Moshi Monsters are toy characters based on the Moshi Monsters website featuring virtual characters that grade school readers can create, name and care for. The website has gained major success with more than 80 million registered users. Kids choose between six virtual characters, customize their pets, and navigate their way around Monstro City, their garden, or room. They can play games, earn virtual currency, personalize rooms, and communicate in a safe environment with their friends. 
The premise is that kids learn to be responsible, make decisions, and handle consequences as they care for their monster in a virtual world. A happy, healthy monster requires food and entertainment, which any parent knows means money. Kids earn money, called Rox, by playing games or solving puzzles and can spend it in various virtual specialty stores. There are also some limited social networking features. The Moshi Monster website www.moshimonsters.com includes well-constructed, quick games that are fun enough to disguise the fact kids are actually learning. There's also a reassuring section for parents that explains the site's concept and safety measures.

The official Moshi website offers tons of videos for kids, including crafts & DIY games, that greatly expands play value with their Moshi pets.

Click on this link to
Posted on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 01:18PM by Registered CommenterSusie | CommentsPost a Comment

Seed Germination: Watch Them Grow!

 

 

Learn about seed germination with this fun science experiment for kids. Plant some seeds and follow the growth of the seedlings as they sprout from the soil, while making sure to take proper care of them with just the right amount of light, heat and water. Have fun growing plants with this cool science project for children.

 

 


 


What You'll Need:

  • Fresh seeds of your choice such as pumpkins seeds, sunflower seeds, lima beans or pinto beans.
  • Good quality soil (loose, aerated, lots of peat moss), if you don't have any you can buy some potting soil at your local garden store.
  • A container to hold the soil and your seeds.
  • Water.
  • Light and heat.

Instructions:

  • Fill the container with soil.
  • Plant the seeds inside the soil.
  • Place the container somewhere warm, sunlight is good but try to avoid too much direct sunlight, a window sill is a good spot.
  • Keep the soil moist by watering it everyday (be careful not to use too much water).
  • Record your observations as the seeds germinate and seedlings begin to sprout from the seeds.

What's happening?

 

Hopefully after a week of looking after them, your seedlings will be on their way. Germination is the process of a plant emerging from a seed and beginning to grow. For seedlings to grow properly from a seed they need the right conditions. Water and oxygen are required for seeds to germinate. Many seeds germinate at a temperature just above normal room temperature but others respond better to warmer temperatures, cooler temperatures or even changes in temperature. While light can be an important trigger for germination, some seeds actually need darkness to germinate.  If you buy seeds it should mention the requirements for that specific type of seed in the instructions.

Continue to look after your seedlings and monitor their growth. For further experiments you could compare the growth rates of different types of seeds or the effect of different conditions on their growth.
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:16AM by Registered CommenterSusie | CommentsPost a Comment

Yes, this promo is ongoing for Pond Points members!

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15% OFF BOOKS EVERY DAY AT TURTLE POND!
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:04AM by Registered CommenterSusie | CommentsPost a Comment

Clever Ways to Organize and Manage Kids' Gear

Most kids generate a little chaos and disorganization. Yours might flit from one thing to the next - forgetting books at school, leaving towels on the floor, and failing to finish projects once started. You'd like them to be more organized! Is it possible? Yes! A few kids seem naturally organized, but for the rest, organization is a skill learned over time. With a clever organizational plan, kids can develop an effective approach to putting things in their place.

 

Organize Art Supplies

Use a 5 gallon paint bucket and a tool holder to hold art supplies. Easy in, easy out!

 

Stash Essentials in Cubbies

Use cubbies in a freestanding cabinet, a built-in, or bench that your kids use most often. Kids can learn to put away their own things from a young age when storage is easily accessible. Store shoes, backpacks, umbrellas, hats, and other items used daily.

 

 

If the Shoe Fits...

A hanging shoe holder can be repurposed to hold much more than just shoes. Use a door-hanging shoe holder (at kid-height) in a closet to store action figures, dolls, and any smaller toys.  

 

Calling All Cars!

Install a magnetic strip (often used for storing knives in a kitchen) to the wall and place matchbox cars along it when not in use. Without using a bucket or bin, it's less likely every single car will be dumped on the floor!

 

Colour It Organized...

Use a hanging garbage bin, label it, and use it for storing kids' colouring books, art books, and/or paper for crafts.

