Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nintendo Wii Mario Games!

Nintendo Wii Mario Game Super Mario KartHey kids (adults too)! Some of the most entertaining (if not the most entertaining) games available these days are Nintendo Wii Mario Games! I personally love these games, I've had more fun with them in fact than I would like to admit - and I think the best character of all time is - yes, Mario.

I got curious the other day to see if I knew all of the Nintendo Wii Mario Games out there - and I found out that there were a couple that I wasn't aware of (!). At any rate, I got a list together and I am sharing that with you today here - here we gooooo!

1. Mario Kart Game for Wii - OK, probably pretty much everyone is now aware of this one. It usually comes with the Wii Wheel (optionally more than 1 wheel), and is one of the more entertaining of the Nintendo Wii Mario Games available. It also happens to be the most popular Mario game, period.

2. Super Mario Galaxy Wii Game - This is great, and is my own personal favorite in the Nintendo Wii Mario Games lineup. A zero gravity environment is what makes this one so unique from the rest.

3. Mario and Sonic Wii Games - This is the "Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games" - but there is another one coming out this year, and is actually currently available for pre-sale now, "Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games". I can only imagine how fun this one will be!

4. Mario Party 8 Wii Game - Carnival and party games is the "name of the game" with this one. It was released a couple of years ago (or thereabouts) and continues to "top the charts" of the most popular of all Wii games.

5. Mario Super Sluggers for Wii - Batter up! This is probably the wackiest baseball you will ever see or play! It was originally created for the Game Cube, and is getting some very nice reviews from people who have played it.

6. Wii Mario Tennis Game - This is the Mario Power Tennis game that's been being played for some time. It has a new way to play with better control using the Nunchuk. Fun game reported by most, has received some negative reviews for ability to control the game.

7. Wii Super Paper Mario Game - Either folks love or really don't like this one at all - but to me it's fun because I'm a veteran Mario player, and actually like the 2D environment. This game is a bit of a "retro" 2D game that flips over to 3D on command, providing a lot of fun and extra depth to the game. Many report it as being a real blast, and even the best Mario game ever!

8. Nintendo Wii Mario Strikers Charged - Mario Strikers Charged is rated E-10 (FYI - for kids 10 and older). It's some pretty crazy soccer played in a pretty crazy way - reportedly lots of fun, and is becoming one of the hottest games for Wii.

9. Super Smash Bros for Wii - (Rated "T" for teen) Yes, yes - technically this is not a Mario game, but I decided to add it to this list anyway. It has Mario as one of the characters so players can play as Mario. Players go head to head and use "smash" techniques to knock each other out of the game. Looks fun, and is much loved by plenty of Wii fans (which is another reason I added it to this list.)

There you go folks! It's the Nintendo Wii Mario Games lineup - this should be plenty to keep any Mario fans busy for a long, long, long time! =) (I expect that we will see at least one new Mario release for this Christmas season... We'll see!)

All for today -

Tonya B.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Discovery Exclusive Toy Collection - Top Sellers

Discovery Exclusive Toy - the Digital Touch Screen ATMIf you're looking for something a bit more "mentally stimulating" than an average toy for kids, I highly recommend checking out the Discovery Exclusive Toy collection.

There are quite a number of toys from this collection - here a few of the top sellers (that are also highly rated by parents), and will likely be a hit if you're toy shopping:

1. Discovery Exclusive Toy - ATM: There are two versions of this toy for kids, one has more of a box or rectangular shape to it, while the digital version (shown left) has a touch screen. Both ATM's are fun inventions and have an interesting concept - kids can "deposit" and "withdraw" money from their banks, the bank keeps track of how much money is being saved - or not! =) This is an interesting twist on a "piggy bank" for kids, allowing kids also to learn how to use an ATM machine and get a good concept on saving money.

2. Discovery Exclusive Toy - "Ultimate" Pottery Wheel: This could actually be considered more of an authentic pottery wheel built for kids than a "toy" per se. There are two pottery wheels to choose from - the "Deluxe" and the "Ultimate". As a note, the "Deluxe" is more along the lines of very basic practice with a pottery wheel, but has received some "less than great" ratings for lack of quality and ability to use - some complaints indicated that it is not at all functional so might just be a waste of money. the "Ultimate" on the other hand has received great ratings and is quite useful - even adults can use it for pottery projects. Great for kids with a hands-on creative bent!

