Author Archive

postheadericon Make this year the best Summer yet for your family with lots of fun outdoor toys for kids in the back yard.

The best summer toys for kids will accomplish: keeping your kids occupied and tire them out, get them off the couch and outside, adults will enjoy them as well and are GREAT fun!

Remember, jump roping? This classic toy is a great way to get active and your child will be amazed that you know how to use it as well. How about scooting around the park; scooters are a great way to bridge that age gap with siblings that vary in age range. As with all toys be sure to check to make sure the scooter is age appropriate based on the manufacturers recommendations for the child using the scooter and do not forget to ALWAYS have your child wear a helmet.

Sports toys and games are great of learning about building skill and having fun. Its good to have a few games which the family can play together on sunny days or on family occasions. Sports toys can be great when the kids friends coming around to play too. Some great examples include Frisbee, badminton kits, volleyball kits. basketball, tennis or soccer.

Last but not least are water toys. Most kids love cooling down in the summer on a slip and slide or even with a friendly battle game with water balloons. However, you choose to enjoy the summer remember to always be safe and use sunblock for your child’s skin health. 


Crafts are an excellent way to explore your child’s imagination and spark creativity. Crafts not only are fun to make with your child, they also shape their growing minds. When children draw and use their hands to create crafts they become better thinkers and learners. The more we discover about how the brain works, the more we recognize how the imagination helps mold a child’s learning.

Homemade play-dough recipe

3 cups flour
1.5 cups salt
6 tsp. cream of tarter
3 tbsp. oil
3 cups water

Pour all ingredients into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until a dough ball forms by pulling away from the sides. Knead dough until the texture matches play dough (1-2 minutes). Keep stored in a plastic container, the dough will keep for approximately 3 months.

postheadericon Educational and Fun

Many parents struggle with the idea of what to get for a child’s birthday or a holiday gift. With the age of video games, and instant online movies, some parents may question if children still need toys. The value andbenefits of toys for children is tremendous. In addition to offering hours of fun, toys can deliver educational and theraputic benefits as well. Finding the right toys can help children gain needed skills. Even special needs children and children with disabilities can benefit from having the right toy. Educational toys teach motivation. Learning never seems like fun. But when you disguise learning in the form of a game or a new toy, it brings new motivation for learning. That’s one of the powerful benefits of play. Children get to be the boss, try new skills, and do things their own way. It may prompt them to discover new skills or things about themselves. Children are very motivated to discover and learn things when it’s fun.

postheadericon Inflatable Water Slides, Banzai Water Slide, Little Tikes Water Park

kids toy

The newest Little Tikes Water Slide and Bouncers are in stock!  The 2013 Banzai Water Slides arrive in the spring, note that many older models are once again available. Also note, that Manley has dropped the Banzai from the name but they are the same kids water slides.

The quality of the waterslides gets better every year.  We try to find every water slide available with slides from Banzai, Little Tikes, KidWise, Blast Zone, Intex, Aqua Leisure and more! If you don’t see your home water slide here, it probably doesn’t exist.

postheadericon How to Read an E-Book with Your Child

e books

Electronic books, called e-books, are becoming more and more commonplace these days. Some readers, like the first generation Kindle and Nook devices, offer a basic digital version of a print book. Children scroll through the pages to read, and the experience is somewhat similar to reading a traditional book.

Newer, full-color, touchscreen devices such as iPads and the Nook Color have expanded what is possible to include e-books with many more features. These “enhanced” e-books offer a different reading experience. Often bought as apps through iTunes, these e-books provide lots of choice. A user can choose have the whole book read to them, or can choose to read the book themselves. E-book enhancements consist of a range of things, but often include listening to music that complements the story, playing story-related games, completing coloring pages, and more. Most children find interactive e-books fun and engaging. But do they help develop important early literacy skills such as letter names and letter sounds or more complex skills such as comprehension?

The e-book market is too young to have enough solid research on the topic to know for sure yet, but researchers have spent lots of time watching families with young children engage with e-books. These observations suggest that it’s easy for kids to get carried away with the digital nature of the e-book. Parents can help keep the focus on reading and the story by following three simple suggestions:

  • Recognize the novelty factor. The first few times your child is interacting with a new e-book, allow time for exploration of the features. Once your child has spent some time exploring, set out to read or listen to the story without too many non-story related interruptions.
  • Enjoy the features, but don’t forget to focus on the story. See if you can help your child find a balance between having fun with the games and sticker books and really enjoying and understanding the story. As with all books, engage your reader in conversations about the story. “What do you think will happen next? What is your favorite part of the story?”
  • Stay present with your child and the book experience. It’s tempting to let the device do the work — read the story, play a game and interact with your child. But there’s no substitute for quality parent-child conversation. Keep talking, commenting on interesting words and ideas, and sharing your love of literacy with your child.