Jobs for Kids: Earn Free Toys as a Toy Tester

This post originally appeared here: “Jobs for Kids: Earn Free Toys as a Toy Tester

The other day I was browsing in what was marketed as a “smart” toy store. I was curious about “smart toys,” toys that have their own electronic intelligence, so I went in to check it out.

After rolling my eyes at a hot-pink vacuum cleaner toy (seriously, what is this, 1950?), I came across a Mars Rover Barbie. Despite her sexy astronaut uniform (as if that would be necessary on Mars, people), I thought she was an interesting option. The only problem was the hefty price tag. “Have Barbies always been almost $20? I am in for a real surprise when my daughter gets a bit older!” I thought.

Then again, what if I didn’t have to buy my daughter a new Barbie? What if I could get it for free — or, better yet, what if she could earn it herself?

Jobs for Kids Earn Free Toys as a Toy Tester - Baby Doodah

Cool Job for Kids: Toy Testing

It sounds crazy, but it’s entirely possible. Many legitimate toy companies hire normal kids to be toy testers. If you want your child to be one, the age range seems to vary depending on the application, but typically companies are looking for toddlers through preteens. The company will either send your child a toy to review or ask you to take them to a toy lab at the company’s headquarters.

Interested? Here are three tips to help your child land the gig:

1. Get a Jump on the Competition

These jobs are hard to find. They pop up unexpectedly, so you should always be on the lookout. As journalist Samantha Christmann explained, be proactive by emailing toy companies directly and asking about opportunities. For example, you can email your contact information and your child’s name and interests to playlab1@fisher-price.com to find opportunities at Fisher-Price. (Like this idea? Click to tweet it!)

2. Prowl Social Media

Follow toy companies on Facebook — both major ones and smaller players. For example, recently the toy company Step 2 posted on its Facebook page that it was looking for kids to test a Thomas the Tank Engine bed. The company wanted to send the bed to several families to try out. The families got to keep the bed for free in exchange for a product review.

I spoke with Krystal Butherus, a blogger who was selected to test the Thomas the Tank Engine bed after hearing about the opportunity in a blogger Facebook group. Krystal advises anyone who wants to get a toy testing opportunity to set up a blog and social media accounts “to show influence if you’re interested in being a toy tester. Word-of-mouth marketing still seems like a big deal to brands, and it’s worthwhile if you actually use the product and enjoying sharing the information with your friends and family.”

As another example, The Warehouse toy company in New Zealand gives its prestigious toy testers $200 worth of toys plus $8,000 cash for their families! To snag one of those jobs, kids had to buy a toy from their store and upload a video of themselves playing with it and explaining why they’d be a great toy tester.

If you want your kids to land similar opportunities, make sure they are comfortable in front of the camera and have no problem selling their skills! It’s a great opportunity for them to learn about marketing and the power of social media all while hopefully getting tons of free toys.

3. Curate Your Online Presence

As Krystal advised, you should have a strong online community to be a toy tester, even if it’s just an active Pinterest page, to be more desirable to toy companies. The bigger online reach you have, the more likely it is that you will be selected as a toy tester.

If you want to do this regularly, prepare your blog by reviewing toys that you already have. That way, you can use these posts as a portfolio to show companies that you write well and review products thoroughly.

When doing a review, be sure to describe the product in detail, including the size, the color, and the age group it’s designed for. Make sure to mention any special or unique features. Have your kid play with the toy for about a month before posting the review, so you can comment on how it held up to wear and tear.

Also, don’t be afraid to mention if you weren’t happy with a toy. Remember, many toy tester jobs exist to check on the safety and reliability of a product, so it’s an important job but also one that involves a bit of risk. Make your reviews honest and reliable, and the companies will thank you.

While it might seem like these jobs are too good to be true, many kids out there are not spending $20 for Mars Rover Barbie. Instead, they can put that money in their college funds and enjoy playing with free toys instead.

Your Turn: Would you put your kids to work as a toy testers?

