I Can Be a Superhero During a Lockdown by Rachel Tepfer Copeland – Review

I Can Be a Superhero During a Lockdown by Rachel Tepfer Copeland is a social story available on Kindle and Amazon in hardcover and paperback. The author wrote it after her son went to preschool and they did a lockdown drill (ALICE drills) and had hidden in a dark room behind backpacks. This book is designed for young children from preK and older. The author is a Certified Child Life Specialist and mother of two in search of a child-friendly and developmentally appropriate book for her own young son. It is written in picture book style and encourages lots of interaction between the reader and the child(ren) when reading it.

What we love…

easy to understand child friendly text about a lockdown drill with easy to follow rules for children from preschool and older

What we’d love to see…

printable set of rules to be posted or shared with kids – I printed the rules page myself for my preschooler

Summary

Overall, this is a non-scary book that provides great information to children and helps them anticipate what a lockdown may look like and what is required of them. By providing concrete directions, they are encouraged to listen, stay still, and quiet. This helps to break it down into more concrete language that children this age need. The social story is designed for children in PreK and older, but can be adapted based on your child’s skill level and understanding.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The story is illustrated and is designed in a way that it is easy to read with children and encourages them to relate to their own lives – such as following the rules about wearing a seatbelt and wearing a bike helmet. The book then transitions into talking about school rules and fire drills. The book then transitions to a lockdown drill. It breaks down the rules into simple easy to follow directions of what to do including listening, staying quiet and very still until children are told to move. The children are given jobs and encouraged to follow directions. They are told to stop when the lockdown drill happens no matter if they are working playing or being outside. The children are portrayed as superhero’s and help keep themselves, their classmates, teachers and those around them safe.

During the lockdown drill it shows a dark classroom with children hiding and reminds them of the simple directions listen, stay quiet and stay very still. It also tells the children that they may hide in unconventional places like a bathroom, closet or other place that the teacher or adult in charge deems safe.

One of the things I liked about the book was that it featured many illustrations and was easy for my preschooler to relate to. I also liked that when you tapped on the text boxes, the text enlarged making it easier to read. I also liked that the book wasn’t too scary and didn’t portray the bad guy as too scary and he did not have any weapons. The police officer was very gentle as well. I also liked that the book talked about different potential locations for the lockdown as well as telling them that any adult in charge can give directions. With my preschooler, he is very concrete and sharing with him that any adult may give directions helped him to understand a bit better.

One of the enhancements to the book would be a printable that kids could use after reading it with their parent, caregiver, teacher or other adult to remind them of the rules. Having something to color and refer to visually can sometimes help children. I printed out the page of directions for my son to review with him.

Overall, this is a non-scary book that provides great information to children and helps them anticipate what a lockdown may look like and what is required of them. By providing concrete directions, they are encouraged to listen, stay still, and quiet. This helps to break it down into more concrete language that children this age need. The social story is designed for children in PreK and older, but can be adapted based on your child’s skill level and understanding.

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.

 

Developer Interview with Lisa Molnar from Cades & Birch

Today’s interview is with Lisa Molnar from Cades & Birch.  They have a wonderful variety of handmade items including some great spots to store your tech!  Visit them on Esty, Amazon Handmade and Instagram!  Be sure to tell them you are visiting from The iMums.

Hi Lisa! Tell us about your company and how you got started?  What types of products do you sell?

I am a mother of four. My husband and I have been blessed with three boys, and were finally able to complete our beautiful family two years ago, when we adopted our daughter from Ukraine. My life has been full of people I love and creating beautiful handmade treasures. I believe that it’s those little personal touches that make people feel special and I have always found delight in hunting for the perfect gift for everyone. My favorite part of throwing a party has always been finding those unique personalized accents that make an event unforgettable – and that is how Cades and Birch came to be. We create meaningful keepsakes that are personalized for your events and occasions, distinctive creations you will be proud to display or gift to others.  We are trying to create beautiful products that help our customers celebrate and remember those important moments in life.  From the birth of a baby,  to the death of a furry family member and every graduation and wedding in between.

Tell us about national unplug day?

National Unplug Day is a 24 hour global respite from technology highighting the value of disconnecting from digital devices to connect with ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.  National day of Unplugging 2019 is from sundown to sundown March 1-2.

How can families make a step to cut tech even for a few minutes via small steps?

