Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Disney Descendants Gift Ideas Reviewed

Gifts For The Under Twelve Kids

maleficent descendants
Disney's Maleficent Sculpture courtesy of Pixabay.com
Children under twelve, especially the girls, are most probably huge fans of the Disney Descendants movies. I know one of my granddaughters absolutely loves the characters and stories. She has asked for some items for both her birthday and Christmas. 

If you are not familiar with this very popular Disney story line, let me give you a brief little synopsis. When the Beast and Belle (Beauty and the Beast) marry they unite all of the kingdoms into the United States of Auradon. It is an idyllic place hidden away where the "good" characters of Disney tales reside. The villains of those same stories are imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost with their sidekicks and various accomplices in evil. Some time has passed and those characters that we all grew up with have children of their own, the Descendants. 

Prince Ben who is the son of Beast and Belle is about to become King of Auradon. He feels that it would be beneficial to invite four of the troubled teens from the Isle of the Lost to come be educated at Auradon Prep and to live among the residents of the peaceful kingdom of his father and mother. He chooses Carlos (son of Cruella de Ville),  Jay (son of Jafar), Evie (daughter of The Evil Queen) and Mal (daughter of Maleficent). So the first movie is about the transition of those teens into the Auradon realm. 

A sequel was released in 2017 called Descendants 2. It continues with the plot of the Villain Kids trying to fit in. Mal becomes frustrated with the expectation that she be Royally Perfect and returns to the Isle of The Lost. New characters are introduced with Uma (daughter of Ursula), Harry (son of Captain Hook) and Gil (son of Gaston). Uma is resentful of not being chosen by Prince Ben and is the self proclaimed leader of the Villain Kids on the island. She isn't real happy about Mal returning, as you might imagine. 

So, if you have a child on your gift list who loves Disney; I would imagine that they are quite familiar with these two movies. There are all sorts of gift ideas for these little fans. Of course, there are action dolls that they can collect and play with. If they do not already have one, a DVD of each of the movies is a great idea. There are all sorts of activity books to color and create with and there are even costumes for the various characters of the movies. They can carry their items to and from school in a Descendants backpack and they can wear socks and other clothing with this theme. As with all Disney brands, there are many items that will make a child happy to have.

This brand is not going to go away anytime soon as a Descendants 3 is scheduled to be released in 2019. You might ask your little one which of the characters they love the best and start to stock up for gifts. My little one loves Uma. I wonder which one your little one loves. 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Quality Jigsaw Puzzles for Quality Time Together

http://amzn.to/2pIHwWE

I have always loved doing jigsaw puzzles. Call me weird, but there is something satisfying in the sorting, assembling, and creating a picture that you enjoy. As an adult, I've brought my puzzle hobby into the office. I work with children. Children love to soak up adult attention - not always obviously, but trust me, they want our attention. And the children I work with seem to speak more freely if we are fidgeting with something rather than me sitting still and making constant eye contact.  A good puzzle is not only fun for me, but is often helpful and fun with them. A great puzzle is even better.  I am always on the look out for excellent puzzles and in this review, I will share some of the puzzles I consider to be excellent.

Over the years I have found some puzzles to be too fragile or too frustrating.  Sometimes the paper and cardboard peels apart while the children are trying the pieces in different spots. Other puzzles have a poor "photograph" or color quality and it is nearly impossible for the children and I to get it put together. Some puzzles end up never being completed and being either donated or tossed into the trash.  For these reasons, I am on the look out for quality jigsaw puzzles. I have found that Ravensberger creates quality puzzles.


Current Puzzle - Ravensberger Disney's Pixar: The Artists Desk


The previous two puzzles that have been on my table were real stinkers. Too difficult to complete due to color quality.  So it is exciting to be working on this Disney Pixar 1000 piece puzzle. I was introduced to the Ravensberger brand by Treasures by Brenda and am enjoying this puzzle very much. It is made of quality materials (it is not peeling apart), the pieces are solid and thick, and even though the colors are very similar in portions of the puzzle, it is not frustratingly difficult to put together. Many children like to draw, so this theme has been interesting to them.





