3 Fall DIY Sensory Activities

2 Oct

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Hello autumn! Hello new opportunities for DIY fun at home! Check out these three ideas perfect for exploring the senses with a seasonal twist! Your child is sure to love making, squishing, smelling, and playing with these homemade creations!

Fall Sensory Bin

You will need:

Bin with lid

Water Beads

Pumpkin Seeds

Fall Colored Buttons

Muffin Pan

Optional: Plastic acorns, mini pumpkins, and small gourds

Simply combine all the items into your bin and encourage your child to touch, squish, and stir the contents. Have them sort the items into groups using the muffin pan. Add a little water to the bin for additional sensory fun!

Suggested book- Pumpkin Pumpkin

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DIY Natural Apple Pie Playdough

You will need:

1 cup Salt

2 cups All Purpose Flour

A few drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil

2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar

1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon of Apple Pie Spice

2 Tablespoons of oil

1 1/3 Cup Boiling Water

Step 1: Fill Bowl

Add all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Mix in Water

Slowly stir in your 1 1/3 cups of boiling water.

Step 3: Mix Dough

Mixing thoroughly and allow dough to fully cool.

Step 4: Add Oil

Add a couple of drops of cinnamon essential oil to the dough and mix.

Step 4: Play

Play using the Dough Tool Set and ABC & Numbers Dough Cutter Set.

Store in an airtight container for future play!

Source: No Cook Natural Apple Cinnamon Playdough Recipe

Suggested book: Apple Picking Time

Fall Sensory Bags

You will need:

Clear Hair Gel

Orange Food Coloring

Gold and Red Glitter

Leaves

Large Ziploc Bag

Duct Tape

Optional: Plastic acorns and cinnamon sticks

Step 1: Fill the Bag

Fill the large ziplock bag ¾ full of hair gel (we got our gel from a dollar store).

Step 2: Add a Pop of Color

Place glitter and a few drops food coloring into the bag, close and squish unto fully mixed.

Step 3: Add Items

Add leaves, acorns, and cinnamon sticks into the bag. Squeeze out all of the air.

Step 4: Seal and Secure

Using duct tape, seal the edges of the bag. Optional: tape the bag to a table for easier play.

Suggested Book- Leaf Man

Benefits of Shopping Early for the Holidays

22 Sep

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When you still have sand in your car from your summer vacation, it is hard to start thinking about your holiday shopping. However, starting your shopping early does have several benefits over waiting until the traditional holiday shopping season. See for yourself why you should go ahead and start checking people off of your shopping list.

Full Selection

It’s true what they say; the early bird does get the worm. When you shop before the rush, you will have full shelves and stock to pick from. No worries about having to settle on your gift choice due to selection. You also avoid participating in the toy craze. When other parents are desperately searching for their child’s top wish, you will have already picked up and wrapped the hottest toy of the season.

Save Money

When you have more time to shop, you have more opportunities to save. Companies often host presales long before Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales, including us! Be sure to check often for sales and shipping offers. Because you are shopping months early, you also avoid higher shipping fees and the need for rush shipping. Shopping early also helps with your budgeting. You can take advantage of credit offers, payment plans, and spread your spending across several months verses only weeks or days.

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Time for DIY

Having extra time gives you more freedom for creativity. You and your child can create gifts verses buying ones for some of the people on your list. Using DIY kits such as the String Art Star Light and Perfect Craft Casting Kits make for great, personalized holiday gifts. Since you started early, there is plenty of time to let the paint dry and glue fully set before wrapping!

Avoid the Stress

With your holiday head start, you save yourself from several stressors and headaches. You avoid shopping in potentially bad, winter weather. You also avoid the crowds of determined holiday shoppers. Eliminate the stress of shipping gifts to far away friends and family with the fear of will they arrive on time. With the relief of shopping early, you can focus on what matters most-family, holiday traditions, and the actual gift gifting.

You can save your sanity by planning and shopping early for the holidays. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the joyful festivities of the season.

