Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Educational Toys That Positively Impact Your Toddler’s Development

There have been numerous debates over the years about the growth rate of a youngsters’ development. Personally, I firmly believe that the toddler years are some of the most important years, because kiddos are exploring new things and learning about the world around them – all while maintaining that sense of awe and wonder.

On that note, I have accumulated a short list of 3 of the best educational toys for toddlers. These baubles, gadgets, and knickknacks are designed to have a supremely positive impact on your cutie’s development, giving them the perfect learning experience while you provide the perfect learning environment.

And my picks for awesome educational toys are:


Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Cube

Shape sorting is a tried-and-true developmental skill that we all have experience with, and Melissa & Doug have put their own spin on this classic. The colors are bold, primary shades in varying shapes, such as a star, square, heart, and triangle. They are prevalent and chunky, perfect for fitting into a matching wooden box with shapely cutouts. These types of toys teach memorization, colors, counting, hand-eye coordination, and imaginative thinking. Plus, this toy is long-lasting for generations of playing and learning.


ALEX Toys Early Learning Button Art

I love anything art-related! I think a creative outlet is one of the best things you could offer your toddler, regardless of age – and it definitely helps that Button Art is such as positive, developmental influence. There are buttons of varying colors – bright, vibrant, vivid, and wonderful, and there are 46 that easily nestle into a single, artsy tray. The objective is for kids to finish 10 pictures by snapping the buttons where they are supposed to go. It improves fine motor skills, creative thinking, and hand-eye coordination – all things that growing toddlers need most.


VTech Rhyme and Discover Book

The best educational toys for toddlers are those that provide learning without letting on to kids that they are learning – and this book is one of the best. You can foretell that the lessons in the Discover Book are simply fun and awesome because of the front cover. There are primary colors in vivid, vibrant shades, attention-grabbing light-up buttons, and a trio of dancing, fluffy, adorable animal. Those aspects alone are enough to get any toddler excited. And then, when you open it up, there are 5 easy-turn pages brimming with sing-along songs, nursery rhymes, and a high-flying, cutesy butterfly to lead the way.

Video - here are this year's top 5 picks among toddler educational toys this year, according to the Top 10 Store:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Greatest Spy Toys for Curious Little Spies-in-Training - Best Picks for 2014

Years of researching and composing the most awesome lists of toys has taught me something… kiddos are naturally curious and eager to learn more about EVERYTHING. And with super sleuths around, who could blame them?

When I was growing up, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew took center stage in my bedtime reading, and the game Clue had myself and friends captivated for hours.

Though now, there are some of the best spy toys for kids worldwide. Instead of simply reading or playing a board game, youngsters can become the sleuths they always dreamed of being.

My top 3 picks for those awesome spy toys are:


Spy Gear Ultra Range Walkie Talkie

The one problem I always had with Walkie talkies was the distance that I could go before the signal would fail. This was way before texting was invented, and talking long-distances required landline telephones or dial-up Internet access.

Now, technology has come a tremendously long way, and we are blessed with these – Walkie talkies that have a range of up to 2 miles. That is clear, concise, amazing communication wherever spies-in-training may go.


Rear View Spy Sunglasses

We have heard the expression “I have eyes in the back of my head,” mainly from our parents when they knew we were doing things we shouldn’t have been doing. And I bet these spy sunglasses would have come in handy for them back then!

On the exterior, these look like typical, traditional sunglasses. The black shades are shiny and perfect, without as much as a scratch on the clear lenses. However, the interior is a different matter entirely. Separated into 2 segments, kids can see in front of them through regular spots in the lenses, and behind them through mirrored spots on the outer edges.


Spy Gear Field Agent Spy Pen

In my humble opinion, no great spy is complete without their trusty, super-cool spy pen - after all, someone has to write down the awesome messages of their detective journey.

These pens makes decoding and writing experts out of every spy-in-training, as they are overflowing with awesome gadgets.

Plus, for those times when transcribing is a must, kids can press a secret button to start recording the many conversations they have with their prospective villains.

When the recorder is on, a miniature red LED is subtly shining on the side, letting little spies know that the pen is working.


Here is an ultra-super-007-cool video - spy toys for kids in 2014:

Classic Wooden Kitchens for Young Chefs-To-Be

Cooking has always been a hidden passion of mine. I say hidden because not every one of my recipes has been accepted with zest and enthusiasm, but hey – I try. Wink!

