We Got the FUNK

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Easy Summer Party Prep #MyMicheladaMatch #Ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #MyMicheladaMatch
Summer is here!  Ten full weeks of fun and excitement.  In our world, this means that we will be cleaning out the house, camping and hosting summer parties and usually we do this on the fly.  I decided it was time for me to share how I put together our easy summer party prep and share a couple easy recipes for Micheladas and Ceviche.


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Typically our summer parties are planned with only about 48 hours to get everything accomplished. I love hosting, but with my husbands schedule it can be hard to nail down a date.  Often we just put together a summer shindig with a quick trip to Walmart and we do our best to keep it low stress.


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I usually swing by the Walmart Deli to grab some easy snack items.  Our favorites are the cheese sticks and cheddar stuffed jalapeƱos.  However, no party is complete without some adult beverages and our party guests love to dress them up.  I decided that for this summer party prep, I would put together a Michelada “red beer” station.  I ran through the juice aisle at Walmart and grabbed some Clamato and then headed to the condiments and produce sections. Clamato is the classic ingredient for Micheladas, which are authentic and delicious tomato clam juice and beer drinks.


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Once home, I usually gather all my items to put together an awesome DIY Michelada “Red Beer” station.  Celery, dill pickles, garlic stuffed green olives, limes, chili powder salt, Clamato and our light beer of choice!  I also make sure that I have glasses, ice and skewers to make scrumptious kabobs.
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The Michelada station is very easy to set up.  Just lay everything out and let your guests make their drink to taste.  Guests can add as much Clamato, ice and kabob fixings as they prefer
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Side dishes and drinks are awesome, but every party needs a main course.  One of my favorite and most popular dishes is a quick and easy shrimp and tilapia ceviche.


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The recipe is simple.  Take 2 filets of tilapia and bake them with a sprinkle of chili powder and a tsp of lime juice on each filet.  Cut up the tilapia into bite sized pieces and combine with 10 oz of shrimp, ½ a medium white (or red) onion, 2 tbs of lime juice and cilantro to taste.  You can also add avocado chunks and seasonings as you see fit.  


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Once your have combined the fish and produce, then mix in 2 cups of Clamato and chill for 1-2 hours.
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This ceviche is so tasty.  My husband likes to eat it with a little hot sauce and I like to add in some avocado occasionally.  You can really mix in a lot of different things to bring in as much or as little flavor as you like.  You can also serve plain or on a piece of bruschetta.  

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For a quick party spread, set up the beverage station and the food and serve!  We find this to be the easiest way for everyone to grab a snack and their drink and then hang out for some games and fun discussions.  Keeping our summertime parties low key and easy is perfect for our busy lifestyle.  

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I cannot wait to invite our friends over for National Michelada Day on July 12th and set up our “red beer” station again! I know it will be a huge hit and so fun for our friends to enjoy on a hot summer day.
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Make sure to swing by Walmart and grab everything you need for your summer party and don’t forget the Michelada station!  Your friends will love it!  You can also visit the My Michelada Match website to take a peek at other awesome recipes and pairings!


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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our Family Fun Day at Elitch Gardens

Disclosure: Elitch Gardens hosted us for a day of fun.  All opinions are my own.

Growing up in Colorado, Elitches was the place to be in the summer.  I remember visiting the original Elitch Gardens as a little girl and riding my first rollercoasters there.  It has always been a place to enjoy a day with the family, take in some fun thrill rides and enjoy some yummy food.

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Elitch Gardens opened in 1890 as a zoo and was family owned and operated for years.  The first rollercoaster was added in 1904 and so the amusement park began.  Elitches operated out of its original location outside of Downtown Denver until 1994, when it moved Downtown and has been for over 20 years.  I have visited Elitches several times and been a season pass holder when I was a teenager as well.  We have never taken our kids to Elitches and felt like it was time to let them experience a little fun and history!

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We planned a day and took the whole family.  It was a bit gloomy out and chilly, but we all agreed that the colder weather was much better than it being way to hot.  We walked in and immediately the kids were oohing and ahhing all over.  Elitches has a its own little main street with shops and a theater as you walk into the main park.  We did a little shopping at the Colorado Store and the candy store to get the day started.