25 Fun Family Activities for Fall

15 Sep

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With the start of a new school year and the anticipation of many holidays on the horizon, autumn is an exciting time for little ones. It is also a wonderful opportunity to create some family memories. Explore our list of 25 ideas to kick off some fall family fun!

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch or corn maze. Snacking on classic fall treats like caramel apples or kettle corn while you are there is a bonus!
  2. Time for fall chores. After you have raked up all the leaves in your yard, help your child un-rake them by jumping in! An experience worth the work.
  3. Colder, shorter days means more quality time indoors. We suggest snuggling up with a good fall-themed book such as Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, Pumpkin Soup, and Leaf Man.
  4. Carve a pumpkin for National Pumpkin Day on October 26th.
  5. Host a hot chocolate night! Create a hot cocoa bar with whip cream, chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, marshmallows, and more. Don’t forget apple cider for the non-cocoa lovers.
  6. Get crafty using nature! Use leaves, pinecones, acorns, and rocks as your paintbrush.
  7. Attend a fall festival or local fair. Look for new festivals in neighboring towns so you are sure not to miss out on the fall festivities!
  8. Check the weather for a nice clear, chilly night. Build a backyard bonfire and warm up together. Grab some homemade quilts and roast some s’mores. Don’t forget to be prepared with some ghost stories!
  9. Cold weather got you down? Have an indoor family game night! We suggest the Exit Games and the Jungle Party Memory Game or go old school and play Connect 4, Twister, Sorry!, and Trouble.
  10. Celebrate National Johnny Appleseed Day on September 26th by visiting an apple orchard.
  11. Make some DIY fall décor such as a leave garland and an autumnal wreath.
  12. Nothing beats the smells and sights of going on a classic hayride.
  13. Celebrate the autumnal season by baking some pie! With apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, pumpkin, sweet potato, and more, you are sure to find something to excite everyone’s taste buds.
  14. Take your child to a family-friendly tailgate. There is something special about the camaraderie and excitement of eating food and playing yard games outside on game day.shutterstock_375843820.jpg
  15. Create an autumn looking jar. Take a clear mason jar or vase and fill to the top with little items that are the sights and smells of fall. You can use leaves, acorns, cinnamon sticks, pinecones, and even mini pumpkins and squish to fill the jar.. Makes for a gorgeous dinner table centerpiece!
  16. Make Fall Slime (see instructions here) or apple slime (see instructions here).
  17. Cook up some homemade soup or chili to warm up a cold night.
  18. Clean out your closets! The change of the season gives the perfect excuse to go out with the old and in with the new!
  19. Visit a museum. Be sure to check for special fall festivities.
  20. Celebrate National Taco Day on October 4th.
  21. Create beautiful décor that will last the season by painting a pumpkin instead of carving one. You can even add glitter!
  22. Go leaf looking. Be sure to check to see when the peak leaf color time is in your area and then go take a nature walk.
  23. Get outside. Although the weather may be chillier, fall is a great time to fight off the soon-to-be winter cabin fever. Have some glowy fun with the NightZone™ Sports Pack or play catch with the unique Djubi® Game.
  24. Make gorgeous leaf lanterns (see instructions here).
  25. Relax and prioritize. The upcoming holidays can be a stressful time. Remember who and what is important to you and simply cherish the autumn moments.

No matter what you choose to do, be sure to take advantage of this exciting season and spend some quality time making precious memories with

Toys that Make Coding Fun!

8 Sep

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Coding is not just for engineering students anymore! Because technology plays such a fundamental role in our everyday life, programming has become a useful, almost essential, skill to have. With coding being often referred to as the “new literacy”, programming has become more common in school curriculum. Coding doesn’t have to be a complex and confusing subject. It can be a fun game that challenges your child’s critical thinking skills and encourages problem solving. Explore these three fun products that makes coding approachable and enjoyable, giving your child a leg up on learning this valuable skill.

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Think & Learn Code-a-pillar™

Perfect for little learners 3 years and up, the Think and Learn Code-a-pillar will wiggle its way across your floor, following your child’s programmed commands. Includes eight segments that direct the Code-a-pillar to move and turn in different directions. Practice sequencing and problem solving skills by connecting segments of the Code-a-pillar to make it move to the destination target you selected. The Code-a-pillar’s lights and sounds with every wiggle are sure to delight your child as they code!

