Archives for category: Christmas gifts

autism-toysDoth your playroom runneth over with toys?

You are not alone if you find yourself suffering the post-holiday buried in toys syndrome.

Take advantage of this time to do some decluttering and organizing your kiddos toys.

Make room for the newly acquired toys by playing a game of lining up and counting all of the new toys. Next, have your child match each new toy up with one that is no longer being played with.  An excellent opportunity for teaching your children a lesson in sharing exists here. Explain how happy some other children will be to receive the toys and how they will be new toys for the other children to play with.

If resistance is encountered,  ask your child to think about the last time a particular toy was played with, and if it’s been over six months, “wouldn’t it be nice to let another child play with it?”

There are charities all across the country that collect toys for various organizations. Almost everyday Totally Kids fun furniture and toys receives new and gently used toys donated for Twin Cities families affected by Autism. If you are in the Minneapolis St. Paul area please drop off any toys that you can spare.

We would like to express gratitude to all of those who have so generously donated toys over the last few years. Thank you!

santa

No, Boxing Day is not a day for returning unwanted Christmas gifts. Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated in Great Britain on December 26th, a day when civil servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors.

This custom is linked to an older English tradition since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. (Downton Abbey-esque)

The employer would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.  In general term, it’s a gift sharing day.

Happy Boxing Day!

We wish all of our friends near and far the happiest Christmas Eve!

From all of us at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys.

Who’s ready for a long winter’s nap? Tonight’s the night folks. Well, that’s if you are here with us in the Northland. The winter solstice begins today, December 21, 2018 at 11:11 AM, a day with only 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight; therefore offering a very long winter’s night for napping.

Totally Kids fun furniture and toys has the largest selection of kids beds, ideal for the occasion. Stay warm and cozy up in one of these beds:

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Climb into our Metra Mid-High Loft Bed,  Many other stairway beds are available for dreaming.

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A big bookcase captains bed offers storage space as well as slumber.  The Ravenswood Big Bookcase Bed is an all time favorite.

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Somehow families visiting the Totally Kids showroom always end up chilling under the Boone Sleeps 3 or More bed.  The futon folds down into a double bed.  Many other styles are available for sleeping more than 2 children in a room.

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Your kiddos can finish a fun day of play in this fort bed, Check out all of the other theme beds at Totally Kids.

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You know she’s your princess, so tuck her snug into her own Princess bed.

 

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Now that the little ones are all tucked into their beds, Mom and Dad can begin their long winter’s nap.

Reminder: Do not let our name fool you, we have great beds for big people aka: adults. Visit us soon. We’re open 24/7 online.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

 

Gotta love these vintage ads!

A Hoover or a Cadillac, which would have made you happier? As they say, “getting a Hoover for Christmas would really suck.” Right?

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You can sit at this Hit Parade retro diner set and ponder the question.

How about reviving this 1980’s Jello Jigglers Gingerbread Man retro recipe? “There’s always room for Jello “on any  Christmas Wish List.

4 packages (4-serving size) Jell-O Brand Gelatin or Sugar-Free Gelatin, any flavor

2 1/2 cups boiling water or fruit juice

Dissolve gelatin completely in boiling water in a bowl. Pour into 8- or 9-inch square pan. Chill until firm, about 4 hours. Cut with any cookie cutter. Garnish as desired. Cube remaining gelatin.

vegie-lodge

Ever thought about building a healthy Veggie Lodge?

Move over gingerbread, look what’s moving into our neighborhood.

Bring back your old Lincoln Log skills and you can easily build one too.

Materials List:
Six 8″- carrot logs -one for the front, five for back
Eight 5″- carrot logs – for the sides of the lodge
Eight 3″- carrot logs – for the front
Eight 1 1/4″ – short spacer logs – by the front door
Four 1 1/2″ – carrot logs – for creating a side window opening
Three 7″ -carrot log rafters – the foundation
Sixteen 6″ – 7″ long stalks of celery – for the roof
The foam core board gable ends measure 8″x 6″ x 6″
The foam core board floor/base measures 8″ x 5″ – plus an extra on the back for chimney if so desired
The window is made out of a slice of a turnip.
Toothpicks are recommended, in addition to cream cheese mortar to fasten cucumbers and celery.
Bamboo skewers will be handy for stacking the chimney (mushroom) stones.

Photo credit and inspiration: Green Giant.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Christmas there are few little people on our list who will be getting this weekend DIY project. Magnetic states is an idea from Natalme and looks oh so easy to create.

We have a couple of jigsaw puzzles of the United States that will be perfect to upcycle. Next step is attaching pieces of magnetic tape to each state. That’s it, back in the puzzle box and what fun they’ll have putting the states on their fridges.

