Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday Sale

LB Toys is offering 20% off everything, through midnight Monday 11/29. Orders over $35 always ship free. Shop now for the very best selection of kid-powered toys. Use coupon code HoHoHo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Best Toys of 2010

It's the time of year for making lists, and LB Toys has selected the following best toys of 2010, focusing on items that engage children and encourage active play. Can they be used in different ways? Will kids use their imaginations?

Drum roll, please...The 2010 Best Toys List:

Busy Bee Discovery Flower by Alex
Why We Love It: Colorful and interactive, each petal is unique , for little hands to explore. Ages 6m+

NooBoo Symphonic Stacker by Manhattan Toy
Why We Love It: Toddlers will keep busy, stacking (great for motor skills and problem solving) and listening to each ring’s unique sound (reinforcing cause-and-effect learning). Ages 2+

Cool Tools Box by International Playthings
Why We Love It: There is so much to do! Kids can sort the shapes, or use the tools to build. The tool box is a full activity station. The power drill makes realistic drilling sounds. Ages 18 months+

Jafaru the Giraffe, Zoobie Pets
Why We Love It: Zoobie Pets are soft, cuddly and versatile - Each pet is a plush toy, a soft pillow and a comfy blanket all in one – great for travel.

Safari Chunky Puzzle by Melissa & Doug
Why We Love It: Beautifully designed, durable wooden puzzle, with easy to grab pieces that also stand up for pretend play. Encourages hand-eye, fine motor, and creative expression skills. Ages 2+

Do-A-Dot Art, by Do-A-Dot
Why We Love It: A fun twist on painting, the Do-A-Dot Art set enables even the littlest artist to create master pieces, with many ages able to enjoy. We also love the very minimal mess! Washable, non-clog formula with sturdy felt tip applicators. Ages 3+

40-Piece Cardboard Bricks by Melissa & Doug
Why We Love Them: These bright, study cardboard blocks offer endless opportunities for open-ended play. Kids can build, balance, and use them with all their other toys. Encourages creativity and builds motor skills, Blocks come in several different sizes. Ages 3+

Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, by Creativity for Kids
Why We Love It: Encourages kids to use their imaginations and create, allowing them to showcase their masterpiece. Illustrated instructions include story starter ideas. Ages 5+

Slooh Workbook Vol#2 w/200 Minute Mission Card
Why We Love It: Teaches kids about space, and enables them to explore, going on educational missions and (this is so cool) use their PC to connect to three observatory site locations and view the heavens LIVE - take pictures, print out, and paste in your book. Ages 7+

Clue Classic Edition by Winning Moves
Why We Love It: It is so much fun! An enduring classic favorite that builds deductive reasoning skills.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Ideas - Crafts, Games, Snacks and More

Planning a halloween party, or just looking for some spooky snacks? We’ve complied some of the best Halloween resources on the Web to help. Happy haunting!





Easy, last minute costume ideas:

Have you found a great idea for Halloween? Share it below!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back-to-School Food For Thought - New Research on Study Habits

A new report on study habits offers suggestions for improving retention - and some of these suggestions look very different from conventional thinking.

Highlights that the study says improves retention:

- Alternating the room where a person studies
- Studying a few distinct topics in a single sitting, rather than focusing on just one
- Reviewing material multiple times on different days

Read more at:

Friday, March 12, 2010

LB Toys Spring Sale

LB Toys is having a spring sale - 10% off your purchase, plus free shipping on orders over $35.  Use coupon code spring10 through 3/14.  Check out outdoor toys (it's almost that time!) plus a great selection of card games and unique small gifts for Easter Baskets.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Best New Toy - Toy Fair 2010

After seeing thousands of toys at the International Toy Fair in New York a few weeks ago, I wanted to share my pick for the "best new toy," a game called Morphology. Love it because it's different, fast, and keeps your mind working.

Four or more players use the various objects provided to build the word indicated on the drawn card. Players might be asked to represent "roller skating" or "swim," for example, and may be given extra challenges based on what pieces they can use or even having to construct with their eyes closed. The goal is to get one's teammates to guess the correct word.

For the age range, they suggest 8 and up, although some 6-7 year olds may also do well. Just released, so makes a great gift. You can purchase here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Should Texting While Parenting Be Banned?

