kiddie
Academy ( offers the following ideas for creating recycled
educational toys:

Computer Keyboard:  An outdated keyboard is a perfect teaching toy, as it
includes the entire alphabet to assist in early literacy exercises.  Challenge
your child to sing the ABC song while locating each letter on the keyboard.

Shoebox to Mailbox:  Children love getting mail.  Reinforce both reading and
writing skills by creating a family mailbox from an old shoebox.  Encourage your
child to write notes to family members, and leave notes for them as well.

Water Bottle Instrument:   Fill a clean, dry plastic water or soda bottle with
rice, bells, beans or coins and shake them to hear a variety of new sounds.
Glue the top on to secure the contents.

Junk Mail:  Instead of immediately sending your unwanted mail to the landfill,
allow your child to play with the envelopes and letters.  She can pretend to be
a postal carrier while getting additional exposure to printed words.

Magazines:  Glossy photos in magazines are perfect for creating collage art that
provides fine motor skill practice with scissors and glue.

TV remote:  Children love pushing buttons.  An unused television remote control
can be used for number and math play.  Simply remove the batteries and ask him
to find the numbers as you call them out.

Clothing:  Dramatic play is an essential teaching tool that allows children to
explore social roles, practice problem solving and language skills.  Add no
longer needed pieces of your own wardrobe to the toy chest to encourage your
child’s imagination.  She can literally “try on” a different role by wearing
your skirt, hat or shoes.

Linens:  Your child can use a worn out sheet or towel as a cape, picnic blanket
or as the roof to a play fort.

Toilet Paper Tube:  Empty TP tubes are a favorite art tool in classrooms.  Save
a box of them, and give them to your child along with a few craft supplies to
see what he can create.  Binoculars, stamps and creatures are popular choices.

Boxes:  While it’s tempting to immediately recycle a box, your child can have
hours of fun using an empty box for creative play.  What seems like trash to you
could become a school bus, secret hideout or magic castle.


Costumes and it's not even Halloween?

I know I can't be the only parent with a little one who loves to dress up in Halloween costumes even in the off-season. William has a fascination for all things Power Rangers and Superheroes. As a matter of fact, he has worn his Halloween costumes over the last few years well after the fact and to the point that they were too small. The fun part about wearing a costume for a kid is how well they use their imagination. I love seeing William pretend to fight off the bad guys or even put on a voice to play the part of a Superhero.

It got me to wondering, where can you find costumes during the off-season for your kids? I did some research online and came across
I was really impressed by the variety they offer. I was able to find certain characters that I didn’t realize there was a costume for. William loves the Spider-man movies and especially loved the scene from, “The Amazing Spider-man” when Spider-man went to battle with the Lizard. He would go nuts with this costume!

Since we don’t own a video game system (and don’t believe in them) we encourage imaginative play. If I could convince my husband to get a costume, he and William could act out some of the movie scenes! Since they do that anyway, it shouldn't be a problem! The great thing about fun costumes is that they can always be passed down once your child (or husband) outgrows it. Our neighbors have a younger son and he has gotten a costume from William each year. I’ll say you can really get your money’s worth that way.

Do your kids like to dress up in costumes when it’s not Halloween? Have you ever thought about buying a costume during the off-season?


Introducing Blister the Velociraptor from VTech’s Switch & Go Dinos® (Review & Giveaway)

Winner is Mary Somerville- congratulations! 

I was provided with a sample to review by VTech. All opinions are my own as always. 

My son loves dinosaurs. He has so many books, toys and even apparel with dinosaurs on them. Another thing he likes a lot is any type of air craft. Anytime he hears something flying in the sky, he runs to the window to investigate. When we received Blister the Velociraptor from VTech’s Switch & Go Dinos®, he was so excited! His first reaction was, "Wow! Look at the cool helicopter!". When he looked at the box and realized you can switch it into a dinosaur, he was pumped. We couldn't get it out of the packaging fast enough!
Blister the velociraptor is unlike any other of his dino toys. This one makes sounds, speaks, lights up and can be a dinosaur one minute, and a helicopter the next. The helicopter sounds are so realistic and even the dino roars are a bit scary! William loves it and loves to push it around since it will make continuous sound with motion. 
He likes to go up and down the dark hallway floor at night to light the path for Blister to go on a hunt for 'food'. He can play with Blister for close to an hour at a time and really enjoys all of the fun features. Check out this short video to see how it works:

