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VTech Toys Blog

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Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Hi, everyone! Andressa of Twinkle Twinkle Little Party here! I am so thrilled to share adorable rainbow unicorn party ideas with you today! 

My daughter is the typical 6-year-old girl. She absolutely loves anything rainbow unicorn. Needless to say, she was beyond excited when I told her we were going to throw a Magical Rainbow Unicorn Party inspired by VTech®’s Myla the Magical Unicorn™ and Myla’s Sparkling Friends™. Imagine all the excitement!

For a Magical Rainbow Unicorn party, incorporate an eye-catching trendy fringe backdrop in pastel colors. Make it even more festive by completing the look with a balloon garland and unicorn themed party banner. 

Adorable party supplies, such as rainbow plates, napkins and cups are a must to create a festive kids tablescape that will absolutely excite the little guests, and let’s not forget the iridescent unicorn horn party hats! 

Keep the party treats sweet and simple! Jazz up plain popcorn with pastel marshmallows, fun sprinkles and unicorn chocolate chips to create the ultimate magical snack. My daughter goes crazy over this popcorn! 

Spruce up simple cupcakes with fun rainbow unicorn themed toppers. 

Cookies to match the theme are always a good idea. There’s something special about rainbow cookies. They will definitely put a big smile on the kids’ faces! 

Another fun idea would be a cotton candy cake. Doesn’t it look delightful? 

The kids will have a blast playing with Myla the Magical Unicorn™ and Myla’s Sparkling Friends™ while enjoying their party treats!

Just like Myla, the Sparklings can brighten any celebration. The kids can sing along with them and accessorize themselves and the Sparklings using the fun hair clips, combs and rings.

The kids can change the Sparklings’ color by touching their magical necklace and then touch their horn, eyes or wings to change their color as well.

Last but not least, you can have rainbow unicorn themed kids face masks ready for your guests upon arrival. Best part? They double as party favors. Place them in clear bags filled with confetti for extra fun!

I hope these party ideas inspire you to create the most magical rainbow unicorn celebration! 

Concept & Photography: Andressa Hara of Twinkle Twinkle Little Party

​​Rainbow partyware: Daydream Society

​​Unicorn cups, banner and cupcake toppers: Pompom Party Shop

​​Fringe backdrop: The Stylish Detail

​​Kids Face Masks: Mandy Christine Designs

​​Cookies: Sweets Illustrated

​​Cotton Candy Cake: Candy with a Twist

​​Silver Cutlery: Bon+Co. Party Studio

Andressa is the founder and content creator of Twinkle Twinkle Little Party, a blog for all things DIY and party related. Andressa loves inspiring other moms to celebrate at home and create special memories with their kids through crafting, baking and planning the sweetest parties! 

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Updated: Jun 29, 2021

In parenting articles, you read so much about the developmental skills that children should master, the words they should know, and the math concepts they should have down by certain ages. But we don’t talk nearly enough about tech knowledge. And I don’t mean how to use a mouse, or the fact that control/Z is the best ever keyboard command.

More like, the big important ideas about technology that will carry your kids safely and smartly through life. Because what we really want, even more than “tech-savvy” kids, is to raise good digital citizens, as we always say on Cool Mom Tech.

When your kids are old enough to start tapping your tablet screen, they’re old enough to start understanding some basics about technology. With that here are 5 really important things you can teach your kids from a very early age.

1. Technology is a tool that can help us do positive things.

We can’t emphasize this enough: When your kids see technology in a positive way, they’ll put it to use in positive ways.

So let’s help our kids make explicit connections between technology and its positive effects.

Video chat connects us with grandparents and far-away friends. Smartphones can untether parents from our desks, so we can spend more time with our kids – even if we have to check in from time to time. Cars have rear view cameras to keep us safe on the road. Apps can help us explore passions and improve skills of all kinds. Digital photos help us preserve memories. Video cameras let us tell stories, and to explore and express our creativity.

(Psst, that’s one of the reasons we’ve recommended VTech®’s KidiZoom® camera, and now, the KidiZoom®Creator Cam, which lets you do even more.)

As parents, we must be careful of the language we use when we talk to our kids about tech. If they only hear us describing tech as bad, scary, or dangerous, they pick up on our fear. While we want to keep them safe, we don’t want them to miss out on so many of the incredible things that kids can do with technology, and all the ways it can help kids flourish and grow.

2. Take good care of your technology!

Just as with owning a pet, owning technology comes with responsibility. Talk to your kids about cases and pouches, explain how to safely wrap cables and keep ports clean, show them how to clean their screens, talk about where laptops and other gadgets go when they’re through (i.e. not on the floor, thanks), show them how to turn off devices to save power, and above all, make sure your kids always see you taking good care of your own technology.

Your own example is the best way for kids to really learn this point.

3. Some tech is more age-appropriate than others

We know that saying no can be hard for parents. (It’s so much more fun to say yes, we get it!) But it’s important for kids to understand limits and boundaries early on, especially when it comes to technology.

Don’t just turn on parental controls, explain to your kids they exist for their own safety and protection. Explain the purpose of ratings for apps and videos, and why no, your second-grader can’t download that 18+-rated FPS game or teen-targeted social media app.

