My 9 year-old son, Mr A, like many kids, LOVES Minecraft and especially loves playing with other kids. He plays multi-player games with his siblings and friends when they are together, and has been asking for a long time to play online. I have been concerned about potential safety issues connecting online with strangers, so I have been reluctant to allow him to play online. That was before we discovered Kid Club – a free moderated Minecraft Server especially for kids from Connected Camps. Kid Club is specifically for kids age 8-15 years and is a moderated server that I feel is a safe online space for him to connect with other kids who also love Minecraft.
I first discovered our sponsor Connected Camps earlier this year when they contacted The iMums to tell us about their Summer of Minecraft camps. It is an online learning platform that offers online Minecraft programs- summer camps, after school courses, online mentoring and special events; as well as access to safe, moderated Minecraft servers for kids. Connected Camps was founded by 3 girl geeks with a mission: to make coding and digital arts accessible and fun for all kids.
Mr A took Connected Camps Survival Camp in July this year and LOVED it so much he has already made me promise to sign him up again next year! After his camp he asked to join Kid Club. Because we had such a positive experience with the camp I was happy to let him join. Signing up was very simple and it took about 24 hours to get approved to join. You do need to provide a credit card number so they can check your identity, but it doesn’t cost anything. Since then he has become a regular Kid Club member. His favorite parts are that he can play with other kids outside his immediate family and friends, plus he loves to trade resources with other players in the bazaar. He’s happy because he can play Minecraft with other kids and I’m happy because I feel Kid Club is a safe place to let him share his passion for Minecraft with other kids.
Kids can use the Kid Club server for free play or they can join in structured activities to learn new skills and interact with other kids and counselors with similar interests. In just the next week there are over 20 Kid Club events on the calendar including carving giant pumpkins, architecture club, engineering club, carnival build, castle capture the flag and many more- all free !
For kids who want to learn more Minecraft skills Connected Camps also offers a variety of online Minecraft programs including topics such as coding, game design and engineering. They have after school programs, one on one mentoring, holiday courses and one- off workshops. These do have a fee, but I think they are very reasonably priced e.g. a 2hr Dungeon Design Workshop is $9.99
Reasons to love Kid Club
Safe, moderated, kid only server
Fun new events
Open daily from 12-6pm PST
Opportunities to interact with other Minecraft loving kids
Opportunities to try new things and learn new skills
Easy access to Minecraft workshops, courses and tutoring for players wanting to expand their skills (*fee for this)
For families looking for a safe online environment for their kids to play Minecraft with other kids I would highly recommend Kid Club. Not only is it moderated, safe and for kids only, but it’s free too !
NOTE: Connected Camps sponsored this article, but it is based on my family’s real experiences with the company and all opinions expressed in the article are my own.
Games apps are a great way to get a public education program across to families with devices. They can be fun and engaging yet educational at the same time as it provides valuable information to players through the gameplay and content.
Save the Park is one such app that has been developed with the mission to inspire and encourage families to explore volunteering with the US National Park Service. Players pick up important lessons alongside 4 different national park volunteer characters (Environment Champion, Wildlife Lover, Citizen Scientist and Culture Concierge) as they help in the quest to save the parks in this fast-paced endless running game with a twist.
In this app, players control 2 characters (a national park volunteer and a Junior Ranger) simultaneously to complete tasks while avoiding obstacles in 3 different park terrains – forest, desert and coast. Challenges abound as they earn stars to unlock levels, score combos, find hidden objects and unlock sharable national parks postcards. It is a full-fledged game app that will please any endless runner game regulars with beautifully designed animated park terrains, smooth controls, varied missions, interesting power-ups and great sound effects. It’s challenging yet it is simple enough for children to play but they will need their quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination. The game is fun and free to boot.
Players learn about the work that park volunteers do – protect animal habitats, plant trees, clean the environment, maintain trails, collect research specimens, help park visitors, etc. and why the tasks are important. They also learn interesting facts about specific national parks and the impact they can make as volunteers. Further resources are provided via links to the various real world volunteer opportunities in the US National Parks.
Save the Park was developed in partnership with American Express and the US National Park Foundation (NPF) in celebration of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial. For each download of Save the Park before December 31, 2016, The American Express Foundation will make a $1 donation (up to $50,000) to the NPF for her park conservation and stewardship work.
