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Some Cool New Movies out on DVD Just in Time for the Holiday Gift Giving Season

Some Cool New Movies out on DVD Just in Time for the Holiday Gift Giving Season

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill & Ted Excellent Adventure

 The Watch!

The Watch DVD

The Watch Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade take male bonding to hilarious new heights in this outrageous, no-holds-barred comedy that gets funnier every time you watch! There’s trouble brewing in peaceful Glenview, Ohio. That’s why four civic-minded citizens, armed with flashlights, walkie-talkies and spiffy new jackets, have teamed up to safeguard their community. But the guys find more than they bargained for when they uncover an alien plot to destroy Earth, and now these bumbling heroes are Glenview’s only chance to save the neighborhood – and the world – from annihilation.


Loves Christmas Journey

Loves Christmas Journey


Please Touch Holiday Events


Please Touch Museum®, The Children’s Museum of Philadelphia™ is offering a host of fabulous and festive exhibits and programming for the entire family. From Enchanted Colonial Village and Countdown to Noon to the 90 minute adult Centennial Tour, the holiday season at Please Touch® is filled with intergenerational fun, all included in the Museum’s price of admission. This holiday season, PTM is the place to be while family is visiting from out of town and the kids are off from school.

WHAT: November 16, 2012-January 2, 2013 Enchanted Colonial Village, Supported by The Philadelphia Foundation Monday-Saturday 9:00am-4:00pm and Sundays 11:00am- 4:00pm Please Touch Museum shares the magic and motion of the holidays with the return of the Lit Brother’s Enchanted Colonial Village. Visit this representation of an 18th century village, featuring a Bakery, Village Store, Blacksmith and Toymaker shops. Together, these scenes make for a wonderful intergenerational learning and memory making experience.
November 29 Sugarplum Fairy Appearance from Pennsylvania Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ Thursday, 11:00 am- 12:00pm Please Touch Museum hosts a festive meet and greet with a Sugarplum Fairy from Pennsylvania Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker! The Sugarplum Fairy will demonstrate several ballet positions and read an excerpt from the holiday classic. Founded in 1963 by Balanchine student and protégée Barbara Weisberger, Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the nation’s leading ballet companies.
December 31 Annual Countdown to Noon Celebration 12:00pm & 1:00pm Countdown to Noon™ lets children usher in the New Year at a party created just for them! As the Noon hour arrives, little party animals will countdown to 2013 as streamers and confetti blast from Countdown cannons. Countdown to Noon celebrations will take place at Noon and 1:00pm. Please Touch Museum will be open from 9:00am – 3:00pm on Monday, December 31st. The Museum will re-open at 11:00am on New Year’s Day.
Please Touch Museum’s Centennial Tour Please Touch Museum’s 90-minute Centennial Tour explores the history and transformation of Memorial Hall, the first home of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the 1876 World’s Fair. Memorial Hall is the only major structure remaining from Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exhibition. The guided tour for adults includes a ride on the fully restored 1908 Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel, the Centennial Exploration gallery, and an 1889 scale model that depicts the Centennial’s landscape. Guided tours leave from the admissions desk every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. No reservations are required, adults only. Self-guided tours are also available at any time during regular museum hours.
Please Touch Museum, The Children’s Museum of Philadelphia Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park 4231 Avenue of the Republic Philadelphia, PA

Please Touch Museum at Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park is dedicated to enriching the lives of children by providing learning opportunities through play. Recognized locally and nationally as one of the best children’s museums, Please Touch is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. from April 1st through September 30th. From October 1st through March 31st, hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays 11a.m.- 4p.m. Admission is $16 for adults and children age one and over. Children under one are free. For more information, please call 215-581-3181, or visit our web site at

The Anybook, a great holiday gift idea for preschoolers

My son adores reading stories and being read to by anyone willing.  We read to him at least twice a day, before nap and before bedtime.  He has amassed quite a library of books, mostly because I am a big fan of books, particularly picture books.  (I’ve been buying them since we got married whenever we went anywhere special, so he already had a collection before he was born.)  He now recognizes logos of brands and can “read” them to us, as well as recognize the alphabet, but he isn’t reading books on his own yet.  He does enjoy looking through books and pretends to read them, especially ones he has memorized.

