New and Exciting Toys for Christmas 2018

You better watch out…because, let’s be real, Christmas is coming with a quickness.  So, it’s never too soon to get a start on the best gifts for kids. There’s nothing worse than being under pressure, while people repeatedly post the days to Christmas on social media (the struggle is real!).  We’ve searched some of the best toy wish-lists and all-around excellent gift ideas .  As a result, we’ve unmasked the top-selling games and toys from the foremost toy retailers and discovered the best prices so you don’t have to. Below, check out the best toys!

Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkey

Fingerlings

So here we are people, one of the hippest new toys! These darling little interactive monkeys attach to your finger, react to sound, touch, and motion by moving their head, talking in cute monkey talk, and blinking their eyes. If you blow them a kiss they’ll kiss you back. They make monkey sounds and hang upside down on your finger. They are available in many colors from white to blue.

New Hatchimals CollEGGtibles

A pack of mini Hatchimals (there are more than 70 tiny CollEGGtibles to get in the Season One including a limited edition).  Brush the heart and when it transforms from purple to pink, softly press and crack your egg. No batteries necessary!

Googly Eyes Drawing Game for the Whole Family

Just put on a pair of vision-changing goggles, begin drawing, and have your team attempt to say what you’re drawing.  This is a kid-friendly version and lots of fun for the whole family.

Hatchimals Surprise Twins Egg

This is one of the best toys ever created and folks have been going crazy for it. These ‘eggs’ are interactive, your children can care for them and then quickly they’ll hatch two surprise animals!

Websites Your Children Will Enjoy

Let Your Kids Have a Blast on These Websites! All Kid Appropriate!

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab
Web-exclusive animated series encourages good nutrition.
URL: http://pbskids.org/lunchlab/

Arthur Family Health
Good information on allergies, asthma, allergies, children health.
URL: http://pbskids.org/arthur/health/ 

HTE Kids News
Current events crafted for children.
URL: http://www.htekidsnews.com 

Nick Jr. Beyond the Backpack
Personalized help preps children for preschool.
URL: http://beyondthebackpack.nickjr.com

Pocoyo World
Virtual world preschoolers can have fun with adults.
URL: http://www.pocoyo.com/ 

Duck’s Alphabet
Fun, easy phonics games presented by Word World character.
URL: http://wordworld.com/ducksalphabet.php 

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
Activities and lessons help preschoolers absorb life skills.
URL: http://pbskids.org/rogers/ 

Sesame Street
Brought to you by the letter “F” — for fun.
URL: http://www.sesamestreet.org

Oh Noah!
Learn Spanish along with title characters.
URL: http://pbskids.org/noah/index.html 

National Geographic Education
Rich resource get kids to be conscientious citizens.
URL: http://www.natgeoed.org 

New Moon Girls Online
Dynamite, fulfilling site for girls who want to get their priorities in the right place.
URL: http://www.newmoon.com/ 

Stop Bullying Now!
Games, videos, and quizzes inspiring kids to take a stand against bullying.
URL: http://takeastand.stopbullying.gov/kids/ 

Storybird
Create and craft wonderful books to share online and in print.
URL: http://www.storybird.com 

Starfall
When a mom mentioned she’s looking for some great educational websites for her children, it’s wasn’t long before Starfall was mentioned. The site has been online since ‘02 and works with your children through letter recognition all the way to reading nonfiction, comics, and plays.
URL: http://www.starfall.com/http://www.starfall.com/

CoolMath
CoolMath refers to itself as “an amusement park of math and more.” Kids can play online math games that aid them with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, money and more. CoolMath is for those that are ages 13 and up. However, its sister site, CoolMath4Kids is the one that is appropriate for kids between 3 through 12. CoolMath-Games has math games for preschoolers.
URL: http://www.coolmath.com/

Podcasts for Children

As we look to enrich instruction with technology, one thing we might not think of is podcasts. These can be used in classrooms or combine learning models in the exact way you might use videos, which is to provide enrichment and content. Or, describe topics in a diverse way for students who don’t get the idea the first time around. As podcasts become a more common medium, a rising number of them are being created just for kids. Today, we’re going to look at a couple of them that you can use with your young students.

