BrainChase: Summer Learning Challenge Starts Soon


Next week is Spring Break – which means there are only a few short weeks left until Summer. I am not sure who is more excited about no alarm clocks for 12 weeks – the girls or me. However something I am not looking forward to is days of “I’m bored” and “what can we do?” I also know that along with that boredom (my word children we can not go to the beach comes “brain drain.” Did you know your kids lose one to two months of learning over the summer months? This year we are battling the boredom and stopping the brain drain with a cool new online challenge called Brain Chase.

Brain Chase is an engaging and educational online treasure hunt for kids ages 7-14 supported by curriculum from Khan Academy and other online partners, to help prevent learning loss over the summer months. This five-week online summer learning challenge is like a massive global treasure hunt powered by reading, writing and math that keeps your kids engaged and beats off the “I’m bored!”  The platform can be completely personalized to your child’s academic level and Khan Academy does a pre-test to help students begin in the right place. BrainChase can be played on all major PC browsers as well as on an iPad and can even go with you when you travel!

Brain Chase characters

In addition to returning to school confident and fresh in September, Brain Chase Kid Adventurers get:

  • 5 weeks of structured challenges on external reading and math websites
  • Weekly writing exercises with feedback from credentialed teachers
  • Weekly progress reports emailed to parents
  • Exclusive access to an original animated adventure series loaded with hidden puzzles and clues
  • 3 adventure tools mailed to your home to help solve special bonus challenges
  • Participation in a massive global treasure hunt for a golden trophy containing the key to a safe deposit box holding $10,000

Midge is beyond excited about joining in BrainChase this Summer. At 9 a.m. ET on Monday, June 22, 2015, Brain Chase: The Sunstone of Cortés begins. Adventurers log in to watch the first animated webisode and meet Mae Merriweather, the star of the show. Then they dive into their first week of learning challenges. A proprietary (patent pending) learning management system – the “Dashboard” – tracks each student’s progress as they journey through the 5-week challenge. Each week the adventurers have four tasks: read for 15 minutes per day, write one journal entry, earn 10,000 points on Khan Academy, and do one bonus challenge. When they’re done, they unlock the next webisode, which contains hidden pictures, numbers, and riddles to help them guess the treasure’s location. In addition to the online curriculum, your kids will receive three different packages, each with its own letter and its own project. Midge barely let me take pictures before she ripped in to hers.


The hunt for the Sunstone isn’t just fiction – there is a real golden Sunstone of Cortés and a key that unlocks a $10,000 scholarship buried somewhere on Earth. Every 24 hours, adventurers can log in to enter their guess of the treasure’s location based on all of the clues from the chase. The first adventurer to guess the location within a two-mile radius travels with his/her family to the treasure site to dig it up and claim the gold.

Sunstone of Cortes banner

Sign up right now for the EarlyBird pricing, and save an additional 15% by using the promo code MOSCATOMOM15.  The Early Bird pricing ends in just a few weeks and spaces are limited so you want to go ahead and sign up now. They have special sibling prices too, so the whole family can get in on the game!


Sign up now at and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for sneak peeks to this years challenge!

Nerd Block Jr – Our February Box

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about Nerd Block Jr, a Canadian based subscription box company perfect for your little “nerds” at home? Well Midge received her box and she could not be happier with it. I too was impressed with all that came in it! She had a ball unwrapping it – played with every single thing in it… and promptly asked how she could earn her next box. I would say she is a fan. 

nerd block jr february

Her special Imps and Monsters Nerd Block Jr Box came with a cool coloring/activity book, a journal, two bracelets, a Frozen figurine, and a cute little Pokemon plushie. Midge has just recently gotten in to Pokemon cards thanks to kids on the bus swapping them, so she was super thrilled to get to attach that little guy to her backpack.

nerd block jr

Nerd Block Jr is like the original Nerd Blocks, but there are specially designed for kids ages 6-11 and are full of all of the hot new toys and gadgets that kids love. There are five total Nerd Block boxes to choose from – and to be honest, I think our family needs two. The Nerd Block Jr Girls Box of course.. but check out how cute the Nerd Block Classic one is! I think even Mike would enjoy that one!

nerd block jr boxes

You can easily subscribe to Nerd Block Jr and get a surprise box in the mail every single month! This is also a great idea for long distance grandparents and family who want to send a little something each month! You can even save money when you subscribe for longer periods of time than just one month!

 nerd block subscription

I am super excited to get Midge started with her own subscription and highly recommend it for your kiddos too. It is such a great price for something that will make them so happy, and you can rest assured that the products are safe and appropriate for your littlest nerds. Besides, everyone deserves happy mail days!

If you are ready to sign up simply go to to subscribe! Also check them out on Facebook and Twitter for special limited time boxes!

My Little Pony-Friendship is Magic: Adventures of the Cutie Mark Crusaders


Every pony is unique! If you lived in Equestria, what would your Cutie Mark be? The Cutie Mark Crusaders can help you find out! In their new DVD My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Adventures Of The Cutie Mark Crusader – you can check out six brand new episodes:  The Cutie Mark Chronicles, The Cutie Pox, Flight To The Finish, Pinkie Pride, and Twilight Time.

cutie mark crusaders

In Equestria, obtaining a Cutie Mark is an important coming-of-age moment for a young Pony. After all, Ponies acquire their Cutie Marks only after they discover a unique characteristic about themselves, setting them apart from all other Ponies. So when Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom meet, they instantly become friends and make it their mission to find their Cutie Marks! They are The Cutie Mark Crusaders!

