Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mattel summer fun and giveaway

We have just passed the half way point of summer. 

Who else is starting to have trouble keeping the kids busy during the summer months?  I know it can't be just me. When school got out at the end of June, my guys could not get enough of playing outside in the backyard.  Fast forward a month and my pleas for them to just go play outside are met with actual tears.  They complain that they are now bored, that there is nothing to do.

Being one of those moms who keep the kids pretty scheduled during the school year, makes the extra free time in the summer hard for the boys sometimes.  While I could always get some extra time to write when they were in school for the morning, now I am trying to fit it in during the day while they are home with me.  And that doesn't always go over so well.

I definitely try to take a lot of day trips with the boys - even if that day trip is actually more like just a few hours out of the house.  With the exception of the last two weeks (not so wonderful weather), I make time for a trip to the beach with the boys at least once a week.  Sometimes twice.  That right there is my serenity.

When we aren't at the beach, I try to build something small into each day.  I find I can make a sort of trade off with the boys.  Mommy needs to write for an hour or so and then we can do this...  A play date with friends, an early afternoon trip to the local pool, going to the park or the zoo.  I also love to try and plan things in advance off of our summer list we came up with together.

I am a huge fan of scouring the local websites to see what is going on in the area at low - to no - cost.  Love free kid stuff!  And when all else fails on a hot summer day, I throw the boys in the truck.  We hit the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts so I can get myself an iced coffee and they can each have a donut - and we just drive.  My favorite drive down Scituate Ave in Cranston, past all the farms, my old dream house, and straight to the reservoir.  The boys love the bridge over all that sparkling water.

For the times we can't get out and I don't want the boys sitting like blobs in front of the TV (which trust me still goes on) ... certain games and toys at home keep everyone occupied.  And it is a wonderful thing.  My boys are obsessed with all things Hot Wheels

Mattel sent us both the Hot Wheels Wall Tracks they had so desperately been wanting, along with the Double Dare Snare for our review.  Seeing the UPS guy drop that box on the steps sent the boys into a frenzy. 

The Wall Tracks set we received was the Drift Rally Spinout.  The set up quicker than I anticipated and the cool thing is that there are several sets to choose can play with each set separately or attach them.  You know the boys want more to attach.  They loved the flames on the track and the bumps (see towards the bottom of the photo) for the cars to go over. 

What I didn't like, is that the set comes apart easily.  No match for three small boys I'm afraid.  My husband had to put it back together more than a few times and the cars also get stuck going down the wall.  The boys didn't seem to mind the cars getting stuck, only the set coming apart.

The Double Dare Snare I would call the boys favorite, hands down.  Two cars race at one time and only one can win.  You know you have won when you go through the matrix loop and your car is saved by the rescue snare that snaps you up.  That was a huge hit.  Would you believe it even has an ejection ramp that tosses your car off if you start the race too soon?  Hysterical to the boys.  Since we have gotten it I can honestly say that they have spent hours on and off playing with that set.

We set both toys up in the living room initially, but I am thinking about moving the Wall Tracks to the basement playroom.  Cooler down there on hot summer days and I'm hoping it will get them playing with their other toys down there again.  Who doesn't need a change of scenery, right?

So those are my tips for trying to keep the kids busy during the summer.  And yes I am still a fan of tossing them in the backyard and making them play the good old fashioned way.  What are your tips for surviving the summer with your kids?

*** Now for the fun part! The giveaway!!!  Mattel is allowing us to give away prize packs to help your kids have some extra fun this summer.  Just enter on the Rafflecopter below to WIN either a Girls' Prize Pack or a Boys' Prize Pack! Make sure to visit the following sites from RI Digital Media Women (#RIDMW) as well to see their fantastic reviews of Mattel Products! And don't forget to check out Mattel on Facebook and Twitter as well.

                                                                  Mama Luvs Books

Your choice of a Girl Prize Pack: (Barbie Dress & Design Studio ($21.99 APR), A Barbie Doll of the World ($29.95 APR) & Barbie I Can Be... Fashion Designer ($13.99 APR)
OR a Boys Prize Pack: (Matchbox Big Boots Fire Truck ($25.99 APR), Hot Wheels Wall Tracks ($24.99 APR) & Hot Wheels Ballistiks ($24.99 APR)
*substitutions may be made by Mattel if product is not available.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. LOL! I wrote that same sentence about being halfway through the summer and started talking about finding things to do when I decided to take a different perspective.

    My boys love the double dare track. SO much fun!!

  2. I'd like the girls prize package it will be for my granddaughters.

  3. The hot wheels wall track is too cool!!

  4. I love the hangers and dresser. Barbie definitely needs a way to store all of her stylish outfits. This would be perfect as a Christmas present for my little girl.

  5. I would love to win the girls pack. My 8 yr old daughters b-day is in 6 weeks...she loves Barbies!

  6. I would love the boys pack for my nephew. He loves cars so he would have a blast with the track.

  7. hoping to win this for my boys..I need to put it up for Christmas but I get so excited when things come in the mail I sometimes forget !! ;)

  8. The boys pack since my son is obsessed.

  9. I would like the Boys pack.. since my son's birthday is in a few weeks :)

    davidandtara (at)

  10. i want the boys prize back, the double dare snare is on my son's wish list!

    lemonzest12 at hotmail dot com

  11. I would like the boys prize pack! My son would LOVE it!

  12. when i liked on facebook under the second account said not available to user.....

    thanks for the giveaway!

  13. I really love the boy's prize pack, my two toddlers one a boy and one a girl are both into hot wheels. When I was little it was all about the hot wheels and barbies, hand in hand. I would love to nurture the same affections for my daughter too! ;)

  14. Wow have you seen these new Hot Wheels Ballistiks. They are very cool - they take after many of the newest toys that convert and allow you to do stunts.