TUMBLE
tumblepodcast.com
Age Range: Best for ages 6-12, suitable for any age

Tumble is a science podcast that reveal the stories behind scientific discoveries. It shows how science really works as a process. With stories from touching the deepest part of the ocean to looking for black holes in distant galaxies, Tumble is co-hosted by a teacher and science journalist.

BOOK CLUB FOR KIDS
bookclubforkids.org
Age Range: Best for ages 9-14, suitable for any age

In each episode of this podcast, a different group of children discuss a young adult book. Every episode also has an interview with the book’s author and a celebrity reader.

SHORT & CURLY
abc.net.au/radio/programs/shortandcurly
Age Range: Best for ages 7-12, suitable for any age

From Australia, Short & Curly is an ethics podcast. The hosts examine problems relevant to children, such as whether you have to love your sibling or whether Pokemon Go is really playing you.

THE SHOW ABOUT SCIENCE
soundcloud.com/the-show-about-science
Age Range: Best for ages 3-9, but fun for curious minds of all ages!

This science interview show is hosted by 6-year-old Nate. While it has some serious science topics, it’s also just really adorable. Nate talks to scientists about anything from radiation to vultures to alligators in his unique interviewing style.

The Educational Computer Games Your Child Should Be Playing

You don’t own a gaming system? No worries. Your PC can play any of these amazing games for kids of every age.

Looking to spend some special time with your child? You’ll find plenty of fun play and learn ideas with these computer games. Most online activities use things you perhaps already have in your house. And along with step-by-step directions, these games will tell you the learning skills your kid will be developing while having a good time with you!

All these games can be found at: http://play.fisherprice.com/en_US/GamesandActivities/OnlineGames/index.html

  • The ABC’s Zoo Learning Game
  • Laugh & Learn Count with Me Game
  • Laugh & Learn Shapes Game
  • Little People® Online Coloring
  • Little People® Friend Finder
  • Little People® What’s Different?
  • Little People® What’s Different?
  • Little People® Shapes & Colors Game
  • Imaginext™ You’re a Firefighter

Here are some other PC games for kids:

World of Zoo

Few zoo simulators provide as much space for creativity as this one. As players load their virtual zoos with many different species, the game’s “animal editor” lets children change not only the colors and fur patterns of their animals, but the sizes and shapes of noses, ears, paws, tails and more. You want pink and green striped giraffes? Go for it!

Itzabitza

This revolutionary learning game tests kid’s reading skills by using written requirements to ask them to draw something. The object they drew then comes to life and is part of the animated scene. Characters will interact with the object the child drew and use it properly, regardless what it looks like.

Littlest Pet Shop

Centered on the mega-popular toy line, Littlest Pet Shop delivers the magic of having your own virtual pet shop. The game has over 30 of the most popular pets in the series. Players can explore three unique settings and complete mini-games and puzzles to earn new pets.

The Top Games Apps for Kids

Children are capable of using technology at an early age. They understand how to use smartphones and tablets accurately and get into their favorite apps before they can say a word. There are a lot of apps available for any platform. However, not all of them are right for children. We have made a list of apps for children. Some are silly games, while others are educational. All are totally fun and child-safe.

Several of these apps come with in-app purchases. If your kids don’t realize that they are paying with real money each time they tap one of these, it can be a real problem. Before giving a child a phone or tablet, make sure they don’t have the password for your account. They need to ask you before they click.

You can also sidestep any problems by following our ideals to turn off in-app purchases in iOS or stop in-app purchases in Android.

Tynker Coding for Kids (free/in-app purchases)

Tynker is quite easy to work, It’s quite visual. You move the blocks to create your code. With Tynker, you can play coding games, learn to code by taking courses. You can also program drones.