Next Puzzle - Ravensberger Disney's Pixar: Disney-Pixar Movies


This 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle is the next in the line up.  I chose it due to the variety of Pixar celebrities that are included.  The older children may initially behave as though it's too "baby" for them, but I know they will work on it anyway. The younger children will like it. And what a great way to start a conversation than by asking which of the movies shown are their favorite. And why.  Children aren't often asked their opinions. It is meaningful when you genuinely ask and want to know.


Disney-Pixar Movies Jigsaw Puzzle (1000 piece)



Other Puzzle Recommendations by Review This Contributors


Beverly recommends Susan Wingate jigsaw puzzles. She shows us several examples of the pretty garden and country living artwork. Beverly gives personal reasons why she enjoys puzzles in general, and these puzzles specifically. I have to agree, the Susan Wingate puzzles are beautiful.

Barb's love of California shines through her review of puzzles of California. As a native Californian, she shares samples of Zazzle puzzles created from her travel photographs as well as manufactured state puzzles that are available. If you love California you should read her California puzzles review.

Speaking of creating puzzles from personal photographs, Mary Beth explains how she does this on Zazzle in her article Create a Puzzle from a Favorite Photograph. Whether you are interested in her fantastic lighthouse puzzle collection or in making your own puzzles, her article is helpful.

And when you have finished your puzzles, you may choose to glue them together and hang them for display.  I love this idea and would do it, except that I cycle through my puzzles at work and we put them together more than once.  Beverly reviews puzzle glue that she has used with success. 





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Reviewing Play-Doh Disney Royal Palace

Make A Palace For The Disney Princesses With Play-Doh

I have been looking for some items to get for my youngest grand-daughter for Christmas and since she loves to play with play-doh I thought the Royal Palace set would be just the right choice for this year. She loves the royal girls from Disney, so this seems to be a perfect choice, but is it?

The Play-Doh Royal Palace looks like so much fun with the different molds that can be used. There are two dolls included in the set, Princess Ariel and Cinderella. Their dresses can be decorated with the neat colors of play-doh included in the set or you can pull out other colors from your toy chest. I love the sparkle dough of green and turquoise that are included!

Rapunzel's tower can create long strands of hair that can be used for other decorations if you choose or just leave it hanging from the tower for a neat look.

At first glance of the box and seeing everything that comes with it, I am inclined to think that my little munchkin will love this set. She has been playing with play-doh for a couple of years now and still refers to it as "my may-doh" which I think is adorable. Even though it is suggested for 3 years old and up and she is now 4, I have to wonder if it might be frustrating for her to play with. She has reached an age where it matters to her if the creations she works on are not just like the picture shows. I watched a video showcasing this set and I am waffling on my choice of this particular set.



After having watched the adult struggle with getting the dress molds to stick and making some of the accessories, this may be too difficult for a 4 year old little girl to play with. Now, the good thing about the video is that the adult does show how to correct some of the easily made mistakes in order to get the molds to work so it was beneficial to watch. It would help me or my daughter to help our little one to learn how to create the different pieces from the molds. 

The set is just so cute and I know she will love the idea of making dresses for the two Disney Princesses, I just don't want her to be disappointed or frustrated when she begins to work with the molds and play-doh. What I am thinking is that it might not be a bad idea to get this as a gift, knowing that this is one that will require some adult attention for a while. It would be a good challenge for her and will help strengthen her dexterity and work with her fine motor skills. 

So, my conclusion is that I will probably purchase the Play-Doh Royal Palace for her and make sure that either myself or my daughter sit down to play with her when she opens the box the first time. When it comes to toys like this, it is a good idea to really look it over and make sure that it is going to be something that a child will have fun with. I think we have to be realistic in our expectations and understand that the examples on the box are always going to look much better than anything our children will be able to accomplish or even ourselves for that matter. Will they be disappointed? Will they get frustrated to the point that they will not play with it? It might not be a good choice if you feel that they will experience either one or both of these emotions. Then again, if you look at it as a challenging way to play, a learning experience and a way to encourage the child to try new things and practice so that they get better; it could be a wise choice after all. 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Top 7 Halloween Ornaments for Your Halloween Tree

This 4-foot black Halloween tree would make a great home for your Halloween ornaments.
I just had to share this awesome Halloween tree. Isn't it cool? Problem is, it's empty. Maybe you could use it. I mean, you have to put your Halloween ornaments somewhere, right? Wait a minute. You do collect Halloween ornaments, don't you? Whether you have a collection already or if you've been waiting to get started, then you're in the right place. Read on to learn more.

