Face of the Day: Calico Critters

February 18, 2010

International Plaything's Calico Critters

Hard not to smile, right?  Calico Critters from International Playthings, stay tuned.


Face of the Day: From Steiff

February 17, 2010

A bear to love from Steiff

Needed to share this face with you right away! So cute and amazingly soft. More to follow on this  classic handmade line of huggables from Steiff.


Toy Fair 2010: LEGO DUPLO

February 16, 2010

We started the day at LEGO – always fun.  LEGO Duplo is the line designed as an entry point for older toddlers and preschoolers.  New for 2010:  a bigger  bucket–we consider this basic gear for preschoolers.

DUPLO BUCKET

The big new theme is a farm…

LEGO DUPLO FARM

There’s also a new set that includes numbers as an added feature.

LEGO’s  Julie Stern, always a pleasure to work with– took us through the showroom. Watch the video.


My Little Pony Goes UNDERWATER!

February 3, 2010

I don’t know why this made me laugh–but some how I thought My Little Pony was silly enough (yes, yes, enjoyed by millions, but still there’s something about the never-ending pink rococo plastic fantasy settings that always gets me thinking about archeological digs centuries from now..and what they’ll think about such design and the civilization that played with them.)  Click here to watch our video.

My Little Pony has now become a merpony…no kidding. So now the merponies have there own new underwater castle. From the press release, you’ll see why this was the next obvious evolution for My Little Pony:

Located in the heart of the sea, this magical castle is an underwater dream come true for the MERMAID PONIES.  Each pony will love to explore this nautical treasure with lights and sounds .  Discover PINKIE PIE’S secret shell bedroom that really opens and closes or take a pony for a ride on the “magical” seashells that allow her to “swim” around the castle. The MERMAID ponies will love to “splish and splash” on the waterslide or hang ten on the “real” waves with the tubular surf boards.

The Castle will retail for $39.99 and be available next Fall.


Free Game: How High Can You Go?

January 8, 2010

Yesterday I walked past a display of silverware that was in the form of the Empire State Building. It reminded me of a great game to play with your kids that will keep them busy on a cold winter’s day.

Challenge your kids to build the tallest building using their LEGO Bricks!  For younger kids this will be about adding more bricks until the structure falls down.  But for older kids this can also become a real hands-on experiment–how do you make the structure more stable?  What do we need to add to the base to make it less tippy.  If you’re really into the building why not make your own city of skyscrapers. What kind of buildings do they think should be in the city?  A sports arena, a shopping mall, a grocery store…always fun to hear what they want on their list.   Matchbox cars and trucks can also be used to populate the city.  Be sure to take pictures–you’ll be happy to chronicle the challenge.  You can also have them create a book with the pictures–something that can be sent to Grandparents or shared on-line.  Either way, I like encouraging kids to create their own structures from materials they have around the house.


Free Game: Can you find anything blue?

January 7, 2010

Get a box or a basket…and ask your kids to find things that are blue (or any other color that you’d like) and bring them to the basket.  You can also make this part of cleaning up toys…can you find all the yellow pieces first and put them away?  Making a game out of cleaning up is half the battle.

For games and activities for your baby or toddler, check out our Read It! Play It! with Babies and Toddlers. Also available in Spanish.

For games and activities to play with your child 4-8, check out the original Read It! Play It!


Pick of the Day: Lisa LeLeu’s Super Star Theater

December 14, 2009

If you have kids that are into performing, here’s a big ticket item from Lisa LeLeu that is very special. Click here to read our complete review. My apologies to the company–this award winning toy got lost in the shuffle when we switched over to our new website!