3. Discovery Exclusive Toy - Digital Sound Lab: This toy is probably my own personal favorite of the bunch for a few reasons. First, it allows kids to "twist around" noises - which can be quite amusing and a lot of fun for kids. It's also educational in that it helps to teach kids about sound waves - what they are and how they work. There are also some circuitry experiments that can be done for "little electricians". Here's an added bonus for kids with this toy - they can set it up as a security system for their rooms! =)

As I mention above, these are some of the top sellers from the Discovery Exclusive Toy Collection for kids - they are also the toys that top the list - that are also receiving very nice ratings from the people who count the most - the parents and kids!

Recommended Shopping: Discovery Exclusive Toy Collection @ Amazon.com - you'll find actually a bit more in the selection there than you will from other resources and the prices are right too.

All for today -

Tonya B.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kids Telescopes from Discovery

Kids Discovery Sky and Land TelescopeOne thing that stands out to me about the Discovery Channel and their branching out into children's science toys, games, etc., is the quality of the work they put into their products for kids. Discovery Kids Telescopes are excellent products - proving that it is possible to make highly technical (and interesting) products for children!

The top seller from the lineup of telescopes is the Discovery Sky and Land Telescope(shown left) it's not a "toy" in terms of what most people think of along this line - it is actually a high quality telescope that has a high level of quality magnification, making it easy and fun for kids to observe the sky above as well as fun watching of things in the world around them!

What makes this telescope different from other telescopes? There are fewer of what you might call "bells and whistles" - it's not too complicated and the controls are also easy for smaller hands to maneuver. In my book, this makes this kids telescope from Discovery absolutely perfect - or as close as one can come! Kids don't need the "bells and whistles" - they just want to see interesting things up close. =)

Recommended Shopping: Sky and Land Telescope @ Amazon.com(good price!)

As a note, there are other Discovery Kids Telescopes (this one - in my opinion is the best, and also provides the best value). To find out more, visit the Kids Telescopes from Discovery page on Squidoo.

All for today!

Tonya B.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Discovery Video Games!

Dolphin Discovery Video Game Cover
Hey kid shoppers - you may or may not have heard about Discovery Video Games - they are a relatively new product from the Discovery Channel, specifically for children.

There are four games in all - all for the Nintendo DS, including Dolphin Discovery (shown left), Puppy Playtime, Kitten Corner and Pony Paradise.

When I looked into these games, one thing that stood out to me as being special is the fact that there are some pretty nifty "twists" - for example in the Dolphin Discovery game, kids learn how to train a dolphin to be a star performer (teaching the dolphin various types of tricks to perform in front of audiences). Puppy Playtime is a game where kids learn how to bring up a puppy, raise the pup into a dog - but also to teach it how to serve as a rescue dog!

The products from the Discovery Channel have consistently impressed me as being high quality and more fun than average toys and games - Discovery Video Games is no exception! These are not only educational but could very well be some of the most entertaining games for young kids on the Nintendo DS.

Shopping Tip - I have found the best discounts on Discovery Video Games @ Amazon.com Games.

All for today!

Tonya B.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Discovery Kids Games 2009

Discovery Kids Games! These are games that are not only entertaining for kids - but provide more mental challenge and incite more creativity than "the average kids game".

FYI: Most "Discovery Kids Games" are actually games produced by other manufacturers that are recommended for kids by Discovery and sold via their website.

However - (fairly) recently there have been some games for the Nintendo DS released by Discovery that are a fun and refreshing change for kids - to challenge them and help them learn more about the animal kingdom.

Rather than give a lot of information about each game available, I will refer you to a page that shows the top-selling games (non-video, as well as video) for kids that are also getting decent reviews - the Discovery Games for Kids page on Squidoo. If you visit that page, you will probably save some time in finding exactly the right game, since it lists out the top sellers, gives info on each one and none are listed there that have poor ratings or have proven to have poor quality.

I also highly recommend the DS games for kids - here's the current list available:
These are some fun learning games for even young children that also offer rather fun and unique challenges such as raising puppies into rescue dogs - not just a regular "feed 'em, play with 'em" scenario! Pretty nifty.

If you're interested in looking into those games, the links for them above can take you to Amazon Games where more information is provided, and you can buy the games right from there - for a decent price too!

All for today -

Tonya B.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Toy Shopping - Kids Educational Toys

Little Boy playing with blocksWhen shopping for Kids Educational Toys, it's helpful to know not only what types of toys to look for - but where to look for them! There are quite a number of online toy stores these days - many parents have their favorite toy stores and they just stick with those, while some parents (and otherwise toy shoppers) want to browse around depending on their needs.

