Win National Geographic Kids Books and Plush Toys #GiftGuide

Just in time for the holidays, National Geographic Kids Books is rolling out a brand new series of picture books that are perfect for kids ages 3-7 (preschool – 2nd grade).  To  celebrate the release of the first two books in their So Cool! So Cute! series, National Geographic is giving away a very huggable prize pack: a hardcover copy of So Cool! Sharks, a hardcover copy of So Cute! Pandas AND adorable shark and panda plushes.

shark book
So Cool! Sharks – Sharks are among the world’s top predators, but that’s just ONE reason why they are SO COOL. So who wouldn’t want to hang out with them to learn more! These books blend awesome animal photos with silly quips and info that will delight young readers and animal enthusiasts. For example, kids can catch the hunting habits of a great white shark while learning that its true nature is as chill as a frozen fish stick. This is the perfect little reader to get their brain buzzing and keep them laughing during downtime, bedtime, or anytime.
So Cute! Pandas – Get ready for cute overload, panda style. And the funny thing is, this panda isn’t just cute. It’s got attitude! You’ll flip over the adorable photos and be equally charmed by what this sassy little panda is thinking on every page. Introducing the brand-new series from National Geographic Kids that combines two wonderful things: super cute photos of all your favorite fluffy animals and silly text that will have the whole family laughing. Add to that some great nonfiction content that gets kids learning, and, what can we say? This series is just so cute!
These are perfect for gift giving- what kid wouldn’t love to receive them?
You can pick yours up online and you can enter to win below as well.
Good luck! Ends Nov. 29, 2019

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The Importance of Plushies in Your Child’s Life

Kids are always curious about things and are constantly exploring new locations, ideas, and even identities. They absorb new things they discover and are proud of the simple achievements they manage to obtain. The toys and the materials they play with—educational or not—are a big help in their developmental stage. They are stimulants for creativity and imagination, and these help them as they grow older and face the world.

 

One of the favorite toys of kids around the globe are plushies, and they all come in different shapes, sizes, and personalities. These stuffed friends are seemingly always by their side day and night, even in sickness and health. They are like their guardian angels whenever they are scared and their special confidant in their daily lives, but there’s more to these adorable plushies than you think!

 

Despite their adorable appearance and their soft bodies, they actually have a rewarding benefit and can hone your kids’ personality and skills. Children spend the majority of their time communicating with their buddy, and it’s expected that they will form a special bond with that toy. While some simply cling to these adorable plushies, these toys play a vital role in the overall development of the child.

 

Surprising Benefits of Plushies

 

  1. The first step to independence. You might notice that kids without a plushie tend to be clingy or overly dependent on someone else, can’t initiate conversations sometimes, and tend to be aloof. Some kids look at their plushies as a guardian, and it actually helps them do tasks on their own and muster the courage to ask for help.

Plushies are like their small bodyguards when things feel scary, and it’s always nice to have someone to depend on for the simple relief and assurance that it will be okay. They view these adorable plushies as guardian angels ready to take them in whenever they fail or win—thus improving their sense of independence.

  1. A sense of comfort. Do you always understand what your toddlers want to say? What does “macaroni prince mumbo jumbo” mean, and why is it scary? Your children might be too young to express themselves, and even a parent can be utterly lost with their unique terminologies and logic.

But for them, their best friend plushie always knows what’s up, and they are always there to lean on. They tell them their secrets, and sometimes this helps them process what’s bothering them. Their plushie is their partner, and it hones their control over their emotions and their ability to express themselves. This is usually done through role play by themselves or with other friends.

 

  1. Developing their communication skills. They talk a lot with their stuffed buddies since they always seem to listen to their thoughts and rants. As they keep on doing this, they are slowly aware of their own voice and the sounds they make. They might even try to communicate more with you as they might even notice themselves that they improved. It will be a slow process of learning but it’s guaranteed to boost their confidence in talking and making friends. Kids who speak up what’s on their mind tends to be more successful and more sociable if developed properly.

