This Mom’s Thoughts On Disney’s Club Penguin

 Do Your Children Play Club Penguin?

This post is sponsored. I was given a Club Penguin Membership. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the sponsor.

My son has asked to play in the on-line virtual world known as Club Penguin for over a year.  Up until last week, I told him no.  Do you know why I said no? I didn’t like the idea of him playing an on-line game that interacts with other people when he is young age of seven. I didn’t trust that he would be safe and I didn’t take the time to educate myself on Club Penguin.

Then a press release came into my inbox.

Club Penguin

My son LOVES Star Wars Rebels. I knew he’d enjoy finally having the opportunity to play on Club Penguin too, so I took the time to educate myself on Club Penguin. If you’re child has been asking about Club Penguin too, and your hesitant to jump into their snow-covered world, I’m going to share with you what I found.

I was thrilled to find out that Club Penguin uses filtering technology and live moderators to ensure that it delivers a fun and safe entertainment experience for kids. Surprisingly, it’s free for any child to play, but a paid membership allows for upgraded features, like cool clothing for their penguin and a wider variety of colors for their penguin’s pets. When I set up my son’s Club Penguin account, I was impressed to find an entire section dedicated to Parents!  In this section, parents can learn how to set a “Play Timer” to limit their children’s time on Club Penguin, educate themselves on the Club Penguin’s learning and development attributes and find out exactly what their children mean when they talk about their “Puffles”, and there is a boat load of other Club Penguin knowledge to dig into. However, my favorite thing about Club Penguin is the “intuitive safe chat” feature.  This feature allows children to communicate to each other with a list of suggested words and phrases to select from in their chat. The dialog is appropriate to the game the kids are playing, while blocking all inappropriate language. I set my son’s account to use this feature and I’m extremely happy with the results.

We played for over an hour last night and again this evening, trying to earn our, I mean HIS, Lightsaber.  It’s tougher than I thought! We’ve really been enjoying it, so much so, that I have been asked, by my son, to step away from the decorating.  I’m sorry but I thought it was only appropriate to have two floor plants to balance out the room in his Igloo. Apparently purchasing more “Puffles” was more important to him…I understand, they are cute.

Needless to say, Club Penguin is truly a great experience for children. After visiting Club Penguin with my child the past two days,  I feel comfortable allowing him to enjoy the experience without me hovering around the entire time. Although I can see him getting “hooked” on the game and wanting to play for hours on end, I know with the Play Timer feature, Club Penguin will be a great alternative to TV time and one that maybe Mommy can join in the fun too!

 Now through February 4th, Club Penguin is transformed into the home planet of the Disney XD hit TV show, Star Wars Rebels.

Club Penguin Star Wars Rebels Takeover

For a limited time, Club Penguins players can “Join the Rebellion” in a quest to save the island against the Imperial forces, all while stylishly dressing their penguins in Star Wars-themed outfits and decorating their Igloos with galactic furniture.  Members can even earn their penguin different color Lightsabers, after completing special missions from the Ghost crew. (We’re working on it!)

Is your child ready to join the Club Penguin Rebellion?

Do you watch Star Wars Rebels as a family?

Star Wars Rebels airs Monday evenings at 9 pm (ET/PT) on Disney XD.

101 Dalmatians Inspired Treats

Happy 54th Anniversary Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians!

Last night my family and I celebrated this classic family friendly movie during our weekend moving night. Watching fashion-forward Cruella and the adorable spotted puppies, on their wild adventure through London, brought so many smiles and laughs (some of them full belly, I might add) that it’s hard to believe this film was release to theaters over five decades ago!

Of course, with every Disney themed movie night, one MUST have character-inspired treats! Should we go Villain or Hero?

Cruella de Vil cupcake

These Cruella de Vil and her captured puppies cupcakes are super simple to make and I think, look fantastic!  Want to see how I created Cruella’s infamous hair? You can find my tutorial here.

Here’s a healthier alternative to cupcakes and they pay tribute to Dalmatian heroes, Pongo and Perdita! Dalmatian Tails (white chocolate covered bananas) are so easy to make!

101 Dalmatians Tails

To make this tail-waging treat, you need these three ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • White chocolate melts
  • Candy sticks

Dalmation inspired treats www.mouseearsmom.com

  1. Cut your bananas in half and insert sticks in the bottom.
  2. Place the bananas on a wax-lined cookie sheet.
  3. Put the cookie sheet with bananas in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Melt your white chocolate in a shallow pan that you can roll your banana in or a deep enough cup that you can dip the entire banana directly into cup.
  5. Take the bananas out of the freezer and dip or roll each one in the bananas in the melted chocolate until their covered.
  6. Place them back on the wax-lined cookie sheet and place them in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.
  7. Enjoy! If you’re not ready to eat them, keep the “Dalmatian Tails” in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until later that day.

Have you watched Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians with your family? Why not pull the DVD out this afternoon, whip up a batch of “Dalmatian Tails” and enjoy the movie!

You have to admit, Cruella sure looks great for 54!

Disney and Smucker’s Offer Contest AND Disney-Inspired Recipes and Crafts

This Olaf-inspired food art is just one of the new Disney-Inspired recipes created through Disney’s new partnership with Smucker’s Uncrustables!

Disney and Smuckers partner for great new disney inspired recipes

Photo courtesy of Disney.com

Disney Family has just kicked off 2015 with a bunch of new recipes, crafts, activities, and a fun “Show Your Disney Adventure” contest to win a Disney Parks Vacation!

Below is Disney’s press release that I just received. I know you want the scoop too, so read below! 

