May The Best Gift Giver Win
(NAPSI)-This year, the best gift givers have got game-they are giving the latest and most popular games as gifts, that is.
This shopping list will help you score big with the game players on your list.
“Shaun White Skateboarding”
This game, developed with dual-sport, superathlete Shaun White, puts an innovative twist on the action-sports genre. It brings the sensations of skateboarding to a wider audience, allowing players to transform a dull, lifeless city into an extraordinary skating utopia. The multiplayer game lets a player team up with friends in the ultimate skatepark for exciting split-screen action.
“Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time”
When the Rabbids stumble into a history museum and discover time travel with their Time Washing Machine, they naturally cause ridiculously wacky chaos. Players plunge into the past and revisit a wide range of the greatest moments in history, such as the discovery of fire, the broken nose of the Spinx or the first step on the moon. Uncover how Rabbids changed the past and decide if and how they change the course of history.
“Battle of Giants:
Dinosaurs dominated the world 150 million years ago. The Golden Age of Dinosaurs ended with a great series of cataclysms, making survival a perilous quest and with natural disasters wreaking havoc, chaos has taken over and the battle to become the top predator began. As a new addition to the Battle of Giants franchise, “Battle of Giants: Dinosaurs Strike” pushes the thrill to bigger heights by immersing the player in an awe-inspiring Jurassic world. Choose your dinosaur, evolve, survive and fight! With 4-player multiplayer, it’s a ton of fun for the entire family.
In this action game, players charge headfirst into the world of free-fighting tournaments and use every muscle in their bodies to take down their opponents. Forced into a secret tournament, the hero Simon must use what he learned from his father, an ex-boxing champ, as he faces off against violent combatants who brutally unleash a range of mixed martial arts attacks to take him down.
These games can be found wherever games are sold or online at www.ubi.com.
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Teaching Children The True Meaning Of The Season
(NAPSI)-In the hectic rush to check off holiday lists, the true meaning of the season can sometimes get lost. Fortunately, many holiday traditions in which families participate can also help remind children of what’s really important.
Watching a seasonal movie together can spur family conversations that inspire a positive holiday spirit. For example, Disney’s all-new holiday film, “The Search for Santa Paws,” a heartwarming story about the power of giving available on Blu-ray and DVD.
In the movie, Santa and his new best friend, a puppy named Paws, discover that the boys and girls of the world have lost the spirit of the season, so they take a trip to New York City to reignite “Santa’s Cause.” But after Santa has an accident, he loses his memory and his magic. Then it’s up to Paws, two young orphans named Quinn and Will (America’s Got Talent’s Kaitlyn Maher and The Game Plan’s Madison Pettis) plus three street-wise talking dogs to save St. Nick and show the world what Christmas is really all about.
Here are some other simple ways you can encourage children to spread cheer this holiday season—and throughout the year to follow:
• Suggest kids make a list of all the things they are thankful for and hang it up where it can be seen every day.
• Encourage your child to call people he or she cares about and wish them a happy holiday.
• Encourage your child to invite someone who is alone to share your holiday meal.
• Spend time together baking some holiday treats to share.
• Bring out the arts and crafts supplies to make special holiday cards for loved ones.
• Help your child select toys no longer wanted to donate to kids in need. (Together, you can deliver the toys to the charity of your choice.)
• You can also start a tradition that whenever your child receives a new toy, an old one is chosen for donation to those less fortunate.
• Help your child make someone’s holiday wish come true by “adopting” a child or making a donation to a local charity.
• Spread love to the four-legged family members by helping your child spruce up the family pet with a good grooming and lots of hugs.
• Let your child make a special ornament representing your pet that can be hung on the tree or otherwise displayed.
• Help children collect food to donate to the local food bank, or blankets for a local shelter. Items can also be delivered by both of you together.
• Offer to babysit neighborhood animals so your neighbors with family out of town are able to go home for the holidays.
A sure-to-be holiday classic full of fun and adventure, “The Search for Santa Paws” is a story that will not only delight the entire family, but also carries the timeless messages of the holidays. Visit www.disney.go.com for more information.
