Posts Tagged ‘ toys ’

Parents Goody Giveaway: Win a Massive Play Kitchen from Step2!

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

As a child, I was fascinated with the idea of cooking. Putting together my own little meals using play food gave me a sense of what it was like making things for myself. It was totally fun to imagine my own dishes!

With Step2′s Heart of the Home Kitchen, today’s tykes ages 2 and up can still get that feeling of being their own chef. We love all the elements that encourage real-life interaction, like the bubbling stove top and the wipe-off board to make grocery lists. The set as a whole is an impressive 41 pieces, so there’s a lot to keep your little one busy!

For our latest giveaway, we are offering ONE lucky winner the chance to nab a Heart of the Home Kitchen for themselves (it’s worth $170!). To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day February 10. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on February 11 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

In the meantime, head into your REAL kitchen and try tossing up this Valentine’s Day recipe for strawberry milk with your sweetie!

Congrats to our winner Jaclyn Reynolds!

Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk
Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk
Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Win A Custom Baby Doll from American Girl

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

A lot of people think the best part of having a baby doll is dressing her up in the cutest clothing. But I like to think a girl’s love for her dolly goes beyond cultivating a stylish wardrobe. When it comes down to it, a baby doll is a special thing because it helps children learn what it means to really take care of something.

Constantly being looked after by adults can feel like you never get a say in anything. But a baby doll can become HER thing to watch over, offering a taste of responsibility and purpose as she totes the gal around.

With American Girl’s Bitty Baby, she can choose from 11 doll options plus shop for cool nursery accessories, like a white wooden crib or play piano. Of course, you can’t escape the adorable outfits, some of which come in big girl sizes so your child can match her doll’s attire.

American Girl is offering TWO winners the chance to choose their own custom Bitty Baby Doll. Each set, worth about $80, also comes with a wishing star keepsake toy and illustrated hardcover book.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day January 6, and don’t forget to read the official rules. Be sure to check back on January 7 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

Congrats to Bonnie Leigh and Taryn Tener!

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Got a Cool Design Idea for a Ride-On Toy? Tell Radio Flyer!

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Did your kid get a ride-on toy for Christmas? They are top of mind over here because (spoiler alert) we’re building bikes for a page in our May issue of Parents. Also, I’ve talked to plenty of parents over the last few days who said that putting together their child’s new vehicle on Christmas Eve was a…um…challenge! You have to have some time and patience (and usually a love of Allen Wrenches) when building.

But I do love the ride-ons; Radio Flyer’s new Ziggle is one of our Best Toys of 2013. And I got some fun news this morning: Radio Flyer is searching for the next great ride-on toy idea. The contest is open to anyone who has a concept for a ride-on toy that hasn’t been seen before. You have between now and Monday, January 6th to enter your idea securely through the Edison Nation site. If Radio Flyer loves your idea, they may license it and make the toy (and you can change your name to Santa Claus). Goody luck!

Seeking the Best Toys of 2013
Seeking the Best Toys of 2013
Seeking the Best Toys of 2013

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Win a Barbie Dreamhouse!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

This is a season of girl-power toys. But I take issue with GoldieBlox, which has an entertaining commercial (mostly featuring toys from other companies) and not yet a great product, IMO…here’s hoping they come out with something better next year. My colleague agrees, and also the Toy Industry Association nominated them yesterday for  ”Most Innovative Toy” but not for “Best Girl Toy,” I suspect because they need to up the fun factor a bit. 

One thing that was nominated for “Best Girl Toy” is a Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker bow. Yep, we’re breaking ground by giving girls sophisticated weapons, just as we do with boys. We declined to include weapons (except for the ones in a Lego set) in our Parents Best Toys story, but as a mom, I do know that toy weapons make it into the toybox…my son has a bow and arrow set, a Minecraft sword, and so on. I still balk at calling them a “best” toy.

All this makes me want to go back to an oldie but goodie. Several of us here swoon when we look at the two Barbie Dreamhouses sitting in the toy closet. What an awesome toy! Setting up the Dreamhouse is not an exercise in domesticity (who makes Barbie clean or cook?) but a fantasy of living on one’s own. Barbie is not a baby doll who needs to be mothered. She’s a grown-up and when I watch my daughter use Barbies, it’s to try out grown-up roles: Barbie is waitressing, she’s fighting with a friend and making up, she’s meeting a gal who is a mermaid. (There’s some practice in acceptance for you!)

It makes me wish that my son had a toy that could similarly let him try out social situations. Or that there was a more gender-neutral alternative to the Dreamhouse. The best we found for out Best Toys story is this awesome little Lego Treehouse.

In the meantime, these two beautiful Barbie Dreamhouses need to be with children who will love them and play with them. We’re happy to mail a Dreamhouse each to TWO lucky winners after the Thanksgiving break. Each is worth about $185. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and Monday, December 2, and don’t forget to read the official rules. Be sure to check back on December 3 and scroll to the bottom of the comments to see who won. We also reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

Congrats to our winners Tonya Munque and Mary Happymommy!