 

  1. A sense of responsibility. Kids are naturally unruly and carefree, but having a plushie by their side gives them an urge to protect their toy. They treat their plushie as a family member and are sometimes closer to it than they are to their own family members. Since they treat their plushies as their guardian angels, they return the favor by protecting them and caring for them at all costs. They tend to do what they think is best for their plushies and treat them kindly whenever they can.

 

  1. Inspiring them to make more friends. Kids with plushies are actually more confident in making friends and confidently talk to them without any hesitation. They gather ideas and courage from the role plays they do with their plushies, recreate scenarios, and experiment with them in their head—and sometimes down to the last detail! While their attempts at speaking may not be perfect, the kids actually want to try harder and strive for success.

 

  1. Helping them understand their emotions. Since kids recreate scenarios and have pretend conversations in their head, it also gives them an idea of why they feel that way and what they need to do to feel better. While their solution doesn’t really make sense to you, it helps them act on what they feel will make things better. It gives them options on what they could do to help themselves, and they slowly learn how to open up.

 

You can also encourage them by asking their plushie questions, such as an emotion associated with your child. Ask the doll why she’s happy or sad, and the child will tell you the scenarios that made them happy and sad. It will give you a better understanding of what your child might be going through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School with the Jetson Scooter @ridejetson #ad @BestBuy

Beat the traffic with this Jetson Quest Electric Scooter . The 250W hub motor lets you travel up to 18 miles at 15mph, while the bright LED headlight and deck lights support nighttime travel. Use the easy-fold system to conveniently stow away this Jetson Quest electric scooter in your car’s trunk or underneath a desk.  Easy peasy! Older kids (and adults) will love it, you will too.

best buy

About The Scooter

Powerful 250W hub motor
Helps reach speeds up to 15 mph for a fun ride. Just step on the deck, push off with your foot, and press down on the thumb throttle to engage the motor.

Premium lithium-ion battery
Provides a max range up to 18 miles.
Foldable design
Easy fold system offers portability.
Weight capacity
The scooter can handle any rider weighing up to 220.5 lbs.
Disc brake
For maximum stopping power.
Solid tires
Engineered to absorb shock when you’re riding on roads and sidewalks.
LED display
Shows battery life, current speed, and more.
Ultra-bright LED headlight and taillight
Make your evening ride more comfortable and safe.
Suitable for children ages 13 and older
For safe riding.
jetson scooter
The no flat, solid tires are engineered to absorb shock along with a concealed premium lithium-ion battery that offers a smooth 18-mile range.
– The Quest can reach an exhilarating top speed of 15 mph with its powerful 250W hub motor.
– The Quest is equipped with an ultra-bright LED headlight and taillight, improving visibility and safety for when you’re riding on roads and sidewalks.
– Shop this and more electric scooters plus electric bikes and boards at Best Buy.
Ride Responsibly:
The purchaser and rider of this product are responsible for knowing and obeying all state and local regulations regarding the use of this product. It is highly encouraged that you read and follow the product instructions including all safety precautions and use protective gear. Protective gear can be found at http://www.bestbuy.com/protectivegear.

