Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR - Movie Prize Pack Giveaway


What do the zoo and the movie theater have in common?   For our family it is that my kids love to go see the penguins whether that be at the Detroit Zoo's penguinarium or the penguins in the most recent Madagascar movie at our local AMC or MJR cinema.  So my 6 year old twins are pretty excited that we are able to bring the penguins home with us on March 17, 2015 when the Penguins of Madagascar is released on Blu-ray and DVD.  It will be joining the three other movies and a Christmas special we also have on DVD from the computer-animated Madagascar franchise in our home entertainment library.

In DreamWorks’ PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, your favorite super-spies—Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private—join forces with the elite undercover organization of animals known as the "North Wind" to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.

In recognition of the Blu-ray/DVD video release of Penguins of Madagascar, our friends at Fox Home Entertainment have provided a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Download movie prize pack to give away to one luck A GEEK DADDY blog reader.  For a chance to win this prize pack you must be a US or Canadian resident over 18 years old and  submit one or all of the following entry methods to earn up to 5 entries prior to 11:59 pm EST on Sunday March 15, 2015:

EMAIL (1 ENTRY) - Email thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com with your name, mailing address and name of your favorite penguin from the Madagascar movies with subject line NORTH WIND.

COLORING CONTEST (4 ENTRIES) - Color one of the pages posted below, scan it, and email tothegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com.  Coloring Pages will not be judged but they could possibly be posted on this blog, twitter, facebook, or google+ for all of our followers to appreciate.  Kids are encouraged to do the coloring but adults can too.


DISCLAIMER:   Each entry will be assigned a number based upon the order in which it is received and one random number will be generated to select a winner. A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest, but Fox Home Entertainment is responsible for fulfillment and delivery of the prize.  By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion.  If you win this prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Prize will be delivered by UPS or FedEx so no P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive any financial compensation but did receive a review DVD for the blog and the prize that is being awarded to one of our readers for this contest.  A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this contest as a benefit to our readers. Any opinions in this post are my own.  By submitting a coloring entry you grant permission for it to be shared on this blog and through our social media outlets.


Here are a few more activity and coloring sheets for your enjoyment to help you pass the time until March 17th:


#PenguinsInsiders

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Best Tips for a Fun Day on the Sledding Hill

It has been a mild winter until Mother Nature brought us more than 2 feet of snow and a few snow days off from work and school to go along with it this month.  Of course rather than stay huddled up in the house our family bundled up and traversed over to the neighborhood park for some sledding fun.  Here are a few tips to make sure your day out on the snowy slopes are a blast and not a bust:

 Know the Temperature Before You Go

The ideal temperature is 29 to 30 degrees - you really don't want to sled on ice or snow but rather water.  Yes WATER!!!  At that temperature the friction from your sled should melt the snow to create a thin film of water on which to sail down the hill.  This will help you get the fastest speeds out of your sled.

Don't believe me?  Think of ice skaters.  They place their weight on the blades of a skate which creates pressure on ice briefly melting its surface so the skater can move quickly over a thin layer of water which is much smoother than the ice itself.  Wow you just have to love physics!

When it comes to snow, you aren't looking for fluffy or grainy but rather flaky.  The large flakes that originate when it snows at temperatures between 25 and 28 degrees compacts the best for sledding.

Make sure before you go out that you check both the temperature and wind chill factor.  Be cautious of hypothermia and frostbite that can come on quickly and without a lot of warning in the cold.  Kids should always be properly dressed to avoid skin contact with snow and frigid air.  If you see a child shivering that means it is time to come inside out of the cold to warm up.  CLICK HERE for a ton of useful information regarding cold weather injuries that impact children from aboutkidshealth.

Know Your Hill

While a little friction will help your slide down the hill, gravity is what really gets you going.  So the steepness of the hill has the biggest impact on how fast you can get racing down it.

Being familiar with a hill's surroundings in advance will be a great help in knowing of obstacles and hazards to avoid that may be hidden by snow until some unfortunate sledder crashes into them.  Knowing in advance where a ditch, tree stump, pond, or fire hydrant may be located is a proactive way to avoid a problem later.  We go sledding on a hill at a local park that we also frequent during the summer so that we're pretty familiar with the landscape and surrounding even when everything is covered in snow.

