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FredParent's MomStops Mommy Review Board

One of the perks of being the region's TOP parenting resource for 13 years is that we are asked to try out all the latest kid and family products, and we need YOUR help doing it!

Check out these recent reviews and let us know if you want to try out, review and keep something yourself!  Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll get you going!

 


 

 

"The Cave Monster"The_Cave_Monster

 

by Thomas Weck, Peter Weck, and Len DiSalvo

 

MSRP: $15.95

http://www.amazon.com/Cave-Monster-Lima-Bear-Stories/dp/1933872012/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315272466&sr=8-1

 

Reviewed by Margarita L. 

 

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

 

Was the story enjoyable? 4

 

How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 4

 

Would you recommend this to a friend? 4

 

What is the best age of readers? Ages 4-7

 

Would you purchase this product? Yes

 

How much would you pay? $12.00

 

What was your favorite aspect of the book? I liked that the authors give teaching and comprehension ideas for parents and teachers to use when going over the book with kids.  My son’s favorite part was the rhyme towards the end when they attack the monster.  And the illustrations were great. 

 

What was your least favorite aspect? I think the words are too complicated for beginning readers; however it makes a great bedtime story for younger kids. 

 

Any suggestions to make it better? If it had more rhymes than younger kids may be able to read it themselves, but overall it was a book enjoyed by  both myself and my 6 year old son. 



"Chippy Chipmunk"

 

 

 

by Kathy M. Miller

MSRP: $19.95

http://www.amazon.com/Chippy-Chipmunk-Kathy-M-Miller/dp/0984089314/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315271203&sr=1-2

Reviewed by Kimberly B. (Mom) and Madaline (Child)

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Was the story enjoyable? 5

How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 4

Would you recommend this to a friend? 4

What is the best age of readers? Ages 7-9

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $10.00

What was your favorite aspect of the book? The beautiful photographs through out the book.

What was your least favorite aspect? The story is extremely long and my 7 year old daughter had a hard time staying focused on the book. It was also very lengthly for her to read to me.



Roll-Up RoadsRoll-Up_Roads

MSRP: $4.99

http://www.wildcreations.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=49&Itemid=117

Reviewed by KellyO. (Mom), Caleb (Age 9) and Connor

Rated from 1–5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 3

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 2

Would you use this again? 1

Would you recommend to a friend? 1

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 2-5

Would you purchase this product? No

What was your favorite aspect of the product? While it was good in theory, it didn’t operate as smoothly as it could have. I like the idea of having something to use “on the go” but this item could use some improvements.

What was your least favorite? Any problems? It was actually difficult to unroll. About midway through doing so, the sticky backing stuck to the layer underneath (the actual road) and it ripped off. I was not able to get it to stop for about 2 feet. Besides that, for being a reusable item, I found it very difficult to wrap it back up. Thankfully I used it on the old Ikea coffee table that the kids use specifically for playing with their cars/toys on…because it did take some of the stain off the table.

Any suggestions to make it better? Fix the problems listed above, maybe make it more of a vinyl type backing versus a sticker? Also, some perforations would be good. No kid wants 10 feet of straight road. I used scissors to cut pieces to make turns, etc., but none of them were straight.


 

"How the Back-Back Got His Name"Back-Back_Book

by Thomas Weck, Peter Weck, and Len DiSalvo

MSRP: $5.95

http://www.amazon.com/Back-Back-Name-Lima-Bear-Stories/dp/1933872144/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1311388607&sr=8-4

Reviewed by Nikki D.

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Was the story enjoyable? 5

How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 5

Would you recommend this to a friend? 5

What is the best age of readers? Ages 7-8

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $12.95

What was your favorite aspect of the book? I read this book aloud to my son. I really enjoyed how the words danced on the page and the explamations came alive. My son seemed to enjoy the pictures and pointed out Lima Bear thoughout the story. He also acknowledged when the enimals were in trouble. Like when the rabbit was stuck in the cage on pg. 11.

What was your least favorite aspect? I thought it was strange that the wording was "the object was kicked into the air," until I looked at the picture on p. 16 which showed a ball. I wasn't sure what the author was referring to. 

Any suggestions to make it better? I think this was a well-mastered children's book with great illustrations. The authors really made Plumton the hero in the end even after all the animals did come together to help him. 



Road Tripimages

MSRP: $24.95

http://shop.history.com/road-trip-board-game/detail.php?p=306043

Reviewed by Ruth S.

Rated from 1–5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 4

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 4

Would you use this again? 4

Would you recommend to a friend? 4

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 10+

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $14.99

What was your favorite aspect of the product? Family Fun, getting kids to read while having fun. 

What was your least favorite? Any problems? It was hard for young kids (age 8) to come up with words for harder letters. If was frustrating for them. 



