Archives for category: play

Melting Snowmen

The Snowmen in our yards have overstayed their welcome. Finally we are losing some of the snow that has remained with us way too long in this never ending winter.  Even though we saw snow showers off and on this week, the Snowmen around town are melting away.  It is about time for April Showers to help bring in the May Flowers.

So, this week’s Recipe for Fun is Melting Snowmen Cookies from Home is Where the Boat Is.

Snowmen ingredients

Pop on over to Home is Where the Boat Is where Mary has the recipe for making these cute Melting Snowmen Cookies, a fun cook together with the kiddos.

Happy Passover

We send happy wishes to all of our friends and family near and far away celebrating Passover tonight.

Passover or “Pesakh”begins at sunset today. It’s an eight day celebration observed every year by the Jewish religion. It commemorates the freeing of the Israelites (biblical name for the Jews) from slavery after centuries of poverty and oppression under the reign of the cruel Egyptian, Pharaoh Ramses II.

Families celebrate Passover by sharing a Seder. With special foods, songs, and customs, the Seder is the focal point of the Passover celebration. Seder means order, and the passover story is read in order from a book called a Haggadah.

This wooden child size Passover teaching set includes a Seder plate, goblet, two pieces of matza, bottle of wine, prayer book Afikomen and matza covers.

Although there are a number of food-related traditions that are observed during Passover, perhaps the most important part of the celebration is the ritual retelling of the Exodus story. In the Torah’s Book of Exodus, Jews are exhorted to tell their progeny about the enslavement and escape of the ancient Israelites. The act of recounting this story in a ceremony known as Magid forms a key component of the Seder feast, and it is told from a special text known as the Haggadah. The ceremony is meant to be interactive and inclusive, and includes questions and answers, special blessings, discussions, and songs. The story is usually told in both Hebrew and the native language of the majority of the guests attending the feast, according to tradition.

Apples 4 the Teacher explains Passover:

Fearing that Jews were becoming too strong, a Pharaoh decreed that all male Jewish babies were to be killed. Jocheved and Amran, a Jewish couple, wanted to save their infant son – so they put him in a basket that floated him down the river. The infant was rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter and she raised him as her own son. She named the baby Moses, which means ” take from the water.”

When Moses grew up, he empathized with the Jewish slaves and tried to get the Pharaoh to free them. The Pharaoh refused – so there were 10 plagues sent down to Egypt: Blood, Frogs, Lice, Beasts, Cattle Disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, and Slaying of the Firstborn. The name Passover comes from the Plague of Slaying the Firstborn. The Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Jews who had put lambs blood on their doors.

After the 10th plague, Pharaoh agreed to let the Jewish slaves go. They gathered up their belongings quickly, and didn’t have time for their bread to rise, so they had to bake it and take it the way it was. This is why the Jewish people eat matzah during Passover.

As the Jews were fleeing, Pharaoh changed his mind, and sent his army after the people to bring them back. Moses parted the Red Sea for the Jews to cross, and as soon as they were safely to the other side, the waters closed on the soldiers, drowning them all. The Jewish people were free.

Happy Passover!

 

There have been so many super Easter Egg decorating ideas sent to us. Here are a few more that you might find inspiring.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thumb print eggs were a rather “handy” idea from Family Fun.

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Life Hacker knows “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”. Learn how to make some Chinese Tea Eggs.

 

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If you find chocolate inside your egg, you know it is a “good thing“; thanks Martha!

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If you’ve been dying to find a safe eco-friendly Easter Egg coloring kit – search no longer. Included are dyes made from purple sweet potato, paprika, beta carotene, red cabbage and blueberries plus 2 soy crayons for decorating.

 

Then oh my goodness, hopping back to thoughts of tomato planting. Can you really believe that fish heads, egg shells and aspirin are the ticket to growing amazing tomatoes? Love Apple Farms has a colorful odorless pictorial of this interesting process.

How to Beat Backseat Boredom….

Now that we are in the Spring Break and holiday travel season, there is always the question of how to keep young travelers happy and occupied on their journeys. Whether you travel by air, land or sea, here are some super travel toy ideas to help you entertain the kiddos and also prevent the dreaded backseat boredom.


Flip To Win Hangman
Classic word game with a twist! Think of a word and try to
stump your opponent. Includes one game board with erasable
whiteboard, self-storing dry-erase marker and eraser. No loose
pieces! For 2 or more players. Ages 6 and up.


Backseat Travel Books Set
Four great travel books make for hours of fun on the road! This  series is your source
for fighting those boredom blues. With this Kids’ Travel Activity Pack you get all four
books for hours and hours of travel fun. Are We There Yet? features great on-the-road
games, trip-tracking tools (including travel journal pages), mini mysteries, crossword
puzzles, road games, and much, much more. An answer key is also included in the
back of the book. Best Travel Activity Book Ever! features hundreds of coloring activities,
dozens of dot-to-dots, lots of mazes, and a ton of other fun games and activities. 
Kids’ Road Atlas
 features real road maps, great travel games, state-by-state puzzles,
state facts (including the nickname, capital, flower, tree, and bird), an index, and much,
much more. An answer key is also included in the back of the book. Coast-to-Coast
Games
 travels around the United States by region through National Park puzzles, city
games and activities, fun facts and trivia, and much, much more. An answer key is also
included in the back of the book. These fun-filled books are perfect for keeping the kids
busy at home or during those long stretches.  Ages 6 and up.


