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Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon Review for 2012

I love Star Wars and had the opportunity to buy the new Lego Millennium Falcon for my son (or should I say me?) so read on for my full review and thoughts on this awesome Star Wars Lego toy.

Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon Review

The packaging looks so good I almost didn’t want to open it!  Perhaps if I hadn’t it might be worth some money in a few years time – hmmm, or maybe not?  Anyway, I get the Lego Millennium Falcon unwrapped and carefully place all the different parts out on the table.  This is what you get:

  • 6 Star Wars Lego Minifigures – Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Han Solo L
  • Lego Star Wars Weapons – 3 Lightsabres, 3 Blasters, and 1 Crossbow (for Chewbacca)
  • Complete Star Wars Lego Bricks including: Opening hull, rotating laser cannons, detailed interior aspects, twin flick missiles, and detachable cockpit cover so you can put figures in
  • 1,254 Star Wars Lego pieces in total
  • Lego Millennium Falcon Instructions and “How to Guide”

Lego Millennium Falcon Instructions and Build Time

My son is eight, and it took us around 5 hours to build the Lego Millennium Falcon from scratch.  I let him take the lead on most of the construction, and offered tips and guidance where appropriate, but the great thing is how easy the Lego Millennium Falcon instructions are to understand for a child of his age.

Plus all of the plastic Star Wars Lego parts are easy to identify because they have been separated and ordered into clear plastic bags which have numbers on them – and the numbers correlate to the instructions manual for ease of identification.

The Final Star Wars Lego Toy and How it Works

Once we had completed our build and assembly of the Lego Millennium Falcon I was actually quite surprised at how sturdy it was.  I guess there must have been some technical advances in Lego bricks over last twenty five years since I last used them.  A child can easily pick and play with the model as no parts seem to fall off – as long as you’ve pressed the Lego bricks together properly.

The attention to detail is also very impressive, and if you are a fan of the original Star Wars Trilogy films then you won’t be disappointed.  There are fold-out panels on the top of the Lego space ship that when opened show the inside of the model.  It’s then possible to re-enact all your favorite Star Wars Millennium Falcon moments using the mini-figs that come included.

You can detach the cockpit cover and put Han Solo or Chewbacca in their to pilot, whilst in the rear Luke Skywalker and friends can be discussing their latest attempts to destroy Darth Vader’s Death Star – or simply play their Virtual chess game (now that would be a cool toy in real life!).

The cannons on the top of the Millennium Falcon also rotate to give that extra bit of realism to the whole Lego model as does the hidden smuggler’s compartment which you should be familiar with from the original Star Wars film.

Lego Millennium Falcon 2012 Review and Thoughts

This really is an awesome Millennium Falcon Star Wars set, and I can’t really say anything negative about it apart from one thing: Where are C3PO and R2D2?  This Star Wars Lego set is meant to be from Star Wars Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI.  Yes you might get Darth Vader, but in the films he was only on the Millennium Falcon in about one scene if I remember correctly.

So a note to the Lego designers – if you release a new version in 2012 or beyond make sure you include the droids because they were a big part of the Millennium Falcon story in the films and were in loads of scenes with Luke Skywalker.

Conclusion on the Millennium Falcon Lego Toy Set and Where to Buy

If you love Lego and Star Wars then you won’t be disappointed with this toy.  Even more valuable is the quality time that it could offer if you have a son or daughter like me, and want to help them learn how to follow instructions – and get great pleasure from achieving something in a toy.

Lego is great because it is educational and the toys offer some degree of learning value, which can’t always be said about a lot of other toys on the market.  Check the best price out on Amazon today if you want to buy a cheap Lego Millennium Falcon set.

Article Credit: This toy review was written and compiled by Bob Tanta who regular contributes to toy and baby blogs.  Keep an eye out on the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition in the coming months as Bob is hoping to help contribute to their top 10 list of best Christmas presents for children..

