Friday, November 6, 2015

Ridiculously Awesome Science Toys for Kids: Amazing Earth Puzzle Blocks!

With the holidays right around the corner, I've been on the lookout for great science toys and kits that my kids can play and learn with. Now that I have a baby in the house too, my eyes are shifting towards things that could be used now as well as in the years to come! During my perusing, I came across these wooden puzzle blocks and I immediately fell in love. Layers of the Earth, evolution and the fossil record, layers of the atmosphere and space, and volcanoes?! These are amazing!!! We needed to have these!

The Amazing Earth Puzzle Blocks!
Available on Uncommon Goods
Photo Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Tiffany Ard, the creator of The Amazing Earth Puzzle Blocks and Nerdy Baby Artwork, was gracious enough to send me a set of these blocks so I could review them. What we found inside was a geek's dream of science awesomeness and whimsical play!

The first thing I was struck by when we got these, was just how fun the packaging was! Normally, I don't go nuts over the packaging of something, but this was brilliant. The box was super cute and the window cutout caused immediate excitement with my kiddo for what was in store!

Once we got over the cute packaging, it was time to dig into the blocks and start playing! The Amazing Earth Puzzle Blocks has six different puzzles with gorgeous designs painted in the wood! When each puzzle is put together, the blocks will form an image of fossils and the layers of the earth, the layers of the ocean, the layers of the atmosphere, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or river systems winding through the Earth!

Here, my daughter and I put together the "Volcanic Eruptions" puzzle. As we turned over each piece and put it in its place, we found ourselves having the most incredible discussions about what we were looking at! Geology, the rock cycle, land formations... all of these were suddenly brought to life as we examined our blocks!

Next up, we had to check out the Earth's (Amazing) Fossil Record puzzle. Oh my goodness, dinosaurs and evolution in block form? I was SO excited! The vivid drawings of dinosaurs and mammals, outlining the evolution of life as we know it, was so cool! As we put our blocks together, it really looked like fossils spread out in the layers of the Earth!

There are so many variations of these puzzles to work with, it's incredible! Every puzzle opens a new window into the sciences of the world. Each block offers a new learning opportunity! The diagrams are informative, the pictures are charming and fun, and each puzzle is peppered with cute pop culture references.
I started singing, "Bye, bye, Miss American Pie"
The great thing about these blocks, is that they're perfect for the wide range of ages in my house! For the baby, she'll have fun smacking them together and pointing out the different colors as she learns to identify them. We'll also have a great time talking about different animals, fossils, clouds, and space!

For my older child, she'll have a great time taking the pictures apart and trying to puzzle them back together again. She loves looking through the fossils and through the layers of the ocean, and is already looking up some of the oceanic zones so she can learn more about the animals who live there!

Some final thoughts on these puzzle blocks...

First, they are SERIOUSLY amazing. I am so in love with these! I mean, dinosaur blocks, voclano blocks, river systems, earthquakes, and space?! These are awesome! We're going to have an awesome time taking these puzzles apart, putting them back together, and learning about these concepts as we have fun! The baby, the kid, and I can all learn something from these and have a great time playing with them!

These puzzles can be tricky though. I'm so glad they came with an answer key. I'm not sure that we would have been able to figure them out as easily without it! The answer key made troubleshooting our solutions much easier, and ended up making the matching up of the pieces a game unto itself. Also included on the answer key is a link to an online PDF which contains some extra explanations behind some of the concepts, which made some of the harder concepts easier to understand.

Once again Tiffany Ard knocks it out of the park with geeky toys that are fantastically fun and filled with science awesomeness! Like her Most Ridiculously Excellent Coloring Book of Science, these blocks are charming, playful, and filled with so much science we'll get use out of them for years to come!

They're so much fun to play with, even the cat wants in on the action!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Giveaway: Heroic Cardboard Costumes with Crafteeo!

Building confidence and heroes, one cardboard step at a time!

Katie loves crafting, and she also loves costume making! After she made her own Wonder Woman costume, she has set herself a goal of making new costumes whenever the motivation strikes. Fortuanately for her, she didn't have to wait long as we were given an opportunity to check out these amazing warrior costume designs from Crafteeo!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Girl's Dreams of Becoming Wonder Woman!

