Stocking Stuffer Idea: WubbleX Floating Bubble Ball {sponsored post}

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IMG_3523bAs fans of the original Wubble ball, my family and I were excited to see how the WubbleX “anti-gravity” Wubble ball would fair.  The original Wubble ball is a different type of ball and my kids love to play with theirs.  I personally like the learning experiences you can get with them!  The WubbleX uses helium gas, but I wasn’t sure how it would be different from playing with a regular helium filled latex balloon!

The Size.  The WubbleX ball is about the size of an extra large balloon.  We were a little disappointed that it wasn’t the size of the huge Wubble ball!  However, after inflating it with the Wubble tank of helium, we realized it was pretty fun to play with!

Fun play! The WubbleX floats and lifts up with little effort, but comes back down easily to play with.  It was like playing with a floating ball, hence the “anti-gravity” feature!  This was similar to playing with a balloon that was losing it’s helium.  The main difference is that it does “float” very nicely.  So it definitely feels like it is defying gravity!  My kids enjoyed playing with and it lasted for several days with its “floating” ability.

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The Value. The WubbleX is great for the cost ($7.99), but keep in mind that you need to purchase a WubbleX can of helium as well ($7.99).

The Cons. You have to buy the WubbleX small tank of helium separately to use it.  In addition, one tank is for a one time use.  If you want to reinflate your WubbleX with fresh helium, you have to get another tank.

Final say…  Overall, my kids loved playing with the WubbleX.  They enjoyed it more than a regular latex helium balloon because it doesn’t get stuck in the ceiling or hover in a single spot.  You have to try it out yourself to fully understand how to it “floats”!   This is a great stocking stuffer that isn’t too expensive and should provide loads of fun for the kids!

Enjoy!

~Lani

Disclaimer:  I received a WubbleX sample in order to write this review.  The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.

 

 

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24 Ways to Use Your “Elf” to Teach Giving and Kindness (+ giveaway )

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{This is NOT a sponsored post.}

 

Elves.

Does one magically appear in your house at the beginning of the holiday season?

Or are you on the fence about getting one this year?

We’ve all seen the pictures on our feeds.  Elves wreaking havoc in people’s homes:   making messes in the kitchen, tearing up the bathroom, and playing pranks on the families they visit.

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Our elf playing the filipino game “sungka”
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Our elf reminding us there are 9 days left until Christmas using butterscotch chips!
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Our elf channeling Miley Cyrus

Many parents buy them as a fun Christmas tradition.  They tell their children “The elf is keeping an eye on you and will tell Santa  about any misbehavior they see.”

So why do we make the elves do such mischievous things?  Isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid modeling to children?

This seems rather ironic.

So instead of having 24 mornings of finding your elf doing something silly or mischievous, why not use this as an opportunity to teach your children character.  After all, we are using it partly to guide their character during the holiday season right?  This is an opportunity to teach children not about behaving well as a countdown to focus on receiving gifts on Christmas morning.  Let’s teach children about giving and kindness.

24 Ways Your Elf Can Teach Giving and Kindness

Many of the elf “surprises” can be divided into two categories:  Pay it Forward and Kid Action.  Pay it Forward surprises are when your elf does something special for your child or children and asks the children to “pay it forward” and do something similarly kind for someone else.  Kid Action items are suggestions your elf presents to help your child make their day a bit kinder.  Here are some ideas you can implement for all 24 days of December for Christmas Day or you can take some of your favorites to use!

  1. Elf can set up your child’s toothbrushes with toothpaste in their bathroom with a cute note saying “Let’s brighten that smile to share happily with others today!”
  2. Elf can set up your child’s shoes, backpack, lunchbox, etc. ready and waiting by the door with a positive note for the day “Have a terrific day!”.
  3. Elf can leave a few canned goods with a note encouraging the child to donate it to their local church pantry or foodbank.
  4. Elf will leave a holiday pencil for the child and a second one for the child to give to a friend that day.
  5. Elf will leave a compliment on a note for the child.  This could be for something specific they did the day before/recently or a compliment for their personality!
  6. Elf will make the child’s favorite treat overnight (cookies, brownies, snack, etc.) and have some bagged for the child to share with a friend.
  7. Elf will cook the child’s favorite breakfast.
  8. Elf will leave a good luck note for an upcoming performance, test, etc.
  9. Elf will leave a congratulations note for the child regarding a recent accomplishment.
  10. Elf will leave a “caught being good” note or small treat and mention something good the child did that he/she should be truly proud of!
  11. Elf will leave a blank “Thank You” card for the child to write/draw in and give to someone they’d like to say thank you to (teacher, parent, family member, friend, etc.).
  12. Elf will leave a kindness suggestion note asking the child to make a new friend that day, sit by someone new at lunch, share something with someone, etc.
  13. Elf will leave a note simply saying “I love you!”
  14. Elf will leave an ornament or inexpensive holiday decor item for the child to give to a neighbor to help spread holiday cheer!
  15. Elf will do one of the child’s chores and leave a blank “coupon” for the child to do the same for someone else in the family!
  16. Elf will leave a kindness suggestion note asking the child to hold the door open for someone that day.
  17. Elf will wrap a gift the child had ready for a family member.
  18. Elf will leave a kindness suggestion note to create a video message and send the greeting to a friend or family member who lives far away.
  19. Elf will leave a recipe and the ingredients for a holiday treat for the child to make with the family!
  20. Elf will leave socks and “Hot Hands” for the child to donate to a local shelter.
  21. Elf will leave craft materials and instructions (if needed) for the child to make a holiday craft (which they can give to someone!).
  22. Elf will leave a blank note titled “Five Things I am Thankful For” that the child can complete (with a parent if necessary!).
  23. Elf will leave a prayer card or a note with a written blessing for the child.
  24. Elf will leave a blank prayer card for the child to write a holiday prayer for the family.

