2017 Holiday Buying Guide

17 Nov

2017.png

Happy Holidays from Kaplan Toys! It’s the season of giving and the holidays are just around the corner! With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be stressful trying to scout out gifts for family and friends. That is why we have created this awesome guide with great gift ideas for your children and family.

Arts & Crafts

Let your child’s creativity shine with fun arts and crafts! If your child enjoys drawing or painting, treat them to a gift that expresses their creativity and serves as a memorable token of their childhood. We recommend the Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit. Give life to an ordinary rock by painting and decorating it into something special. Another ideal gift for crafty kids is “do it yourself” craft sets. A major trend that has left its mark on 2017 is creating your very own slime. The DIY So Slime Factory makes a great gift for kids that enjoy making slime or want to give it a try.

146388d.jpg

Active Play

Encourage an active and healthy lifestyle for your child with fun and imaginative toys for indoor and outdoor play! Your little one can ride in style this holiday season with fun and safe ride-ons and push-along toys. The Red Mercedes Benz Riding Car is a great way to get your child active while having some fun cruising around. Don’t let the cold weather halt playtime fun during the winter months. Bring active play indoors with fun play tents and play houses that make a great gift idea for kids. The Glow N’ The Dark Firefly House Tent is an easy-to-assemble play tent that comes alive with beautiful streams and illustrated jars of glow-in-the-dark fireflies and a glow-in-the-dark crescent moon.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Kids can discover the power of their mind with fun and exciting toys that promote STEM concepts! Your child can unbox a great gift of popular robotic and programmable toys. The Kamigami Robot combines paper origami and robotics engineering. Assemble your robot then program it to perform new tricks, behaviors, games, and battle other Kamigami Robots using the included app on compatible tablets and smartphones. Introduce your child to coding this holiday season with the Robot Races & Cube Stackers Set. You become the robot trying to solve each coding challenge in the Robot Races. Use code to stack the cardboard cubes and create your own cool cube creatures with the Cube Stackers.

Baby & Toddler

Surprise your little one with fun gifts designed for baby play time fun that will help them learn and grow! Toys that they can touch, grasp, push, stack, sort, rattle, and squeak make great gift options that will help them develop their sensory and motor skills. The Oball™ Collection features four balls full of finger holes that make them easy for babies to hold, throw, and catch. Two of the Oballs™ in the collection feature fun rattles for added fun during play time. Another great gift idea for the kiddos is activity walkers, joggers, or push and pull toys. Get your little one up and moving this holiday season with the Light ‘n Go 3-in-1 Activity Walker™ that features three play modes: The Walker Mode, The Activity Mode, and The Sit and Play Mode with different color lights, words, music, and sounds.

145866c.jpg

Fun & Games

Create a whirlwind of excitement during the holidays for the whole family with gifts full of fun and games! The gift giving options are endless because there are so many toys and games to choose from. We have a few ideas that make wonderful gift options. Everything old is new again and your child and your own inner child will enjoy a blast from the past with gifts like the Atari® Plug & Play Joystick, Frogger Hand Held Game, or The Original Stretch Armstrong. You can also create fun and lasting family memories with fun board games and card games like The Soggy Doggy Game. The Soggy Doggy Game is an anticipation-filled board game that involves trying to give a rambunctious pup a bath before he tries to shake himself dry. Will you be the one that gets wet? Play it and see!

Now that you have some great ideas let your holiday shopping begin! Stock up on the latest and greatest toys that are sure to bring joy and excitement your child this holiday season and beyond!

Ways to Teach your Child to be Thankful

10 Nov

shutterstock_544553521.jpg

What are you thankful for? Thankfulness is an important attribute for kids to obtain as they learn and grow. Create a positive outlook of life by being grateful for what you have each and every day. We have provided some ways to teach your child the values of gratitude!

Share your Thankfulness

Get the family involved by having each person say something they are thankful for and why. This is a great activity that can take place during family meals, car rides, family gatherings and more! Children can gain a better understanding of thankfulness from various perspectives because everyone has different things they are thankful for.

 

Gratitude Journal

Your child can write down everything they are thankful for on each page of their very own gratitude journal. Kids can get creative and crafty by decorating it however they wish. They can keep adding things everyday as they think of more things to be thankful for. This is an activity your child can do during the holidays or year round. Check out our last blog post on how to create one.

 

Read a book about Thankfulness

Sit down with your child for story time by reading them a book about celebrating all of the things children are grateful for. Encourage your child to express what they are thankful for and why after reading your book. This is a great time for a new learning experience and bonding time.

 

Play Gratitude Games

Add a twist of thankfulness to your child’s favorite games! Create a new rule to your game like saying something you are thankful for before each turn. Turn the “Share your Thankfulness” activity into an exciting game. Each person playing says something they are thankful but in alphabetical order.

Helping Those in Need

An excellent way to teach kids to be thankful is to help others in need! Introduce children to the positive act of giving. A way for your child to give back is to donate toys they do not play with anymore to another child in need that would love to have a new toy. Invite your child to accompany you to local charitable events or charitable organizations and get involved donating their time and service to those who need it most. This is an activity your child can get involved in as they grow and understand the importance of gratitude.

