Tween Gift Guide

*I received free samples of these items for purposes of my review*

Tweens start getting more complicated to shop for. They want fewer toys and more personal care items. My tween loves games, beauty products, and baking! So, I’ve rounded up a few items that I know she’ll love.

Eco Lips

This fun chapstick comes in 3 very festive holiday flavors, Raspberry truffle, Candy Cane, and Gingerbread.

Eco Lips are organic and fair trade so something you can feel good about giving your child.

These are small and make terrific stocking stuffers or buy the multi pack and wrap it as a present.

The way my daughter looses lip balms, I’ll need a couple multi packs just to get her to next Christmas.

Not into holiday scents? They have lots of other flavors available. Including tinted products and bee free products. There’s something here for everyone!

America’s Test Kitchen – the Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs

My daughter loves to bake! And this cookbooks is perfect for her. From making your own sprinkles, to sweet and sour dip, to ketchup, to butter, to milkshakes, to really anything you can imagine. The instructions are easy to follow. There’s lots of pictures. And everything in here is simple enough that my daughter can do it on her own – though sometimes I just can’t resist joining her.

This is the perfect gift for that kid who just loves to experiment in the kitchen!

Scenties

I feel like the 80’s are back! Well, the part I loved about the 80’s is. Scrunchies!!! And, they’re better than ever, they smell like cotton candy, cupcakes, and bubble gum. Honestly, my girls are obsessed with scrunchies. And I can’t blame them, they’re so easy and comfortable for fixing long hair, and what’s not to like about smelling like cotton candy while you’re at it.

Out of this set, the bubblegum hair bands are the favorite. We’ve been using those over and over and they smell like bubblegum every single time. It’s so much fun! Plus the little tag on them is just so cute, and honestly makes it just a little bit easier to grab onto the rubberband without grabbing my child’s hair.

And, if you really want to be all fun and 2020, they have face masks, with velcro loops that you attach the scented bands to. So you can wear a cute face mask AND sport your favorite scent at the same time. How cool is that?

My daughter has requested one of everything for Christmas!

Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle

I remember this being a thing when I was a kid. So I was super excited to check out this toy for my daughter.

It’s way more fun than I expected! This re-release of a classic toy is so well done! It’s quite sturdy and works way better than I was anticipating! All of my kids are having fun with it.

They built some ramps out of cardboard boxes and set up their own stunts in the driveway. They’re so cool! The toy is super easy to wind and use, and it balances well. We’re still working on mastering the wheelie – sometimes we can get it and sometimes we can’t. But, we’re close to figuring it out.

This toy has provided hours of fun and creative play and everyone is super excited every time we pull it out. We can’t wait to figure out what stunt Evel Knievel can do next!

Fun with Back to School

*Sponsored Post*

I know it’s a different back to school than we’re all used to. So, this year I’ve been focusing on how I can make it fun for the kids and inspire their interests! I’ve got a few essentials on my list, but mostly, it’s important for them to engage and find something that they’re excited about or interested in doing every day.

First up, let’s talk about these cute masks from SwaddleDesigns. Typically, SwaddleDesigns makes swaddlers, blankets, and bedding for babies. These things are super cute and look so soft, but my littlest isn’t a baby any more. I was super excited to try out their masks! They sent 3 masks. 1 Adult and 2 Child masks.

The matching rose masks are both cotton masks. They are 100% cotton, 180 thread count, 3 layer cloth masks. There’s a pocket for a filter, the ear elastic is nice and soft, and even though this mask is 3 layers it’s still quite lightweight. My favorite part is the chin gusset. It’s a little tab shaped to go around your chin, this keeps the mask from riding up into my eyes and it keeps the bottom part of the mask from being super tight under my chin (like the straight rectangle masks seem to do). This is pretty much the only cotton mask that I’m comfortable in.

The child cotton mask is designed for kids 2 to preteen. It fits my 12 yr old daughter really well. So, if you’re concerned about sizing, it does actually fit a preteen. Depending on the actual cut, sometimes she needs the adult size and sometimes she needs the kid sizes, with these swaddle design masks, the kid size is perfect.

