May 23rd, 2013
The summer can mean hot days. Here are two ideas for water art for kids to keep them cool on a warm day.
1. Pick up some inexpensive paint brushes, rollers, sponges at a discount store. Then on a sunny day, fill a bucket with water, and let the kids ‘paint’ the sidewalk, driveway or patio. The water turns the hard surface into a darker color and is a easy, and clean way, to paint. After a period of time, the water dries and kids can start a whole new creation using the variety of ‘brushes’ to prepare their masterpiece!
2. Take some empty water bottles and fill them with two-thirds water. Kids can help! In a separate container, take some cooking oil and add blue or green food dye. Once a good color, add one-third of the color dyed cooking oil to each water bottle so that each water bottle will now be filled to the top with the oil sitting on top of the water. Make sure to secure the water bottle cap tightly! Then have the kids turn the water bottles on their side and rock them back and forth to see waves!
For beach craft ideas for kids, click here!
Charlene is a blogger at CharleneChronicles.com and is a second-time member on the Toy Insider Parent Panel.
May 9th, 2013
In celebration of Monsters University, Fisher-Price presents the Imaginext University Row Playset, making it easy to bring home the fun and excitement of chasing Archie the scare pig through the quad. The set comes with electronics featuring character voices, Archie’s sounds, and two figure disks.
The first disk on the bottom floor spins the floor so kids can have the monsters chase Archie in circles. The second disk activates a catapult to throw Archie across the set, through a trap door, and into his cage.
The University Row Playset will be available on June 21.
May 9th, 2013
Kids can roll, pop, and scare with the Roll-A-Scare Monsters Assortment, from Spin Master. Each Roll-A-Scare figure is uniquely stylized and has a surprise pop-up activation. Inside each pack kids will discover a student ID card that springs the monster open. With 12 characters to collect in total, kids ages 3 and up can recreate their favorite scenes from Monsters University.
Kids can also kick playtime up a notch with the Roll-A-Scare Toxic Race Playset. Kids can play solo or with a friend by racing two Roll-A-Scare characters down the track. Watch out for Sea Urchins, or they’ll stop the character right in its tracks. The first player to cross the finish line and watch the character spring open wins the Scare Games. Each Roll-A-Scare Playset comes with an exclusive Sulley figure.
Also from Spin Master are the My Scare Pal Sulley plush, Scare Off Sulley plush, and the Sulley Monster Mask.
May 1st, 2013
Building blocks can bring out a host of creative play in children. Babies like knocking them over, toddlers like stacking them and older children like to build structures. While castles and towers are fun things to build with your kids, think about building everyday places too, to help kids relate and role-play. Do you go to Home Depot every weekend? Build that. Do you go to Whole Foods? Build that. We even take an old piece of cardboard and draw various lines for the parking lots. For the cars to park before they go shopping, of course.
Speaking of cars, my son loves them. So much so, that I have to be creative in getting him to play with blocks by tying it into his love of cars. So when we play with our Mega Bloks, the type of blocks we currently own, we build parking garages with them. Or bridges. Or tunnels. But one day, I decided to help my son build a drive-thru. A Starbucks drive-thru.
It was not a fancy drive-thru set up, but our Starbucks was a popular one because soon there was a line of cars with Peppa Pig as the Barista.
Soon the Starbucks became very popular and the line was down the street, and we were having a lot of fun.
Charlene is a blogger at CharleneChronicles.com and is on the 2013 Toy Insider Parent Panel
April 19th, 2013
Air Hogs, announced the exclusive toy sponsorship of the Fort Lauderdale Air Show, April 20 to 21. The legendary Jason Newburg, who will be performing in the show, will pilot a full-sized version of the Air Hogs Sky Stunt R/C plane. After watching Jason and his tumultuous performance, guests will be able to meet the pilot himself at the Air Hogs Flight School Tent, where he’ll be stopping by for interviews, autographs, and photo opportunities on Saturday, April 20 from 3 to 4 p.m.
Visitors will be able to test out their own piloting skills in the Air Hogs Flight School where they can earn their own official Air Hogs Helicopter pilot wings with never-before-seen helicopters before they hit store shelves. Additionally, fans will be able to enter a draw to take home the entire Air Hogs product line to bring the fun and excitement of Air Hogs to their own backyard.
The 2013 Lauderdale Air Show will feature a diverse line up of military aircraft demonstrations, low altitude flyovers, parachute team jumps, civilian aerobatic performances that will soar over the oceanfront in Fort Lauderdale Beach. The Air Hogs tent is located at Sunrise Blvd and A1A and is open Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Jason will be performing in the Lauderdale Air Show, piloting the Air Hogs Sky Stunt plane, throughout the weekend.