Source: Simple & Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Gratitude

Thanksgiving Projects for Kids

3 Nov

shutterstock_6453091.jpg

There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Your child can engage in fun and festive projects that teach them to value the true meaning of Thanksgiving! Celebrate the countdown to Turkey Day with these enjoyable projects and create custom keepsakes that last a lifetime!

Hand Turkey:

Gobble! Gobble! Your child can create a festive masterpiece using finger paint, a handprint, and their imagination.

You will need:

  • Brown, yellow, green, orange, and red Finger Paint
  • Sturdy paper designed for finger painting, canvas, or any other surface you wish

Directions:

Step 1: Paint the brown onto the palm of the hand and thumb for the turkey’s body while the other colors will be painted on the fingers to create the beautiful feathers.

Step 2: Place the hand on the paper or other surface to reveal a colorful turkey handprint.

Step 3: Add any features you would like to your turkey.

Source: Cute Turkey Hand Print + 25 Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

 

DIY Edible Pumpkin Play Dough:

You will need:

1 16oz Can of Pumpkin

2 cups of Cornstarch

1 TBSP of Cinnamon

Optional: For extra sensory play, you can add pumpkin seeds, chocolate candies or sprinkles.

Directions:

Step 1: Mix Pumpkin and Cinnamon in a medium or large bowl.

Step 2: Gradually add cornstarch until the mixture is doughy and not sticky.

Step 3: Refrigerate the dough until play time.

Step 4: Add the sensory play food into the dough if you wish.

Recipe makes enough dough for six to seven kids.

Source: Edible Pumpkin Play Dough DIY for the Perfect Fall Play Date

Mini Gratitude Journal

You will need:

Mini Composition Notebook or any small notebook

Glue

Watercolor Paper

Watercolor Paints

Black Marker (We recommend you use a permanent marker to prevent smudging)

Optional: Google Eyes, Stickers, Yarn, or anything you desire to customize your notebook.

Directions:

Step 1: Create a thumbprint turkey. Rub the thumb into the watercolor paint to create the turkey’s body.

Step 2: When the thumbprint is dry, take the black marker to draw the legs and feathers of the turkey.

Step 3: Paint the turkey’s feathers and then let dry.

Step 4: Now it is time to customize the cover of your notebook with your turkey painting! You can cut out the turkey painting and glue it to the front of the notebook.

Step 5: Add any other embellishments you wish!

Step 6: You child can now fill the journal with everything they are thankful for!

Source: Mini Gratitude Journals for Kids

Building an Indoor Garden

27 Oct

shutterstock_687517165

Grab your gardening tools and gloves! We have provided some ideas to get you started building your very own kid friendly indoor garden! An indoor garden is a fantastic way to teach your children about the concept of gardening, responsibility, and patience. Kids can join in on the fun with their own gardening tools, watering can, and gloves made for little hands.

  1. Brainstorm the type of garden you would like to create. The possibilities are endless!
  2. Choose a pot, planter, jar or container. You can even recycle old newspaper to create a pot for your seedling with the Seedling Pot Maker. Make sure your plant has enough room to grow!
  3. Pick the type of seed you would like to plant. Encourage a healthy lifestyle by planting yummy fruits, vegetables, and herbs to include in your meals that come directly from your very own garden. You can even plant a colorful oasis of vibrant flowers or succulents and watch them grow and blossom right before your eyes.
  4. Choose the type of soil you will need. We recommend using a multi-purpose potting mix but an organic, multi-purpose potting mix is ideal for edible plants.
  5. Go ahead and fill your pot with the necessary amount of soil and plant your seeds!
  6. Watering your plants is a very important step when taking care of an indoor garden! Remember to water your plants at least twice a week or when the surface of the soil is dry.
  7. Make sure your garden is an area with plenty of sunlight! You can place your garden close to a window for natural lighting or use a grow light.
  8. Now you are ready to watch your plant grow and thrive!

Helpful Tip: To prevent messes, place down newspaper before you start your indoor gardening project for an easy clean up.

We offer fun, kid-friendly kits that introduce kids to gardening and can be used in an indoor setting. Kids can get crafty with the Flower Garden Kit. It comes with everything you need to cast and paint a garden pot and grow flowers. The Odd Pods Cactus Garden comes everything you need along with easy instructions to grow over 25 different varieties of cacti in a space-age capsule. Create a whimsical indoor garden with the My Fairy Garden™ Willow’s Tree Hollow.

Get inspired to create a one-of-a-kind indoor garden that you can enjoy year round!

Source: https://growagoodlife.com/indoor-garden/

Making Family Memories on Halloween

20 Oct

shutterstock_488743432.jpgHalloween is just around the corner and it’s time for tricks and treats! A special treat this Halloween is creating family memories that last a lifetime! Get into the Halloween spirit by going on spooky adventures and enjoy activities with the whole family! We came up with some “spook-tastic” ideas to encourage family bonding time this Halloween.

