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GAMES and Toys


Halloween Dress Up Paper Doll Templates

dress up boy halloweenie printable template by babalisme

Playing dress up for Halloween doll is a fun activity to occupy the kids while you are making breakfast. The woman behind Babalisme did these super cute Halloweenie dress up doll printables. Her dress up Halloween dolls are available in a boy version and a girl version.

Magnetic Dress Up Doll Project

dress up girl halloweenie printable with magnetic pieces

If you are looking for a more resistant option than simply paper, a mother came up with a magnetic paper doll upgrade. She assembled a backdrop scene on a kiddo sized cookie sheet. This means that less pieces are spreading around your house. Plus, she reinforced the clothes and accessories with contact sheet before putting a magnet on each piece. It is a good idea. Visit Funny Days with Mommy and Maddie for the complete set of instructions.

+ Halloweenie dress up doll printable – girl version
+ Halloweenie dress up doll printable – boy version
+ Via Living Locurto


Cultivate your Kid Imagination with PlayShades

playshapes by miller goodman

I think this new toy could be a hit this Christmas. Every parent wants to invite again the aunt who arrives with a playful educational toy. Plus, kids need toys that they can easily carry around inside and outside the house.

The 74 rubber wood blocks are cut in smooth, subtly painted shapes. Kids and adults will be able to draw fun faces, fashion animals or illustrate moving objects. You will find a set of illustrations and the unbleached cotton drawstring bag inside the packaged box. Miller Goodman maintains a Flickr group to bring you more inspirations about what you can do with PlayShapes. The carrying bag is cute and simple.

play shapes endless creations :: miller goodman

If you wish to order a set of PlayShapes, you need to wait until mid-November. It will be available on Miller Goodman’s online store (called Shhhop) and from select retailers. You will be pleased to know that Shhhop ships worldwide.

+ PlayShapes £69.95
+ via Inhabitots


Adorable Toys and Housewares at WhippetGrey

felt finger puppets :: rope cat animal kingdom collection at whippetgrey

I discovered a UK retailer who assembled an exotic collection of items for kids and your house. I cannot imagine a child who could resist those charming old-fashioned toys.

+ The felt finger puppets are hand stitched with embroidered hearts, stars and Liberty Print fabric (£32 for 6 or £7.75 each, come with a postcard).

+ The rope cat, mouse and dog are affordable (£8.25).

dog doorstep :: egg stand and toast soldier at whippetgrey

For the house, check out:

+ Leather dog doorstop £41
+ Earthenware castellated egg cup and toast soldier stand £16.50


Crayon Rolls and Wall Wear by Canadian Talents | Etsy Finds

etsy watch crayon roll by little bird designs and wall wear by neawear

While I was on etsy, I came across this crayon roll by Little Bird Designs of Vancouver, BC. This is one thing that parents should always carry with them. This ready-to-go crayon roll holds 10 crayons (or colored markers). Just roll, fold over – front to back – and tie! The crayons are included with the Animal Parade Crayon Roll. $12

Janick of Neawear contacted me to tell that she is having a sale on everyhting in her etsy store, including her gorgeous wall wear. You can save 15% if you buy before August 22, 2009. This is her 3rd year Anniversary Sale. Congrats on your anniversary, Janick!


Green Living Toys for my Eco-Friendly Tuesday

green toys

We are never too young to learn to principles of green living. Pretend games were part of my favorites as a kid. These days, we can find green doll houses and city life accessories. The toys also have to walk the talk and be made of organic or eco-friendly materials. If you have an upcoming kid birthday, here a few suggestions from two brands that specialize in green toys.

City Life Toys

+ Your kids will become familiar with the ecological ways to heat, cool and supply energy to a house. The Green Dollhouse by Plan Toys features a wind turbine and a solar cell panel with electrical inverter for generating electricity, a rain barrel for collecting rain plus a green facade which helps control the appropriate temperature of the house. A shade canopy that can be pulled down in order to block or allow the wind and sunlight into the house. Recycling bins are integrated to the house. $190 USD green house alone, $234.95 house with green furniture

+ They will learn the value of local farming with the Doll House Vegetable Garden by Plan Toys $19.94 USD

+ The new Eco Street Accessories include 4 solar street lights, 3 signs, a recycle bin, and 2 street flower beds. On the Website of Plan Toys, they say street benches but from the pictures, it looks like flower beds.

