Sneak Peek at the Hottest New Toys for the Holidays

“The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.” – Unknown… I might technically, age-wise, be considered what you call an “adult” – but I definitely don’t consider myself a grown up. No way. Becoming a mom was the best thing that ever happened to me in so many ways – especially because it gave me an excuse to play with toys again :) I seriously love picking out new toys for the playroom – and I’m not sure who has more fun playing with them – me or the kids! So, I was crazy-excited to get an invite last month to visit Sweet Suite ’13 while in Chicago for BlogHer, and get an inside look at all of the coolest new toys arriving on store shelves this holiday season. And of course, I’m here to share that inside peek with you guys too – Keep reading to see some of my favorites…

Skylanders SWAP Force

Ok, you might already know what a big fan I am of Activision… I loved being a part of the Activision Family Game Summit a while back, and love that they create so many great games that are perfect for families to play together. So when I stopped by their booth at Sweet Suite and they showed me their new Skylanders SWAP Force gear coming out soon, I just HAD to try them out on their big screen TV! The boys in my house are huge Skylanders fans – and these are definitely going to be a big hit this fall. I love that they’re a budget-friendly way to buy game characters – just a few of them can mix and match into a ton of cool characters for super cool game play!

My Girl's Dollhouse

My Girl’s Doll house [Read more...]

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Tech Toys that Grow with Your Kids – We Love Ubooly!

“Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event.” – Heidi-Hayes Jacobs, Educational Consultant If you’ve read this site much, you know my opinion on kid’s toys. I’m not often a fan of toys that beep and bloop and flash their lights, that kind of just play on their own, while kids watch. I like toys that really stimulate the senses, that encourage kids to use their imagination and creativity. But at the same time – I’m clearly a lover of tech, {I make my living on these crazy inter-webs} – and appreciate all of the amazing ways technology can help kids learn and grow in amazing ways that didn’t exist when I was a kid. With that background, you’ll understand why I am over-the-top, over-the-moon, over-use-of-silly-phrases in love with the new Ubooly toy and smartphone app for kids. Check it out:

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Unplug Your Kids: Lilliputiens Toys for Sensory Stimulation and Creative Learning

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso… As a blogger, I obviously see the amazing value of the internet – I’m constantly connected to the web on my smartphone, my laptop, my Kindle, my iPod… You get the picture. So I’m definitely OK with my almost 3-year old having some cool tech toys – she adores learning letters on her LeapPad, and the new Ubooly we’ve been playing makes acting out imaginary scenes super fun. But – I do still love toys that really help kids develop their imagination. Toys that are simple – but clever. So many toys these days have a million flashing lights and beeping noises and moving parts – it’s almost like they play themselves, and kids just sorta follow along. So, I’m super excited to share a new toy we recently tried out that I am IN.LOVE.WITH. She’s called Ophelia, she has 4 adorable chicks, and I think you’ll love her too….

Ophelia and her chicks - great unplugged play for kids [Read more...]

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Splishin’ and Splashin’ – It’s Bath Time with Caillou!

Growing up with Caillou… If you’re mom to a toddler, odds are that you are a big fan of Caillou – the little boy who explores, discovers, and shares his adventures in growing up – each day on PBS and the Sprout channel. My little girl absolutely adores him. And, once I took some time to watch the cartoons with her, and saw the great messages and lessons that each episode teaches little ones, I loved it too. So, when I had the chance to check out one of the newest Caillou toys for bath time – Well, I don’t know who was more excited – me, or Abby…. :)

Caillou bath toy [Read more...]

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Do Your Kids Want to Be Race Car Drivers?

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti…. We’re a racing family in here in my house. I have so many great memories of going to the races with my dad at our local speedway when I was a little girl. My uncle drove a race car there for years too. And now, my Mister has been driving race cars there too for years. One of his best friends even got a job recently over in North Carolina, working for some big-time racers. So I was super excited to give Abby a surprise present recently – the Mega Bloks® Whirl ‘n Twirl™ Race Car!! Check it out….

Whirl n Twirl Race Car [Read more...]

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Does Your Kid Really Need a Tablet? – #Tech

Does your kid need a tablet yet?… This is a big question, when even kids as young as 5 are getting cell phones. {20% of them, in a recent study by Norton. Totally blew me away!} And tablets are one of those things that every kid wants, and insists that they need. But for the littlest kiddos – is it truly a great learning tool that’s worth purchasing? Or just another gadget that they’ll break or lose interest in within a few weeks – becoming a big waste of money? Well, let’s look at one of the hottest gadgets of the year for 3-9 year olds, the InnoTab 2S, a new tablet for kids from VTech.

Choosing a tablet for kids [Read more...]

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5 Gifts to Make the Kids Think You’re Cool this Christmas

“He’s making a list, and checking it twice, Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town…” – Yep, it’s that time of year again. Santa’s been watching. He knows what you’ve been up to. Like the slightly stalkerific song says, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been good or bad so be good for goodness sake…” I’m definitely a child at heart, all year round. Having Abby two years ago gave me a great excuse to make too many cookies, buy too many cool toys {that are slightly for me, too}, and put up too many decorations. The holidays totally make me remember what it was like to be a kid – all of that crazy-exciting anticipation for Santa to come, wondering what amazing gifts you’d get. And wondering if all that bad stuff your brothers did all year will catch up with them this year, finally…

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