Colors, patterns and get it all with this kaleidoscope!

If your kids are like mine, they are fascinated by colors and patterns.  That's why I was so happy when Elenco gave me this Smartivity Kaleidoscope to review.  This mesmerizing toy is recommended for ages 6+ and has a suggested retail price of $38.95.

This kaleidoscope is completely kid powered.  It doesn't need batteries, just a child's curiosity.  It lets you explore an infinite sequence of patterns and a dazzling world of colors!  First designed by Scotsman Sir David Brewster in 1816, a kaleidoscope is not just another toy.  It's a portal to a magical dimension where colors dance and wonders abound.  Because of the ever changing patterns, kaleidoscopes have been used as a source of inspiration by designers and artists.  It will inspire creativity and introduce children to the wonders of light, color and reflection as they peer into the fascinating world of patterns and designs.

But this isn't just an ordinary kaleidoscope!  Your child will actually get to build this one!  They will get to fill the drum with the colorful trinkets that are included in the kit.  This will give them a huge feeling of accomplishment as they peer into it and explore the wonders of light, color and changing patterns.  They can even decorate it with their own paints and markers to make it truly unique and personalized.

Building this kaleidoscope will help develop analytical skills, creativity, motor skills and practical skills.  It comes with easy to understand, illustrated instructions with experiments to ensure their understanding of concepts learned through play.  It's designed for learning the fundamental principles of STEM and STEAM.  Assembly is mess free - it uses rubber bands instead of glue - and it's made from high quality, re-engineered, laser cut wood.  And, like all Smartivity products, it is recyclable, safe, non toxic and sustainable.  So order one today and give your child a toy that they can both build and play with!

Just add sun

I received this awesome Solar Oven Science and Art Kit from Griddly Games for review.  You can do some really amazing things using only the sun for power.  With this kit, you can learn how the energy of the sun can be used to heat objects, as well as cooking food.

Just Add Sun ($29.00):  Use the sun's energy to heat up a tasty treat in this STEAM solar oven kit.  Melt s'mores, nachos or make your own crazy crayons with the power of the sun and the Just Add Sun Solar Science + Art Kit.  Introduce kids to eco friendly energy alternatives as they learn how solar energy works.  Experiment with sunlight, heat transfer, reflection and more!  Plus learn to upcycle items to create fantastic art!  And a portion of the proceeds from Just Add Sun is donated to Solar Cookers International.

The really cool thing about this kit is that the box functions as a solar oven, thanks to the special reflective lining that you can see in the photo above.  Your kids will be fascinated by this!

The kit comes with one Solar Oven Box, one 4" x 4" Canvas, one 100ml Clear Bottle, one 100ml Black Bottle, one Mini Funnel Cutout, two Black Balloons, two Clear Balloons, eight Was Crayons, one Pipette, one Clear Straw, Wax Paper, one Magnifying Glass, two Bottles of Food Coloring and one Pair of Rubber Gloves.

Activities include Balloon Blow, Mystery Pop Balloon, Melting Ice, Solar Oven, Build a Thermometer, Sundial, Ice Hands & Food Coloring, Wax Paper Sun Catcher and Painting with Wax.

Kids will enjoy learning Science lessons such as freezing and melting points, light absorption and reflections and heat transfer.  And they will absolutely love creating delicious treats that they can eat.  You will have to provide the food ingredients, but the sun will do the rest!  Let them make treats for the whole family to enjoy!

Get Creative with Pix Brix!

These products that I received from Pix Brix for review will give your kids a new way to express their creativity.  Create stunning masterpieces with these little building blocks.  And the possibilities are endless because Pix Brix are compatible with all major bricks brands! 

The 1500 piece Mixed Color Series boxes are the perfect starters for all new Pix Brix artists.  There are 3 different color varieties for you to choose from - Dark, Medium and Light.  Each set has a retail price of $14.95.  Each color series comes with an assorted amount of colored bricks in the following colors:  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Beige, Brown and Gray.  The Dark Series comes with 11 assorted dark colors and is the only mixed series that comes with Black.  The Medium Series comes with 10 assorted medium colors and does not include White or Black.  The Light Series comes with 11 assorted light colors and is the only mixed series that includes white.  If you purchase all 3 mixed series boxes, you can start pixelating with the full 32 color palette.  

You can create your own designs, but there is also a free Photo Pixelator on their website that will let you upload any photo of your choice and it will create a design template for it so you can create a Pix Brix version of it.  There is also an app that you can download, if you prefer.

There is also an official Pix Brix Tool that makes it much easier to build and take apart your creations.  It has a retail price of $4.95.  The PB Tool has 3 functions for adding and removing Pix Brix.  The tip of the tool can be used to pick up and insert bricks together, giving you the feeling of coloring with Pix Brix.  You can also use this tip to push bricks out in specific spots to create 2D builds.

The tool comes with a removable wedge piece inserted in the tip.  This wedge piece can be used to separate layers of builds by pushing it into small openings or corners.

And finally, the top of the tool gives you leverage for removing layers of bricks.  Just connect the top of the tool with the brick you want to remove and tilt the tool back.  The brick will lift up and separate from the layer.

Your kids will love Pix Brix, and you will find yourself enjoying them as well.  It's a perfect activity for rainy days when going outside isn't an option.  And the whole family can get involved!  Create a family masterpiece!