Build LEGO with Chrome

A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and...
A pile of Lego blocks, of assorted colours and sizes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LEGO and Chrome have put together a very fun virtual building environment at BuildWithChrome.com. All the fun of LEGO without the danger of stepping on a sharp-cornered brick in the dark!

You can make your own designs or follow a series of Master Builder challenges in the Build Academy. Build with a variety of brick shapes — including windows and doors — and colors.

When you’re ready to share your creation, publish it for your Google Plus friends or grab the link to post anywhere. It’s fun to browse other builders’ creations, too.

Here’s a quick build I did to try out Build With Chrome. LEGO “Geek” Give it a go and share your own creations!

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Educational Robot Toy – Science Gift Idea!

My daughter saw this solar robot kit in our Hearthsong catalog, and she is hoping Santa will bring it for Christmas. Ever since she saw the movie Wall-E, she’s wanted her own robot!

This one is a solar powered robot that can be configured into 14 different shapes. It includes parts that allow it to move on land and/or water. And it does bear somewhat of a resemblance to Wall-E! It’s $31.98 at HearthSong.

From the description:

Our solar-powered pal can assume 14 different modes, ranging from comical to educational, including a wagging-tail dog, running beetle, walking crab, surfer, and speedster. Yet it asks only for direct sunlight.

Here’s a video that shows how the robot works.

I’m kind of hoping Santa brings this robot for my daughter for Christmas. And maybe an extra one for me!

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Brilliant Balance Bikes

If you have a youngster who wants to learn to ride, this is a great first bike! No greasy chain, no pedals to confuse the matter. Just wheels, a seat, and a developing sense of balance.

I’ve seen some kids in my neighborhood using these cool balance bikes. They didn’t exist when I was learning how to ride a bicycle. I had a second-hand two-wheeler with wobbly training wheels. I wish I’d had one of these.

Your Choice – Boot Scoot Balance Bikes 2-Models 4-Colors

Now, kids learn to ride on bikes without pedals or chains! Why didn’t I think of this?! No greasy chain, no pedals to confuse the matter. Just wheels, a seat, and a developing sense of balance. If you have a youngster who wants to learn to ride, this is a great first bike!

Woot is featuring these bikes today, for almost 50% off. Go check it out!
balancebike-orange

LEGO Compatible NFL Minifigures

drew brees minifigurepeyton manning minifigureI’m not a huge NFL fan, but I do love LEGOs, and there are a couple of teams and players I love to cheer for. How cute are these NFL football minifigures?

My favorites are Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) and Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints). These little guys are buildable, so you can put them together with LEGOs and other plastic building bricks. Also, they’re bendy, and their helmets are removable. So you can play and pose them for on- or off-field scenes.

The figures are kind of like 3-dimensional player cards. Each one comes with a football, a helmet with a removable face mask, water bottle, and stand. You can get your favorite mini-player at OYO for about $12.99.

GeekMom Reviews: Plush Pets Integrate With Xbox Kinectimals Game

It’s nice to have a soft, fuzzy, huggable toy to go along with the virtual pet in the game. I think any child who enjoys playing Kinectimals will be thrilled to receive a new Plush Pal to squeeze in person, and to unlock within the game as well.

kinectimals plush white tiger
Kinectimals Plush White Tiger

Back in December, my family received an Xbox 360 Kinect system. One of my daughter’s favorite games is Kinectimals, which lets her play with and care for a virtual animal.

Recently, we received an addition to our Kinectimals virtual pet family. A White Tiger cub, which my daughter (6 years old) named “Stripey,” is a cute little plush toy, complete with whiskers. She was so excited when she unwrapped Stripey! When I told her we could scan Stripey’s nametag with the Kinect sensor, she could hardly wait to see what would happen.

We fired up the Xbox and started the Kinectimals game. She navigated right to the scan rock and after a couple of her wiggly tries, I scanned the tiger’s tag for her. The game recognized the code and *poof* unlocked a virtual white tiger for her! Another Stripey! She was thrilled!

white tiger plush pal
White tiger unlocked in game

The Plush Pals are a fun addition to the Kinectimals game. It’s nice to have a soft, fuzzy, huggable toy to go along with the virtual pet in the game. I think any child who enjoys playing Kinectimals will be thrilled to receive a new Plush Pal to squeeze in person, and to unlock within the game as well. There are five new Kinectimals plush pals, available at Toys “R” Us and Target for $11.99. New animals, including the Canadian Lynx and Jaguarundi, will be released later this year.

The animals are small enough to fit into an Easter basket, and won’t melt in kids’ hands, get smeared into carpet, or cause a sugar-high frenzied rampage. Cheers! 🙂

Disclosure: I received 2 plush pals to review for this article.

Another reason to love Target!

star wars kites

I saw these Star Wars kites at Target last week, and I really really really hope they still have them when I go back tomorrow! How awesome would it be to fly the Millennium Falcon in an imaginary Kessel Run over the local park on a bright, windy day?!

This image is from ThinkGeek.com, but they’re out of stock right now. I imagine these are quite popular with Star Wars geeks of all ages, throughout the galaxy. Cheers!

Tedde: Smarter than the Average Bear

I’ve been meaning to post a review of this for months, but we moved, and the holidays, and… Well, you know all the excuses.

Anyway, the nice people at Tedde sent me this cute little guy, named Scare Bear! Grrrrr! I love this guy! He has a cute, snuggly side, and a toothy, trouble-loving side. He reminds me of my kids…

Unlike the common teddy bear, each Tedde is an individual: hand-crafted with love and made of high quality textiles such as mohair, handspun yarn, natural wool, linen, canvas, cotton, and cashmere. And with the tag line “Full of Love, and a Little Gas”, Tedde wants customers to know that these bears are not only stuffed with recycled materials, but they’re also stuffed with personality and sometimes, mischief. Among this year’s lineup of Teddes is Flat Frank, Headless Ted, Herman (a hot pink furry fellow with a British accent and a thing for water polo), Tiny Teddes (miniature versions of the Tedde), felt Tedde hearts (only two bucks each!) and an assortment of Tedde food including a plush hot dog. That’s right: a stuffed wiener to cuddle up with!

The Tedde geniuses (that’s what they’re called) are out to rid the world of clone bears and give plush some personality, and I think it’s working. In the world of toys, Tedde bears are outsiders. They’re smarter than the average bear, perhaps less attractive in the facial-symmetry sense, have eclectic hobbies, enjoy Monty Python movies, and sport a wicked sense of humor… Okay, I’m making that up, but hooray for handmade personality! Boo to phony factory fluff!

If you’re in the market for a new little friend, you should take a look at the Tedde shop. Bears run from $20 to $75 or so, and smaller handmade accessories and Puffy Hearts (perfect for Valentine’s Day!) start at $1.99.

I received a free Scare Bear to review for this post. I did not receive any additional compensation. 🙂