Making the Walk Home from the Bus Stop Safe

If your child is finally of an age where he or she can walk home from the bus stop, you may be a little worried about his or her safety. This is a logical fear to have and one that you honestly shouldn’t let go of. Keeping your child safe is your primary responsibility as a parent and one that you should not take lightly. With that in mind, there are some simple steps you can take to make that walk just a little safer for your little one. Here are some quick tips to give you better peace of mind when your child walks home.

Install Electronic Locks

Your child is bound to lose his or her key at some point in time. With an electronic lock, all you have to do is give your child a set of numbers to remember. To make this easy, you might select a code your child is familiar with, like your home phone number or the year of his or her birth. You might also want to use the house number from across the street so your child always has something to reference. As long as your child knows to lock the door from the inside once he or she gets home, you should not have to worry about what’s going on.

Request a Phone Call

My mother used to make me call her every day when I got home from school, even when I was 16 years old. This just let her know that everything was alright and I was indeed safe. You could set up a similar system with your child so you can feel a little better about where he or she is after the bus ride. If your kid doesn’t call before a certain pre-determined time, you can call the house to see what’s going on. If no one answers, start calling the school, the neighbors, or anyone else you can to find out what is going on.

Make Friends with the Neighbors

It’s always nice to have someone else looking out for your child. Talk to one of the neighbors close by the house and see if he or she can keep an eye out for your kid. This person doesn’t need to do anything extreme. You mainly just need him or her as a point of contact whenever your child isn’t answering your phone calls. With that person on hand, you should always know where your kid is.

Follow the safety steps above, and you will never have to worry about what is going on with your child after the bus ride home.

 

About the Author: Heaven Stubblefield is a professional writer who uses life experience to help others in need. She recommends using mechanical door locks to keep any home safe and secure..

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

learning how to stop thumb suckingMany children suck their thumbs; however, most children stop sucking their thumbs by the age of four or five. Often, a child will suck their thumb if they are afraid, nervous or unsure of what is going on. However, if this habit goes on too long, it can lead to speech or dental problems. There are a few tips that will help you deal with this problem effectively such as encouragement, love and a few tricks of the trade. How to stop thumb sucking is not difficult but it does take time, effort and ingenuity.

For some children, thumb sucking that goes on a long time may mean that your child is having an emotional problem and may need to see a pediatrician. Most importantly, prolonged thumb sucking can lead to a dental problem such as the roof a child’s mouth protruding over the bottom teeth. This may require dental visits to correct the alignment of the teeth and that means braces. Some have found success by using a thumb guard

In addition to misaligned teeth, a child may also develop speech problems such as developing a lisp. One way to help inspire your child to stop sucking his thumb is to explain that by not sucking his thumb, he or she will have a lovely smile and teeth that look beautiful. Another way to inspire your child not to suck his thumb is to talk about germs that can get into his mouth when sucking his thumb and that may make him or her feel sick.

Another way to help your child with this matter is to keep your child’s hands busy with games, puzzles or a favorite activity. Try this method when he or she wants to suck their thumbs. Keeping a child busy or involved in another activity will eventually stop the thumb sucking. Some parents have found that when they praise their child for not sucking their thumb, the child eventually stops because they like the praise and encouragement.

In addition, some parents have found that by giving their child a reward for not sucking their thumb an effective way to help stop the habit. It is important to note that to stop thumb sucking may take several methods. One other method that might help is by making a chart and putting gold stars on the days when he or she doesn’t suck their fingers. Most children respond to colors and shapes and this is one method that some have found helpful.

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3 Lego Sets to Start Inspiring Children’s Creativity

No toy can put up with Barbie in terms of popularity than Lego. These multi-colored brick sets are not just entertaining but they also challenge children’s creative prowess. For decades, Lego is a household name, and a household ware. Aside from being a physical toy, Lego has been used in various forms of entertainment pieces like stop-motion animations and videos, be it done by studios or enthusiasts posting their creations on YouTube. Let us not forget the video games that featured Lego graphics art like Lego Batman, Lego Star Wars, and Lego Harry Potter franchises.

