Do you love fire trucks? Are you looking for a great way to teach fire safety and fire prevention in your home? Have a child who absolutely LOVES learning about fires and the tools used to prevent and put them out? Then you will LOVE Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks and Firefighters and Lots & Lots of Fire Songs and Safety Tips from Marshall Publishing.
My children were not excited by this review until they realized they had seen the commercials for other products from this company over the past year on television. That completely changed their opinion and they quickly became willing to watch and enjoy this video. They learned several adorable fire safety songs, what to do in the case of a fire, and the uses of different types of fire trucks. They enjoyed looking through the beautiful images in the book Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks and Firefighters. They learned different tool types, uniform types, and even more about the trucks in this book too.
This dvd/book set is a wonderful addition to any fire safety lesson, both in homeschooling or in a community setting. It would be very useful for a co-op lesson too. It can be purchased online through Marshall Publishing for $29.95. For more reviews please visit the TOS Review Crew blog.
As an added bonus, I was sent George Washington Carver to review from Marshall Publishing. This video shares the story of the life of George Washington Carver from his birth to his death. It is a wonderful video that shows how Mr. Carver changed Southern agriculture, showing poor farmers how to grow peanuts and other vegetables over cotton, as well as allowing their fields a period of rest between years of growing so that the soil did not tire and plants would thrive. This video provides much more than that though, in showing how a poor orphan went on to change the minds of his people and others who were struggling just to survive.
Disclaimer: This video/book set and extra bonus historical dvd was provided to me free for review by Marshall Publishing and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew in exchange for an honest review of the product.
In Say Anything Family, you are asked questions to which the player must answer a question on a provided dry-erase board. Players can either form teams or they can play singly. Once the answers are written down, the players then turn them over for all to see. The next step is placing a cute little Meeple, the trademark character of North Star Games, onto the answer they think it the best.
My kids were very creative in answering this game. We adapted it to fit us by having Mom play the scorekeeper and question asker. The kids were allowed to either write their answers or draw a picture on their card to depict answers that they may not know how to spell yet. All the kids, ages 7-11, had a wonderful time playing this game. The rules state that players play until a certain amount of points are scored but we played until we were out of circle for rounds on the scorecard and the kids never got bored. We look forward to playing this game again on future sleepover weekends.
Wits and Wagers Family is the family addition of Wits and Wagers, the original game. The concept of the game is to answer one of 300 wonderful, family friendly questions with your estimate (always a number). After you choose your answer, you write it on a provided dry erase card in your team color, then place the answer in the middle of the table. Players then place either a large or small Meeple, North Star Games icon, on the answer they think is closest to the right answer. The Meeples can be placed either on their own answer or someone else’s and points are received for every right answer. Then the score is tallied and whoever reaches a specified number of points first is the winner.
We chose to play this game last weekend with all six of the kids while having a sleepover. They really LOVED it. We adapted the original rules to fit us: Mom was the scorekeeper and card reader, helping answer questions where possible. On some of the harder questions, I offered an estimate between two numbers to help ensure all the kids were winners. The questions were fairly easy but some were a little over the oldest heads still.
The kids really enjoyed the game. They requested some created questions instead going along with play, which was also very easy to adapt into the game. We continued play past the original suggested “winning” number of points and in the end settled that all were winners no matter what the score. The ages playing the game were 7-11 and except for a couple of questions, all were able to answer in some way correctly. I foresee this game being requested on the next sleepover and will willingly break it out for all to enjoy!
E-Mealz.com is an online website that provides users with a full menu to use for every week of the month. This website provides the user with tons of store options, as well as dietary options to choose from. Once the user has chosen a store they are provided with a plan to use for that week along with a shopping list to make the menu easy to use. Simply print, shop and then follow the recipe directions each night of the week. Then cook and enjoy!