Travel Bingo
Great for travel! Both players select a Travel Bingo board, insert matching game
cards into the slot at the top of their boards, and flip open all of the doors so that
the pictures on the cards are exposed. Players close the doors as they spot objects
along their journey. Includes 4 double-sided, laminated, themed game cards.
No loose pieces! For 2 or more players. Ages 4 years and older.

Find these and many more great toys visit http://www.shoptotallykids.com or call a Totally Kids
personal shopper at 952-881-2425 to help you find just what you are looking for.

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Be certain everyone gets plenty of rest before you travel. Hydrate especially before air travel. Remember to keep washing hands so you will return home happy and healthy. Do not forget to have fun and take lots of pictures.

 

What kids wouldn’t find this to be the bed of their dreams?

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys is constantly searching for the most unique and creative bed options. We travel the world on that quest and pride ourselves in offering the best beds for you and your growing family.

Always at the top of our list is safety. Looking at this amazing bed, do you find anything that could be considered unsafe?

Here you see a perfect example of what at first glance might appear to be a dream bed, but in fact is a nightmare in the safety department.

 

 

 

The Sleep and Slide Bunk Beds are our newest fun yet safe introduction.  A place to sleep by night and an indoor playground during the day (minus the dangerous ropes and pulleys). Build of solid birch, it not only meets, but exceeds all safety standards. Since it is part of the add as you grow system, it takes your child creatively from first bed to college. Available in a warm Chestnut, painted white finish or natural birch as shown.

Over the years we have found hundreds fabulous beds that are available in other countries that fall short when safety is the main concern.

Let’s take a look at the most current regulations from the federal government.

Currently the Consumer Product Safety Commission requires the following as noted on their website:

Guardrails:
1. Bunk beds must have at least two upper bunk guardrails, with at least one rail on each side.
Lower bunks with mattress foundations that are 30 inches or less from the floor do not have to have guardrails.
2. The guardrail on the side of the bed next to a wall or on the side opposite to a ladder must run continuously from one end of the bed to the other. If the guardrail does not attach to an end of the bed, the gap between the end of the guardrail and the nearest end of the bunk bed cannot be greater than 0.22 inches.
3. A guardrail on the side of the bed away from the wall does not have to run continuously from end to end of the bed, but the distance between either end of the guardrail and the end of the bed nearest to it cannot be greater than 15 inches.
4. Guardrails must be attached to the bunk bed with fasteners that you have to release to take the rails off or they must require you to move them in two or more different directions, one after the other, to take them off.
5. The tops of the guardrails must be no less than 5 inches above the top of the mattress.
6. When you take the mattress off the upper bunk, any space between the bottom of the guardrail and the top of the mattress foundation must not let the wedge block described below pass through freely.

Bunk Bed Ends:
1. No opening in either end of the upper bunk that is above the mattress foundation can let the wedge block pass through freely.
2. When you use the thickest mattress and mattress foundation recommended by the manufacturer, the top of each end of the upper bunk must be at least 5 inches above the top of the mattress for at least half of the distance between the posts on each side of the end.
3. No opening in either end of the lower bunk below the mattress foundation of the upper bunk and above the mattress foundation of the lower bunk can permit the wedge block to pass through freely, unless the opening also allows a rigid 9 inch sphere to pass through it freely.
4. Any opening in either end of the lower bunk below the mattress foundation of the upper bunk that is tested with the wedge block must also be tested for the risk of neck entrapment if the opening lets the 9 inch sphere pass though freely.

These are the guidelines set up by the federal government to ensure the safety for bunk beds that we all need to be aware of.

 

Sandy Springs Loft Collection

How about starting your safari right at home?  Our latest and greatest, way fun loft bed will take you and your young ones from safari to slumber. The matching pieces to the Sandy Springs collection are sure to be functional yet enhance any bedroom.

Happy Birthday Dr. SeussYou’re never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read with a child! – Dr. Seuss

Who hasn’t eaten some green eggs and ham? Have you ever put a cat on your hat, or a hat on your cat?

Happy birthday Dr. Seuss!  He was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts on this day way back in the year of 1904. This means that he would be turning 114 this year if was still alive. Just think of how many more fantastic books we would have.

With 46 published picture books, Dr. Seuss is considered one of the greatest children’s book writers and illustrators of all time. How many of his books have you read over and over and over? I remember knowing  my son at age 2 was a genius when he “read” his first Dr.Seuss book aloud, over and over and over.

banana-cat-in-the-hat

How about building a  Banana Strawberry Cat in the Hat surprise for your little ones? A Worthy Life was the inspiration for this healthy treat.

green-eggs

How would you eat your Green Eggs? Well, first you might want to learn how to make them.  So Wonderful So Marvelous holds the secret Seuss-y recipe, Hop on Pop and head over to lean how.

one-fish

On fish, two fish. You can make them too fish and learn how over at Simple Girl.

These are some of our favorite Seuss-isms, what are yours?

1.  “You have  brains in your head.  you have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.”

2.  “Today you are you, that is truer than true.  there is no one alive, who  is you-er than you.”

3.  “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

4.  “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.”

5.  “Today is your day!  You’re mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way.”

6.  “If you never did, you should.  These things are fun,  and fun is good.”

7.  “I meant what I said, and said what I meant.  An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”

8.  “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”

9.  “And you will succeed?  Yes indeed, yes indeed!  Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.”

10.  “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

Celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss today at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys! You will receive 15% OFF your entire order! All you must do is share with us your favorite Dr. Seuss quote. This must be done at the time of placing your order, not valid on prior purchases, with gift cards or other offers.

So…“Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky!”.

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!