If Summer vacation has you planning an escape via air travel, then it's only a matter of time until Mom starts thinking about what she can pack to keep the lil ones busy and quiet en route to their destination. One of the best tricks another mama taught me was to pack a bag with fun, new toys and games and then hide it between trips. When you bring it out for the next journey, the toys remain new and exciting! But what to pack in that original bag? In addition to your tot's favorite books and a deck of cards, we've picked 11 clean and quiet toys and games that will keep travelers of all ages happy during a long flight.
Get ready for some fun! Six-year-olds are an adventurous bunch, but they have the patience needed to sit down and work on a project for some time. Satisfy your kiddo's need for stimulation with toys and games that require some thinking. They'll be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment when they complete the task!
Crayola's Model Magic Presto Benders Chameleon ($10) takes the mess out of creative playtime. Kids press model magic onto a bendable spine to create moveable creatures they can make over and over again. It's like the Fourth of July every night with Uncle Milton's Fireworks Light Show in My Room ($19). One of the most anticipated toys of the year is My Keepon Interactive Dancing Robot ($35). Originally created to help autistic children, the cute lil robot reacts to its owners movements, pokes, and music. Mama may have wasted away plenty of afternoons playing Tetris, and now her kiddo can do so without a computer. Tetris Link ($28) is the same basic game we played electronically, transformed into a tabletop version the whole family can play. Everything old is new again, and the same can be said for the POGO stick. Razor's BOGO Pogo Stick ($100) has a built in bow-assist spring for added bouncing ability!
Think outside the crayon box the next time you want to get creative! Crayons are mostly used for coloring, but there's so much more moms and kids can do with them! Add some paper, glue, and other household items to the mix and opportunities are endless. We found 5 cool crafts with crayons you don't want to miss. Grab the kids, and some crayons, and get crafty.
Lil fans of PBS's Dinosaur Train will love Learning Curve's InterAction Buddy ($15). The entire line of characters recognizes each other and can "speak" to each other when nearby. The collaboration between Wild Planet and Crayola has resulted in a fun line of Crayon Town sets ($20) that combine coloring and 3D play, where the actual wax crayons fit into the scenes. Magna Tiles ($52 for 32 piece set) allow tots to build up and out with pieces that feature magnets on every side. Blue Orange's wooden toys not only help the earth (they plant two trees for every toy sold), games like Gobblet Gobblers ($15) help teach memory and strategy skills for lil learners. What's better than a Muppet? A Muppet your tot designed on her own! The Muppet Whatnot Gift Package ($130) allows budding puppeteers to create their own puppet on the computer and then see it come to life when it arrives a few weeks later!
Hot toys in the Summertime! An estimated 160,000 toys cram American store shelves at any given time so how does a mom know with which toys her kids will tinker? I got the inside scoop yesterday at Time to Play magazine's showcase of Summer toys in NYC and rounded up my five favorites to simplify your shopping. Check out the picks!
Moms are always looking for fun, entertaining ideas to keep their tots busy throughout the day's waning hours. We were recently sent a pack of Crayola's new Window Crayons ($6) and decided to test them out with a hard-to-impress preschooler during that harried hour before dinner.
The pack comes with five basic, bold colors that easily glide onto a window or mirror surface. The variety of shades and ease with which they could be manipulated, made them an instant hit. Once our tester saw how his drawings "glowed" when the sun hit them, he went to work scribbling, writing and finally narrating a whole story while he drew. When he was through, the entire window was covered and the colors had not smudged a bit. We stepped back and admired his work before it was time for the tot to clean up!
To see the biggest drawback of the crayons, read more
Ready. Set. Go! Just try to stop a curious 18-month-old. Finding toys that capture their attention is quite a task so look for items that help develop their fine motor skills.
- The Fropper is sure to bring out the giggles as tots hop and bounce their way around the room.
- One of the hottest toys of the holiday season, Elmo Live is as close to the real thing as you can get. This version tells jokes, sings songs and perfectly imitates one of our favorite Muppets.
- Get your lil one cooking with a tabletop kitchen. This Countertop Stove is part of Pottery Barn Kids' line of Eco-friendly wooden products.
- Introduce toddlers to the world of arts and crafts with Crayola's TaDoodles Crayon Buddies, which are designed to fit right into the palms of their hands.
- Encourage building and fine motor skill development with the Clipo Creativity Table that offers countless ways to create new things.
- Take a page from your childhood and introduce your tot to the current version of the sit-n-spin with the Spin Around.
I'm always amazed at how well kids these days know their way around a computer (oh man, just typing that makes me feel old, but it's true). Thankfully Crayola is catching up with the times by incorporating a new line of tech products for kids, which are bright, durable, and totally kid-friendly. Discussed on engadget, these new products include a $50 Crayola EZ Grip digital camera which comes with a 1.3-inch screen, a Crayola Type n Learn, a color-coded USB keyboard for $30, an EZ Click mouse for $15 and a $10 EZ Frame mouse pad which can also be used as a picture frame. The only product available right now is the camera, but the rest will be here before Christmas.