A used path provides the best path.  Riders who take turns and share space will have the best compacted snow for a smooth, fast ride down the hill.  Don't walk back up the hill on your sledding path as you want to keep the track smooth and not interfere with oncoming sledders (which is a concept I just can't seem to get to stick in my son's head).



Know your preferred hill in advance also helps know what type of sled is the best to bring with you.  Snow discs and inflatable tubes are best for wide open lazy slopped surfaces because you can't control their direction and these have a tendency to fly up in the air when hitting bumps.  For steeper surfaces and more confined spaces traditional sled designs and toboggans are more well suited.  Never using a plastic sheet, cardboard box or cafeteria tray as a make shift sled is a common warning you'll get from health care professionals when it comes to sledding.


Safety First

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics more than 20,000 kids per year end up in the emergency room with injuries from sledding each year.  No one wants to dampen a good time with a visit to an emergency room so make sure to make safety a priority when on the sledding hill.  While sledding down a hill head first may be a thrill, that is the number one no-no pediatricians have when they warn about dangers associated with sledding.  Sled with feet forward so if a collision occurs a head injury is less likely.  Pediatricians also recommend children under 5 should ride with an adult.

Conduct a walk through of the landing area before kids start sledding into it to make sure there aren't any hidden hazards like fallen tree branches, trash, fences or any other obstacle that could be hidden under the snow and cause a collision.

Make sure kids know not to crash into one another and to avoid walking or sledding into the path of others whether going up or down the hill.  Insuring children know how to ditch a sled if they believe they are going to collide with another sled or an obstacle like a tree is also important.  The best way to get off is to roll off sideways and let the sled keep going versus trying to jump out or stop the sled with hands or feet.

Parental supervision and PARTICIPATION is always important!



Don't hide from winter, embrace it! Grab a sled and go have some fun in the snowy weather!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Are Your Preschoolers Ready For Kindergarten? Don't Wait Til They Get There To Find Out!



Wow! Kindergarten sure isn't the same thing as it was when I was a kid!  The half day sessions that oriented children to going to school filled with snack time, nap time and play time mixed in with some time spent on learning letters and numbers are a thing of the past.  My 6 year old twins are in Kindergarten this year at a local public elementary school which is now a full day filled with learning about reading, doing math, and completing science projects combined with art, music, gym and Spanish classes.  If your child doesn't know their ABCs and 123s they are starting out behind the curve.  It is a good thing the day care and preschool programs our kids were enrolled in alerted us about how Kindergarten has changed and assisted our children in becoming prepared or we probably would have been caught off guard; but fortunately when the time came our family was all set to go.  Are your preschoolers ready for Kindergarten? Don't wait til they get there to find out!

Nickelodeon has an online quiz you can take to see where your child ranks in being ready for Kindergarten and provides a customized learning plan, educational games, interactive video and printable activities to help get preschoolers ready for school.  The learning plan provided to parents will help ensure their preschoolers have the appropriate development skills necessary to be successful in school and its interactive and skill building activities will help kids meet necessary milestones.



CLICK HERE to TAKE THE QUIZ

The preparedness quiz is part of the 2015 Nick Jr. Beyond the Backpack campaign which is geared to help parents and caregivers prepare preschoolers for academic success.  The campaign's spokesperson is Tia Mowry-Hardrict, from the television show Instant Mom, who alongside popular Nickelodeon characters Dora, Wally and Blaze will be appearing in a PSA series airing across Nickelodeon's TV and digital platforms.  Beyond the preparedness quiz and PSAs, Beyond the Backpack features an advisory committee comprised of leaders in children's education who are lending their expertise to the program, a dedicated website, bilingual (English/Spanish) educational materials, and a parent-targeted mobile program providing weekly tips and information.  Nick Jr's Beyond the Backpack focuses on five key areas deemed critical to educational achievement: family engagement, health and wellness, early literacy, social and emotional development and fundamental STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills.  If you would like to opt-in to receive a weekly text message with tips to make learning more fun for your preschooler, text BACKPACK to 91757.

