Children's Toys

Chilren's toys, silly toys, unusual toys, unique toys and toys you won't find at wal-mart or toys-r-us.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Toy Storage Ideas for All Kinds of Toys

With the advent of today’s unique toys in all of their various shapes and sizes comes the need for creative methods for storage of these joy-bringing items. There is no longer any need for constant clean up of toys, because with just a little creativity and for a small cost you can provide the articles for your little one to store his or her toys easily and safely. One can now find an assortment of book, craft, and toy storage bins that prove invaluable in keeping your child’s room looking neat, yet fun. From the classic wooden toy box to the latest Disney toy boxes, there is a wide variety on the market today. You may find that your needs are a bit unique given your spatial constraints but even so, there is probably an excellent solution just for you. Consider the following creative methods for storing children’s toys.

Hoist a Bag of Toys You may not have realized it, but a laundry or hamper bag can be an excellent method for storing your child’s toys at home or an effective childcare toy storage article. By choosing one that has a snap or Velcro fastener rather than a cord, you can keep your child safe while you keep his toys organized and off the floor. Make sure and attach hooks or pegs to a wall and hang your toy storage bag. You will probably want to make sure that your toddler can reach the bag so hang it well within her reach. A laundry bag is also a viable option for animal toy storage and dog toy storage.

A Storage Solution You May Not Have Considered – Under The Bed! Remember to make use of the space underneath your child’s bed. Make sure your under-the-bed storage container has wheels so that your child can withdraw it easily and roll it back underneath the bed just as soon as she is finished. Typically, two baskets will fit underneath a twin bed or standard crib. Another advantage to using rolling baskets is that when they are rolled out from beneath the bed, your child’s toys can be easily seen. In other words, your son or daughter does not have to hunt through a toy chest to find the right toy. That makes for easy and neat toy storage.

Storing Toys for the Tub It is important that you find appropriate storage for bath toys. Bath toys can easily become laden with bacteria because of their frequent exposure to water. Storage bins, made specifically for bathtub toys, usually offer an effective way for your bath toys to dry out between washings.

A Good, Solid Child’s Toy Box The classic toy chest or toy box has been a highly effective method for storing everything from stuffed animals to figurines and games for many years. It provides a one-stop storage solution so that you and your child can locate any toy within a matter of seconds. Modern toy boxes come with fun designs and are now more interesting to look at than ever before. From sports themes to animal themes to Disney themes, your child’s toy box can add a very creative design element to her room while making locating a toy as straightforward as possible.

Article by: Adam O’Connor, Educational Toys

5 Ways To Make Teaching Your Child Math Easier

Article sponsored by, provider of unique toys for children.

Parental involvement in mathematics may be more critical than you think. Nowadays, parents should be proactive for many reasons. New trends in mathematics education frequently reduce concentration on rigorous achievement. They may emphasize calculators and downplay manual computation, or be so strongly inclined toward discovery learning that they are devoid of clear explanations and worked-out examples. Early learning toys can help, but there is more you can do than rely only on toys for education. Here are some steps you can take to get involved in your child’s math education:

  1. Set the following expectation for your child: Do only what makes sense to you. Too often, children see math as a collection of steps and tricks they must learn. Help them understand that they must always try to make sense of what they do in math. Always encourage them to explain the purpose of what they’re doing, the logic of their procedures, and the reasonableness of their solutions.
  1. Identify what your child should know and be able to do. Children who are ready for algebra by eighth grade are much more likely to succeed later on than those who are not, and these children are doing about as well as students in the most successful countries. The clearest and most explicit mathematics standards were recently adopted in California.
  1. Your home is full of opportunities to explore math with your child and, at the same time, build his or her self-confidence and understanding of mathematical ideas. You can use the measuring cups in your kitchen to teach fractions, or you can cut out grocery store coupons and have your child figure out how much money you’re saving.
  1. Teaching your child to do math the way you learnt it as a kid could confuse her, but don’t back off completely. To help without teaching, show sympathy. Say things like “that looks tough,” and “I know it’s hard,” when your child is frustrated. Ask questions such as “what is the problem asking you to do?” If they hit a roadblock, offer an alternative activity for awhile, like an educational science toy, then get back to it.
  1. Studies have shown a positive effect between early musical training and brain development. It has been suggested that musical training can have a positive effect on a child’s academic achievement, especially in the area of mathematics.

