Braintopia: The Brain Party Game (Review & Giveaway) #GrowthThroughGames

School is in full effect as my kids enter their third week of virtual learning. As many of you know, my husband and I decided to keep our kiddos home for the first semester to attend school virtually. It has been different than any other school year, that's for sure. If you're a parent with a kid either attending school in person or virtually, you all know, this school year is very different from others and pretty stressful for all involved. For those of us able to be home with the kids, we're playing many roles - chef, entertainer, teacher, and more. 

Trying to still keep safe during this time, we still haven't been to many places since the beginning of Covid-19 and with teenagers and a young child to keep entertained, I was excited when we received the brain party game, Braintopia! Board games have been known to boost cognitive function, imaginative play, cooperation and so much more. Braintopia does just that, testing your skills of observation, quick thinking, and coordination. Made up of eight fast-paced challenges that keep you on your toes as you race to refocus your mind and solve each puzzle before your opponents.



My family is big on board games, so when we received Braintopia, we were all excited and quick to play. You can play up to six players and the game is recommended for the age of 8+. Although we have a six year old in the house, she got to be on either my husband or my team while we played this fun fast-paced game. 


The objective of the game is simple, be the first to complete your brain jigsaw. There are eight challenges; 


Memory - Tap the card and, without removing your hand, name 5 things on it. Maze - just like a maze, you have to follow the arrow and decide which letter is the exit. Colour - chose which colour is written in its own colour. Coordination - on the back of the card is a colour for each hand and a number for each finger. Once flipped the card shows which finger or fingers in which hand you must place on the area shown in the picture. Duplicates - which of the pictures on the card is repeated. Frequency - which side of the dice occurs the most often on the card.  Reasoning - which shape fits exactly into the main diagram. The last challenge is Touch Challenge - this card allows the player who has won the previous card to go for the touch challenge. The other players choose a card from the pack of 10 touch cards and hand it faced down to the challenger. The player then has only ten seconds to recognize the texture by using only the sense of touch. 



This fast-paced game will have you battling the other players as you all try to race through the deck of cards to solve the puzzle faster than your opponents. Braintopia brought out the competitiveness in all of us as we raced through the deck of cards, each wanting to win. My husband won the first round, but that hasn't stopped us from playing again. We've played a few times and love it more each time we play. It's great to see which challenges my mind can easily solve faster than the others and I love noticing it for my kiddos too. 


Braintopia is a fun and challenging game the whole family can enjoy playing together. It's retailed at $19.99 (CAD) and can be purchased in stores across Canada or online. For more information about Braintopia, be sure to check out Asmodee Canada on their website or Instagram


GIVEAWAY

We're excited to team up with Asmodee Canada and offer one of our readers (CANADA ONLY) a chance at winning the fun, fast pace party game! To enter the giveaway, comment below sharing your family's favorite board game. 

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Braintopia at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray (Review & Giveaway)

 

For as long as anyone can remember, the magical Island of Sodor has been the realm of enchantment, innocence, and talking train engines. Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin) is taking care of the whole railway whilst Sir Topham Hatt is away.

Mr. C comes from a family of miniature Conductors who travel between the Island of Sodor and Shining Time Station thanks to a supply of mysterious gold dust. However, Sodor’s steam engines suddenly find themselves heading for a load of trouble courtesy of the railroad baddie Diesel 10, whose plan is to destroy our hero Thomas and Mr. C… then take over Sodor before Sir Topham Hatt’s return. Thomas and Mr. C must save the engines before his dwindling supply of gold dust runs out!

The beloved fan-favorite Thomas And The Magic Railroad (20th Anniversary Edition) is coming to Blu-ray™ + DVD on September 29 from Shout! Kids, marking the first time the film will be available in high definition. The release is packed with extensive special features, sure to thrill fans who have long clamored for the film’s deleted scenes to be released. The list of special features includes new interviews with the film’s stars Alec Baldwin, Mara Wilson, and Didi Conn as well as the film’s composer Hummie Mann, a two-part documentary with writer/director/producer Britt Allcroft, a behind-the-scenes reel, and deleted storylines and lost scenes, including deleted scenes with Peter Fonda, Didi Conn, Russell Means, and Doug Lennox.


MY REVIEW

 In our house Thomas the Train has been a hit, this is the one show that my seven year old has been watching since he was just shy of a year old. We were very excited to get a chance to review, “Thomas and the Magic Railroad: 20th Anniversary Edition” on blu-ray. We got to ride the rails of adventure on Sodor Island. 

