Archives for posts with tag: toys

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!


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!








Join Totally Kids fun furniture & toys for a day of Family Fun on Saturday, November 10th as we celebrate National Neighborhood Toy Store Day.

We are proud to be your Neighborhood Toy Store and we’re throwing a party to celebrate! Please join us!

Fun for the Whole Family

Bring the kids…and the grandparents and tell your friends to meet you here.  This is an event you will not want to miss!

There will be so much to do, from trying out our favorite toys and games, to winning contests and featuring face painting by Erin!

Refreshments and snacks will be served.

Play fun games and win prizes. Each child who donates a new or gently used toy for families economically challenged by the

affects of Autism will receive 25% OFF their favorite toy or game.

Register to win an Eco-friendly car, a Melrose Doll House, gift cards and a $500.00 SHOPPING SPREE!

All children will go home with a FREE toy.

Our experienced staff is looking forward to showing you the hottest toys for this holiday season.

Remember, as always there is FREE gift wrapping on toys.


Our thanks to Amber’s mother, sister and cutie pie son for their surprise visit and setting up the trains on the train table!


Desirae, our marketing coordinator, was having a playtime moment with her Puppet on Stick friends. Watch our Facebook page, they will be given away sometime next week.

Kitchen pretend play can be an ideal time to begin talking about the importance of healthy foods with your little ones.

By starting to teach about nutrition and kitchen safety rules at a young age, you could help establish healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

Next,  try spending time with the kids in the (real) kitchen.

Match your kids’ skill levels with various tasks for safe kitchen fun. Here are some suggestions from the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association for age-specific tasks:

3-Year Olds

  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Stir ingredients in a bowl
  • Tear lettuce

4-Year Olds

  • Grease pans
  • Open packages
  • Mash bananas with a fork

5- to 6-Year Olds

  • Measure ingredients
  • Set the table
  • Garnish food

7- to 8-Year Olds

  • Roll and shape cookies
  • Beat ingredients with a whisk
  • Find ingredients in a cabinet or spice rack

9- to 12-Year Olds

  • Open cans
  • Use a microwave oven
  • Use an oven and knife (with supervision)
  • Shred cheese and vegetables



What child doesn’t love mac n cheese?

Involve even the youngest child in this cupcake version.

Recipe created by Chef John Folse, Cheesemaker and Owner of John Folse & Co, Gonzales, Louisiana

Makes 10 servings


  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, slowly add 1 cup of milk to flour, stirring constantly until all lumps have dissolved. Add the remaining milk, stirring thoroughly. Place on stove and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Add 1 cup Cheddar, 3/4 cup Mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; stir until blended. Add macaroni, stirring gently to coat well. Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups and place one scoop of macaroni mixture into each muffin cup. Top with reserved 1/2 cup Cheddar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Sally Ride Day honors the first American woman to go into space. Dr. Ride accomplished this feat as a mission specialist aboard STS-7, the second flight of the Space Shuttle “Challenger”. STS-7 was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983.

Celebrate Sally Ride Day by learning more about the U.S. space program and NASA.

If any of you young ladies (or  young gentlemen) have thought about becoming an astronaut, hopefully  you will follow your dream of going into space. Until then, here is some practice gear for you.


This Official Jr. Astronaut Suit is available in child and adult sizes. If you stop in today you just might see Annie suited up in her astronaut gear.

Unfortunately, Annie’s head is a little too big to wear the realistic Official Jr. Astronaut Helmet with built in sound chips, a spring loaded retractable shield plus a mock boom microphone for communication.

As a famous Trekkie once said. “Space is the final frontier”.

Can you really have your Royal Wedding Cake and eat it too?

Did you know? At 29, Kate Middleton will be the oldest royal bride in history. That is to say, the oldest royal bride who wasn’t a divorcee. Eleanor of Aquitaine was believed to be 30 when she divorced King of the Franks Louis VII and married future king Henry II in 1152 (her exact birth date is a matter of some mystery), and the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla) was 57 when he became the Prince of Wales’ (Prince Charles)second wife in 2005. But typically, first-time royal brides tended to be in their teens except for Princess Diana, who was  20 when she married Prince Charles.   Who was the youngest bride? Errr… was Isabella of Valois, who was just six when she married the widowed Richard II in 1396.

If you are lucky enough to ever be an American invited to a royal wedding you would not be required to bow to the Queen, since you are not royal subject. (remember your late 18th century history). However, nodding slightly at the neck (for men) and bending slightly at the knees (the curtsey, for women) is considered a “gracious” thing to do.


After all is said and done,  you can just go live in your own castle or at least pretend play live in it.

Or Sweet Without Candy Treats ~  Easter Basket Alternative Ideas – Skip the Candy (or least some of it)

Easter is almost as popular as Christmas in many households and even gaining traction on Halloween, my personal favorite holiday, as many of you know.  Instead of filling up the kiddos’ baskets with sweets this year, why not try one (or more)  of these Easter basket ideas.

Any ideas, experience or photos? Please let us know and we will gladly give you credit.

These cute crayons are from Kitty Baby Love. Wouldn’t they be a fun surprise in an Easter Basket?

Tuck a Hexbug or two in and watch them chase the Easter Bunny around the house.

We asked our Facebook friends for suggestions and here are a few:

Ashley McDonald: I bought my son some origami kits because he LOVES origami. They cost me a dollar! He actually asked me not to get him candy because he already has a stash in his room that he isn’t eating. Lol!

