Wednesday, May 27, 2015

3 Outdoor Toddler Toys that Your Kiddo Will Love

In my humble opinion, outdoor toddler toys should inspire a youngster’s imagination, creativity, and drive to learn – all at a young age. These kinds of toys are designed to be attention-grabbing and engaging, holding a kiddo’s interest while encouraging them to learn, play, and grow as their own little people.

I am a big fan of summer, and I think toddler toys can and should be played with outside, giving kiddos the opportunity to soak up a little vitamin-rich sunshine. Plus, this is a great way for entire families to bond.  The following short list among the best outdoor toys for toddlers gives parents the opportunity to play along, imagine, and bond with their children...


Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper

Most toddlers jump at the chance to go outdoors when the sun is shining – and I mean literally jump. This Pogo Jumper mimics the motions of a real pogo stick, only this is way safer for little ones who are new to the joys of jumping.

Trust me – I would know since I had a real pogo stick when I was 5 years old, after begging my parents for one – and THIS is MUCH safer. Haha.

Kids stand on the foam platform while holding the handle, and make little jumps for bouncy, buoyant fun.


Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

Another favorite of mine that takes me back to my childhood – this little basketball set gives kids sporting opportunities to be the next big basketball star. At least in their own backyard. The basketball hoop stand is adjustable to accommodate your growing youngster, and the hoop and rim are oversized for easy dunking.

This outdoor toddler toy includes a toddler-sized basketball – perfect for little hands. This is one of those toys that allow kids to practice their grasping, gripping, and hand-eye coordination.


Gazillion Bubble Machine

Bubbles, bubbles, more bubbles! This machine is all about the bubbles! The design is brilliant, as there is a fan in the back that blows bubble solution through a series of spinning hoops, making perfect, plump bubbles. No wonder this one is nicknamed the Hurricane!

The Bubble Machine blows an extraordinary 500 bubbles per minute, making it the perfect accent for birthday parties and kid-friendly festivals or events. A special bubble solution is included, and you can always buy more when you run out. Plus, the machine is super-easy to take apart and clean.


For 2015, here is a video short-list of top-selling and highly rated toddler toys for the great outdoors:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Snuggly Teddy Bears for Cuddly Kids

In my opinion – the most lovable teddy bears are those that are super-plush and cuddly, perfect for snuggling during bedtime stories and slumbering with in the wee hours of the morning.

These teddy bears are also ideal for kids, because – as luck would have it – youngsters are equally as huggable, adorable, and snuggly. When these two combine, you have the perfect combination of hugs, cuddles, snuggles, and comfort throughout a youngster’s childhood.

Kids who have had teddy bears that they absolutely LOVE for the majority of their youth, are statistically more likely to sleep better, have fewer nightmares, and be more prepared for bedtime. Crazy, I know – but true, and I have hand-picked 3 among the best teddy bears that will likely prove it to you.


My Pillow Pet Large Panda Bear

I actually have this pillow pet and it is absolutely my favorite must-have snuggle-buddy of all time! I named my Po after the Panda in Kung Fu Panda, and he is ultra-soft, snuggly, and perfect for anyone with a love of sleeping soundly on plush comfort.

My pillow pet usually stays in the shape of an unrolled, heavily slept-on pillow – however, for youngsters and those who need something to wrap their arms around at night, these Pandas can roll into a bulky, chunkier stuffed animal with the help of Velcro straps.


Fisher-Price Doodle Bear

Doodle bears have been around since the mid-90s – however, they disappeared, obviously for a makeover, and now they are back with resounding popularity. This one is nicknamed Rose for her lovely, rose-toned color, and kids can scrawl and doodle on her plush body and face with a slew of included washable markers.

The markers dry quickly, so snuggling won’t result in colorful stripes of your youngster’s own – and each doodle bear washes clean in the washing machine.


Gund Philbin 18” Bear

Pictures of Philbin really never do him justice! This adorable teddy bear is fluffy, cuddly, and oh-so-snuggly with plush fur that feels as if you’re running your fingers through velvet. His body is slightly under-stuffed for a leaning, softer look and feel, and his eyes are expressive in pearly black and chocolaty brown.