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Ozobot Starter Pack

Meet Ozobot, a tiny robot with lots knowledge! The Ozobot uses optical sensors to read and then follow your child’s color code sequences that they have drawn on a piece of paper. With included games, brainteasers, and reusable coding stickers, Ozobot is sure to provide hours of STEM play. Your child can even give their Ozobot personality with included decor stickers!

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Primo™ Cubetto Children’s Programmable Robot Playset

Cubetto is an adorable wooden robot that your child can program and guide to lead Cubetto on adventures across the world map. As simple as placing coding blocks on an interface board! Don’t worry about your child become bored with coding, once they have mastered the world map, they can send their Cubetto on even more exciting and complicated adventures with additional maps and coding blocks sets! Cubetto combines the fun of a wooden robot’s adventures with a tangible coding learning activity!

With the use of fun, technology based toys such as these, you can make coding an accessible and engaging subject for your child. Giving them fundamental knowledge to help them excel at school and future possible career paths.

5 Toys for Exploring Music at Home

1 Sep

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It is no secret that music is important to the development of your child. From helping with vocabulary to promoting exercise, music provides a great opportunity for learning while being a fun outlet for your child’s expressions. Whether your child likes to create the musical notes themselves, provide the words to the music, or they simply like to sing-a-along and dance to silly songs in the car, music is an avenue for learning discoveries and should be freely explored both in school and at home. See our five picks for products perfect for letting your little one discover aspects of musical delight in your home.

Magic Moves® Talking Electronic Wand

With a twinkling light show and a variety of musical styles, this wand is sure to provide hours of magical, musical fun! The wand speaks a large variety of commands to keep your child movin’ and groovin’! Great for working on your child’s listening skills and getting out their wiggles with the wand’s active instructions.

Vibrant Blue Guitar

 This guitar is fantastic for budding musicians! The perfect size for little hands, this fun blue guitar allows child to learn on a real working instrument. Give your little rock star the means to put on a jammin’ concert of their own!

Rock And Roll It! Flexible Roll-up Piano

 The flexibility of this piano is perfect for music exploration on-the-go! Whether your child is at the kitchen table, their sibling’s basketball practice, or in the backseat of your car, this battery-powered piano still makes a tune. Includes a headphone option, so your child can work on their masterpieces without disturbing others.

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Rock And Roll It! Flexible Roll-up Drum Kit

Similar to the roll-up piano, this drum kit is designed for music making on the go! With its multiple instrumental tracks, your child will be strumming along in no time! This drum kit includes pedals for a bass drum and a record and playback feature so that your child can re-listen to their musical handy work.

Rainbow Learning Xylophone

Your child can build their own Xylphone piece by piece, and then they can create beautiful jingles with its unique tunes. Work on color and number recognition while creating fun music with the 8 different notes. This brightly colored instrument is sure to be a new favorite toy in their toy box.

Whether your child choses to work to learn a song or simply freestyle some original music, these toys are sure to provide hours of musical (and educational) enjoyment.

 

The Benefits of Plushy Friends

25 Aug

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Just about every child owns some type of a stuffed, furry companion. From classic teddy bears to exotic animals dressed up in sneakers and bowties, plush toys have been an essential part of children’s play for decades. Explore why stuff animals are important for your child to own and see our suggestions for some new snuggle buddies to add to your little one’s toy collection.

Comfort

Plush toys provide a huggable friend that is always there for your child. Whether they are happy, sleepy, scared, or sad, stuffed animals allow children of all ages to learn self-regulation skills. Huggers Plush Sloth, Wolf, and Panda provide snuggly, friendly hugs, anytime. You simply spread their arms open wide, give a little squeeze, and their arms instantly wrap to give you a hug. Whether your toddler is seeking comfort at bedtime or your preschooler is hugging their soft friend after scraping their knee, it is amazing what a simple hug or cuddle can do for your child’s mood.

