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Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
As if your kids didn’t already love LEGOs, the brand took the classic toy up another coolness level this year with superhero-inspired bricks. Featuring the most famous good and bad guys, the line includes mini figures, large buildable action figures (like Captain America, pictured here), and even whole play sets devoted to the Marvel/DC universe. Now your child can assemble his or her hero before saving the world! Click here to check out the toys.
Thursday, October 11th, 2012
It’s that time of year again! You know, when Halloween hasn’t happened yet, but you’re already spotting Christmas stuff in stores. To help swing you into the holiday spirit a few months early, we’re giving away a plaything a day from our Best Toys of 2012 guide all month long! That’s right! You’ve got a chance to win a great gift every day to put under your tree! Click here to enter the sweepstakes and see what you can score today, tomorrow, or even next week. Goody luck!
Categories: Entertainment, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Must Read, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun | Tags: best toys, best toys of 2012, contest, free, freebies, gifts, Giveaway, holiday, playthings, sweepstakes, toys, toys of the year, win
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
Three of the hottest gifts for the holidays are the Kindle Fire, iPhone 4S, and the iPad 2. These big-ticket items may be a little too pricey for your gift-giving budget for friends this season (If not, friend me on Facebook. *wink, wink*), but you can still buy an awesome accessory for these devices. If your sweetie, BFF, or Aunt Marge already owns (or is about to own) one, consider giving a cool case to protect it.
For the iPhone 4S:
Two cases stood out for different reasons. First, the Juice Pack Air from Mophie serves as both a protective case and as a battery charger. This is great for people who are always on the go–and it helps with that pesky little battery-life problem the 4S seems to have. Mophie is also releasing a RED version of the case, which gives a portion of the proceeds to the fight against AIDS.
The other one is the CandyShell Flip from Speck. It solves one of the most annoying things about cases: You have to remove a lot of them to be able to dock your iPhone. Not an easy task once or twice a day. But the Flip’s bottom half bends back (without coming off) for easy docking. Genius.
For the iPad 2:
Speck also has a stellar selection of iPad 2 cases at different price points. But our hands-down favorite is Speck’s innovative case for kids. The iGuy makes it easy for kids to hold and carry the device–and harder for them to drop and break it. Plus, it’s just adorable-looking.
For the Kindle Fire:
G-Form wins the “Most Durable” award for its Kindle Fire case (It also has sleeves for the iPad 2). It’s water-resistant, impact-absorbing, and great for that klutzy friend on your list.
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Yesterday, we shared some more of our favorite video games for kids, but today, we’re highlighting our picks for the adults on your holiday-shopping list. That’s right! Grown-ups can get some use out of their children’s video-game systems, too. Check out our top three for 2011.
For Your Stress-Out Friend: He or she can mellow out with Deepak Chopra’s Leela–yes, that Deepak! ($40 for Wii or Xbox 360).
For Your Fitness-Loving / Fitness-Phobic Friend: Get your groove on and take the pounds off with Zumba Fitness 2. ($30 for the Wii)
For the Life of the Party: Whether your friend (or you) likes the show or just to show off, Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 3 will rock any holiday party. ($40+ for Xbox 360 or Wii)
For an Awesome Splurge: Exercise equipment that works with your Wii? Yes, please! Make work-outs more fun with Cyberbike Magnetic Edition. ($200)
Monday, December 19th, 2011
We featured our picks for the top 15 video games of the year in our December issue. Check them out by clicking here. But there are more great titles than we had space for. If you’re still looking for a great game, here are 15 more of our favorites for 2011.
