Tag Archives: winter

Great Books for Cozy Nights In

19 Jan

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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

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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!

Guide to Curing Winter Break Boredom

22 Dec

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Combat winter time blues with this helpful guide to cure winter break boredom! If your child has nothing to do when school is not in session or even snow days, check out these boredom busters to bring excitement and entertainment on those cold winter days!

Winter wonderland snow fun!

Winter time can call for a beautiful, snowy wonderland (depending on the climate) so grab your coat and snow boots. There are so many fun activities to do on a snow day! Build a snowman, create snow angels, or have a snowball fight. The possibilities are endless! Create snow at any time, in any climate with the Super Snow Bucket. For even more snowy fun, create your own colorful rainbow snow with Gelli Snow: Magical Rainbow Snow Powder. After a fun time out in the snow, get back inside and bundle up with some hot coco!

Open the door to imagination with pretend play!

Encourage your child to engage in interactive pretend play. Your child can open their own pretend restaurant or store, go on adventures, become their favorite characters, role play in various careers, venture to their play house, build a blanket fort, and more. They can even come to the rescue and become a little hero with the Fire Chief Truck Playhouse & Dress Up Set.

Playtime will be “oozing” with gooey fun!

Slime has definitely made its mark on 2017 and it is sure to be entertaining way to combat winter time boredom. Kids can be as creative as they wish when it comes to slime. Create fluffy slime, galaxy slime, oozing slime, or anything you wish. If you decide to jump on the slime trend, Gelli Baff and Ooze Baff slime and gelli are great slime kits for endless fun and excitement. You can even turn your bath water into slime or gelli!

Bring the magic of summer nights indoors!

Winter nights are shorter and can be too cold for long periods of outdoor active play compared to the summer season. Why not bring the warm atmosphere, magical fireflies, and the glowing moon of the summer season inside? The Glow N’ The Dark Firefly House Tent makes a great space for kids during pretend play, story time, and more! Your child can even make their own DIY Mason Jar Fairy Lights to get that summertime feel. Grab a mason jar and glow-in-the-dark paint. Then paint small dots along the inside of the mason and let dry.

Source: DIY Joy

Let your child’s creativity shine!

During those boring winter days, spark the creativeness in your child. Kids can color, paint, create play dough masterpieces, and much more! Grab some art supplies or arts and craft kits and let the creativity run wild! Your child can create winter themed do-it-yourself projects or anything they want.

It’s game time!

There are so many indoor games and activities that are perfect for getting your child active and entertained during a cold winter day. An idea is to simply blow up a balloon and kids can play a variety of games like balloon balance, balloon paddle ball, balloon volleyball, balloon hockey, and more. You can even challenge your child to the Obstacle Maze by taping crepe paper or streamers to the walls of a hallway. Be sure to tape the streamers in different angles and height levels so your child can navigate through the course by stepping over or crawling without touching the paper. There are so many options when it comes to games! Choose a fun board game, card game, or come up with your own game. There is no limit to the possibilities! Get the family involved for an enjoyable time!

Source: What Moms Love

Creating Cozy Nooks to Encourage Reading

23 Feb

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We all know that warm and cozy feeling of curling up with a good book. When the environment is just as enjoyable as the words on the page, reading becomes less of a task and more of a relaxing entertainment medium. Encourage your kids to read more by creating a perfect reading nook at home. Use our tips to create their very own secluded place to read, play, dream, and grow.

Seating. Decide what type of seating is best for your child’s temperament. Do they like to curl up and get comfortable? Get them their own big comfy chair or create a fort of pillows. Do they tend to move more and hate sitting still? Consider a more flexible seating option that allows for both movement and focus. There are many different learning styles and adjusting to them is an easy way to ensure development and progress.

Fuzzy Friends. Fill the reading area with some of your child’s favorite friends or new stuffed animals and encourage them to read aloud to them. Tell them that they’re the teacher, reading a story time book to their “class.” This creates a more engaged experience that will help children learn while enjoying the developmental process.

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A Mini Library. It doesn’t need to be a huge selection; even just a few choices will prevent kids from getting bored easily and will encourage more reading time. You can use a small bookshelf or even stack some storage bins on their sides to create a makeshift shelf. Of course, every reading nook needs books! Children often fly through their favorites, check out library sales and garage sales for new books or ask neighbors and friends if they have any books they’d be willing to part with. And be sure to check out all of the books that Kaplan Toys has to offer.

A Spot For You! Reading together is great family time, so be sure to make some space for you to join your child as they engage with their favorite books. A few minutes can create memories that are sure to last a lifetime. You have the power to make reading a lifelong love, so make some time to read with your little ones!

The perfect reading nook doesn’t have to be Pinterest-perfect or extravagant. Simply creating a space that’s perfect for your little bookworm will help them foster a love of reading that’s sure to continue throughout their lives. For more items to create the perfect reading nook, head to www.kaplantoys.com.

Ways to Celebrate President’s Day at Home

16 Feb

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When it comes to favorite holidays, President’s Day may not get a lot of attention, but it can be a great way to have some educational fun with your little ones. Because February hosts Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s birthdays, a federal holiday was declared in 1971 to not only celebrate these two great leaders but also to commemorate all American Presidents jointly. Let’s get patriotic and excited for a day full of fun and learning opportunities!

Get Educational

This holiday is a great opportunity to teach young children about who the president is, as well as talk about two popular presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. For children 4 years and up, we suggest getting comfortable and reading Greatest U.S. Presidents. This book examines the lives of 4 presidents in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Don’t forget to also share some fun facts about First Ladies and their achievements. Maybe your little one will find a new hero!

