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Dentist Themed Christmas Toys for 2018

Well Christmas is almost upon us again. We thought we would help out with the Christmas shopping by preparing a list of age appropriate gifts that encourage good dental health. I’ve been out to the shops a couple of times already this December looking for the latest fads that kids will be looking for. To be honest, there is not a lot of fresh ideas at this time of year.

Some of the usual suspects like different slime and goo products, unicorn themed toys, fur real friends are out there. I saw a lot of robots and lego packages as well as a few random collectible toys that sit on the wrists or fingers for the kids. If you have gaming consoles, Nintendo has done well with their end of year gaming releases, Pokemon Let’s Go is probably the biggest item at the moment. So yeah, my advice is sit your kids down with some catalogues or on some store websites and get them to point out different things they have their eye on. I like to give our girls a budget and let them try to calculate what they can get with that money.

Now for the dental themed ideas. I’ve tried to find a few different items for different age groups here.

https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/pretend-dentist-kit-for-kids-mx0195175/

Kogan has this little plastic dentist kit available on their store, priced at just $13.64. In my experience kids up to 5 or 6 have the most fun with these kinds of toys. Pretending to have jobs or prepare meals in the kitchen. I recently bought a cat tower from Kogan with AfterPay for $99.95. The delivery on that item was a day or two later then it estimated online. However I also bought a new tv for the girls loungeroom and I was contacted by Kogan via text to confirm a December 20 drop off time which I thought was great service. With the cat tower as well, it was a lot cheaper then many options online and impressive quality. If you haven’t used Kogan before I do recommend them so far. This item has estimated 1-2 day shipping at the moment.

https://www.sylvanian-families.com.au/sylvanian-families-country-dentist-set

I haven’t purchased from these guys before however the girls grandparents had a lot of these toys which they passed onto the girls. Again, this is more for the younger ones but these toys are good quality. This package is just $24.50. Be careful with the pictures though it does not include a lot of the furniture like the reception tables and the building being used. Those are a separate purchase which is explained on the website.

https://www.u-buy.com.au/catalog/product/view/id/938924

I had some trouble locating this toy from an Australian store, we don’t always get the full range of items over here. This one is a Barbie dentist, it looks good. This website is offering it for $96 but it comes with warnings about the shipping time. Might be worth trying to find this one elsewhere or giving it a miss. I included it because it’s a great looking gift.

https://www.madaboutscience.com.au/shop/oral-hygiene-model.html

For the older kids this is a dental hygiene model. Something a bit different. Maybe you have kids that are interested in becoming a dentist, maybe you have kids that are pretty interested in Biology, or maybe you just want to give your teenagers a hint.

And finally, here is a shameless plug for any adults you may be shopping for. Central Brisbane Dental has Teeth Whitening deals where you can get a professional whitening service for just $550.

Stay safe over the Christmas and New Year period!

Our Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Review

The Nintendo Switch has been doing a great job of reinvigorating games and characters that were at their peak two decades ago. One of the first launch titles, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, was one of the best, and definitely the biggest, Zelda titles to launch. Super Mario Odyssey was another great title that came out a few months later. But what I remember the most about the old Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 were all the random party style games that had more focus on multiplayer with family and friends.

The upcoming Super Smash Bros game is one of these classic multiplayer games reinvented for the Switch, and the one most people are probably looking forward too, but Nintendo has already released a couple of great options in the meantime. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is one such title.

I must admit, I have no idea who the Rabbids are or where they came from. I did look into it on Google and apparently they have their own game world and adventures. I’m not sure who came up with the idea to mix the two worlds together but this was the first time Nintendo allowed a company other then themselves to work with the Mario characters. The end result is a great looking game with familiarity in the form of the Mario team but with the twist of adding some crazy weapons and a bit of strategy to the action.

In Mario rules you start at the first world and progress through more challenging levels until you reach your next destination. This game works the same, slowly building up the players skill level to handle more complex scenarios while always keeping you visually invested by changing the scenery regularly. The characters in the game are a lot of fun to play with and children will be easily entertained by what’s happening in the game.

It never becomes overly difficult and that is another thing that makes it fun. Rather then being challenging to complete, the challenge might be in competing for the highest scores or just working together with friends and family to complete the levels and unlock all the characters and weapon available.

Having been out for a little while now you can probably pick this game up for around $50 new, and less second hand. Nintendo Switch games second hand are pretty safe as they are running on cartridges instead of discs so worrying about scratches is a non issue.

LeBron James and the LA Lakers May Be In For A Long NBA Season

The eagerly awaited NBA season is here!  The most intriguing thing for basketball this season has to be the Los Angeles Lakers and how they will perform with their star recruit, LeBron James.