Catherine Alford is a full-time blogger, personal finance freelance writer, and mom of newborn twins. She writes about how to balance life and a budget all across the web including on her own site, Budget Blonde.

Original source: “Jobs for Kids: Earn Free Toys as a Toy Tester

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The Health Benefits of a Consistent Swimming Routine

Today, I’m happy to bring you a FANTASTIC guest-post, written by the author and creator of An Apple Per Day, Kaitlin Gardner. Enjoy!

Like any exercise regimen or practice, consistency is essential to long-term benefits to your health. Swimming is no exception, but the health benefits of a swimming routine are special, if for no other reason that the environment in which it takes place. Additionally, with the growing popularity of indoor swim centers, along with traditional gyms and YMCA facilities, swimming can now be enjoyed year-round in nearly every region of the country.

Why Swimming?

The benefits are plentiful, and if you ask ten people, you might get ten different answers. There are reasons why I think swimming is one of the very best overall healthy exercises a person can participate in. Here are a few links with even more great ideas and reasons working swimming into your routine:

The Health Benefits of a Consistent Swimming Routine - Baby Doodah

Here are just a few reasons why swimming is worth trying:

Weather or Not!

If you have access to an indoor pool, which these days many private gyms offer, you’ll be able to enjoy swimming all year long, regardless of weather conditions (providing you can get to the pool)! Indoor pools, if you’ve never tried them, provide protection from the elements and make for a cozy environment for those who aren’t fans of being cold. To find out if indoor swimming is for you, visit a facility and spend time in and around the water. Ask for a tour, and see if it is possible to secure a one-week pass, or trial membership, in order to know whether it’s for you.

Relaxation

Swimming is one of the most relaxing exercises a person can engage in, by the very nature of the feeling of the water on your skin, as well as the relative solitude one experiences. Of course, this will vary, depending on where you exercise, but if you regularly spend time doing laps, you’ll soon find that it is easy to get lost in the moment, and shut out the noise of a busy life. In fact, swimming is one of the most meditative exercises you can engage it. Swimming has been shown to lower stress levels over time, in addition to the physical benefits it provides (more below).

Weight Loss

Regular swim sessions burn calories. In fact, they burn just as many, if not more calories, than similar land-based exercises. Additionally, swimming provides a great workout for your muscles that otherwise wouldn’t get a strengthening/toning boost. Think about it: If you’re running, you are obviously burning calories, but what is running doing for your arms? Swimming provides both upper and lower body a muscle-toning workout. If you add ankle weights, that challenge grows!

Cardiovascular Power!

Swimming is a low to medium-intensity cardio workout that will help you build endurance over time. The consistent, gentle movements of swim strokes will challenge your heart and lungs and provide that valuable aerobic activity that is necessary to improve your cardiovascular health.

Rehabilitation Help

Swimming is one of the most popular and prescribed methods for recovering after surgery, injury or illness. Because it is low- to zero-impact on joints, everyone from senior citizens to triathletes can participate. In the field of physical and occupational therapy, water-based exercise and movement is becoming more and more popular as research uncovers the benefits of swimming for rehabilitation. Another benefit of swimming for athletes: injuries that would otherwise keep a person from competing, or even practicing, are not exacerbated by swimming and water aerobics, which means that it is possible to stay physically fit while recuperating from an illness or injury. For example, studies have shown that water jogging almost perfect mimics a person’s land-running form. For competitive runners, this is a huge advantage.


Kaitlin_Headshot Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside and discovering interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint with watercolors.

 

 

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Turn It Up Tuesday – #75

Welcome to the 75th week of Turn It Up Tuesday! Last week, we had an awesome time on Turn It Up Tuesday with 457 links - it’s our best best week ever! We’d like to thank each and every one of you for making every week so amazing! Keep sharing your amazing posts with us here on Turn It Up Tuesday!

Happy HAPPY Tuesday to YOU!! So, glad to have you this week, we love sharing our reader’s posts, so be sure to stay awhile, link-up and watch next week to see if you’ve been featured!

