Archives for posts with tag: educational toys for kids

You’ve all heard the idiom “don’t take any wooden nickels”,  but we say “do take our wooden donuts“.

Happy National Donut Day 2012!

Celebrate  with Melissa and Doug Wooden Stackable Donuts. Making a doughnut selection has never been so much fun! The “yummiest” decision your little baker will have to make is which of the twelve delicious-looking, self-stick toppings to place on the six doughnuts in this wooden pretend food set. Young chefs will love changing the toppings on the wooden doughnuts to make Doughnut specials every day!

The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day, and that is every year. Now more importantly,  you can find out which doughnut chains around the country are offering FREE donuts all day long to acknowledge the hol-e-day.

Krispy Kreme, the possible creator of  National Doughnut Day (event page on Facebook), invites folks to visit  one of their participating stores  to get a free donut of any variety, and NO purchase is necessary.  LaMar’s Donuts,  is also offering one freebie per customer, no strings attached.

Shipley Do-Nuts is another chain having the free in their deal. They are affectionately described as located in “the do-nut belt”: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.

The Dunkin’ Donuts deal is not totally free, but just purchase a beverage — and they’ll give you a free doughnut.

If your donut craving hinges on FREE, we suggest calling the store first to be certain it is participating.

Help! Spelling police if you are watching, is it donut or doughnut, please let us know. There is something about cops and donuts, right?

Happy National Donut or Doughnut Day!


HOT is the forecast for the upcoming week, not just here in the Twin Cities, but across most the country.

Did you know that the all-time record high for not just the United States, but also the Western Hemisphere was in Death Valley (at Greenland Ranch, which is now known as Furnace Creek Ranch) soared to 56,6 degrees Celsius (134 F) on July 10, 1913. That date was actually one of five consecutive days when Death Valley recorded a high of 129 degrees or higher.

September 13 1922 El Azizia, Libia the temperature went up to a sizzling 136 F in the shade making this the hottest day in recorded history. They say that is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk but lemonade would be more refreshing.

Don’t let the heat get you down, take a stand! We say, why not make some fresh squeezed lemonade?  Here is the cutest Lemonade Stand to help you and the kiddos keep your cool in this heat wave.

Try this surefire method from Simply Recipes.

Remember the starting proportions – 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of lemon juice. (This ratio makes a pretty sweet lemonade. Reduce the amount of sugar if you want your lemonade less sweet.) The secret to perfect lemonade is to start by making sugar syrup, also known as “simple syrup”. Dissolving the sugar in hot water effectively disperses the sugar in the lemonade, instead of having the sugar sink to the bottom.

Perfect Lemonade Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)


1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.

Yield: Serves 6.

Bonjour! Vive La Fête Nationale !

It’s Bastille Day. Bastille Day, formally called La Fête Nationale (“The National Celebration”), is celebrated every July 14 in France to commemorate the storming of the Bastille, a fortress-prison. Like the July 4 Independence Day in the United States, Bastille Day memorializes the start of a political revolution aimed at replacing an absolute monarchy with a constitutional government.

In 1789, King Louis XVI of France found his country in economic crisis. He convened the Estates-General to address the issue. The Estates-General was composed of three estates:

  • The First Estate consisted of representatives of the clergy.
  • The Second Estate represented the French nobility.
  • The Third Estate represented French commoners.

One of the causes of the financial crisis was France’s archaic taxation system, which placed the greatest tax burden on the Third Estate — and most especially the middle class, or bourgeoisie — while ignoring the First and Second Estates, where most of the nation’s wealth was concentrated.

The Third Estate called for reformation, but the conservative First and Second Estates stymied their efforts. Spurred on both by their economic situation and by the recent success of the American Revolution, the Third Estate broke off from the Estates-General and recast themselves as the National Assembly, dedicated not only to ending France’s economic crisis but to creating a French Constitution that would give the people more government power.

Gradually, King Louis XVI was forced to recognize the National Assembly’s authority, but he and his conservative noble advisors weren’t happy about it. The king started making some military and political maneuvers that made the Paris bourgeoisie tense, including the firing of his minister of finance, Jacques Necker, who was sympathetic to the Third Estate.

Sensing that the nobility might soon attempt to squelch this commoners’ uprising, Paris citizens began attacking people and places that they felt represented royal power and the nobility, stealing food and stockpiling weapons.

Enter the Bastille. In the 18th century, the King of France could imprison any French citizen for any reason, without trial or appeal. Most such political prisoners ended up in the Bastille. To the downtrodden of Paris, the Bastille not only represented the evils of an absolute monarchy, but the fortress-prison also housed a large cache of weapons and ammunition.

Fewer than 1,000 citizens gathered at the Bastille on the morning of July 14, 1789, calling for Governor de Launay to surrender and to release weapons and ammunition. Negotiations dragged on, and the crowd grew. So did tensions. Finally, fighting broke out between the citizens and the soldiers stationed at the Bastille.

Governor de Launay surrendered the Bastille that evening. The Parisian mob subsequently beat, killed, and beheaded him and posted his head on a pike that was carried around town. News of the revolt spread throughout France, and the French Revolution became inevitable.

The first Bastille Day, then called La Fête de la Fédération, was celebrated just a year later, in 1790, and for years after. La Fête Nationale was officially recognized as a national holiday on July 6, 1880. All this according to Bastille Day for Dummies. Now, after reading this whose a dummy?


French Lessons with  Jolie  “I Speak French” Bilingual Doll
Jolie, pictured above, speaks both French and English! Press Jolie’s right hand to hear a series of greetings! Press her left hand to hear her favorite colors and the days of the week. Press her knee to hear, “I love you!” Jolie includes a translation booklet for learning & reading along as she speaks. Each booklet contains a unique password code that will open up special pages on their own web site. 16″ tall”

My First Science Kit is the perfect science introduction for younger kids. Learn how to think like a scientist while having fun. Perform 10 science experiments, set up a color-mixing lab, grow gobs of crystals in 24 different hues and capture a rainbow in a tube. Become a color-mixing detective and explore color science. Complete kit includes magnifier, mini mixing tray, packet of Super, Water-Soaking Crystals, 2 packets of tub tints, 2 pipettes, 3 plastic caps, 6 plastic cups, 3 plastic test tubes and an instruction manual. For ages 4 and up.