As our use of cell phones, Facebook, IM, and texting has exploded, discussions about the impact on family life have started. I'm personally lost without my Blackberry - and on the upside, it lets me take an afternoon away from the office, attend a school event, and know that there are no work-related issues in progress. It gives me peace of mind and helps me stay in touch. Still, I know there have to be limits and that our natural inclination is to exceed them.

A child psychiatrist, Eitan D. Schwarz MD has written a book, "Kids, Parents, and Technology: An Instruction Manual for Young Families" that describesdevelopments in neuroscience that urge parents to rethink the place of media in their lives: "Be fully present with your children. Ban distracting media from your family time in the car and at home. When distracted online, a phone call, or texting, you may be interupting the vital bond your kids need for healthy wiring of their brains."

Warning that family life and childhood development itself are being weakened by technology use, the book helps parents turn technology into a positive family resource rather than a threat. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study shows that older children are engaged with the media as much as eight hours a day; only 1/3 of families limit media; but even when parents do set rules, media consumption by kids drops by only 1/3. Limiting and rule making are just not enough.

Dr. Schwarz provides an indispensible guidebook for parents of children from infancy through eight years. The book's goal, he says, is to help parents lead youngsters towards beneficial and positive uses of the Internet, videogames, smart phones, and other electronic media, “As they grow, they will form better habits than today’s media-soaked teens, 1/5 of whom now get as much as nineteen hours of media daily.”

“The instruction manuals we receive with digital media devices don't teach parents the most important things -- how to use the new gadgets to fully benefit youngsters and family lives," says Dr. Schwarz. "My work with parents and families showed me the problems technology is creating for them and helped me identify the type of information they need to make certain that these devices contribute to family life in a positive way.”

As years go by - we will undoubtably learn more about how our constant "connectedness" impacts our children's development. Let's ensure we stay connected to them too. Learn more at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Princess Parties in a Bag!

Who said that party favors must be handed out at the end of the party? just announced a new product line called "Sheer Fun Party in a Bag." This is the company's newest product line designed to help busy Moms reduce the stress and cost of planning a princess party. Jumbo Shimmering Organza Bags ship complete with party theme dress up and craft. The dress up and craft are used throughout the party and later put back in the bag to take home as party keepsake favors. Party themes include: princess, fairy princess, princess and knight, diva princess, pink princess, princess and pirate and so much more. The guides give step by step instructions for party perfection based on the company's many years of hosted party experience. Parents and children alike will be thrilled with the dress up kits and party activities. Large parties of 12 or more children also receive a special discounted price. Learn more at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mardi Gras Party

With winter in full swing (and some of us snowed under) - few will turn down a fun celebration. While Mardi Gras is "officially" celebrated on Fat Tuesday, (Feb 16 this year) most of us can't really party on a Tuesday night - so any Fri or Sat in Feb or March will work!! Interested in throwing a Mardi Gras party, but not sure how? See a collection of helpful links below for history, decorations, great recipes, and even music. Everything you need, at your fingertips! Hope you have a ball.

Evite: Easy and free
An invite on a mask (unique and works best when you can hand deliver to your guests!):
Printed invites:

Learn about Mardi Gras:

Think beads and masks!

{Plates, napkins, everything you need!

The Menu

Ron's BBQ Shrimp:

The Very Best Jumbalaya (ever!),1724,128177-246192,00.html

Corn and Zucchini Saute

add some warm, crusty bread...

And of course - a King Cake for dessert (you can order - they'll deliver!):
(also check out the beautifully decorated cookies they offer...)

Don't forget the tunes.
Search for "Mardi Gras, Various Artists" for a download-able collection

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Talk to Teens About Distracted Driving

New research findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving distracted driving, and more than half a million were injured. Many are teens.

There are technology tools that help, including newly launched iZUP™ (“eyes up”), a new mobile phone application. iZUP runs quietly in the background and automatically launches when it detects that a phone is in a moving vehicle. While driving, incoming calls are sent to voice mail and text messages are held until the vehicle stops and a driver can read and respond to them safely.

iZUP also prevents outgoing communication while driving, yet authorizes calls to three pre-determined numbers, such as a parent’s cell phone. The application always allows emergency calls to 9-1-1. When the driver places an emergency call, the software generates an automatic notification to the account holder and sends a Google Map specifying the exact location of where the call was made.

iZUP, and other similar tools seem like a smart addition to education and constant reminders, a way to ensure your child doesn't die because they decided to respond to a text message "just once."