The LA Lakers started their season playing the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland.  LeBron made a statement with his first points as a Laker with a thunderous fast-break dunk.  He proved that at age 33, he is still the best basketball player in the world.  As a 15 year veteran, he still played 37 minutes and stuffed the stat sheet with 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.  He showed no signs of slowing down despite his age and years of basketball that should have taken its toll on his body.

This was all accomplished while playing a very different style of basketball we are used to from LeBron.  There was much less LeBron bringing the ball up most possessions and surveying his options, before driving and finishing with a powerful jam or kicking out to a shooter for a three.  They played fast and old LeBron kept up.  LeBron handled the ball much less, allowing playmakers, like Rajon Rondo, to actually play their position.  He was more a finisher and rebounder and less a playmaker than we’ve ever seen him before.  In spite of this, LeBron played well in his debut for the Lakers.

The LA Lakers as a team, however, needs much work.  They kept up with the Blazers for three quarters, but were clearly outplayed in the final quarter, leading to a 128-119 loss.  There were a lot of errors on defence.  Much of this can be put down to a lack of time together as players.  LeBron dished out many assists which were wasted by his teammates being in the wrong position or simply missing their shots.  A couple of behind the back passes, which usually would be on LeBron’s highlight reel, went to nobody and out of bounds.  Their shooting from the three point line was abysmal, making only 23 percent.  Much has been said about the Laker’s lack of shooters and this pretty much confirmed it.

It’s only the first game of a very long season.  The team should get better as they play more together.  If not, LeBron may not be as patient as he says he will be.  The Lakers have resisted in a big trade so far and opted to keep their young core of potential stars intact.  However, this could all change as the season unrolls.

2018 Gold Coast 600

The Vodafone Gold Coast 600 was back on the weekend from the 19 to 21 October 2018.  The annual event brought Supercars motor racing to the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit on the Gold Coast again.  The main event was awesome, but there was much to do and see this year on top of it.

There was interesting viewing in the support categories.  The East Coast Bullbars SuperUtes Series showed off dual-cab, turbo diesel utes.  The Aussie Racing Cars Series displayed small size cars with powerful engines going at 200kph.  The Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series provided a chance to see genuine ex-V8 Supercars.  It was good to see the new model Porsche 911 GT3 in the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup.

The Pit Lane Walk allowed a behind the scenes look at teams and drivers preparing for the race from the pit.  There was also an opportunity to tour the Hot Wheels and Hi-Torque Performance Factory where all the Hot Wheels toys are made.

There were also some amazing stunt shows.  Matt Mingay’s notorious Hot Wheels Stunt Team performed spectacular and highly dangerous motorbike stunts.  The Showtime Freestyle Moto X Team thrilled with their aerial stunts.  The Flair Freestyle Trial Riders Show showcased trial motorcycles and bicycles being pushed to their limits.  The Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler flew over the starting grid, performing incredible acrobatics at low levels.  Water powered jetpack, board and bikes were also on display along the waterways.

The Broadwater Sounds Concert featured the ARIA award winning Sheppard followed by international rock acts, +Live+ and Foreigner.  There was also a Late Night Pitstop Party at Cocktails Nightclub in Surfers Paradise for those wanting to stay up late.

When there’s racing, there’s also beautiful grid girls.  The 2018 Miss Supercars Race Team National Final was a chance to see some beautiful girls compete for the title of Miss Supercars.

Hudsons Circus in Springfield for 2018

The Hudsons Circus has been in Springfield since the 17th of September and there are 3 more shows left over the weekend. Those of you looking to do something a bit different with the family this weekend should definitely check it out. The act itself is full of entertainment, with shows including trained animals, aerial acrobatics and even a globe of death motorcycle stunt that will thrill all ages. It’s a great balance of entertaining guests of all ages at all times.

My favourite performances were the many aerial acrobatic acts. There was a good handful of these acts that showcased the skill of the performers doing extraordinary stunts in the air. The finale of the show was the flying trapeze which even included a blindfolded leap and catch. There were many great stunts performed and I don’t want to spoil them all for those who are able to attend, however some of the performances included rare talents. One particular act had a performer attempting to shoot a target with a bow and arrow using only her feet, she is one of just two people in Australia who have successfully performed the feat.

Taking children is obviously recommended, they will enjoy the show more then you, the circus clown is highly entertaining and very good at engaging with the children on their level. He doesn’t just have fun with the kids though, in a couple of acts he involves adult members of the audience so the kids can have a laugh at the parents doing silly things. The animals involved in the show are also very impressive. The ability for them to learn their routines is mind boggling, and you will be surprised at how well trained and clever these animals are.