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Helping Families Have Happier Holidays
(NAPSI)-The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but with lots to do and very little time, it can quickly become overwhelming for parents. To help, here are some quick tips to keep you less frazzled this holiday season:
• Shop Smart: To save time, trouble and money, organize your shopping list before you get to the store. If you group items by location, you will spend less time searching and cut down on redundancy.
• Let Santa Help: With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, kids sometimes have a tough time behaving themselves. This holiday season, get some assistance from Santa-or at least from one of his helpers. The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition is a popular children’s book complete with an elf from the North Pole. The elf is on special assignment from Santa and watches kids closely every day. At night, the elf flies back to the North Pole to give the Jolly Old Elf a report. Adults and children alike will be on their best behavior when they know Santa is watching!
• Establish Bedtime: With all the excitement surrounding the holiday, kids can get overstimulated and might have a hard time going to sleep. You might try reading to them before bed to set a calming tone, or let them choose a cuddly toy like A Light in the Night to sleep with. Complete with a board book, A Light in the Night assures children they are safe in the dark while the adorable plush creature that accompanies it has a built-in night-light and casts a soft reassuring glow.
• Find Time for Fun: Don’t get caught up in your to-do list. Instead, be sure to make spending time as a family a priority. You can play board games, watch old Christmas movies together or visit fun new Internet sites that embrace the spirit of the season while keeping your group entertained. For example, children can keep track of Santa with help from the U.S. Air Force at www.noradsanta.org, or you can find fun recipes and online games by visiting the North Pole at www.elfontheshelf.com. Other websites for family-friendly fun are www.familyfun.go.com and www.alightinthenight.com.
Santa’s Holiday Helper
Parents can begin a new tradition with The Elf on the Shelf. Gift sets come with a magical scout elf and book. Or alleviate bedtime stresses with A Light in the Night book and plush doll with a night-light in its tummy. Published by CCA and B, they can be found at gift stores and at www.ccaandb.com or (877) 919-4105.
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Kids Don't Need To Take A Vacation From Learning
(NAPSI)-Your child’s education doesn’t have to take a holiday when school is not in session. There are a number of things parents can do to promote a love of learning year-round.
1. The U.S. Department of Education has come up with a way to make science lessons at home good, clean fun. Children can learn about surface tension and about change just by blowing soap bubbles. Mix some dishwashing liquid with water and pour it into a pan. Let your children blow through a straw while moving it slowly across the surface of the solution. Ask them to notice the size of the bubbles that it makes. Next, have your children gently touch a bubble with a wet finger and then with a dry finger to see what happens. Finally, look closely at the bubbles. Count the many colors and see if they change.
2. Children can explore fascinating mathematical possibilities in the world around them every day. Ask them to look for symmetry in leaves; count the number, sizes and kinds of trees on your street; and look at the various shapes and patterns of flowers.
3. When school is out, the library is in. Visit the library with your youngsters and help them find books to pique their interest.
4. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, today’s kids spend more than 53 hours a week with digital media. This constant interaction with digital media equates to a full-time job. They can enjoy the digital space while learning through “untraditional” means. One useful site comes from Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital curriculum−based content for the classroom. At that site, teachers, students and parents can find:
• “Explore the Blue,” which demonstrates the importance of outdoor recreational activities and conservation.
• Science of Everyday Life—a new Web portal with resources for students, parents and teachers that celebrate the science all around us.
• Read to Succeed, a program to inspire students to engage in recreational reading.
• Science Fair Central, a website supporting educators, parents and young scientists as they embrace that great opportunity for project-based learning—the Science Fair.
Discovery Education is a division of Discovery Communications, whose networks include Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.
To access these and other free resources, go to http://school.discoveryeducation.com or call (800) 323-9084.
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Great Video Games That Bring Families Together
(NAPSI)-When it comes to spending quality time with the family, there’s no better way to get in the game than to play a video game.
This season’s favorites include many new games and innovative takes on game classics.