Midge is still a HUGE fan of My Little Pony, and as a Mom I love that all of their shows and movies are clean, appropriate, and have a great lesson on caring for others. Since she was feeling a bit under the weather today, we both piled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watched all six episodes back to back. It was a MLP binge fest – and we loved every minute of it.

my little pony

 After vegging out on the couch for a while she wanted more MLP, so I downloaded this cute little coloring sheet, and then let her add the new Cutie Pox Storybook App to her iPad so she can play any time!

It was a My Little Pony filled afternoon… and Midge is feeling better already! Pick up your copy of My Little Pony-Friendship is Magic: Adventures of the Cutie Mark Crusaders available now! And be sure to check out the app too! It is perfect for little girls – and not so little girls – who still love My Little Pony.

Chalk Preschool Online – Where Learning Meets Fun

When The Teen was little it was very important for me to get her not only learning new things, but to help her really fall in love with learning – something that I knew would be important for the rest of her life. Back then we were pretty limited with technology – I did own a computer but the internet was not what it is today, and if there were sites and resources on there for children… I certainly didn’t know about them. So that left me – at 18 years old and zero idea what to do around children as I never even really babysat as a teen – to get creative with what she learned. Thankfully whatever I did seemed to work as she is now a sophomore in high school and an honor student with goals for a PhD. (whew) 


These days though my “lessons” with blowing and counting bubbles or popsicle stick letters would seem pretty archaic to today’s kids. In our technology filled world kids are getting the opportunity for far more advanced learning than we ever could have taught them back in the day, with incredible websites like CHALK Online developed on the heels of the success of Chalk Preschools, a group of high-quality educational brick-and-mortar locations within Chicago and Los Angeles. As children’s understanding of technology has exploded and the demand for exceptional children’s programming is at an all-time high, the founders realized a need existed for a fun, affordable and accessible digital learning environment. Check it out:

Chalk is now one of the first (if not the first) online children’s edutainment program created on and in the classroom. The ChalkOnline team spent nearly 3 years and almost 100 hours with children and teachers in their schools to create the Chalkexperience at a fraction of the cost of their traditional program.
chalk online
CHALK Preschool Online debuted with over 500 entertainment and learning videos, broken down into three main categories: Daily Lessons, CHALK-U-Tainment, and Hands-On Activities. A supplement to preschool learning, the comprehensive curriculum will reinforce core subjects including literacy, math, science, and music, as well as offer hands-on art, healthy cooking lessons, exercise demos, and more. Specialized programming includes two original 30 minute series, “CHALK-Lets” and “What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up,” hosted by young star Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), who interviews everyone from Master Lego builder David Howard to Nancy Cartwright – the voice of Bart Simpson. There is also a fully-customizable playlist so that parents can focus on specific topics of interest or need. The subscription-based CHALK Preschool Online will be offered at $11.95 per month.
chalk preschool online

CHALK Preschool Online is based on a proven preschool curriculum that has helped thousands of children find a love for learning. In their successful preschools, they engage young learners with creative lesson plans and hands-on activities. Now you and your family can enjoy an online program based on the same core principles, right from the comfort of your home. Start your free trial today!


Ready to win? CHALKOnlinePreschool is offering one lucky MoscatoMom reader a year’s scholarship valued at $145! You can enter to win using the RaffleCopter widget below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toms of Maine Free Coloring Book for National Children’s Dental Health Month

To kick off National Children’s Dental Health Month, natural oral care leader Tom’s of Maine is encouraging children to color their way to better oral health and help others at the same time. A free downloadable coloring book called “Brushing Fun” contains tips encouraging healthy brushing habits and taking care of the planet. With each download, Tom’s of Maine will donate 10 tubes of its Wicked Cool! natural kids toothpaste to Oral Health America (OHA), up to 200,000 tubes, in addition to a $50,000 donation to its dental health programs.

coloring book

“The bedtime routine is a great opportunity for parents to model habits that can lead to a lifetime of healthy choices,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine, maker of the No. 1 natural kids toothpaste. “Together with Oral Health America, we’re working to educate kids on how to take care of their teeth and share a natural toothpaste option that has no artificial ingredients, sweeteners or dyes with those in need.”

As part of its 14th annual Dental Health for All program, Tom’s of Maine will earmark its $50,000 donation to support OHA’s Smiles Across America program, which involves a network of dental clinics and school-based programs around the country.  To date, Dental Health for All has provided more than $1 million in funding for oral care services and prevention to a variety of organizations, helping to support more than 200,000 additional patient visits at no or nominal cost to families in need.

“It is extremely important for children to learn from a young age about the importance of taking care of their teeth and the Tom’s of Maine coloring book makes learning about oral health fun,” said Beth Truett, president and CEO of Oral Health America. “We thank Tom’s of Maine for their support of Smiles Across America and for prioritizing oral health for children.”

toms of maine

Tom’s of Maine and OHA will also recognize National Children’s Dental Health Month by co-hosting a Twitter party along with Family Focus Blog and Crunchy Beach Mama TONIGHT February 10, 2015 at 8 p.m. EST. Topics to be discussed include healthy bedtime habits, better brushing tips and more. Join the party by using the hashtag #goodbedtime.

For more information on Tom’s of Maine or Dental Health for All, visit