 

Science on a Fossil Digyoung-scientists-science-on-a-fossil-science-kit

MSRP: $14.89

http://www.kazootoys.com/young-scientists-science-on-a-fossil-science-kit.html

 

Review by Debra C. (Mom) and Aidan (Child)

Rated from 1–5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 2

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 2

Would you use this again? 1

Would you recommend to a friend? 2

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 5+

Would you purchase this product? No

What was your favorite aspect of the product? My son is preciously scientific for his age, but he didn't ejoy this product. He thought the real fossils were cool but was not too impressed. 

What was your least favorite? Any problems? There were no real instructions. They would have helped. The product was messy and difficult for small hands to do without help.


Review by Kelly O. (Mom), Caleb (Age 9) and Connor (Age 6)

Rated from 1–5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 4

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 3

Would you use this again? 3

Would you recommend to a friend? 3

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 6+

Would you purchase this product? Maybe

What was your favorite aspect of the product? I liked that it was interactive. It kept their interest and kept them busy for 45 minutes straight (which is HUGE!) I was really surprised that they kept at it for so long. It had little fact cards with each fossil too, but they weren’t really interested in those.

What was your least favorite? Any problems? It took a long time to get to these little fossils, which is good and bad. I’d hate to pay for something (especially since it’s a one-time use item) and have it be over in 5 minutes, but we worked on this for 45 minutes straight and came up with nothing! We went back to it a few hours later and worked for another 40 minutes and eventually got them all. I even pounded on that thing for a while and it wouldn’t budge! Once of our fossils did break.

Any suggestions to make it better? Better tools. I realize they can’t be too sharp, but it took a lot of work to get through that sand block! I’d also like to see a little mat included. This was messy! Also, maybe a little plastic case to keep the fossils in once you’ve found them. My boys have already “misplaced” two of them.



"The Megasaurus"the_megasaurus

by Thomas Weck, Peter Weck, and Len DiSalvo

MSRP: $12.44

Reviewed by Nicole D.

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Was the story enjoyable? 4

How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 4

Would you recommend this to a friend? 5

What is the best age of readers? Ages 4-8

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $10.00

What was your favorite aspect of the book? I really liked that they tried different ways to solve the problem and that even though the people were scoffing at L. Joe Bean, he stuck to his guns and the king DID hear him. Keep trying to be heard and eventually, people will listen! The kids really liked the rhyming!

What was your least favorite aspect? The way the "eaten" animals rolled out of him, totally unharmed, was a little ridiculous.

Any suggestions to make it better? It needs a few more pages of back-story to allow the reader to become invested in the bean-bears.


Reviewed by Nikki D.

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Was the story enjoyable? 5

How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 5

Would you recommend this to a friend? 5

What is the best age of readers? Age 7, though my son enjoyed listening to the story and he is 2 1/2-years-old.

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $10.95-$12.95

What was your favorite aspect of the book? I enjoyed reading this book to my son and he listened intently, probably because it was so animated and had great phrases that exclaimed the story. 

What was your least favorite aspect? This was not a problem, but my son at this early age probably didn't get the moral of the story, but I am sure as he reads and understands more he will. 

Note from the Reader: I'm looking forward to reading the other books by these authors. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to read these wonderful books. These books build upon "what's right to do!"




Piggyback Bandzpbb-girl2-2_s

MSRP: $4.95

http://piggybackbandz.com/

Reviewed by Nicole D. (Mom) and Rhianna (7 years old)

Rated from 1–5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 5

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 5

Would you use this again? 5

Would you recommend to a friend? 5

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 6-10

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $2.50-$3

What was your favorite aspect of the product? They are so cute! A common complaint with silly bands is trying to figure out what the heck they are-especially if they've been traded and you've never seen the original package! The little "topper" is adorable, allows you to know what shape they are and we all love that they are perfect for trading since you get shapes in multiple colors. Also, they don't lose their shape and after several days of playing and stretching them, their shapes have remain true.

What was your least favorite? Any problems? The little "piggy-back" is fairly fragile and can snap if messed with at all.

Any suggestions to make it better? Perhaps make the "piggy-back" a little thicker so it doesn't break so easily. Also, tie dye colors and embedded glitter are always the more sought after colors.



doodle-roll

 

 

Doodle Roll

MSRP $3.99

 

www.doodleroll.com/

Reviewed by Selina B. (Mom) & Rebekah (8 yrs. old)

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 4

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer’s claims? 5

Would you use this again? 5

Would you recommend this to a friend? 5

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 3-9

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $5.00

What was your favorite aspect of the product? I really liked its portability. It was compact, and I liked that the space for the crayons had a cover (it’s nice to not have crayons all over the place!) This would be great on a long car trips, in a restaurant, or a doctor’s waiting room.

What was your least favorite aspect? Any problems? The paper didn’t tear easily for my 8 year old the first time she tried. It did get easier with practice.