For Playing Outside

These making of these toys is more environmentally. They are made recycled plastic that were collected from curbside milk containers. The plastic is safe for kids. It contains no phthalates or BPA.

+ Sand Play Set $19.99 USD
+ Green Toys Gardening Kit $20 USD

+ Plan Toys
+ Green Toys


Under $25 Pretend Food Toys at Land Of Nod

I played lots of pretend games as a kid. It is a part of growing up. My parent were good at finding make believe toy sets. They often got my toys from the United States. My mother was an excellent hairdresser. She owned a salon at a time when most happily married women did not own their business. We forget that things changed not that long ago. So one Christmas, I received a fabulous hair salon set. It came with a hair salon chair and hair salon dryer on wheel. It was awesome.

I would have been excited to get any of the food market items. Land of Nod has a huge collection of fabulous toys. You can start small and build the collection with time. To help you out assemble the entire market, put these toys on the wish list for friends and family.

land of nod's pretend food toys

Toys for 3 years old and up

+ Build the motor skills of your kids with the Cutting Food. Velcro keeps the pieces together. $24.95 with free shipping

+ Playing the Market Grocery Collection contains 12 play grocery items come neatly packaged in a wooden crate, thus helping you avoid the difficult question of paper or plastic. $24.95 with free shipping

+ Pizza! Pizza! can teach your kids how to count with its 54 mix and match toppings, 6 pizza slices, platter, serving spatula and pizza wheel. $24.95 with free shipping.

+ Boys and girls use their imagination to create a vast range of sandwiches and burgers. The two-sided fastener produces a realistic slicing sound when kids slice through the sandwich with the wooden knife. At $24.95, the Kids Cannot Live On Bread Alone Sandwich Kit is a toy that should amuse your kids a lot.

When you are ready to grow your food market, check out what I have to say about the Shop ‘Til You Drop market, shopping cart, cash register and well-balanced scale.

Shipping Information

For delivery by Wednesday, December 24th, order by:

  • Friday, Dec. 19th, 11am CST for Standard Delivery
  • Monday, Dec. 22nd, 11am CST for 2-Day Delivery
  • Tuesday, Dec. 23rd, 11am CST for Overnight Delivery

My Favorite Toys at Pottery Barn Kids

I continue my last-minute gift ideas with toys for young kids. These would be perfect for your own kids or to give a niece or nephew.

christmas gift ideas for kids

+ The Flower & Bird Cuckoo Clocks is a an adorable accessories for a bedroom. The German engineered mechanisms keep perfect time and feature a chirping yellow bird every hour with a volume control and an on/off switch for the bird. These clocks cost $129 each.

+ Wooden Vehicles are a favorite of mine because they can be used as toy or for display in a nursery. The Dumptruck and the Bulldozer are on sale at $59 each. The School Bus and the Crane cost $79 each.

+ This craft style textile dollhouse is easy to carry around. The front wall folds down so kids can decorate the inside. The set comes with a family with dog, a sofa, a bed and a bathtub. Puffy Dollhouse $69 USD

+ If you are wish to spend less, the cotton percale and corduroy Mouse House & Family is on sale at $24.99.

Shipping Information

To receive on or before Wednesday, December 24th, order by

  • Friday, December 19th at 12:00 Noon PST for Gift Card – Rush
  • Friday, December 19th at 5:00pm PST for Personalized Items and for Direct Ship
  • Saturday, December 20th at 9:00am PST for Standard UPS
  • Monday, December 22nd at 5:00pm PST for Rush UPS

To receive on or before Wednesday, December 30th, order by

  • Wednesday, December 24th at 5:00pm PST for Personalized Items, Standard UPS and Direct Ship
  • Sunday, December 28th at 5:00pm PST for Rush UPS

Befriend with Animal Crossing: City Folk

animal crossing city folk on the wii

My all-time favorite video game, Animal Crossing will migrate to the Wii November 16th, 2008 with a new title Animal Crossing: City Folk.

