Archives for category: educational toys. Minneapolis

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.

 

Building Blocks

The holidays are here, which means the countdown is on to find the perfect toys and games for the kids on your shopping list. Now is a good time to consider toy safety. The childproofing experts share these top 10 safety tips to keep in mind as you begin your toy shopping hunt.

  1. Follow the age grading on toy packaging
    Make sure you select something that is age-appropriate. The age information on toy packaging is not about how smart a child is—it’s safety guidance based on the developmental abilities of kids at a certain age, and the specific features of the toy.
  2. Choose a toy that matches a child’s age and interests
    The “perfect” toy is the one that’s right for the child’s age and interests. If a toy is too advanced, the child will become frustrated, and if it’s too simple, they’ll get bored.
  3. Avoid toys with small parts for kids under 3   Warning-Choking-Hazard
    Toys that have small parts are fine for older kids, but can pose a choking hazard for children 3 years old and younger. Toys that contain small parts will have a warning label on the packaging and be age-graded accordingly, so keep a careful eye out as you shop. At home, be sure to store toys with small parts away from younger children.
  4. Inspect toys at the store for sturdy parts
    Make sure that the toy can stand up to the rigors of the child’s play.
  5. Pick plush toys that have age-appropriate features
    Make sure plush (stuffed) toys have embroidered or well-secured eyes and noses for younger children and seams that are reinforced to withstand an older child’s play. Check the warning labels for children under 3 years of age.
  6. Buy protective gear with ride-ons
    Bikes, trikes, scooters, skateboards and other ride-ons can be a great gift to get kids active, but remember to give a helmet, knee pads and other protective gear along with it.
  7. Look for toys that have a volume control
    Toys are subject to safety standards that limit the sound level, but it’s a good idea to listen to toys that make sounds before buying to make sure they are appropriate for the child. Acceptable levels of sound are often a matter of personal preference, so look for toys with a volume control to adjust sound for your family environment.
  8. Consider proper storage
    Make sure that lidded toy boxes in the home are non-locking and have special safety features like air holes, spring-loaded hinges and clearances at the hinges to make sure little fingers won’t get caught. If you don’t have one already, consider getting one.
  9. Remember safety when opening the packaging
    Remove and discard all packaging from a toy before giving it to a baby or small child. Also, keep the product literature on hand in case of future questions.
  10. Shop at a retailer you know and trust
    Staff at established businesses tend to be knowledgeable about age-appropriate toys. When you’re shopping online, reputable retailers will likely have that information in the product description or elsewhere on the site.

Toy Safety Information Graph

For more toy safety tips, facts and expert advice, visit www.PlaySafe.org.

Once upon a time there was a little old woman and a little old man. The little old woman thought she’d make a gingerbread man. She rolled out the dough, and cut out the shape, and she put raisins for his eyes, and peppermints for his teeth, and put icing on his head for the hair. Then she put him in the oven, and when it smelled good, she opened up the door to take a peek and out jumped the gingerbread man.

Today’s Recipe for Fun is Gingerbread Crayons.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Start by removing all the paper from the crayons and chop them into small bits. Fill your mould with the crayon pieces and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until wax is melted. You can add more bits of crayon through the melting process so the moulds are completely full. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Then push out the crayons and they are ready to use.  Caution, don’t let them get away until you are ready to surprise some special kids.

“Run, run, as fast as you can,

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”

This Recipe for Fun is from Torie Jayne.

How to disguise Gingerbread Men. Turn them upside down and look at the cute Reindeer cookies.

For a change of pace, how about baking up some Nijabread Men?

These Nijabread Men cookie cutters have been a hot item this season. Can you see them also as a Recipe for Fun?

 

So, Gingerbread Lovers, Behold!

Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays.  The Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which is the third month of the Jewish calendar, and occurs sometime in December of the Gregorian calendar. The Hanukkah holiday lasts eight successive days during which eight candles are lit, beginning with one on the first night, two on the second night, three on the third night, and so on.

Jewish Year 5777: sunset December 12, 2017 – nightfall December 12, 2017 (first candle: night of 12/12 last candle: night of 12/20)

Celebrate the holidays with our wooden Chanuka set! Kids can role play safely with our wooden menorah and 9 colorful wooden candles, dreidel, coins, potato latkes, spatula, pan and storage bag.

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This puzzle, many more toys plus other Judica toys are available at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys.

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Martha Stewart shows you how to make marshmallow dreidels.

Bright Ideas…Menorah Cupcakes would be a special edition to any celebration.

USA Puzzle

There are few little people on my list who will be getting this weekend’s  DIY project this Christmas. It  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 just perfect. The 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.

magnetic-states

 

Christmas across America has a vast variety in the traditions, however, most comes 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 or tradition? Is it a traditional meal that you grew up with?

message-from-santa-at-totally-kids-fun-furniture-and-toys3

If you have not used this FREE message service before, you must give it a try! Santa Claus and his amazing PNP (Portable North Pole) console is online during the entire holiday season. With just a few clicks, this technological marvel will let your little loved ones receive a personalized message from Santa Claus himself, sent directly from his village in the North Pole. It is not only very cute, but FREE.  We started using it years ago and has now become a tradition.  You can create a fun little personalized video message to your child from Santa.