April 19th, 2013
For the first time, the Hasbro, Inc. Transformers brand is inviting fans of all ages worldwide to help create a new Transformers character that will be forever added to the Transformers world. In anticipation of the brand’s 30th anniversary next year, the “Fan Built Bot” Poll kicks off today, and will run through May 5 on Transformers.com/vote. Hasbro invites fans to vote daily to shape this new Transformers character. The new character will be made into an action figure featured in the “Thrilling 30” line of toys to celebrate the anniversary.
Votes will determine everything from being an Autobot or Decepticon to its vehicle or other mode, color, and personality. Also, to keep with the theme of the fans being the ones who really shape and create this new Transformers character, Hasbro will also give fans a say in the naming of the new character. More details on the naming will be announced soon.
The results of the poll will be announced by Hasbro at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, as part of the official kick-off to Hasbro’s Transformers “Thrilling 30” anniversary celebration. Kids and fans will be able to purchase the “Fan Built Bot” character as a toy and will see the new character appear in official Transformers comic books.
For further information visit the official polling page at Transformers.com/vote as well as the Transformers Facebook page at Facebook.com/Transformers.
April 18th, 2013
The Toy Insider and the Big Toy Book are excited to be working with two particular bloggers as part of its 2013 Toy Insider Parent Advisory Panel. These two women are respected in the blogging community and in their parenting communities, and they love toys! We are confident that together these Moms will provide a keen insight into how parents today define “cool toys”, will share fun ways of play and what to look for when shopping for everything from baby gear to teen toys.
They will be posting on the Toy Insider Blog and the Big Toy Book blog every month and you can find them throughout the year working on a variety of events, reviewing toys, and more!
April 16th, 2013
If you have had a baby or have had friends or friends with babies, you know that baby gear can take up a big part of a baby budget. Plus, babies grow fast and their baby gear often doesn’t grow with them, making a yard sale necessary every few months. As a Toy Insider Parent Panel member and a Mom, I feel like I’m always on the quest for baby gear grow well beyond the first few months of the life of my baby.
So I wanted to share one item that I think does a great job of being multi-functional and multi-directional. It is called the Soothe ‘N Groove Mobile from TinyLove.
When your baby is young, the Soothe ‘N Groove is a great automated mobile with various sounds and lights. Whether it is peppy music, a lullaby or the sound of water, you have sound options and volume control to go with it. You are also able to turn the lights on and off, you can have the music playing, but have the mobile off, and more. There are many ways to customize to fit the needs (and demands) of your baby.
Once your baby is able to sit up, the mobile needs to be put away so your baby doesn’t grab it and injure him or herself. Yet, this is where this TinyLove product shows its longevity. You can take the mobile off with a click of a button, and have the music device still attached to the crib, extending the longevity of the product. The longevity goes even further when you remove the music unit from the crib altogether. It then becomes a fun, portable, musical piece, with a handle, for a toddler.
While every family is different, you can easily use this to soothe and groove with your baby turned toddler for two years or more. As a result, it is one my baby gear favorites!
Posted by Charlene DeLoach from CharleneChronicles.com and the 2013 Toy Insider Parent Panel Member
April 10th, 2013
Skylanders Giants Happy Meals arrive at McDonald’s restaurants! Activision Publishing, Inc. launches the company’s first-ever partnership with McDonald’s USA LLC. In North America, the inaugural Skylanders Giants Happy Meal program will run from April 12 to May 2, while supplies last, and will rollout in other select countries later this year.
Participating McDonald’s restaurants across the United States and Canada will offer customers who purchase a Happy Meal one of nine unique toys from Skylanders Giants, each with their own play feature, as well as a coupon for $10 off the Skylanders Giants starter pack. The upcoming Happy Meal program includes figurines inspired by such fan-favorite Skylanders Giants characters as Spyro, Gill Grunt, Drobot, Chop Chop, Ignitor, Jet-Vac, Tree Rex, Crusher – and the diabolically likable nemesis Kaos, from the video game and action figure toy line that pioneered bringing toys to life.
To maximize awareness, McDonald’s will support the three-week promotion with a fully-integrated marketing campaign that includes branded television advertising, in-restaurant merchandising, custom packaging, and an online web and social media presence.
Will your kids be checking out these Skylanders toys in their next Happy Meal? Let us know what you think!