Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Review of Reviews

Over the past year (and a little bit more), I've reviewed toys, games, cleaning products, foods, drinks, and computer programs. Oh, one movie. As I looked at what I reviewed, I thought about the products that we kept using. So, here they are:

Jump Start World: Not only did we enjoy the game, we purchased the rest of the 1st grade series and the entire Kindergarten program. We did run into a glitch that the company fixed for the Kindergarten game but was unable to fix for the 1st grade game. My daughter didn't care that she had to begin the game again. If I had reached level 10, I would have been steamed. Not her. She's happy to explore the world again. That's one good game.

Cranium Bloom: We don't play the cooking game, but we still use the puzzle.

My Fruit Roll-Ups: I'm thinking we'll do these again for Valentine's Day or for the end of the school year. It is a unique gift that the kids adore.

Yoplait for Kids: We are all about the drinkable yogurt for my youngest.

Green Works: This is perhaps the most successful product of the year for our family. I use these products, so much so that I brought an empty bottle to the grocery store to ask the manager to order some. He did. I'm now reviewing the wipes. Give me a few days and I'll let you know what I think.

Kutoka: We've played two of this company's games, and the animation and interaction is wonderful. We find time to play these games.

Littlest Pet Shop: We adore the figurines. The electronic toys haven't kept my kids' interest beyond a month. As with other online toys (Webkinz and the like), we just don't play this way.

Clorox Wipes: These are always around our house. I like them for a quick kitchen cleanup.

Suave: I still use the shampoos and the styling products. Good stuff, great price.

Spot Shot: My notes say "OMG, YES!" I'm pretty sure I was yelling happily at the time. No more splats of chocolate milk. OMG, YES!

Barbie and the Diamond Castle: This movie is a favorite of my girls for the music and the friendship theme. They get it. I still like the rakish twins.

Clorox 2: A staple in the laundry room.

The ones that didn't make the "We kept using and purchasing these" were:
  • Froose Juice--after several tries, my kids didn't like the flavors.
  • Breakfast Breaks--We walk to school. These would be best for those that drive to school.
  • Wild Animal Crunch
  • Norton 360--With a good product included from my internet service provider, I couldn't see paying for another product.
  • Preserve--I sent the toothbrushes out for recycling, but I don't shop at stores that carry them as inventory. I'm not driving further to get toothbrushes.
  • Noodleboro--my girls have gotten into Sorry and Labyrinth. The pizza parlor game was fun for two weeks. My three year old sort of still plays it, but he mainly uses it to make his own pizza creations.
  • Littlest Pet Shop Digital Planner--She likes my cell phone better.
  • Woogi World--our lives don't work with this. The computer is a tool for learning and email and editing photos. The lessons of this online world are quite spectacular. My eldest really got them and still practices them. I thought long about putting Woogi World on this list as the value to kids on how to use the internet and balance it with family time is there. If you have a kid that can be compulsive/obsessive about the internet/computer, check it out. I think you'll be amazed at how easily a kid gets the moral of the stories, so to speak.
If I ever get around to it, I will review Dreambox Learning, an online math site for K-2 (oh, maybe higher, I can't find the email with the description). My daughters enjoy it, and it adds in nicely with the tiny bit of homework they have.

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