 

Hooks at Varying Heights

Kids will use wall hooks they can reach easily. Put extra pegs and hooks below adult-height hooks, about 3-feet off the floor). Once the kids grow taller, these can be used to hang wet hats, scarves, bags, and other smaller items or short jackets.

 

Highlight Important Papers

Installing a display rail helps to keep track of all the important incoming and outgoing paperwork from school and home. Tickets, homework, permission slips are all good candidates for this.

 

Dry Boots & Shoes Quickly

Use a simple metal or plastic cooling rack (usually used for baking) to sit inside a larger tray or baking pan. This will collect dirt and water, leaving floors mess-free. To clean, hose them off or just rinse and throw them into the dishwasher.

 

Corral Messy, Outdoor Toys Before They Get Indoors

When you have kids, muddy shoes and toys are a fact of life. Use a plastic basket or washable canvas bin to collect used rain gear, messy sandbox toys, and soggy pool supplies. Either mount the bin to the wall or set it inside a larger tray or bin which will collect the water, dirt, and debris.

 

The Organized Family

Using mounted file holders, upright baskets, or mailboxes is a fun, easy and clever way to keep the family organized. These can hold things going out and coming in: think school library books, notes and other paperwork for school, umbrellas, hats and other daily essentials that you don't want the kids to forget. Forget the morning scramble! This makes mornings much easier for parents.

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 11:14AM by Registered CommenterSusie | CommentsPost a Comment

 

 

Spring Explorers!

What better time to entice your gang into nature than when the whole wide world is coming back to life? Here are four great ways to celebrate the new season and bring out the outdoor adventurer lurking inside every kid.

 

 

 

Call Out the Worms

Find an area of loose, slightly moist soil (the dirt under a log or landscape timber works well) and push a 12- to 18-inch-long stick two to three inches into the ground. Vigorously rub another stick from side to side against it for about 2 minutes and watch as any worms in the area wriggle to the surface. Try several areas in the yard to see which ones are the hottest worm hangouts, and keep an eye out for baby worms, which are in abundance this time of year.


Catch a Breath

This easy experiment can be conducted anywhere there's a patch of grass and sidewalk, and proves that plants are breathing in the spring air too.

Invert a clean, empty glass jar over a patch of grass in the sunlight. Place another jar over concrete or asphalt. Leave the jars for an hour, then return to examine them. The inside of the grass jar will be coated with droplets of water, while the other jar should be mostly dry inside. 

 

Track Trap

While you can see many animals that make your backyard their home during the day -- birds and rabbits, for example -- many others only come out at night. This footprint-catching "trap" lets kids investigate who's hanging out after dark.

Place a white sheet, folded in half, in an area of the yard where animals are most likely to visit (near a hedge, for instance, or a compost pile). Place cut-up fruit, bread spread with peanut butter, sliced carrots, or hard-boiled eggs in the center, then spread a foot-wide band of dirt around the edges of the sheet. Using a watering can, wet both the sheet and the soil and leave it overnight. The next morning, check your trap to see if any animals have taken the bait, then try to identify them by their tracks. Reset your trap in other spots around the yard -- you might attract different animals in different places.


Pond Explorers

Ponds are teeming with living things, large and small, especially in the springtime. A simple embroidery hoops sifter lets kids get up close and personal with the fascinating critters -- bugs, snails, tiny shrimp, crayfish, and more -- that call the pond's floor home.

Cut two circles from tulle that are slightly larger than a 7-inch embroidery hoop. Place the hoop between the circles. Staple the pieces together around the hoop's perimeter, pulling the tulle tight. (It's easiest to staple one side first, pull it tight and staple the opposite side. Then continue stapling around the hoop.) Now find an area of the pond where plants are growing or draping into the water Lower the hoop into the soil on the pond's floor, sweeping it slowly back and forth, then gently raise it out of the water (it may take a few sweeps to collect something). Transfer your findings to a small plastic container filled with pond water. When you've finished your examination, gently return the critters to their home.  A finely meshed bug net works really well for this too.

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 10:49AM by Registered CommenterSusie | Comments1 Comment

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 10:43PM by Registered CommenterSusie | Comments1 Comment

The PlasmaBike from Plasmart: No batteries, pedals, or gears - just a fun, progressive and encouraging start to bicycle riding this spring.

The Plasmabike's unique design encourages coordination, balance and motor skill development while offering a really fun, sturdy ride. This fun bike comes from Plasmart, makers of the Plasmacar!

