Archives for category: educational toys. Minneapolis

Make your own PlayDough recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs of oil
  • 1/2 cup of  salt
  • 2 tbs of vanilla
  • food coloring

First thing is to mix all dry ingredients together in a medium pot. Add the oil and water into the dry mixture. Cook over medium heat, and be sure to stir constantly. Keep stirring until you get a consistency close to that of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. If you want the playdough to be all one color, then you can add the food coloring now, and knead it into the dough until it is all a consistent color. However, this recipe makes a lot of playdough and I find it fun to create a few different colors. So if you like a little variety then divide the playdough into separate balls and work in the food coloring of your choice into each different ball. Get creative and have fun with it. You can even let the kids join in on the fun, so they not only have a blast with the finished playdough but they have fun making it too!

Tips:

  • When adding food coloring it is definitely worth it to use some cheap disposable gloves so your hands do not get stained.
  • A little food coloring goes a long way! In fact a little trick is to dip a toothpick in the food coloring bottle and then puncture a hole in the playdough ball. You can repeat a few times throughout the ball until getting the desired color in it and then knead the color to consistency.
  • Store the playdough in a Ziploc baggy or a covered container and it should keep for a couple weeks. If you start to see a little sweat build up in the baggy or the container just add a little flour.

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!

new-years-eve-countdown-bags

We love tradition at our house and so do the kids. Celebrating the last day of the year, and better yet, a special night that bedtime is delayed makes it a favorite tradition.

We like to start out the  New Years Eve Countdown with these clever party bags. The idea originated over at Organize Your Stuff Now. The kids look forward to them and they are a perfect way to keep the young ones entertained all night long! We like starting the countdown at 6 p.m. and then every hour on the hour.  There is a surprise in each bag. You can fill them with anything you like, ending with a special treat for the bewitching hour. You might include card games, bubbles, silly string, glow sticks or even some sparklers that the kids can take outside for some happy new year fun.

 

new-years-tree

Don’t take down your Christmas tree just yet. Look at how you can transform it into a great New Year’s tree with a few balloons and streamers. Step it up a notch and add some crazy hats and noisemakers.

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Mr. Kyle’s Kitchen Midnight Fantasy Fudge

If you want the best, the smoothest, no-fail fudge recipe for your party, try the original Fantasy Fudge.

This is the original Fantasy Fudge recipe from the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar.

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12-oz.  package semi-sweet chocolate chips (we prefer Ghirardelli)
1 7-oz.  jar Kraft Marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar, margarine, and milk in a 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla beat till blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Don’t fight over who gets to lick the spoon! Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares.

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Gather the family and create a Family 2018 Time Capsule from an empty tennis ball container. Stuff the can with family photos, special mementos, drawings and written memories of the top ten moments of the year as well as comments about what is currently happening in the world and with your family. Find a spot in the backyard and bury your Family 2018 Time Capsule.

tennis-ball-can

Be sure to draw a treasure map if you choose to use this Tiffany & Co. sterling silver ($1500.00) tennis ball container. BTW it was designed for keeping  tennis balls at “their optimum playing temperature whilst on the court.”

 

New-Years-Resolution-Printable

Keep it simple. Go ahead and shortlist your New Year’s Resolutions on these printables from the best ideas for kids blog.

Our wish to you: May all of your troubles last as long as your new year’s resolutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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With the arrival of fall tomorrow and  Starbucks now serving their Pumpkin Spice Latte, are you ready for the season? This recipe for fun may put you and the kids in the mood. We have found a Pumpkin Latte Playdough for your little ones that just may become a new autumn classic at your house. Dinosaurs and Octopuses have the recipe for fun this week.

Here it is:

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar)
maple extract
vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it mixes you can see if you’ll need more food dye. Adding a little at a time until the desired color is achieved. Turn out onto wax paper. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

Betsy, you must give this a try for Katherine.

Anyone looking for a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Latte recipe? Give this one from the Kitchn a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin or 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute – you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.)

Directions:
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

Start baking!

Whether it’s for a bake sale or afternoon tea, wow your guests with these
easy slice and bake cookies. Create, bake in one of our ovens, and serve up! The set includes a dozen wooden cookies, a dozen wooden mix and
match decorating pieces, and toy wooden kitchen utensils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave Your Mark

Move over sand pails and shovels. We plan on adding this to our beach fun time. You can do it too! Have some fun while at the same time you can leave your mark.

It is so very simple, just hot glue foam letters, numbers or shapes on the bottom of flip flops. Think of the fun – leave your mark in the sand. Hint: remember that the prints will be a mirror image, so arrange the letters backward.

All Aboard?

Any little person that you know who goes loco for locomotives? Do the names Thomas, Percy, or Topham hold a special meaning in your household? How about The Little Engine That Could?

National Train Day is sadly no longer running. Budget cuts have ended the celebratory day which was originally created in 2008 by Amtrak a US passenger railroad service.

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Totally Kids fun furniture & toys wants to celebrate anyway and invites all young engineers to stop by and help us celebrate Amtrak ’s birthday.

Best of all, today or any day, practice your engineering skills with our classic wooden train sets.

Guide colorful engines, coal cars, freight cars, and caboose around great lengths of curves & straight track, whizzing by workers, trees and traffic signs. They steer engines in to fill the expansive roundhouse engine shed. Concentrating intently, they lift and carry railroad cars and freight with magnetic-tipped cranes.

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Test you train terms skill with this printout from Amtrak:

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Another year and this time we really thought that the last of the well – actually very well hidden Easter Eggs had been found…but they magically keep appearing.

Rather than packing them away we are making Egg Pops, a “cool” idea from Kailo Chic using our plastic eggs and just plain fruit juice.

Eggsicles

Fruit juice
Plastic Easter eggs
Sucker sticks
A large nail and thumbtack
Small funnel or piping tip to fill the eggs

First tip the eggs upside down and poke three holes in the bottom. Two of these holes are for letting the air escape when filling the egg, the third one should be in the center of the bottom. Make this center hole bigger using the large nail. You will need it to be as big as the popsicle/sucker stick.

Once that is done, and you have your egg carton full of eggs, use the piping tip to fill each one until almost full.

Then poke in the popsicle stick and place in the freezer until firm.

 

What do you do with your left over plastic Easter Eggs? Please share your good ideas.