I really struggle with balancing technology in my home.  I have three high schoolers and a middle schooler.  Finding a healthy balance with technology is a constant struggle and that is how our Unplug boxes came to be.  Our first Unplug locked box was created as a place for me to lock up my sons gaming controllers and then I soon realized that all of us would benefit from locking up our phones during dinner and family time.  Locking up phones during meal time is a manageable small step for every family. Creating a place in your home where all technology sleeps at night is another great start.  All my kids leave their phones in the kitchen at night.  Having the Unplug box on the kitchen counter is a great reminder and its adorable too.  My kids tried to fight this rule saying they need an alarm, so I went to Walmart and now they each have alarm clocks that do not affect the quality of their sleep.

 

Tell us about the various unplug boxes and how you use them.

Our Cades and Birch UNPLUG boxes help you put the phone away and UNPLUG (while your phone is charging up).  We have several customized versions where you can UNPLUG and give your mind a rest for as long as you need.   Our UNPLUG locked version was created because sometimes our devises need to be taken away and locked up.  My son Gabe is the model and is super excited to be the spokesperson for locking up cell phones…not.  🙂

 

 

 

 

We have a small desk size UNPLUG and be Present version that is perfect for a desk or bedroom. All our Unplug boxes have a hole in the back which allows for the phone to be charged while it is in a time out.

 

 

 

This Unplug Planter is our most popular version because several devices can fit inside and it looks adorable on your table or counter top.  Add your own personalization to make it special for your family.  We also sell a lot of these boxes for campers and motorhomes with customizations like “Lets wander where the Wi-Fi is weak”.

This beautiful box is hand painted cream, softly distressed for that sweet vintage style, and engraved with your personalization.

Do you have tech rules in your house for your kids? 

I don’t have a ton of tech rules and can always improve, but these 5 are manageable for me.

  1. No phones during homework.  If they need the phone for music accessibility, the phone needs to be outside the door.
  2. No phones during meals.
  3. No looking at phones while having a conversation.  The phone must be put down and eye contact made.
  4. All phones are charged in the kitchen at night to help encourage quality sleep.
  5. No phones in nature.  My boys are big surfers so we are always at the beach.  When we are at the beach, phones stay in the car.  When we are hiking, phones stay in the pockets unless there is something awesome they want to take a picture of.  When we camp, the phone don’t get charged until we head home.  A dead phone makes for a very creative, fun kid and an engaged parent.  J

 

I am excited to be able to share our products with your readers. We all know we shouldn’t be on our phones all the time.   We know we should put technology down and engage with those around us and our Unplug products are a beautiful reminder to do just that.   Here are the links to our Cades and Birch shops:

Etsy:  link here

Amazon Handmade- Amazon’s version of Etsy : link here 

Instagram: link here

Come and visit us!  Be sure to unplug for National Unplug Day!

Product Review: Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics



Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics is a great way to integrate fun, learning, STEAM, STEM learning along with coding and more! As a parent, when getting my kids things I try to think of not only the educational value of the item but I also like to think about usability. I tested Cubelets Discovery Set with my boys – and took a step back after opening the box to see what they would create. One of the best parts of Cubelets Discovery Set is that they are modular making putting them together even for the smaller of hands (preschool) easy using cause and effect. If I place the blocks this way they will work. One of my favorite new enhancements is the Bluetooth Hat which means we can customize our creation, without having to worry about where to place the Bluetooth block. Cubelets are designed for builders ages 4+. Read our original review.

What we love…

Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun, affordable modular robot which teaches cause and effect, coding, STEM and STEAM

What we’d love to see…

option for an extra Bluetooth hat (I was most afraid of losing this one)!

Summary

ubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child!

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Using the Cubelets Discovery Set, both my boys were able to build their first robot in less than five minutes after installing the Cubelets app on our iPad. Using the app, you can remotely control the robot and look at different robot building options using a fun new feature called Personality Swap which changes the behavior of a Cubelet with the touch of a button. As a mom, personality swap was great especially for my preschooler who built his creation and didn’t want to have to change it after building it. Cubelets snap together using magnets, which means no tough connectors. The blocks work collaboratively to do different actions and really encouraged my kids to explore and build a variety of different creations. My preschooler actually asked if we could make robots longer than the 25 minutes I allotted because he was having so much fun! That is a huge win in my book!

We loved the Cubelets Discovery Set overall, especially compared to the original set that we tried. My kids also made some Lego creations which we snapped on the Lego adapter and then brought power to! With my older son, I sat back and watched him create. He made a few fun creations and when they didn’t do exactly what he originally wanted them to, we tried moving around the blocks to show how each block had a cause and effect.