Any suggestions to make it better? None

Editor's Note: The Doodle Roll has recently won these well-known toy awards:

· Parents' Choice Foundation Fun Stuff Award

· Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products

· The National Parenting Center 2011 Seal of Approval

· Creative Child 2011 Preferred Choice Award

· Great Dad and Mr. Dad awards

· Tillywig Top Fun Toy Award



 

koobliKoobli

MSRP $25

http://www.koobli.com/

Reviewed by Larissa Joos

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 5

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer’s claims? 4

Would you use this again? 3

Would you recommend this to a friend? 3

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Newborn to toddler

Would you purchase this product? No

How much would you pay? ------

What was your favorite aspect of the product? I was able to use it while prepping food after an event and had a “fancy” dress on. It kept me from getting stuff on my dress.

What was your least favorite aspect? Any problems? It felt like I was wearing a turtleneck. I would rather just use my cooking apron.

Any suggestions to make it better? Get rid of the turtleneck and really long sleeves, and add a tie to keep it around your waist when wearing.


Reviewed by Helen Jarett

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 5

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer's claims? 4

Would you use this again? 2

Would you recommend this to a friend? 2

What is the best age of kids to use this with? All Ages

Would you purchase this product? No

How much would you pay? ------

What was your favorite aspect of the product? It is a really great idea in concept. As a mother you are always getting your nice clothes drooled on and messy hands on you so this product could be really useful.

What was your least favorite aspect? Any problems? The size was a little big and in the moment sometimes I would forget that I even had it as an option. I can see that it could be really useful for someone that maybe takes their lunch breaks from work at home but being a stay at home mom I have just gotten used to not putting on my nicer clothes until it's time to walk out the door. There were not any problems. The product does what it claims it will.

Any suggestions to make it better? It would be nicer if it had a tie at the back rather than just Velcro at the neck. I think that it would cover your clothing better that way.



 

PiggyBack Rider

MSRP $79.99

http://thepiggybackrider.com/

piggyback_riderReviewed by Beverly Jordan

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 1

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer’s claims?  1

Would you use this again?  1

Would you recommend this to a friend?  1

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Newborn to toddler

Would you purchase this product? No

How much would you pay? -----

What was your favorite aspect of the product? I like the idea-in theory- of it!

What was your least favorite aspect? Any problems? I tried it on 2 of my children ad they both fell off and almost strangled my husband.

Any suggestions to make it better? None


 

Water Swords

swordsReviewed by Heather Ristau

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 5

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer’s claims?  4

Would you use this again?  5

Would you recommend this to a friend?  5

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 4-12

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $12.99 - $15.99

What was your favorite aspect of the product? This it was a water toy different from any other we’ve played with.

What was your least favorite aspect? Any problems? No problems.

Any suggestions to make it better? None


 

Splash Toys

Splash_BombsLRReviewed by Beverly Jordan

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Ease of Use: 5

How effective was the product? How closely did it match the manufacturer’s claims?  5

Would you use this again? 5

Would you recommend this to a friend? 5

What is the best age of kids to use this with? Ages 3+

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $10 or less

What was your favorite aspect of the product? The balls were easy and fun for my children to play with in the water.

What was your least favorite aspect? Any problems? No problems.

Any suggestions to make it better? None


 

sword-of-darrow“The Sword of Darrow”

by Hal Malchow and Alex Malchow

MSRP $12.99

http://www.swordofdarrow.com/

Reviewed by Jennifer Raybold

Rated from 1-5 (5 being the best)

Was the story enjoyable?  5

How closely did it match the manufacturer’s claims? 5

Would you recommend this to a friend? 5

What is the best age of readers? Ages 5-8

Would you purchase this product? Yes

How much would you pay? $9 - $10

What is your association/experience with dyslexia? I am a reading specialist at an elementary school. I have worked with a few students who seem to struggle with dyslexia (although schools do not diagnose it and medical diagnoses are harder to obtain in younger students.)

What was your favorite aspect of the book? I enjoyed the unlikely/impossible underdog triumph. I think mature readers learn multiple lessons form this book while experiencing an entertaining plot. It really is the teacher’s dream- engaging and educational.

What was your least favorite aspect? The beginning was slow to grab me. There were so many details- the writing was elaborate and specific I was hungry for the plot and it seemed to take a while to get established. (My purpose for reading may have had an impact on this)

Any suggestions to make it better? I am not a critic by any means. Maybe the background/character level could be immersed into the story more. I found the information valuable as I continued to read but initially it was rough.

User Rating: 0 / 5

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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches is ready to kayak on the beautiful Rappahannock River. She’s also ready to learn more about how she can protect the river’s health using the Friends of the Rappahannock new River Report Card, sponsored by a surprise grant from the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region (CFRRR).

Pouches kayak feature

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