 

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Best Deals for the Week Across the Web

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

By Savings.com Editor Susan Yoo-Lee

 As a result of the shorter holiday shopping season, retailers are hoping to cash-in on sales by offering great deals before Black Friday and Cyber Monday even roll around.

 Here are some of the best deals across the web to help you meet your holiday shopping needs this year:

  1. Need toys and games for your little love bugs? Save $20 off your toy and game purchase over $200 at Sears. Use coupon code STOYS20. Expires 12/31/2013.
  2. If you’re one of the many millions planning to travel this holiday season, Budget car rental has an incredible offer for you. Until the end of this year, you can save 40% off your car rentals at Budget by using coupon code U347956. Expires 12/31/2013.
  3. Who doesn’t love Legos?  Get a free holiday set with your LEGO purchase over $99. Plus, you get free shipping. No code needed. Expires 10/31/2013.
  4. It’s getting colder as we write. If you need to get new shoes for your entire family, save $20 off your purchase over $100 at Shoes.com on Amazon. Use coupon code FLOWER13. Limited time offer and can expire anytime.
  5. Your four-legged family members also deserve some nice holiday gifts! At PetSmart, you can save $3 off your purchase over $10. Use coupon code BDAY10CAT13. Expires 11/04/2013.

 

This post contains affiliate links

 

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Toys That Tame the Terrible Twos

Monday, October 14th, 2013

The tantrums and the insistent chorus of “No!”: There’s a reason that the time between Baby’s second and third birthdays is called the Terrible Twos. Help keep drama at bay with play that hones your toddler’s motor skills, improves her linguistic abilities, and fuels her imagination. Need some inspiration? Try these picks from Shop Parents.

• A well-rested kid is a happy kid. Help yours get his Z’s with a soothing song from the cuddly Lullaby and Goodnight Elmo.

• She wants to express herself by drawing everywhere: on the walls, the driveway, the sidewalk. With this chunky chalk designed for little fingers, you can let her.

• Reading is fundamental, and it’s one of the best ways to teach children about language. Inspire a lifelong love of books with stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Win One of Two Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Packs Sweepstakes

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

I have to hand it to the Skylanders folks at Activision, they have an ingenious formula. Their collectible figures (“collectible” being a code word for “your child will hit you up for one every weekend”) can be played with on their own, but when you sit them on the game portal, they also appear in the video game. Parents who are ambivalent about screentime can be persuaded to buy Skylanders because they’re not strictly video toys. And parents who embrace video games find Skylanders really entertaining. (Narration by Patrick Warburton especially cracks me up.) 

So yes, mine is a Skylanders household, and there’s lots of excitement this week: Skylanders SwapForce comes out this Sunday, October 13. In the latest version, you can pull the characters in half and swap their pieces around, so that the 16 new figures can be turned into more than 250 characters.

My son and his friend tried the new game and loved it, especially the fact that their old characters work in this new world, with their powers intact. But here’s the thing: To make swapable characters work, you need to buy a new $75 SwapForce starter pack. Because while old characters will work on the new portal, the new characters won’t work on your old portal. See, I told you the Skylanders folks are ingenious (if devious).

Despite the hit to my wallet, I still name SwapForce as a Parents Best Toy for 2013. Your child will get hours of play out of the game, and I love especially that it encourages kids to play cooperatively. My son takes his figures to his friend’s house and vice-versa and they help each other conquer different game levels. Offline, the two draw and create their dream Skylanders on paper. (Squid Vicious is maybe my favorite name they came up with.)

This week you can win one of two SwapForce starter packs! Each is worth $75 and comes with the new portal, three SwapForce figures, and other assorted goodies. To be eligible, leave a comment below, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, October 16. Read the official rules here. Goody luck!

Congratulations to our winners Krista Shuck and Lonny Burton!

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win a Tickety Toc Toys, DVD, and Book Package Sweepstakes

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Do your kids love Nick Jr.’s show Tickety Toc?  My daughter does, and she added a Tallulah doll to her 2013 Christmas list right after opening all of her presents last year. The only problem is that there are no Tickety Toc products available in stores. Really. They don’t exist.

According to Ticktey Toc’s website, lots of parents have been requesting Tommy and Tallulah toys and our wishes are finally being answered. Tickety Toc products will become available in stores this September, which leaves Santa enough time to do his job.

What news could be better than that? This week we’re giving away a whole Tickety Toc product bundle to two lucky winners!

Leave a comment below, up to one a day, between now and September 4th for your chance to win a Tickety Toc prize pack that includes a  Clockhouse Train Set,  Talking Tommy Doll,  Talking Tallulah Doll, Tickety Toc “Chime Time Adventures” DVD,  Tickety Toc Floor Puzzle,  Tickety Toc Matching Game, and a  “Welcome to Tickety Town” Book. Each bundle is worth $118!

Here are the official rules. Goody Luck!

Congratulations to our winners Rachael L. Roberts and Renee Madeline!

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