10 hot toys you’ve probably never heard of

While attending Blogger Bash over the summer I got a hands on look at some of the newest and greatest toys. One of the best things was learning about new companies and what they have to offer, by far my favorite is Fat Brain Toys.  I’ve recently become a blogger for them and wanted to share with you some of the great products they offer.

 

 

1. Kinetic Sand

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Ever wonder what sand would feel like on another planet?

Grab two big handfuls of the Neon Kinetic Sand and you’ll feel like you’ve traveled way off into outer space!

Pack it tight and it sticks strong in whatever shape you make. Crumble it up and it seems to ooz oddly out of your hand.

It’s amazing!

And the best part? It hardly leaves any residue in your hands and it never dries out.

The clean and creative sand-building fun never stops!

Forget the hassle of beach sand and rocket your way into the future with two pounds of the Neon Color Kinetic Sand.

 

 

2. Goldie Blox

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Building simple machines has never had such a pull on girls. 

How can you get girls to build? Engage them with a story, challenge them with a problem-solving purpose, use colors, materials, and shapes that delight girls!

Created by Debbie Sterling, a hip, young Stanford engineer (who always wanted a toy like this herself) – the first book and construction toy in the GoldieBlox series has arrived!

Enter the world of GoldieBlox and meet Goldie (a strong female character who likes to invent things), Nacho (her beloved dog), Benjamin Cranklin (a cat with attitude), Katinka (the dolphin ballerina), Phil (the sloth) and Flavio (the bear from Brazil).

 

 

3. Count your Chickens

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A spin-and-move counting game perfect for first time game players.

How to Play:
The baby chicks have flown the coop! All players work together to help Mother Hen collect her chicks and bring them back to the coop. To start, players place the 40 baby chicks all around the board. Mother Hen is on start. The object of the game is to get all 40 baby chicks back inside the coop before Mother Hen gets to the last space on the board. Players spin and move Mother Hen, counting the number of spaces she travels. For each space travelled, players collect that number of baby chick markers and place them in the coop. But watch out for the fox! If the spinner lands on the fox a baby chick is removed from the coop. Players take turns, but work together – players count aloud together, collect the number chicks together and, if they collect them all, players win together!

 

 

4.  Spot Itbo057

 

Brightly colored, brilliantly illustrated – Spot It Educational is the exciting game that kids adore!

There is one, and only one match between any two cards. Be the first to spot it and you win the round. Continue to lay out the cards for fun, or bring on more competition by playing several rounds before counting the scores.

Players turn up the concentration as the hunt begins, looking for matching words, shapes, letters or numbers. Fast action and reflex skills improve as kids strive to be first to grab a correct combo!

 

5. Seek-a-Boo

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Little ones are on the hunt!

Select a square “Find Me” card, name the image, and then get busy. Find Me cards display familiar items – animals, foods, colors, shapes, clothing and more. Lay the large “Seek Me” cards face down across the floor. 

Flipping over cards and putting their memory to the test, toddlers flip the circular cards looking for the pictured item. Jumping up and down they set aside their match and draw another card.

Need an extra easy play version? Leave the Seek Me cards face up – Seek-a-Boo adapts to your child’s needs.

 

6. Find it (Kids Edition) 

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Spin it! Twist it! Shake it!

Be the first to find the penny or a marble, or a balloon, but don’t stop there… 48 hidden items are listed on the game top. Clear your eyes and start searching and shaking.

Sealed securely, kids pick up Find It – Kids Edition for instant entertainment.

Shake-shake-shake… in the car, on the couch, in the air or sitting on the ground, Find It is transportable fun for everyone. Play solo or set a timer and race your friends to find specific items.

 

 

7.  See & Spell Puzzles

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“Feel” the alphabet, “see” the alphabet, associate the alphabet with objects! Puzzle-playing preschoolers marvel in using puzzle-solving skills to spell words. It’s a great confidence-building, educational resource for pre-readers!

Puzzle picture & letter manipulatives assist children in pre-reading concepts, phonics, & literacy development. Using 20 puzzle pictures and more than 50 vibrant letters, kids make huge gains in confidence and master new academic skills!

 

 

8.  Peek a Doodle

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The find and hide game of chickens and eggs!

Cluck! Cluck! What an “egg-cellent” memory you have! 

A “My First Game” for your clever little farmer. With constant motion, Peek-A-Doodle Doo engages your child’s memory and concentration in a farm fresh way!