This teddy bear is a must-have! For washing concerns, Philbin can be machine washed and tumbled dry on a low setting. Or, for the sake of assurance, you can hand-wash and hang-dry for a few hours. Kids will totally love how warm and squishably soft Philbin remains – even after hundreds of washes.


For the spring, summer of 2015 (and likely far beyond) - here is a list of the top teddy bears:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fantastic LEGO Sets for 4 Year Olds

2015's "Best of" LEGO Sets for 4 Year Old Kids

Most of the time – we are all in agreement that the ages of 2-3 are toddlers, but what about a 4 year old? Have these youngsters made the transition to full-fledged ‘kids’ yet? Or do you consider these almost-there kiddos still toddlers? Just a thought! 

For me, I think 2-4 year olds are toddlers, as youngsters are gathering their hand-eye coordination and developments – the attributes that make independent kids out of dependent toddlers. 

With the above in mind – I have handpicked the best LEGO sets for 4 year olds. Included are DUPLOs, which are bigger building bricks, and then there are traditional building bricks – each in their own respectively, colorfully awesome glory. 

Three of the top-notch, most fantastic LEGOs for 4 year old youngsters are:


Abundant and bountiful with over 600 colorful building bricks – this LEGO set is my personal favorite. 

There are elements to make a multitude of awesome, imaginative buildings, animals, and automobiles – and each brick is perfect for easy-grasping amusement that can last for hours at a time.

Your youngster is reigning royal over their own LEGO domain with this set, and the building bricks brim within the convenient, tote-around bucket when they are finished playing. 


Packed with a powerful wallop of unique, rare colors, this LEGO favorite brims with over 650 building bricks of various sizes. The only limit here is your kiddo’s imagination, as the bricks provide inspiration by simply being free of a theme. 

Instead of adhering to a specific set – your youngster has the opportunity to make their LEGO dreams into realities. There are enough bricks here for buildings, animals, vehicles, and literally thousands of other creations. 


There are 2 versions to this set – one for boys and another for girls in either green or pink. However, I think both options are perfect for either gender of any age, as the only things that change are the DUPLO characters. 

The green set (which is the one I chose to represent here) features a boy LEGO DUPLO figurine, an adorable puppy, and elements to build wagons, homes, and a number of other awesome structures. 

For stowing away of the 65 LEGO building bricks – the green container (which is shaped like a gigantic LEGO brick) is accommodating and roomy. Plus, it is compact enough to carry around on short road trips, or to place in a toy box until next playtime.


More LEGOs for 4 year olds - here is a top 5 "short list" of popular and highly rated sets for this year:

3 Top Picks in Toys for 5 Year Old Girls - 2015 Tried and True Favorites

This past Christmas, quite a number of new toys were released.  As someone who studies and writes about toys, I have found that waiting for the "dust to settle" after the Christmas rush is actually the best time to find which toys among all the new releases have received the best ratings and reviews from consumers - answering this question - "Which toys have stood the test of time?"

Now almost into summer-time, the list of toys for girls at or around age five that stand out are not as difficult to "filter out" or track down.

So - after quite a bit of scouring and researching - I picked 3 among the best toys for 5 year old girls which not only have maintained their position as great-sellers, but look like they will be true favorites for quite a while - and would likely be great gifts for just about any girl this age.


My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll

Elsa was a mega-hit this year, as was the entirety for the Disney movie, Frozen. So – it should come as no surprise that her dolly likeness is one of the top 3 most creative, awesome toys for 5-year old girly-girls in 2015.

There are dozens of shimmering sparkles and gleaming glitters that give this Elsa an ethereal glow, and she beautifully sings a stunning rendition of ‘Let it Go’ for her newfound friends.

Plus, she wears a shining snowflake around her neck that lights up during the peaks in her song.


Kindle Fire HD Kids’ Tablet

When Amazon released the Kindle Fire, I was beyond excited and that tablet became my go-to for everything. Now, kids can experience that same exhilaration of having all of their favorite movies, books, and music on-hand.