There are a lot of attractive choices of Lego sets out there that can help children to be more creative. Look around and discover sets that are interesting and you can enjoy with your kids starting with this three:

Market Street Set– This set was released back in 2007 and it has an advertised number of pieces of 1,248. It was priced at $90.00 when it was first released. Three mini-figures are included in this set. What makes this very special is the fact that Market Street is all about stacking up to complete a building. Sure, there is lots of other building type of Lego sets but they are too complicated for children. This one is not too easy to complete too but it would provide enough challenge while not being too punishing.

King’s Castle Set– This was part of the second generation of the Lego Castle series back in 1984. King’s Castle includes several mini-figures including soldiers, guards, knights, and horses. This set is highly detailed to the point that the set featured grey pieces to reflect realism. The creative part that children could apply here in this set is the placing of the mini-figures around the castle. Where will the archers be stationed? Where will the knights be patrolling? Will the soldiers be placed inside the fort or outside?

The Death Star Set- One couldn’t write a list of must-have Lego sets without including a Star Wars set. The best Star Wars set is indeed its most popular icon, the Death Star. There are total of 25 mini-figures included in this set. All the main characters are included. Hans Solo in Stormtrooper suit is also included and Luke Skywalker in his Tatooine farm clothing. Just like the Market Street Set, the Death Star set is huge but also isn’t difficult to build. Aside from that, the vast amount of mini-figures would allow children to create storylines around the ship and the characters.

There are lots of Lego sets out there. There are available in various stores, but if you want to experience the closest Lego experience you can try buying them off Danish toy stores. Lego sets are also available in every toy store in your local area. If you ever find one, try to look for these particular sets since they will surely make your kids to be more creative than they already are.

Jasper Dela Cruz is a toy enthusiast. 

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Toddler Games: Fun & Educational

Babies thrive on the love and care of their parents, making playtime an excellent opportunity to instill lessons in language and encourage motor skill development. This vital period of life never seems to last long enough. In what seems like the blink of an eye, children grow up. These games can help prepare them for the next step: school.

Peek-A-Boo

This classic game aids your baby in understanding that objects still exist even when not in sight. This understanding is an important milestone in an infant’s cognitive development. This game often begins during the newborn phase and can continue indefinitely. Whether played with hands or a cloth that a baby can pull to reveal mom’s face, peek-a-boo is a universally beloved game.

Anticipatory Games

Midway through a baby’s first year of life, they become capable of anticipatory actions. When your baby is on your lap, try gently touching your foreheads together, saying, “ahh-boom” each time you do this. After a period of repetition, your little one begins to anticipate the coming forehead touch and will start to lean toward you, knowing what happens next.

Pat-a-Cake

Has there ever been a baby who did not love pat-a-cake? Around the seven-month mark, a baby learns to clap hands and will do so joyfully as you chant the pat-a-cake rhyme. They will begin to grasp the concept of timing and eagerly take part in repeating your movements. Young babies try to vocalize with sounds, but before long, your child will sing along from memory.

Oops! Cause and Effect Play

You can incorporate nearly any stackable toy for this game but blocks work best. Around 3 months, use them to build a tower from the objects. Help your baby reach out and gently knock down the tower. This game teaches your baby that actions have consequences.

This Little Piggy

Babies are very big fans of babbling and this game is always a joy for them. This little piggy is a fun way to teach your baby that even if they are small, they can still actively participate in playtime. They quickly discover that this ticklish activity can often be prolonged simply by sticking out their baby toes in mom or their caregiver’s direction.

No matter what your baby’s game of choice may be, take full advantage of playtime. While clearly a fun activity, babies are soaking in everything around them, so make sure what they absorb from you is fun, educational and valuable.

Ken is actively involved in promoting healthy and coordinated children in the Houston area. His company provides gymnastics for kids ranging from 3 to 6 years old..

First Aid Kit for Kids

A first aid kit is a prerequisite for a house or an institution and it involves a lot more than a cotton roll and soap.

Benefits of Having First-aid Kits:

• Imagine having to run around the house for a cotton swab when a kid is bleeding after a severe fall; only chaos will ensue. Having supplies at hand saves time and panic during such emergency situations.

• These kits help prevent infections and can even help to save lives in extreme scenarios.

• It also prevents excessive blood loss and scarring.