The same goes for the gadgets they may ask for – we generally don’t hand kindergarteners a $500 smartphone of their very own and send them to school with it. The same goes for our own cameras, headphones, and other high-end technology. That’s why we love gadgets specifically designed for kids, like the KidiZoom Creator Cam. It lets kids take the same photos and high-def videos they see us taking, only using a durable, kid-proof camera design that has parental safeguards built right in.

KidiZoom Creator Cam even offers kids lots of the functionality that’s appealing to them about social media apps, like fun animated backgrounds, green screen effects, time-lapse, and stickers. Only in this case, sharing their creations can only be done by parents, in a safe and appropriate way. Phew.

4. Not all screen time is the same.

It’s easy for parents to complain about time kids spend on screens – and for good reason. But balance matters. Not just in terms of off- and on-screen time, but we want our kids to differentiate between active and passive screen time.

Doodling with a drawing app, practicing calligraphy on a tablet, video-chatting with cousins, researching the stars in the night sky, playing math games, editing videos made with the KidiZoom Creator Cam – those are all active screen time activities that can be fantastic for kids’ brains. That’s the kind of tech use we should be encouraging and applauding as parents.

5. If you have a question, you can always ask a parent.

More than anything, what kids need to understand most about tech is that we’re always here for them. For any reason, any time at all, no matter what.

Whether they don’t know how to use a particular feature on a gadget or see something online that makes them uncomfortable or feels wrong, they should feel safe coming to us first as parents.

But to get to this point, it’s so important for us to keep lines of communication open with our kids.

And hey, if we don’t know an answer to a question, we can look it up together. Your kids don’t expect you to know everything. There’s always going to be a lot of new things to learn as we go along.

And hey, isn’t that basically all of parenting?

Liz Gumbinner is the co-publisher of the popular websites for parents Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech. She also co-hosts  the award-winning Spawned parenting podcast with her partner Kristen Chase, as well as the brand new Out Tech Your Kids podcast which provides tech-positive answers to parents' top questions in 15 minutes each week. Liz can been seen discussing parenting trends, gifts, technology, and culture on shows including NBC's TODAY, CNN, GMA, Nightline, Martha Stewart, and more. She lives and parents her two teen daughters in Brooklyn.

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Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Children thrive with predictable schedules. As a former elementary teacher and now a consultant that works in elementary classrooms, I can't tell you how many times I have heard "When is lunch?" or "How much longer until recess?". Any experienced teacher will tell you how important it is to have a schedule displayed in the classroom to help students navigate through their day. I was always so excited to get to our time unit when I taught second grade just so I could encourage my students to figure out when lunch was happening and how much longer they had until recess by using our classroom clock.

Now that so many students are learning online at home and have very detailed schedules to follow, I think it is important for parents to make sure children are familiar with their daily schedule and take part in figuring out whenthey need to sign-on to participate in live online lessons and how much longer they have until their next break. Here is a sample schedule for an elementary student. Notice how this student has to sign-in for live lessons three different times on a Monday:

For any child (even an adult!) that is a lot to manage. I can't even imagine what parents are doing who have multiple children. Time management has to be on point!

But schedules like these really are nothing new. Kids are busy. Between school, sporting events, extra help and other extracurricular activities, kids are constantly on the go. How can we help them manage their busy schedules?

Using the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX2 to Manage Busy Schedules

Recently I discovered VTech®'s KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX2 and it is an absolute game changer for any parent who is juggling different schedules at home. This kid-friendly smartwatch lets children tell time, set reminders and timers, take pictures and videos, play games and more! It includes two cameras that allow children to capture everything from action videos to selfies, which would be great for academic photo hunts. Children will love the games that come ready to play and involve augmented reality. Kids can also use the smartwatch's motion sensor for active play challenges or to track steps, especially when they need movement breaks throughout the day. There are so many uses for this smartwatch!

What I especially like about this versatile smartwatch is that kids have the ability to manage their own schedules by easily accessing:

● both a digital and analog clock

● timers

● alarms

● reminders

● stopwatch

● calendar

All of the tools mentioned above can truly help kids take ownership of their schedules and feel in charge. I like how a child can try to read the analog time and then double check it by quickly tapping the screen to switch over to a digitalformat. This is great for self-checking and kids will no longer have to confirm with an adult if they were reading their watch correctly. The watch will even read the time aloud when the speech button is pressed.

Children can set alarms or reminders to be notified when they have to login to their next online meeting.

The smartwatch's calendar can help kids understand the days of the week and when the weekend or fun future events are approaching. Parents can ask their child questions like "What day of the week will the 15th be?" or "What was the date two days ago?". Their kids can quickly pull up their calendar to help them answer correctly. Something like this could be turned into a search and find "game" when in the car or waiting at the doctor's office.

The timer and stopwatch could be used to track independent reading time and other activities. Get the kids up and moving by having them count how many one-legged hops they can do in 15 seconds or how many seconds it takes them to do 10 jumping jacks.

Truly the possibilities are endless!

I highly recommend the KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX2 for any child 4+.

Julie Smith is an Instructional Technology Consultant from Saline, Michigan and also works with 826 Michigan in the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Public Schools. She is the author of the blog The Techie Teacher®. Julie holds a National Board Certification in Early Childhood Literacy, is a certified Reading Specialist, spent ten years as an elementary classroom teacher and was an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for several years when she lived in Virginia.

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