The differences? These Kindle Fire tablets are designed especially for youngsters, as they have parental controls and child-friendly WiFi options.

There are also rubber bumpers around the edges of each tablet, meaning your youngsters can have their dropsy accidents without damaging the screen of their new Kindle.


LeapFrog LeapBand

Fitness is one thing that has always been somewhat of a constant focus in my life, and I do indeed believe that kids should go outside and play as often as possible. Or do some kind of exercise to keep their hearts and minds healthy. Which is why I absolutely LOVE the LeapBand.

This is the first activity tracker to ever be designed especially for kids. There are lots of intriguing, interesting games for youngsters to play – each one challenging enough to match a preset skill level.

As kids complete the activity and exercise missions, those games get tougher, offering fun challenges for kids to feel accomplished about completing.


Here are some more suggestions in toys for girls age 5 - this list is for the spring and summer 2015:

To find this year's current "hot top 10" list of top-selling and highly rated toys for five year old girls, here is where to go:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Best Kiddie Pools for Swimming Beginners

Most people think of teaching their toddlers how to swim, and automatically conjure up images of swimming fins and inflatable wings. Anything to keep their kiddos afloat. However, swimming begins by getting your youngsters accustomed to water.

Some kids only freak out in the swimming pool because of the new weightless, floating feeling.

The following three picks among the best kiddie pools are perfect for getting your toddler accustomed to splashing and playing in the water. Kids can learn how to be calm when water hits their chin or engulfs their waist, which is essential to keeping your youngsters safe in watery situations.

Plus, a couple of these kiddie pools have toddler-friendly extras, such as little learning toys attached to the pool rims.


Intex Rainbow Ring Pool Play Center

If I have never mentioned how much I love rainbows, then I am doing it now… I LOVE rainbows!

The colors are vibrant, beautiful, and bold, especially when they are incorporated into a kiddie pool. Each element of the Rainbow Ring Pool is inflatable, and it inflates in minutes. Good news for parents!

This kiddie pool features everything colorful and rainbow-themed, such as a center slide, wading pool, water sprinkler, ring toss game, and vivid, plastic throwing balls.


Intex Lil’ Captain Baby Pool

Sure – your toddlers absolutely love being out in the warmth of the summertime sunshine, but those UV rays can be harmful and damaging to your kiddo’s skin. This kiddie pool gives your toddler protection from the harsh sunshine, while still letting your baby bask in the heat.

In the shape of a pirate ship, this kiddie pool – nicknamed the Lil’ Captain – features a canopied wading area, awesome pirate-themed d├ęcor, and an inflatable wheel that your youngster can use to steer their pirate ship.


Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool

More rainbow rings? Yes, please! This kiddie pool – dubbed the Sunset Glow – features three rings of vibrant, vivacious color, stacked atop one another to provide a comfortable, wading pool for your baby. This kiddie pool accommodates 22 gallons of fresh water, and the rings are super-soft for little hands to grasp.

For your baby’s bottom comfort, the base of the Sunset Glow is extra-cushioned, yet firm for support. With supervision, kids can spend hours basking in the coolness of refreshing water, while enjoying the warmth of summer.

Plus, when your youngster gets a little older, there are bigger versions of the Sunset Glow, so you can simply upgrade.

If you still are thinking about which kiddie pool might be the best for your own purposes, here is a "top 5" video that might help you along:

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Best STEM Toys for Brainy Kids

STEM equals Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. In recent years, these types of toys have surged to the forefront of kids’ want lists, especially brainy kids with a knack for learning about anything and everything. The best STEM toys are interactive and hands-on, offering youngsters the chance to research and learn by doing and experimenting.

I am ALL for STEM toys! They are the stimulating answer to the dilemma of uniform education, where many of our children are left behind in the most important subjects. With these gadgets and project sets, kids can learn at home, at their own pace – all while having heaps of awesome fun.

