Dragon Times – A math adventure card game for kids by Dragon Times

Dragon Times is a fun interactive card game designed for kids six and over that helps kids learn multiplication.  With the advent of common core math, my older son has struggled to understand the variety of ways to solve a math problem.  Dragon Times has helped him to memorize his multiplication factors in a fun easy way that makes him engaged.  Inside the box are 60 spell cards, 42 dragon cards, two times spinner grids, a spinner and instructions.  My son is a visual learner and seeing the differences on the dragon cards helped him to differentiate even versus odd, and look to identify unique features on each of the cards.

What we love…

fun way to teach kids about multiplication that involves a math game instead of worksheets

What we’d love to see…

a larger printable times table or spell book so that my son could reference it during gameplay.

Summary

Fun interactive game which encourages kids to learn their times tables while doing spells and practicing real time learning.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Gameplay is fun – although it takes a bit of practice to make sure kids are really looking at the cards to understand the features on each one.  In level 1, the dealer passes out six spell cards to each player (2 or more can play).  Next, the dealer places eight cards down with the dragons facing upward.  The first player then looks at their cards and tries to find a pair of numbers that when multiplied gives as a product of one the Dragon numbers that are down – there is a Times Table (aka spell book) that can help them.  When we were first playing this, a parent paired with our son to help him look at the cards and identify the characteristics.  If the player makes a lucky pair, they show the other players and get to pick up the Dragon card.  Gameplay continues until one player finishes their spell cards or until all the Dragons are saved.  The winner of this stage is the person who has the most Dragon cards.

After your child has mastered Level 1, there is a second level where they can tame dragons and guide them to safety.  This uses the spinner and previously saved Dragons from the first stage.  Each player spins the spinner.  At each spin, players look at the Dragons and numbers to see if one has a particular feature that the spinner landed on.  This could be a factor, even/odd, square number.  If it matches, they keep the Dragon near the spinner and it is considered tamed.  When a player does not have a lucky Dragon, they wait for the next spin.  There is also an Evil Swap Spell card where players exchange Dragons in their hand clockwise around.  The Evil Swap spell was confusing for my son, because he didn’t understand why he needed to pass his cards on.  For the first few games we didn’t use it until he got a better hang of how the game worked and started looking at the different characteristics of the cards.  The winner of this phase is when only one or none of the players have any Dragon Cards.  The winner is the one that has the most tamed dragons near the spinner.

Sample of the Dragon Cards

Dragon Cards – these cards represent multiples of numbers 1 to 10 – every number is a dragon.  Each dragon has features to help children know the factors of the number, if the number is even or odd or if it’s a square number.  Numbers 1-10 are Baby Dragons, odd numbers are Snake Dragons, even numbers stand on four legs. Multiples of 3  (or numbers divisible by 3) have one horn, multiples of 4 have wings, multiples of  5 have big ears, multiples of have a double tail, multiples of have pointy tails, multiples of 8 have a mane, multiples of have three horns, multiples of 10 have two heads, and  Square numbers breathe or throw fire.

Sample of the Spell Cards

Spell Cards – these are the numbers from one to 10. There is also a “Wizard’s Choice” Spell card which can replace any spell card.  The “Wizard’s Choice” card can also be used as a “wild” card to help the player capture a dragon in Stage 1.

I enjoyed playing this game with my son.  I noticed that it helped him take on more perspective about which cards had which features were on each card and his math skills improved quite a bit!

In terms of enhancements, I wish there were a printable on the Dragon Times table as I just found one online and printed it out – the reference one for my son was a bit too small when he wanted to play quickly.  There is an included spellbook which is likely perfect for most kids, but my son wanted a larger visual to help him quickly run his finger down the times table.

Overall, this is a fun game that teaches while you learn and engages kids to learn a fundamental math skill.  I enjoyed it because I didn’t have to draw diagrams, make circles or have to show my son how to solve the problem in multiple ways.  It was simply pure enjoyment as we learned math times tables and real time learning.