Bee-Bot (free)

Bee-bot is a very easy app that helps kids develop skills in programming and directional language. The app has 12 levels that urge you to get faster and better. The faster you can complete a level, the more stars you receive. It’s for kids age 4 and up.

Shapes Toddler Preschool (free)

This app gets children prepared for preschool with games and puzzles with colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. The app is created so that a young kid can click around without being booted out of the game or ending up at the menu. This app makes learning easy.

The Appeal of the American Girl (AG) Dolls

www.americangirl.com

The marketing behind American Girl (AG) Dolls is adamant about the need to express what it refers to as the brand’s “Guiding Truths.”

And, staying true to them with all that they do.

It seems to be the thing for the American Girl brand. Besides dolls, the business has a huge line of movies and books, all supporting its mission of empowering young girls.

With over 125 million books sold since ‘86 and more than 70 million visits every year to its website, AG has moved something in the hearts of young girls and parents that can’t be put into numbers. As AG states, it’s brand tribalism, meaning the emotional connection that pushes their brand loyalty.

How does AG describe this loyalty?

You know you’ve got it when you see 7,000 folks camp out the night before a new AG store opens. In line for over eight hours just to get in. Some people come for just the fact of being a part of it.

That’s brand tribalism.

What are AG’s Guiding Truths?

  • Respectful
  • Relevant
  • Special
  • Meaningful
  • Trustworthy

Everything is girl-centric and all about making young ladies feel special and inspired.

The business celebrated its recent anniversary by connecting with their brand champions, booking a Caribbean cruise during Thanksgiving. Within 48 hours, it was sold out.

Outrageous, huh?

But when you get into what AG is all about, you realize that it isn’t just about the dolls. It’s about their messages and stories.

A key challenge for AG is how to navigate in this multifaceted digital world. The company is devoted to doing so because it understands the need to be where girls are…everywhere! But they won’t move too fast because they assert on doing it safe and right. In truth, being real about the Guiding Truths.

Why Little Girls Love All the Different Disney Princesses

Looking for her prince!

Being the mom of a girly girl can be interesting for a tomboy mom like myself. But when it comes to princesses, I do have a soft side. As a mama who is raising multi-cultural children, I love that we’re seeing diverse Disney princesses in which my daughter can see herself reflected not only as a girl of color, but also as a girl who can dream limitlessly about who she wants to be when she grows up.

There are many reasons to love these different Disney princesses that go beyond their ethnicity and skin color. I’m sure many families will relate to them in many ways. For us, it’s the combination of the depth of these characters with the idea they show that you can be a brown or black girl who is smart and beautiful.

With creating more different Disney princesses, we see the progression that has being made by Disney from the typecasts of years past where their princesses had only blond hair and white skin, not to mention who were damsel in distress waiting for a strong princess to come to the rescue.

Today, not only do we see pretty different Disney princesses that are created in different ethnicities and shades, they also have different dynamics, strength, aspirations, and family settings. Simply put, we see how Disney has grown to show characters that more kids can identify with as our country and the world continues to be more diverse.

That is not to say that the different Disney princesses we see today represent everyone. There are numerous untold stories that they haven’t gotten around to. I’m sure that we will continue to see more inclusiveness and expansion in their characters down the road in the near future.

The Best Adult Party Games

If you’re like me and you prefer a fun, live get-together, then you’re in real need of some overwhelming and funny adult party games. A good adult party game is one that can let folks loosen up, talk to each other, laugh with each other, and dissolve the barriers that make them feel uncomfortable. If you’re ever giving a get-together, here are the best grownup games to have on hand for any reason.

Draw What?!

If you like R-rated games, and have the attitude of the cruder, the better, this one’s for you. With this ridiculous game, there’s really no way to go wrong. The board game has more than 360 words and phrases, which you then have to draw on the white board. If your teammates can tell what you’re drawing, you can all move ahead along the colored squares.

If you’ve got a group of buddies that don’t mind raunchy drawings and cursing, this game is the one.

Cards Against Humanity

One can’t make a list like this and not have the leader of all adult party games. Cards Against Humanity is an adult-themed, offensive likeness on the card game Apples to Apples. Once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy, and gets so many laughs: Players take turns reading off black cards, which say things like, “Lifetime Presents _____, the story of ____.” The person with the funniest or most accurate phrase wins.

Catan

Imagine combining Oregon Trail with Monopoly, wilderness version, and you’ve got the cult-favorite Catan. Unlike other strategy games, new players can pick up the game very fast, letting everyone jump right in and get competitive. Your goal is to settle the island of Catan before your fellow players get resources along the way to expand your development.

Why Your Little One Can’t Let Go of That Stuffed Animal

Stuffed animals are world staple of any kid’s bedroom. In fact, if a kid asks for just one toy, it’s probably will be a stuffed animal. From penguins to tigers to lions, the fluffy dolls come in all sizes and shapes to satisfy every taste. Even in an era where kids own fancy electronic toys, stuffed animals didn’t lose any love. Here’s why your kid is crazy for stuffed toys.

They encourage nurturing

After being bossed around all day, kids want a chance to be the adult. Stuffed toys make great recipients of a child’s pretend discipline and care. They’re little, lightweight, and completely compliant. Playing grownup to a stuffed animal makes a child be in control. Some experts say imaginative play is critical to a child’s social and mental development. Also, when you’re 4, nothing beats the sheer incredibleness of having a ‘baby’ with an alligator tail or a puppy face.

They’re always smiling

Stuffed animals are resistant to the letdowns of life. Regardless how many times they are dropped, sat on or left alone, they always welcome their owners with reassuring, warm smiles. Those happy, fuzzy faces make the world look like a better place, regardless what’s going on in the kid’s life. Mommy, daddy or teacher may be disappointed, but Tickle Me Elmo is never disappointed.

They give the best hugs

Nothing makes the blues go away like a warm, mushy hug. It doesn’t get any warmer than with stuffed animal. Not only that, but stuffed animals will take tight hugs of the longest length of time without gasping for air or feeling crushed. Hugging a Barbie doll or action figure, on the other hand, just doesn’t measure up to that irrepressible softness of a stuffed animal.

Homemade Toys and Games

 

Tic-Tac-Toss Game

Take the game of Xs and Os in the yard with a huge, large version.

On a flat surface, tape strips of duct tape to a shower curtain liner. Use additional tape to create Xs on four heavyweight plastic plates. You’ll want four more plates for the Os.

To play, make a throw line, then follow the rules of tic-tac-toe. If your disk goes off the board, in an already-claimed square, or centered on a line, throw it again.

Spinning Disk Toy

Thread two buttons into a 2-foot length of string, then tie it into a loop. Grabbing each end of the loop, whirl the buttons around to put them around the string. Tug your hands apart to spin the buttons, then let the string go limp so that they rewind and spin. Repeat the movements to get the buttons moving faster.

Stand-up Dinosaur Toys

Display who’s boss with this cleverly designed bipedal model of four-legged dinosaurs. Download an online template, draw the shapes on cereal box cardboard, and then cut them out. Paint all sides and let them dry, then slot them together.

Make-Your-Own Checkers Game

Tape turns a plastic bag into a game board that contains handmade playing pieces.

Cover a gallon-size plastic freezer bag with overlying strips of a single color of duct tape. Fold a strip of tape lengthwise over each edge. Make sure not to take over the opening. Stick strips of a second color of tape to parchment paper. Gage and cut 32 11-inch squares. Begin under the zipper, put the squares on the bag in an 8X8 grid. For checkers, wrap 1-inch wood disks with two colors of duct tape, 12 of each color. Trim the tape.

With homemade games, having fun with your children doesn’t have to cost a fortune, or anything at all for that matter.