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Imaginative Play

Perfect companions for pretend play, stuff animals are great for encouraging your child to engage with his or her imagination. Stuffed animals can bring to life characters from your child’s favorite movies and books extending their stories into bedroom and backyard playtime! The Watermelon Seed with Kroc Set is the perfect example of pairing literacy learning with a fun character plushy. Have the Kroc take a bite of watermelon with every page turn! From tea parties to backyard safaris, stuffed animals are the perfect playtime sidekicks.

Exploration

Children of all ages use toys to discover how the world around them works. Younger children use soft toys to explore their own senses by chewing, touching, crunching, and squeezing their cuddly friends. Older children collect unique animals on zoo trips and museums visits, learning about their behaviors and habits along the way. The Baberoo Sea Turtle Plush provides both soft cuddles and education about endangered species. These furry friends do more than just take up space in your child’s toy bin, they are a reliable, educational playmate!

Stuffed animals are an important part of your child’s playtime, be sure to invest in quality, plushy friends to spark discovery and imaginative exploration in your child!

3 Delightful After-School Snacks

18 Aug

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The hustle and bustle of school starting can be overwhelming. With mile long shopping lists to check off, lunches to pack, and fresh, new outfits to pick out, providing healthy snacks is often low on the priority list. No worries, we gathered 3 easy after-school snack ideas to provide your little ones with yummy refuel after their long day of learning. Perhaps enlist their help in the kitchen for some special weekday bonding.

Peanut Butter Playdough

Fun to play with and good to eat!

You will need:

1 cup of peanut butter

1 cup honey or corn syrup

1 cup of powdered milk

1 cup of oatmeal

Coconut or powdered sugar (optional)

Large bowl

Measuring cup

Mixing spoon

Step 1. Help your child measure 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of honey, 1 cup powdered milk, and 1 cup of oatmeal.

Step 2. Once the ingredients are measured, help your child combine them in a large bowl. As they work with the ingredients, talk about how they are changing as they mix them. This is hard work!

Step 3. Once the mixture is dough-like, they can spoon out some of the play dough and mix it using their hands and fingers. Ask them if it is sticky. If the answer is yes, add small amounts of oatmeal and powdered milk.

Step 4. Encourage your child to explore this edible play dough. If desired, your child can make “snowballs” by rolling a rounded ball of dough in coconut or powered sugar.

Step 5. As they play with the play dough, remind them that it is okay to eat it as well!

Source: The Budding Chef – Paperback 

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Yogurt Grape Treats

A refreshing snack for hot afternoons!

You will need:

Grapes

Yogurt of Choice

Toothpicks

Bowl

Baking sheet

Step 1. Destem and wash your grapes then stick toothpicks inside each one. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until fully frozen (should take a couple of hours).

Step 2. Once your grapes are fully frozen, dip the grapes in your favorite yogurt. Then place them back on the baking sheet.

Step 3. To add toppings, do it soon after you have dipped the grapes in the yogurt.  The yogurt will freeze pretty fast because the grapes are frozen. Some toppings we suggest are coconut, honey, dark chocolate, and caramel. Place them in a container in the freezer to store, or serve them to your little ones.

Source: Natalie Monson- Super Healthy Kids

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Rainbow Fish Fruit Snack

Read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister with your child, and then share in making this delicious snack.

You will need:

Banana Slices

Blueberries

Dessert Shells (Found near the fruit in the produce section of most grocery stores)

Green grapes

Orange sections

Pieces of cantaloupe

Strawberries

Toothpicks (3)

Step 1. Invite your child to put three to five pieces of fruit on each toothpick. Arrange the toothpicks in a triangle shape to create the fish tail.

Step 2. Place the dessert shell near one triangle point to create a fish body.

Step 3. Use the rest of the fruit to fill up the dessert shell, and you’ve got a rainbow fish that’s tasty enough to eat.

Source: The Budding Chef – Paperback

Whether you choose to prepare these delicious snacks before they arrive home or have them help you whip up the recipe, these snacks are sure to please little one’s tummies!