The polkadot mask is a 2 layer cotton mask of premium flannel. Because flannel is a little thicker the 2 layers work great. There’s no pocket in this one. The ear elastic is the same as the cotton masks so super soft and comfortable. Flannel is just a little bit warmer than the 180 count cotton so it’s super cute and fits great, and I can see her using it a lot more in about a month when the weather gets a little cooler. Right now, it’s just really hot on her face. They do have some super cute designs available in the flannel.

Between the 2, the 3 layer cotton is my favorite, but they’re both soft and comfortable, and cute.

Since I started with practical items, I’ll save the fun stuff for later. With all this everyone at home I’ve been teaching the girls how to do their laundry. And some new detergent doesn’t hurt! I do prefer the Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator Liquid to the powder. Mainly because with a HE washing machine, the liquid is just easier to use. My kids are a bit sensitive to detergents but they don’t have any trouble with Biz. Plus, with it’s odor eliminator it really helps reduce that odd smell that front load washers can tend to get.

I’m loving the OxiClean on the Go sticks. I keep one in my purse and they’re super handy with the reduced access to restrooms and such these days. Instead of having to wash something out of the kids clothes, I can just use my stain stick to go and take care of it.

And, I don’t know about you, but I very much dislike going to the drycleaner. So, unless it’s stained and I really have to have a professional, these Dryel at Home Dry Cleaner are awesome! It makes keeping up with my dry clean only clothing so much easier!

My last practical item here. This InnoGear Diffuser. With 4 timer settings and a color changing LED, my girls have been using it as a nightlight/room refresher at night. They also sent a set of 6 OnePure essential oils to go with the diffuser. I appreciate that these oils aren’t’ super strong. The girls are enjoying their nightlight and picking their evening scent.

I will say, Peppermint is my favorite scent for their room. It just smells so refreshing and almost clean. And my girls need all the help they can get with a clean room!

This diffuser is super easy to use, shuts off automatically if the water runs out, and with 3 diffusing settings you can pretty easily control how strong or mild your scent is just by turning it up or down. Plus, I’ve always loved the color changing night lights! I find the right scents super soothing, and this collection of scents is awesome!

My kids were so excited about this “A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids“. I have the brownest thumb ever but my daughter wants to grow everything and I don’t know where to begin. This book has easy to follow instructions and suggestions for where to find the items to build your selected terrarium.

There are lots of awesome looking terrarium ideas to pick from, and lots of helpful hints including things like how to pick the right container, the best plants, and how to care for your terrarium. There’s a section on the different types of growing mixes and care instructions for individual plants.

This is a terrific project for homeschooling or just encouraging your kids to explore some different plants.

We’ve been using this “Kitchen Explorers” cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen for the baking segment of our homeschool this year. With all this extra time at home, and my kids already love cooking, we’ve been branching out and trying new recipes. The recipes in this book are tasty and easy enough for the kids to make.

I love how we can get some science, math, and tasty treats all at the same time! If you get this book, you definitely need to make the cake in a cup. It’s amazing!

My kids were super excited when their CrunchCup arrived! With no group snacks at events this year, we’re getting plenty of use out of these cups! You put the milk in the outside, the cereal in the inside, and then when you tip the cup they both come out at the same time, so you can have your cereal and milk (or snack and beverage) at the same time without needing a spoon!

The first thing I was worried about was leaking, but there’s a little seal between the color and the clear plastics that seals well. So far, we haven’t had any leaking. It did take everyone a few tries to get the hang of how far to tip the cup. None of us had any experience trying to drink a beverage and a snack at the same time so it does take a little practice to get milk and cereal without getting too much at once. Once they got the hang of it though, they now want cereal on the go all the time!

With the different color lids we always know who’s cup is who’s. Check out their youtub video for a demonstration!

And last but not least. Hasty Baker card game. We love baking so much, we’re even playing a card game about it! Actually, this game is pretty simple to play and it has some bonus/powerup cards that keep the game interesting and different every time we play. I can see why it won the 2020 Tillywig Best Family Fun Award. It’s simple enough for my 7yr old to play and fun enough that I even enjoy playing with the kids. A fun game that the entire family can enjoy.