Author Archives: Claudia Krusch

Game Night Became Even More Fun

This post is part of a KIdzVuz campaign, but all opinions are my own.

Game Night

 

 

We had been looking for new games for our Saturday night game night and my son was so excited to see we had two new options to play with. The games are not only educational, they are a lot of fun and are designed in a way to make kids think and develop skills while setting strategies to continue to play.

The games  are from School Specialty:

Grasping Grammar

Hone students’ grammar skills with this cross curricular board game! Play builds competence in identifying all eight parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections’ and reinforces science and geography facts. For 2-4 players. Grades 4 & up. Includes: 50 sentence cards Reference cards 36 Chips 4 Pawns Answer keys 2 assessment masters Category: Language Arts / Spelling – Grammar Sold as a Single Unit Short name: Game Grasping Grammer Grade levels.

Grammar Game

For more information, check it out at: https://store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?minisite=10206&item=2325100

Jumpin’ Chips

jumpin chips

Choose from 5 different games to practice and master subtraction facts through 24 – 12. Plan a strategy to jump over the most chips, solve the subtraction equations, and win the game! Ages 7+.

More information on: https://store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?minisite=10206&item=2926867

Muppets Most Wanted – A Must See Movie

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After a prologue which takes place moments after the closing scenes of The Muppets, the sequel quickly establishes an evil heist plot. The Muppets tricked into conducting a world-tour with new manager Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais). Kermit may not approve, but he has been replaced by Constantine, the world’s most dangerous frog who looks exactly like Kermit except for a black mole. With Kermit stuck in a Russian gulag and Constantine impersonating our hero, can anything or anyone stop Dominic and Constantine’s international crime plan? And just what will the Muppet Show be like without Kermit’s direction?

The film amusingly plays out like a superhero sequel. Once again we get the super villain who is basically the doppelganger for the hero, and the film does place more emphasis on the villains at the expense of the heroes while showing the cracks beneath the satisfactory status-quo established at the end of the first film.

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I could spend the next paragraph or two spoiling with my favorite jokes, the BOX secret, my favorite parts, but what would be the point? I will, instead, share that the picture is filled with wonderful gags, puns, callbacks, and references to its own existence and the franchise’s legacy. At its best; lovely Tina Fey does get to sing with a Russian accent!

Tina

I will also share the adorable Hispanic reference when they perform in Madrid, the song is in Spanish and Salma Hayek appears! But Celine Dion’s song was actually my favorite! 

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I particularly loved the cast and the story, which captivated all adults and children at the screening!

Muppets Most Wanted is entertainment at its best, a great option for all ages! I highly recommend it! 

The movie opens in theaters March 21st! 

Pictures courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

It’s Dr. Seuss Week #Bilingual Celebration

Dr Seuss in Spanish

We are spending the whole week celebrating Dr Seuss’ birthday! While he is not a South American traditional author, his influence in the American Schools made me take the time to plan a class to celebrate his birthday! I used two books, Un Pez, Dos Peces….and Huevos Verdes con jamon both for sale at Amazon:

Amazon Image

 

Amazon Image

I used the first book and planned a fish class, we went fishing with a plastic fish game with water and a bucket, they needed to go fishing and tell me the size, color and name of the sea creature, we used sea horses, alligators and crabs of different colors. We used pictures of large fish, whales and turtles in the “ocean” which was a colorful parachute, they learned nadar, we also used speed (fast and slow) and parar to guide movements.

We also used goldfish for counting and identifying colors! Of course we ate them at the end!

We showed a video of bilingual reading of the books from youtube :


 

And the song I created: Yo soy un pea, yo soy un pez, yo soy un pez y me gusta nadar….repeat 2x and Nado rapido y despacio, nado rapido y despacio (3x), the kids loved going fast and slow.

We also went fishing in a small water bucket where I placed twenty fish and they practiced: Yo tengo un pez  (color) en mi mano. This was done at intermediate level classes.

It was a fun way to celebrate Dr. Seuss week and the children loved it!

Why not give this a try and let me know how your children liked it?

 

Champions Of Care Challenge The Champion In You

This is a sponsored post with the Niche Parent Network & Conference. All opinions are my own.

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You know I have been on a one year journey to accomplish weight loss and add healthier habits along with improving my fitness habits. But at the end of last year, when my son was diagnosed at the age of 10 with high blood pressure, my concerns extended to his health as well!

I wanted to share some of our changes and how we are making them cause an impact in switching his condition naturally. I must say it has been hard to create awareness and discipline on a child’s food habits in a country where fast food and long computer hours are a huge part of the children’s daily reality, my son included.