Cubelets Discovery Set can be used with or without a screen. Users learn programming and troubleshooting just by figuring out how to put the Cubelets together. Once they have made a creation you can open the app and start having more fun! The app uses Blockly or C with Cubelets within the app – which means that they are practicing a great skill that ties in STEM and STEAM. Last year, we tested Cubelets and did a robotics requirement with our local Cub Scout pack, seeing the engagement from the Cub Scouts was so fun especially when they were learning. Having your robot move, turn on it’s headlight and drive was so much fun and really satisfying.

In terms of enhancements, I wish that there were two Bluetooth “hats” included. When I played with Cubelets with both my boys – I was careful to make sure we didn’t misplace it. We loved Cubelets and it’s a gift I’m going to give over the holidays!

Overall, Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun addition to our technology tool suite. Seeing my kids engage with the robots and learn real world skills like coding, cause and effect and most of all fun was a great way to engage and spend time with them. Cubelets Discovery Set is a great addition for kids from age 4 and up – plus as they get bigger Cubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child! It makes coding for kids and learning fun!

Available at Amazon and Modular Robotics for $139 USD

Cubelets Blockly
Cubelets Blockly
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878, iPadMini5-iPadMini5, iPadMini5Cellular-iPadMini5Cellular, iPadAir3-iPadAir3, iPadAir3Cellular-iPadAir3Cellular
Size: 36.46 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Cubelets
Cubelets
by Modular Robotics

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878, Watch4-Watch4, iPadMini5-iPadMini5, iPadMini5Cellular-iPadMini5Cellular, iPadAir3-iPadAir3, iPadAir3Cellular-iPadAir3Cellular
Size: 33.32 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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.

Parker The Monkey Bluebee Pals by Kayle Concepts – Review & Giveaway


Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals

Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals

Parker the Monkey is one of the brand new Bluebee Pals that features a moving head, moving mouth, weights to help him sit as well as a very plush body.  Parker the Monkey and all Bluebee Pals connect to your Bluetooth enabled device which includes iPad, iPhone, iOS, Android, laptops and more and provides the sound/narration from whatever content you are using.  My kids love using their Bluebee Pals not just to narrate for apps, they also enjoy listening to podcasts, making phone calls and even listening to audio books while reading along with a physical book. 

Bluebee Pals are also motivating for my kids – sometimes we will pair my phone with a Bluebee Pal to help with everyday tasks like singing the cleanup song, reading books and even providing directions for a task.  I use Choiceworks frequently with my younger son and with Bluebee paired to my iPad he can decipher the tasks that we need to finish using a visual schedule.   Bluebee Pals are great for children with special needs Bluebee Pals also have their own free  app – you can read my review and I helped to design the app!   Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun. I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities. The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.

What we love…

improved battery, moving head and weighted body which allows your Bluebee Pal to sit up and hold the tablet or device they are narrating from without having to prop it up.

Summary

Overall, Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals is a fun way to add additional interaction to your tablet or Bluetooth enabled device.  My son loves hugging Parker and bringing him to appointments when he knows he will get his “iPad time”.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

I loved the improved battery for Bluebee Pals which seems to last significantly longer compared to our previous Bluebee Pal Hudson.  In addition the moving head makes the stories and narration more lifelike while listening.  We also love the companion app which focuses on life skills like routines including bedtime, early academic skills including colors, item identification and letters.  Of note, I had fun helping to design this app with my kids.  Bluebee works with all other iOS, Android and Bluetooth enabled devices which means that it can give a voice to a child using AAC apps, provide spoken directions or practice reading and even provide the sound for games. Bluebee is a must have tech companion that my kids love.  I especially liked as a parent that they can use Bluebee both on and off device to listen to different narrations, podcasts and play with quality educational apps. We recently listened to the Wizard of Oz from The Same Page Podcast using a Parker and my kids loved seeing him speak the words of the podcast.

Overall, Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals is a fun way to add additional interaction to your tablet or Bluetooth enabled device.  My son loves hugging Parker and bringing him to appointments when he knows he will get his “iPad time”.


Bluebee Pals
Bluebee Pals
by Kayle Concepts LLC

Category: Education, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878, iPadMini5-iPadMini5, iPadMini5Cellular-iPadMini5Cellular, iPadAir3-iPadAir3, iPadAir3Cellular-iPadAir3Cellular
Size: 101.7 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals, 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 in the United States only and a valid mailing United States physical address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck! Blog post comment is a mandatory entry.

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