In MONOPOLY Streets, players can now “Pass Go and collect $200” in a 3-D world, buying properties, auctioning with friends and building hotels.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the brand, MONOPOLY Streets comes to life through a living, breathing city that you can build and own. Players engage in a head-to-head race to build the greatest city and accumulate the most wealth. The fun can also be extended by playing against friends locally or online while seeing their Xbox 360 avatars and Wii Miis populate your world. New features, such as property auctions, also add unique elements to the classic play. From the affordable motels on Baltic Avenue to the luxurious Boardwalk suites, there is excitement around every turn of this reimagined favorite, priced at $39.99.
Different modes allow you to choose how long your game lasts and you can play in different-themed 3-D cities including world landmark city, futuristic city and the classic MONOPOLY city. Fans can also take the classic game to go in the Nintendo DS version.
HASBRO FAMILY GAME NIGHT
HASBRO FAMILY GAME NIGHT 3, now available in stores for $39.99, features a suite of five new digital versions of popular Hasbro game brands for the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The collection of titles features digital versions of favorite family game brands brought to life in a new theme park setting with the lovable Mr. Potato Head as the host and park guide. Featuring both classic and remixed versions, players can spin the wheel of fate in THE GAME OF LIFE, find out “whodunit” in CLUE, tie themselves in knots with TWISTER, trigger crazy chain reactions in MOUSE TRAP and try their hand at YAHTZEE HANDS DOWN.
For the first time, fans will also be able to take the gameplay online and challenge opponents around the globe.
LITTLEST PET SHOP 3: Biggest Stars
The third version of the popular video game franchise, priced at $29.99, employs themes and gameplay that really celebrate the different interests of tween girls. Whether girls are young athletes, aspiring artists or budding designers, the game delivers an engaging and meaningful play experience. The releases include three games for the DS, each with its own customizable pets, colors and team accessories that girls can collect and use to showcase their pets’ unique personalities.
As players dance, design and skate through an exciting assortment of minigames and challenges, they will see their pets’ personalities come to life in an array of colorful animations.
The high-flying action adventure game delivers cooperative gameplay missions and multiplayer online action for the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
It’s a fun game for fathers and sons to play together as well as for video game enthusiasts looking for high-speed aerial maneuvers, battles and online multiplayer action, all for $49.99.
In the game, a pilot joins a group of fellow stranded pilots in a quest to take down the villain Morcubus, who is doing everything in his power to prevent anyone from flying in an attempt to rule the skies.
While progressing through the game, players use power-ups such as radar jammers and giant laser attachments; swap in a new engine or upgrade wings to create a faster, more nimble aircraft; and paint and detail planes to blend and disappear into the environment to evade combatants. The customization combinations are endless.
MONOPOLY Streets, HASBRO FAMILY GAME NIGHT 3 and LITTLEST PET SHOP 3: Biggest Stars are rated E for Everyone. MySims SkyHeroes is rated E 10+. For more information, please visit www.ea.com
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The New Way Tweens Party: Karaoke Style
(NAPSI)-Here’s an idea for your next birthday party or sleepover-have a karaoke party with some of today’s top artists!
It’s not as difficult or big ticket as you might imagine, thanks to “Disney Sing It: Party Hits,” the latest title in the company’s popular video-based karaoke series. Available for the Wii and PlayStation 3, the game features party-starting anthems from some of the biggest names in pop music.
The game has already gained a large following among girls 8 to 12, and their families, by providing the songs that teens and tweens want to sing.
With an in-game vocal coach, fans can also get the real-world benefit of improving their skills by learning proper vocal technique from a pro. The game can be played by up to eight players. This will include basic exercises such as breathing and pitch, to more advanced exercises such as learning how to harmonize in a duet.
This version features songs and music videos from top artists including Allstar Weekend, Jordin Sparks, Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas and the Administration, Paramore and Selena Gomez.
The game is rated E by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
For more information, log on to www.disney.com/singitpartyhits.