Little Ladybugs Resale Boutique: My son loves fruit and veggies. We give home a fruit basket and seeds to plant to grow his own veggies he loves it and it gives us something to do as a family. We also do toys and games. (BTW her son is 3 years old)

Tanya Juergens: My kids usually get a traditional bucket for sandplay, filled with a kite, chalk, bubbles *crayola bubbles this year*, a $5 g/c to Subway, apples, “Cuties”, bananas, gardening gloves, a new watering can, flower and veggie seeds and a garden… starter set. They LOVE it, plus everything equals to hours of fun outside! This year though instead of the sand buckets, the are getting bike baskets and a helmet..on brand new bikes:o) The 2 older ones grew so much since last year that we thought it would be a cute idea!

Kassie Epperson Luster: We also do the seeds thing and things they can play with when we go to the beach and new swim suits, sunglasses, flip flops, cover ups everything to match. They are to excited about all the beach stuff to even think about the candy that’s missing.

With Earth Day on April 22, echo-dough is a perfect addition. You may need this, oops, knead this. This alternative play-doh option is an extra-super-duper nontoxic play-dough is packaged in compostable containers. This all-natural, non-toxic play dough contains no chemicals, artificial dyes, or metals. Super soft with vibrant colors from plant, fruit, and veggie extracts! Add a few drops of olive oil if the dough dries out, and it’s ready to play with again.
6 colors: pink, white, brown, blue, green and yellow.

Jillian Perrin: In my 3 years olds Easter bucket this year…flip flops, Easter socks, a lollypop of hairbands, stickers, fridge magnets, sidewalk chalk, Easter book, Easter egg paint kit, a few chocolate bunnies and bubbles.

Heather Lynne St. John: This year I went and got my 8 & 6 year a gift certificate to Justice. They love to shop plus other things they needed. We didn’t do a lot of candy this year.

Team Totally Suggestions:

  1. Juice Boxes
  2. Small Boxes of Rasins
  3. Bubbles
  4. Sidewalk Chalk
  5. Silly Putty
  6. Light Up Key Chains
  7. Funky Shoelaces
  8. Stickers
  9. Temporary tattoos
  10. Body Glitter
  11. Video Game Memory Card
  12. Card Games
  13. Pedometer
  14. Fantastic Socks
  15. Small Notebook
  16. Earphones
  17. Nail Polish
  18. Charms
  20. Inflatable Beach Ball
  21. Sunglasses
  22. Legos
  23. Rubber Stamps
  24. Kaleidoscope
  25. Personalized Stationery

Amy Bryan: Ok this year I have felt w sweater cupcakes from Birdie Baby Boutique, bubbles, garden tools and seeds, felt eggs I made, stickers, solar system wall stickers, playdough, bug cages and nets, sidewalk chalk, finger paints and (sorry) cake pops from April’s Tasty Treats.

Amy Fedorchak: I make baskets with toys and stuffed animals. No candy in the baskets at all.

Toni Snow Parkhurst: We start Easter eve by dying eggs, new bunny pjs and a new Easter book and set out our basket. The Easter bunny fills it with bubbles, lip glosses, toy jewelry, stickers and other snack items like bunny crackers/goldfish, etc…

Betsy Seberson: This will be our first ‘official’ Easter with our son, he just turned 1! We will be camping, in the woods, so he’ll be filling his basket/bucket on a hunt for pine cones, sticks, rocks, leaves and possibly a few little goodies we’ll bring from home! Hope our tradition ‘sticks’! ~get it~z

Passover or “Pesakh”begins at sunset today. It is an eight day celebration observed each 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 having 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!

We’re not crackn’ any eggs this weekend, saving that task, but with Easter just a week away, there are some other special projects on our list.

First off this Egg Shaped Lantern from the Chocolate Muffin Tree looks ideal brightening up a gloomy gray Minnesota Saturday.


Kick off an Easter candy high or if you have will power of steel, how about making pizza with left over candy? Left over candy, what’s that? French Knots has this sweet Easter Candy Pizza recipe for you.


For us, egg coloring will be next weekend when we really get crackn’.

This eco-eggs coloring kit is made from natural plant, fruit and vegetable extracts. It includes three natural dyes (orange, blue and purple), a color chart for creating 6 colors and instructions for coloring eggs. Packaged with creature cutouts for the cutest and healthiest Easter Eggs ever!

How do you like your eggs? Aren’t these cute? And so appetizing at the same time! Peep peep….

Five alarm fun when you fire them up for playtime during the day then it’s off to bed to rest your head in a  hero’s bed! Our Fire Station No. 2 Loft Bed includes the top twin size bed, built in  guardrails.

We asked our Facebook Friends to help name this bed and Cheryl Bowles offered inspiration and won a $15.00 Totally Kids fun furniture & toys Gift Card.

Jr. Fireman Suit
Here is one red hot item for your little hero. It is by
far the most  official looking fireman’s suit anywhere.
Loaded with all of the details of the authentic fireman’s
suits! There is an adjustable hard helmet, adjustable
black or tan bib overalls complete with pockets and
knee patches and adjustable suspenders. Oh, and
did we mention the coat buckles and authentic
gauntlet cuffs. Sizes: 2/3, 4/6, 8/10, 12/14
View size chart here.

Every Fire Station needs a Dalmatian and you can have one too!

My First RC Fire Truck
Putting out fires in a neighborhood near you! The award winning My First RC, Fire truck includes a steering-wheel style two button remote and bump n go siren sound. Squeezable soft and chunky in shape makes it perfect for little hands. Made in a safe, child friendly design and controlled by a simple function remote. Push the button up and the truck goes straight. Push the button down and it spins in circles. Chunky style is perfect for little hands.