At first, I thought my son was going to be a bit hesitant because he usually watches the animation Thomas the Tank Engine. But I was wrong. He was so engaged and curious about what was going to happen next in the movie. He. Slight memories of my childhood came back to me and it was a great mommy and son moment for us while dad was away at work. 

A little about the Thomas and the Magic Railroad – Lily is on her way to see her Grandpa Burnett, but lily accidentally gets on the wrong train and ends up lost. (My son yelled get Thomas LOL). Lily meets the miniature Mr. Conductors; he shows her a magical railway where she meets the little steam engine named Thomas.  Lily teams up with Mr. Conductor and Thomas and sets out to get Sodor back to normal. 

We give Thomas and the Magic Railroad: 20th Anniversary Edition a 10 out of 10 or 5 stars 😊. An absolute great movie filled with excitement and adventure. For more information about Thomas and the Magic Railroad, be sure to head to Shout Factory.


GIVEAWAY
In honor of Thomas and the Magic Railroad 20th Anniversary Edition being released today on blu-ray, we're giving away a copy to TWO lucky winners. The giveaway is open to both our US and Canada readers. To enter, leave a comment below sharing what's you or your child's favorite character from Thomas the Tank Engine. 

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Thomas and the Magic Railroad on blu-ray at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

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Yellowstone Seasons One & Two Blu-ray (Giveaway)

 


Yellowstone is an engrossing family drama that follows the epic story of a multi-generational family that controls the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. I'm excited to team up with our friends over at Paramount Home Pictures to offer our Canadian readers a chance at winning Yellowstone, seasons one and two on Blu-ray, in honor of both seasons arriving on Blu-ray and DVD October 6, 2020. 

The Yellowstone Season One 3-disc Blu-ray or 4-disc DVD set includes all 10 hour-long episodes from the inaugural season, plus more than 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes, including an all new exclusive interview with Kevin Costner and Taylor Sheridan. 

The Yellowstone Season Two three-disc Blu-ray and four-disc DVD sets include all 10 hour-long episodes from the second season, plus over three hours of additional content, including over 45 minutes of exclusive, never-before-seen footage. Among the exclusive content is an in-depth, 30-minute exploration of the second season, detailing the show’s heightened drama and rising stakes through interviews with Kevin Costner and other cast members. The disc collections also include exclusive deleted scenes and a look at the show’s stunts, along with “Behind the Story” and “Stories from the Bunkhouse” segments for each episode, and more. 


GIVEAWAY
Leave a comment below sharing your favorite Kevin Costner's movie/TV series you love to watch.

Celebrating National Organic Month with Coors Organic (Review)

Did you know that September is National Organic Month? People all over Canada are encouraged to celebrate by supporting a growing organic sector, transparent food source and a source of food that is sustainable in the future. This can be done by farmers, retailers, schools, chefs and by you as well. 


Growers and advocates can open up their farm or garden to the community and offer guided tours. Retailers can invite an organic farmer for an education event so customers can meet and discuss organics with the person that grows their food. Schools can plan a school fieldtrip to an organic farm or organize a local organic school breakfast and even invite a local farmer to their school to talk to their students. Chefs can offer a chef tasting event and expose your customer to locally produced organic ingredients or source organic wines and beers. 


There are many ways to celebeate and participate. I've been cooking with local fresh fruit and veggies this last month, making soups and baking yummy treats for my family and we can absolutely taste the difference between eating local farmer's produce compared to buying them in the store. Not only are the fruits and veggies fresh, but nothing is added to them, which makes me feel a lot better when creating meals for my family and I to enjoy.





To help celebrate National Organic Month, we were sent a four pack of Coors Organic to taste and let me  tell you, if you're a fan of beer, but trying to integrate healthier alternatives into your day-to-day lifestyle, this would be the beer to try. With only 90 calories and 4 carbs per 355ml can, Coors Organic, taste delicious and is certified organic being made with only three ingredients, organic hops, organic barley and water. That's it! It's light and refreshing with a crisp and clean finish. 

My husband and I are both on a low carb diet, so getting to try Coors Organic was such a treat. We were able to have a delicious beer that not only taste great, but doesn't make us feel bloated or feel like we're consuming too many carbs. 

