February 5, 2009
It’s likely that if you have tweens or teens in the house, you’ve heard about the hit Discovery Channel’s show Mythbusters. In fact, if you’re having trouble connecting with your son– here’s a perfect subject. All you have to do is ask what they did on the latest edition of Mythbusters and your heretofore monosyllabic boy will become a virtual chatty Cathy detailing what they set out to do and how it turned out. Better yet, watch the show together! So I was pretty excited to hear that Elmer’s has created kits based on the show. There will be a Weird, Wild and All Wet Trial and Error Water Kit and a Cockpit Confidential Trial and Error Aviation Kit. We usually have a hard time finding non-home schooling kids interested in these kits, but I think the license here will attract a wider audience. We’re looking forward to testing them. Elmer’s is also previewing a new line of Kinder-Ready activity kits including The World of Eric Carle Art of Science Experiment Kit–that has color mixing experiments.
January 29, 2009
Good news– Spot is back! Toddlers will love the new oversized 16″ ($30) friendly pup from Kid Preferred –just right for hugging and lugging about. Spot is not too heavy making him a fun companion. Equally appealing is the 6″ bean bag version ($9.00) (much squishier than the larger Spot). A great take along choice. Our recommendation is to bring Spot home with some books. We’re giving both versions an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award. Also notable from the Kids Preferred is their line of Eric Carle inspired plush.
November 5, 2008
Mudpuppy is well known for their over-sized floor puzzles that feature storybook characters. This year’s new puzzle Brown Bear Brown Bear is based on the favorite Eric Carle picturebook. The 24 jumbo pieces make this a great puzzle for preschoolers–with a very satisfying end product. At $16, this is a good value. If you don’t have the book, bring them both home!
October 28, 2008
We’ve been bombarded with green marketing this year…some products are well meaning but have really heavy handed messages. With that in mind we looked for toys that represent a more planet friendly agenda in how they are manufactured, as well as toys that do deliver a message but in a child friendly way…Here are our favorites:
1. Parking Garage (Plan Toys)
2. Tonka Lil Gas Pump (Hasbro) – it shows how ethanol is made on the back of the pump.
3. Sprig Vehicles (Sprig)- new line of vehicles made from recycled materials.
4. Gator Golf (Hasbro)- The classic game is now made without batteries.
5. Indoor Gardening Kit (Green Toys)- made from repurposed materials.
6. Think Green Barbie – love that she’s joined this important cause…her motto…”Think Pink, Live Green”
7. National Geographic Kids Animals (International Playthings)- polar bears and snakes–oh my!
8. Cheekeyes Animals (Cheekeyes)- handsomely crafted line of wooden animals – perfect as props for blocks.
9. Recycling Truck (Playmobil)- a fun prop for pretend that reinforces what we all should be doing.
10. Eric Carle Brown Bear Floor Puzzle (Mudpuppy)- a friendly low key way of introducing kids to the creatures we share this planet with…without a heavy message.