National Ice Cream day is Sunday, July 21st – fun toys to celebrate

National Ice Cream day is Sunday, July 21st! Among the free ice cream offers you might be getting from Baskin Robbins, Dairy Queen and more, there are these sweet, ice cream themed games and toys that would be an interesting addition to continue the celebration with family and friends.
– Oops Scoops (YULU) – Stack the ice cream scoops on the shaking cone, if the tower topples over you are out of the game.
– Ice Cream Cart (PLAYMOBIL) – Build your Ice Cream Cart and bring the set to life! With figures and accessories included, enjoy this sweet treat.
– Foodie Surprise Ice Cream Food Cart (RedwoodVentures) – Deconstruct the ice cream themed food cart to reveal all supplies and ingredients needed to make your own gummy candy.
Oops Scoops – Get ready to scoop, stack and score with Oops Scoops! This super fun stacking game challenges players to take turns stacking ice cream scoops on ‘Oops’ the ice cream cone. Players compete to build the tallest ice cream tower, but beware, ‘Oops’, the shaking cone, can shiver to make the stacking even more challenging and causing the tower of scoops to topple. Spin the scoop spinner to see how many scoops to add. If the scoops fall on your turn, then OOPS – you lose! The last player left wins the scooping showdown.
Ice Cream Cart from PLAYMOBIL: Indulge in a cool, sweet treat with the Ice Cream Cart! Open the cart’s glass cover to reveal a variety of ice cream flavors. Select the one you want and the owner will scoop it into a waffle cone for you. When all of the customers are satisfied, the owner can close up shop and bike to a new location. Combine this set with the rest of the PLAYMOBIL Summer Villa theme (#9420-9426 – sold separately) to fully bring the story to life! Set includes one adult figure, two child figures, ice cream cart, ice cream flavors, waffle cones, sign, ice cream scoop, and other accessories.

Moosh Moosh Toys

If kids ask for Crush The Shark, they are not alone. Crush has become “the it toy” since Moosh-Moosh™ launched its cuddly buddy collection earlier this year. Stack ‘em or squish ‘em, they are oh-so-cute. Moosh-Moosh has become a hit on Instagram as kids and celebrities can’t get enough of these pillow pals. Slipperz, the oh-my-gosh adorable slippers for kids ($14.99) and kidults ($19.99). Crush is one of a dozen personalities transformed into a left and a right indoor slip-on.

Joining Slipperz are the Sequins ($17.99) and Series 3 large plush ($14.99) Collections this month. Best described as plush with a marshmallow-like texture, these pillow pals offer comfort, cuddles and company to youngsters, teens and college coeds. Thousands of fans follow them on Facebook.

“With almost every animal that you can think of — and some you never would! — the cuddly kids stuffed animals from Moosh-Moosh are loveable and fun,” begins the magazine’s column, 15 Gifts to Give The Kid Who Has Everything. “We love Handi Andy the octopus stuffed animal and Gwen the Penguin plush, though honestly, it’s really hard to pick favorites! Where else can you find a dragon, a caticorn, and a giraffe in one place? Plus, they start at only $5.99, which means you can buy one of these affordable stuffed animals for all of the kids in the family without blowing your budget.”

Add a little sparkle with a pal from the Sequin Plushies Collection. Neighborhood stores including Michaels, CVS and Jo Ann have stockpiled the popular plush. But you might discover them on family outings at museum stores or event venue pop-up shops. Sequins have a special swipe & change feature that makes kids want to “pet” their plushies. And why not? With cute faces on Bandit, Percy, Cody and Kandy Kat, these sequined softees will be treasured.

Crush The Shark makes a special appearance in the Sequin Collection with a silvery head and soft white torso.

Moosh-Moosh designers have just released Series 3 with some distinct personalities. Crush is joined by his shark siblings Nibler and Neptune. Sweet! New to the group is devilish Ash and Spike, Nemo-lookalike Finster, winking Francine and meow-velous Blossom. Priced nicely at $14.99, these are easy on the budget.

Cute and Cuddly, Prefect for Easter or Passover

Soft and snuggly is what bedtime (and even just cuddle up time) is all about. There are some new cute critters that we thought you would enjoy for your den, check these out- they are perfect for Easter or Passover.

petsies stuffed animals

If you have pets at home, your family will be thrilled by Petsies. where you and your kids can custom design a stuffed animal to look just like your furry family member. Choose from a wide selection of colors, combinations, ear types, tails, even tongues. The plush version of your pet will arrive at your door in a few weeks, but there is actually more. While you wait, you will get emails on the progress it is making-  what point it’s at, asking you to check photos of progress to see what you think, and more. Here is an example-

“CONGRATS! Our lead designer has just reviewed and approved your picture for Petsification. This designer also transferred your photo into our special Petsies plush coding machine, so that we can create the best plush representation of your pet. Next steps: Two more designers will work on picking fabrics and crafting the shape of each individual piece of plush that goes into your design.