• Remember the adage ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’

Emergency Contact Details (doctor, dentist, hospital)

Never underestimate the importance of writing down important phone numbers close to your kit box. Let’s say your child decides to be adventurous and jumps down the stairs, and in the process loses a tooth or splits his upper lip. Unless you have your dentist’s or doctor’s phone number on a speed dial, you are likely to get nervous and drop your phone searching for contact numbers. I suggest contact numbers become a permanent fixture on your wall, away from your children’s reach.

List of Essentials – The essentials that comprise these kits are:

• Sterile Gauze Pads: The child shouldn’t reopen the same wounds again. Therefore, tape the cuts tightly.

• Bandage: Cuts and scrapes are part of childhood. A child should have the freedom to play rather than stay at home for fear of injury.

• Antiseptic Wipes: I have seen children create a ruckus that could be heard a couple of streets away when an attempt is made to wash wounds with soap and water. For such situations, antiseptic wipes work well, as they are both hygienic and noise-free!

• Painkillers: A low dose painkiller like ibuprofen will help the child rest and help in healing of the wound.

• Soap: Remember to wash your hands and, if possible, convince the child to wash minor wounds with soap at all times.

• Tweezers / Scissors: I suggest never use your hand to clean a wound. Tweezers are the safest way to clean wounds, especially those from glass or grass.

• Antibiotic Ointment: Different antiseptic and antibiotic creams are available and often come with a first-aid kit. Along with these, antiseptic solutions like Dettol or Hydrogen Peroxide are essential.

• Calamine Lotion: There is nothing better to soothe rashes or prickly heat than this lotion.

• Thermometer: I use an electronic thermometer as they are more convenient. However, a regular mercury thermometer is also acceptable.

• Cold Packs: Broken bones and swelling heal faster with a cold compress. If these are not available, you can also use frozen peas.

• Gloves: There may not always be time to use it, but just in case.

• Eggs and Honey: A personal favourite of mine, I would also add these household items to the list because honey is an excellent antiseptic medium that is used to heal even surgical wounds, and eggs help regenerate scar tissue in case of burns.

Keep Life Simple

• First-aid kits do not have to be a fancy piece of equipment that needs to be under lock and key. Even an old tiffin box filled with all the basics will suffice.

• Remember that the whole purpose of this kit is to be useful during an emergency. So check and refill its contents regularly.

Consider Basic First Aid Training

Our children’s safety is paramount to our happiness. Learning how to provide first aid is vital to a child’s safety. First aid training will help you cope with any situation with composure.

A first aid kit could also be the difference between long-term injury and a quick fix especially when kids are involved. Its true value is only gauged during desperate times, and it’s then that we realise how important it is to have one that has all the medicines and equipment required. Coupled with some basic first aid training you can feel confident that you are ready to deal with most simple ’emergencies’ that kids create.

Ross Davies writing for Lebreton Health & Safety Training specialists in Paediatric First Aid Training..

The Negative Impact of Thumb Sucking on Speech Development

Although thumb sucking might be considered a natural stage that babies and young children go through and a perfect round the clock soothing aid, thumb sucking may impact on your child’s oral development, including their speech, if it becomes a habit in the long-term. In 2009 a joint study carried out by researchers in the US and Chile found that children who sucked their thumb for a significant length of time during the day or past the age of three were three times more likely to develop speech problems than children who did not suck their thumb. This is contrary to what had previously been thought that as long as children stopped thumb sucking by the age of six, when they typically get their adult teeth, there should be no interference with normal speech development.

How thumb sucking affects speech

Thumb sucking can impact on the development of speech in a number of ways. Sucking a thumb – or another digit for that matter –means that babies have fewer opportunities to babble and get less practice at forming different shapes with their mouths, which can interfere with the development of the oral motor skills needed for speech. Not only this, but with age, in sucking their thumb children have less chance to talk and interact with the world around them, so have fewer opportunities to practice their language skills, including vocabulary and the structure of sentences. Thumb sucking, as with the use of a pacifier, may increase the likelihood of a middle ear infection and if these occur repeatedly they are a major cause of delays in speech sound. Speech is less likely to be clear when children suck their thumb, as they have something in their mouth while talking, hindering their mouth and tongue from making the necessary movements. The repeated action of putting their thumb inside their mouth means that a child’s tongue is pushed backwards, causing it to be bunched up at the back of their mouth.