Cool New Controller: uDraw Game Tablet with uDraw Studio: Instant Artist
Most Realistic (and Awesome) Game Play: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Perfect for Preschoolers: Team Umizoomi
Better Than the Movie: Puss in Boots
Fun for Families (with Little Kids): Carnival Games: Monkey See Monkey Do
Fun for Families (with Big Kids): Twister Mania
Great Get-Active Game: Kinect Sports Season 2
Childhood Flashback Favorite: Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
Best Crossover: Moshi Monsters
Multiplayer Pick: Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One
Most Innovative: Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure
Smart Selection: Fortune Street
Visually Stunning Game: Child of Eden
Terrific for Tweens (Girls): Victorious: Time to Shine
Terrific for Tweens (Boys): Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion
Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Woody the Rocking Horse
“What should I get a 1-year-old?” is a surprisingly frequent question around here, especially around the holidays. Here’s what I tell people:
1-YEAR-OLDS LOVE BLINKING, MUSIC-PLAYING PLASTIC TOYS. Their parents may hate them, but 1-year-olds love love love them. Why not make a kid happy? And though I’m always one to champion the little guys, toys from big companies are often great hits. Fisher-Price (with their Laugh & Learn line), VTech, Leapfrog, and Playskool all test their toys on real kids and pretty much nail what young toddlers want. Just pay attention to the age grading on the packaging. If it says “12 months and up,” don’t buy it for a 9-month-old and expect him to do much with it. If it says “3 years and up,” take that to heart; it usually means there are small parts that a child under 3 could choke on.
We got a lot of mileage out of this toy car!
TODDLERS ALSO LOVE TO IMITATE THEIR PARENTS. I just adore this about 1-year-olds, and 2-year-olds too. Before babes can walk around on their own, they are more or less stuck watching grown-ups, so when they begin to play, they imitate what they’ve seen, to often hilarious results. My daughter Grace had a toy cell phone, but instead of talking on it, she mostly pretended to be listening, and then would give an occasional big, fake laugh. Anything from pretend cell phones and keys (Parents makes these with Manhattan Toy, see them here) to kitchens (Step2 and Little Tikes make the classics) and toy cars have that I’m-just-like-Mom-and-Dad appeal. Both my kids were obsessed with the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. We got a lot of mileage, ahem, out of that one!
1-YEAR-OLDS WILL PLAY WITH PRETTY TOYS TOO. And these will make their parents much happier. Simple wooden cars are nice, or stacking blocks. Or a pretty wooden rocking horse. A rocking toy is such a classic, and there are so many fun versions. Our executive editor’s mom got her grandson, Julian, this adroable one. Is it a dino or a dragon? Doesn’t matter—the birthday boy loved it!
This year I’m liking Woody the Rocking Horse because he’s a modern-looking but totally classic toy. He’s also only $80, which makes him as affordable as many of the big plastic toys. And he’s got a nice story; Prince Lionheart, the company that makes him, started off in 1973 making rocking horses, you can see their story here. Note: Woody is age-graded 18 months and up, so make sure you’re buying it for a kid heading toward his second birthday!
And good news! One of you lucky ducks will win a Prince Lionheart Woody the Rocking Horse of your very own. Just leave a comment below; you can post once a day through Wednesday. I’d appreciate it if you posted what your own 1-year-old loves to play with! Click here for the full rules. Goody luck!
Categories: Babies, Birthdays, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun, Your Child | Tags: baby, gifts, Giveaway, GoodyBlog, little kids, Prince Lionheart, rocking horse, shopping, toys, win
Friday, October 14th, 2011
Just in time for the holidays, we’re giving away enough toys to make your kids very happy on Christmas morning. That’s right! You can take home the awesome playthings in one of five age groups (from baby to big kid) that’s in our November toy guide. To enter to win a fab prize pack, click here to go to the parents.com contest page. And don’t forget to check back for more great giveaways. Goody luck!
Categories: Entertainment, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun | Tags: best toys, Christmas, contest, contests, freebies, gifts, Giveaway, toys, win
Friday, June 17th, 2011
Father’s Day is this Sunday, and we have plenty of ideas to make the #1 dad in your life feel extra special.
Nothing quite says “I love you” like homemade gifts the kids spent time putting together. We have 12 Father’s Day crafts that moms and kids can make — from a super neat desk organizer to a personalized paperweight. Print a “Greatest Daddy in the Galaxy” certificate or create a royal crown to make dad king for a day.
If there’s a new dad in the house, alleviate his new father fears with these tips and teach him the how to be an awesome dad.
Handmade cards are also great to give, like these printable Father’s Day cards kids can color and decorate.
Happy Father’s Day!
More Father’s Day ideas on Parents.com
Categories: GoodyBlog, Holidays, Time for Fun | Tags: arts & crafts, crafts, dad, Dads, father, Father's Day, fatherhood, fathers, gift, gifts, holiday, holiday gifts, Holidays