Some online toy stores offer a more personal approach - this is something I recently came across with an online company called KidCore Toys - it's not just an online toy store, it offers interesting and truly great toys (including a great kids educational toys lineup) - there is also the KidCore Toys Blog, which particularly impressed me with their articles containing suggestions not only about toys, but about fun activities between parents and kids - lots of great info there to be had - I recommend giving it a check. It also makes some great recommendations on other blogs and articles to read about kids and families. (Nice!)

I will be posting more soon on Kids Educational Toys - in fact I just got started with a Discovery Toys lineup (starting with Discovery Science Toys) that you might enjoy!

Till then -

Tonya B.

Discovery Science Toys for Kids

Discovery Science Toy - Moon in My Room
Discovery Science Toys for Kids is one of the most entertaining subjects for me - both as a mother and as someone who spends quite a bit of time looking over and informing people about kids toys!

This is actually an extensive subject! There are quite a number of Discovery Science Toys these days - too many to list out here. I did some "looking into" regarding which of the toys in the collection had the highest number of sales, which ones received the best consumer reviews - here is a brief list of the "best" in this lineup of fun and educational toys for kids:

  • Remote Control Moon in my Room - there is a photo of this toy top left. This is a wall-mountable mini-moon that automatically senses when it's getting dark and softly lights up a child's room. It comes with a moon phases calendar as well.Discovery Sky and Land Telescope
  • Sky and Land Telescope from Discovery (a Discovery Exclusive toy) - This is shown right, and is one of the most used telescopes not only for kids, but for entire families to use together. It has "kid friendly" parts that make it easy and safe for kids to use, and is a high quality telescope that can be used with excellent, clear night-time viewing of the sky, or daytime use for land viewing. Excellent choice for kids and their parents too!
  • Chem-X 1000 Science Lab for Kids from DiscoveryChem-X 1000 Science Lab for Kids - shown left. This is a great way for kids to learn about chemical changes with safe experiments such as with water, food and making fun mixtures and solids. Comes complete with test tubes and chemicals. Note: This toy has received some negative reviews from people who have purchased it for very young kids who found it too difficult due to more advanced instructions. My suggestion is to purchase this for a child that is around 8, 9 or older - they will get a lot of good out of it - it's a fun type of activity for parents to participate in as well.
Shopping for Discovery Science Toys for Kids - There are two places to look - first is Amazon.com Toys, the other is the DiscoveryChannelStore.com. Both of these resources have a nice selection of these toys available and are comparable in price.

All for today -

Tonya B.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Educational Wii Games for Kids (Grownups Too!)

Wii games are great for basically one thing - having lots of fun! And Educational Wii Games are not an exception to this - the games available with an educational focus are no less fun than the other games available - especially for those who enjoy mental challenges.

At this writing, the educational Wii games available are aimed toward players 8 years and older (there are no very young or "early learning" types of games available yet)- they are just as much fun to play for adults as they are for kids - making them the perfect games to play together as a family.

Here are a few educational Wii games to check out:Big Brain Academy Wii Educational Game
  • Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree - These games involve "quick thinking" along the lines of math/numbers, memory and visual recognition. This is the top-selling of the Wii educational games at this point, and has quite high consumer ratings for both challenge and "funnability". =)
  • Smarty Pants Educational Wii Game CoverSmarty Pants for Wii - This is my favorite for the kids among what is available for educational Wii games. The reason is that when the game is first started and the player creates his or her "Mii" (a personalized character for the game), the players age is given so that the questions are age appropriate and the game is not either too easy or too challenging - no matter the age. Rather than being focused on typical educational subjects, the challenges are diversified and cover a wide range of information. Adults enjoy this game as a sort of "Wii version of Trivial Pursuit".My Word Coach for Wii Game Cover
  • My Word Coach for Wii - As the name implies, this Wii set of games focuses on words and their meanings. This is a great way to increase vocabulary and have fun at the same time. There is a down-side though when kids are concerned - as the game goes on, the difficulty level increases, making the game too difficult for kids at a certain point and it can make the game pretty frustrating. One solution for this is simply to play the game to a certain level where kids are concerned and gradually have them work into more difficult words in separate game sessions.
There are a few more Wii Educational Games, but these are the highlights for what's currently available. I expect we'll see more of these in the not-too-distant future due to the fact that there is a pretty strong demand for them and a relatively low supply. I'll "keep my ear to the ground" on this subject, and will be posting more info on the Wii Educational lineup as soon as something new pops up.

Best place to buy these and similar Wii Games:

All for today -

Tonya B.