Children as little as 18 months enjoy the freedom of riding without the complication of training wheels or anxiety of having to hold their balance too long, too early. Wide wheels ensure that PlasmaBike doesn't tip over in a stationary or stopped position, giving added confidence and promoting self esteem. The limited steering range wide wheels enhance balancing capabilities and provide a smoother transition to a conventional 2 wheel ride. Made in Europe.

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 05:39PM by Registered CommenterSusie | Comments3 Comments

The popular Scratch & Sketch art series is fun new way to sketch for many ages! There are lots of titles to choose from in three assorted ranges, Original Scratch & Sketch, Travel Scratch & Sketch, and Travel Scratch & Sketch. There are also themes like Circus, Dragons & Mythical Creatures, & Batman.

These fun sketch books offer kids a whole new way to draw and create images and is perfect for on-the-go with only oe inlcuded wooden stylus needed to draw all the pictures inside.

Simply scratch away the black coating on each of the pages. This reveals swirls, patterns, and holographic colours that seem to make images appear magically! Each book is carefully shrink-wrapped and includes a wooden stylus for drawing on the special, black-coated paper. Each 64-page book includes 20 illustrated, 20 scratch-off, and 20 sketch pages with a wire-o-bound hardcover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 04:45PM by Registered CommenterSusie in , , | Comments1 Comment

For the past decade, Blue Orange Games has been creating high quality, award winning & eco-friendly games (they plant two trees for every one used in game construction) designed for maximum fun. From the makers of Gobblet, here are some of their latest unique, creative and stimulating games.

 


Tell Tale
: Ages 6-adult, 3-8 players, 20 mins. Tell Tale uses cards with a variety of images ranging from the charming to the ordinary, encompassing a range of situations.  The idea is for players to improvise stories.

 

Take a journey into storyland... Whether engaged in a friendly contest or creating a story together, you will love the way Tell Tale gives your imagination a chance to shine. Seven fun family games and thousands of short stories to tell are included in the travel-size tin. 

Spot It: Ages 7 -adult, 2-8 players, 10-20 mins. A sharp eye and a little bit of speed is all it takes to become a Spot it! master. 

There is always one, and only one, matching symbol between any 2 cards in this party game. Spot It and you are on your way to victory!



Trigger
: Ages 8-adult, 3-8 players, 20 mins. Test your coordination & reaction abilities.

Slap yourself silly in the ridiculously fun party game. Players answer true or false to statements as quickly as possible by slapping the target.

 

 

Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 11:00PM by Registered CommenterSusie | CommentsPost a Comment

 

Every year about this time, as temperatures plummet, families come to the store in search of a new game to play over the winter.

We carry a huge selection of games at Turtle Pond.  Here's a sampling of some of our favourite games for young, old and in-between.  We're sure to have something to catch your fancy!

The Settlers of Catan

More than 15 million copies of The Settlers of Catan game series have been sold since first released in 1995. The prestigious Washington Post has dubbed it "the board game of our time."

 

In Settlers of Catan, each player assumes the role of a settler, attempting to build and develop their settlement while acquiring and trading resources. As their settlements grow, players are rewarded points. The first to reach a certain number wins. A favourite of young adults, this board game is highly recommended as a family game for children ages ten through adult and takes 60 to 90 minutes to play. One of its best group game features is that at no point throughout the game is any player eliminated.

 

Settlers of Catan Expansion Kits offer the chance to bump the game from three to four players to five and six players. These kits were first released for Settlers and Seafarers, one of many byproducts created since Settlers was released. As well as extra components to accommodate more players, the expansions add an extra building phase to the turn, so that players can participate in the game during each others' turns.

 

Carcassonne 

Carcassonne is a German-style board game designed for two players and named after the fortified medieval town of Carcassonne, France. It is designed for ages 8 to adult and has a roughly 45 minute play time.

 

Carcassonne is a tile-placement game where players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles already played, so that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etc. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of his Meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that Meeple scores points for his owner.

 

Settlers vs Carcassonne: There are many differences and some similarities between the two games, but a key distinction is that Settlers is highly recommended as a four player game, while Carcassonne is an ideal two person board game (but it can also be expanded to accommodate up to five). Carcassonne is a little easier to pick up, but both are considered easy to learn.

 
Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 09:54PM by Registered CommenterSusie | Comments Off