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Before our youngest daughter headed off to kindergarten three weeks ago, a fun package containing the Early Explorers Subscription from Little Passports arrived in the mail! She was so excited to open the suitcase, unpack it, and try her hand at all the fun activities packed inside!

LittlePassportsEE-WORLD.8-15

Little Passports merges play with geography, science, and reading to make learning fun -anytime of the year! Each month, kids receive a package from their Little Passports pen pals centered on a theme, state, or country. The packages include games, souvenirs, postcards, and more.

Little Passports intro kit

In the Early Explorers Subscription, our daughter followed pen pals Max and Mia as they learned about global themes. Everything she needed to get started on their adventure was included in a bright orange suitcase, such as a wall-sized world map, 20-page activity booklet, luggage tag, stickers and photos.

Little Passports oceans kit

With an exciting new theme each month, kids ages 3-5 years old can add stickers to their passports, collect famous landmarks like the Sphinx of ancient Egypt, and play a fishing game to learn more about what lives under the sea. Of course, our little guy wanted to get in on the action of the fishing game!

Little Passports Stickers

Additionally, Little Passports offers free digital Teacher Guides to coincide with countries featured in the World Edition. These guides make it easy and seamless for teachers or parents to integrate a World Edition subscription into their curriculum or at home with their kids. Countries featured in the Teacher Guides include Brazil, Japan, France, Egypt, Australia, and more.

We have had so much fun with the Early Explorers Subscription from Little Passports since it arrived! We are now big fans of Little Passports and our daughter keeps asking when the next month’s theme will arrive!

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article. Additional photos and thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

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.*

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.*

Things are getting whacky around “Mom’s” house! B. Toys sent over their Whacky Ball game for children ages 1 to 3 years old, and this little game has been providing quite a bit of action the past few days! The hammer squeaks as the balls are hit into the hole successfully and down they come – one by one into the tray at the bottom. Developing hand and eye coordination is fun with this toy that provides hours of entertainment! Get the whole family involved in a “whacking” session – pun intended, of course!

Features of Whacky Ball include:

Four beautiful balls
Mirrored background
Hammer squeaks, wheels spin, balls bang
Pretty tray catches balls
Etched patterns & sensational colors make B. toys a work of art. Don’t hide this toy away when company comes!

To learn more about B. Toys and their entire line of educational and just plain fun toys for little ones, visit justb-byou.com.

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

Celebrate the Earth with a little planet-friendly FUN with the entire family! The following educational books and green games make for a wonderful evening of home spun entertainment while learning about Mother Earth at the same time.

Woodsy Words

Remember pick-up sticks? Taking the original game and making it both eco-friendly and educational, Woodsy Words builds reading skills with simple game play. To play, simply hold all the sticks in one hand and let them fall onto a flat surface. Then, select one stick – if you can extract it without moving any of the others, read the word printed on it and select another stick. Continue play until you bump another stick or get stuck on a word. The player with the most sticks at the end of the game wins! This new game features 30 Earth-friendly vocabulary words. The sticks are printed with vegetable ink on recycled paper. For ages 5+. www.educationalinsights.com

Smens® Pens

Can pens that are made from recycled newspapers smell fruity and delicious? Yes! Check out Smens, the latest release from the best-selling manufacturers of Smencils. Perfect for drawing, writing, and keeping score, Smens are available in gourmet scents including, Red Licorice, Creamsicle, Aloha, Mystery Scent, Banana fo Fana, Mocha, Passion Fruit, Ninja Berry, Pink Lemonade, and Black Licorice. Each Smen is individually wrapped in a stay-fresh biodegradable plastic tube and is guaranteed to keep its scent for two years. For ages 6+. www.educationalinsights.com

World Repair Kit by Serena & Lily

“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing…in Perfect Harmony…” Inspire kids to make the world a better place this Earth Day with the unique World Repair Kit by Serena & Lily! The kit contains a 205 page guidebook that is chock full of earth-friendly ideas that you and your family can do together to make a difference. Big or small, every action counts, and kids can stamp their passport once each activity is completed. Ages 8+. www.serenaandlily.com

Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals; illustrated by Ashley Wolff

Compost Stew is a delightful alphabetical recipe that teaches youngsters how to create and use their very own home compost bin. With bouncy verses featuring items that will nourish Mother Earth and gorgeous illustrations that use recycled and found materials, this picture book furthers a timely message—to nurture and give back to the Earth.

Apple cores

Bananas, bruised

Coffee grounds with filters, used

Just add to the pot

and let it all rot

into Compost Stew!

Through Earth Day you can enter to win your very own copy of Compost Stew! Visit www.siddals.com.

Karaoke Fun with B. Okideoke

Sing along with the whole family while recording your voice with the B. Okideoke from B. Toys! Little ones can record a message or song, or sing along to 8 pre-recorded tunes. As B. Toys says, “Anything Worth Saying is Worth Saying Louder!” B eco-friendly too – the cool packaging is made from recycled paper and soy-based inks, and it wraps itself for an instant present, which Moms’ love! justb-byou.com

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

Looking for unique eco-friendly and educational toys for your tots? Then check out Rosie Hippo, a super cool mom-owned retailer of everything from toys and games to furniture and decor that are planet-friendly! Rosie, the mascot, is pretty special herself! Filled with lavender, Rosie can be gently microwaved for soothing your little one to sleep with the aromatherapeutic scent. Stop on by to visit Rosie and her collection of fantastic items that are meant to inspire creativity and spark imaginative play! www.rosiehippo.com

*Company sent sample and images for this review.*