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President for a Day

Let your child become president of the house for the day. They can wear a cool hat like Lincoln and offer up suggestions for dinner, a family game night or an evening movie. Don’t forget that the President doesn’t make all the decisions alone; the rest of the family has to vote or agree on it first!

Patriotic Crafts

President’s Day is a great opportunity to introduce American history in a unique way, so consider making Lincoln’s Hat Cookies or even playing President-themed games like President Coin Sorting. President’s Day is also the perfect opportunity to revisit some of your favorite patriotic-inspired crafts like popsicle flag sticks

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Jam Out

There are dozens of patriotic songs that have been written through the ages, so share some of your favorites with the kiddos. Some old 40’s and 50’s tunes are super fun to have a dance party to, as well as more contemporary jams! We recommend “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters, “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus, and “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde.

Stay Encouraging

Remind your children that they can shoot for the stars and that if they want to be president some day then they can. After all, every president was once a young kid, just like them!

America’s been around for 241 years. That’s a lot of history (45 presidents worth)! So introduce your children to the basics of the nation they live in while having fun and getting creative.

Making Valentine’s Day a Delight

10 Feb

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Valentine’s Day is traditionally about romantic love, but celebrating familial love is always way more fun! Keep on reading for fun and simple V-Day activities that you can do with the whole family.

Make a Valentines Mail Box

Turn an old shoebox into a mailbox just for love notes. Cut a small rectangle in the lid, and then have kids use markers, glitter, stickers, etc. to decorate their mailbox. Place the box outside of their bedroom door just like a real mailbox and drop off little love notes every now and then. Encourage them to leave valentines for their siblings or for friends.

Make A Lovable Craft

There are dozens of simple and fun Valentine’s Day crafts out there on the internet to do with your little ones, but we recommend this adorable V-Day mouse! Whichever craft you choose, spending time getting creative with your little valentines is sure to be a good time!

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Make some V-Day Goodies

Baked goods are a staple during Valentine’s Day, so bake some simple sugar cookies and let the kids decorate them with icing and sprinkles. Or opt for a slightly healthier option and top strawberries with whipped cream or dip apple slices in caramel or chocolate spread. Get creative and cut foods into hearts!

Have a Valentine’s Story Time

After dinner on Valentine’s Day, gather the family and snuggle up on the couch with a good Valentine’s Day themed book, like Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool. Some quality family time is a great way to end the day!

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Valentine’s Day isn’t just about candy and roses. It’s about sharing the love of those around you, and engaging kids in family activities is the perfect way to do just that! You can even do all of these in the evening, so work doesn’t have to interrupt family time. So take the time to hug your kiddos and spend some quality family time this V-Day!

3 Snacks to Warm Up a Cold Winter’s Day

3 Feb

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With frosty, winter months come nights of cabin fever and children seeking entertainment. Beat those winter blues with 3 quick recipes that your child can help whip up alongside you! Spending a little quality kitchen time with your little one can turn a cold winter’s night into a night full of treats that are sure to create delight and warm deliciousness!

Warm Soft Pretzels

Easy pretzels that are fun to make and delicious to eat!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of sugar

4 cups of flour

1 package of active dry yeast

1 ½ cups of warm water

1 teaspoon of salt

Beaten egg

Kosher salt

Vegetable oil

Tools:

Aluminum foil

Cookie sheet

Measuring cups and spoons

Mixing bowl and spoon

Pastry brush

Wax paper

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What To Do:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425° F (adults only). Grease a cookie sheet with vegetable oil.

Step 2: Help your child combine the yeast, warm water, sugar, salt, and flour into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Step 3: Work with your child to knead the dough.

Step 4: Give your child a piece of wax paper for their workspace. Help them pull off a piece of dough and roll in into a long rope that they can shape into a pretzel.

Step 5: Place the pretzel on a greased cookie sheet, use the pastry brush to brush the pretzel with the beaten egg, and sprinkle it with kosher salt.

Step 6: When the cookie sheet is full, bake the pretzels for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Source: The Budding Chef

Mini Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

Vanilla wafers

Instant vanilla pudding

Milk (for pudding)

Cherry pie filling

Tools:

Cupcake cups (aluminum foil variety preferred)

Old-fashioned hand rotary beaters, not electric (aka Wisk)

Several tablespoons

Plastic sandwich bags

What To Do:

Step 1: Make vanilla instant pudding according to package directions.

Step 2: Let your child help mix the milk and pudding with the hand rotary beaters (not electric).

Step 3: Give your child a cupcake cup (aluminum foil, if possible). Have them place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of the cupcake paper.

Step 4: Let your child put about 2 tablespoons of pudding on top of the cookie and 1-2 tablespoons of cherry pie filling on top of the pudding.

Step: 5 if possible, chill the desserts in a refrigerator for at least ½ hour. Wrapping them in the plastic bags.

Step 6: Eat and Enjoy!

Source: Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities

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Easy Rollers

Create a delectable treat that is easy to make and combines the wonderful tastes of cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg.

Ingredients:

1¼ cups of crushed graham crackers

¼ cup of sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup light corn syrup

Powdered sugar

Tools:

Cookie sheet

Measuring cups and spoons

Mixing bowl and spoon

Wax paper

What To Do:

Step 1: Invite your child to combine crushed graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.

Step 2: Once those ingredients are combined, stir in the peanut butter and corn syrup.

Step 3: Show your child how to form the mixture into 1/2 inch balls.

Step 4: Pour powdered sugar onto wax paper and work with your child to roll the balls in it.

Step 5: Place the balls on a cookie sheet and allow them to chill in the refrigerator.

Source: The Budding Chef