Coors Organic is available at your local LCBO, The Beer Store, or can easily be purchased online and delivered right to your door via ShipandSip.ca. Single cans retail for $3.05 or purchase a 12 pack for $27.50. For more information about Coors Organic, check them out on Instagram. 


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received the above mentioned product at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Adventures of Pip on Nintendo Switch (Videogame Review & Giveaway)


 Welcome to the next evolution of the classic side-scrolling action platform game! Journey with Pip as he sets out to save Princess Adeline from the evil Queen DeRezzia. Pip’s quest begins when he learns he can absorb the Bitstream from his fallen foes to evolve and devolve between three different forms – single pixel, 8-bit, and 16-bit! Each transformation provides different powers that Pip can use to solve environmental puzzles and blast through enemies. Pip’s tale leads players through five different stylized worlds with up to 10 hours of epic adventuring gameplay.


Inspired by classic platformers, Adventures of Pip basks in a world where players can defeat a huge 32-bit boss as an 8-bit character or even as a single-pixel. Pip’s foes have weaknesses and strengths — pinpoint these, swap to the right form and take them out! 




MY REVIEW
Of course, my child was extremely excited to review a new video game for the Nintendo Switch, so into the game we went! The Adventures of Pip was a fun game that had a nostalgic feel to it, reminding me of childhood times playing Mario Bros trying to save the Princess. The 2D game which offers multiple levels per world, was enough of a challenge for both of us to enjoy and want to keep us coming back for more.  My son definitely loved the concept of the game and was intrigued by the ability for Pip to transform into a pixel and back again. The music and graphics were super fun and the controls were simple to navigate. 



When playing the game, you can locate treasure chests that contain bits or hearts that act as currency to purchase upgrades to Pip and his abilities. My son loved the concept of the bits and enjoyed locating them to see what was inside. The overall graphics and game design were super fun and offered lots of enjoyable game time on the Nintendo Switch. Although it had a similar feel to other 2d leveled games, we enjoyed it and would recommend it to other fellow gamers!

 Adventures of Pip is now available on Nintendo Switch as of September 10th and you can also find the game on other consoles, like, Steam, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii and Apple iOS. For more information about Adventures of Pip and other videogames from TicToc Games, be sure to head to their website 


GIVEAWAY!
In honor of Adventures of Pip now being available on Nintendo Switch, we've teamed up with TicToc Games to offer two readers, US & Canada, a chance at winning a copy of the game on Nintendo Switch. To enter the giveaway, comment below sharing your favorite childhood videogame you loved playing. 

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Adventures of Pip on Nintendo Switch at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


Are You Afraid of the Dark DVD Review & Giveaway

 


Re-imagined for a new generation, Nickelodeon’s all-new version of ‘90’s kids’ cult classic Are You Afraid of the Dark? arrives on DVD. The three-part limited series follows members of an entirely new Midnight Society, who tell a terrifying tale of the Carnival of Doom and its evil ringmaster Mr. Top Hat, only to witness the shocking story come frightfully to life and prepare for an adventure beyond their wildest nightmares.


 


MY REVIEW

Fall is right around the corner and as the weather gets chilly and the leaves start to fall from the trees, that means one thing, spooky season is near! My family and I absolutley love Halloween and all that comes with it. Being a kid that was born in the 80's and raised in the 90's, there were lots of spooky shows that we would watch, from Tales from the Crypt to Goosebumps, one show that stuck out was Are You Afraid of the Dark. When the Midnight Society got together to share their spooky stories, we listened and watched and loved every bit of it. 


When I first heard they were remaking the show I was very excited. I watched this show faithfully when I was younger, so I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. My kids and I tuned in to watch the remake on Nickelodeon last year and we loved it. When we got the opportunity to receive the limited edition series, that was released on DVD August 25th, I gladly accepted so that we could add the show to our Halloween movie collection. What I loved about the remake was how great a job they did with introducing the newest members of The Midnight Society, keeping it updated to fit with this generation, while also honouring the original. Mr. Tophat was a great villian as we were being told the story of the Carnival of Doom. It leaves you wanting more and my kids and I are excited that there will be more episodes coming soon. 


What it also left me with is wanting to watch some of the original shows again and showing my kids,which I've found thanks to the official Are You Afraid of the Dark Youtube channel that includes full episodes of the show we loved to watch as kids. Are You Afraid of the Dark is now available on DVD in stores now!


