It's hard to believe just how quickly 2013 flew by!  I wanted to take this opportunity to review a few items that crossed The Mommy's Review's desk this year, but I haven't had the time to share them yet with you. 

Don't Rock The Boat

"Rock the Boat" might be the name of one of my favorite '70s tunes, but don't get that mixed up with Don't Rock The Boat, a really fun game for kids ages five and up.  The object of Don't Rock The Boat is to add as many little pirate penguins to their ship as possible, making sure to use skill and balance before they all fall down and you have to yell "DON'T ROCK THE BOAT!" 

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Don't Rock The Boat is easy to assemble and easy to play, but can be a little challenging until you (and your little ones) get the hang of it.  It's a great way to teach about weights and balances while having a lot of fun in the process.

Don't Rock The Boat is available from and many retailers, and the list price is $17.99.

Yoga For Your Brain

I first head about Zentangle at The Connection for Women and Families, where they were offering a workshop on it earlier this year.  Zentangle is a method to exercise your brain and relax while creating images by drawing structured patterns. 

Sandy Steen Bartholomew, a popular Zentangle author, has created a series of portable cards called Yoga for Your Brain, available in both adult and kids' versions.  Each Yoga for Your Brain deck features 40 image cards to copy along with directions on the back.  They look complicated, but the directions do help to guide you to completing your pictures. 

I know it sounds very low-fi, but that's exactly the point!  Get away from the TV, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, whatever for a little while, and decompress by focusing on one of these little drawings. It's kind of like all the doodling you used to do in your notebooks at school, but guided and designed for you to focus and relax, not just to zone off in Social Studies class.

You can learn more about the art of Zentangle at, and the Yoga for Your Brain cards are available at book and gift stores nationwide. The list price for each deck is $9.99.

Duct Tape Parenting

Vicki Hoefle is a parent educator and mother of five children who has written a book called Duct Tape Parenting. The focus of this book is "a less is more approach to raising respectful, responsible, and resilient kids," something I think all parents would want for their families!

Hoefle fills the book with entertaining anecdotes and helpful solutions to many common parenting problems, often reframing the issue to show that it's not actually an issue with the child, but rather the parent's perception of—or reaction to—what the child is doing.  She uses the metaphor of the duct tape throughout as a way for parents to hold back, be quiet, and let kids be kids who can (and will) often figure things out for themselves.

This parenting approach may not be for everyone, but it could lead to a peaceful and more productive family life for many. 

Duct Tape Parenting (Bibliomotion), $19.95, is available at and other book sellers.

Jennifer Niederhoffer is the founder of Impress Media, an independent lifestyle & entertainment public relations and editorial services firm.  You can follow her on twitter @impressmedia or @themommysreview.