Pricing – Dragontimes is available for CAN $19.99 on their website or Amazon.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

11 Tech Toys for Kids of All Ages

Pixl Play Camera

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids.

JBuddies Studio Headphones

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen.

Smartphone Detector From My First Lab

The Smartphone Detector aka Smartphone Microscope Science Kit from My First Lab is a miniature microscope and LED light you attach to a Smartphone.

Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active.

My First Lab Wow Scope

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature.

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device.

Bluebee Pals

Bluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice., reads them a story and provides narration for your device

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.

KidiZoom Smartwatch by VTech

The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a durable smartwatch that lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more

Jimu Robot - Astrobot Kit

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs

Cubelets® Robot Blocks by Modular Robots

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.

 

 

 

 

Holiday gift shopping for kids can be so hard!  Tech is changing rapidly and kids always want to have the latest and greatest toys.  Below are some of our top picks for top kids tech that will have kids learning as well as being active. If you are looking for the latest, must have kid tech for gifts any time of year this guide contains some great ideas for the best tech gifts for kids.

 

For more great ideas check out our previous gift guides including our #STEM guide.  Be sure to also check out our other great gift guides.

 

 

 

Gifts Under $30

 

 

 

Pixl Play Camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pixlplay Camera from Pixl Toys is a  case and app that turns your (old) smartphone into a fun camera for kids. It is designed to look like an old 35mm camera but chunky enough for little hands to hold it securely. The tough plastic case has a screen protector and provides protection against drops and dirt. The pixlplay connects to your smartphone via the headphone jack, allowing kids to use a shutter button to take their pictures. It comes with a free companion app that encourages your child to explore and take pictures whilst learning about colors, numbers and shapes. Compatible with  iPHONE 4, 5, 6,  and similar sized Android phones, can be used with iPhone 7, 8 with lightning  adapter (as no headphone jack.)

Available from Amazon for  US$29.99 Recommended for Ages 3-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JBuddies Studio Headphones

 

 

 

 

JBuddies Studio Headphones from JLab are great headphones for from 6- teen. They are volume limited (to 85db) to prevent hearing damage and are adjustable to fit different head sizes from age 6-16. Older kids will appreciate the fact they ae styled to look like adult headphones and come in a range of color options. They have in-line controls, a built-in microphone and tangle-free braided cable. The headband and ear cushions are padded and comfortable for extended wear.The JBuddies Studio Headphones fold when not in use for easier storage and transportation.

 

Available from Amazon and Target  for US$19.99 . Recommended for Ages 6-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smartphone Detector From My First Lab

 

 

 

The Smartphone Detector aka Smartphone Microscope Science Kit from My First Lab is a miniature microscope and LED light you attach to a Smartphone. It has a strong plastic spring clip which is used to hold the microscope in place over the smartphone camera lens.To use simply switch on the smartphone camera and place the Smartphone Detector over the item you wish to magnify. If extra illumination is required the small but bright LED lamp can be switched on simply by turning its top. The light is powered by 3 watch batteries which can be easily replaced if required. It is a fun way for kids to examine small objects such as coins and stamps and can also be used for close ups of shells, leaves and other items. The Smartphone Inspector features 60X magnification, giving you great clarity on the items you inspect and it’s easy to take pictures too using your smartphone camera.

 Available from Amazon for US$12.99 . Recommended for Ages 12+ (but can easily be used by younger kids with supervision)

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $100

 

 

Garmin Vívofit Junior 2 Activity Tracker

 

 

 

The Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 is a great way to encourage kids to get up and active. It is available with bands featuring characters from Star Wars, Marvel and Disney. The Vivofit Junior 2 has a color screen that can be customized with different character step icons. It not only tracks steps, sleep and active minutes but also tells the time, reminds kids to do chores and has built-in timers. Each character band has a corresponding app where by logging 60 active minutes a day the child can unlock new levels encouraging kids to keep active. Each character theme has 2 band options- a stretchy band designed for smaller wrists, and an adjustable band for older kids. The vivofit Jr. 2 is waterproof, has a 1 year battery life and can be worn 24/7. To encourage friendly competition kids can compete in a leaderboard with other family members with Garmin devices and can compete in Toe-to-ToeTM step challenges with friends with also have a vívofit jr. 2 device.

