Archives for category: school

Jefferson Desk and Hutch

Designing Study Spaces for Scholarly Success

Summer has barely begun here in Minnesota. It is hard to believe that in some places around the country, school will be back in session in just a few weeks.

It is never too early to begin thinking about designing an effective study space for your kids. Parents play a key role in helping their children learn the organizational skills necessary for successful study.

Here are a few tips from Legacy Kids.

Routines are key. Pick a time of day to tackle homework (right after school, after dinner, right before bed) and stick with it. Plan on some breaks (for example young children don’t focus well for more than 20 minutes) as needed. End the routine with bags packed ready for the next day.

Make a work zone. Designate an area for homework and studying. The kitchen table might work, but not if traffic and distractions are high. A child’s bedroom is a great choice, as long as they have room to spread out materials and can concentrate. A table or desk to write on, place to stash supplies, and a memo board to post notes and a calendar are helpful. Good lighting, room for a laptop computer, and a comfortable chair are also considerations.

Post the goal. Setting a goal is easy. Remembering it as you work towards it is harder. Ask your student to make a sign about the goal. It could be a huge letter A or a drawing of your student doing something fun as a reward. Then post it where he will see it as he works.

Encourage organization. Give everything a place. Encouraging your student to pick supplies and get their study spot organized may help them keep it that way and put stuff back.

Be tough. No TV, email, devices (iPad or iPod) or calls during study time.

Consider Music. Don’t automatically ban music. Light background music may help your student work. Others may find music or radio commercials distracting. Earphones may help.

Handy resources for Homework Help:

White Study Desk

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has functional desks from almost every furniture collection. Take a look then give us a call at 952-881-2425.

Phases of the Moon

The 2011 Harvest Moon is next Monday, September 12. Will you be watching observing it?

What makes the moon cast its light in phases?

Here is a tasty way of demonstrating the process. Becky Nelson has a useful instruction sheet complete with oreo-template.doc.

Unlike the sun, the moon does not give off its own light; instead it reflects the sun’s light.  Because of the orbit of the moon, we don’t always see the whole moon illuminated. How much of the moon we see depends on the phase it is in. Over the course of a month, you can observe all the different phases. A great way to teach your children about this is to observe the moon every few nights and discuss which phase it is in. If you have binoculars or a telescope, be sure to use them in your observation! During the month, what other changes do you notice? Does the moon always appear to have the same color and size? Your kids might enjoy keeping a journal with sketches and observations of each stage.

There are eight main phases in the moon’s monthly cycle:

New Moon-the sun, moon, and earth are lined up, with the sun’s light reflecting off the side of the moon facing it. To the earth on the other side of it, the moon appears to be very dark at this stage.

Waxing Crescent-the stage between the new moon and first quarter; a sliver of brightness is visible on the right. The dark part of the moon is still what is most visible to Earth at this point.

First Quarter-the moon is to the left of the earth and sun (moving counter-clockwise); the sun’s rays shine on the half of the moon facing it, half of which is visible to Earth. Thus, it appears to be a “half moon,” half bright and half dark.

Waxing Gibbous-the stage between the first quarter and full moon, when most of the bright side is visible.

Full-the sun, earth, and moon are lined up, with the side of the moon facing the earth illuminated.
Waning Gibbous-occurs after the full moon; the right edge appears to be dark or invisible. The moon is in the position opposite where it is during its waxing gibbous stage.

Last (Third) Quarter-the moon is to the right of the earth and sun; because the sun’s light only falls on the side of the moon facing it, there also appears to be a “half moon” in this phase. The side that is bright is now opposite where it was during the first quarter, since the moon is on the other side of Earth.

Waning Crescent-occurs between the last quarter and the new moon; only a crescent of the bright side shows, on the left edge closest to the sun. The rest of the moon facing us is the “dark” side.

Moon in My Room is a classic tool for teaching the moon phases which has been popular for many years.

How many of you have never used a typewriter? How many kids today have never ever seen one and would not know what it is if they did?

As an officially licensed Apple product, the Limited Edition Typescreen™ offers all the style and quality that you’d expect from Apple with the playful design and innovation expected from Spinning Hat.  Compatible with both the iPad and iPad 2, the Typescreen™.

You may not have to go take your memory so far back in time to remember the “brick” phone.


Convert your iPhone into a retro 80′s brick with the new Thumbs Up iPhone case – because you can look as hip as Ferris Bueller, without taking the day off.

You not only protect your iPhone, but totally kick-it retro!





How about an Etch A Sketch cover for your iPad?

Smashed Peas and Carrots will show you how to make this retro crazy cute cover.




Put down your electronics for a while and have some doodle dialing fun with the real deal Etch A Sketch.

Remember to SPRING AHEAD!