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How To Reduce Stress And Simplify Your Celebrations
(NAPSI)-As the year draws to a close and the holiday season begins, Americans can be found braving tense traveling conditions, spending almost $1,000 per family on gifts and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, scribbling an astounding 2 billion greeting cards. Amid the hustle and bustle, many yearn for a simpler time, when “to grandmother’s house we go” was the mantra. The good news is that everything you need to make the holiday season special and stress-free is right in your own home—and you can even skip the sleigh ride over the river and through the woods.
So relax...from November through early January you can build on existing favorite family traditions or create special new memories with the help of the digital cable technology you already have in your home. With a few clicks of your remote control, you can access a huge library of On Demand holiday programming covering a wide variety of genres:
• Cozy Up with the Classics—Remember the anticipation of watching annual holiday specials? Some of the sweetest childhood memories are made from the simplest moments, yet many busy families aren’t always around when their favorites air. Don’t stress. You can make a night of it at your convenience. Charlie Brown, Lucy and the gang will be waiting.
• Traditional Treats and Bizarre Bounties—Talented chefs make it easy to soup up your dinner table with traditional holiday delicacies and culinary delights of the season. Prefer the unusual? Travel around the globe to explore some of the most extraordinary holiday foods from other cultures.
• Merry and Bright—Does your family enjoy light displays? Now it’s easy to take your own home from “Griswold” to gorgeous as top designers share their best secrets.
• All Decked Out in America—Take the ultimate holiday tour and experience the best customs, events and happenings the season has to offer as you go in search of enchanting places that showcase the nation in all its yuletide glory.
• The Search for Meaning—Looking to reflect on the spirit of the season? Powerful and timely documentaries narrated by stars such as Liam Neeson examine the historical significance of key religious figures and events.
Skip the long lines, make some hot cocoa and enjoy your favorite holiday traditions while staying snuggly and warm in your own home. For more seasonal themed programming, check out www.thisiscable.com.
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Tips On Shopping For High-Tech Holiday
(NAPSI)-From the latest laptops to innovative, affordable stocking stuffers, shoppers are looking to the season’s hottest technology items as the perfect holiday gift. To make the experience of shopping for the perfect tech gifts easier, here are some tips to help find the best gift ideas to match the style and personality of the recipient on any budget:
• Laptops: Will the laptop be taken on trips or used mostly at home? If traveling frequently, choose a compact, lightweight model for easy transport, and look into an extended warranty to cover any damages. What features are most important? Make sure the hard drive is large enough to comfortably store digital photos, music and videos. Does the laptop include identity-protection features? To ensure that confidential files stay private and the laptop remains in top working order, make sure to also choose good security software.
• Digital Reading Devices: Most people do not realize how much they love the synchronization of their newspapers, books, blogs and magazines until they experience it firsthand. However, it is a personal preference, so make sure a digital reading device is the right fit for the recipient before purchasing. At Staples stores, customers can try the Amazon Kindle before they buy to determine if an e-reader is right for them or their loved one.
• Cameras, Camcorders and Photo Accessories: Digital camera, video camera or both? From ultrazoom lenses and HD video options to family-friendly cameras, there are countless cameras out there to fit every lifestyle. Looking for the ultimate kid-friendly camera? Try the Olympus Stylus Touch 3000. It’s waterproof, freezeproof and dropproof! Or for a more unique and affordable photo gift option, Staples digital ornaments in a snowflake and decorative ball add a personal touch to holiday decorating for under $15.
• Audio Accessories: You might not think of headphones as a great go-to gift but you’d be surprised by how many people on your list they will fit. For music lovers, listeners can check out Beats by Dr. Dre, featuring studio-quality sound with style. Or runners may love the Sport MP3 Headset that says good-bye to wires and allows users to download MP3s directly to their headphones. For the style savvy, try the Bling Earbuds that add sparkle and shine to basic earbuds. Staples has all these options to satisfy all types of budgets and needs.
By considering these questions before heading to the store, shoppers are sure to find the perfect must-have tech gifts for everyone on their list this year.
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