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Next was the first ride of the day.  Our kids wanted to go on the carousel and so we did.  The husband and my mom got on horses, while myself, the kids and my little nephew (who you cannot see in this photo) got in the little seated area behind them.  Around we went, enjoying our first ride!

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Our next stop was the kiddie area.  Elitches was one of the first amusement parks to offer rides made for kids and to this day, their kiddie area is really awesome.  They have over 10 rides as well as games and a large semi-indoor play area.  Our kids loved this part of the park and spent nearly the entire day there.  They rode every single ride there numerous times and never had a wait.

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I loved that we could go on most of the rides with our kids if they wanted us too.  Their favorite ride was the Crazy Bus and the Blazin' Buckaroo rollercoaster.  I have to admit, the rollercoaster was a favorite of mine too!  After spending some time on rides, we hit up the pizza place on main street. We treated ourselves to some cheese and pepperoni pizzas.  The prices were a bit higher than we expected, but the pizza was really good!

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From there is was time for some adult rides.  With the weather being a little less than cooperative, we did not get to ride a ton of the larger rides.  We did have the VIP Rapid Rider passes and definitely put those to use though.  Worth the money for sure.  My mom had to ride the Thunder Bolt, which is her favorite ride.  She was hysterical on this and we all laughed and cheered as she came around and around!

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On our list was the Twister II and the Star Flyer.  Twister II is a wooden roller coaster, modeled after the original twister at the original Elitch Gardens location.  It is a jolty, up and down thrill ride that is a can't miss.  We love this roller coaster and never miss an opportunity to take a little ride!  The Star Flyer is Elitches new thrill ride and what a thrill it seriously was.  My sister was freaking out as we waited in our short VIP line to ride this 17 story swing!  We loaded on the ride and up and up we went, while spinning around and taking in the amazing sights of the park from above.  It was awesome and honestly aside from the height of the ride, it was really more relaxing than scary!


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The weather got colder and the park was getting busier on a Friday night.  It was time for us to head home.  We had a great time and will definitely be returning next season for some more fun!  Elitch Gardens has so many great rides for everyone and is a blast.  You can learn more about Elitches and their current special offers here.  The have some amazing summer events from Dive-in movies at the water park to a summer concert series, there is something for everyone.

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Have you visited Elitch Gardens?

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Friday, June 23, 2017

How We #DiscoverBoating As A Family #ad


When I was 11 my uncle built a stunning house on a small private lake and from then on, most of my summers have included many trips to the lake spent on a boat.  It is a place where I grew up and where I want my kids to grow up.

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My dad purchased a boat from the 50's that had wings and was affectionately named Hot Wings and we spent many hours on that boat, fishing, putting around, and learning how to tube and water ski.  It was officially the lake boat for everyone that visited my uncle and was so cool looking!  The boat met its final demise after a massive storm came through and sank it.  We did get the boat out of the water but it was a goner.  Shortly after, my uncle purchased an awesome little speed boat.

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As a kid that grew up on a lake, I wanted my kids to have those same experiences, so we started them young.  This is our son's first ride on the boat 7 years ago.  We were not going fast at all and he actually wasn't crying, he was super content, this was just a picture taken at a time where he was making one of those weird newborn faces. Since then, my son has been to the lake many times and is starting to learn more about how much fun it can be to discover boating.

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We took a quick day trip this week and were hoping to get on the boat, but unfortunately, my uncle had to work and we could not launch the boat without him.  However, the new jet ski was in the water and it was the first time our little ones were going to be able to experience a different type of boating!

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The lake water was so high that the dock (that is normally 1.5 feet off the water) was a under 6 inches of water.  Our kids thought this was so funny and spent time just laying on their backs in their life jackets floating "on the dock".  However, we were there for some time on the water and not just in the water!

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When the jet ski was ready, my husband took both kids for a little cruise.  My son was a bit more cautious then I thought he would be.  They took it slow on the jet ski, but by the end of his first ride they were jumping some smaller waves and he came in laughing and smiling from ear to ear.