We have added:

  • 2 days of Karate, instead of one
  • Increased his enrichment activities, adding a school special club and more hours of music practice, along with his choir weekly rehearsal.
  • One of his chores is to take the dog for a walk every morning, which we have neglected to enforce in the past.
  • I cut all the salt out of the food preparation, added sea salt to our salt and pepper shakers and limited his use
  • Increased his water intake, removed juice and and a lot of sugar from his diet.
  • Added fruit smoothies and low fat yogurt to his diet.

I’m waiting for the spring so we can take more walks and do more outdoor fun activities, but that didn’t prevent us from doing it in this snow season and taking long walks in the woods behind out home!

Play in snowBB

He is 5’8″, so I need to be careful with the amount of food he needs to grow, but I do know he doesn’t need white flours, sugar, candy, artificial juices that we have limited or eliminated from his diet. I highly encourage you to think about moving more with your children and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

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We haven’t reached our goal to reduce his weight by 10 pounds, but he hasn’t increased it either, which is a victory!

We have made health a priority for our family this year, that is why we’re so excitedhappy to share that we were excited to hear that all across America, caring people are quietly doing amazing things for the health of their communities. To say thank you, our independent Health Mart pharmacists are awarding $50,000 in grants to community health non-profits to recognize them for improving health and well-being in their communities.

Entering is simple. Just tell us your story about the good deed you or someone you know has done, and you could win the right to select the non-profit of your choice to receive thousands of dollars to continue critically important work for the health of the community.

Health Mart’s Champions of Care Challenge will shine a bright light on those unsung local heroes whose everyday actions have built healthier families, workplaces, neighborhoods and communities.

  •  A $30,000 grant chosen by the grand prize winner
  •  A $3,000 grant chosen by the 2nd place winner
  •  A $2,000 grant chosen by the 3rd place winner
  •  $1,000 grants chosen by each of 15 finalists

To find out how it works, visit www.healthmartcommunity.com TODAY and nominate someone or yourself for the Champions of Care Challenge from Health Mart!

Starting on March 17th, the public will have two weeks to vote for their favorite Champions of Care at www.healthmartcommunity.com.

Action Packed Event With Nuclear Cowboyz

I’ve received tickets for the Nuclear Cowboyz, but all opinions are my own.

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The night started with the kids going crazy when they found out they would meet the motorcycle riders, We had their autographs in two rounds of excitement and I joined the fun and was embraced by the crew and they took a picture with me!

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They had a kids zone where kids get to try helmets, clothing, shoes and sign on the motorcycle, the boys had a blast!

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But the action really began with the plot of the Evil Queen who was trying to get the best motorcycle riders and Karate warriors. The children and adults got immersed in the action packed fun event where motorcycles do the unthinkable, with great stunts, engaging soundtrack and pyrotechnics!

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Adding to the action, the show features the critically-acclaimed Shaolin Kung Fu Warriors defying their limits of courage through heart-wrenching martial arts performances with swift movements, extreme force and fierce concentration that test the sheer strength and agility of their bodies. These warriors will use their own bodies to bend metal rods, break objects in precise strikes and be lifted in the air on the points of handheld spears.

Entering its fifth touring year, Nuclear Cowboyz 2014 is led by an award-winning creative team and features the world’s top freestyle motocross athletes, including multi-time X Games medalists Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg, Taka Higashino, Mike Mason, Matt Buyten, Ronnie Faisst and Colten Moore as well as freestyle heavyweights Derek Garland, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Nick Dunne, Brody Wilson, Marco Picado and more.

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Show Time
Saturday, March 1, 2014

7:30PM

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2:00PM

Where

IZOD Center

50 State Route 120

East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Ticket Information

Tickets are available now atwww.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800/745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased at Ticketmaster Retail Locations or by purchasing them at the arena’s box office.  All seats are reserved.  Tickets start at $15 for kids.  For Group Sales (15 tickets or more), please call 201-460-4370.

Experience Nuclear Cowboyz with a VIP Fallout Zone ticket. A very limited number of tickets are set aside for the BIGGESTNuclear Cowboyz fans. Each VIP Fallout Zone ticket includes: Premium seating and admission to a private meet-and-greet with the stars of Nuclear Cowboyz 2014 where fans will be presented with a commemorative VIP Fallout Zone credential and poster. Only VIP Fallout Zone ticket holders will be able to take part in the meet-and-greet. It’s the ultimate VIP experience. Don’t wait as these seats are extremely limited and will go fast!

I highly recommend it for all ages!