Part 1: Cluck! Find the Eggs!
Can you rule the roost? Collect all twelve eggs and return them to the crate. Choose carefully little farmer. Keep an eye on your fellow players and where they are moving their chickens.

Part 2: Cluck, Cluck! Hide the Eggs!
Next, players take turns removing an egg from the egg crate, placing it on an empty nest, and then moving a chicken to cover the egg. Play continues until all 12 eggs are covered by chickens.

Scoring (No fowl play…)
One wrong move could ruffle your feathers…
If a player selects an incorrect chicken, they move their colored egg to the next cracked egg in their scoring nest’s cracking egg progression. Too many moves and CRACK! You’re out of CLUCK!

The winning player is the one with the most complete eggshell in their scoring nest when all the eggs are covered. 

 

9.  Joinks

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Flex, connect, build, play – JOINK!

Colorfully constructed, brilliantly designed, Joinks engage the fingers and mind in a fantastic building experience.

Fun to say, and even better to play, Joinks attracts inventors of all ages. From playroom to universities, toddler to teacher, simple to complex, Joinks designs are wide and diverse.

Wooden dowels join easily with quality 100% silicone connectors. One simple push and the dowels sit tight for a secure fit. Time for de-construction? One simple pull and “POP” the silicone slides off with a delightful sound.

Curious building has found its match. Innovative building has arrived!

One look at the colorful pieces and hands start grabbing. Joinks connectors reach out in all directions – one, two, three, four and even FIVE prong connecting pieces conform creativity to your definition.

Connecting prongs bend and flex for customized construction. Silly creatures, expressive forms, 3D geometric shapes, chemistry and molecular models, irregular structures… easily add, remove or swap sticks.

Bend them into place, Joinks are eager to please and flex quickly to your every whim.

 

10.  Squigz

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Squigz are fun little suckers!

Apply pressure to two Squigz. Air rushes out and the fun rushes in!

Connecting to each other and to any solid, non-porous surface – Squigz are a species all their own. They flex. They stick. They suck people into creativity.

Once they take hold, it takes some pull to separate them. When Squigz POP! in protest – you’ll have to admit… your hands and ears are shamelessly delighted!

They are flexible fellows and committed joiners. Squigz and fellow Squigz have one chief enterprise – creating things. Willingly, they assemble to become rockets, vehicles, a cushion for the cat, jewelry… they thrill in uniting as a ginormous octopus or squid.

Squigz are scientific sorts – always up for playful experimentation and defying gravity – sticking to bathtubs, windows, school lockers, tabletops, and office desktops. (And they are mannerly guests too – never leaving a trace of their presence.)

 

Bonus:  Bilibo

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Children have an indefatigable talent for finding unusual uses for their toys or, more inconveniently, finding interesting new uses for your property – mostly at the exact same time that you need it.

If you have given a present and found that the kids play more with the box or, like me, have despaired at spending Christmas Day watching the children use the tubes from the tinfoil and the wrapping paper as swords, whilst ignoring all their carefully selected, non-violent toys, the perfect present has arrived. Say hello to Bilibo.

Tortoise shell and sand toy, swing and spinner, cradle for dolls and a shell to build with in the snow – Bilibo is all this and much more. So what exactly is a Bilibo? Well one clue is the fact that it does not come with an instruction manual. Kids can do what they like with it!

Says Alex Hochstrasser, Swiss inventor and designer of Bilibo, “When I introduced the prototypes at the kindergarten of my hometown the little ones were astonished at first. But then a boy sat down in Bilibo and started spinning, a girl turned Bilibo around and tried to balance on him – after that you just could not stop them any more.”

This shell is made of high density polyethylene which is shock-resistant, weather-proof, food safe, completely recyclable and comes in Eight bright colors. Bilibo is big enough that kids of different ages can sit in it comfortably. All this, and friendly too -Bilibo has two holes at the side which look like eyes and give the appearance of a smiling face on the shell.

 

The above 10 items are my top pics for this holiday season, some we already have, some are already to be wrapped and some I can’t wait to try! Have you tried any of the items listed above? Which one do you hope Santa brings?

 

**disclouser: I am part of a blogging program with Fat Brain Toys which at times does include compensation. However; as always; all opinions are my own.**

 

Some Christmas ideas for the little ones in your life

Can you believe how fast the holidays are approaching? Lexie was so little for her first Christmas that I think all the poor girl got was clothes! Jax being born 6 months earlier in the year, is at a fun stage {someone remind me I said that when he’s trying to pull down my tree next month} and loves trying to figure everything out

Here are 4 toys from VTech that were big hits with Jax.