GIVEAWAY
We've teamed up with our friends over at Paramount Home Entertainment to host a giveaway to our Canadian readers to win a copy of the DVD for you to enjoy at home. To enter, leave a comment sharing your favorite horror/thriller television show, that's it!


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Are You Afraid of the Dark on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

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Pretty In Pink Blu-ray Review & Giveaway

Newly remastered from a 4K transfer supervised by Deutch, the Pretty In Pink Blu-ray includes a new Filmmaker Focus with the director and, for the first time, the film’s isolated score track from composer Michael Gore. Also included is the previously released featurette “THE LOST DANCE: The Original Ending.”
 
Teen sensations Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club) and Andrew McCarthy (St. Elmo’s Fire) drew rave reviews for their starring performances in this timeless love story. Andie (Ringwald) is a high school girl from the other side of town. Blane (McCarthy) is the wealthy heartthrob who asks her to the prom. But as fast as their romance builds, it’s threatened by the painful reality of peer pressure. The film also stars Jon Cryer, James Spader, Harry Dean Stanton, and Annie Potts and features a phenomenal new wave soundtrack, including the title track by the Psychedelic Furs.


MY REVIEW

"I just wanna let them know that they didn't break me." -Andie  


One of my favorite quotes from the movie, Pretty in Pink. It's been 34 years since we first met Andie, Duckie and Blane on the big screen. Although technically I was a toddler 34 years ago, this movie is definitely a classic and part of my childhood. So when we got the opportunity to review the movie that's now available on blu-ray, I couldn't resist. 


I remember watching this at least a couple of times a year when I was growing up and every single time I was Team Blane. I guess that was the teen hopeless romantic in me because now as an adult rewatching the movie, I'd 100% be Team Duckie. He was the guy who was always there for Andie and always had her back whether she knew it or not. His style was unique and his dance moves were smooth and let's not forget his iconic lip sync performance of Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding. A classic and unforgettable scene that made me love Duckie even more. 


Rewatching the movie after not seeing it in years just put a smile on my face and I even got my 15 year old interested in the movie. With the movie now available on blu-ray, the picture is more crisp and clear and the blu-ray also features the original trailer as well as the original ending of the movie that includes The Lost Dance. 


GIVEAWAY:

We've teamed up with our friends over at Paramount Home Entertainment to offer one of our Canadian readers a chance at winning a copy of Pretty in Pink on blu-ray. To enter the giveaway comment below sharing if you were or are Team Blane or Team Duckie! 


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Pretty in Pink on blu-ray at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Blue’s Clues and You DVD Review & Giveaway

 


Nickelodeon’s hit interactive preschool series Blue’s Clues & You! will skidoo onto DVD, featuring four exciting episodes from the show’s debut season. The series follows beloved puppy Blue and live-action host Josh (Josh Dela Cruz) as they invite a new generation of preschoolers on clue-led adventures and solve a puzzle in each episode.

In the Blue’s Clues & You! DVD collection, fans can help Josh solve games of Blue’s Clues as he tries to figure out what Blue wants for a snack, what present she wants for her birthday, what she would like to do on her playdate and more. The DVD will also include special episodes from Josh & Blue’s VLOG and eight bonus American Sign Language flashcards. Blue’s Clues & You! is now available from Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Entertainment exclusively at Walmart.


MY REVIEW
If you are looking for an educational, colorful and musical TV show for your little one to watch, I highly recommend Blues Clues & You! This show always lights up my Braxton's face as soon as he hears the thems song he is dancing and ready to solve Blues questions! (Check out Instagram stories for my little guy's reaction to the theme song, super cute!)


Whether they're counting oranges on trees or mixing different colors, it's always something new with Blue and it really does leave the problem solving up to your little one, allowing them to start thinking outside the box and getting them excited for the answer.


We play the Spotify playlist songs to Blues Clues &You throughout the house and we have watched all the episodes... several times. My husband and I actually enjoy watching the show as well! We know all the songs and we get excited to see new episodes just like Braxton does. Sometimes it is on a little later on in the night on Treehouse and we’ll even let him stay up a little later to watch new episode. We don't get tired of the show like we do some other kid shows, its so fun, colorful and it makes Braxton dance and he gets so excited, we love that. We absolutley love Blues Clues & You and glad we have the DVD so Braxton can watch over and over again. 

A clue! A clue! You can enjoy these tasty cookies while joining beloved puppy Blue and her friend Josh on clue-led adventures! BLUE'S CLUES & YOU is available now on DVD!




