Archives for category: toys

It’s Memorial Day weekend, why not whip up some cookies that everyone will remember?

If you’re after the popular sweet and salty combo, you are bound to get hooked on these.

Memorial Day Cookies aka cookies to remember
Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
  •  Sea Salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough, flatten slightly then sprinkle with sea salt. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

This week’s Recipe for Fun as well as yummy eating is from Sugar Cooking.  You can find many other delicious and unusual recipes that you may like to try on her blog. She also tells us that if you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe you could use it for the base instead.

Thanks Sarah for this memorable recipe.

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Have you ever experienced cookie failure? The dough is so good and definitely worth eating, but somehow when you pull the cookies out of the oven they are way spread out and flat.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie blog has this helpful chart to help correct cookie flops. As the name implies, it is your go to source for you know what, everything chocolate chip cookies.

Problems

prob

Do any of these cookies look familiar? I have seen number 4 several times and now I know why! Silly me, I never knew the dough could be over mixed – hello number 5.

There are many variables in baking.  Pictured are cookies with various problems using the same dough (with flour adjustments in numbers 3 &4).
1.  This cookie is done just right. It is pictured to compare with the rest.
2.  This dough was not refrigerated.  It is still good but a little flatter than it should be.
3.  This dough contained too much flour and did not spread much at all. It is interesting to note that the dough looked identical to the correct dough, but was much stiffer and drier.
4.  This dough had too little flour.  It spread too much and didn’t bake evenly.
5.  This dough was over-mixed.  It had a poor color, baked flat and had a strange consistency.
6.  This dough was formed too small.  It was overcooked at eight minutes. It is fine to make smaller cookies, just bake them for less time.
7.  This dough was formed too large.  The outsides were done while the middle was too high and underdone.
8.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too hot.  The outside was overdone and the inside was slightly underdone.
9.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too cool.  It fell flat and became too crisp without much of an inside.
10.  This dough was frozen when baked.  It took longer to bake and didn’t cook as evenly.  To use frozen dough, set on cookie sheet at room temperature while oven is preheating, 15-20 minutes.  It takes the frost off and bakes perfectly.

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Red Retro Kitchen large

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has many pretend kitchens for beginning bakers. Stop by or visit us online!

Easter Party

Easter Invite.jpeg

How to Beat Backseat Boredom….

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


Flip To Win Hangman
Who hasn’t spent hours playing this game on roadtrips?

Here is the 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.

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.

Imagine how surprised your kids would be if they drew a picture that comes to life as an actual soft object to play with and cuddle?

This really can happen. just send your child’s art work to Sunny Little Studio and they will create a custom handmade soft toy sure to become to treasure.

Orange ya glad you sent this picture in!

Remember to SPRING AHEAD!

This time of year always reminds me of clocks.

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 12th 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.

Build a potato clock for a science lesson with potato power. Who would think tasty spuds can also do double-duty as an undercover battery.

Tempus Fugit,  hurry up and make a clock  cupcake.

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An old favorite is making your own paper plate clock.

With all of these clocks there is noexcuse to forget to set your clocks and best of all there is “Spring” and warmer weather ahead of us. This Minnesota cold will hopefully become a memory as soon as possible.

Save

Lucky Shamrock man

It’s Our Annual Lucky Shamrocks Party!

Save the Date

Saturday, March 18th

1PM to 4PM

Bring the kiddos in for a Lucky Shamrocks Search Game.

There will be Lucky Shamrocks hidden all around the store

for *50% OFF a toy or game of choice.

Face Painting, Fun Games, and Refreshments.

Bring all your friends. We hope to see you!

FREE prizes for all kids wearing green.

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys

7876 Portland Avenue South
one mile west of the Mall of America
shoptotallykids.com
952-881-2425

Save

This time of year in Minnesota folks know all too well about cabin fever.

It sounds like the last few days brought families out to enjoy the balmy almost 50 degree weather.

Cabin fever takes on a whole new meaning when the kiddos can start their pretend camping in this wooden cabin that can be used indoors or outdoors. (temperatures permitting)

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Another cabin that we are working on stocking offers the Adirondack style porch. We are hoping that it will be ready for Spring delivery.

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With President’s Day just around the corner, this easy to build log cabin is a great teaching tool that you have the option of eating. How about a cherry pie for the pres that never told a lie and a pretzel cabin for honest Abe?