Available from Garmin.com Best Buy, Amazon and other retailers for US$99. Recommended for Ages 4+

CYBER WEEK SALE only $79.99 at Garmin.com !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Lab Wow Scope

 

 

 

 

The World of Wonder (WOW) Scope from My First Lab is a great STEM gift to get kids interested in exploring science and nature. It is a binocular microscope with interchangeable 10X and 25X eyepieces, giving a total magnification of 20X and 50X. The WOW scope can be used with traditional glass microscope slides but also allows viewing of 3-D objects such as feathers, rocks and leaves. This lets kids view objects they find when out exploring in nature, without needing to do any slide preparation. My First Lab is a division of C & A Scientific who make scientific and educational microscopes so they use good quality glass optics for clearer viewing.  Read our full review.

Available from myfirstlab.com for US$69.99 Recommended for Ages 7+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device. Inside the box are 51 flashcards, 12 non-toxic erasable markers and a QR code which activates the app. Cards inside the box include everything you would find in a home ranging from bathroom items (sink, tub, toilet, towel rack); bedroom (crib, loft bed, bunk beds, lights, flooring, characters, clothing for the characters,rocking chair, bookshelf, ); kitchen (table, counters, plant, laundry basket, stove, cabinets and living room (couch, stereo system, chair.) Note these are not all of the items – they are selected ones that I picked out. Read our full review.

Available from Amazon and Apple for US$39.99  Recommended for Ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebee Pals

 

 

 

Sammy the Bear pro -Talking Educational Learning Tool

Bluebee Pals are a cuddly companion which integrates with your smartphone or tablet and gives your child a voice.  My son loves Sammy the Bear which we pair with our iPad Mini.  He enjoys having Sammy read him stories, helping him interact with apps and even speaking with his Grandmother.  My son also listens to Pandora while we drive or sometimes I will stream video’s without giving him a tablet so he can listen to the storyline without having #screentime..

 Available from Bluebee Pals or Amazon for US$64.99 Recommended for ages 2+  and special needs families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ProLOCK Mini from Rug-Ed case

 

 

 

Protect your kids devices using the ProLOCK Mini: iPad Mini 4 is a case designed by Rug-Ed which includes a tempered-glass screen protector, removable stand and locking fasteners with a tool which ensures that your iPad is not removed from it’s case accidentally.  The case features a handle at the top which allows for easy carrying; is thin and lightweight but protective of your device.  It also includes corner bumpers for drop protection.  The case can be used in a portrait or landscape mode on your device.  The case is tamper-proof and requires the use of a tool (which reminded me of an allen wrench) to lock in your tablet so that kids can not remove it.  Rug-Ed was started in 2012 and originally started by designing iPad cases for the educational environment.  They recently started offering the ProLOCK case for individual consumers to purchase. Rug-Ed plans to offer an iPhone case in the future as well.

Read our full review. RRP $39 USD and the case is available from Rug-Ed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KidiZoom Smartwatch by V Tech

 

 

 

Do your kids always ask what time it is?  Do they want to track activity but you are afraid to give them a more expensive device?  Enter the VTech® Kidizoom® Smartwatch DX, this durable smartwatch lets kids take pictures, videos, play games and more.  The watch also includes a calendar and calculator, eight games using the touch screen and a motion sensor for action.

