Archive for the ‘ Toys ’ Category

City-Streets Felt Craft: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but my 4-year-old son Oliver is of the wheel-loving variety. Cars, trucks, trains…he loves it all. When I was flipping through the June/July issue of FamilyFun and saw this felt road project, I knew this was a must-do. It’s basically 2 materials—felt and duct tape— and no drying time. Gotta love crafts that simple. The photo in the magazine had yellow roads with black lines, but I didn’t have black duct tape, so I reversed it. (They also recommend using thinner tape that you don’t have to cut, but I discovered a work-around for that! Read on…)

What you’ll need:

  • Cereal or cracker box
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black felt
  • Yellow duct tape
  • Parchment paper

 

So the first thing to do is to measure and draw a 5″ by 5″ square onto the cardboard and cut it out.

Then, take this square and lay it on your felt to trace. You can make straight lines by just moving that cardboard piece or you can make an intersection like this one. Basically, I kept tracing and cutting until I ran out of black felt. Flip the felt over before the next step so any pencil lines are on the back.

The last step is to put the street lines on. Have you ever tried cutting duct tape? It’s a total pain in the rear—it sticks to the scissors, curls up, sticks to itself; basically, it’s a nightmare. So I came up with this quick technique. Ready? Rip off a piece of duct tape and stick it to parchment paper. Then, cut 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide strips. They peel right off and stick to the felt really well. Now it’s time to play!

Oliver and his friend Elias loved driving his cars around the streets! (Then Sommer came home from ballet, and joined in. Why not?) Bonus: It’s a great (read: lightweight), portable toy to take on trips.

Just as one extra added step, I made this little handy storage bag. I’m on a constant toy-organization rampage, and I figured it would be the easiest way to get Oliver and Sommer to put these pieces away. (It’s totally worth having a stash of these cotton bags to store small toy parts and pieces in!)

Home Organization: Organizing Toys
Home Organization: Organizing Toys
Home Organization: Organizing Toys

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Toy Storage on Wheels

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Yes, the blog is called Everyday Fun, but sometimes, fun must come in a different form. And today, I want to talk about how to organize the fun—specifically toys. I live in an apartment so my kids have toys both in their room and in the living room. They are still too young to be trusted to play alone in their bedroom so we are often living in a sea of blocks, legos, and puzzle pieces in our main living space. But I don’t always want their toys hanging out in the living room (can I host a cocktail party without Elmo staring at me from the corner of the room?) so I got this brilliant idea their toy storage containers should be on wheels. Well, apparently there are many other brilliant minds out there because I found a bunch of great options. Check out my top 5.

I had to start with the most brilliant of products, the Koloro Wagon by Ichiro. It’s not just a rolling toy bin. No no. It’s a wagon, a side table, a tool box, a tv tray. Plus it’s transformable by the kid. Say no more. Thank you Design for Minikind for featuring this.

We’ve all seen the crates on wheels, but I don’t think it ever gets old. Just attach some casters to wooden crates and voila! These are also so great because they can function beyond toys…store boots in your mudroom, gardening tools in the garage, or put a top on it and make it an ottoman. Found on Live Simply by Annie.

If wicker is your thing, then here’s the mobile toy bin for you from Wisteria.

The French never seem to get it wrong when it comes to clean and simple design for kids. Since most of the toys that go inside the bin are (usually) a gazillion colors, keep the containers neutral to calm the eye from time to time. If you can’t live without this, you can buy it from this French website.

Restoration Hardware has done a great job with the sophisticated toy storage bins. These are cool enough for loft living and can even hold text books in a college dorm. See how I think longterm investment?

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Talk to Your Kids…Through a Toy!

Friday, December 6th, 2013

 

We live in the world of the Jetsons. I remember as a kid I thought it would be SO cool to be able to talk on the phone and actually see the other person. Well, now we do that without even thinking twice. And our kids are going to grow up never having known a day when we couldn’t do this. We can also log into an app on our phones and check out our sleeping baby in her nursery. Being away from our kids is simply not what it used to be.

Enter Toymail—an absolutely adorable (and genius) new device that lets you send messages to your kids’ toy via an app on your phone. Each little character has a name and an identity (read their funny descriptions!) and on the back of these aptly shaped animals (note they are shaped like a blue, curbside mailbox), there is a play button and a record button. Once you record a message to your kid, the device will alert him that there’s a message waiting. After he plays it, he can record a message back to you.

So you know when you have that urge to call your daughter from work, and you call your babysitter and have a usually unfulfilling conversation? Well with Toymail you can just send a message, with your smoochy sounds and goofy voices, and then hope one comes back to you.

I’m not sure who will love this toy more…you or your child!

For more toys and games your little one will love, visit Shop Parents.

Tabletop Tree
Tabletop Tree
Tabletop Tree

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Tags: | Categories: Christmas, Gifts, Holiday, Toys