NogginStik 1What’s the hottest new educational toy for the youngest learners? The NogginStik™! It has a quirky name but will help your little one master major developmental milestones in an engaging and interactive way! “Mom’s” little one has been playing with the NogginStik™ for 2 months now, and it still entertains, amuses and teaches her new skills!

The NogginStik™ promotes healthy brain development and bonding with your child. With interesting textures to delight the sense of touch, the NogginStik™’s handle is easy to grip for tiny fingers, and helps your child master grasping. The head lights up in three different colors – red, blue and green – to help stimulate your baby’s eyes and encourage visual tracking. In addition, the base of the  NogginStik™ makes a soft rattle sound to help develop listening skills, and features a mirror on the underside, as well.

Our littlest green member of the family just giggled and giggled the first time the NogginStik™ was introduced! Now, she can grasp it with ease and loves to shake it like a maraca to music!

Created by an early intervention therapist, the NogginStik™ is the recipient of the 2012 Top Toy Award by Creative Child Magazine. To learn more about the developmental benefits of the NogginStik™, please visit smartnoggintoys.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Awesome new toy alert! If you have a child who is musically inclined or loves to sing and dance, the new Symphony in B from B. Toys will be their favorite before long. This new musical toy lets your child be the conductor while learning all about 13 different instruments as they orchestrate their own inspired musical combinations.

To play, your child can choose up to 5 different instruments to place in the orchestra pit, which will be played together. Your little one can choose from 15 songs and classical symphonies and even change the tempo as the instruments play. Instruments include the clarinet, flute, tuba, trumpet, xylophone, drums, cymbals, piano, accordion, koto, guitar, violin and sitar, and each instrument is labeled with its proper name. Plus, each instrument has a distinct shape on the bottom so your child can also reinforce their knowledge of shapes as they place each instrument back into place after playing.

Unique features of Symphony in B include:

Lights teach the sections of an orchestra
Beautiful, rich, professionally recorded sounds
Included playbill teaches composers, writers and lyrics
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Mom’s” toddler absolutely adores Symphony in B, and has already gone through one set of batteries as she composes symphony after symphony. The music is not cheesy or annoying, as some children’s toys can be, but beautiful and classic. We could listen to the various symphonies for hours, and even older children will enjoy it. (yes, parents too!) This is one fabulous musical learning toy!

To learn more about Symphony in B, or to locate a Target retailer near you, please visit justb-byou.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Just in time for summer fun, ZOOCCHINI has debuted 7 fun new characters in their hooded towel line! Whether for a day at the beach, an afternoon spent poolside with the kids, or to make bathtime more fun – these generously sized, pure cotton terry hooded towels are ready to make a splash.

Little ones can choose from a Duck, Dog, Frog, Flower, Owl, Polar Bear and Shark, and each adorable new design features hand grabs for tiny fingers to wrap themselves up in after swimming or bathing. If you have more than one sibling – ZOOCCHINI’s hooded towels are the perfect way to assign each child a designated towel to avoid squabbles!

To see all of the hooded towel designs from ZOOCCHINI, or to order online, please visit Zoocchini.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

You will go wild for Skip Hop’s Alphabet Zoo line, the newest collection to be introduced from this innovative and modern company! This zoo-rific collection includes four boldly-colored, whimsical pieces featuring modern graphics and beautiful colors. The soft baby toys are developmental with a designer twist and allow your little one to play and engage in a myriad of ways.

Mom” adores the super-soft Stack & Stick Animals, which has been safety-tested to meet or exceed ASTM, CPSIA, EN71 and applicable safety standards. 3 lively animals, including a zebra, owl and elephant, attach together with velcro or can be pulled apart for sensory fun! The elephant’s ears crinkle and features a chime inside his plush body, the zebra rattles, and the owl has many different fabrics embroidered on his body for tactile exploration.

In addition to the Stack & Stick Animals, the Alphabet Zoo collection includes:

Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym – The graphic activity mat, which includes a Tummy Time pillow, offers irresistible multi-sensory play for baby at every stage of development and brings new life to ABCs. The Activity Gym features 17 developmental activities for ages 0+ months and up.