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It was time for the little one to get her jet ski experience in and I knew she would be a little no fear, spit fire.  Before they even left the dock she told me she was going to go super fast and jump all the waves.  I told her daddy to be careful.  They were, but I could hear her screaming with joy and yelling to go faster!  No sooner was that ride over and she was begging to go back out and telling our son that he couldn't go out anymore because it was her jet ski.  Check out more of our day on the lake in the video below!



After our day at the lake, the husband and I started talking about potentially purchasing a boat in the next year and spending even more time on the lake, teaching our kids and having quality family time and memories.  We checked out the Discover Boating website where you can rent various boats to try and enjoy or even finance a boat for as little as $250.00 a month!  We browsed the boat selector tool to see which type of boat would be a good fit for our family.  They have everything listed from pontoons to fish and ski boats to inflatables and personal watercrafts.  The husband and I really liked the fish and ski boat options and will likely go this way when we purchase in a few years. 

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Overall, our day at the lake was exactly what we were hoping for.  We will be going back next weekend to get in some boat time and likely try to do several more short trips this summer to really get in some valuable family time at the lake.  

If you and your family are interested in getting into boating, purchasing a boat or you just want to get away for a weekend and rent a boat, make sure to check out Discover Boating!  

How would you discover boating?

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Vintage Patriotic Home Decor

Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with Oriental Trading. All opinions are my own. 

I love to decorate my home for the holidays.  In fact, I have already had my patriotic decor up for the last week.  There is something so beautiful about patriotic home decor and recently while browsing Oriental Trading, I found some amazing Vintage Patriotic Home Decor I just had to post about!

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I have not purchased any of this, but after looking through the entire Patriotic 4th of July pages on Oriental Trading, I may just spend a little bit on some of these beauties!

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These vintage door banners stole my heart!  They look well made and are so pretty.  I wish my front door had space on both sides to put these up because I would have snagged them in a heartbeat.

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I love my patriotic bunting on our front porch, but if mine ever gets to worn, I will definitely be opting for the corner buntings.  I love the grommets down the side which would keep them more secure to the deck rail.  Ours blow around often and these would be much better.
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Ok, I definitely already have this in my Oriental Trading basket.  The patriotic welcome mat will be a beautiful addition to our entryway into our home.  Love it so much!

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I am such a sucker for wreaths.  We have a wreath on our door year-round and my patriotic wreath is starting to fade.  I adore this floral wreath so much.  The use of the white flowers on the blue background is a gorgeous touch!  I am totally keeping my eye on this item.
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This personalized bunting is a great way to show your family patriotism.  I have ordered several personalized items from Oriental Trading and they always turn our great.

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At this point you likely know how much I love my holiday table decor.  This vintage table runner is amazing!  I totally will be getting this in the future, so pretty!

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Now the centerpiece above is not exactly my style but it would be great in a household that does have a vintage patriotic theme going on.  I had to include this

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Ok I love these stars!  They would look amazing on a shelf or a mantle to add depth or dimension to any area.  They are made of metal and I really want these!


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These patriotic buckets are not as big as they look but would be great to put candies in or even some decorative balls.  You could even purchase them for a patriotic party and put goodies like bubbles, beaded necklaces or patriotic leis!  They were too pretty to pass up for this post. 

Will you be placing an order for your vintage patriotic decor?

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tonsillectomy Survival Kit for Adults #KleenexGoAnywhere #ad


The summer of surgeries is upon us.  Surgery one is done and the second of three is Monday.  This handsome husband of mine has had his nasal bones removed and his sinuses opened and is now going in for a tonsillectomy at the age of 36!

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Yes, you read that right, 36 years old and he is finally getting his tonsils out.  It all started at the beginning of the school year when our oldest came home from school sick and after a trip to the doctor we were told he had strep.  A couple days later the husband also had strep and that scenario happened over and over and over again for my husband.  The doctors have basically had the husband on an antibiotic and steroid since September and finally his primary care handed over his case to the ENT.  They determined that the strep is basically stuck in his sinuses and tonsils and that is where the summer of surgeries began.  

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Now at 36, a tonsillectomy is a bit different to recover from and the comments we get from providers and friends are not too comforting.  So I decided to put together a little tonsillectomy survival kit to help the hubby get through what is lining up to be a pretty rough recovery.