The ultimate kid’s toy, Switch & Go Dinos® easily transform between a dinosaur and a vehicle in a few simple steps.Each of the collectible Switch & Go Dinos® feature high-quality electronics and a unique transformation feature to provide a 2-in-1 imaginative play experience. In dinosaur mode, sound effect buttons emit realistic dinosaur sounds and phrases that teach facts about each dino, providing kids with fun and enriching playtime.

Additional Dinos in the Switch & Go line include Jagger the T-Rex™, SkySlicer the Allosaurus™, MC Roar the Giganotosaurus™, Stompsalot the Amargasaurus™, Quiver the Stygimoloch™, Torr the Therizinosaurus™ and Akuna the Velociraptor™ - collect them all!
Be sure to connect to VTech on Facebook

Do you have a dino loving kid at home? How would you like to win one of these fun Switch & Go Dinos® for your child? Go enter: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and ends on September 19, 2013. One winner will be selected at random and contacted via email to claim prize. Be sure to follow contest rules stated in Rafflecopter widget. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

Play Time Fun with Playmobil

Playmobil toys are a classic option for indefatigable kids with growing imaginations. With components themed around certain settings like pirate ships or veterinary clinics, each set is charming and vibrantly coloured with parts individually wrapped in plastic for assembly later on. We have picked two of the best ideas for Christmas and birthday presents alike.

The Playmobil Robber Amphibious Vehicle

Aimed at the four to eight year old age group, the Playmobil Robber Amphibious Vehicle is perfect for the child who soaks up pop culture like a sponge and wants to experiment with cops and robber role-play. Parents of younger kids should know that pieces are small enough to be swallowed by children under three, so it pays to be vigilant. The set comes with play money, a case, robbers, police and a getaway amphibious vehicle that's perfect for those last minute dashes away from the fuzz.

Other toys integrate well with Playmobil, and can form an extensive obstacle course all over the lounge room floor. This is a type of toy that really encourages imagination, creative and lateral thinking and fine motor skills.

 Playmobil Vet Clinic

Perfect for the budding animal lover, this vet clinic comes with an ultrasound machine, bird aviary, bunny pen and dog pen. There are also a vet surgeon, a mother and child and lots of animals waiting to be looked after. Easy to construct, the set looks great whether placed on a shelf in the child's room or sprawled out on the floor.

Generally, the great thing about Playmobil is that each set overlaps and interact well with other ones. These ever-expanding world of new characters such as the gorilla and baby set, the farmhouse with market and the forest animal station, are all conceived to increase the imaginative powers of the child. Playmobil is a vibrant and colourful universe of fun in its own right.

Shelly, Mom Files

Wordless Wednesday

Half-price Tuesday's are back at Monkey Joe's! We are taking advantage of it :)

Shelly, Mom Files

Four year old boys and shopping

Today I took all 3 kids out to do some back-to-school shopping. We had the stores all mapped out and set time goals. One thing I always do before we leave the house is make sure William is well fed and goes to the bathroom. Everything was set. We headed out. The first few stops were simple because we were literally in and out within minutes. The last stop required us to be in the store for over an hour. Belk had a HUGE clearance sale with tons of merchandise to browse through, so naturally it would take some time. Along the way, the girls would try on a few items and add them to the growing stack. William behaved pretty well and kept picking up random strands of thread from the floor. I usually don't encourage picking things up from the floor but made an exception this time. It was just thread after all.

You can tell that he was getting tired of being in the store so I took him to the boy's department. He then tells me how the store was starting to make him sad. He said he wanted to feel happy again, very dramatically at that. So after the long time spent in the store and the even longer time at the check-out, we finally headed for the exit. Of course all you heard was the loud BEEP BEEP BEEP. We went back to the check-out counter to find out why we were beeping. It turned out from the piles of clothes we bought, there was one ink tag that was not removed. We headed  back to the exit and were successful. We made it out of there! William begged to go home and I gave him his wish. After we were home for about 30 minutes I looked down on the couch and saw this. It was a collection of all the thread my boy picked up throughout the store.
All I could do was laugh. Of course, once he falls asleep tonight, I will turn into the mean mom and throw it away. He might have dislike being in a boring old department store but surely found a way to keep himself occupied!

