Tag Archives: family

Great Books for Cozy Nights In

19 Jan

shutterstock_283917500.jpg

Grab a good book, bundle up, and get ready for a cozy night in! When the cover of a book is opened, the imagination is unleashed to capture the wonders written inside. Books are a valuable source that enriches the lives of children all with the turn of the page. We chose some definite must-reads for kids they will love and want to read again and again!

  • Bedtime is a great opportunity for kids to settle down with a good book! Snuggle up and read along to Good Night Owl. Your child can enjoy the story of this adorable owl as he gets ready for bed just like them. Another great story for bedtime reading is Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. The book tells the story of hardworking trucks as it’s time to say goodnight after finishing a long day of work so they will be ready to go for another day of rough and tough construction play. This book can definitely relate to kids as they wind down from a fun day of play and get rested up for the next day.
  • During those cozy nights in, kids can bridge the gap between reality and fantasy with a book that captures their imagination! Young readers can improve their literacy skills with some great easy-to-read chapter books including: Cam Jansen, Judy Moody, Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. These titles are also featured in book series so kids can continue enjoying what these amazing stories have to offer. Your child can chose from many different genres like mystery, humor, fairytales, adventure, and much more.
  • Infants and toddlers can discover the exciting concept of reading that is made just for them! Spend quality time with your little one by introducing them to plush, cloth books. These books are great for touch-and-feel sensory play. Some fun plush books include Taggies™ Buddy Dog Cloth Book, The Wonderful World of Peek-a-Boo Cloth Book, and What Should I Wear Cloth Book. These are great books for infants and toddlers as they can learn to use their imagination and begin to love reading.

Toys for Indoor Winter Play

11 Jan

shutterstock_526708507

Brrrr! A cold winter day calls for fun indoor play! There is no limit to how much fun kids can have inside without having to brace the cold, frigid weather outdoors. Put down that heavy winter coat and check out these toys that are great for indoor winter play!

  • Bring joy to your child with a new plush and cuddly friend! The 14” Limited Edition Piccoli Classic Horse makes the perfect companion for your little one. This cuddly horse provides kids a reason to get up and moving. Just pair their special horse with the Free Piccoli Zoo App, find out its name by registering its unique code online, and jump into a variety of interactive activities made just for them. On those cold winter days, kids can get active using the app and show off how much they learn. When kids are not participating in dynamic play, they can bundle up with a cozy blanket and stay warm with their loveable Piccoli Horse.
  • Kids can grab their smart device and engage in exciting video game play! Bloxels® Build Your Own Video Game – Star Wars™ is great for older kids to express their creativity and enjoy playing a video game they created themselves using their imagination. Arrange the Bloxels cubes on the galactic game board to build Star Wars™ characters, special items, or landscapes. Bring the custom video game to life by downloading the compatible app on smart devices. How does it work? The application picks up on the different Bloxels cubes and imports your design so you can animate it or put it together with other designs you have imported. Turn screen time into an educational opportunity with hours of fun creating a custom video game.
  • Playing sports and outdoor activities is an exciting part of the summer season but during the winter, you can bring those sports and activities inside! Mini golf is a fun kid-friendly activity but venturing out to play may be a no go during the wintertime so why not build your very own mini-golf course right in your home with the Noochie Golf™ Mini Golf Set. The course features a green, obstacle, dogleg, fairway piece, putter and two game balls. Course track pieces are easy to put together so kids can arrange the layout of the course however they wish and create different challenges as they play. When winter time boredom kicks in, your child can set up their course and try to score a hole in one.
  • Encourage your little one to engage in hands-on learning and imaginative pretend play to keep them busy while having so much fun! Your child can build their own vehicles and watch them come to life with the Little Tikes® Construct n’ Learn Smart Workbench™. This workbench features interactive power tools with realistic sound effects and different accessories that help construct three different vehicles. Learn to build the vehicles step-by-step by simply downloading the Construct n’ Learn app that connects to your tablet via Bluetooth®. This is a great indoor activity to teach kids how to build their own vehicle toy while having lots of fun.

If your child is combating winter time boredom, check out our previous blog post for more ideas of different activities your child can do indoors or outdoors to make the this winter season even more fun and exciting!

25 Fun Family Activities for Fall

15 Sep

shutterstock_317635484.jpg

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

3 Delightful After-School Snacks

18 Aug

shutterstock_63699763.jpg

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 

shutterstock_179800289.jpg

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

20961226_10213463737886207_1204799885_o.jpg

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!

4 Pretend Play Ideas for Rainy Days

11 Aug

shutterstock_472298350.jpg

Rainy days can be boring for children, and keeping them occupied when it’s raining can be a challenge. However, indoor pretend play is a great way to keep your child engaged on gloomy days. Pretend play is important to a child’s development because it promotes social and emotional, language, and thinking skills, while also encouraging imaginative thinking. Since pretend play is so influential, we have come up with four pretend play ideas for rainy days.

1.Vet Clinic

Encourage your child to open a pretend vet clinic on rainy days. Your youngster can get into character by putting on our veterinarian dress-up outfit, and he or she can help Minilina nurse her animals back to health with the Nici® Wonderland Doll: Veterinarian Set. Pretending to be a vet will keep your child busy and engaged on rainy days.