This hobby of mine started with imaginary meals for both imaginary and real friends and family, and I believe that is where most kids come into their desire to cook and create stunning dishes.

For this reason, I have carefully, expertly picked 3 of the best wooden kitchens for kids. However, not only are these constructed from tried-and-true wood, they are also classics; something that you may have been familiar with when you were growing up.

The 3 best kitchens, in my humble opinion, are:


Melissa and Doug Cook’s Corner Wooden Kitchen

This corner-side, classic kitchen is ideal for teaching your young chef how to prepare the best imaginary dishes. It is equipped with the usual amenities of a working kitchen, such as a stovetop, miniature oven, and kitchen sink.

But there are also extras, such as the nifty cutting board, timer alarm for when meals are prepared, and hide-away shelves. There is also a serving area where guests – both real and imagined – can pick up their food.

One of the greatest facts about this awesome kitchen is that it can fit anywhere in your home.


KidKraft Vintage Kitchen (White)

I think I may love this kitchen so much because it has vintage in the name – and because it reminds me of something I would see in an episode of I Love Lucy. Awesome!

While this particular kitchen set features a mixture of white and chrome amenities, there are actually varying colors for your youngster to choose from. Each kitchen comes equipped with the usual appliances, such as a faux fridge, freezer, stovetop, and oven – but there are added benefits, such as the microwave, serving shelf, under-the-sink cupboard, and real turning knobs.


KidKraft Deluxe Let’s Cook Wooden Kitchen

This kitchen is slightly more elaborate than the previous entries, as it has enough space for multiple kiddos to do their imaginary cooking at the same time.

The name proudly states the obvious – LET’S COOK! And this kitchen is positively PACKED with amenities to make it stand out.

The colors are bold and primary with complementing reds, yellow, and blues over a white base. Plus, a scenic background with a window provides a realistic backdrop behind the sink.


Here is a video "shortie" - cute top picks among wooden toy kitchens for the kiddos 2014...

3 Toys to Get Kids Excited About Science

To the point – science toys should be entertaining, attention-grabbing, imaginative, and educational, which are challenging attributes to find when you are searching through hundreds of toys per day. However, I have stumbled across 3 – a proverbial triple-threat of awesome science-oriented knickknacks that are guaranteed to have your youngsters jumping for joy about their next science experiments and learning projects.

These toys offer a creative outlet for kids, as well as a way for them to learn about the awesome things that can occur when things are combined, blended, and created. Plus, these toys can be used anywhere – at home, in a home classroom for home-schooled kids, in a public classroom for public-schooled kiddos, or truly anywhere.

And those 3 magical, super-cool picks among the best kids' science toys are:


Uncle Milton Moon In My Room

Named appropriately the “moon in my room,” this set brings the beauty of the moon to your home. Instead of heading outside to try to see through the clusters of clouds on a rainy evening, kids can explore the craters of our moon by simply pressing a button. This moon cycles through a dozen phases, and the glow is luminous, realistic, and perfect for use a bedtime nightlight. Truth be told, I have definitely added this to my personal wish list for the holidays!


Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden

A personal favorite – the Butterfly Garden gives children (and kids-at-heart) the opportunity to nurture and nourish baby caterpillars into flourishing, beautiful butterflies. The habitat is made from collapsible mesh, and it can be reused over and over again with numerous caterpillar-to-butterfly projects. There are mail-in order forms that snag kids their caterpillars, and food for those crawly, furry insects are included. They snack over a period of days, grow, cocoon, and morph into lovely butterflies that you can set free in your own backyard.


4M Crystal Mining Kit

Exploring caves and caverns is one of the great wonders of our lifetimes because those underground holes hold so much grandeur and awe-inspiring beauty, especially when it comes to their natural crystals and gems. This set allows science-minded cuties to explore the wonders of caves from the safety of their homes. No spelunking required! Included in each set are 8 crystals and gemstones, encased in crack-open plaster that children have to whittle down with plastic picks. When they have dug through the “dirt” like true archeologists, they can admire their treasures like true geologists.


Sa-weet!  And - here is a cool "top 5" list of the best science toys for kids in 2014:


The Best Ride-On Toys for Boys in 2014

The 2014 ride-on toys for boys are over-the-moon amazing! And, for all you parents of eager toddlers, here is the major reason why these ride-on toys are so awesome.