Alphabet Zoo Activity Mirror – Baby will have tons of fun learning to recognize himself while playing with a monkey friend that sticks around the mirror. Large and baby-safe, the mirror is surrounded by a soft and friendly elephant.

Alphabet Zoo Unfolding Activity Book – Filled with tactile activities, this book opens up to become a fun-filled play center with five friendly animals all in a row. Packs neatly in a diaper bag, too!

The Alphabet Zoo Toy Collection is available online and at select retailers nationwide. Learn more at SkipHop.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

 

When your little one starts to crawl, bumps, falls and scrapes are inevitable! Besides wrapping your child’s knees in bubble wrap, what can a parent do? How about placing a pair of adorable knee pads, designed just for those learning to crawl and manuever through life, on their knees? These extremely soft, cushioned knee pads give parents the security they need as their little one sets out to explore the world around them with ease and in comfort!

Designed to protect a child from the time they learn to crawl, walk and then run through the big wide world,
Crawlings kneepads are perfect for indoor use and the rough and tumble great outdoors. Made of premium
cotton, EVA foam and spandex, the kneepad is soft, stretchable and breathable, designed to move and grow
with the child.

Crawlings knee pads are just too, too cute – arriving in an adorable star covered box, perfect for gift giving! Available in a variety of trendy, fun designs, including Lavender Elephant, Pale Pink Bunny (“Mom’s” favorite!), Yellow Bandage and Navy Basketball.

For more information, or to order, visit Crawlings.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Bathtime struggles will cease when these educational and exciting bath toys are brought into play! BPA-free and just plain FUN, little ones will once again love their bathtime routine!

Wonder Waterway

Engage your little one with this eye-catching Wonder Waterway from Munchkin! For ages 6 months and up, this adorable toy can be stacked to create a fun waterway, or taken apart to be played with individually in the water. This cute little find is a fabulous toy to help your baby build hand-eye coordination with ease!

White Hot® Super Safety Bath Ducky

“Rubber ducky, you’re the one… you make bath-time so much fun!” Your child will be singing this tune while splashing and playing with this rubber duck which boasts a special “White Hot” disc at the bottom that tells you when the water is too hot to handle, and then lets you know when it’s just right to bathe your baby. But your little one won’t know the difference – she will be having too much fun making up games with one of three ducks – a firefighter, police office or mermaid! What “Mom” loves is that the ducks are watertight, so no mildew will build up inside, which is often the case with water toys!

Octopus Ring Toss

It’s a water sprinkler and ring toss game in one! Your baby will love to watch as water poured into the octous’s head trickles down his arms, or play an exciting game of ring toss while in the tub! Easily mounted onto the wall, the Octopus Ring Toss by Skip Hop is made of soft, no-bump material.

Starfish Stay-Put Stacker

Every child loves this classic toy – which Skip Hop has brought to the bath for added enjoyment! Your little bathing beauty will love to stack and re-stack the rings as the Starfish Stacker stays firmly attached to the tub floor. For an added dexterity challenge as baby gets older, let the stacker float on top of the water while your child tries to stack the rings! Plus, kids will love discovering that the rings stick and cling to the tub wall when wet.

*Companies generously provided images and samples for this piece.*

For hours of creative writing, drawing, and just plain fun – the new two-sided Take it Easel from B. Toys is a budding artist’s dream! No need to waste paper – this reusable easel features an erasable whiteboard on one side and a chalkboard on the other, becoming a tabletop easel or chalkboard in an instant. Just pull the handle up and click it in place when ready to draw and create!

With an extremely handy handle for carrying the easel to the desired location, the Take it Easel is portable, which makes it a great item to pack along for trips to Grandma’s when on-the-go! It holds art supplies right inside when closed, and comes with 10 non-toxic washable markers, an eraser and chalk to get your child started! “Mom’s” little one is having a blast carryng the Take it Easel all around the house to play and draw, and “Mom” loves how easy it is to clean up!