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The number one thing we have been told is to stay hydrated by any means necessary, because adults tend to over medicate and under hydrate which makes recovery very difficult.  If you are going to put a kit together here are a few things to include:
  1. Soup: liquid foods are great and anything that they do not need to chew and is easy to swallow.
  2. Tea and a mug: To help with hydration having tea can be a great addition to a water filled day.  
  3. Yogurt and Applesauce: Great foods to help nourish the body
  4. Popsicles: Cold on the throat to help soothe
  5. Get Well Card: A lovely note to help the patient know that you love and care for them
  6. Gift Cards: This could be for the person going through the surgery or for the family caring for them.  
  7. Water or a water bottle: HYDRATE!
  8. Kleenex Go-Anywhere: When you are recovering, tissue is great to have on hand.  With tonsillectomies, it is often difficult to swallow, which does not stop saliva from building up. Combat that with Kleenex!

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Kleenex Go-Anywhere packs are my favorite travel tissue packs.  They have a strap with a snap to help secure the tissue to whatever you desire.  I bought a couple of these packs and have them placed in our vehicles and around the house as well as my purse and our swim bag.  You can never have enough tissue and with the husband still recovering from the nasal cavity surgery and now having the tonsil surgery we will be going through a lot of these.

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You know I am always on the hunt for a good deal and I never buy anything without a coupon.  My kids know that if it is not on sale or I do not have a coupon, we do not purchase it.  I found Kleenex Go-Anywhere packs at my local Walmart in the tissue section and I had a $0.50 off coupon that I used to save even more!  You can get your coupon here!

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So if you are prepping for a surgery like us, or just want to save some cash on a great item, grab the ibotta coupon, head to Walmart and get yourself some Kleenex Go-Anywhere Packs!


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Water World was Truly a Day of #UnlimitedFunUnderTheSun

Disclosure: Our family was provided tickets for our experience, all opinions are my own. 

Growing up in Colorado, Water World was THE waterpark to visit.  My husband grew up only about 10 minutes from the park and had season passes there, I was not as lucky as we lived further away and a trip to the park was a very special event.  In our family, going to Water World is also a very special event and we were fortunate enough to have an amazing family day there. 

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We had anticipated the trip for a week prior and were fully prepared the day of...minus the fact that I left the sunscreen at home and we had to stop and grab it before we got to the park!  MomFail!  We got to the park about 15 minutes prior to opening and waited outside the gates.  The weather was perfect already and the forecast for the day was sunshine and a little cloud coverage.  It was our littlest first trip to a big waterpark and we were ready to make it a great family day!

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We decided to rent a bungalow for the day (they were half off, who could pass that up)!  This was the best choice we made.  We had a semi-private area to keep our things, shade all day, a great view of the wave pool and very close access to the big family rides.  It was perfect and we will totally rent a bungalow again.

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Another thing that we purchased was Tube Valet and the Pharaohs feast.  Tube Valet is something that anyone with little ones needs.  You basically pay to have the park bring the large tubes to you and you also go in shorter lines and get on rides faster.  Less wait, less carrying and less whining from the kids.  This was the second time we have done this and it is the only way for us to go.  The Pharaohs feast is an all you can eat, all day, buffet.  This was our first time trying this and we would likely do it again.  No need to carry around money, just scan the barcode and grab a snack, lunch, ice cream or a drink whenever someone was getting hungry.  We looked at the prices around the park of food and items we would have purchased and it was much cheaper for us to do the buffet then it would have been to purchase individual items.  The food was good too!

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We decided that our first ride would be the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride, which we called the "dinosaur ride".  It was close to our bungalow and had tube valet, so we jumped right in and went for it.  The picture above was about 2 minutes before we got on the ride.  The little one is very unsure as she was watching other people get in the large tube and go into a dark cave!  When our turn came, we all got in and she slightly freaked out, but then went on it another couple times.  She loved it and really had a good time.

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One thing that I love about Water World is the kid areas have really expanded.  There are several different areas of the park and in each area there are small kid friendly places to enjoy.  This meant that mom or dad could take in a bigger ride, while the kids played in their areas.