Article by: Adam O’Connor, Unique Educational Toy

Friday, June 16, 2006

Educational & Smart Toys: How They Affect Children

What does a smart toys do, and how does playing one affect your child? Parents today are concern about the development of their children especially brain development. As a result, they tend to find brain-building toys that ‘claim' to help to boost the level of intelligence. When there is a demand, there will be a supply. Now stores are filled with various ‘smart toys'.

So, what is a smart toy? In a nutshell, a smart toy incorporates some level of computer technology that could respond according to the child's actions and can even identify the child's skill level, hence could adjust the game accordingly. A robotic dog that just walks and barks but not in response to anything the child does is not considered one of the educational toys.

In addition, smart toys tend to enhance play by interacting with the child through ‘open-ended' play suggestions that allow the child to step in to define the play scenario. For example, a smart ambulance toy may say, "Help is needed over there," suggesting a rescue play pattern without dictating play. Since the child is not told what to do is free to use their imagination to continue the play, thereby sparks the child's creativity.

Here are some examples of smart toys While smart toys are usually expensive, can you make sure you get the best return on your investment? In other words, can smart toys really make your child smarter? To a large extend, there is no conclusive proof that smart toys are going to increase your child I.Q. If so, is it worth spending money on smart toys?

Pete Stavinoha, child psychologist of University of Texas Southwestern said toys touting brainpower don't necessary score higher than the classics, like puzzles and blocks. Stavinoha said how a toy impacts a child's development depends on how it's used, the interaction it promotes, the language used to discuss the toy and the level of pretend play it promotes. Traditional toys like building blocks, crayons and puzzles work as well as the more sophisticated "brain builders."

"Playing with crayons, drawing and painting unleash the creativity in a child and encourage old-fashioned imagination and exploration," he said. "A child can learn problem solving and persistence with simple building blocks, by rebuilding structures when they wobble and fall," Stavinoha said. Even simple play such as parents reading out loud with action using storybook that full of colorful picture to the child could promote their imagination.

When it comes to computer games, Stavinoha claimed that there are not real-life experiences. For example, when a child runs into a roadblock on a computer games can always reset the games and start all over again. As a result, the child has no difficulty to overcome.

Stavinoha said the children that succeeded later in life are those who have learned through play that life has challenges and overcome them while they play and in the process boost their self-confidence. Most importantly is for parents to participate and to interact with their children when playing. Even the best toys won't help children develop if they're left to play alone. However, parents are reminded to leave enough space for their children to be creative. Do not interrupt when they are concentrate playing (even though the way they play is different from you). Only provide guidance and encouragement when they have hit their limit.

Traditional games, play or toys are as good as expensive brain-building toys. To go back to the basics, look at this article for some ideas on simple toys or games that could be as good.

About the Author Andrew Loh, the editor of 'BrainyZine' newsletter teaches parents to nurture a smarter kid. Find out more today and subscribe to his newsletter at:

