Archives for category: toys

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Watch Super Bowl LIII in a comfy football bean bag chair and you’ll be the first winner. There are many other sizes and colors for everyone – even for non-sports fans. Comfy adult sizes too! Visit us online – we’re open 24/7. Worldwide shipping available.

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.

 

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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.

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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.

Admit it! Are you that parent? The kids were sound asleep so you knew it’s a safe time to rummage through their stash for the “good” candy.

Our Facebook survey results are in. The candies that top the theft list of the most likely to be stolen by parents are: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at the top, closely followed by Snickers, M&Ms, Kit Kats, Twix, Milky Way, Butterfingers, candy corn, Three Musketeers, and Skittles.

If the candy jar at your house runneth over, or you have a Halloween fear of dental bills, there are cures for the candy coma.

Have you heard about the Switch Witch?  A child grows in Brooklyn shares this disappearing act for all of the sugary stuff you may not care to have around for you or the kids.

The story goes like this: a child gets to eat all the candy they want up through Halloween night.  On Halloween night, before the child goes to bed, s/he lays out all their candy for the Switch Witch. The Switch Witch comes when they are asleep and takes the candy and switches it for a toy. Ta da! Cavity-creating candy is gone and a sugar-free desirable new toy is there instead!

For the more curious:

The Switch Witch lives in Hallow Heights which is a little island in the sky by the moon. The Switch Witch loves candy.  All witches love candy, but the Switch Witch loves candy the most and she has the biggest candy stash of all the witches.  Do you know how the Switch Witch gets her gigantic candy stash?  The Switch Witch gathers most of her candy for herself and all the witches and cats on Halloween night. (Did you know that witches’ cats love candy too? They only eat milk chocolate though as it has delicious milk in it! –this is true only for witches’ cats though!).  So, here is how the Switch Witch gets her candy: late Halloween night, when all the children are sleeping, she visits the houses of children who choose to switch their candy for a toy. How does she know which ones are switching their candy in? A child puts a piece of candy on the door (of their room or house) to let her know that they want to switch.  The Switch Witch flies from building to building on her broom, with her black cat Corn (as in Candy Corn) on the back. They come in through a window. They fly in through the window with magic- the window does not need to be open.  She takes all the candy the child puts out and puts it into a sac that Corn holds open for her in his mouth.  Then she ties the candy bag to the end of the broom.  She takes out a shiny black bag that is full of toys. She leaves one toy for the child to thank them for the candy.  Then she leaves just as quickly as she came: on her broom, out to visit other children and perform more switches. By early morning, she and Corn return home to Hallow Heights where she sorts all the candy into large glass jars. That night, all the other witches come to visit and the Switch Witch doles out the candy they want.  They eat their candy with her, share stories of Halloween, hear about what toys she brought to the children and come back night after night for a treat.  You know how most pictures of witches are flying near the moon?  That’s because they are on their way to Hallow Heights to visit the Switch Witch and share in her gigantic candy stash.  By next Halloween, the Switch Witch has run out of candy and goes back out to do her switches.

I’m not sure about this one but to each your own. What do you think?

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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!

I really meant “getting stones” to share with friends.

Skip to My Lou makes these perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, little Blarney Stones complete with a hidden surprise.

She tells us : “Tradition says if you kiss the Blarney Stone you will be given the gift of gab. You will be able to talk eloquently and convincingly.”

If they don’t look appetizing to you, please realize that ingesting is not the intended end result. They do have a fun little surprise tucked inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We always make Blarney Treasure Stones the weekend before St. Patrick’s day for our little neighbor friends. Hope that you give this a try too. It’s another great project to do with little ones from Skip to My Lou.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, come on. You too must have some friends that would enjoy getting stones on St. Patrick’s Day.

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Thought that I caught the luck of the Irish when finding this easy to make treat. It will be a big hit at our house without a doubt. Plus it is another perfect make together recipe for all hands, big and small.

 

KB Designs has the easy to follow directions with pretzels and white chocolate chips.

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.