 

MEGA FUN with LEGOLAND EVENT

 Lego 4f

This week we were invited to preview news regarding LEGOLAND Parks and hear all the amazing and exciting news on their Orlando expansion in NYC at the  Grand Hyatt and I wanted to share all the amazing news with you!

We had a chance to hear about Legoland Discovery Center  in Westchester, which is so close to us and will be visiting it in March with my family to share all the  fun with you!

Legoland 1

We also had a chance to preview the new expansion at the Legoland Florida Park in Orlando, available for new guests on Memorial Day. We will also be visiting it to share the rides and excitement with you, during our late March trip, I can’t wait!

LEGOLANDFLORIDA

The event was perfect for all ages, my son spent most of the time building Chima sets!

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Children and adults were amazed by large Lego Statues and Buildings!

Chima and If

 

 

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I can’t begin to describe the amazing food and desserts buffet which caught the children’s attention!

 

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We were very impressed with the new things that are happening in the LEGOLAND parks, which you can check on the links above and can’t wait to share our experience after our visit! Let us know if you have visited one of their parks and share your experience here!

 

Nuclear Cowboyz Giveaway

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I have received tickets to attend the Nuclear Cowboyz Show, but all opinions are my own.

I’m so excited to share the Freestyle Motocross Show returning to IZOD Center on Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2 with an all new show. It features the saga of an allied tribe, the Nuclear Cowboyz, whose sole commitment is to defeat an indestructible evil tyrant and her army in this action-infused freestyle performance of pure danger and raw combat.

Check it out:

 

My son and hubby can’t wait, we have watched some show clips and they are checking out all information, we’re so excited to be attending the show!

Entering its fifth touring year, Nuclear Cowboyz 2014 is led by an award-winning creative team and features the world’s top freestyle motocross athletes, including multi-time X Games medalists Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg, Taka Higashino, Mike Mason, Matt Buyten, Ronnie Faisst and Colten Moore as well as freestyle heavyweights Derek Garland, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Nick Dunne, Brody Wilson, Marco Picado and more.

Show Time
Saturday, March 1, 2014

7:30PM

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2:00PM

Where

IZOD Center

50 State Route 120

East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Ticket Information

Tickets are available now at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800/745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased at Ticketmaster Retail Locations or by purchasing them at the arena’s box office.  All seats are reserved.  Tickets start at $15 for kids.  For Group Sales (15 tickets or more), please call 201-460-4370.

Experience Nuclear Cowboyz with a VIP Fallout Zone ticket. A very limited number of tickets are set aside for the BIGGEST Nuclear Cowboyz fans. Each VIP Fallout Zone ticket includes: Premium seating and admission to a private meet-and-greet with the stars of Nuclear Cowboyz 2014 where fans will be presented with a commemorative VIP Fallout Zone credential and poster. Only VIP Fallout Zone ticket holders will be able to take part in the meet-and-greet. It’s the ultimate VIP experience. Don’t wait as these seats are extremely limited and will go fast.

About Feld Motor Sports®

Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment.  Feld Motor Sports productions include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross and Nuclear Cowboyz®.  Feld Motor Sports is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment.  For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit www.feldentertainment.com.

Guess what I am really excited because we will be giving away family passes for 4 (four) people, to enter, please comment on what you are looking forward to seeing at Nuclear Cowboyz and many other ways to win!

Can’t wait to announce the winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Reasons Why Computer Games Improved My Son’s Spelling

Spelling Pic

I know what you are thinking! Computer and we limit the children’s time on it, trust me, I’ve been there, I still AM! But my son was reading very complicated books and was really great at understanding and reading them, but when it was time to write answers, to spell, oh no! Even words he had just read, simple day to day words would come out like some foreign language and trust me, they were not in any known dictionary!

Well, Minecraft and Clash of Clans came along and he needed to chat, sometimes, unusual words were involved in the game! He started observing other players and started mastering the most common words and also the harder ones. Let me share a secret – 7, 8 even 9 year olds don’t chat with acronyms or abbreviations, they write things down, full words as a way to communicate with each other. It’s their brain trying to make sense of thinking and typing at the same time, fast enough to ask for resources, for donations, for troops and for their buddy who is playing with them to follow them and attack.

So after my frustration with my son’s literature answers, and observing his progress and maturity in the written language and how it had developed in parallel with his game skills, I have reached the conclusion that games can have a positive impact on your child’s education, as long as they are playing games  that reach and use those skills.