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kid's Toy Safety Tips

Educational toys are an important part of a toddler’s life. They teach a little boy or girl about colors, sounds, letters, motion, and friction. They can also inspire a child’s creativity. Yet, it’s also important that toys be safe so that children do not get hurt while playing. The Risks The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 191,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries in the year 2000 alone. The figure includes some 70,000 toy-related injuries to pre-schoolers. As a result, fire and safety experts have put together some tips for keeping children safe at play. Check the Label As a parent, you need to check for markings indicating that toys—especially any sort of ride on toys, like the popular Dora The Explorer ride on toy — have been safety-tested by an independent, third party product safety organization, such as UL. A UL mark on a toy means that the product has been thoroughly tested by UL engineering staff and found to meet all relevant safety requirements. Look for the Age Designation Chances are the toy you are considering purchasing has a marking such as “age 3 and up” or “age 2 and up.” If your child is only a year-and-a-half, it’s best to stay away from such toys for safety’s sake. The toy could contain small parts that might pose a choking hazard for your child. Look for Warnings The toy you’re considering may contain a manufacturer’s warning. You need to take the warning seriously. It has been placed there for your benefit—and to protect your child from harm. Also, be sure to read any instruction booklet that comes with the toy. Be Sure to Clean Up You should immediately throw out any plastic packaging and gift-wrapping after a toy has been opened. This is because such materials can represent a suffocation hazard. Also, be sure to inspect the toy for possible cracks, breaks, or ripped seams which could pose a danger to your child. Keep in mind that sharp edges can lead to painful cuts for children. If a toy must be assembled, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Article by: Michelle O’Connor, Personalized Toy Chest

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Butterfly Garden Review: Reviews of the Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden - a butterfly habitat Raise 5 Painted Lady butterflies in the Butterfly Garden while learning all about metamorphosis with this Oppenheim Best Toy Award-winning butterfly raising kit! Watch them grow then let them go! See each caterpillar's transition as it matures, changes into a chrysalis, and finally emerges as a Painted Lady butterfly! After observing your butterflies, experience the joy of releasing them into your backyard! Absolutely safe to release into the environment. Includes colorful pop-up habitat suitable for hanging or free-standing on a countertop, pre-paid certificate for 5 butterfly larvae with special food, feeding kit and complete instructions. Please Note: This kit doesn't contain any live insects; it includes a mail-in certificate for the live critters. Three butterflies are guaranteed to be perfect specimens. Please allow approximately 3 weeks for your larvae to develop. During extremely hot or cold weather, delivery of live larvae may be delayed. Available only in the Continental U.S. and Alaska. Butterfly Garden is recommended for kids ages 4 and up. butterfly Garden Review #1 i gave this kit to two of my friends' children (two different families) for christmas and both girls (5 year olds) absolutely loved it! each of them took it to school so that their classes could enjoy it too, and the girls couldn't wait to call me when the butterflies finally came out of the cocoons. one of their teachers even ordered a kit herself so that the class could see the entire developmental process. one thing that i would suggest though... if you get this as a gift and you are organized enough to get it ahead of time, go ahead and send in the catepiller coupon for the child. that way, they only wait a few days for their catepillers, rather than two weeks.

Butterfly Garden Review #2 As a child, I caught caterpillars, fed them milkweed and watched as they turned into Monarch butterflies. I wanted my child to experience the same magic, however, it has been difficult to find caterpillars. I found three Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars, only to find they had been eaten by a praying matis a few days later. At first, I had a hard time spending $20.00 for "a few bugs", however, this turned into more than 2 weeks of entertainment for the entire family and a few neighbors - pretty cost-effective, and educational, too! The kit gives you everything you need. Fool-proof if you follow the simple directions. You can plan the timing of the caterpillar's arrival, so your butterflies won't need to be released in a blizzard. The caterpillars are well-contained - not to worry if anybody is squeemish. The butterflies in the kit are found in so many locations around the world, you don't need to worry about un-balancing your ecosystem. We are planning to give a butterfly garden to every birthday child for the coming year!
Butterfly Garden Review #3 My son received the butterfly garden as a birthday gift. We were going out of town, so asked to have the caterpillars delivered at a later date. They came on the exact date requested! The caterpillars were very small the first day, but grew so quickly that I wondered if we could actually watch them grow before our eyes (it certainly seemed that way)! It took only one week for the chrysalides to form, and only one more week for the butterflies to hatch. There is no feeding required for the caterpillars (they arrive in a container with their entire food supply)--all the kids need to do is watch them! My son and daughter both woke up each morning and would come running to tell me how big the caterpillars were. Then they watched them form into chrysalides, and still watched them each day until they hatched. The day we released the butterflies, my son looked at me and said "I sure am going to miss my beautiful butterflies!...Mom, can we get some more?" You can buy your butterfly garden at

