Beat the "Are we there yet?" questions with the fun new Mead On The Go Activity Board. The dry erase boards feature fun activities such as hangman and bingo. Kids can boost their writing skills with word creating games. The On The Go Activity Board is designed for kids from kindergarten to 3rd grade and is a much easier (and entertaining!) way to get kids to practice their writing and math skills than those dreaded summer school packets ($9, mead.com).
Now you too can live in a pineapple under the sea.
SquarePants fans beginning today can build their very own Bikini Bottom
with Nickelodeon’s brand-new city building app, SpongeBob
Moves In. Available worldwide, SpongeBob Moves In features a
stylized 2D design and gives fans a whole new way to interact with the hit
In the game, players build Bikini
Bottom to their own tastes and are tasked with keeping the city’s residents
happy by making all their wishes come true. As players advance in the game,
they can unlock exclusive-to-the-app, untold stories about how their characters,
including SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Plankton, Squidward and Sandy, first
arrived in the town. Written by the SpongeBob
SquarePantsseries writing staff, these stories are told through
brand-new animated short videos unlocked throughout the game.
In SpongeBob Moves In players
can customize the look of their undersea city with a variety of characters,
buildings, and accessories. In the ongoing quest to keep Bikini Bottom
inhabitants happy by fulfilling their wishes, players must collect happiness to
fill the town’s happiness meter. Residents wish for food and gifts from the
various Bikini Bottom restaurants and shops, like Krabby Patties from the
Krusty Krab or a bouquet of flowers from the Flower Shop. Once their wish is
granted a treasure chest will appear for the player to open and collect gold
coins, happiness or a new recipe to add to their collection. When the happiness
meter is filled, players advance to the next level in the game, earning coins,
game experience and unlocking more quests, buildings and accessories to buy in
Throughout the game, players earn
gold coins and Jellyfish Jelly as rewards for performing a variety of
activities like granting wishes, building buildings, making recipes, collecting
rent and expanding their Bikini Bottom. Players can purchase additional land,
ingredients, buildings and decorations using game coins and jellyfish jelly, or
an iTunes account.
Since it’s always 5:00 somewhere, break out the burgundy and
invite some friends over to play with the Wine Tasting Party Kit. A party in a box, the kit includes
everything you’ll need to host a terrific soiree, with cloth bottle covers,
tasting notepads, a cheat sheet of wine terminology, wineglass markers and an
Choose one of the themes of the book—like Sommelier For A
Day or California’s Shining Stars—and ask guests to each bring a bottle for a
fun blind tasting. Everyone swirls, sips, jots down their thoughts and rates
The Wine Tasting
Party Kit will introduce you to the ins and outs of tasting wine in a
comfortable, festive, social setting—your home ($15.95, amazon.com).
Without electronics, gadgetry or even (gasp!) batteries, Flapz is a retro game for the truly cool kids of today. Looking exactly like the cootie catchers of your childhood, inside Flapz contains 96 challenges to keep kids busy, ranging from interesting factoids, storytelling, contests and more. Since the challenges change depending on the number of players, Flapz becomes a new game each time you play! Made from 100% recyclable materials, the retro Flapz is the perfect game to keep the kids busy --and entertained-- in the backseat of the car on summer road trips ($9, blueorangegames.com).
Interactive is unveiling Cars asthe fourth play set in Disney Infinity with a new set of images,
screenshots, and a gameplay trailer from the play set. Disney Infinity is the company’s most
ambitious gaming initiative ever, and the Cars play set adds to the
previously-announced play sets of The Incredibles, Monsters University and
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Cars play set allows gamers to take on the role of Lightning McQueen, Mater,
Holley Shiftwell and Francesco Bernoulli and enter the virtual world of
Radiator Springs, where they will prepare the town for a big international
racing event. Key highlights include:
and Customization: players will be able to race through town on full sized
tracks and pull off amazing, gravity defying feats in a no-holds-barred stunt
park. Additionally, players can customize the town, exploring the
outskirts of the city and towing all types of vehicles to make way for
The Cars play set adds driving/racing play mechanics and track pieces to the
Toy Box allowing players to create all-new racing challenges, build and
customize tracks and much more.
Lightning, Mater, Holley and Francesco are able to interact with all of the
previously revealed characters from The Incredibles, Monsters University and
Pirates of the Caribbean.
Cars is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy-adventure sports film produced by Pixar, directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Joe Ranft. It is the seventh Disney·Pixar feature film. The sequel film, Cars 2, was released in 2011.
And if you still have all your old Disney flicks on VHS, now might be the time to cash them in. Literally. Musicmagpie.com is a cool free service where you can take your old movies, CDs and games and get cash for them. You'll also save the environment by recycling them as opposed to tossing your old 80s flicks in the trash.
Pop open a can of fun with the good-for-you Apples to Apples Dice Game from Mattel. A new version of the classic board game, the dice game comes in a cute soda-like can for easy portability and hours of fun. Judges roll the green die and create a word beginning with the letter shown. Players then create nouns starting with the red dice letters to match the Judge's word to win an Apple chip. The first player to collect five chips wins the game! It's 100% fun, nothing artificial added ($9, barnesandnoble.com).
Pets is a zany and unique place where stuffed animals come to life in a virtual
world. The Freaky Pets Facebook page lets avid fans win daily prizes of Freaky Pets stuffed
characters, win challenges against other players, participate in fun weekly themed
personal missions and monthly community missions. The fun filled page is great
for both kids and parents alike. Just ‘like’ the page and join the fun, www.Facebook.com/freakypets.
Pets are plush creatures that are cute and cuddly one second and once flipped
inside out, they turn into cranky creatures. The Facebook page combines this
unique line of transformable plush creatures with a browser-based 3D virtual
world for kids (and adults) of all ages for endless fun!
Ridge Racer features high-speed action, high-performance racing machines, and all-new game play additions creating an edge-of-your-seat experience only possible on the Playstation Vita. Racing fans can also take the action online and tear up the track against players from around the globe using the Playstation Vita “near” and Wi-Fi functionality and race against other players’ ghosts anywhere, anytime.
And with the Ridge Racer Gold Pass ($7.49), players have access to five additional machines, three additional courses, and two music tracks.
Whether the kids are in camp this summer or you’re planning a staycation, Chaotic Connections allows the entire family to take a virtual cross-country road trip. Each player is dealt four cities at random and must attempt to build roads to connect the four cities in order to win. Anyone who has ever been on a cross-country road trip knows that there’s not always a straight shot to get from one city to another, and that’s just as true in Chaotic Connections. Players are dealt Curve Cards, Road Blocks, Detours and other extra cities from other players while attempting to connect their cities and enjoy a vacation of a lifetime.
Chaotic Connections is the perfect way for families to have a great time together—without paying $5 (or more!) a gallon!
Shake up Family Game Night with Shake It Up!, the 3-in-1 handshake game from Grandcamp Adventures. The goal is to create a secret family handshake beyond slap-me-five. The handshake moves come in three different skill levels. Put your hands together to develop your secret shake; each family member can choose one move, or opt for different card combos until you agree on the shake.
The game doesn't stop there. Flip the cards over post shake, and there's a cool puzzle to decode. It's family fun that doesn't--gasp--include any form of technology, which is pretty cool indeed ($17.95, grandcamp.com).