Activity Kits for Tween Girls {Holiday 2017}

A collection of new 2017 activity kits for tween girls. Find something for that 9-11 year-old on your holiday shopping list.

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As kids get older, it gets harder to buy gifts for them. As a parent of an 11-year-old daughter, I can tell you that she still enjoys creating things.  Activity kits are great presents because kids have to spend the time making something before they can enjoy it. They can then take ownership of their project and have pride in their work.  It ends up meaning a little more to them.  Every year, new activity kits are manufactured.  Here are some of the newer activity kits for tween girls.  Maybe one of these will interest the tween on your shopping list this holiday season!  Please note, we have not personally tried any of these products yet, so cannot attest to the quality and ease of use.

1. Just My Style Flavored Lab Lip Gloss – As much as my daughter wants to wear makeup, since she’s only eleven, we only allow her to wear lip gloss. She would love making her own flavored lip glosses with this activity kit.  This would also make a fun activity to do with a friend when they “hang out.”  The kit comes with four lip glosses (3 flavored, 1 shimmer) that kids can layer and mix to create a customized tube.  Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $9.97.

2.  Alex Toys Knot-a-Mermaid  – Mermaids continue to be popular.  With this kit, kids can make their own mermaid blanket, just by tying knots. After the blanket is completed, they can stitch the shell appliques on. Recommended for ages 8+, retails for $19.99.

3. YOUniverse Crystal Growing Jewelry –  Kids learn the science behind growing crystals and then make jewelry with their crystal creations.  Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $12.97.

4. Just My Style Glitter Roller Perfume – Kids mix and create their own fragrance with this kit.  There are also stickers in the kit to decorate the bottles.  Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $9.97.

5. Just My Style Sparkling Fashion Plates – Do you have a budding fashion designer?  This kit includes 15 different plates that kids can mix and match to create more than 100 designs.  Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $14.97.

6. ORB Doll Designer: Strawberry Sweet – With this kit, kids design their own doll.  They create an outfit for their doll by layering different pieces of fabric and decorating it.  Each kit comes with a doll stand and a pet. Recommended for ages 8+, retails for $12.99.

7.  Plush Craft Personalized Pillow – Tweens love any type of room decor and personalization.  Initials are a big hit with this age group.  If your tween isn’t into a personalized pillow, Plush Craft makes all sorts of different pillow designs including, animals, a peace sign, an ice cream cone, an XOXO design and more. Kids follows a legend and use a special stylus to punch fabric strips into the pillow. Recommended for ages 5+, retails for $16.99.

8. ORB Fluffables – With these kits, kids create their own fluffable.  Using a stylus, kids push fluff into the form to create their animal.  They can follow the enclosed pattern or create their own design.  Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $9.99.

9. YOUniverse Galactic Bath Bombs – My daughter and her friends love bath bombs.  With this kit, they can make their own by mixing compounds and adding color and shimmer.  Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $12.97.

10. Project Mc2 H2o Nail Science Kit – In this kit, kids will use hydrographic printing to create unique nail designs.  3 AA batteries are required, but not included in this kit. Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $24.99.

11. Project Mc2 Smart Pixel Purse – Using an app, kids program their own designs which they can then show off on their purse.  Or they can use one of the pre-programmed designs. Recommended for ages 6+, retails for $59.99.

12. Gel-a-Peel Accessory Craft Kit – Kids can design and create their own color changing accessories using the templates provided.  3 gel tubes, 16+ templates and 5 designer tips are included in this kit.  There are different kits including neon, color change, sparkle and more. Recommended for ages 8+, retails for $19.99.


Hot Holiday Toys for School-Age Kids {2017 Gift Guide}

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It’s that time of year again.  The toy catalogs are coming in and the kids are starting to make their holiday wish lists.  Don’t get stressed out because I have rounded up this season’s hot holiday toys in NY Foodie Family’s 2017 Holiday Toy Gift Guide.  I recently attended Play Fair in New York City, where the biggest toy brands were showcasing their newest toys, just in time for the holidays!  Here are some of the recent new toys that are sure to be a hit with the school-age kids on your list!


Air Hogs 2-in-1 Hyper Drift Drones – These remote controlled can race on the ground or in the sky.  The drone detaches and has a self-righting cage so it always lands upright.  Each set comes with one hyper drift drone, one controller, one USB charger, an instruction sheet and spare propellers.  Sets retail for $39.99 each.