GIVEAWAY
Blues Clues and You is now available on DVD. We've teamed up with our friends over at Paramount Home Enertainment to give one copy of the DVD away to one Canadian reader. Comment below sharing your little ones favorite character from the show Blue's Clues, past and present characters! 

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Blues Clue & You on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


Gunsmoke Movie Collection DVD Review & Giveaway

 


GUNSMOKE: RETURN TO DODGE: James Arness returns in his most famous role as Marshal Matt Dillon in this exciting Western drama. Now retired, Dillon is stabbed in a fight with a band of thieves. When word reaches Miss Kitty in New Orleans, she returns to dodge to be by his side. However, danger strikes again as an old enemy from his past is released from prison and vows to settle the score.

GUNSMOKE: THE LAST APACHE: Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) is back, in a story of revenge, deceit and family conflict. Dillon, now retired, is summoned to the ranch of a long-lost love, only to find it in smoldering ruins after an apache raid. He is shocked to learn of a daughter he'd never known - and that she was kidnapped in the raid. Now he must save her from the fierce renegade apache warrior who stole her away!

GUNSMOKE: TO THE LAST MAN: Back like a bullet, ex-Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) finds himself in the middle of a bloody range war. With vigilante ranchers on his back and a headstrong daughter on his tail, Matt takes up the fight to restore peace with his won brand of law and order in this action-packed western thriller.


MY REVIEW

We were so excited to receive a copy of the movie collection of Gunsmoke. My husband is a huge fan of westerns, so I knew he would love to watch the entire collection and I wasn't wrong. He's now going to give his review for you all. So here's the hubby, Ken, reviewing Gunsmoke Movie Collection:

As a fan who grew up with westerns every weekend when my dad was relaxing, I was pretty excited to be able to review the Gunsmoke Movie Collection. Sitting down in the early morning with a cup of hot black coffee and watching how such a short time ago the world was wild and dangerous, yet simpler. The portrayal of the characters is done well, you can feel the grit of the old west. 


Return to Dodge:
With a released bad guy ‘Will Mannon’ holding a grudge against Retired Marshal Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty, he sets his sights on dodge, finding Miss Kitty with out the protection of ex-Marshall Dillon. Who is off searching for a way to free his friend ‘Jake’ of erroneous charges. When he makes it back to Dodge there is no hope for ill fated ne’er do-well.  


The Last Apache:
A Letter from an old friend leads Marshal Matt Dillon to a ranch where he finds the ranch raided and his friends daughter, Beth, has been taken. That alone would be enough for any western man to go on the hunt, however little did he know that Beth was his daughter, who was conceived while he had amnesia. His new found fatherhood left him desperate to find the Rouge apache “Wolf” who had his daughter. 


To The Last Man:
My favorite of this group; I mean a father daughter team chasing down cattle rustlers/ vigilante gang in the wild west, whats not to like? The bloody feud that ensues is captivating even for the younger audiences, my 15 year old son was captivated and intrigued throughout the movie. 


GIVEAWAY

GunSmoke Movie Collection is now available on DVD. We've teamed up with our friends over at Paramount Home Enertainment to give one copy of the movie collection away to one Canadian reader. Comment below sharing which movie you'd watch first to enter to win!


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Gunsmoke Movie Collection on DVD at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

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Prepping For Back To School with Popular Book Company Canada (Review)

For some of you, this school year has already started and for some, school will be starting this week or like my kiddos, who are all participating in Virtual Learning this year, school will be starting full time next week. And like all of you parents out there, I'm nervous. This school year will be different than previous years. Those that are attending in person will have to take extra safety precautions due to Covid-19 and that alone for teachers, staff members, parents and kids is stress enough. While those of us keeping our kids home worry about what our kids will be missing out on not being with classmates and not having access to their teachers in person to answer questions or explain in detail subjects they don't understand. Whatever decision you made for your kids, just know that you're doing the right thing for you and your family. 


The last six months has changed all of us so much and in preparing for the school year to start up again, my kids were sent a huge package from our friends over at Popular Book Company (Canada), a company that offers quality workbooks and other learning materials for preschool, elementary and high school children up to grade twelve. Their workbooks include just about every subject, including the Canadian Curriculum that includes; Math, English, Social Studies and Science in both English and French. 