My favorite three STEM toys for brainy kids are –


Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100

When I was a kid, it would routine practice to take everything in our house apart to see how it worked. Of course, I got into A LOT of trouble doing this, but it sparked my lifelong fascination with engineering and science.

For kiddos who have considered tearing apart their televisions, clocks, and radios, this set saves the electronic gadgets around your home. There are over 30 circuits on a base board, each connected to a different energy source that allows youngsters to make something by simply connecting the circuits.
Kids can experiment with different circuit combinations, creating over 100 unique projects, like a burglar alarm, clock radio, and pager beep.


LEGO Ideas Birds Model Kit

This model kit is one of my all-time favorites! Sure, it is a great, stimulating STEM toy – but it also teaches patience, encourages imagination, and sparks creativity.

Artsy kids will love spending hours building elaborate birds from over 500 LEGO building bricks. Each kit comes with a diagram and concise instructions, detailing how to make a beautiful blue jay, gorgeous hummingbird (with accompanying flower), and red-breasted robin.


Scientific Explorer Magic Science for Wizards Only Kit

I remember when the first Harry Potter book came out. I was skeptical at first, but after reading the initial book, I gulped down the others in record time – resulting in a full-blown Potter-head.
This set reminds me of my childhood spent reading about the misadventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione – only this set’s magic is totally based in science.

Kids can mix potions that cause scientific reactions, such as color-changing sunsets in a tube, or dancing powders. Or, they can read silly rhymes as incantations to get the true ‘magic’ feel.
Adult supervision is a must!


And - check out this video short - it's the "top 5" among the top 10 best-selling and highly rated STEM toys this year.  Some nifty picks:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Best Toys for Imaginative 2 Year Old Girls

2015's Top Toys for Girls Age 2

Which toys for two girl old girls would be great?  Those that inspire. 

Each kiddo is different, which means the way they express themselves have to be entirely unique, nurturing their flourishing little imaginations. Or, BIG imaginations in most cases. The smallest little girl could be housing the most amazing things in her mind! 

This short list of three of the best toys for 2 year old girls is for just those types. The ones who practically overflow with imagination, creativity, and make-believe potential. The ones who look at the world and see vibrant colors where others might see grey and white. 


For girlie girls with an adventurous streak – this trike grows and adjusts to match ever-changing heights and imaginations. For infants, the trike begins as a stroller, one that mom or dad can nudge and steer along with the help of a push-along handle. As your little girl grows, the stroller becomes a push-along, or pull-along, tricycle that she can mimic riding. 

When she’s ready, in her toddler years, the trike turns into a traditional tricycle, complete with training wheels. Then, finally, for those cuties that are finally feeling truly confident and adventurous, the trike morphs into classic – sans training wheels, so girlies can pedal as fast as their legs can go.


Elmo has always been a favorite of mine. His high-pitched little laugh inspired me to snag a Tickle Me Elmo in the 90s, and from there, he has graced my television at least once a week for the last couple decades. 

There is simply something inspiring about how imaginative and creative this furry, red creature can be. 

The new Let’s Imagine Elmo is all about imagination. He encourages kiddos to use their imaginations, dressing him up as a sea captain, prince, or cowboy with an assortment of adorable hats. 


Building is one of the first ways that little ones can really express themselves, especially when the building blocks are chunkier and easier to grasp by little hands. 

These building blocks, also known as Mega Bloks, consist of 80 colorful bricks, easy to snap together and build something from nothing. Their colors match the hues of the primary color wheel, teaching kids about colors, while improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. 

After playtime, these blocks can stow away inside the convenient, easy-zip bag.


Here is a fun little video "short list" of 2015's top toys for girls age 2:

The Best Toys for Sporty 2 Year Old Boys

Best Two Year Old Boys' Toys of 2015

Toys that are geared toward boys age two are those that seem to speak to their unique personalities. Kids can be anything in the entire world, and it is up to us, as parents and caregivers, to encourage their imaginations. 

Some little boys are artsy and keen on designing, building, and constructing. Others are more in tune with their inner athlete, using their athletic know-how to push the boundaries of their fitness levels with sports and outdoor activities. 