Grossery Gang Muck Chuck Garbage Truck – Muck Chuck Garbage Truck is one of the newest additions to the Grossery Gang.  It has a trash launch catapult and lots of storage space to hold Grosseries.  The cab and sides open for battle mode.  The truck comes with two exclusive grosseries.  Recommended for ages 5+.  Retails for $19.99.

Hatchimals Surprise –  The newest from Hatchimals is Hatchimals Surprise.  Inside each speckled egg are twin Hatchimals.  Help them hatch and then watch as they learn new things.  Choices include Peacats (shown above), Giravens, Deerioles and Ligulls (sold exclusively at Target), Puppadees (sold exclusively at Toys ‘R’ Us) and Zuffins (sold exclusively at Walmart). Recommended for ages 5+. Retails for $69.99.

L.O.L. Surprise! BIG Surprise –  You will be lucky to find a L.O.L. Surprise (Little Outrageous Little Surprise) BIG Surprise this holiday season.  The toy, released back in September continues to sell out and if you do find one, expect to pay a lot more than the $69.99 it retails for.  The L.O.L. Surprise! are blind bag dolls and accessories.  Inside the BIG Surprise are 50 surprises, each individually wrapped, resulting in the ultimate unboxing experience.   If you can’t get your hands on the BIG Surprise, smaller mystery pack dolls are more readily available.  Recommended for ages 6+.

LEGO Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter– Legos are always popular with children of all ages and there are always new sets coming out.  One of the new sets this season is Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter.  Recommend for ages 8-14, this set has 630 pieces.  It comes with three mini-figures and a BB-9E figure. It retails for $79.99.  Other new sets include Star Wars First Order Star Destroyer, Minecraft Waterfall Base, Witch Hut and Jungle Temple and NINJAGO Destiny’s Bounty.

Shopkins Cutie Cars – Cutie Cars are one of the newest additions to the Shopkins line. They are sold in 3 packs (pictured above) as well as in single packs.  Each car comes with its own Shopkin.  They are diecast and can be pushed. There are 37 cars to collect in Series 1. Recommended for ages 5+.  3 packs retail for $12.99, single packs retail for $4.99.

WowWee Chippies – These are remote-controlled puppies that can dance, sing, chase their tails and more.  They have LED eyes and posable hind legs.  There are four different puppies to choose from:  Chipper (blue), Chippette (pink), Chippo (black) and Chippella (white). Recommended for ages 5+.  Retails for $39.99.

One of the hot new toys for holiday 2017.

WowWee Fingerlings Monkeys – Fingerlings Monkeys were just released in August of this year.  These baby monkeys  hang on your fingers and respond to sound, motion and touch.  With over 40 different animations, kids can interact with their Fingerlings by petting it, blowing kisses and more. They can grip on to different surfaces. Parents, do not worry, there is an on/off switch!    There are currently six different Fingerlings (Bella, Boris, Finn, Mia, Sophie and Zoe) which retail for $14.99.  Recommended for ages 5+.



Gift Ideas for Creative Tweens {Holiday Guide 2017}

Gift ideas for creative tweens. Use this guide to shop for some of the more creative kids on your shopping list.

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This is the first in a series of gift guides to help you complete your holiday shopping.  These are gift ideas for creative tweens.  These gifts are great for both girls and boys in the 8+ age range and allows them to use their imagination and creativity.  Many of these toys are brand new to the market this holiday season!

Just released from the Orb toy company. These are the world's first creation compound. A great creative gift for kids this holiday!

1. ORB Molecules – ORB Molecules is the newest product from ORB (formerly ORB Factory).  It is the world’s first creation compound.  The molecules are brightly colored and come in different sizes.  They stick to themselves, but not anything else!   The ORB Molecules are sold in kits so that kids can make their own creations.  These will be hitting shelves in approximately two weeks and will be sold exclusively at Michaels stores.   These kits retail for $14.99. (Recommended for ages 5+)

A great gift idea for creative tweens on your holiday shopping list!