Do you have any other suggestions to add!  I’d love to hear them in the comments!  But wait!!!

I have one more surprise…

To help foster elves teaching kindness this Christmas season, I’m giving away an Elf Magic prize pack!  The package includes a cute 10″ elf carefully selected from the North Pole, an Elf Magic storybook, and a container of elf magic confetti!  This giveaway has a short turnaround because I want to make sure it gets to a deserving family in time for the holidays.  So hurry!  It ends on November 24th!!!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a blessed holiday season!

~Lani

 

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Last Weekend to Go to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream!

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Yes, those are bats!!

This weekend is the last weekend to go to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream!

Go!

Wait…you have small kids?

Go!

Halloween weekend may not initially come to mind as the most ideal weekend to go to Busch Gardens renowned Halloween event.  You may be thinking of tons of adults and teens, running amuck, crowded lines, and way too much horror and scariness for your kids.

But I’m speaking to those families that aren’t too into the haunted houses…

…the ones with smaller kids…

…or the ones WITHOUT kids…

Why?

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream is a perfect DAY event as well.  I took my family there (yup, including my infant and 2 year old) and we had such a fun time despite our intent on not staying after dark (it would just be too scary for my kids…okay, and maybe me!).  Especially if you are annual passmembers, it’s a great way to celebrate Halloween!  Here are 5 reasons why we enjoyed it!

  1. Good chance for parking within walking distance!  Get there when the park opens (10AM) and there is a very strong chance you’ll get parking walking distance to the park.  Most visitors for Howl-O-Scream come for the haunted houses (This year they have 3 new ones including Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge made by the producer of the Blair Witch Project!).
  2. NO LINES!!!  Again, since most of the guests are arriving closer to dark hours, the park is practically empty prior to 5 or so on average.  With it being Halloween weekend, you’ll still probably have the park to yourself prior to lunch.  However, if you are coming with kids who are really young, expect Sesame Street Forest of Fun to be empty!  It still will be significantly less crowded than if you’ve ever been to Busch Gardens in the summer.  All of the rides are still open (including coasters).  So my hubby and I actually used the short lines to our advantage and actually rode some coasters by ourselves because it only took us 5 minutes to be in and out of the line!
  3. Shows!  There are three Halloween-themed shows and not all of them are 100% family friendly, but they are all fun!

Night Beats at the Fest Haus is completely family friendly.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a lunch or dinner show with the family and get out of the cold.  The show spans several decades of popular music all with the backdrop of spooky vampires and ghouls.  My favorite part of the show was that it used a live band along with the live singing and dancing…so you know the music is awesome!

Monster Stomp on Ripper Row is another fun show  that combines story, singing, dancing, and percussion!  The music has big nod to popular rock songs that you’ll love, many in “mash-ups” if you will.  The whole family will definitely love the percussion using everyday objects and drums throughout the show!  There is a disclaimer for the show saying it may not be appropriate for children.  After watching it, I’m concluding it is because of the beginning of the show where they set the story of someone being murdered and “crossing over” into a dark world.

Fiends – okay, this show is probably the one I would definitely consider not appropriate for the whole family. That being said, we loved it!  HEAHEAH!  Okay, my kids were too young to understand, so it was fun.  This show is reminiscent to the Rocky Horror Picture show.  Think mad scientist, naughty jokes, scantily clad female assistants, and lots of alluding to the improper.  Again, there is lots of great singing and dancing.  The story is hilarious.

4. Food!  This isn’t the same summer fare you are used to.  Sink your teeth into some new bites at the all-you-can-eat buffet Blood Banquet or mom and dad can sip on a libation from three “Spirit Bars” throughout the park.  We had some yummy cocktails that came in cool light up cups!

5. So Many Photo Ops for Halloween!  Although you probably can find some great general fall photo ops for your family, there are too many fun freaky and spooky settings to enjoy.  Snap a pic with a variety of monsters, creatures, ghosts and more!

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Look how empty the Fest Haus is!
Look how empty the Fest Haus is!
This reminded us of the filipino mythical creature, the Aswang!
This reminded us of the filipino mythical creature, the Aswang!
Yikes! He's headless!
Yikes! He’s headless!

Again, this is a fun way to celebrate Halloween with the family.  Come Friday the 30th, the 31st before you go trick-or-treating, or Nov 1st as a last Halloween hurrah!

Let me know how you liked Howl-O-Scream this year!

~Lani

 

Disclaimer:  I am serving as a 2015 Busch Gardens Thrill Chaser ambassador.  The thoughts and opinions here are completely my own.

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