Thank you again for letting us plushify your pet! The Petsies Design Team”

petsies toy

We looked forward to our updates, and when we got the email with shipping notification, the wait was on. My son stalked the delivery man, and was completely thrilled with the outcome of the plus twin of his pup, Teddy.

Get yours at https://www.mypetsies.com  Right now there is even a sale going on, so the time is good.

stuffed toys

While we are on the topic of customization, the same company that offers Petsies offers you Budsies, which again was a HUGE hit in this house. Your child or children can bring almost any drawing to life by sending in a photo of a creation of their own design, which Budsies then expertly makes a plush toy out of. It’s super impressive, and the process is a lot of fun for the kids. Have them choose their favorite character that they would like to see as a toy, and send it into the Budsies team. Give it descriptions, choose colors and design options, and even give explanations to make sure that your creation is really understood as you wanted it to be. Again, the email updates are fun and we looked forward to updates-

“Congrats – our lead designer has just reviewed and approved your design(s)! This designer also translated your design into our special internal Budsies plush coding. Next steps: Two more designers will work on picking fabrics and crafting the shape of each individual piece of plush that goes into your design. Thank you again for letting us plushify your design! The Budsies Design Team”

His favorite part was one of the last emails, which send a photo, front and back, of what the toy would really look like- the actual toy they were sending. Seeing his creation as a real plush was very exciting, and he was even more thrilled when it got to the door. These are super fun, very unique and a great way to spend some fun family time before the toy even gets to you. You can take a look at https://www.budsies.com .

llama unicorn

A fun, no fuss toy thats easy to pick up and would be great to put in any Easter Basket or as a Passover gift is this adorable Little Daydream the Stuffed Pink Llamacorn Mini Flopsie by Aurora . Super adorable, comes in quite a few sizes (smallest is only $4.99) and very trendy right now, this little llama has it all. Super soft, shiny, glittery horn and hooves, a unicorn horn, and did we mention it’s a llama? Everyone’s favorite ungulates are extremely popular right now, and this little guy embraces a lot of the toy trends of 2019, making it a great choice for pretty much any kid who loves stuffed animals.

Toy Fair Trends 2019 #NYTF #NewYorkToyFair

Well, it’s February, so you know what that means. [email protected] headed out to the New York Toy Fair, checking out all the new toys and games being released this year. While we found it to be overall a bit quieter then 2018, we think it will be a fun year.

In our opinion, some of the trends for the next year are a continuation of old trends, albeit somewhat updated. Some of these continuing toy trends do venture into new territories, and it’s always fun to see what the year will bring to our families.

toy narwhals

For example, dinosaurs, “mermaid” sequins (those colored sequins that flip from one color to another), llamas, unicorns, glitter everything, narwhals, and coding games and toys are everywhere. As are blind bags, DIY and make it yourself kits, toys that require or interact extensively with apps, and poop. Yes, all sorts of poop in all sorts of ways. Even glittery poop, if you’d really like to combine trendiness- and if you REALLY want to combine them, we even saw glittery poop that uses an app. There really is an app for everything.

Some of the trends you can watch out for this year will include leaning into the above already holding strong trendy toys, like glitter. Sorry, but it’s only going to get even more sparkly.  There are lots of kits that let kids make things for themselves, like soaps or bath bombs or makeup, and now there is oh so much glitter. Got a kit? Guess what, now it has glitter. Not JUST glitter, but so many toys, games, and craft kits now come with “bedazzler” type items to add rhinestones to your hair, clothing, stuff toy, whatever your little heart desires. Sequins and all manner of shiny additives can be applied to just about anything- and sometimes, taken off, and reapplied over and over and over again. Huzzah.

unicorn cat

Stick with me on the glitter for a second, Tinkerbell. There are so. many. wands right now, sold with toys and games or AS the toy/game, more then I’ve ever seen. They make sounds, hold glitter, shoot glitter (yay?) and of course, are very, very glittery. The wands are all over this year, and that is without even counting the ever-popular and only getting more so Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, each with a multitude of their own wands and wand games to choose from. Wingardium Leviosa, these will be flying off shelves this year.