To learn more, visit B. Toys, or purchase one at Target.com or OneStepAhead.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Just in time for Valentine’s Day Fun, the new Wheeee-ls! by B. Toys will race into your little one’s heart as an adorable treat that is sugar-free! With 4 vehicles that each have a heart license plate, the bright, bold cars & trucks are entertaining and just plain fun! Your child will love to pull each car or truck back to watch how far it will go! “Mom’s” daughter couldn’t wait to get them out of the box to play!

NO batteries are required for these chunky vehicles, sized just perfectly for tiny hands! Each one makes a different noise – the car rings, the truck chimes, the racer rattles and the taxi squeaks. For ages 1- 4, Wheeee-ls! by B. Toys can be found at Target stores nationwide.

Please visit justb-byou.com to see all of B. Toys’ unique toys and games for children.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Creating eco-fabulous learning tools and gorgeous coloring books in one, Putumayo Kids has outdone themselves! Featuring a large colorable map of each cuture, along with 20 oversized coloring pages, and a glossary of animals and instruments, the Putumayo Kids’ Coloring Books are extremely high-quality and printed with eco-friendly soy ink. It is fun to sit with your little ones while they color and learn all about each fascinating culture through play. In addition to the Africa Coloring Book, the collection offers a Latin America Coloring Book and Europe Coloring Book, as well as sticker collections that can be purchased to go along with the coloring books. “Mom” hopes that they continue to add cultures to the collection, as the books are simply wonderful – larger-than-life illustrations really grab the attention of your child as he/she travels and explores the pages of each culture through their music, animals and people. For rainy days or to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom, the collection will definitely be a hit!

Putumayo has sourced sustainably-derived resources in the manufacture of products. Our printer is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and the company has taken a “100% replanted” approach, providing funds to Trees, Water, People to support global reforestation efforts.

To learn more about Putumayo Kids, or to order one of the coloring books or sticker collections, please visit putumayo.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Holiday Activities from Pottery Barn Kids

Holiday treats are extra sweet when shared in homemade containers. Part party favor and part accessory, kids will love customizing these Personalized Take-Out Containers, Glass Cookie Jars and Cookie Boxes, then filling with delicious cookies and candies!

Glass Cookie Jars

Materials

· One-quart wide-mouth glass jars (available at craft and hardware stores; purchase one per child)

· Adhesive-backed white felt

· White pom-poms

· Small pine cones (available at craft stores; two per jar)

· Brown pipe cleaners

· Narrow red satin ribbon

· Approximately 1/2″ red linen ribbon

· White paper

· Standard hole punch

· Craft tags (one per jar)

· Twine

· Letter stamps (optional)

· Hot glue gun

· White craft glue

To Assemble

1. Use the lid of one jar to trace circles on the white felt (one per jar you’re making). Adhere a circle of white felt to the top of each lid. Cut a long strip of white felt for each jar to wrap around the edge of the lid.

2. Attach a layer of white pom-poms to each lid with hot glue.

3. Use hot glue to attach pairs of pine cones to approximate the shape of a deer’s head and body. Twist together pipe cleaners and wedge them into the pine cones to create each deer’s tail, antlers and legs.

4. Use your hole punch and white paper to create a pair of eyes for each deer and use craft glue to attach them to the deer’s heads. Tie a small length of red ribbon around each deer’s neck.

5 Use hot glue to wrap a decorative band of red linen ribbon around the edge of each jar lid, on top of the white felt. Glue a reindeer on the top of each lid.

6 Use stamps or pretty lettering to put the name of one of your guests on each tag. Attach one tag to each jar with twine.

Personalized Take-Out Container

Materials

· Take-out containers (available at craft stores; purchase one per guest)

· White ricrac (or another festive color of your choice)

· Small red jingle bells (three per container)

· Needle and thread (red or green)

· Green felt

· White cardstock

· Colored cardstock (choose a festive color or print)

· Scissors

· Hot glue gun

· Red felt-tip pen

To Assemble

1. Use the hot glue gun to apply a band of ricrac around the top and bottom of each food containers.

2. Cut out holly leaf shapes from the green felt, making a pair of leaves to go with each container. Using your needle and thread, sew together small clumps of three jingle bells; create one clump per container. Sew a clump of bells to each pair of leaves.