The United States has a vast variety in the traditions, however, most come in the taste of the Christmas feast:

  • New England has Lumberjack Pie (a mashed potato crust, filled with meats, onion, and cinnamon.)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch serve Sand Tarts (thing, crisp sugar cookies)
  • North Carolina features Moravian Love-Feast Buns (faintly sweet bread of flour and mashed potatoes.)
  • Baltimore serves Sauerkraut with their Turkey (which includes apples, onions, and carrots.)
  • Virginia gives us oyster and ham pie.
  • Southern states have Hominy Grits Soufflé and Whiskey Cake (with one cup of 100-proof whiskey.)
  • Louisiana’s treat is Creole Gumbo. It can include ham, veal, chicken, shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat.
  • New Mexico has the Empanaditas–little beef pies with applesauce pine nuts and raisins.
  • Hawaii blesses us with Turkey Teriyaki marinated and cooked over an outdoor pit.   What is your favorite Christmas meal? Is it a traditional meal that you grew up with?

Handprint Ornaments – Tomorrow’s Memories

Salt dough ornaments are so very easy to make.  Here is a perfect clay recipe for creating little hand impression ornaments giving you a head start on Christmas gifts. We like that it is non-toxic, made of food ingredients therefore safe for kids to play around with and squish, mush and squeeze the dough through their little fingers. It’s great for a quick economical, yet treasured gift for grandparents and other favorite relatives.  There may be a new tradition happening at your house too.

This clay recipe will harden when left out for a day or two and can then be painted and embellished if so desired. In humid climates, it may take several days to dry out. The drying time will depend on the humidity and how large your ornament is. To speed up the drying process, you can put it in the oven at 90 degrees for 30 minutes, then shut off the oven for it to cure. Remember to leave it inside the oven with the door closed.  You could also dry it completely in the oven for several hours.

Salt Dough “Recipe for Fun”:

  • 1/2 cup of table salt
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of mineral oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix all  ingredients together and knead it with your hands. If it is too wet, add a pinch more flour and if it is too dry add a bit of water. For a seasonal scent, add a small amount of cinnamon to the dough mixture.

This recipe yields a good snowball size ball. It is the perfect size for one keepsake hand print ornament. Flatten the ball out and press your little one’s hand into it. Pierce a hole with a drinking straw toward the top of the ornament for a festive ribbon that you will tie through once it has properly dried.

Kellie from This Blessed Nest made these hand prints with her twins.

If you’re not quite ready for Christmas preparations, then, let’s talk turkey.

Turkey Toes if you dare! Tickle the fancy of your Thanksgiving guests with these turkey toes aka what to do with leftover Halloween candy corn. This timely idea is provided by Laura Lee Lewis.

A great hostess gift!

Gobble Gobble!

 

 

 

It’s Boxing Day 2017 for our friends to the north of us and for those across the pond.

Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom and many countries (including Canada) that were once part of the British Empire. The origin of this holiday’s name is not exactly clear. During feudal times in the United Kingdom, the lord of the manor would ‘pay’ people who worked on his land in the past year with boxes practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day. More recently, employers traditionally gave their servants a gift of money or food in a small box on the day after Christmas Day. Some people in Canada still give gifts to people who provide them with services.
Other stories relate to servants being allowed to take a portion of the food left over from the Christmas celebrations in a box to their families and the distribution of alms from the church collection boxes to poor parishioners. These traditions evolved into the Christmas baskets that some employers distribute to their employees during the holiday season at the end of the year.
How will you be spending this day after Christmas? In retail, we head back to our regular business hours. In Germany, the day after Christmas is a public holiday reserved for relaxing. Lucky are those of you who get to stay home, put your feet up and take a break after all of the fast paced festivities of the season.

One of our favorite last minute gifts is salt dough ornaments which are so very easy to make.  This clay recipe for creating little hand impression ornaments is a fun make together with little ones. We like that it is non-toxic, made of food ingredients therefore safe for kids to play around with and squish, mush and squeeze the dough through their little fingers. It’s great for a quick economical, yet treasured gift for grandparents and other favorite relatives.  There may be a new tradition happening at your house too.

This clay recipe will harden when left out for a day or two and can then be painted and embellished if so desired. In humid climates it may take several days to dry out. The drying time will depend on the humidity and how large your ornament is. To speed up the drying process, you can put it in the oven at 90 degrees for 30 minutes, then shut off the oven for it to cure. Remember to leave it inside the oven with the door closed.  You could also dry it completely in the oven for several hours.

Salt Dough “Recipe for Fun”:

  • 1/2 cup of table salt
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of mineral oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix all  ingredients together and knead it with your hands. If it is too wet, add a pinch more flour and if it is too dry add a bit of water. For a seasonal scent, add a small amount of cinnamon to the dough mixture.

This recipe yields a good snowball size ball. It is the perfect size for one keepsake hand print ornament. Flatten the ball out and press your little one’s hand into it. Pierce a hole with a drinking straw toward the top of the ornament for a festive ribbon that you will tie through once it has properly dried.

Kellie from This Blessed Nest made these hand prints with her twins.