Originally founded in 2010 as part of the 10th anniversary of the curriculum-driven Dora the Explorer, the 2015 Beyond the Backpack campaign has expanded to include a broad range of educational and socio-emotional topics using a variety of the Nickelodeon's programs and characters, including Wallykazam! (literacy), Team Umizommi (math), Bubble Guppies (socio-emotional development), Peter Rabbit (problem-solving), PAW Patrol (social skills), and Blaze and the Monster Machines (STEM).

Are your preschoolers ready for Kindergarten?!  That time in life arrives much sooner than many of us parents realize it so don't get caught unprepared.  For more information, visit www.beyondthebackpack.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

LEGO Justice League vs Bizarro League Blu-ray Giveaway



Two of my son's favorite things are LEGO toys and DC Comics Superheros.  He's had some epic battles in our living room matching his Justice League LEGO playsets (which are the good super heroes from DC like Batman, Superman, Green Arrow and the Flash) versus often bizarre matchups of characters from his other LEGO collections.  Who will prevail Clark Kent, Batman and Robin or the evil band of Goth Girl, Masked Burglar, and Swashbuckler led by the villainous Joker?! So my son was really excited to learn of a brand new animated movie available in a Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Digital Download featuring LEGO versions of the Justice League titled LEGO Justice League versus Bizarro League.

#JusticeLeague
#BizarroLeague

In the movie, Batman has joined the newly formed Justice League in order to keep tabs on Superman, a mistrust that is complicated by Superman’s clumsy – but well-meaning – clone, Bizarro. Bizarro’s creation of the Bizarro League has caused confusion amongst the world’s greatest Super Heroes, but an even greater and mysterious threat may force the Justice League and Bizarro League to band together to defeat evil.

So in a LEGO Bizarro world which character do you think you would be?   Type in your name in the LEGO Bizarro Name Generator below to reveal your Bizarro alter-ego - If you don’t like your name, press the refresh button or try again! Have some fun by sharing your Bizarro alter ego with friends and family through Twitter and Facebook.

Anyone who is as excited about this new movie as my son is, will want to enter this A GEEK DADDY blog giveaway:  We are giving a LEGO Justice League versus Bizarro League movie combo pack (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Download) that also includes a Batzarro LEGO mini-figure along with it.  Just follow the instructions below before Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 11:59pm EST to enter and earn up to four entries:

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Jerry H. from Michigan who won the Batzarro contest.  If you didn't win keep visiting A GEEK DADDY blog as we are regularly hosting various new giveaways.

EMAIL (1 ENTRY) - Email thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com with your name, mailing address with subject line Batzarro.

TWEET (2 ENTRIES) - Tweet a message to @Geeky_Dad with your choice of who will win my son's LEGO toy showdown mentioned above and why.  Include #JusticeLeague in your tweet if you believe Batman, Robin and Clark Kent will prevail.  Include #BizarroLeague if the Joker and his gang will be victorious.

FACEBOOK (1 ENTRY) - Leave a comment on this giveaway post sharing what your LEGO Bizarro alter-ego from the Name Generator above is along with the hashtag #BizarroLeague.

Disclaimer & Rules:

You must be a US resident to enter over the age of 18. A Geek Daddy Blog will select a random winner on  Monday, February 23, 2015 ( 1 winner will be selected from a random draw of all eligible entries - each submitted entry will be assigned a number and a random number will be drawn to select a winner based upon total entries ).  A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest, but Warner Home Video  is responsible for fulfillment and delivery of the prize. By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion. A Geek Daddy Blog hosted this contest and blog post based upon  Warner Brothers providing the prize to the selected winner.  Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Prize will be delivered by UPS or FedEx so no P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this giveaway as a benefit to our readers.  Information for this post was provided by Warner Home Video.  A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive any financial compensation for publishing this post.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Star Wars Joins the Marvel Mashers Toy Line


My son spends hours playing with his Marvel Super Hero Mashers toys from Hasbro.  These action figures let kids take their favorite super heroes and mix and match body parts and accessories to create their own unique characters.  Create Spider Hulk wielding the power of Mj√∂lnir, Iron Wolvernine carrying Captain America's shield or a variety of other mash-ups based upon the action figures you collect.