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Our kids were all about the water slides and were not exactly rule followers...as you can see by the little one coming down backwards on her belly.  We definitely had to chat them up about safety and they were better, but they truly had the best time.  We also checked out the mini wave pool they just put in recently, as well as the circus area that had tube water rides for the little ones and a small lazy river.  When we were kids, all Water World had for little kids was Wally World which was a small area with a few tiny slides and about 6 inches of water.  Now there are so many areas where the entire family can enjoy the entire park.

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About half way through the day, our little one was exhausted and told us she needed a nap and she sure did.  She crashed out for about 40 minutes in the bungalow.  This gave me some time to relax and get a little tan time in and the boys took off, grabbed a tube and hit up the large wave pool at Thunder Bay.

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I was cracking up watching my little guy hang out in the tube and hit the waves.  My husband was having a blast with him, spinning him around and pushing him into the waves.  I would say that the wave pool was probably the favorite "ride" that day.  They spent an hour in there and came back just for a drink ready for more.  I had to talk them both out of that so we could see and play in more of the park.

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We truly had the best time at Water World and are already anticipating our next trip.  I know we will be getting season passes in the upcoming years because we just had the best time.  Everyone left with a smile on their face, stories to tell, and tired from all the fun!  If you are in Colorado, grab your tickets and get to Water World for a day of unlimited fun in the sun!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Learning to Code with Ozobot Evo #Ozonation #ad

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

My son is obsessed with technology and learning how things work.  He watches tons of Youtube videos to learn more about how he can make various things work and is starting to learn about coding.  We were elated to find the Ozobot Evo at Best Buy and get this little guy home to play and learn all about him. 

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The Ozobot Evo is the smallest robot of its kind and the goal is to code, play create and connect with the digital world.  Ozobot comes in a great little box that you can also use as storage even after opening.  Inside the box is your Ozobot, a helmet covering, coding markers, a play board as well as a carrying bag and usb charger. 

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Ozobot Bit Starter Pack – SKU 5734607
The Ozobot works with or without the app, however, downloading the app gives the future programmer more options to learn.  We started to learn how to Ozobot worked by just simply turning him on and setting him on the play board.  Without the app connected, the Ozobot will move around the board on the black lines and do various tricks as he passes over the colors.

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We then downloaded the app and connected our Ozobot.  We were able to name our little Ozobot and play a couple games with him.  One of the games that you can play is called Ozolaunch.  This is a game of skill where you control the Ozobot and launch him from planet (colored circle) to planet in as few shots as possible.  Both of our kids were competing to see who could do it in the least amount of time.  Of course our son was the best at this!

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One thing that I loved about this STEM toy is that the website is so helpful and has many different templates to download as well as videos to teach your child how to play with the toy.  There are over 20 activities included in the Ozobot 2.0 starter pack and you can download even more from their website and the Ozobot app for more fun!  We downloaded and printed just a few and I know we will be printing more.  I will also be laminating these because they have already gotten a ton of use.  

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Ozobot helps teach coding with colors which shows little learners that colors can create action.  This is awesome for cause/effect building skills for future programmers.  My son has been a techie from the moment he could grab a phone or tablet.  He is always wanting to learn more about robotics and how everything works.  He was excited to learn that he could use the Ozobot markers and create patterns for his Ozobot to follow.  We downloaded the coding key off the Ozobot website to help him learn how to direct his Ozobot and make him do tricks.  When he gets really good at this skill, we will introduce him to Ozoblockly and have him create codes on the computer that his Ozobot will follow when connected to the app.  It really is an amazing tool for learning and play.

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We put together a short video to walk anyone through some basics of usage from turning him on, to using the play board, to calibration and play!  I know there will be more videos as we learn more and are able to work through the coding process together.  Yes, together!  This mom is just as excited to learn more coding and help my kiddo build his STEM skills. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math and products like this Ozobot encourage kids to develop skills in these areas. Best Buy carries STEM products ranging from basic learning games to advanced toys that are designed to stimulate a child's mind in these STEM areas which help develop logic and problem solving skills!  Any parent can get behind that!



What do you think?  Would you buy the Ozobot for your child?

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