Qixels Fuse Blaster Review

My boys each got a Qixels Fuse Blaster for Christmas. The Qixels Fuse Blaster is kind of like a Perler Bead alternative, but instead of using an iron to make the plastic beads stick together, you use water in a water gun! My daughter has loved Beados in the past, which has a similar concept, but the Qixels Fuse Blaster is geared towards boys! And the Fuse Blaster kit was on $10 on Amazon.com!

qixels fuse blaster review

The Qixels have square beads that are pushed into a peg board. There are pros and cons – the pro being that if the board is flipped over accidentally, the beads still stay on the board. This is a huge plus because we have encountered several occasions where the kids have flipped a Perler Beads or Beados creation over accidentally, and their creations get ruined. Instant tears = no fun for parents or kids at all. Qixels solves this problem with having to push the squared beads into the pegs in the board. On the flip side, it was sometimes hard for my 4-year old push some beads by himself, but that was more the exception than the rule.

Here, Noah is making a robot Qixel. He really loved these boy shapes!

qixels fuse blaster

Once he finished pushing the beads into the board, we filled up the Qixels water gun so we could spray the Qixels beads with water. You spray the board 10 times, making sure to cover all of the beads. Then you pick up the board, shake of any excess water, and let it dry for 30 minutes. We did make sure to put newspaper under the board before we squirted water on the beads!

qixels fuse blaster

After 30 minutes, you peel the paper off the board, and then peel the beads from the paper. The beads did stick together with only water, no iron needed!

Noah had a blast playing with his robot, shark, dragon, and viking! At 4 years old, he loves little toy figures, and these he made himself!

qixels fuse blaster

I would say that Qixels Fuse Blaster was a hit with my boys and kept them busy for a good couple of hours. Liam, my 6-year old, doesn't typically have a lot of patience for crafts, but he really got into this boy themed craft. It would be a great gift for one of my nephew's upcoming birthdays!

Have you tried Qixels? What do you think and are there any other Qixels kits we should try?

Easy DIY Valentine Treat Bags and Toppers

Today we made Valentine treat bags and toppers for Sage's and Liam's classmates (2nd grade and preschool). Liam especially loved this, being the worker bee that he is. He was so happy to count out the bags, fill them with candy, and decorate them with stickers. I did consider using printable Valentine treat bag toppers, but using only cardstock and stickers made this easier for me and made it more fun for the kids!

To make these bags, you'll need the following:

First, we counted out the number of bags we needed (29 in Sage's class and 8 in Liam's class). Liam helped me fill the bags with candy.

treat bags filled with candy

Once that was done, I used my paper trimmer and cut 8.5″ x 11″ red cardstock into 4″ x 3.5″ rectangles.

scoring paper

Once the rectangles were cut, I used my scoring board and bone folder to indent the paper to make it easier to fold the rectangles in half. I really love my Martha Stewart scoring board, it makes it so easy to get a perfect, even fold!

scoring paper with bone folder

scored paper

I then took the 4×6 treat bag and fold it over at the top slightly, using the cardstock to sandwich the treat bag. We added two staples to the middle part of the cardstock. The staples were covered up later by our mailing labels and valentine stickers.

stapling treat bags

stapled treat bags

The kids wrote their names on mailing labels and stuck them on the cardstock (over the staples).

writing name on treat bags

And then they put the foam stickers on the cardstock.

sticking stickers on treat bags

And these are the completed Valentine treat bags! So easy peasy and so fun for the kids too!

valentine's day treat bag toppers

valentine treat bag toppers

Happy Crafting!

Carolyn

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Let’s Pretend School by Alex Toys

Let's Pretend School by Alex Toys

I remember playing "school" when I was younger. We had a chalkboard in our garage (I'm sure it was kept there to keep the chalk dust out of the house!) and a small desk. My sisters and I would play school and actually hand out assignments to each other! I couldn't resist picking up this Let's Pretend School set by Alex Toys for Sage. Alex Toys, btw, also makes a great line of craft kits to help keep kids busy!

Let's Pretend School by Alex Toys
Let's Pretend School by Alex Toys

This play set is a blend of pretend play, education, drawing, and coloring all in one! Sage loves to play teacher, so this was a really great activity for her! I also got a view of how she thinks a teacher and student should behave!

This is the box. It comes with a sturdy red handle.

Let's Pretend School Box
Let's Pretend School Box

The pad folio, or carrying case, has a built in clock. This is great for Sage as she is learning how to tell time, or if your child isn't old enough yet, a great way visual to help learn numbers and counting.

School Clock
School Clock

You get a plethora of colorful supplies. Sage is looking at the drawing pad, and you'll also see stickers, colored pencils, and activity books. There's a wipe-off book where Sage can practice writing letters over and over again with the included dry erase marker.

School Supplies
School Supplies

We took a closer view of the worksheets and activity pages. There is really something in here for preschoolers to elementary age school children. You'll see shape recognition, color-by-number, and geography! I know Sage will have hours of fun with these high quality worksheets and also keep working her brain!

School Worksheets
School Worksheets

The pockets on the portfolio/carrying case are so easy to use! What you see here are real "teacher" tools that will really help your child get into the role of teacher. There's an attendance chart, report card, star student certificate, and reward stickers.

Pockets
Pockets

Sage dove into this set by, first, putting me into the position of "student". You'll see how she wrote my name here.

Attendance Chart
Attendance Chart

After taking attendance, she got right to work on her writing skills with the blue dry erase marker and wipe off workbook! The set does come with a cute little eraser too!

Workbook
Workbook

She then proceeded to point out the weather report. We are having a sunny day here in MI!

Pointer
Pointer

I think her favorite part of this set was the red school bell. This is a very high quality bell. It's great for getting attention of her "students". I do have to admit that we do need to put it away during Liam's and Noah's nap time. 🙂

Bell
Bell

This was such a cute play set and highly educational, too! You could re-create this set using cardboard and making your own worksheets. But you can also buying it, you'll find the lowest price on Amazon.com.

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Best Kids Books (Pre-K to Kindergarten)

March is National Reading Month

March 1 kicks off National Reading Month. Reading picture books is one of our favorite activities, in addition to kids craft kits, of course!

For the last 6 years (since I was pregnant with my first), I have been on the hunt for kids books that would engage, entertain, and delight my children. Reading is a “must” for us at bedtime – it helps calm our kids and get them ready for slumber. It is also a "must" for us when we need some peace in quiet in our chaotic house :). Because we have three kids, we don’t get to leave the house as often as I would like with nap times, etc., so books are a great way to see the world without leaving your house!

This is a list of the 40 best kids books that I love and are also popular with other parents. For those of you who need some gift ideas for the children in your life, or are looking for some fresh reading ideas, see below.

Best Kids Books (Pre-K to Grade 2)

Are You My Mother?

Bear Wants More

Green Hat, Blue Hat

Blueberries for Sal

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

The Cat in the Hat

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Curious George

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Down by the Bay

The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set

George and Martha

A Giraffe and a Half

The Giving Tree

The Going to Bed Book

Green Eggs and Ham

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Horton Hatches the Egg

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Kipper's A to Z

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

The Little Engine That Could

The Little Prince

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

The Mitten

Mouse Paint

No, David!

Olivia

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

Pat the Bunny

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

Rolie Polie Olie

Stellaluna

The Story of Ferdinand

Two Little Trains

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?

When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth

Where the Wild Things Are