Ever hear the expression “ask him what time it is and he’ll tell you how to build the clock?” Will mention no names here, Dave.  Tick tock you really can build your own clock. Here is an educational clock project for the entire family.

Rembember that Sunday March 13th we need to set our clocks ahead one hour marking the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (DST) at 2A.M.

You can also use this as an ideal opportunity for teaching time.

The ability to tell time is a significant milestone in a child’s educational development and does not have to be a difficult nor frustrating experience. Choosing the right educational time teaching tools can lessen the stress. Fun time teaching toys can also help motivate little ones learning how to tell time.

“Block around the clock! “Here is a nice clock for 3 year olds or older combining both shape sorting and time learning.

It really is a good time all around to learn something new.


Tempus Fugit,  hurry up and make a clock  cupcake.


An old favorite is making your own paper plate clock.

Remember: Saturday, March 12 is Silly Saturday at Totally Kids, a big BOGO day. Buy one toy and get one for 1/2OFF. Free gift wrapping is available on most toys.

Puzzled, where should we begin.  Why did they wait until 10 o’clock at night for the announcement? Minneapolis and St. Paul are you ready for a second day of no school? Schools are closed due to continued safety concerns for students waiting outside in extreme cold for buses that may run late and trying to get to school over large piles of snow in the street, as well as school bus travel problems across the city.

The Totally Kids fun furniture & toys parking lot is all dug out. We invite all of you to stop in for hot piced cider and cookies. There is a wonderful hands on test and play toy area for the kiddos while you catch up on shopping. There are personal shoppers ready to help you find perfect gifts. Remember the FREE gift wrapping!  Then drive up to the front door and Nick will carry your packages out to your car for you!


Earth: Assembly Required
Take your geography lesson for a spin with the amazing three-dimensional puzzle globe!
Curved puzzle pieces allow for an exact fit and are easily assembled together to form a solid, smooth globe. When assembled, this puzzle will not just be fun to put together but useful for  years to come – with no glue required!


Chunky Dinosaur Puzzle

This extra thick wooden puzzle includes seven easy-grasp, chunky
dinosaur pieces with a full-color, matching picture underneath. The dino pieces stand upright for pretend play. Encourages hand-eye, fine motor and creative expression skills.


Just can’t let another sub zero day pass without asking everyone to please help warm homeless feet this winter. There are 9,654 homeless children, youths and adults in Minnesota who could  use a new pair of socks. PLEASE HELP!  Please bring a new pair or several pairs of new socks to Totally Kids fun furniture & toys. A pair of new socks = 30% OFF any toys until December 23! If you so choose, tooth brushes, tooth paste or small new toys could be stuffed in the socks too.


Martha Stewart makes Coconut Frosty the Snowman…

Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.

Hurry and have some fun before he really melts away.


Guess How Many Peppermint Candy Contest

The winner will be the person that guesses the exact or closest number of peppermint candy in the jar. Leave your guess on our Facebook page and we will announce the winner December 30st.  You will receive a $25.00 Totally Gift Card! Good Luck!

A free preschool storytime is presented every Saturday from 1PM to 1:30PM at          Totally Kids fun furniture and toys in Bloomington, Minnesota. Preschoolers pull  up a little chair or snuggle in a comfy bean bag while enjoying juice and cookies as  they listen to stories read from Classic Little Golden Books. It is great seeing the generations connect. Grandmas love sharing how they saved up their 25 pennies back in the 50’s and 60’s to purchase a favorite Little Golden Book, such as: The Poky Little Puppy, Bambi, The Little Red Hen or Doctor Dan or Doctor Dan the Bandage Man.”  Storytime Saturdays is offered to all preschoolers with adult supervision.  Totally Kids fun furniture and toys is located one mile from the Mall of America. Preregistration is not required. For addition information please call 952-881-2425 or visit

Now here you go, all the features that you could ask for in organizing the perfect room        for the new school year.  Tucked under the loft there is a complete workstation for serious study including built-in surge protectors, lighting, phone jack, flip-down keyboard tray, and lots shelves and drawers for storage. Oh yes, a staircase that has built in drawers that are extra deep. The stairs can go on either side of the bed and they feature a non skid step surface and Euro-glides. This super sturdy bed is easy to clean, and has a scratch resistant
melamine surface. Choose white, Hazelnut, natural, ginger or deep cognac. Ask your
personal shopper how you can design the unit mixing colored drawer fronts or choose
accent knob colors. Be certain to specify left or right facing stairs at the time of your order.
Stairs can be installed on either the left or right side. Made in the USA.                            61″W x 96″L x 74-1/2″H

Find this great bed and many more at or call a Totally Kids
personal shopper at 952-881-2425 to help you find just what you are looking for.

7876 Portland Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55420
Give us a call!