The last two photos are from a recent visit we had at Monkey Joe's. It is hard to get decent photos when your kid is running wild! It is our new once-a-week spot to go to, especially with how hot it has been. You can't beat all the bouncing, jumping, climbing, sliding and screaming fun! I look forward to when school starts back so we can go on 'Half-price Tuesdays'.

Shelly, Mom Files

The life of the SAHM

We have less than 2 weeks of the school year left. Time has flown by. The girls have been immersed in studying, exams, SAT's and volleyball conditioning. Of course I am in overdrive as a mom making sure they have all the necessities to make their days go smoothly. I have been spending a lot less time online and a lot more time on the floor playing dinosaurs, camping, blocks and flashcards. I am really working hard at giving little Will the same head start that the girls were given. You really do get to see the big differences between boys and girls! It does seem a little more challenging getting the boy to sit down long enough to learn something new. I think he does better absorbing information as long as he is moving. This sometimes means practicing numbers while doing jumping jacks! Needless to say, I am in great physical shape!
I still go through those days feeling mommy guilt wondering if I am doing enough for the boy. At the end of the day, he displays a lot of what he has learned through his actions. He is listening and paying attention. You better believe if anyone does something they shouldn't be, William will be the first one to let you know that you are not making a good choice. Those are the times that I think he is listening a little too well :)

I already have the Summer calendar prepared and it looks like the kids will be very occupied. I have some family trips I am planning as well. This Summer, we will take day trips or very short trips to close-by cities. No big vacations for us. I just hope that gas prices will continue to decline. I am also getting back into couponing so that we can maximize our cash.

Have you started getting your Summer family calendar set up? Do you have any fun plans?
Shelly, Mom Files

William's playground

Lately William has really been into going to the playground. Since it has been so hot out, it makes it harder to take him on a daily basis. The rare time of day that it is cooler is when the sports teams are playing so parking is scarce and the playground becomes way too crowded. We decided to get him his own swing set or as he prefers to call it "William's playground". We went with a smaller one since he is the only little one and also he still has the majority of the yard to run and play ball.

The good thing is we never have to leave home and we put it by a tree where we can get some decent shade for most of the day. I am also glad we can take potty breaks and get a cold drink when we need it. William is loving his new toy and it's a great way for him to get some of that boy-energy out. It really wears him out with all of that physical play so he sleeps very well at night (score!)

Dwayne and I put the swing set together and it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course there was that 30 minutes that was wasted trying to get the ladder rungs assembled. No matter how many times we tried, we just could not get the screws and nuts to connect. I then find a little bag of 4 screws so I decided to open them up. Good move~ turns out that the paper enclosed stated that the directions were not revised with the fact that you needed to use those specific screws and NOT the ones we struggled with for so long. You know Dwayne was rolling his eyes at me and will be talking about me for a long time to come since I was in charge of the instructions.

In the end, our boy is happy and so are we! :)
Shelly, Mom Files

Wordless Wednesday

Hiding out in Milo's kennel

Shelly, Mom Files

Wordless Wednesday

There is nothing this boy won't get into!

Shelly, Mom Files

Catch and Glow Bug Jug Review

I was offered a toy to review from *Ebeanstalk for William's age. We recieved the Catch and Glow Bug Jug by Lamaze.Before I could even finish pulling the toy out from the box it was shipped in, William was grabbing for it. I had to go in another room just to be able to take it out of the packaging so he could freely play with it. The jug part of this toy has a flip open lid that has a kaleidoscope top. The little "glow bugs" flicker when they are moved around giving the effect of fireflies. William loves it! He most enjoys seeing the colors from the top of the jug as they change with the kaleidoscope feature. I was a little disappointed that one of the glow bugs did not work. It did not effect his interest in the toy one bit. I think this Catch and Glow Bug Jug would be a great baby shower gift or a good one-year birthday gift.