My kids are starting grade ten, grade eight and grade one this year, so we were sent the Complete MathSmart Grade Ten, FrenchSmart Tutor Grade Eight, Complete Canadian Curriculum Grade Eight, Complete EnglishSmart Grade Eight, Complete MathSmart Grade Eight, Complete ScienceSmart Grade Eight, Complete EnglishSmart Grade One, Complete ScienceSmart Grade One & Two and Complete Canadian Curriculum Grade One in both English and French. Our package came in perfect timing as we get ready to prepare for the upcoming school year. 



The Complete MathSmart Grade Ten covers quadratic equations, analytic geometry, primary trigonometric ratios, trigonometry of right triangles and more. Complete MathSmart is a comprehensive, curriculum-based workbook series which helps students develop a thorough understanding of mathematical concepts and master the essential skills. Concise explanations with examples are provided at the beginning of each chapter, followed by abundant exercises so that students will build a solid math foundation in preparation for their higher education. My oldest absolutely loves math, so when we got the package, he dived right into the book and started working on some of the math problems and was excited because it also refreshed his memory from math in grade nine. 



My middle child is starting grade eight. He was sent five different workbooks to help him get prepared for the school year. The first, Complete Canadian Curriculum Grade Eight, this workbook has been revised and updated to cover the five key subject areas: Math, English, History, Geography, and Science. The curriculum-based units are designed to ensure that your child understands the concepts and masters the necessary skills. With the vivid illustrations and interesting activities, your child would find working through Complete Canadian Curriculum both fun and rewarding. 


Next is the Complete EnglishSmart Grade Eight is a curriculum-based workbook series that provides lots of practice for developing and improving English skills. This workbook is a new edition and includes online audio clips (Go to Download Centre for the audio clips.) to help children learn phonics. Concise explanations with examples are provided before practice to guide children along. This workbook covers listening comprehension, grammar, reading and writing. 


Complete MathSmart Grade Eight workbook provides plenty of interesting and systematic practice for developing and improving your child’s math skills. Throughout this workbook, your child not only understands the concepts better and master the necessary skills, but they will also be able to apply them in solving math problems in real-life situations. This newly updated edition includes QR codes that bring students to educational videos online to help support their learning process. Complete MathSmart covers all five strands of the Math curriculum: Number Sense and Numeration, Measurement, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Patterning and Algebra, and Data Management and Probability. It also includes math tips and hints to help your child better understand math skills that are required for grade eight. 


Complete ScienceSmart Grade Eight  is a workbook series covering the essentials of elementary science. It provides students with succinct information and engaging activities to help them master the basic concepts of science and technology, relate science and technology to society and the environment, and develop the skills needed for scientific inquiry. The fun and manageable exercises and activities not only reinforce what children have learned at school but they also help stimulate children’s interest in learning science. The workbook includes fun experiments you can do with your kids, cool science facts and trivia questions as well. Science is my middle kiddo's favorite subject, so that was the first book he opened and started working on when our package arrived.


The last book for my grade eight child was FrenchSmart Tutor Grade Eight. I absolutely love that my kids are learning French and that it's taught in schools out here in Canada. I've even picked up a few sentences here and there and I hope to continue learning as my kids learn. FrenchSmart Tutor is a user-friendly curriculum-based workbook series for children who want to learn or improve their French skills. It covers all three strands of the French curriculum: Oral Communication, Reading, and Writing. Children are guided along by the Smart Tutor in the workbook, who provides explanations, definitions, and examples throughout the activities. Each unit begins with a brief tutor session followed by four pages of exercise. The workbook includes a comprehensive review section as well as accompanying audio clips that help children develop their oral and listening skills.



For my youngest attending grade one, this year will not only be different for her staying home, but also because she's no longer in kindergarten and so that's more learning and less playtime. We were sent four books, the first one being Complete Canadian Curriculum in both the English and French version. The Complete Canadian Curriculum covers the four key subject areas: Math, English, Social Studies, and Science. The curriculum-based units are designed to ensure that your child understands the concepts and masters the necessary skills. With tons of vivid illustrations and interesting activities, your child will find working through Complete Canadian Curriculum both fun and rewarding. 


Next is the Complete EnglishSmart Grade One workbook. This new edition workbook is a curriculum-based series that provides ample practice for developing and improving English skills. Accompanying online audio clips (Go to Download Centre for the audio clips.) are included to help children learn phonics. The workbook includes consice explanations with examples before practice to guide children along. The systematically-designed activities cover the key areas of learning – phonics, grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing. 


