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SPRK Learning with a Tiny Robot

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SPRK Learning with a Tiny Robot

Meet our new buddy, SPRK!sphero 4

Sphero SPRK Edition is an app-enabled robot that has changed the way Ellie is learning...and playing.  Sphero SPRK Edition and the SPRK app are designed to inspire a love of robotics, coding and STEM principles while teaching the power of cause, effect and conditions in programming - all through play.

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Ellie is in 3rd grade this year and will start to learn coding in computer class this year and SPRK has really ignited excitement about writing programs.  Sphero SPRK Edition comes with sample programs loaded for those just starting out on their coding journey.  Or you can create your own programs if you are more advanced.  SPRK even comes with a protractor, pencil and notebook.

 

 

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Sphero SPRK Edition does so many cool things.  He (we made it a him) can roll in a many different shapes and configurations.  Figure 8's are no biggie for SPRK.  He can also change colors on command and even jump.  So cool!sphero 2 Even when the student is using built in programs, you can always tap the code symbol and see all of the code that runs the program.  I admit that sometimes toys like this overwhelm me or easily frustrate the kids.  But everything about the Sphero SPRK Edition is so easy and user friendly.  Ellie downloaded the app, plugged it in to charge and was having our SPRK do tricks all over the house a few minutes later!

sphero 1

Our Sphero SPRK Edition will be visiting Ellie's 3rd grade class later this month.  Her computer teacher is going to use it to demonstrate coding to the class.  How cool is that?!

The Sphero SPRK Edition robot retails for $129.99 on the Sphero website.

To learn more about this cool little robot, check out Sphero on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Thanks to Orbotix for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are honest and our own.

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It's the Last Day of School - hit it DJ!

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It's the Last Day of School - hit it DJ!

The girls had their last day of school this week! last day of school

last day of school

What better way to celebrate than hitting the turntables and having a dance party?!  The new Crayola DJ Be the DJ app from Legacy Games lets kids ages 6 and up mix beats to create their own original sounds on digital turntables.

crayola dj

The result?  Lots of head bopping, jamming and dancing.

A voice let tutorial when you download the app shows the user how to add beats of the left and melody on the right with lots of tips and tricks along the way.

crayola dj app

Ellie, age 8, was our DJ and she was mixing beats like the best of them.crayola dj

You can go into game mode where you score points based on how much you mix your tracks or just stay in the regular mode where you are free to mix at your own pace.  If you love your track, no problem, it's easy to save to your device!

crayola dj

It was easy to tell the girls loved Crayola DJ because after two minutes Madeline was over Ellie's shoulder saying, "Can I have a turn? I want a turn!  When's MY turn?!?!" and Ellie didn't even look up at her.  Ah, sister love!

Crayola DJ is currently available for Android devices for $4.99 and will be available on iTunes next month for the same price.  It's a great app for summer to get the kids dancing and let their creativity flow.

Now there's only one thing left to say - H A P P Y   S U M M E R !

 

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are honest and my own.

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Emily's Oz commerical and a $100 Amex Gift Card Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by XFINITY.

My kids were fascinated with Emil's Oz ad from XFINITY that debuted after the Academy awards. My kids loved seeing how a blind person could watch their favorite movie and how they use their imagination to get the visual.

The commerical focuses on the strides towards making technology accessible to those with disabilities.  If you haven't seen the Emily's Oz commercial, its worth a watch!

Everyone has a favorite movie and  that includes the 8 million people in America with visual disabilities. XFINITY on the X1 Entertainment Operating System has accessibility features built right in to bring customers innovations like the industry’s first talking guide, video description, accessible mobile apps and the new voice remote. Everyone should be able to find and enjoy their favorite movies independently . TV is universal, so access should be as well.

Our friend Ty So Fast and us have teamed up to give one winner a $100 Amex Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for their Fast Life program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Kazaz! an awesome app for kids!

The truth is that these days most of us are tech families, whether we want to be or not. We are one of those families. We are an Apple family, own multiple iPhone's, iPad's, iPod's and an Apple TV.  As a tech family, good apps are important. There are a lot of bad apps out their for both adults and kids. I am always on the look out for good apps that  my kids will learn while using, will engage them and that they will not get bored using after 5 minutes! I am sure you are like me and have downloaded  an app that  doesn't meet your criteria  and the worst part you spent money on it!

I was excited to have Dylan check Kazaz!, a new an exciting  iPad app featuring a world of interactive, animated, original stories that will challenge and ignite your child's curiosity! Dylan is in Kindergarten for only half day, I obviously do not want him on the iPad all the time but there are times when it is necessary. Kazaz! was created for children 3 to 8 years old and designed to enjoy independently or with their parents, grandparents or caregiver. It is an app that fits my criteria and one that Dylan loves too. Win for both of us!

Ideal for children ages 3 to 8, the digital stories combine sight, sound and touch to help maximize even the youngest child’s learning experience.  As a mom I love that with Kazaz! they don't just read they experience it! Kids will want to read and use the Kazaz! app which is awesome. Kids will be encouraged to read while using the app. They will be immersed in learning when clicking on hidden gems that are found throughout the app  which reveal fun facts and additional information that is related to the story. This means that a 10 minute read can be expanded into a highly engaging activity that can last for an hour!

Kazaz! on the App Store from Kazaz! on Vimeo.

In the future Kazaz! will take advantage of Apple TV, the app can be enjoyed on the big screen, where the experience will be  amplified with additional sights and sounds. Stay tuned for video versions of the stories that will  appear on the Kazaz! Kids YouTube Channel.

 

Guess what??? Kazaz! is free to download  to your iPad until the 26th of October! Hurry on over and grab it for your kids. You will be able to get three stories that will cost from $1.99 to $2.99 after the 26th.

o   The Magic of Kazaz: Reveals the history of how Kazaz! became a magical planet.

o    I Am the Music Man: Sing along with the Music Man in this hand-clapping, toe-tapping rendition of a classic children’s melody.

o    The Story of Wooding: The tale of an adventurous young swan who sets off on an exciting journey.

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the American Story Channel. All opinions are my own. 

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Mommy Nearest: Must Have On The Go Parenting App!

Big news!  Betsy and I are super excited to announce that you can now find us on Mommy Nearest as "Expert Moms"!  If you haven't heard, Mommy Nearest is a recently launched mobile app that allows parents to access all kinds of child-related resources throughout Chicago and beyond!  With Mommy Nearest, you'll be able to find things like the closest kid-friendly restaurants that have high chairs, the nearest parks and playgrounds, broken down by age and event he best places to change a diaper.  This app can be a lifesaver!  You can download it for free by clicking HERE.

Mommy Nearest

As Mommy Nearest Expert Moms, we'll be sharing our experiences using the app and exploring new places.  You can keep up with our adventures by ready The Little Style File or by checking out the Mommy Nearest Magazine, which is built into the app.  We are so excited to be a part of this awesome new app for parents and we'll have a lot more to share about our experiences in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, check out the Mommy Nearest app available for iPhones in the App Store and for Android devices via Google Play.

The Little Style File is compensated for our roles as Expert Moms.  All opinions are honest and our own.

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