It’s time to save the parks that we love. You can do your bit by downloading the free app, Save the Park, get connected with your local parks to learn about their volunteer opportunities and support their conservation efforts as a family. There is no better time to start than now.
I’m not usually a big one for selfies but I’ve just discovered the kind of selfie that I do like- one that saves me money! I used the free #Homeselfe app to get a personalized report to see how I can save $$$ on my energy bills.
I must admit I cringe when I see how high our utility bills are every month. Although we have already done many energy saving steps, I am always keen to find more ways to save energy and money! Homeselfe is an easy, simple way to do a home energy audit without having to pay a professional 100’s of $ to do it for you. The app is free to download on iOS and Android and you personalize it by creating your own profile that includes information such as your home size, dwelling type, current water and energy bills, and utilities company. You do need to provide personal contact information to get the full report.
The app contains a digital mock up of a home and in each room you complete a questionnaire. Some of the answers I knew straight way such as “do you have low flow shower heads?”, others I had to check such as “is your water heater Energy Star certified?” I liked that I didn’t need to complete it all in one sitting, and that it was easy to see which rooms I had completed and which I still had items outstanding.
Once I completed the Homeselfe and personal profile, it took less than a minute to create my personalized report. I was pleased to see that the overall energy efficiency of our home was good, but it did still identify ways we could do even better. With the changes it suggested we could save almost $600 a year on our energy bills and it identified $850 worth of rebates that are available in our area.
I like to think of myself as energy conscious, and we had already done many of the more obvious changes such as choosing Energy Star certified appliances and low flow shower heads. Where Homeselfe was really useful was in making me think about the more hidden ways we waste energy. Did you know that the typical home looses 20-40% of the air that moves through the duct system? I didn’t, and as we haven’t had had any maintenance on our heating ducts in years that is our no. 1 priority now. We also need to look into improving our insulation.
Although #Homeselfe is designed to help you save money, it also shows you ways to help conserve the Earth’s precious resources and #livegreener which is a win/ win in my book! #EnergyConservation
WIN A $250 Gift Card !!
If you take a Homeselfe before the end of March you could win a $250 Visa Gift Card! Just download the free app, take a HomeSelfe then enter via this link. Homeselfe will pick 4 lucky winners at random to win $250 gift cards
With summer now upon those of us in the southern hemisphere, it’s time for sunshine and fun with friends and family. I can recall many wonderful holidays as a child but my favourite summer moments were the ones spent at my grandparents beach house near Bribie Island, Queensland, floating on the ocean in my grandfathers boat or relaxing on the sand with a homemade picnic lunch made by my grandmother (her ANZAC biscuits were to die for). Now that I have a family of my own, we spend our summers kayaking and swimming in the river or chilling out in our backyard under the sprinkler with water pistols and icy poles.
Summer mornings in tropical north Queensland are a bit of a challenge with the temperature reaching almost 30oC before breakfast time. However, waking up each morning this summer is going to be fun with the Macca’s Prize Alarm App; an app that allows you to seize the day through exciting summer fun with 4 million prizes to be won! With the chance to win with a daily alarm set, prizes up for grabs including food prizes, cameras, watches, a skateboard, a helicopter flight, vouchers, attraction passes, gift cards and loads more. That’s enough incentive for me to get out of bed!
The Macca’s Prize Alarm App works by setting a daily alarm where you can choose to be woken up at your desired time by a variety of different sounds or your own tones. The flexible alarm settings allow you to choose the days of the week you’d like to repeat your alarm. Your phone has to be on for the alarm to work so it can’t be in flight mode or “do not disturb” mode and it also shouldn’t be on silent. The app also features a virtual wallet to store any prize you’ve won and more or if you don’t wish to keep these to yourself, you can gift them to your Facebook friends that also have the app via the in-app gifting feature (you must connect the app to your Facebook account first). You have the chance to win an exciting surprise every day you set the alarm but you’re only one to win one surprise each day. It is not mandatory for you to go into a McDonald’s restaurant to participate in this campaign but you will need to visit in the event that you win to claim your prize.
You won’t want to hit that snooze button again once you find out what Macca’s have in store for you when you wake up with their free Prize Alarm app, available on the Apple AppStore or Google Play. Terms and Conditions apply. Share your favourite summer moments in the comments below!
This is a sponsored post and is brought to you by Nuffnang and McDonald’s.
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