Lastly we have the Complete ScienceSmart Grades 1-2, a workbook series that covers the essentials of elementary science. It provides students with succinct information and engaging activities to help them master the basic concepts of science and technology, relate science and technology to society and the environment, and develop the skills needed for the scientific inquiry. The fun and manageable exercises and activities not only reinforce what children have learned at school but they also help stimulate children’s interest in learning science.


I'm very impressed with all of the workbooks we were sent. Not only will this come in handy for my kids that are all participating in virtual learning, but my three nieces who are the same age as all three of my kids, will love these workbooks too. They'll be doing virtual learning this school year too and we plan on getting the kids together a couple times a week so that they can have a classmate their age to do classwork and projects with. 


What I love most about all of the workbooks is that each one has an answer key at the back of each book. Not only will this help my kiddos out when checking their work, but it will also help me as well. All of the books from Popular Book Company (Canada) are affordable and just in time for back to school, you can save 15% on their books and if your order is over $50, the shipping is free. Fore more information about Popular Book Company (Canada), check them out on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  the above mentioned workbooks from Popular Book Company (Canada) at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Mighty Oak DVD Giveaway #MightyOakMovie


 

In celebration of the release of the movie Mighty Oak being available on DVD today, we've teamed up with our friends over at Paramount Pictures to offer our Canadian readers a chance at winning a copy of the movie! 


Mighty Oak tells the story of Gina (Janel Parrish, “Pretty Little Liars,” To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), a band manager who struggles after losing her brother/lead singer (Levi Dylan, 12 Mighty Orphans) in a fatal car accident while traveling to a gig. A decade later, Gina meets a 10-year-old music prodigy named Oak, played by newcomer Tommy Ragen, a real-life prodigy whose music inspired the screenplay. Oak seems to possess the same qualities as Gina’s late brother, inspiring her to pull her life back together and try to reunite the band with Oak as its new front man. 



GIVEAWAY!

To enter the giveaway, be sure to comment below sharing with us your favorite band. That's it!

Mighty Oak is also available on digital platforms | Apple TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, Sony PlayStation Video, FandangoNOW, and more. For more information on where to purchase the DVD or how to purchase a digital copy, be sure to head to Mighty Oak's official website.


Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star on PC (Videogame Review)

 

One day, while following the trail of a shooting star, Nuki happens upon Sune, a brooding young man who closely resembles the hero from his favorite childhood storybook. The meet-cute soon develops into an intense and passionate affair. However, it is one marred by dysfunction.

Each encounter between Nuki and Sune provides new insight into the pair’s histories and will ultimately determine the fate of their tumultuous relationship. Explore Nuki’s five senses during the couple’s intimate moments, focusing in on sensations that will open up new dialogue options and guide the story down branching paths toward a multitude of possible outcomes.

As Nuki learns more about Sune and the psychological demons that draw a stark contrast between his boyfriend and the man of his dreams, he must contend with his own issues, such as idealization, boundaries, submission, and his sense of self-worth. A semi-autobiographical story inspired by the life of sole creator Lorenzo Redaelli, Milky Way Prince -- The Vampire Star aims to deliver a realistic portrayal of romance complicated by mental illness.


MY REVIEW

 As a fan of storyline games, this is by far one of the most interesting I’ve seen. The game mechanics work very smoothly, and the different details that hint towards later outcomes (the life of a star poster for example) leaves room for theorizing which is what I love in a game. The ratio of 3D-2D is good, although the 3D backgrounds do look a bit bland and empty. Hopefully a later update can fix that.

The character designs are very creative and very well done, as well as the music choice for each scene. Each background track fits perfectly with the situation at hand. I will say, at first when the first task/puzzle came up, I was a little confused on what to do, but after a while it got more clear as I continued. 




I also love the fact that this was a game that had the same sex couple as our main characters. For a parent of a kid that is in the LGBTQ+ community and who also absolutely loves anime, this game was a hit for my oldest. Overall Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star is a well made game with a good storyline and interesting details. I would recommend this to those who like anime games, storylines and secrets as well as plot twists.

Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star is now available for $9.99 (US) on Windows PC and Mac via Steam, the Epic Games Store, itch.io, and the Humble Store. The game features English, French, Italian, German, Russian, and Spanish language support.

To learn more about Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star, please visit the official website

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received  Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star on PC at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.