You can view information about the show on the Hudson website here;

http://www.hudsonscircus.com.au/

There are 3 shows left to attend over the weekend. I recommend that you purchase ring side seats in the red zone for the best value for money. You will be right up close to the action and there are many acts where members of the audience are selected to get involved. All of the chosen participants I saw were in ringside seats. You also get the best views and I guarantee that if you sit ringside you will be involved in the show in at least some way.

Movie World Fright Nights Are Back For 2018

So we’re now in the last week of school holidays for Queensland and this weekend might be a good time to checkout the annual Movie World event, Fright Night. Fright Nights are an after dark event that runs throughout the month of October every year at Movie World. The park is opened later till 10pm and allows visitors to experience some of the famous thrill rides during the dark hours of the night. As well as the rides there are special event features such as mazes, scare zones, unique shows and other horror themed activities.

Movie World recommends that children are not under the age of 14 if they do attend, as well as all children be accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be purchased online here;

https://frightnights.com.au/tickets-and-upgrades

It’s important to note that Fright Night officially begins at 4.30pm, if you are only interested in attending the Fright Night activities and you purchase entry to the park just for Fright Night you will have restricted access to the park. You can read more about this on the FAQs page of the Movie World website.

https://frightnights.com.au/event-info/faq

If you’re looking for value for money and you can make it to the Gold Coast at least a couple of times over the next four weeks then you may be more interested in purchasing a season pass to Fright Night which is currently listed at $90. This will grant you unlimited entry during the Fright Night event calendar. Entry to Fright Night for a single evening is currently listed at $45.

Some rides and all the mazes do have fast track passes available for purchase. There are exclusive events such as 3 themed panic rooms for which you can purchase your entry separately. Your teenagers may want to attend this with friends, and dressing up is allowed for those that are interested. There are some rules on any costumes that are worn. Guests faces must be visible at all times for safety, so no masks and only light make up is allowed.

Fright Night itself only runs from 4.30pm till 10pm. If you would like to spend the whole day at Movie World you will need to purchase entry to the park as well as to Fright Night. If you are looking for value for money, we again recommend purchasing an annual pass as just a couple of trips to the theme parks throughout the year will bring substantial savings to your wallet.

How To Attend The 2018 Brisbane Riverfire

One of the highlights of the year for Brisbane is coming up this weekend. On Saturday, September 29, Riverfire will once again be happening to wrap up this years Brisbane Festival. We’ve already talked about our top picks for things to do during the Brisbane Festival and we hope you’ve been able to get the kids down to some of the fun family activities.

If you haven’t made it yet this year you should check out the following link to see what other family friendly activities will be available for you if you do make the trip in for the fireworks tomorrow.

https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/family

Those of you who are interested in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) aerial displays, here is a timetable for the events tomorrow.

2:45 pm – C 17A Globemaster flypast

4:10 pm – Roulettes Aerobatic Display

5:30 pm – EA-18G Growler flypast

7:04 pm – EA-18G Growler flypast

7:05 pm – Fireworks display commences

According to the organisers of the Brisbane Festival these are the best vantage points for the show;

Victoria Bridge, South Bank, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Captain Burke Park, City Riverwalk, including Riverside Centre and Eagle Street Pier.

According to the organisers there will be food and drinks for sale at many of these sights. If you would like more information about how to attend Riverfire we have a link to the event right here.

https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/whats-on/sunsuper-riverfire-2018

 

Is Roblox Good For My Child’s Creativity Or Putting Them At Risk?

Roblox is one of the latest crazes in gaming entertainment that is capturing the attention of children. Two other games come to mind when considering whether Roblox as a suitable gaming option for your child. Fortnite and Minecraft. Both Fortnite and Minecraft are fun games that kids can play together, and that you will no doubt hear about their friends playing as well. Minecraft is a world building sandbox style game where construction of worlds on your own, and with other players, is a core part of the game. Fortnite is an action shooting game where players are pit against each other to become the last surviving player. However both these games also come with risks that exist for Roblox as well.

Like Minecraft, Roblox is more about world building. This allows your kids to be creative. They are able to build their own game environments for themselves or others to take part in. They are able to create custom clothing, accessories, and skills, and even their own adventures. In this way Roblox is a little more advanced then Minecraft. The two main issues that should bring parental monitoring are the social aspect of Roblox and the ability to make in game purchases.

Both Fortnite and Minecraft also have a social chat aspect in their games which, for children, is really not a necessary part of the gaming experience. As an adult I have played games of Fortnite and been put into chat groups with children as young as 8 or 9 years old. It’s not something that I’m comfortable with, and as a parent it’s not something I’m comfortable with my children being apart of. I have a rule in my house which I apply to all these types of games. You are not to engage in social chat activities with anyone in a video game. With Roblox you are able to prevent your children from being put in a situation where someone you don’t know is talking to your child.

https://en.help.roblox.com/hc/en-us/articles/206224956-Chatting-and-Playing-with-Friends

If you explore the content on the Roblox website you will find all the options for disabling the social chat aspect of the game from your child’s device. With any game that allows online multiplayer it is a good idea to check what settings you are able to control. As parents we are always trying to protect our children in the world while allowing them to take part in the same activities as their friends.