Recently we started using the Anybook device in addition to his story times.  This is a small electronic gadget that is shaped like a bulky pen or marker. The Anybook is a new gadget by Franklin Discover and is used by a reader, such as mom or dad, to record a book in your own voice.  The child can then use the device like a speaker to listen to the story, even when playing alone.  The Anybook uses stickers on each page that activate the recording on that page.  The Anybook works with every book in your personal library!  The gadget we are using is the Anybook DRP-4000, which holds up to 60 hours of recordings.  It can also delete books as needed, once the 60 hour threshold is met, so it can be enjoyed for years.  It runs on two AAA batteries and does not require software or a computer to use.  Unlike some of the other reading gadgets on the market for kids that I’ve investigated, the Anybook does not need special books to go with it.  As its name implies, it can be used with anybook in your personal library!

I started first with a short board book, one of my favorites, Chicka Chicka abc.  After putting a small circle sticker on each page, I then used the Anybook’s record mode to record my voice reading the words on each page, while touching the sticker on that page with the device.  I recorded each page of the book and then was able to play back each page by touching each sticker.  It was that simple!  I was surprised by several things: how I sound during playback, how important enunciation is, and how amazing this gadget is!  I did have to re-record two of the pages because I thought they sounded a bit muffled, but once I figured out how far away to hold the device from my mouth, it turned out great! (Speaking directly into it seemed to be too close, so holding it down a few inches from my mouth, similar to how one holds a microphone, seemed to do the trick in improving my recording quality.)

The stickers that come with the Anybook are the key to making it work.  They use a unique code, which seems like magic to me, to recognize the assigned recording for each page of the book.  They are about a half inch sized circle and the ones that came with my Anybook are white.  The Anybook sticker pack has approximately 400 recordable stickers and also includes four sheets of stickers that are pre-recorded with sounds, such as a train, a child laughing, clapping hands, a phone ringing, as well as some animal sounds.  There are also two sheets of faces stickers representing moms and dads, grandparents, and brothers and sisters.  These stickers can be recorded, so for the mom one I recorded my voice saying “Mommy.”  I will place this mommy sticker on the front of the books I read, and my husband or parents can use the other stickers for when they record their books.  The stickers can be removed from a book and re-used.  I was able to peel the sticker and move it quite easily when I realized I wanted to move a sticker to another spot on the page.  If the stickers can be used in other books and re-recorded over, so to speak, so until the sticky part stops sticking, they are reusable.  Additional sticker packs are available for purchase from the manufacturer.

To say that my son liked “reading” his book with Anybook is an understatement.  He kept asking me if the voice was me and went through the book several times in a row.  It was very exciting to him to hear his mom read to him through this gadget.  I later recorded a second book; A is for Angry, by Sandra Boynton, a favorite author of ours.  He enjoyed reading and using the Anybook reader gadget just as much.  With this book, I even added a few things to the recordings, the way I add extras when I read, such as asking him to recite the alphabet at the end of the story.  I also used the Mommy sticker on the front and included a personalized greeting with the title of the book.

The Anybook by Franklin Discover is sure to be a hit this holiday season.  I am going to recommend it to a friend of mine whose daughter adores reading so much she would be happy to be read to all day.  This is the perfect gadget for a family with a parent that travels or is in the military.  What a great way to be there for a child by being able to read a story to them even when you can’t be there in person.  I am planning to have my husband record a few books for my son so that when he is away on his next business trip or even just at work during the day, my son can listen to daddy read to him.  I also am hoping to have my son’s grandparent’s record a book so that we have their voices recorded for him.  With it being so easy to use, a book can be recorded in just a few minutes more than it takes to read it.

Disclosure:  I was provided with a complimentary Anybook gadget and stickers set for the purpose of this review.  The opinions and experience expressed here are honest and my own!

Mama Diane Registered & Protectedcopyright for video