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Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!

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Moms: As Elite as the CIA…Well Almost

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Andrea Keeney is a writer, blogger, mother, and wife. She is the creator of the blog, Parenting with Parents as well as the author of the book, Moms: As Elite as the C.I.A….Well Almost. When she isn’t pursuing her dreams of writing she is taking care of her three small children.

Attention! There is an elite group of women walking freely among the average citizens of the world. These freakishly instinctive beings are capable of physical, mental, and emotional acts of greatness. They tend to appear irritated, exhausted, and are almost always bombarded by very tiny renegades who are whining and/or yelling. These women come in many shapes and sizes, however they all respond to a single name: Mom. If you know one of these women, if you are one of these women, or if you are going to be one of these women, you need this book!

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Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

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(from the top – left to right)

Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | Jessica from The Wondering Brain | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Jillian from Baby Doodah | April from April Noelle | Tina from The Happy Creations | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Cindy from Mom Maven | Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter | Kelly from Making-More | Yolanda from That’s Mashed Up | Tenns from New Mama Diaries | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Rose from What Rose Knows | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly | Chelsea from Mommie and Wee | Nancy from Afro-Chic Mompreneur | Zografia from Bisozozo | Elaine from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for February!

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(from the top – left to right)

Danielle from insearchofthe25thhour | Cathy from Brand New Mom Blog | Latisha from Ask Latisha | Alyssa from Life from My Laptop | Lisa from Blogghetti | Kelly from Mum-bo-Jumbo | Kim from Life in a House of Testosterone | Sarah from Pretty Simple Ideas

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Rhonda chose Free Printable: Donut Thank You Gift Tags from Happiness is Homemade. “These thank you notes are adorable. I love how they have a bite taken out of them. They’re the perfect way to say thank you.”

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Cindy chose 5 Books That Changed My Life and Marriage from Stuck in Your Rut. “In this honest post the author shares about tough times in her past and some books that helped her move through those times and become a better person. I am always on the lookout for well written Christian marriage books so I appreciated what was shared in this post.”

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Cindy also chose The Laundry Reveal from Inspiration for Moms. “I am dreaming of an addition to my home, which at this point we have no budget for. the addition would include enlarging the kitchen, moving the laundry room and reconfiguring a bedroom to include an en suite. I have spent a lot of time looking at laundry room designs and I like some of the aspects in this one.”

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Tina chose So I Crocheted a Horse… from Busy Being Jennifer. “What a cute crocheted horse stufie!! Adorable horse!! Makes you want to learn how to crocket. Thanks for sharing!”

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Tina also chose 11 Essential Oils You Need in Your Medicine Cabinet from Domain of the Mad Mommy. “I’m not an essential oils expert but I’m a new fan, I love this post,very informative and helpful especially for someone who wants to start using essential oils. Thanks for sharing.”

Elaine also chose this post. “I picked this one because I am interested in learning more about essential oils.”

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Cathy chose Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple French Toast from Dizzy Busy & Hungry! “My family loves breakfast for dinner too! Fast, easy and delicious – and even better made in the crockpot for the summer months!”

Silvie also chose this post. “This was my favorite because I love slow cooker recipes and I love desserts, so this one was definitely a win/win for me. :)”

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Cathy also chose Family Holiday Ideas: Peanut Butter and Graham Crackers from Kenarry. “Oh my! I can’t wait to make this dessert for my family! I predict it will be a favorite!”

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Jillian chose 7 Grammatical Mistakes Bloggers Need to STOP Making from Belle Brita. “I chose this post because the errors that she mentions, are ones that also annoy me, when I see other bloggers make them. :)”

Latisha also chose this post. “Even though I find that the writer’s tone seems a little bit harsh. I like this article because it offers errors and the correct use of some regularly used words in blog post to look for when writing post. I will try to be more attentive when editing my post and look out for these errors specifically.”

