Archives for posts with tag: educational toys. Minneapolis


Ever thought about building a healthy Veggie Lodge?

Move over gingerbread, look what’s moving into our neighborhood.

Bring back your old Lincoln Log skills and you can easily build one too.

Materials List:
Six 8″- carrot logs -one for the front, five for back
Eight 5″- carrot logs – for the sides of the lodge
Eight 3″- carrot logs – for the front
Eight 1 1/4″ – short spacer logs – by the front door
Four 1 1/2″ – carrot logs – for creating a side window opening
Three 7″ -carrot log rafters – the foundation
Sixteen 6″ – 7″ long stalks of celery – for the roof
The foam core board gable ends measure 8″x 6″ x 6″
The foam core board floor/base measures 8″ x 5″ – plus an extra on the back for chimney if so desired
The window is made out of a slice of a turnip.
Toothpicks are recommended, in addition to cream cheese mortar to fasten cucumbers and celery.
Bamboo skewers will be handy for stacking the chimney (mushroom) stones.

Photo credit and inspiration: Green Giant.

Happy Holidays!


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”

Even Thomas Edison would be intrigued with these Electronic Snap Circuits.

Introduce kids to the science behind this everyday wonder that fuels our lives. Try this set to provide the perfect introduction to the electric world!

The snap circuit kit uses building blocks with snaps to build the different electrical and electronic circuits in the projects. Each block has a function: there are switch blocks, lamp blocks, battery blocks, etc.
These blocks are in different colors and have numbers on them so that you can easily identify them. The circuit you will build is shown in color and numbers, identifying the blocks that you will use and snap together to form a circuit.
The Snap Circuits  set contains over 30 parts so you can build 100 exciting projects or create your own exciting experiments. An instructional manual is included with complete directions to build Projects #1- #101.
Have fun learning about electronics and build a dual speed fan, a periodic doorbell, a photo sensor police siren, a flashing laster light with sound and much more!

We love clever advertising as you very well know.










Remember the number one and number two toys that we posted a while back?

Pee and Poo whom some may consider educational toys.  They may become popular in Asia, but we will not be adding these toys to our shelves at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys. What do you think?



AquaNotes® is a waterproof notepad designed for all the people who feel that the only thing keeping them from being millionaires is remembering the ideas they have while bathing. According to the producers, AquaNotes® is a waterproof notepad that allows you to record your great ideas while you’re in the shower.  It’s so durable you can even write underwater. They’re recyclable, environmentally friendly, and the notepad is printed with soy-based ink. Just like a post it, the written idea can be placed on your desk and put to action

Blizzard closes MSP International Airport, all MTC buses stopped, Orchestra Hall, Guthrie Theater performances are canceled and just about everything else in between including Totally Kids fun furniture & toys closed early at 2P.M.

Even the Vikings – Giants game for tomorrow is pushed back to Monday night. Wonder how much snow sits atop the dome?

Leslie Carothers, of The Kaleidoscope Partnership tweeted tirelessly all day championing for local independent retailers, all of whom will have suffered a huge 2 day loss due to the blizzard’s forced closings. THANK YOU Leslie for all of your concern and efforts! Truly heartwarming on such a cold blizzard-ey day.

Annette and Kate,  both braved the snowy roads driving in to open the store this morning. Then upon leaving  in the afternoon,  found that their cars were snowed into the parking lot behind the store. It required lots of muscle power digging both of their cars out from under the snow. Thanks Dave, you will most likely be needing Bengay !

Once again, displaying her limitless care, Lisa our Customer Care Manager, came in on her day off to deliver Shauna, our office manager to her home an hour away. (or three hours in the blizzard) Shauna’s car was stuck in a ditch somewhere between home and the store. What a day! And…wouldn’t this just be the perfect day for a new baby to arrive? Angela our staff interior designer extraordinaire is on maternity leave and I have been thinking about her all day hoping that they have a snowmobile.


Tomorrow morning the forecast is for negative ten when we wake up. With a a week ahead of very nasty weather, now more than ever we are putting out a plea and a call to everyone who can donate socks for the homeless.

There are more than 9,654 homeless children, youths and adults in Minnesota. What a feat it would be to help warm their feet this winter. 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.


Your family can write a story and draw pictures about the blizzard or whatever they have in their heads waiting to be told. Once completed, you send it in and have it published for all to read.

This is a favorite gift for people of all ages actually. Grandparents, aunts and uncles can write their memoirs and illustrate wherever their creativity will take them.


Build  Your Own Frosty The Snowman.

  • Small powdered doughnut
  • Powdered doughnut hole
  • Decorators’ gel
  • Pretzel or potato stick
  • Haviland Thin Mint
  • Reese’s peanut butter cup miniature
  1. Set a powdered doughnut hole atop a mini powdered doughnut. (For a taller version, use a pretzel stick or a potato stick to secure a second doughnut hole atop the first.)
  2. Use decorators’ gel to add a face, buttons, and a carrot nose. (If the gel won’t stick, try smoothing the powder with a dab of water first.)
  3. To add a top hat to a shorter snowman, stick a small piece of a pretzel or potato stick through a Thin Mint and into a Reese’s peanut butter cup miniature, then secure the hat in place on the snowman.

Family Fun has many other ideas for you too.

Before you leave,  have you ever seen the Minnesota Blizzard People ?