Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween Party Ideas - Share Your Best!

Halloween is around the corner - and parents are busy planning Halloween parties for little witches and ghosts. Do you have a fun halloween-themed craft or game? Share it here and help give another parent a great idea.

One of our favorite crafts (great for a class party) - are pasta skeletons. Materials: black paper, white crayons, different shapes of pasta, and glue. Kids draw a skeleton on the black paper, and then glue on the pasta in the skeleton shape. Each creation will be unique and fun.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Enjoy Stress Free Holidays

My kids started asking if they could work on their Christmas lists today...a sure sign it will soon be that most magical time of the year. On the top of my wish list...a completely stress free holiday. Is it possible? I know it is. IF (a big if) I'm truly organized.

Parties, crafts, decorating, cooking, shopping, and a partridge in a pear tree. (and a day job.) The goal is to finish everything possible before Thanksgiving and then really enjoy all the fun.

Want to join along and enjoy a stress free holiday season?

For the first weekend in October, these are the goals:
1) If you are entertaining/hosting, plan the menus, including recipes and shopping lists
2) Purchase holiday outfits for the kids (yes, they are in stores now!!) Of, if you're too busy to get out - get online - find barely-used options on eBay or buy from your favorite stores online

Good luck and best wishes for a stress free holiday! Share your tips and thoughts below. (and tweet at #stressfreeholiday.)

Sleep Habits and Healthy Kids

It isn't news that many tweens and teens don't get enough sleep. Now, new research shows that when kids sleep matters, as well as how long.

A study of 2,200 9- to 16-year-olds in Australia found that kids who go to bed late and get up late are at greater risk for obesity, lack of exercise, and other related health problems, regardless of sleep duration.

Late-bed/Late-rise adolescents were 1.47 times more likely to be overweight or obese than Early-bed/Early-rise adolescents, 2.16 times more likely to be obese, and 2.92 times more likely to have high screen time. Late-bed/Late-rise adolescents were more likely to come from poorer households, to live in major cities, and have fewer siblings.

Ben Franklin knew what he was talking about! Read more here.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Family Friendly Movie Reviews

Do you check out movies before taking your kids? Just found a great site for family-friendly reviews and information, They write, "because media profoundly affects our kids social, emotional, and physical development, Common Sense Media rates media based on age appropriateness...We know every family and every kid is different -- but all families need trustworthy information to make great media choices. " We like their easy rating system, the way they explain how they determine what is appropriate (see their "about us - how we rate and review" page, and the details they provide (even conversation-starter questions, for after the movie).

Check out their review of the recently released Dolphin Tales, here:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Best Birthday Gifts - Six-to-Twelve Year olds

As promised, five of our favorite birthday ideas for six-to-12 year olds follow. Stock up now for school year parties. All work for boys or girls, and for a range of over-six ages . From magic to art to challenging games, let the fun begin!

Cartoon It. Sharpen your memory and your drawing pencil as you play this fun, fast-paced memory game with an artistic twist.

Enchanted Ring Magic Set. Amazing multi-piece set features amusing illusions and crafty slight-of-hand tricks for the young magician to practice and perform

Tilt. With 40 challenges ranging from beginner to expert, Tilt will have your brain moving in all directions.

Jawbones. Set contains 100 precision quality Jaw Bones pieces that swivel, ratchet and snap together in countless ways.

Window Art. Trace. Squirt. Peel. Stick. Making beautiful works of Window Art couldn't be easier. Twenty different illustrators created more than a hundred pieces of easy to trace art.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Outdoor Fun

Spring is in the air! Loved all the great Melissa & Doug outdoor toys at Toy Fair. Check out Jump Ropes, bats and balls, Croquet sets, soft flying discs, and more. Beautifully decorated in the colors of spring, they will get kids outside and keep them moving.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Watch This Space!

Next week, we'll be tweeting and blogging from The International Toy Fair in NYC. We'll share all the news and exciting new toys. And, our picks of the best of the best.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Play and Resiliance

Found an interesting article today on the link between play and resiliance. Discusses that "playing has an effect on regions of the brain to do with emotion, motivation and reward. It helps children to develop their range of responses to situations, experiences and relationships. By playing, it concludes, children develop resilience and the ability to adapt." Read the full article here.