 

Disney Family offers moms and families a big library of thousands of recipes, crafts, and activities, all in one beautiful, easy-to-use site. There’s also a “Mom’s Disney Sidekick” section, which is presented by Smucker’s® Uncrustables® and offers tips and ideas on making the fun and magic of Disney easy and convenient. New ideas have just been added to help jump start 2015 and the return to the classroom. Bring Disney to life at home with fun recipes and articles like:

·         Lion King-Inspired Simba

·         Frozen-Inspired Olaf

·         Cars-Inspired Tow Mater

Uncrustables and Disney are also hosting the Show Your Disney Adventure promotion where one winner and 3 guests will receive a magical vacation package at Disney Parks. To enter, share a photo showing your Disney Side online at partners.disney.com/share-your-disney-adventure or through the Disney Applause app starting today through February 16.

Adorable Disney Food Art AND a contest to win a Disney Parks trip! Now that’s some good news! Time to find the perfect Disney photo! Have a great day everyone and good luck!

DIY: Winnie-the-Pooh Inspired HUNNY Pot Cupcakes

Hunnyt Pot Cupcakes

 Today’s National Winnie-the-Pooh Day!

On January 18th, in the year 1882, A.A. Milne, the creator of our beloved “Silly Old Bear” was born. Across The United States, we honor his birthday as a celebration of his most cherished character, Winnie-the-Pooh.

Is there a better way to do that than with a “Smackeral” of HUNNY Pot Cupcakes?

This weekend the kids and I are watching a few of our favorite Winnie-the-Pooh movies (Pooh’s Heffalump Movie is my personal favorite!) and celebrating his birthday with not just any old piece of cake. Victoria and I baked Honey Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting!  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? The recipe is by Lauren Kapeluck and can be found on The Cake Blog.com.  Here’s a link to take you directly to her recipe for both the cupcakes and the frosting!

Honey Cupcake Recipe

With any good party, you need to have a fun activity! The kids and I made “HUNNY” pot cupcake wrappers to give the special treats a proper presentation.

I came up with the idea to make them with Victoria (my 3 years old daughter) while her big brother, Gavin (7 years old) was at school.  I was thrilled when he came home, saw what we were doing and wanted to make a few cupcake wrappers too! Being a “big” school boy now, I wasn’t sure how our latest theme for family weekend movie night would go over. Surprisingly, he enjoyed it as much as his baby sister!

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 Here’s a template for you to design your own “HUNNY” pot cupcake wrappers with your children!

blank cupcake wrap template

Cupcake Toppers

Stacy, the author of the Fancy Shanty blog, created the adorable cupcake toppers we used on top of our cupcakes.  She has a full line of free Winnie-the-Pooh party printables that are PERFECT for any Pooh Bear party!  Visit her blog to check out the adorable movie tickets, banners, cupcake toppers and honey pots!  Here’s the link to her printables:

Fancy Shanty’s Pooh Printables

Hunny Pot Cupcakes

Before you run off to start baking your own honey cupcakes and planning an adventurous day full of smackerals and such, I’ll leave you with a bit of wisdom from our friend, Pooh.

“When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is not to let the bees know you’re coming.” – Winnie the Pooh

Happy National Winnie-the-Pooh Day Everyone!

DIY: Celebrating a Disney-Inspired Valentine’s Day

 

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Valentine Boxes

During this past Christmas season my kids loved counting down to Santa’s big arrival using various advent calendars.  They quickly hopped out of bed each morning and the opening of doors, boxes and pulling little plush characters from pockets began. But now it’s over and depressing January is upon us.  Victoria has resorted to asking me daily when Santa will be returning.  So to combat the January blahs, I made these Mickey and Minnie Mouse Inspired Valentines Boxes to use each day as we celebrate the days counting up to Valentine’s Day.

Yay! Valentine’s Day is only one month away!

The idea is that each day the kids leave a special note to each other each night for the first two weeks in February and Mommy and Daddy leave them each a small Disney surprise inside their boxes. Last weekend, I shopped at Dollar Tree store and found a ton of great Disney branded items, including Valentines! Here are a few of the things I found. I was thrilled to find all of the Frozen-branded, Princess-branded and even Star Wars-branded items!

Dollar Tree Disney Finds

Every one of these items fits nicely in the kids’ surprise boxes too!

If you’d like to join in on the fun and make your own Mickey and Minnie Mouse Valentine boxes, here’s how I made them.

Supplies

 Supplies for Mickey:

  • “Celebrate It” brand mail box (Or any red box that has a lid you can cut as slot in.)
  • 2 sheets of black card stock
  • 2 heart stickers (Part of a bag of stickers that included the small hearts used for the Minnie Mouse box. I purchased the sticker bag for $1 at Dollar Tree.)
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors

DIY Disney Inspired Valentine Box

  1. Since the box I chose to use was already red, all I had to do was wrap the lid in black card stock.  To make sure that the wrap was tight, I used a hot glue to keep the card stock in place.
  2. Next to make Mickey and Minnie inspired ears, all you have to do is trace the top of an average drinking glass, but flatten the bottom of the ears by adding a little flap to fold over. Wanting to make sure they stay put, I hot glued them onto the top of the box. (See photo below.)
  3. Add the stickers and you’re done!

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I’m hoping the kids will enjoy this daily celebration of our family’s love for each other.  I’m certain the kids will enjoy the daily Disney treats but personally I’m looking forward to reading Gavin’s kind hand-written “nice” notes to his baby sister and Victoria’s “surprise” valentines to her big brother. Victoria has started making her Valentine’s already!

www.mouseearsmom.com

 

Have you started celebrating Valentine’s Day yet?

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