 Available from Amazon for US$58.00 Recommended for ages 4+

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $200

 

 

Jimu Robot – Astrobot Kit

 

Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is a great STEM gift. It is a robotic building system that allows a child to build one of 3 included robot designs -Astrobot, Rover or Astron or they can create their own. The kit is designed for ages 8+ and includes  371 snap together parts that are similar in style to Lego Technics, 5 robotoc servo motors, a speaker, 2 16 color LED light, an infrared sensor, ciontrol biox, rechareable battery and the JIMU robot app. When they are ready to build the app has step by step 3D 360°animated building instructions. Once they have finishing building the robot the STEM fun and learning continues as the child learns to program it using Blocky drag and drop programming. They can also use their imagination to program new moves with pose, record, playback system. The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit is a really great STEM gift as it allow the child to both build and program a robot. The 3D building app is a great way to make the building part easier and Blocky programming is a great way to allow novice programmers to quickly feel comfortable coding.

The Jimu Robot Astrobot Kit from UBTECH is available from Amazon, Apple Stores for US$199.99. Other kits available from $99.99.  Recommended for Ages 8+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts Under $300

 

Cubelets® Robot Blocks  by Modular Robots

 

 

 

The Cubelets TWELVE introduces kids to robotics, coding and design all in one toy.  Cubelets are a expandable system of robot blocks which can be paired with Bluetooth® for more fun.  Kids of all ages will love putting the blocks together using magnets, and making them move.  My older son and his friends also built a creation using Lego® which they used in conjunction with their Cublet creation.  Cublets are expandable as well and you can buy additional blocks as needed including the adapter for Lego.  Cubelets TWELVE includes 12 robot blocks and two Brick Adapters.  They also have apps for iOS and Android which allow you to code, control

Note: if you purchase directly from Modular Robotics and enter promo code “iMumFreebie” you get free Brick Adapters.  You must add the item to the cart prior to checkout.

Available from Amazon and Modular Robotics for US$269 Recommended for Ages 4+

 

For additional gift ideas check out all our previous gift guides and  Christmas Gift Guides . 

 

This post contains affiliate links, if you click on these The iMums may receive a small commission which helps to pay to run this site. Thank you for supporting us by using these links. Some items on this list have been received free of charge for review purposes.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Review & Giveaway for Malia’s House from Build & Imagine #STEAM

build_imagine_lifestyle_1014_4star-58-800x534

What we love…

Easy to build, many combinations gives lots of options to play different ways, detailed illustrations and props encourage creative storytelling

What we’d love to see…

A bag included for storing all the small magnetic clothes and accessories

Summary

Malia’s house is a great S.T.E.A.M. gift – it encourages young builders to engage both the left and right side of their brain as they build and tell stories

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Historically building sets have been designed with boys in mind, but companies are now realizing that girls can be builders too, and creating sets made for girls. In many cases, like the Lego Friends series, this involves taking an existing building toy and making it more “girly” by changing the color scheme and theme of the sets. Build & Imagine sets were designed to get girls interested in building by providing them with a more creative, imaginative experience than standard building blocks. The Build & Imagine sets are building blocks meets dollhouse meets dress-up dolls. It’s a unique combination with lots of details designed to inspire girls (and boys) to build and imagine.

 

Malia’s House is one of the most popular Build & Imagine sets and the winner of a Parent’s choice Gold Award. The set includes 10 square, 4 triangular and 2 rectangular panels. These are illustrated on both sides and snap together magnetically.

Malia's House from Build & Imagine

Malia’s House from Build & Imagine

There is no set way to build Malia’s house – it can be one story or two, a traditional rectangle or  open plan. The builder can add a garage complete with charging electric car or flip it over and instead have deck on the beach. They can add stairs to a second story or turn over the piece to add a vegetable garden outside. There are many different permutations to create, the child can use their imagination to decide which scenes to include and what shape to build, every time they play they can rebuild it in a slightly different way. There is a working door and lots of different rooms and scenes illustrated on the panels, including furniture and indoor and outdoor scenes such as a kitchen, bedrooms, beach, garden and pool. 

malias_beach_house_balcony-800x534

As well as the building panels the kit also includes 2 magnetic dolls- Malia and her friend Skyler plus lots of magnetic clothes, pets and accessories. The set can also be combined with other Build & Imagine sets for even more creative fun.