  • Partake in a family pumpkin carving session! Create a classic Jack-O-Lantern or carve your own design. An alternative for carving pumpkins is to simply paint them and add fun accessories to create your own one-of-a-kind pumpkin masterpiece. We suggest using an acrylic paint as it features opaque colors and permanent coverage. Be sure to show off your finished pumpkin so everyone can see it!
  • Get together with family and friends for a fun-filled outing with Halloween festivities! Attend a local Halloween event that offers activities for all ages. Enter a costume contest, go on a hay ride, play some games, or many other activities your family and kids will enjoy!
  • Have the family join in on the costume fun! Dress as your own unique character or coordinate your costumes as a family. Show off your fabulous costumes while trick-or-treating or attending your Halloween events! We offer various costumes for different ages ranging from super heroes to animals. Check out our previous blog post for fun and friendly Halloween costume ideas for kids!
  • Gather around the kitchen to create festive treats! Bake Halloween themed cookies, cupcakes, or anything you desire and share them with your family. Even the kiddos can contribute in the kitchen by assisting the grown-ups with their own cooking utensils made for little hands. They can use kid-friendly stainless steel kitchen utensils to help with mixing and measuring.

There is so much to do this Halloween and spending the day with family makes the day far more memorable. Don’t forget to take lots of fun photos and videos as they can be cherished for a lifetime and a treasure to reflect on in the future! Have fun, stay safe, and create lasting memories this Halloween!

Kid Halloween Costume Ideas

17 Oct

shutterstock_402621070

Happy Halloween! It’s that time of the year for tricks and treats! Not sure as to what your child wants to dress up as? We provided some ideas can help you out on your search for the perfect costume for your child! These fun and friendly costumes are sure to be a “spook-tacular” hit this Halloween!

Super Heroes: Kids can dress as their favorite super heroes or create a one-of-kind hero of their own. Add a cape, mask, or other accessories and they are ready to save the day.

Suggestions: Girl Hero Bat CapeAmerican Hero Cape & MaskPretend Play Adventure Capes (Set of 4)

Careers: Inspire your child to be anything they wish with costumes featuring their dream career. Become a firefighter, police officer, doctor, nurse, astronaut, pilot, and more.

Suggestions: Aeromax Jr. Physician Lab Coat and Scrub Set, Toddler Pretend Play Police Officer Vest & HatAirline Pilot Outfit

Animals: From adorable dogs to majestic leopards, your little animal lover can dress as their favorite animal this Halloween.

Suggestions: Cow & Snow Leopard Reversible VestAnimal Dress-Up – Cow

When you find the right costume, add some fun accessories such as a hat, wand, feather boa, or anything you desire.

Complete any costume with face paint! Use the new kid-friendly Grim Tout Face Paint Sticks or Palette to create fun designs. These face paints are easy to apply and easy to clean making Halloween a little easier for parents and kids. For more detailed designs, use the Grim Tout Face Paint Stencil Set.

The possibilities are endless when creating a trick-or-treat ready costume for your child! Have fun, stay safe, and create lasting memories this Halloween!

Outdoor Exploration for Autumn Days

6 Oct

shutterstock_318987089.jpg

Cooler weather, warm sweaters, fall often provides a prefect landscape for your child’s adventures in the great outdoors. Celebrate the autumnal season by providing your little one with unique ways to play amongst the fallen leaves. Consider these ideas for fun, outdoor recreation and help combat the impending cabin fever of the winter months.

Dynamic Play

With plenty of apple pie and pumpkin treats to be consumed and state fairs to attend, daily active play is certainly needed! Autumn is a time booming with sporting events. Encourage your child to join in on the spirit by playing a game of catch or a pick up match with neighbors and friends. Whether their game of choice is football, soccer, or basketball, the NightZone™ Sports Pack is great for light-up game play with no worries of earlier sunsets. Consider making active play a family affair by playing games like Djubi® , which is a twist on the simple game of catch but with slingshots. Needless to say that winter often hinders children’s outdoor activity so be sure to take full advantage of autumn’s possibilities.

shutterstock_165220628

Cozy Atmosphere

There is just something about fall’s presence that can give you “warm and fuzzy” feelings. With plenty of seasonal books to read like Leaf Man, Pumpkin Pumpkin, and Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf (just to name a few), it’s a great time to provide your child with a cozy and inviting reading space. Consider making that cozy space outside. Keep the wonderment of summer alive with the Glow N’ The Dark Firefly House Tent. The soft glow of the moon and jars of fireflies will provide your child a wonderful reading companion. You can also easily encourage their literary exploration with the Sky Chair. With a variety of colors, patterns, and even LEDS, the Sky Chair creates a comfortable, swinging nook that can be used both inside and outside. With providing cozy outdoor spaces, their reading and day dreaming is sure to provide them with sensory delight!

Whether your child is tuck away in their new hideaway or dashing across the backyard, be sure to help them soak up every moment of the autumnal fun.