Family life on LA's Westside

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A Parents and Kids Guide for the Best Ever Winter Break

Be Prepared this Holiday Break with Toys and Games for Fun Indoor Play, Whatever the Weather

No School + Math = Fun

Just because school is closed doesn’t mean learning has to take a break.  Prep your little genius to be the next math whiz with Wooky Entertainment’s Mathable the board game that reinforces useful math skills in a fun and engaging way for kids.  Designed for 2 to 4 players, the game challenges players to score by using basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division equations.  Mathable Classic ($17.99) is for Ages 9 and up, and Mathable Junior ($14.99) provides an introduction to math for ages 5 to 9. Available at national toy and game retailers. iPad app available on iTunes.


Give them the Birds

A day indoors doesn’t mean a day of video games, but if Angry Birds is your child’s fave app, take the game a step up with the K’nex Angry Birds inspired building sets, including “Ice Bird Breakdown,” “Crater Crash,” and “Breakin’ Bacon.”  The sets feature K’nex snap-together building system and characters from Angry Birds including Super Red Bird, Lazer Bird and Frozen Pig.  Each includes a functional launcher for use with all K’NEX Angry Birds sets. Ages 5 and up.  Sets and accessories $4.99 to $39.99.  Available exclusively at Toys “R” Us.


Puzzle This

If cabin fever has your kids seeing double, take things up a notch, to triple.  The top name in puzzles adds a new dimension to favorite snow day pastime with the Ravensburger collection of Chromadepth Puzzles with 3D Glasses.  The vividly-colored 100-piece themed puzzles, Fascinating Underwater World and Wild Jungle, are perfect for young puzzlers’ little hands with durable and easily interlocking pieces for ages 6 and up. $12.99.  Available at national retailers or


Trace Amounts to Fun

Crazy making, or making art?  You choose.  Keep kids occupied while they stretch their creative muscles making beautiful illustrations on paper with Ravensburger’s Xoomy  activity toy.  The carry case doubles as a light box which projects images from a variety of provided screens onto a see-through plate on which the pictures are traced onto paper and then colored.  $24.99.  Available at national retailers or


Easy Listening

Kids can enjoy an afternoon indoors or outdoors sans boredom with the Sansa Zip Clipa, a clip-on MP3 player that that can go anywhere with them.  The tiny 1 ½ x 2-inch player packs a ton of features, like a microphone, stopwatch a voice recorder and built-in microphone, a color screen for album art, and an FM receiver for playing and recording stations. With the included Rhapsody trial membership kids can download (with parents’ permission) from a vast library of DRM-free iTunes music or audiobooks. Add capacity to the 8 GB memory with an optional SanDisk microSD/microSDHC card. $69.99.  Available at Amazon or