Ponder this:

When someone has a toddler-age son, other parents become sympathetic in a giggling way. They pat your back and, with empathy in their eyes, relay horror stories about how much your newly-toddler tyke is going to get into. Fortunately, you know that most little lads get into the most trouble when they’re bored – and instead of being one of those sympathetic parents, you plan on breaking the cycle of terrible-twos by getting your cutie something to occupy his time.

This is where 3 of the best ride-on toys for boys 2014 comes in:


Maxi Micro Scooter

A unique alternative to traditional scooters, the Maxi Micro has learn-to-steer technology that teaches kiddos how to “drive” their ride-on. It is a perfect first for ages 6-12, and the entire construction is different. For example, there are 2 wheels in the front – set apart to distribute weight and keep kids rolling smoothly.

While there are 2 mini-wheels on the back – set close together to establish better balance and optimum stability.


Step2 Thomas the Train Up and Down Roller Coaster

Face it – Thomas the Train rocks! He is an absolute must-have in any form, and the fact that he is a ride-on here is amazing. For ages 2-5, Thomas is featured as his typical train-style self with a friendly face and contrasting shades of red and blue.

Thomas is the actual ride-on car. The track is comprised of 4 snap-together pieces, making a 9-foot rollercoaster for toddlers when everything is assembled. There are also 2 steps that can go on either side of Thomas, giving kids a no-slip way to climb aboard.


Kid O Go Car

Curves are simply better when it comes to cars – even ride-on ones. The Go Car is unique, imaginative, and made from high-grade plastic that is domed into a seamless vehicular replica. The rooftop of the car is the seat and grasp-friendly handle, while the headlights offer a sense of realism.

Available in awesome blue, red, and green, the Go Car also features 4 durable wheels of molded rubber for smooth-rolling amusement. The speed of your youngster on this ride-on depends entirely on how fast he kicks off from the ground. This one rolls best on sleek surfaces, such as sidewalks and hardwood flooring.


Find the current top-sellers and highly rated ride-ons for boys this year:


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

RC Helicopters That Bring Families Together - Top Picks

Very few things are as important as family. As a matter of fact, it is a challenge for me to think of ANYTHING more important than bonding with my youngster, and I know hundreds of parents who feel the same way. Which is why I strive to pick knickknacks that bring kids closer to their parents because those toys may be something the entire family can experience together, such is the case with the best remote control helicopters of 2014.

Remote-controlled helicopters have been around for decades, and they are incredibly entertaining and fun to maneuver – regardless of your age. Plus, they are the ultimate bond-together toys for parents, kids, siblings, and anyone who wants to join in the amusement.

My top 3 picks among the entire list of the best RC helicopters this year are:


Air Hogs R/C Rollercopter

I love the idea of the Rollercopter!

RC choppers are prone to accidents and bumps, and those occasional boo-boos are not always operator error. Sometimes anything can affect the high-flying skills of a copter, such as wind, drizzling rain, or slight changes in breeze patterns. However, the Rollercopter is a smart alternative! Instead of leaving the chopper’s fate to chance, Air Hogs has encased the chopper in a cage of flexible, durable plastic. This allows the helicopter to reach maximum altitudes without the chance of irreparable damage if it should come tumbling down.


Air Hogs Battle Tracker Firing Helicopter

Another Air Hogs favorite – the Battle Tracker is a unique, awesome chopper that provides gameplay to operators. Kids, friends, and adults can snag several of these choppers for rounds of multi-player action. Or they can play singly, shooting down targets on high-flying missions.

Plus, the Battle Tracker is PACKED with cool features – such as 18 missiles, 7 reloadable discs, and a shooting mechanism to launch everything at top speeds. Furthermore, an intelligence chip memorizes operator flight patterns, and there are flying capabilities to keep the chopper steady.


Haktoys Video and Camera 17” R/C Helicopter

This chopper is the definition of adventurous bonding time! While the outside may appear to be your average, run-of-the mill RC copter, there is actually a video camera and recorder attached to the center-front. Instead of high-flying blindly, siblings, parents, and kiddos can take turns exploring, recording, and filming their landscapes from the comfort of the ground.

Then, when their in-flight journey is over, the footage can be downloaded and reviewed from a high-in-the-sky point-of-view.


Video - top 5 picks based on popularity + reviews during 2014 - RC Heli's: