My position on toys is...
If you are interested in having me review your product on my blog please email me at thetoysnob(at)gmail(dot)com!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's all about the CROWN!

I've been a long time fan of Ellie Bellie Kids Capes, and now they've added these Crowns ($28) to their line! These are both so fun, I just love them!!! I love that the black one is masculine looking with the black, but bold and colorful at the same time. The white one reminds me of The Snow Queen for some reason. It's dainty and girly with just the right amount of pink. They're just perfect for the dress-up trunk!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Totally Rad Science

When I was in college I heard first hand from elementary teachers who said there was just not enough time for cool science lessons and experiments. They said a lot of kids grow up uninterested in science because the teachers don't make it fun and exciting. Most of the time I remember having to read a super boring text book then answer all the odd questions in the Chapter Review section. That was the extent of my "science lessons" in elementary. By the time I got to junior high and high school I was at the point where I'd rather be in my seat reading about it instead of doing it because I just didn't care. None of my early years teachers had ever made it sound exciting enough to want to learn more. The kids that did like it were the "nerds" and were singled out. Well, that's all changing with today's cool science kits. Have you seen them? They are literally everywhere! They are super popular right now. Your kids will love doing these experiments with you. At LEAST once a week I hear from my almost-five-year-old, "Moooom, can we do a science esspearimint?" We do one at a time and they don't take longer than 15 minutes or so each. Then, I let him play and "esspearimint" on his own for a bit with the materials we've just used.

This experiment taught about acids and bases. My son went around the kitchen and bathroom selecting different liquids to test.

He loved using the dropper and test tubes!

Mixing different ingredients to make fizz!

This experiment taught about magnets, and their north and south poles.

The first few experiments featured were from Scientific Explorer's Mind Blowing Science Kit for Young Scientists by Scientific Explorer ($19.99). I purchased this locally at Tutoring Toy.

The last experiment, the magnets, was from this set, Young Scientist Series - Set 1: Recycling (Kit 1) - Scientific Measurements (Kit 2) - Magnets (Kit 3). A big THANK YOU to Discover This for sending it for us to review!

Either of these or the many more out there would make a fun, entertaining, and educational Christmas present for the 4 and up set! There are a whole bunch of science kits out there just waiting to be "discovered." And who knows, you just might spark of love of science in your child!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baby Einstein Update

Some of you have contacted me about the links in the previous blog not working. I've done it over and over, trying different things but it just doesn't like the link. Baby Einstein just doesn't want to refund your money ;] So, try this, go to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood website and click on the link to it there. It's right at the top under "The Latest," you can't miss it. At the bottom of the article, it says, "For information on how to obtain a Baby Einstein refund visit..." and that link should take you to the right page. Sorry for all the confusion!!! Let me know if this doesn't work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

North Star Toys

North Star Toys is a family owned business that makes high-quality wooden toys that help foster creativity and imagination in children. I love their entire line of fine wooden toys. These are truly heirloom quality toys that look like the toys your grandparents played with.

For my first order (trust me, I will definitely be placing many more) I bought my 1 year old son the following:

This is the Animals of the Jungle Set ($15.00) and I think it's to die for! They even through in an alligator for free!

My mom got him the Happy Hybrid ($16.00) and I hope to complete the set with the People Mover and Busy Boat ($52.00 for the whole set).

This is the Big Rollie Flatbed Truck ($16.00)

and the Big Rollie Bug Car ($16.00)

also check out the following:
Camera ($23.00)
Little Rollie Vehicle Complete Set ($45.00)
Helicopter ($20.00)
and Animals of the Sea ($15.00) or Farm ($15.00)

North Star Toys shipped my order very quickly and even addressed a charge for tax before I even knew it was there. They emailed me personally to let me know of it and again to let me know it had been reversed. They even included a hand-written thank you card for ordering with them! And like I mentioned before, they said an alligator had gotten in with my order. I thought all this added a personalized, caring touch. Thank you North Star Toys!


We were sent some wonderful books to review from our friends over at Simon & Schuster. My kids have loved these books! Here's why:

White Noise: A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages by David Carter is a very very intricate pop-up book. The description on the page illustrates with words what the pop-up is about. The neatest thing about this book, that I missed upon first reading, is that the words on the page tell what the sound is when you open the pop-up. You have to listen very carefully, something children need to learn to do. This book is fabulous and beautiful, a real piece of artwork!

Another book by David Carter, Snow Bugs: A Wintery Pop-up Book (Bugs in a Box Books) is cute for the littler age set. My 1-year-old just loves this book. It has a little bit of everything from lift-the-flap, pop-up, and pull tabs. It's perfect for this time of year.

And last but not least, Robot Zot! by Jon Scieska, illustrated by my favorite...DAVID SHANNON!!! Who doesn't love a good David Shannon book?! Think "Alice the Fairy", robot style. My 5-year-old was just getting into robots after his dad taught him how to walk around and talk like one when this book arrived on our doorstep. This cute little robot walks around the house thinking everyday household objects are enemies that need to be destroyed to save his robot girlfriend. Kids will love the humor hidden in this book.

Thanks for the good reads Simon & Schuster!