(photo courtesy of ORB)

2. ORB Morph – Orb Morph is not a new product to the market.  Morph is a lightweight, “shape-shifting fluff.”  It’s a building compound that kids can mold, that can also bounce and float.  As kids play with the morph, it gets softer and fluffier. The material doesn’t dry out and can be reused over and over again.   The Morph comes in six different colors and retails for $14.99.  It can be found at Walmart, Michaels, Target and Amazon.  (Recommended for ages 3+)

A fun, new gift idea for creative tweens. They can create pixelated stickers.

3. STiKidotz – STiKidotz are the world’s first 3D pixel art sticker.  Projects start with a square base.  Kids create a design on the base using the dotzPIXELS to create a design.  Once the design is complete you can cut it out with scissors, take off the paper backing and stick it to the surface of your choice. There are creative kits where kids can come up with their own designs.  STiKidotz also sells pre-designed kits that kids can follow to create characters and pictures. These kits are available on the dotz company website and beginning November 7, Amazon.  A starter pack is $12.99 and includes 2 bases and 36 dotzBLOKs.  (Recommended for ages 6+)

Check out the above video to see STiKidotz in action!  To learn more about them check out the STiKidotz website!

A great gift for creative kids. Kids can create many different projects with the one kit.

4. E-Blox Circuit Builder –  E-Blox manufactures three different circuit builder kits.  The Circuit Builder 115, pictured above, contains 37 pieces which kids can use to create 115 different projects. They will learn about electricity, alarms, motors and more as they create.  An instruction booklet is included.  These kits require 3 “AA” batteries.  The kits retail between $19.99 and $44.99.  (Recommended for ages 8+)

Another gift idea for creative tweens.

5.  Oonies – Made by Moose Toys, Oonies are small balloons that you can play with and customize.  Use the inflator to inflate the pellets to the balloons.  Then customize with the accessory stickers.  The starter pack comes with the inflator, 36 pellets and accessories.  The balloons stay inflated for approximately five days before deflating. Kids can make their own designs and creations or use the available theme packs.  The Oonies site has all kinds of games, challenges and more.  The starter pack, which you need for the inflator, retails for $19.99.  You can find Oonies at Target, Walmart, Amazon and Toys R Us. (recommended for ages 5+)


5 Things To Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!  Halloween on a school night is tough for the kids.   Luckily, it is only one day a year.  However, with two kids  trick-or-treating we have enough candy in the house to last us until next Halloween! Thankfully, my kids are not huge candy eaters.  They usually donate their Take 5, M&Ms and Twix to my husband and I (they know what we like!).  Then they are good eating 1-2 pieces of candy a day.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that our candy bowl probably has Halloween candy in it from last year.  But what do you do if your kids will devour their Halloween candy stash if you let them?  Or like our family, end up with candy for days?  Here are 5 things that you can do with all of that leftover Halloween candy.

1. Halloween Candy Buyback  – Many dentists and other businesses participate in the Halloween Candy Buyback program.   Children can bring in their Halloween candy and usually earn $1 per pound of candy or other prizes and goodies.  The candy is then sent to troops overseas.

2. Switch Witch – The Switch Witch is basically the Elf On the Shelf of Halloween.  She arrives before Halloween to spend some time with your family. Then on Halloween night your kids leave a pile of candy in front of her and she takes it and leaves them a present.

3. Make a dessert – Because candy isn’t sweet enough, why not add some more sugar to it and make a dessert?!  This roundup includes 50 recipes using leftover Halloween candy.   Kit Kats, Butterfingers, Reese’s, Snickers and many more types of candy are included!

4. Bring it to work  –  Not everyone at your office has kids.  Leave a bowl of candy at your desk, the reception desk or the break room.  Believe me, it will get eaten!

5. Do a science experiment –  If you can’t eat it, play with it!  Here’s a roundup of 21 Candy Science Experiments.   Skittles, M&Ms and lifesavers are some of the candies used in the experiments.


30 Things to Do This November

A list of 30 things that you can do this November!

A new monthly calendar feature with suggestions of things for you to do this month!
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1. A Bad Moms Christmas comes out today.  Gather your girlfriends and have a girls night out!

2.  Today is National Men Make Dinner Day!  Get your man in the kitchen…..or have him bring some takeout home!

3. Need a sugar fix?  Now’s the time to get leftover Halloween candy on deep discount!  If you’re trying to get rid of the Halloween candy, check out “5 Things to Do with Leftover Hallween Candy.”