2. Café

Your child can also set up a pretend café in your home on rainy days. From cooking to serving, your little one will have a blast! Encourage your child to make pasta with the Prepare & Serve Pasta Set. Next, he or she will definitely need to make a pretend salad to go with the pasta. Then, once the food is ready, have your little one put on the Server Dress Up Set and serve the play food to his or her customers.

shutterstock_639705781

3. Puppet Show

Another pretend play idea that is perfect for a rainy day is a puppet show. Encourage your child to set up our Tabletop Puppet Theatre and put on a magnificent show with the Playful Pets Hand Puppets. Either watch your little one’s production in amazement or participate in the show on the next rainy day.

4. Indoor Campout

If the rain is getting in the way of camping outside, just have an indoor campout with your youngster! Set up an indoor tent and let the indoor camping adventures begin. The Pretend & Play™ Camp Set is a must-have for indoor camping. Your child will love pretending to light a path, cook food, follow directions, and more. Camping indoors is the perfect way to spend a rainy day.

What pretend play activities do you and your child like to do on rainy days? Let us know by commenting below!

5 Ways to Make Back to School Cool

4 Aug

shutterstock_151905905.jpg

We are nearing the end of summer, and the start of a new school year is just around the corner. Back-to-school thoughts can be filled with anxiety for many children, so we have come up with a list of ways to combat back-to-school jitters. Here are five ways to make back to school cool at your home.

  1. Allow your child to pick out his or her new backpack for the school year.

 Picking out a new backpack is often an exciting time for children. Choosing a backpack with a cool design or their favorite character, such as this Pete the Cat® Backpack & Lunchbag set, is sure to get the school year off to a great start. Additional fun backpack sets include the hedgehog backpack set and the Backyard Friends™ Backpack Set. Your little one will love picking out a new backpack for the upcoming school year!

  1. Make school supply shopping fun!

Get your child in the school spirit by making school shopping enjoyable. Allowing your child to pick supplies that he or she is excited about using this year is a must. LEGO® school supplies, for example, will definitely make back to school cool. Your child will love writing in the LEGO® Journal with LEGO® Markers and measuring with the LEGO® Buildable Ruler!

  1. Host a back-to-school party!

Hosting a back-to-school party for your child and his or her friends is sure to make back to school cool! Order pizza, and let the kids play together. You can even set up a faux dessert table with school supplies (instead of cakes and pies) for each child to take a use this school year. Getting your child excited about school with fun festivities is a must this year!

Source: http://www.allkindsofthingsblog.com/2014/08/back-to-school-parties.html

shutterstock_280369544.jpg

  1. Plan family time in the midst of back-to-school madness.

When school starts back, things around the house can get chaotic. From homework to extracurricular activities, everyone is kept busy during the school year. Unfortunately, oftentimes family time can get lost in the mix. Make sure to plan much-needed family time during the madness this school year. We suggest playing games as a family such as classic board games, Scrabble® Boggle® Game, and 5 Second Rule®. Enjoy making memories with your family this school year!

  1. Switch up packed lunches for your children.

 Make lunchtime interesting by changing up the daily sandwich to something more fun. Check out these Sandwichless Lunch Ideas for inspiration on what to pack in your youngster’s lunch box. Your child will love the surprise of finding out what he or she has to eat for lunch! Additionally, consider including a note in your child’s lunch to brighten his or her day.

Getting your child excited about back-to-school activities and routines is a must for kicking off a successful school year. We hope these five fun ideas will make back to school cool for you and yours!

How do you plan to make back to school cool for your kids this year? Share your ideas by commenting below!

6 Activities to Help You End Summer with a Bang

28 Jul

shutterstock_400438621.jpg

Summer is winding down and the school year will soon start, which means there will be less time for adventurous activities. Keep the energy up and make the last few weeks of summer with your little one the best yet! Here are six activities that will end your summer with a bang.

1. Mini Golf Tournament

Bring mini golf right to your home with the Noochie Golf™ Mini-Golf Set. Encourage your child to invite friends over for a tournament and see who the ultimate mini golfer of the group is. Mini golf is perfect “fore” enjoying the last few weeks of summer with friends.

2. Stargaze Indoors

The Galaxy 6′ Mesh Tunnel makes stargazing indoors possible! In the tunnel, your child will find stunning glow-in-the-dark galaxy patterns. Your youngster will love studying the stars for hours this summer. You can even allow your little one to stay up a little past bedtime to stargaze in complete darkness as an end-of-summer treat.

3. Spontaneous Day Trip to the Beach

Everyone loves a spontaneous beach trip! Waking your children up and telling them to get their bathing suits on and pack a beach bag is sure to get them excited. Make sure to take the Aqua Glow LED Beach Ball for the ultimate experience. With the tips from our “Backseat Road Trip Fun” blog post, even the car ride will be a blast. Have fun on your day beach trip!

shutterstock_348633260.jpg

4. Try New Recipes

New recipes are always fun for little chefs! Encourage your child to get in the kitchen and learn to cook this summer. The Toddler Cookbook has easy recipes that incorporate basic math, science, and language skills. With your help, your youngster will have a ball whipping up dinner for the family.

5. Relax at the Pool

Relaxing at the pool is the perfect way to end summer with a bang. Make pool time even more fun with the B4 Adventure Party Wheel. This unique float allows your child to crawl inside the wheel and roll around the pool. Make the most of the end of summer with pool fun!

6. Chalk Bomb Fight

Have a colorful chalk fight with chalk bombs! Each ball is filled with chalk powder that explodes when the ball makes contact with a solid surface. The best part is, chalk bombs can be thrown several times before they run out of powder. Encourage your child to invite friends over and get messy with a chalk bomb fight this summer!

How do you plan to make the most of the last few weeks of summer with your child? Share your ideas by commenting below!