As a linguist, these are my findings, comparing my observation and the data on my son’s homework:

  1.  Games can improve spelling if your child uses chat mode, because the speed and level of concentration will require that they master their spelling to write while they play.
  2. At age 6-8, children are trying to make sense of building sentences, without proper punctuation and connectors, so words need to have full meaning, because most times, two words will convey the meaning of a full 10 word sentence. Well, no better place then games, where speed will require precision and concision, above all.
  3. Children don’t want to sound “not cool”, so sometimes my son would shout across the room, mom, how do you spell? Spelling becomes a must have skill, so the cool older kids playing don’t make fun of you!
  4. My son’s communication skills also were enhanced while playing Minecraft, Clash of Clans and Terraria since he had to master Skype, research mods, glitches and tricks on You Tube, which brought extra hours of reading and learning, prior to playing the game.
  5. His typing skills were also developed, because with no formal typing lessons, he suddenly became a very fast keyboarder.  There is a chat section on Minecraft which has motivated him to learn to type faster and more accurately and sometimes communicate with several players at the same time. 

So more specifically about Minecraft, my favorite, way beyond spelling, when you spawn in Minecraft you are in the middle of nowhere with trees, caves and animals around.  If you are playing in survival mode, you will also see creepers, skeletons, zombies, spiders or endermen that will attack you starting at sundown.  You need to try to survive by cutting down trees and building some type of shelter to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night.  You also have  hunger bars and if you don’t find food, you will die.

Sounds easy, but trust me it’s not.  You must come up with a strategy for surviving that first night and be quick about it lest you die at the hands of the monsters in the dark or a hungry belly.  I have seen the kids come up with elaborate plans for surviving that first night.  They’ve learned to hunt for food, build shelter, mine coal for torches and make tools from natural resources all within the span of a 10 minute Minecraft “day”. Tough, huh?

I’m impressed so much I have even recommended some parents to use games to help my foreign language students enhance their reading and spelling skills. Check it out on my post on favorite apps!

Just remember, the best way to help your child excel at any subject is to make it fun and help him feel successful. Nothing is more fun then playing video games!

Monster Fun With Monster Jam

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This Year We had the best Valentines Day ever! We went to watch Monster Jam at the IZOD Center and had the best family night ever!

Monster Truck 2

Party In The Pits started with Adam Anderson owner and driver of Grave Digger – The Legend, who explained how Monster Jam works and his family history in the business, how he started. We knew he was a crowd favorite, but after talking with him, we could really understand why!  We had an overall view of the outside and learned about the  66 inch tires, trucks running on methanol fuel, and even witnessed them change the tire and the inside of his car and how he gets inside.

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All drivers were really nice and patient, they answered any questions we had and autographed our 2014 Souvenir YEARBOOK! Here are some of our favorites!

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These were the trucks featured:

The Grave Digger – The Legend, The Grave Digger, Captain America, Thrasher, Shockwave, Overkill Evolution, Madusa and Black Stallion.

They competed in amazing categories such as Wheelies, Donuts, Racing and Free Style!

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The Legend won most competitions, but we really loved the action packed finale, where Grave Digger (the original, not The Legend), hit three Monster Trucks while doing free style, which was the final competition!  It stirred the crowd and brought the adrenaline to a whole new level! A Monster Level!

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It was truly a great experience, for adults and children of any age! I would highly recommend it! Tonight the fun continues, to find out more information, please log on to Monster Jam

 

 

 

Marvel Super Hero Mashers – A Smashing Hit

This is part of a product review campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Hasbro; complimentary products were provided.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

We really love that children are encouraged to use their imagination and create, more than just a simple build a character toy! Hasbro’s MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS feature your favorite MARVEL Super Heroes and Villains with  interchangeable parts, so kids can create amazing heroes with endless possibilities! What if THOR had CAPTAIN AMERICA’s shield? What if THE HULK could shoot off repulsor blasts like IRON MAN? More than 20 unique MARVEL SUPER HERO MASHERS characters  are planned for 2014, there is no limit to what your child’s imagination will create! I like them so much that I have decided to incorporate them in my Spanish Classes to motivate children learn about body parts, perfect combination of creativity and foreign languages!

We received Thor and Captain America and the fun began!

 thoramerica

My son created, in his own words: A Thormarica!

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He also created Captain Thunder:

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He even named him on the special tent card:

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So, are you ready to Make YOUR Mash-Up? Visit www.hasbro.com/heromashers/en_US/ for more information and to create your own! Come and join the fun!

We also wanted to invite you to join us for the Hasbro Marvel Super Hero Mashers #MiMashup Twitter Party on 2/12 from 9-10 pm EST. Follow @LatinaMomBlogs for details.