With time, this has a negative impact on tongue position and its movement, even at times when the thumb isn’t in their mouth. This encourages a child’s tongue to move forward and protrude between their teeth during speech, which can interfere with sound production. In this instance, lisping is more likely, with children struggling to produce S and Z sounds; they also may have difficulty in lifting their tongue to produce L and R sounds. As with a pacifier if children suck their thumb after the age of three years, doing so can push their teeth out of alignment, which can lead to disordered speech sounds. Not only can this happen, but the development of the jaw bone can also be affected by thumb sucking, which in itself can impact of speech.

The solution

If a speech and language assessment shows that a child is not pronouncing speech sounds as they should be at their age, a speech therapist can work with them to help with the particular speech sounds that they have trouble with. It is also possible that the speech therapist may show affected children some oral motor therapy exercises to help improve their tongue strength and position, allowing the problems that thumb sucking has caused for the tongue muscles to be resolved. However, like everything prevention is better than cure, so it is better to nip the thumb sucking in the bud to prevent it causing any speech problems in the first place; certainly make sure your child is not sucking their thumb by their third birthday, as after this stage it is more likely to be detrimental towards their speech..

Teaching Your Kids How to Be a Good Sport

Teaching your children how to be a good sport is important lessons that will reverberate long after they’ve grown up, become adults and entered the world of work and relationships. It’s one of the basic lessons that is easy to overlook but can have lasting negative effects if not taught. Whatever your system, be it rewarding them with stickers, custom pins or hugs, just make sure you commit to it.

First And Foremost, Make Sure They’re Having Fun
At the end of the day, if your kids are not enjoying the activity, they’re not going to learn anything. It’s important to listen to your children and their interests from early on in order to know what their definition of fun is. If your children beg you to participate in something, that’s a great sign for something they’ll enjoy and will be open to learning the rules of.

Be Encouraging
It’s one thing for your kids to participate, it’s another thing altogether for you to encourage them into doing their best. Always offer up positive words and appreciate their efforts. Remind them that it’s not about winning but having fun. Trying and giving effort is what you want to see, not an overriding desire to be the best. Make sure you’re keeping conversations easy-going and light.

Teach Them to Be Encouraging
You’ve heard of Paying It Forward? Well this is a bit like that. Children have nurturing sides just like adults. They want to help those who need it so encourage that. If your son can aide his younger sister to do well and that is nurtured by you, he can pass that desire on to friends and teammates as well. Making sure that everyone is taking turns, celebrating everyone’s efforts and supporting one another is what it’s all about.

Share Rewards
If you are going to offer some kind of reward or prize in a competition, make sure that everyone gets something. If you order custom pins, make sure everyone gets one. If you have stickers, everyone should get one. Even trophies and badges should be distributed to everyone. You can have bigger trophies for the winners but you want to make sure that everyone feels like they’ve earned something. Winners should congratulate everyone else too.

Be a Great Example
The most obvious thing you can do is be a good sport yourself. Your children will take so much of how to conduct themselves from you. If you taunt others, make it all about winning and act like a sore loser, you’re sending the message that those things are okay to your children. Even if it feels silly, make sure you’re always congratulating others, high-fiving, leading “good game” cheers and remaining positive throughout competition.

Citations:

Mercedes Potter is an elite writer who blogs about various subjects. In this post, she gives parents some ideas on how to encourage goos sportsmanshop with their children. Follow her @CedesPotter to see what else she’s been blogging about.

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Traveling with Your Baby: How to Have Fun

Traveling with Your Baby: How to Have Fun

If the prospect of taking your baby on a trip is scaring you, you should not be. If your kid is newborn, it would even be easier to travel because they would probably sleep through the entire trip. You may be a bit tired but at least you can do other things like read a book or flip through a magazine.