3. Cut out several circles of green felt, the approximate size of a nickel. Cut one circle per container. Use the hot glue gun to carefully apply a drop of glue to one circle. Position the circle beneath the center of the metal handle of one of your food containers, and sandwich the handle between the circle and one of your holly-berry creations. Press firmly and hold for a few seconds to allow the glue to begin to set.

4. Cut out several small rectangles of white cardstock and then cut a matching number of slightly larger rectangles of colored cardstock. Glue the white rectangle on top of the colored rectangle, and then attach one to each container. Write the name of one of your guests on each container in red pen.

Cookie Boxes

Materials

· Craft paper boxes (one per child; available at craft stores)

· Construction paper in festive colors (red, green, white)

· Scissors

· Markers, crayons or other drawing tools

· Glue sticks

· Craft supplies such as pom-poms, glitter and sequins

To Assemble

1. Before the party, cut out some simple shapes from your construction paper, such as Christmas trees, snowmen, reindeer or bells.

2. Arrange a crafting table with the boxes and the crafting materials in the middle. Let each child decorate their box with whatever strikes their imagination.

3. Let kids fill the boxes with cookies from your cookie exchange before bringing them home.

Last-minute wrapping to do? Give your presents that extra little flourish of hand-crafted care, and try one of our creative approaches to gift wrapping. Make your presents even more magical this season with Starry Wrap, Keepsake Footprint Paper and Rudolph’s Nose Wrap.

Rudolph’s Nose Wrap

Materials

· A pom-pom maker (available at craft stores or online)

· Thick yarn in festive colors (we like red because it reminds us of Rudolph’s nose!)

To Assemble

1. Wrap your gifts. Choose a simple print or plain paper so the colorful pom-poms will really pop.

2. Use your yarn and pom-pom maker to create colorful pom-poms; the more layers of yarn you use, the more fluffy and round your finished pom-poms will be.

3. Leave extra-long lengths at the ends of your finished pom-poms and use those to wrap around the gifts like ribbon. Tape or knot them discreetly to finish.

Keepsake Footprint Paper

Materials

· A roll of solid-color craft paper (we like to use unbleached paper for a rustic look)

· Nontoxic poster paint (look for soy-based varieties; any color will work)

· A shallow dish or pan, such as a disposable pie tin

· A tarp or newspaper (optional)

To Assemble

1. Spread out a length of your craft paper; put a tarp or newspapers around the edges if you’re doing the project indoors.

2. Put a small amount of your paint in your pie tin. If your child is old enough to walk, set the tin at one edge of your paper, and have them dip one or both feet into the paint and then walk around on the paper. If you’re making baby footprints, gently dip your baby’s feet into the paint and press them on the paper. As an alternative, you can use your child’s hands to make a handprint design, or give them crayons or markers and let them create more free-form (and completely unique) artwork all over your craft paper.

3. Wait for the paint to dry completely before picking up the paper and wrapping your gifts.

Starry Wrap

Materials

· Star-shaped paper punch (two or three in different sizes add depth and variety)

· Festive colored paper (paper printed with small-scale patterns works well too)

· Clear masking tape

· School glue or a glue stick

To Assemble

1. Wrap gifts in solid-color paper. Any color will work, as long as it provides a noticeable contrast with the stars you plan to make.

2. Use your paper punch (or punches) to create handfuls of star “confetti.”

3. Use your masking tape to mark out where you would normally apply ribbon on your gifts. One single band works well, or you can create a cross to resemble more elaborate ribbon.

4. Apply a thin layer of glue to the tape on one side of your package. Sprinkle a generous application of stars over it. Wait for that side to dry completely before turning your package and applying stars to the other sides.

*Craft ideas and images courtesy of P0ttery Barn Kids.*