Collecting Halloween ornaments is becoming so popular, it's almost scary!  More and more people are decorating their home or their office with Halloween trees - and the more ornaments, the better.  To decorate your Halloween tree, choose ornaments with a theme or mix and match using all the ornaments that you love.

If you haven't already, why not start a Halloween ornament collection for your family?  For younger children, Disney or Peanuts ornaments are fun.  Once they're older, add black cats, ghosts, or other favorite Halloween figures.  Chances are you'll be able to find their (or your own) favorite character in the form of a Halloween ornament that they can reuse every year on their very own Halloween tree. Or add them all to a big Halloween tree that the whole family can enjoy.

Cute or Creepy?


The choice of cute Halloween ornaments only, creepy ghoulish ones, or a mixture of both is entirely up to you. In fact, some people prefer to avoid the scariest themes of Halloween and focus more on a family-friendly theme with a harvest tree that can carry them right into Thanksgiving. You'll find plenty of ornaments designed to celebrate fall and the harvest season. And no worries about nightmares!

Here are some of the most popular collectible Halloween ornaments and themes.

  


1.  Radko Halloween Ornaments. You may be familiar with Christopher Radko blown glass ornaments with a Christmas theme. You might not have known it, but Radko makes Halloween ornaments, too. They're top quality, always with beautiful designs. For 2015, here's the blue skull ornament, La Calavara. Though actually designed for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, nothing says creepy Halloween like a skull. Actually, with its glittery design and hand-painted cool colors of blue, purple, and silver, this one is really pretty and hardly scary at all. Well, maybe a little bit. In any case it's a great addition to a Radko ornament collection.

2.  Peanuts Halloween Ornaments. Everyone loves Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and the rest of the gang and there are plenty of Halloween ornaments that celebrate the Peanuts comics series. I love this Charlie Brown O'Lantern ornament. You'll probably find the most choices from the Peanuts Halloween collection on eBay, especially if you're looking for something specific, perhaps a keepsake ornament from a particular year that you're missing from your collection. Just click the link then customize the search if you don't see exactly what you have in mind.

3.  Hallmark Halloween Ornaments. Don't you just love this cookie cutter mouse ornament? It's actually from 2015, from Hallmark. If you didn't make it to the store to get yours, or if there's another that you've missed through the years, once again I recommend eBay for Hallmark Halloween ornaments. You'll find Peanuts ornaments here, too, so there's an overlap in the results, but Hallmark also features the Hauntington Collection, a zombie series, and much, much more. There's something for everyone with an emphasis on "cute."

 


4.  Witch Ornaments. Ah, the ever popular witch. I was drawn to this Kurt Adler Pixiepies witch ornament from 2012. You'll find plenty more witches to choose from at this link. Note that this is a big ornament at 13 inches, so she might not fit on your Halloween tree, but she'd look great hanging from a doorway or perhaps a chandelier. (Always check the description so you'll know what size ornament you're getting, especially if you have a tiny tree.)

5.  Black Cat Ornaments. I'm a cat lover, so black cat ornaments really appeal to me. I like glass ornaments, too, so that's why I chose this Halloween kitty to feature. Prefer something that's not breakable? Or maybe a cat that's part of a set? Then check these black cat ornaments at Amazon.


6.  Ghost Ornaments. When I think of ghosts, I think of friendly ghosts like this one, with smiles on their faces. We have some overlap from above again here, as this is a ghost ornament from Hallmark's 2014 collection. I think it's adorable. And again, I found the best selection of Halloween ghost ornaments on eBay. Check out the link and see which one you like best.

7.  Disney Halloween Ornaments. You might recognize these Disney Haunted Mansion Singing Ghosts from your last visit to a Disney theme park. These are from 2013 and would make a wonderful addition to your Halloween tree if you're a Disney family (I know there are plenty of you out there!). You'll find lots more familiar characters when you check out more Disney Halloween ornaments right here.

Those are the top seven Halloween Ornament themes for your consideration. Did you choose a favorite? If you're still looking or haven't found just the right theme yet, then give this link a try. Then let me know what you chose in a comment below. I'm dying to find out!

--Susan Deppner

Meet the Reviewer




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.