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Jillian also chose How to market your small business for free from Kokoa Magazine. “I chose this post because I am working on growing my small business and am always looking for new and different tips.”

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Mari chose Citrus Salad from Spoonful of Flavor. “I chose Ashley’s Citrus Salad because it’s so refreshing, colorful and healthy. Not something we see or even think about often enough.”

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Mari chose 20 Easy Meals with Shrimp from Growing Up Gabel. “I also chose Brenna’s Easy meals with Shrimp because I love easy meals always and Shrimps are fantastic both hot or cold.”

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Lisa chose Zuppa Toscana from Budget Girl. “Chelsey’s Zuppa Toscana Soup looks amazing and it’s one of my favorite soups at Olive Garden. I love the fact I can make it at home and her recipe is a cinch to make. She adds a few tips what you can add to the soup to personalize but like her, I like it just the way it is. The soup takes no time to prepare and to cook, that’s my kind of meal!”

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Lisa also chose 15 Books You Should Read In 2015 from Logan Can… “I chose Logan’a post on 15 Books You Should Read in 2015 simply because I am always, always looking for MORE books to read and these all sound great. Can’t wait to get them all.”

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Sarah chose DIY Kids Play Makeup from Simply {Darr}ling. “It’s so cute and realistic – and yet without the mess! I have three nieces that would love this.”

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Sarah also chose Vanilla Cinnamon Mug Cake from Organized Island. “It’s a perfect and SUPER QUICK dessert for one person. Just the bite you need to satisfy a sweet tooth without going overboard.

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Cathy chose Silent Grief: Aradhana’s Story from Made to Mother. “Wynter from Madetomother.com writes a blog post entitled, ‘Silent Grief-Aradhana’s Story’. She divulges her deepest emotions during a very difficult time many mom’s are too hurt to talk about, miscarriage. Her cander and bravery for telling her story is empowering.”

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Cathy also chose Crochet Baby Gifts: Afghan and Amigurumi Bunny Set from Over the Apple Tree. “Laura from Over the Apple Tree made the cutest crochet bunny and afghan. Her step by step tutorial makes it seem worth delving into! She is so on point when she says there is nothing like a homemade gift!”

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Latisha chose Random & Helpful Kitchen & Cooking Tips from Just Misty. “I like this blog post because it consist of very useful kitchen tips. My favorite tip being what to do if you accidently add too much salt or sugar to your meal. This post could save a lot of ruined dishes. Really cool.”

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Stacey chose 7 Reasons Why Exercise Sucks from The Pinterested Parent. “This was amazing! I felt myself nodding, chuckling and offering a great big “Oh Yeah” on all seven points! Thank you so much for sharing!”

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Kelly chose Shamrock Wreath from Crafty Journal. “I love paper crafts and this is such an easy craft to make for St Patrick’s Day. I think the glitter makes a nice touch.”

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Kelly chose Southwest Salad in a Jar from Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles. “I have been behind the eight ball on the mason jar craze but this is such a great idea and one I know I will do!”

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Danielle chose “Little Love Nest” Kissing Booth from What Happens at Grandma’s. “It’s my favorite because it’s literally the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I mean I have no words. The kiddos in it are adorably perfect too!”

April chose Organize Your Digital Life: Pinterest! from So Domestically Challenged. “When I started my Pinterest board, I just pinned… finding a place for everything. Now that I’m trying to work my site more as a business, my Pinterest boards are a completely mess. Christine gives some tips, including where to get started, which I definitely need!”

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The post with the most clicks is Winter Home Maintenance Checklist: Free Printable from Kenarry.

Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I’m sure they’d all appreciate it!

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

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And the Best of the Best is…

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How to market your small business for free from Kokoa Magazine

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7 Grammatical Mistakes Bloggers Need to STOP Making from Belle Brita

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Winter Home Maintenance Checklist: Free Printable from Kenarry

Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!

As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!

Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy@gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details for the free ad space!

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*Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back. *Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier! *Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends! *Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!

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