Unicorns? Yes, these are still as popular as they have been. All over, on everything, from ducks to plush to pool floats- there is a unicorn for you. And a unicorn for your unicorn, as well. (So they won’t get lonely, of course.)

unicorn sloth

However, not just horses can be unicorns anymore, so there will never have to be a “last unicorn”. In the spirit of inclusiveness, now anything can have a magical horn. Cat? Yes. Llama? Of course. Marshmallow? Even you, little sugar spun bit of sweetness. If you like it, you should have put a horn on it- because now someone else has.

What did the fox say? He said that is a lame reminder of viral videos gone by, but that won’t stop you from seeing a fox around every corner. So, I guess fox says that s/he’s awesome and will be in your house soon if there isn’t a few already.

Fox also says that he’s bringing his best bud Owl, who is another animal we are seeing much more of this year. Alpacas are also joining their cousin Llama at the “cool kids” club.

llama crafts
Slime is everywhere, in everything, and yes- sometimes even glittery. You can thank YouTube for that. Speaking of YouTube, more companies are tapping your kid’s favorite YouTube personalities to endorse products or create lines.  From slime to bubbles to fake hair and ninja toys, YouTube madness is spreading.

Super soft, extra squishy, mushy plush animals are gaining in popularity, and oftentimes in size. These incredibly plush and huggable toys range in size from backpack clips to giant beanbag-type chairs and everything in between.

fortnite star
While we are on the topic of backpack clips- just yes. Everywhere, and in ever growing popularity,  you will find objects that will help weigh down your child’s backpack. Who needs books, anyhow?

Disney Villainous: The Worst Takes It All from Ravensburger Wins “Toy of the Year” Award at Toy Fair 2019

Toy Fair Booth 2019 – Ravensburger, the German toy company loved worldwide for its high-quality puzzles, toys and games and celebrating its 135th anniversary, wins “Toy of the Year” award for Disney Villainous: The Worst Takes It All. On the heels of this breakout success, Ravensburger today revealed the next in the Disney Villainous franchise, Wicked to the Core. The new game features three new villains – Hades from Hercules, Dr. Facilier from The Princess & the Frog, and the original fairest of them all, Evil Queen from the iconic Snow White.

“The positive response from Disney fans and strategy board game enthusiasts for the growing Disney Villainous franchise has been overwhelming. In the last quarter of 2018, Ravensburger sold more than a quarter of a million copies globally of Disney Villainous: The Worst Takes It All, and it rose to Top 5 of Amazon’s Most Wished for Board Games,” said Filip Francke, CEO of Ravensburger North America.  “Even before it hit shelves last summer, we knew we had a winner and had already begun working on the next in the franchise, Wicked to the Core.”

In the Disney Villainous series, players take on the persona of classic Disney’s most wicked characters. In the award-winning The Worst Takes It All edition, players compete as their favorite Disney Villain – Maleficent, Ursula, Jafar, Prince John, Queen of Hearts, or Captain Hook. Each Disney Villain has their own storyline based on the events of their films– Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. While each player remains in their story realm, villains can foil their fellow outlaws by playing Hero cards, while inching ever closer to victory.

“To engage the fans in the process, we encouraged people to “Vote” for the Disney Villain they’d like to play. We were thrilled to see that our next trio of bad guys (and gal) – Hades, Dr. Facilier and Evil Queen – made the top 10 list of Disney Villains as voted by our fans,” added Francke.
Wicked to the Core incorporates new strategies, plot twists, and play dynamics and can be played either with two or three players as a stand-alone game or can expand up to a six-player game when paired with the original Disney Villainous game. Wicked to the Core will be available March 3 at Target for $24.99 and is suited for ages 10 and older.