 

 

Materials Needed:

  • Small empty milk carton
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Chocolate frosting or peanut butter
  • 1 Rolo or other tubular shaped candy
  • 1 square cracker
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue or tape (or frosting depending on if you want it edible or not)

Instructions:

  1. Cut the top flap of the milk carton off and tape or hot glue it closed to form the roof.
  2. Spread chocolate frosting or peanut butter on one side of milk carton then cover with pretzels. Repeat this step all over the milk carton until log cabin is complete. You may need to break the tips off of some of the pretzels to make then fit up the sides.
  3. Break a square cracker in half, then break one of the halves in half. Spread some frosting or peanut butter on the back of the first half. “Glue” it to the front of the cabin as the door. Repeat this step with a smaller broken piece for the window.
  4. Spread some frosting or peanut butter to the bottom of Rolo and stick to the roof.

Hurray for National Pizza Day 2017! Besides eating a tasty pizza,  you can play with them and sleep in a slice if you wish.

pizza-melissa-and-doug

Cook up a pretend pizza with the toppings of your choice. There is even a pizza cutter to divide (velcro) into pieces after your pizza is out of the oven and ready to serve.

pizza-bed

After you have eaten all of your pizza, grab another slice, turn off your phone, put away your laptop, dim the lights and snuggle in. Sweet dreams of pepperoni and mushrooms (skip the anchovies) to you on this National Pizza Day 2017.

Save

Snow, snow, and more snow is forecast tomorrow for the East Coast of the United States. Here are a few fun snow day ideas for our friends in the snow zone. By the way, the snow zone used to belong to us here in Minnesota back in the olden days.

snowball-maker

How about a good old fashioned snowball fight? Our snowball makers will get you off to a good start.

According to Wikipedia: A snowball fight is a physical game in which balls of snow are thrown with the intention of hitting somebody else. The game is similar to dodgeball in its major factors, though typically less organized. This activity is primarily played during months when there is sufficient snowfall. Anybody have enough of the white stuff today? Just wait until tomorrow then!

We suggest starting your game off with a few rules.

  • Have a “safety word” that anyone can call out to stop the game just in case someone is in any trouble.
  • Snowballs must be made only with snow. No adding anything else to the snowballs. That is dangerous.
  • Set clear boundaries.
  • Set a reasonable time limit.
  • Make sure your teams are fair.

There are plenty of activities involving snow, but nothing quite like a snowball fight.

snow-brick-maker

Take advantage of the snow and learn how to build and igloo.

build-an-igloo

 

Boy’s Life offers a great DIY if you wish to start one on tomorrow’s snow day.

The best-known snow shelter is the igloo. It is a brilliant use engineering and resources, this simple dome made out of snow blocks and is both strong and versatile.

According to Boy’s Life, Arctic cultures such as the Eskimo and the Inuit developed it, and over time they came up with a hundred tricks to make the shelter more comfortable and sturdy, including making the entrance small (to help keep heat in) and melting the inside of the dome and letting it refreeze (for increased strength). Turn this into a learning adventure for your family.

The snow brick maker will speed your construction process along!

snow-stumpers

Snow Stompers, sort of a snowshoe for kids, have always been a favorite here at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys. (when we have snow that is) These colorful Sno-Stompers strap over your kids’ boots.  You will have the neighbors wondering what strange creatures have wandered by.

Playing outside in the snow is a magical part of childhood. Bundle up and enjoy the future snow day memories that you will make.

 

 

 

skip-the-cleaning

Now this is my kind of holiday. Don’t clean or luck will run away. It’s a Chinese custom not to clean the house during the first few days of the Chinese New Year. It is  believed that cleaning wipes away all the good luck, fortune and money. They throw away all the brushes, brooms and dust collectors. Who else could handle this custom? Okay, I know what some of you in our office are thinking, “we should be very very lucky in this year of the rooster”.

cleaning-set

We’ve got what you need when you are ready get back to cleaning again. Start the little ones off with this life like child size cleaning set.

teaching-kids-chores

While we are on the subject, The Clean and Organized Family Home has 11 Rules for teaching kids household chores that you might find helpful. Like doing chores together, limiting chores to 30 minutes, don’t nit pick and focus on big picture goals.

You know what they say: “many hands make light work.” Even eager little hands.

 

happy-new-year

Happy Chinese New Year 2017! The Year of the Rooster.