As for in game purchases, handle that however you prefer. On my children’s iPads I don’t allow them to make purchases without being able to pass pin codes that I set up. I ask my children to do certain chores during the week and take certain responsibilities. I might have one of the girls stack the dishwasher a couple of times a week, and ask them to clean up their rooms when they finish playing with things. When they do these things for me I might reward them with $5. I encourage them to think about things that cost more than $5 and ask them how they might save up for those things. If they choose to use their money to make an in app purchase I’ll allow it. For me it’s the same as them saving up to buy a new toy. I do talk about the value of items for both short term and long term but I’m happy for them to make their own choices about the money they earn. Not too long ago our school engaged in a fundraising activity where money raised could be exchanged for gifts.

As for Roblox, it’s a great game for getting your kids playing together nicely and getting them thinking about how to make stuff. The characters are similar in look to Lego characters and I think that draws them in a lot more. My two eldest girls often played completely random apps on their iPads, but now I see and hear them sitting down together exploring different worlds in Roblox and working together to win games and improve their characters. While I do have to monitor how long they spend on Roblox overall I do think that they are getting a lot of benefits out of the game.

Our Picks from the Brisbane Festival

So many offerings at the Brisbane Festival!  From music and dance to theatre, opera and cabaret, there is a lot to choose from.  Here are our picks from the Brisbane Festival:

Séance

Become locked up together with a group of people in pitch black darkness in a 40 foot shipping container.  Experience what is happening inside the container with the thrill of using your other senses apart from sight.  What you think may be happening may not be happening at all.  How will you cope and what will you do when you are bombarded with suggestive material?  Experience Séance to find out.  Not for the faint-hearted.

Life – The Show

A mix of circus, cabaret and comedy, Life – The Show promises to be another awesome offering from the Courier-Mail Spiegeltent.  It is brought to us from the same people involved with Limbo Unhinged and Blanc de Blanc.  Cirque du Soleil’s Goos Meeuwsen, Violent Femmes’ Blaise Garza, and Limbo’s Mick Stuart and Hilton Denis star in this adventure.  It is billed as a celebration of life and what it means to be a human being in a fun and outrageous fashion.  It also comes with a warning.  Full frontal nudity, drug references, attempted pyrokinesis and other adult themes are strong throughout the show.  Purchase tickets only if you are not easily offended.

California Crooners Club

California Crooners Club is highlighted by Australian actor, Hugh Sheridan.  He’s starred in popular Australian TV shows House Husbands and Packed to the Rafters and won 4 Silver Logies.  However, he can also sing.  Sheridan is joined by singers Emile Welman and Johnny Manuel to bring us elegant tunes with swagger and style.  They won Pick of the Fringe and Critics Circle Award at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.  They were last present at the Brisbane Festival in 2016 when they introduced themselves to us.  They return in 2018 having established themselves as bonafide smash hit.

Best Activities for Young Children at the Brisbane Festival

The Brisbane Festival is here again for another year.  There’s plenty to see and do, but not all of it is suitable for young children.  Of course, Sunsuper Riverfire celebrating the end of Brisbane Festival is a must for older children and adults.  As usual there will be a massive all-day concert, cumulating in a spectacular fireworks display.  The theme of the soundtrack this year is sci-fi and superheroes which sounds fun.  However, little children just can’t last the day and stay up late for the fireworks.  Here are our picks for the best activities for young children at the Brisbane Festival this year:

#CelebateBrisbane River of Light

The #CelebrateBrisbane River of Light is a spectacular show of lasers and lights over the top of giant spirals and dynamic jets of water.  This would be amazing by itself, but on top of that the technology is used to tell the traditional Aboriginal story of how the Brisbane River came about.  Come to the free show to experience how the Brisbane River was created by the dreaming serpent to become the life blood of Brisbane.

House of Mirrors

Located at the Brisbane Treasury Arcadia, the House of Mirrors is your classic maze of mirrors.  A myriad of mirrors are carefully arranged to provide optical illusion with precise geometry.   It will challenge your physically and psychologically as you make your way through.  Some people are delighted.  Some people are amazed.  Some people are frightened.

BrainBuzz Live

BrainBuzz is a new educational children’s show on Channel Nine.  It is produced in Brisbane.  It teaches children about science by answering all those scientific questions that they always wonder about.  This free show located in the Brisbane City Hall Main Auditorium will let children get up close and personal with the hosts and characters from the show.  They promise excitement, experiments and maybe even some explosions.