But with an older kid, it might be more challenging. This time you will have to entertain your child and make sure they are comfortable during the entire duration of the trip.

On Airplane Travels
Traveling with your little bundle of joys should be fun if you take care of a few essential things. Consider the following tips:

  1. Pack all the necessary baby care products into your hand carry.
  2. Make sure there are enough diapers and a few shirts for when they need to change into clean clothes.
  3. There should be enough baby formula for the duration of the flight.
  4. Make sure you have packed their favorite toy in your hand-carry along with the baby care items.
  5. Try to keep to your child’s daily schedule for feeding and napping as close as you can. If you expect to stay in a different time zone for a fairly good deal of time, you should maintain your child’s routine on the time zone of your home.

On board the plane, everything will be new to your baby and they will thrive in a new environment. Entertaining the baby at the onset of the trip is easy. Your kid would be so caught up in the new environment and the unfamiliar faces that you would not really have to do any entertaining.

A thing you have to remember about traveling with your baby is that their attitude or routine will not change just because they are traveling.

Getting Settled
When you arrive at your destination, you should unpack quickly and make the surroundings familiar to your child. This will make them feel relaxed quickly too. Your baby’s favorite toy or comfort object should be nearby at all times. Bring along a white noise music player to help your kid fall asleep more easily. Also, keep in mind babies need more naps when they are traveling.

Keeping With the Routine
Your child will be more cooperative if they can recognize their routine while traveling. If your baby is accustomed to some alone time with you prior to sleeping then make sure they get it as well while traveling as they will remember such  activity and know that sleep follows it. Bring your kids beddings or their play yard that could serve as their bed. Renting a hotel crib may not be safe and sanitary. A way to make sure that your kid will take to sleeping in their play yard is to have them sleep in it for a number of days before your travel.

Traveling with your baby should indeed be an enjoyable task as long as you keep all these things in mind. A great tip – try to take trip to nearby places first before embarking on a long travel with your child. It need not involve travelling by plane. You can take short drives in the country and staying overnight in a hotel. This way, your child will soon be familiar with such activity.

Matthew Young is an active blogger, who likes to share advice and tips. Matthew likes to write about kids related topics and is a guest writer for ColoringPagesABC.com.

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Raising Children and Puppies Together

When choosing a new puppy the whole family should be involved, the same goes for the training of the pup as well. It has been proven children as young as 3, can be involved in the training of your families new pup.

You may want to check with your vet, for the names of some reliable pet trainers. Some trainers will allow your children to attend the class along with you, if not you can teach your children the exercises, which you have learned upon your returning home.

  1. First and foremost your child needs to be respectful of this beautiful little breathing creature, which has just become a member of your family. A child needs to learn from the start, the pup is not a toy; pups need to be handled with loving care.
  2. Pups should be taught from the start the human is the leader of the pack, pups should be handled with a calm voice, which is consistent but firm. Children should also maintain the same standard of training, allowing the pup to walk only at their side or behind them; the human should always enter a door or gateway first.
  3. Make training your pup a fun time for the whole family, you will find the training will go a lot smoother and more successfully. Children should always be supervised with a new pup; the pup can get hurt seriously in a matter of seconds.
  4. A great way of reinforcing your children to be gentle with a pup is to give them both a “well done” along with a hug. Giving the pup a doggy treat will add extra unwanted weight, just as giving a child too many treats would.
  5. Parents should be aware of the pups actions, they will let you know when they have, had enough of the training for a while. Pups not unlike children can get snippy, when they are tired.
  6. Children can over stimulate a pup while running and playing, when there are too many children around the pup can get hurt or they may snap at a child, this is their way of saying leave me alone.
  7. It isn’t wise to let a child discipline a pup, this might cause the pup to get angry and do something they would not normally do. The discipline might also place a fear or lasting anger in the pup, toward the child as well.
  8. When you have visitors over, it would be a good idea to keep your pup in a safe area, away from everyone; this will insure the pup’s safety as well as the visiting children.

Bringing a new pup home can be an exciting adventure for the entire family, you must remember patients and understanding is the key, nothing is ever accomplished overnight.

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