*Ebeanstalk is a website dedicated to selecting great toys for 1 year olds and toys for 2 year olds. They have a team of moms and a team of child experts that help them pick out toys by age, so you can be sure your child gets toys that have been specifically matched to his or her age!

Disclosure: I was provided with a toy for review and received no further compensation for this post.

Shelly, Mom Files

What I've learned about boys

I remember for so many years watching moms and dads with their sons and seeing the struggle they would have. I thought to myself "Can't they keep that boy under control?". I thought maybe the parents weren't being assertive enough and they always said that boys have a lot of energy. I guess I can understand that to a certain extent. Now that I have a boy of my own I FULLY understand. I grew up with sisters and most of my cousins and friends had girls. William is an energy packed toddler that's for sure! He climbs everything and seems to have no fear. I don't think there is anything he won't try to do given the chance. Standing on a table is not unusual for him. He learned how to go up and down the stairs in our house on his own. Sometimes he will just stand on a step halfway and I panic! He just laughs.

It's so hard sometimes to discipline him since he smiles and laughs ALL the time. You swat him on the bottom and he "wipes" it off and smiles. *sighs* I have to hold back from laughing and some days I just can't help myself. In 19 days William will be two. Wow. I guess for all the terrible two's shenanigans we bypassed with the girls, William will more than make up for it!

Shelly, Mom Files

William update

For those of you who read Momfiles regularly you might recall this post where I talked about joining the local Community Center. One of my big goals was to get William put in babysitting a few times a week to help him socialize with other kids his age and hopefully encourage him to speak. I took him on Friday and stayed in the room with him and watched him stay as far away from the other kids and babysitter. He played independently and occasionally made his way over to me to cling to me. The lady that was on that particular babysitting shift noticed that he was playing nicely alone and asked for me to walk out of the room until she gave me the heads up to return. I watched him from the slim door window and at first I saw him looking around the room for me. The babysitter (older lady) told him, "I'm here William. Let's play ball." From there he was fine, no panic or crying. He still did not quite play with the other kids but he did sit at a table voluntarily with the others. This was a great step for him and I really feel confident about leaving him perhaps starting this week. Even though you can have 2 hours of free babysitting at one time I think I will start out with 20-30 minutes. Honestly, I don't see myself working out for 2 hours! I will update more on how he does once he is completely solo.

Wordless Wednesday- Hide-and-Seek with Will

Look at big boy Will! He is really looking so grown up and has just about lost his baby looks.

He loves to hide. Look at this face. This is one of those rare times he will smile for the camera because he is not expecting to have his photo taken. He thinks I am trying to find him instead!

Here is one of those silly shots after we ran all through the house playing hide-and -seek.

This little guy keeps his mommy on the go ALL day long!

Don't let the cute face fool you

I snapped some photos of Hurricane Willie in the act of being naughty. He should NOT be standing on this trunk. See the blanket on the floor? It's Milo's (our chihuahua) and Will moves it so he can stand on Milo's trunk. Yes our dog has a trunk at the front window. He likes to see the goings on in the neighborhood, don't judge!

Look at that devilish little grin.

He always smiles AFTER the act of mischief. Dwayne does the same thing. Bad tail.

He gets a kick out of sitting on the fireplace. It's a little scary and Dwayne actually thinks we will still be able to burn fires this winter, yeah okay.

He looks like he is planning his next caper!

Joining a playgroup

Today I received a random letter in the mail that was addressed from one of the elementary schools in our school district. I was not sure what it was about since neither of my girls have ever been to that school. It turned out to be an invitation to join a free playgroup once a week for William at a local church that happens to be located directly across from Briahnna's middle school. They offer story time, art & music, rhymes & finger play and free play. It is at the perfect time too, 10:30-11:30 which fits in before nap time. I am going to sign up and maybe it will help William be a bit more social. The great part is if it does not work out after a few times we had nothing to lose. I will let you all know how it works out. I look forward to meeting other parents with little ones Will's age in my area. I think it will be fun for the grown-ups as well.
If you a toddler aged child did you attend any playgroups? What was your experience with it?

William video

This video was done by Briahnna while she and her sister had their best friend over. William is so silly!

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