This article is for those little boys. The ones who love playing outside, using their legs, arms, and imaginations to throw, catch, spin, twirl, and be awesome. 

For those sporty (very) young lads, the following three toys are what I would consider the best of the best toys for 2 year old boys.


T-Ball was the end-all, be-all sport of my childhood. I, my siblings, and the neighborhood kids would congregate on the playground fields during the weekends, playing for hours until we heard our parents calling from our houses (only a few seconds away). It sounds like a scenario out of Leave It To Beaver, but those were the best days. 

Now, kids can experience the same level of sportiness and awesomeness in their own backyards. This T-Ball set is adjustable, accommodating toddlers as they grow, and featuring a chunky, easy-grasp bat, a tee, and two oversize tee-balls for perfect swings and hits every time. 


Believe it or not – I had one of these when I was a youngster! I would spend SO much time practicing my free throws, and at the very short age of 8, I thought for sure that I would be a basketball player. Now, at just over 5-feet-1, I know those dreams were a bit far-fetched. Haha.  :)

This basketball set is, of course, adjustable with six settings to accommodate the height of your little tyke. An oversized rim ensures slam dunks and 3-point shots galore, and the toddler-sized basketball is small enough for little hands to grasp easily.


I never played on a scooter before, but from what the kiddos have said, I really missed out on the awesome fun of scootering around the neighborhood. 

This scooter is a first, perfect for adventurous, sporty little lads with a mischievous streak. Decked out in either pink or red, these scooters feature an extra-wide base with two front wheels, and a tapered bottom with a single back wheel. 

The design makes foot-powering the scooter easier, while providing your kiddo with stability, sturdiness, and confidence in knowing they are safe.


If you are searching for more, you can check out a "top 5" list video below, or visit our top 10 list for this year of toys for boys age 2 @

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Best, Safest Go Karts for On-the-Go Kids in 2015

Of course, as someone who cares for kids, you will naturally always be concerned for their safety. Keeping them safe becomes a number one priority in everything you buy, and you find yourself extensively researching the smallest toys to discover the ins-and-outs of any safety features.

Lucky for you, I have saved you a little bit of time in the research department. The following among the best go karts for kids also appear to be the safest, giving your on-the-go kids the protection they need while they are racing around open fields, rural lots, and your own backyard. Additionally, while these go karts have proven themselves to be the safest and very best of the best, you should also ensure your youngster has the right helmet and padding for their racing endeavors.


Razor Dune Buggy

A classic go kart, through and through – this Dune Buggy is a safe bet due to the low speed and the close-knit roll cage. A rectangular pattern of steel handlebars on either side of the seat go far in keeping kids steady, stable, and balanced while riding.

This go kart is electric-powered, reaching high speeds of 10 miles per hour. The hand throttle is equipped with brake controls, putting your kiddo in control of their starts and stops.


Hauck Traxx Thunder Go Kart

Sleek in all black, this go kart ranks high on the list of safe, classic ride-ons because of the roll cage. The cage encircles the seat on both sides, ensuring kiddos remain seated and safe throughout their ride. Of course, as mentioned before, parents should ensure their youngsters are well-equipped with the right helmet and padding – but this go kart adds an extra layer of safety protection.

The classic tires are inflated with air, making them easier to guide over all terrain. Additionally, a shifting break offers a gradual slow-down, while a second brake can be used for emergency, on-a-dime stops.


YBike Explorer Go Kart

This is probably THE safest go kart on this short list, because there are no batteries, charges, or technological gadgets required. This go kart is entirely, effortlessly, completely powered by kicks and pedals. Kids can go as fast as their legs can work, and the side railings provide optimum support to keep kiddos in place.

On the sides, a couple of handlebars jut upright with padded caps, providing easy grip and a strong grasp for steering, drifting, classic riding, and cornering. This go kart is awesome in contrasting black and lime green.

"The Vid" (dum, dum dum - dramatic music) -- here are this year's "hot top 5" go karts for kiddos...