A little girl with a super powered dream!

When I took my daughter on her first trip to the comic book store, she was blown away. As soon as she walked into Samurai Comics, her eyes grew as wide as saucers, as she scanned the walls and corridors filled with comic books! Those first steps brought her face to face with with a world of wonders, imagination, excitement, and adventure!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dress Up Like The Stars With Baby Teith!

This giveaway has been CLOSED! Please check out the stellar space clothes of Baby Teith, and the launching of their kickstarter, featuring astronaut skirts and dragon scale clothes!

Editoral 04_16_2015_-34.jpg
Photo by Joseph Maddon
My friend Tiffe Fermaint is an award winning runway fashion designer, and she makes the COOLEST clothes ever for kids! She and her husband Keith Walker started their company Baby Teith after their daughter was born, when she was trying to find awesome baby clothes, but was having trouble finding things that fit their tastes. So, Tiffe decided to start making them herself! And what are the tastes she couldn't find clothing to fit for?


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kitchen Chemistry: When Jello and Science Collide!

Candy you make yourself, from Japan!

Recently, my husband signed me up for a monthly snack box subscription from Japan. Every box contained strange and wonderful delights from shrimp flavored snack chips to cotton candy with pop rocks! One of the most interesting snacks was this Create-Your-Own dolphin candy, which came with ocean character molds, a scenic ocean background, and all of the ingredients and tools we would need to put it together! Essentially, we were given chemistry in a box, and our result would be candy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Liquid Gold Project - Monitoring Mother's Milk!

Monitoring mother's milk through ages and stages!

As some of you may know, our family of science awesomeness expanded over Christmas, as I welcomed our newest daughter Maizy Zinn into the world!

Hello World!

So of course, once I got settled into life as a parent of a newborn, I immediately started planning a science project...

While I was pregnant, I knew I would want to breastfeed after she was born. I knew that breast milk contains a ton of vital nutrients, and that the composition of the milk changes over time to meet the demands of a growing baby. I wondered... what would my milk look like under the microscope? It would be SO cool to see something that I made to feed my baby, so close like that! Further, I wondered, would I even be able to notice any changes if I looked at it again in the future?

Enter The Liquid Gold Project!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's the Grand Opening of the Halle Heart Children's Museum!

The American Heart Association's Halle Heart Children's Museum is hosting its Grand Opening this weekend in Tempe! Until recently, the Halle Heart Museum has only been open for school groups and organized field trips. However, thanks to a grant from Tempe-based Insight, Inc., this weekend marks the kick off of the Museum as it opens its doors to the public at large!

So, what is the Halle Heart Children's Museum? Well, it's an interactive, hands on museum, dedicated to teaching kids all about the heart, how it works, how it compares to the organs of other animals, and how we can take care of one of our most vital organs!

You'll find 8 huge sections in the museum, where you can explore the anatomy and mechanics of the heart, how exercise affects the heart, the effects of tobacco on the heart, and more! There is also a spacious theater, where you can see movies about how the healthy choices affect heart health, or how to recognize the warning signs of a heart emergency and how to call for help.

If you want to check out the Halle Heart Museum, here's the info!

For the Grand Opening: 
Friday February 6th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Saturday February 7th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Regular Hours
Monday through Friday 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

$5 for visitors aged 4 and older, free for kids 3 and under. On the days of the Grand Opening, the Halle Heart Museum will be giving FREE admission to those wearing red in recognition of The American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day!


2929 South 48th Street, Tempe, AZ 85282



In celebration of the American Heart Association and the public opening of the Halle Heart Children's Museum, we're hosting a giveway for four general admission tickets to the museum! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, with something you or your kids know about the heart. The winner will be chosen at random by Friday, February 6th, at 12:00 pm. These tickets will be good for any visit, at any time!

Of course, if you want to prepare a human heart lesson ahead of time, you can always check out our model of a heart pump, and anatomical model of the human heart. You can also order a dissection kit from Carolina Biological Supply, and conduct your own heart dissection!