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Giant Microbe Review

Giant Stuffed Microbe Reviews I currently have most of the set, and thoroughly recommend them. There was also approval from our infection control nurse at the hospital where I work, who suggested that "mono and the common cold should mate and have cute little babies....." (mono has luxurious eyelashes with lilac fur and the common cold is a beautiful shade of blue) She liked the idea of using them as visual tools in infection control lectures. My workmates thought it odd to spend £45 on fuzzy toys from the US though....... Sarah Jacotine === This idea is great. Not only would children adore the hands-on experience, but each and every biology teacher should have a set. Perfect for hypochrondriacs! Laura Lelievre === The coolest thing about these Giant Microbes is the double meaning they can have. Of course they work well as gag gifts and educational toys as well. No home should be with a Giant Microbe. Leslie Rollins Here is a list of the Giant Microbes avaialable: * E. Coli(Escherichia coli) Everyone's welcome at a barbecue. Or are they? * Head Lice(Pediculus capitis) Having a lousy day? We've got a solution. Scratch your head, and try guess what it is! * Sleeping Sickness(Trypanosoma brucei) Are you tired? Working too hard? Feeling a bit cranky? Do you think you might have sleeping sickness? This little fellow will sing you a lullaby you'll never forget. * Acne/Pimple (Propionibacterium acnes) Got a blemish? Give our little fellow a big squeeze, and you're sure to feel better! * The Pox/Syphillis (Treponema pallidum) Don't let a pox end up on your house -- or anyone else's house. The more you know, the better for everyone's real estate. * The Clap/Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) One of the most common venereal diseases, Gonorrhea can be easily cured -- or avoided. Know the risks. * Flesh Eating Disease (Steptococcus pyogenes) Caused by the same microbe responsible for strep-throats, Flesh Eating can put you on a diet -- fast. * Bad Breath - Halitosis (Porphorymonas gingivalis) Oral malodor is no laughing matter. But don't give spicy foods all the credit. Microbes deserve their share of the glory, too. Make someone smile (as long as they've brushed first.) * Common Cold Giant Microbe (Rhinovirus) Billions of people a year catch the cold. Now you can get one too -- without getting sick! Learn all about the Common Cold with this cuddly companion. * Flu (Orthomyoxvirus) This guy may not look too tough, but don't let his cute looks fool you! Once he and his friends show up you're in for a pretty lousy time. Learn about his weaknesses so you can avoid unwanted encounters. * H.I.V.(Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Not cute in any sense, This plush microbe seeks to educate those about the deadly virus that destroys CD4 or T-helper cells. * Mono - Kissing Disease (Epstein-Barr Virus) A kiss is just a kiss -- unless she's around! 95% of the population has encountered this sweetie pie. Just think of all the fun you can have giving Mono to somebody without all the medical complications! * Sore Throat (Streptococcus) No one likes having a sore throat, unless it's a Giantmicrobe! Find out what makes Streptococcus bacteria more than just your average sore throat virus. * Stomach Ache(Shigella) Having a stomach ache can be loads of fun ... if it's a Giantmicrobe, of course! (And this one will tell you how to keep his friends away.) * Ulcer(Helicobater pylori) Guess what? Stress doesn't cause ulcers -- microbes do! But we guarantee that this little guy will give your most stressed out pal a laugh. * Beer Yeast(Saccharomyces cerevisiae) Come and get it! This microbe is a baker, and a brewer -- and a scientist to boot. Pretty amazing! Learn about the secrets to its success. * Ebola (Ebola Virus) Since its discovery in 1976, Ebola has become the T. Rex of microbes. Share the love! * BookWorm(Anobium punctatum) Do you have a favorite bookworm? We do! And our book-lover is sure to interest just about any bibliophile. * Martian Microbe(ALH 84001) Are we alone? Maybe not! Mars Rock ALH 84001 produced rampant speculation after bacteria-like shapes were discovered inside. And if life does exist on other planets in the solar system, it probably looks like this! Each 5-7 inch plush microbe comes with a instructional card that includes an actual picture of the microbe along with information about the microbe in its natural environment.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Antworks Ant Farm Review