PLEASE HELP.

Help Santa out and keep him jolly. Be sure that he gets cookies at every stop. Share this jar with your friends and neighbors. Make It Do will show you how to craft the cheery covered jar and Bakerella has the recipe with the ingredients to fill the jar.

In a crafty mood?

Popsicle Stick Reindeer to make and hang on your tree or gift away. Expat Mom has the steps, one, two, three.

Cookie Monster

Happy National Cookie Day 2017 to you!

Today is not a tribute to Cookie Monster, rather a day to celebrate the cookie whatever your fave may be.

This special day to celebrate the cookie was founded in 1987 by Matt Nader of Blue Chip Cookie Company.

How about whipping up a (pretend) batch of our popular recipe for slice and bake cookies? Easy on the diet ladies!

Slice and Bake Cookies

 

We all have our favorite cookies, what are yours?

Millennials’ favorite cookie flavor by far is chocolate chip. Snickerdoodle is their second fave.

USA Today conducted a survey to determine the popularity of cookies by state. Do you fit with the findings for your state?

Alabama: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

Alaska: Russian tea cakes

Arizona: Mexican wedding

Arkansas: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

California: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

Colorado: Chocolate chip with nuts

Connecticut: Chocolate chip without nuts

Delaware: Chocolate chip without nuts

Florida: Orange

Georgia: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

Hawaii: White chocolate macadamia nuts

Idaho: Oatmeal chocolate chip

Illinois: Chocolate chip without nuts

Indiana: Chocolate chip without nuts

Iowa: Chocolate chip without nuts

Kansas: Chocolate chip without nuts

Kentucky: Bourbon spice

Louisiana: Maple pecan

Maine: Molasses

Maryland: Chocolate chip with nuts

Massachusetts: Cranberry

Michigan: Chocolate chip without nuts

Minnesota: Chocolate chip without nuts

Mississippi: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

Missouri: Chocolate chip without nuts

Montana: Cowboy

Nebraska: Chocolate chip without nuts

Nevada: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

New Hampshire: Pumpkin spice

New Jersey: Chocolate chip without nuts

New Mexico: Biscochito

New York: Chocolate chip without nuts

North Carolina: Chocolate chip without nuts

North Dakota: Chocolate chip without nuts

Ohio: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

Oklahoma: Chocolate chip with nuts

Oregon: Pumpkin spice

Pennsylvania: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

Rhode Island: Biscotti

South Carolina: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

South Dakota: Chocolate chip without nuts

Tennessee: Chocolate chip without nuts

Texas: Cowboy

Utah: Chocolate chip without nuts

Vermont: Maple pecan

Virginia: Peanut butter with chocolate chips

Washington: Apple cinnamon

West Virginia: Haystacks

Wisconsin: Chocolate chip without nuts

Wyoming: Cowboy

All hail the chocolate chip. Sort of looks like the status of the chocolate chip rates rather high in a cookie I would say. By the way, the chocolate chip cookie was invented by accident in 1930 by Ruth Wakefield, who ran the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.

That’s it for facts folks. Do not let this day pass you by without enjoying a few of your cookies.

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have past us by, and here we are now at Cyber Monday, the day when everyone apparently spends the bulk of their workday shopping online.

 

Shop Totally Kids fun furniture & toys on Cyber Monday.


 

Sunday Cans

“Can” you imagine a Sunday filled with fun and exciting ideas for the entire family to do together?

Visit KugAlls for inspiration on making these Sunday cans full of great ideas and activities.

Sticks

Lorraine used Popsicle sticks and then Mod Podged the printed ideas on to them. For a complete tutorial with downloadable printable ideas hop on over to her blog.

Tin Can Telephone

Hello?… Anybody recall the tin can phone? Can you remember how they were made? They could make a comeback with instructions from education.com.

Can Cakes

“Can”t let the can ideas go without remembering can cakes. Oh Happy Day will teach you how easy it is to make these delightful little cakes from everyday tin cans.

Absolutely Nothing!

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has both doll furniture and kids furniture built to withstand the rigors of pre-school all the way to college.

Heirloom quality doll furniture that can be handed down from generation to generation.

So get that big man off of the doll’s bed and let the little girl play.

Copying their parents and other people around them from an early age with pretend play helps children develop their expressive, imaginative, social and language skills.

Dolls are important to children at each stage of their development:

0–18 months +: As babies begin to investigate their new world of shapes and textures and develops essential skills, they need a snuggly security companion.

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18 months +: As babies transition to the toddler years they begin to imitate their parents and take care of the “baby” (doll) the way parents do.

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2/3 years +: At this age they begin to act out many real-life situations with their dolls. They may become big sister, big brother, father, mother or babysitter. Baby dolls encourage nurturing play and inspire memories to cherish forever.

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4 years +: Girls begin to project themselves into their world and start to develop and value friendships. In turn, they are looking for best friend and confidant dolls.