Malia’s house is a great S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) gift – it encourages young builders to engage both the left and right side of their brains.  Building with geometric shapes of the magnetic panels children work on simple engineering skills and and work on design, spatial reasoning and problem solving and design. The  play sets encourage creative storytelling with the illustrations, dolls, animals, clothes and accessories helping the child to tell a story.

I love how my daughter not only creates different scenes and dollhouses with Malia’s House, but that she also loves to tell stories about what is happening as she plays. A great #STEAM gift and it can be combined with other Build & Imagine play sets for even more creative possibilities.  Available from Amazon and toyshops for US$59.99 .

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Malia’s House Magnetic Building Set, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to USA only and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Hudson The Puppy Bluebee Pal Pro by Bluebee Pals – Review

What we love…

soft and cuddly Bluetooth enabled animal which reads you stories, sings and allows use of special needs apps like an AAC, we loved seeing his mouth “move” as he spoke and interacted with us

What we’d love to see…

better mechanism for younger kids not to be able to access back of the Bluebee Pal, my son saw me open the velcro once and it became a game for him to rip it open to access the blue box in the back

Summary

Super fun toy which helped my 2 year old engage with my iPad, listen to stories and music.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Hudson the Puppy by Bluebee Pals is a plush toy which brings your iPad to life.  Hudson is a huggable plush learning tool with a moving mouth that talks, sings and reads to your child using content from your Bluetooth enabled device ranging from a iPhone or iPad, Android or bluetooth enabled laptop.  The puppy includes lip synchronization which allows the puppy’s mouth to move in time to the words or music, read a story or work with a learning app like an Alternative Augmentative Communication device (AAC).  Hudson the Puppy has velcro on his back, which you open to access a box used to turn him on/off, charge and a light which indicates if it is charging..  There is an on/off switch in the back as well as a mini-USB charging port for when the device needs a charge.  You can press on the right “ear” to access the phone and answer it or disconnect from a call. To connect Hudson, you go into settings, Bluetooth and from there you can connect under “other devices” to Bluebee Pals. You can also sit your device on Hudson’s lap or simply have the device nearby and hold Hudson.

 

Hudson is a soft and cuddly toy which my two year old loved.  I can’t tell you how many times he has asked me to read his favorite story books, and now Hudson can help read them to him, by speaking the words and allowing him to look at the images on our iPad.  It was also great with other apps we were playing with because my son is too young to read, Hudson would read aloud the text on the screen when we were playing with a Trucks storybook which let him “read” independently.  My son enjoys listening to music and I loved that I could connect Hudson to act as a speaker for music without actually having to give him my device, this meant I could stream Pandora easily without worrying about him swiping and using my iPad.  I also liked that I could pair Hudson to both my iPhone and iPad, so that it didn’t matter which device I was using with my son.  You can also use your Bluebee Pro to answer phone calls – the calls were clear and my two year old enjoyed hearing his puppy “speak” using another’s voice.  On the other end, at times the caller heard a slight echo or a muffling, I’m not 100% sure why as it was clear on our end with my iPhone 6.  I loved the “voice” that Hudson gave to my son when we used it.  The battery life was quite good and I’ve only had to recharge it once despite many uses.  The music option is great too or you can use it in “read to me mode” which means that the stories will be read to your child without them having to use your device and having it act more like an audiobook. I wiped down Hudson Puppy a few times when my son sneezed on him and it cleaned up very nicely which is very important for a toy.

In terms of improvements, my son saw me open the velcro in the back and then it became a “game” for him to open it.  I almost wish there was a zipper or something instead that wasn’t as easy for kids to open.

Overall, we loved using Hudson and my son kept asking for the story over and over again.  I loved how easy it was to set up and use, and when I tested it with some friends who had kids with special needs and an AAC app, they loved how it gave their son a voice.

BlueBee Pals are available online from the BlueBee Pals website and from Toys R Us, Walmart and other retailers RRP $64.99

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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