For this review, I chose to use the Walmart Family Meal Plan since we mostly shop there. Other available stores are Aldi’s, Kroger, Publix, Ralph’s, and Any Store. Other options are Low Carb, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Vegetarian, and Portion Control. You can also choose meal plans for only 2 people.
Once I chose my meal plan, I printed out my menus for two weeks, complete with the shopping list and headed out to Walmart. I purchased my items with ease following the detailed list, though I did spend more than the suggested price provided by E-Mealz but I also bought a few things that we did not have on hand that many people normally keep. After checking out with the cashier we headed home with all the necessary ingredients for two weeks of meals.
Following the meal plan was not hard to do. I was able to take out the menu sheet each day, which I kept in my weekly notebook so it was readily available, and pull out what I needed for that day’s meal then proceed to prepare it quickly and efficiently. Most of the meals were really enjoyable but not all were hits. Still it was nice to have something different from our normal meal plan for dinner.
I commited to using the E-Mealz website for planning for two weeks and enjoyed it though I wasn’t thrilled with the final cost of using it for those two weeks (cost of grocery items). I have my own style of planning that really works best for us and took me quite some time to figure out. But I have been able to save the available E-Mealz menu plans for the past few weeks and I plan to use them to create menus that do work for our family in the future. Some of the recipes were really simple and good so we will definitely be adding those into our own family recipes.
I believe that E-Mealz would be perfect for families who are extremely busy or who work daily. A homeschooling parent who is having a hard time staying on top of meals would also enjoy using this planner. The meals are quick and easy to make. The plans are thorough requiring almost no prep for the planner using them. You simply print and go shop, then come home and cook. Easy peasy.
You can purchase a 3 month subscription to E-Mealz.com for $15 through their website. At the time of subscription you can choose the plan that works best for you. You may switch this menu once during your 3 month subscription to try out a different plan with a different list of recipes. Recipes change weekly and a full list of ingredients are always available with your purchased PDF of meals. This website also works on iPad.
Always IceCream is an exclusively all girls website that concentrates on learning through online educational activity. Targeted at girls ages 7-12, this site promises tons of fun from dressing your avatar to raising pets and much more. This website is sure to be a hit with every little girl.
Always IceCream provides tons of games in different subjects: basic and advanced Math, Geography, Language Arts, Science, Typing, and more. Each time a child plays they earn ice cream scoops which can then be used to purchase pets, household items for their homes in MiniWorld, and many other things. Parents are given 2000 extra scoops a month per account to give to their girls as rewards for cleaning up, helping out, being kind or simply being a great daughter.
A membership to Always IceCream can be purchased for a fairly low price through the website. There is an option to play free and the site stores the child’s basic play but not their name, pets or home. A monthly subscription runs $.99 for the first month and $4.99 afterward. A two month subscription can be purchased for $9.98. An annual can be purchased for $29.99 or a lifetime subscription is available for $99.99. As a member, your child can send an email to friends to provide them with one free month of play.
I must say this has been our favorite review product this far. My son does feel a bit left out since the website is for girls only but he has helped his little sister play a few games, as well as raise a few pets since we started using the site. My daughters favorite part of the website is purchasing Eggs in Pet World and hatching them to see what cute little pet she gets. She also enjoys decorating her house in Mini World. She is daily increasing her spelling and reading skills by playing on this website which has also been a huge blessing for us. Last weekend, when we had the Twins visit, she shared the website with them and they also had a ton of fun creating their own Mini World and characters to play with on the free version of the website. Even my youngest daughter enjoys playing along with her big sister and can’t wait until she’s big enough to play on her own!
Always IceCream is available online only for a reasonable price. It’s sure to be a hit in your home just as it has been in ours. Check it out at www.always-icecream.com today!! You can view other reviews of this website over at the TOS Review Crew blog!
Disclaimer – This product was provided to me free for review by Always IceCream and TOS Homeschool Crew. We were given a full membership for lifetime in exchange for our personal opinion in a review of this website.