Based upon the popularity of these toys, Hasbro is adding Star Wars to its lineup of Mashers toys in the Fall of 2015.  The Star Wars Mashers will include characters from the original and prequel movies like Anakin Skywalker, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, and General Grevious plus a few from the new animated television show Rebels such as Kanan and Zeb.  Just think of the possible variations:  an android General Fett wielding a variety of light sabers, a Zeb trooper wearing imperial battle armor, or dare I say it Darth Jar Jar. 



I have a feeling that my son is going to be finding some Star Wars Mashers under the Christmas Tree this year.

Marvel & Funko Join the Subscription Mystery Box Mailers Craze



Subscription mystery boxes where people sign-up to receive periodic shipments through the mail that are filled with goodies that fit into some sort of theme has become a hot new fad.  Services like Loot Crate, Nerd Block, and Hero Box surprise their subscribers with specially selected  t-shirts, toys, comic books, and other collectible, often times exclusive, items that provide a thrill to recipients when opening a new package each time one arrives because they don't specifically know what they are getting in advance.  Will the contents be awesome, will they be a disappointment, are they useful, or will they just be more clutter around the house?  You won't know til you rip open the box!

Now Marvel and Funko, who up to now had been supplying items for other mystery box services, are joining this trend themselves with the creation of the Marvel Collector Corps.  Starting in April 2015, people can subscribe to get a box delivered to them every other month that will have a theme based upon a Marvel Entertainment property.  Each mystery box will contain a t-shirt randomly selected from 4 choices in your designated size, a Funko stylized vinyl figurine, and 2 premium accessories that tie into the package's theme.  Marvel promises that for the $25 per box charge that subscribers will receive exclusive items that are exclusive to the Marvel Collector Corps.



To help promote this new service, Marvel Collector Corps is letting people know at least one item that will be in the first mystery box - an Iron Man Hulkbuster Funko vinyl figure!  Plus they have released the themes for the first two mystery boxes which tie into upcoming Marvel superhero movies: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON for April and ANT-MAN in June.


Subscriptions for Marvel Collector Corps can be purchased for specific individual months or annually (6 boxes).  For more information, visit www.collectorcorps.com

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mickey Mouse & Friends Returning to Pages of Comic Books in 2015


There has been a lapse in comic books featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and their friends since BOOM STUDIOS released its last Walt Disney character based issue in 2011.  Good news for Disney fans, and parents who want to let younger children enjoy comic books that aren't violent or have a graphic nature to them, the adventures of Mickey and his friends will be returning to the printed page in 2015! IDW PUBLISHING has announced that beginning in April new monthly Walt Disney character based series will begin starting with UNCLE SCROOGE #1 which will feature tales of the iconic tycoon adventurer and uncle to the international celebrity known as Donald Duck (who will also be getting his own monthly series).


Other monthly comic book serials from IDW will include DONALD DUCK launching in May, followed by MICKEY MOUSE #1 in June, and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES hits store shelves in July.  UNCLE SCROOGE #1, DONALD DUCK #1, MICKEY MOUSE NUMBER #1, and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES #721 (this series will maintain the continuity of past publishers over the decades) will all be special premiere issues with 48 pages of content for $3.99.  Subsequent issues will be 40 pages for the same cover price as the #1 editions and shall feature a combination of reprints of classic comic book stories from previous publishers and brand new tales from the creative team at IDW.  Throughout 2015 there will also be a special variant cover published for each comic book based upon a monthly theme promoting a different section of the Disney theme parks including Epcot, FantasyLand, The Haunted Mansion, and TomorrowLand, among others.


It is interesting that Disney decided to license these comic books to a third-party publisher versus what was popularly assumed would happen and bring the titles in-house to Marvel.  IDW though has an excellent track record for producing quality publications and should do a fine job with these new comic books(with the one exception of TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE which is one of the worst comic books I've ever read with both horrible art and writing) .  I am currently reading their STAR TREK/PLANET OF THE APES cross-over mini-series and FALL OF GI JOE monthly series, which is scripted by acclaimed military and science fiction author Karen Traviss, and have found both titles to be impressive.  So I'm looking forwarding to picking up some of these new Disney comic books for my six year old twins so they can practice their reading skills while enjoying adventures about these beloved Disney characters.  So which classic Walt Disney character is your favorite?  I'm a Goofy guy myself, while it is Mickey Mouse for my son, Minnie for my daughter, and my wife has an affection for Pluto.