4.  Tomorrow we  fall back for daylight savings.  Remember to set your clocks back and enjoy your extra hour of sleep!

5.  For those of us in Westchester County and the surrounding area, Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is taking place from now until November 12.  Take advantage of the 200+ restaurants offering 3 course dinners for $32.95.  If you’re not in the Hudson Valley, try dining at a new-to-you restaurant!

6.  Tomorrow, (Nov. 7) Renegades, the first in Marissa Meyer’s new series is published.  Fans of YA fantasy might enjoy this new book. Other anticipated book releases include Artemis by Andy Weir (author of The Martian) (Nov. 14), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Nov. 14) the next Stephanie Plum novel in the series by Janet Evanovich,  and Promise Me, Dad (Nov. 14), Joe Biden’s memoir.  What will you be reading this month?

7.  It’s election day.  Exercise your  right and go out and vote!

8.  Netflix has several new original shows and movies coming in November.  Check out the full list of everything that is coming and leaving Netflix this month.

9. Start going through the kids’ drawers and closets to see what they need in terms of winter gear – coats, hats, gloves, boots, etc.  There’s nothing like being unprepared for a surprise snow storm!

10. If you weren’t able to see these movies in the theater, some notable movies coming out on DVD this month are Cars 3 (Nov. 7), The Glass Castle (Nov. 7), Wind River (Nov. 14), Whose Streets? (Nov. 14) and Logan Lucky (Nov. 28).

11. Happy Veteran’s Day.  Thank a veteran and attend a Veteran’s Day ceremony.  Remember we are the land of the free, because of the brave.

12. Fall is all about pumpkin spice and everything nice. Bake one of these pumpkin desserts.

13.  Today is World Kindness Day.  Here are 10 Ways you can celebrate it with your kids.

14. Cook something new for dinner.  The weather is getting cooler and it’s a perfect time to make a new soup or stew recipe.  This month I plan on trying out this Slow Cooker Sausage Lentil and Arugula Soup.

15. Today is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.  Get rid of those old condiment jars and throw out the forgotten leftovers.  Wash out the bins and wipe down the shelves.  If you’re feeling really motivated, wipe down the front and sides and vacuum the coils as well!

16. Read some Thanksgiving-themed picture books with your kids!

17. The movie Wonder comes out.  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading the book first!  It’s a story about August (Auggie) Pullman, a boy born with facial differences.  For the first time he attends the local public school, which becomes a learning experience for everyone.

18. How fun is it to get mail that’s not bills or junk mail?!  Send a friend or family member a card via snail mail to let them know that you’re thinking of them!

19. Are you traveling  by car for Thanksgiving?  Take some time before your trip and do a quick maintenance check.  Fill your wiper fluid and check the pressure in your tires.

20. Ben & Jerry’s is collaborating with Jimmy Fallon on a new ice cream flavor.  The secret flavor finally gets announced this month!  Be on the lookout for it in your local grocery store!

21. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to start thinking about your holiday cards.  Many online photo sites have special upcoming Back Friday deals that early birds can take advantage of.

22.  Disney Pixar movie Coco comes out.  Viewers will also get to see short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, before the movie.

23.  Happy Thanksgiving! Put on your stretchy pants because it’s time to feast! Start your day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which begins at 9 AM EST on NBC.  Give thanks today and appreciate all you have.

24. Are you going to brave the Black Friday sales today? Before you go, set up a game plan of the stores you want to visit and the deals you want to take advantage of!

25. Now that Thanksgiving is over try some of these recipes for using up those leftovers!

26. Have a family game night! One of our recent favorites is Wits & Wagers.

27.  It’s cyber Monday!  Get your online shopping deals today!

28. Produce in season this month includes beets, brussel sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, turnips, winter squash, apples and pears.  Buy seasonally and locally, if possible.

29.  November is officially sweater weather! Break out your sweaters and get warm and cozy! I’m on the lookout for some new sweaters.  Have you bought a recent favorite?

30.  Listen to a new podcast.  If you’ve never listened to one, you don’t know what you’re missing!  Check this list out for some new recommendations.  I am always on the lookout for new podcasts, so let me know what you’re listening to in the comments!