Antworks Ant Farm Reviews 5 of 5 Stars! 03/01/2006 Reviewer: Lori Stephens I bought Antworks Ant Farm for Christmas for my children. BOY are we glad we did. After the first day, the ants had burrowed down to floor of the antworks. Less than a week since placing the ants in the habitat, they have created a system of tunnels and chambers that have 4 ground entrances and a mound with several tunnels on the surface. My hubby and I have spent as much time ant-gazing as the kids have. It is SO neat to watch these ants work. I recommend buying it! 3 of 5 Stars! Reviewer: Ray De Bruijn I got this product as a Christmas present. I waited until the Spring came to collect the Ants, so my gift was on the shelfdesk for 3 months. OK then I got 10 ants from my garden and followed the instruction in the manual. After about 3 hours, 1 ant was missing, I thought 'hey, were is he gone'. Then later another one went missing! This was a mystery: then I found out that they were escaping through the air-holes! little buggers! Then most of them cuddled up in the corner and other tried to litterally lift the lid off. I also think that some just wanted to get through the white foam that seals the container. I had made the holes required but they didnt do much for the first week. I then thought ok, I'll leave them alone for another week, so I came back after the week and alittle more goo was gone, but the holes became wider, not deeper and I had lost 4 ants, I had only had 4 left. So I aired the container, but I only found 3. I was quite disappointed with this product as maybe the ants from the garden are not suitable for this experimental container. I now got some more ants, but it turns out, the same situation has occurred, escaping ants. I think its cruel to seal the airholes, they need to breath right? or if I open it once a week, that should be enough! Antworks Illuminator Review for Antworks Illuminator Posted 12/19/2005 by F. Hochberg In my opinion, Antworks is incomplete without the Antworks Illuminator. The Illuminator turns Antworks into a nightlight and makes the gel glow a cool neon blue. Review of Antworks Illuminator Posted 12/11/2005 by Susan Claseman We purchased this for a gift, but it looked way to cool to wrap without having a closer look. I loved the little booklet inside that tells about the different ants. I know my nephew will stare at night into this and watch a world moving. A very cool addition Posted 10/20/2005 by Celeste Crotts This is one of the coolest items ever!!! It allows you to see your ants clearly day or night, Plus it seems as if the ants are digging toward the lights. It is a lot of fun and is very helpful. Highly recommended!!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Triassic Triops - What is it?

What exactly are Triops? Triops are crustaceans that look like miniature horseshoe crabs. Larger members of the crustacean family include crabs and lobsters. Smaller members are brine shrimp, fairy shrimp and Daphnia. Triops have a relatively short lifespan of 20 to 90 days and grow quickly to their adult length of one to three inches. How large they grow depends on the amount of light and food they receive. After hatching, they often double in size daily! The bright colors of the Triops are due to hemoglobin in the blood and a dark blue-green pigment in the connective tissue. They are called branchiopods (gill foot) because they obtain oxygen from the water through their feet. The young quickly move through several larval stages, shedding (molting) their exoskeletons each time. Adults can complete their life cycle in under 30 days. Triops are usually in constant motion and have entertaining feeding and breathing patterns that include amazing acrobatics & upside-down swimming. While swimming on its back, the Triops is able to sweep food into its mouth by using its many legs.

Visit our unusual online toy store to buy your triops set today.