I recalled playing hours and hours of Animal Crossing: Wild World on my Nintendo DS. My husband just asked me why I like Animal Crossing? The answer is simple. It is a happy game about building friendship and collecting items.

The Game in A Few Words

Your character lives in a village with animal neighbors. Basically, you and your animal neighbors will perform several tasks to make each other happy.

You can design clothes, decorate your house, write letters, take care of your flowers, go on the shopping spree and explore the town of other players. With Animal Crossing: City Folk, you can take a bus to the new urban city area. I cannot wait to try it out.

The game happens in real-time. If you visit during the night, it will be dark outside. During the winter months, you get snow and can build snowmen. If your snowmen look fabulous, you will get a reward.

There are recurring visitors, calendar events and special events to break the routine. For example, special things happen on New Year’s Day. You can participate in the monthly fisherman tournaments on Sunday, the flea markets and the Acorn Festival.

For Kids, Teenager Girls and You

The cool thing about Animal Crossing is that it is truly a game for all ages. It is suitable from kids of 6 or 7 old ages up to adults. As we get older, the female gender seems to prefer that type of game. If you are looking for Christmas gifts for all the family, Nintendo Wii clearly qualifies.

I suggest Animal Crossing: City Folk for young kids and teenager girls. I have to warm you; when your kids will be at school, you may feel the urge to play a little game.

If you pre-order the video game until November 15, 2008, will email you a $10 off a future video game purchase. You can watch a trailer video to get a sneak peak of the game.

+ Animal Crossing: City Folk – $49.99 USD
+ snapshots from Nintendo and


Vintage Wood Style Toys and My Toy Exchange Party

land of nod cool vintage style toys

Toys can be eyesores in a house. Let’s face it toys take place. If you can afford them, try to opt for something else that the mass-produced plastic kind.

You can get at Land of Nod high-end toys with a cute vintage vibe. Since kids outgrow or get tired of their toys fairly quickly, try to get a few items that can be repurposed as display.

A Little Bit of Nostalgia

The Kitchen and Grocery section at Land of Nod is incredible. I adore the Shop ‘Til You Drop market, shopping cart, cash register and well-balanced scale. The chalkboard would let your kids advertise their daily specials or set the price at the lemonade stand. You can use it whenever you have a garage sale.

Make-belief games are an important part of child play. I recalled that running a shop was one of my favorite games. My parents also got me a stunning salon kit that they probably bought from the United States. It had a special meaning since my mother was a talented hairdresser with her own salon.

More Toy Ideas

If you are a regular reader, you probably notice my teepee fascination. I cannot imagine a boy or a girl who would not enjoy having a roomy teepee in their playroom. A teepee is also great when you are hosting kid parties.

The French-designed Zamiloo Cardboard House with the coordinating Squirrel Family can decorate the nursery and toddler room until the little girl is 3 years old. The same goes for the On the Right Racetrack.

toy exchange party :: puppet theater :: cupcakes

Wooden toys can be repainted and can be repaired if broken. For that reason, they are more environmentally friendly.

Toy Exchange Party

Lisa Kothari invited me to write a guest post on Peppers and Pollywogs blog.

With the current economical climate and the green living trend, I selected an unusual theme for a kid related party. Learn how to organize a Toy Exchange Party in your community. Get answers from how to select a venue to what are the rules for the exchanges up to what to serve as refreshments.


+ Shop ‘Til You Drop Market – $199 USD
+ Meet Me in the Teepee – $119 USD
+ Honey I Shrunk the Football Table – $59 USD
+ This Full Playhouse – $54 for Zamiloo Cardboard House, $19.85 for the Squirrel Family characters
+ On the Right Racetrack – $39.95 USD
+ Tabletop Puppet Theater – $89 USD
+ Wood Roller, Sorter and Stacking Ring Maker – $14.95 – $29 USD
+ image from Cupcakes with three locations in Vancouver, Canada