 

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First, the Grow-Along Music Center (Ages 12-36 Months, Suggested retail price $29.99). While Jax is considered to be a little young for this yet, he loved it. The keyboard comes off making it a great “grow in” toy. He usually has it apart and just plays with that. He thought he was a big shot while I was trying to take a picture of it all together. At first I thought the base was bulky but when I saw it barely moved while he used it to pull himself up (yes Dada, is right there), I had no issues with it for the added stability it gives. The height also has two settings allowing for kids to sit or stand; and big sister loves that the attached microphone has many different settings.

 

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Next is the Smart Shots Sports Center (ages 12-36, suggested retail price $39.99). Have a little sports fan on your shopping list? This is sure to be a hit! The baskets count and the sensor for the soccer ball is great. Plus for the littler ones there are buttons to push and nobs to turn (not that Jax would let me get a picture of that).  Much like the Grow-Along Music Center, I was really impressed with the stability of the Smart Shots Sports Center while Jax tried to climb up it. This toy is headed straight too GG’s and Grandpa J’s; after all it also works as a nice floor hockey goal.

 

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Every kid needs a ride on toy, right? The Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser (ages 6-36 months, suggested retailprice $39.99)  is by far the best one I’ve seen. When Lexie was little we had a few various ones and they all seemed cheap, and never kept her attention long. Jax took his to the sitters and it was big hit with the baby (5months ) all the way up to the biggest brother (3 years) and of course big sister had to have a turn to. Much like the Grow-Along Music Center this is also what I consider to be a “grow with me” toy. The steering wheel comes off making it more like 2 toys in one. I was amazed at the amount of buttons and lights on it (the steering wheel) itself. Jax sat with just that and played for what seemed like 30mins or more. He loves to be on the cruiser while sister pushes him around (carefully), we haven’t quite figured out our balance yet.

 

dinoLast, but certainly not least; is my personal favorite. The Chomp & Count Dino (ages 12-36, suggested price $19.99). I’ve already bought a few of these as gifts and here’s why.  Not only does he sing and dance, but he interacts, he asks you to feed him and not just “feed me” but more specifically how many pieces of food. You put a coin in his mouth and they go into the storage of his belly where you can retrieve or store them. The wheel on his back turns to play different music and the button on his head lights up. Jax loves chewing on the coins himself too. There’s even a string to pull him along with you (and it wraps up nicely for storage).

Now, here’s the thing, you still with me? What if you could choose one of these awesome toys to win?

Well, the amazing people at Vtech want you to win ALL of them!!!! Not just one, but all 4!!!   4 days to win 4 amazing toys!!!! This is a raffle copter give away, be sure to follow the directions below; and good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**disclaimer** I was provided the products above for the purpose of review; however all opinions are my own.

WW: My cute little pumpkin

It’s hard to believe our little pumpkin is 8 months old, when I found this hand me down I knew we had to take full advantage of it!

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Seriously, could be any cuter?

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Thankful Thursday

There is always something to be thankful for #thankfulphotoaday2014

 

Starting on Saturday, I’ve been sharing one thing I am thankful for every day via Instagram {mrs07c}. I think it’s awesome that November has us remembering to be Thankful much more than most of us usually do. With that being said, each Thursday I’ll recap it here. For those of you who are on Instagram I challenge you to post a photo (no matter how big or small) of something you are thankful for that day using the hashtag “thankfulphotoaday2014″ not on Instagran? Do the same on twitter or even Facebook; it’s a great reminder that there is always something to be thankful for.

Day 5: My little bookworms

Day 5: My little bookworms

Day 4: The right to vote for change

Day 4: The right to vote for change

(overdue) Coffee Dates with Friends

(overdue) Coffee Dates with Friends

Day 2: Naptime Baby Snuggles

Day 2: Naptime Baby Snuggles

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Day 1: My inlaws for picking up a bag of pellets so I didn’t have to run to the store with 2 kids to get a bag.

WW: Family Photos

Last weekend we did family photos for our Christmas cards {forget those last minutes Christmas pictures for the cards, I’m over it this year}

I’ll be sharing them with you closer to Christmas but I had to share this one now…

The photo’s with all 4 of us went great, then we tried to do pictures of Lexie and Jax; and I quote “Mom-mom my brain won’t let me do anymore pictures” (we were 5mins into the shoot)

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Without missing a beat I responded “then my brain won’t let you go to the birthday party later”, win for mom!

and yes, I’m in love with this picture lol