Royal Wedding: Disney style

Love that we got a press release for Disney’s Princess App. this week– while we’re all in royal wedding countdown.

The exact name is Disney Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book – it retails for $3.99 from the App Store.

The App is basically this generation’s version of paper dolls–you can dress all of the Disney princesses (selecting everything from their tiara to SHOES). There is also a feature where you can put your child’s picture on one of the dolls (on the sample video, the proportions seemed off).  While we’re usually not big on the whole be a “princess” mantra…for many girls this app will be very appealing.

You can preview the App on youtube:


Fine Arts Contest for Kids from Colorforms

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Colorforms is having a  fine arts contest for kids 3 to 12.


Here are the details from their press release:

What began as an offbeat idea for creative expression of art students Harry and Patricia Kislevitz in their bathroom quickly became a playful, imaginative medium for children of all ages to harness their creativity and build language and problem-solving skills. From the discovery that their roll of flexible vinyl material would stick to semigloss surfaces, the Kislevitzes created a play set featuring basic geometric shapes in bright, primary colors.

“For sixty years, Colorforms has inspired creative, open-ended play rooted in colors and shapes and this contest celebrates the artist roots of the brand,” says Bob Moog, University Games, president. “ This contest is about celebrating and encouraging a lifelong passion for the arts.”

Running from April 1 through September 15, the contest is designed for kids, ages 3-12. There are few limits on the contest, other than the art is no bigger than 30” x 40” and not heavier than 5 lbs, for the sake of contest logistics.

One of three art camp scholarships will be awarded to the contest winners, along with a collection of Colorforms products to a winner in each age group. There will also be a special $500 US Treasury bond prize for the best use of Colorforms Stick-OnsÔ as an art medium.

For the 9-12 year old age group, the camp scholarship includes tuition at a nationally renown fine arts camp, including travel expenses. For the winners under age 9, a day camp scholarship will be awarded for use in the winner’s hometown.

Families can learn more about the contest at <> or at <>

A fun way to teach your kids to say thank you…

Kids love getting gifts…writing thank you notes, not so much.  To the A site that offers cards for all occasions for kids including thank you notes, birthday cards, Mother’s day (hint!)  and blank cards for just dropping a note (fast becoming a lost art!).

We especially liked the cards with lines on them–very helpful for kids to keep their message from running all over the page! There are also cards with word jumbles and color-coded pictures to fill in.

Now this is a serious HOT WHEELS Track

Mattel, marketing its Hot Wheels brand to “older boys”,  is pulling out all the stops this year. Take a look at the planned Hot Wheels track at the Indianapolis 500. (Someone is actually going to jump the 90 foot ramp).  I thought they were kidding at toy fair- but it turns out to be for real.

Having spent a good number of hours running Hot Wheels tracks down our staircase as a kid (technically they were my brother Tony’s track), I know there are many of us out there that can truly appreciate this stunt. The door will be ten stories high. Yikes. Of course my adult-self wonders what happens to the brand if someone gets injured. Is all pr good?

Cleverly, you’ll be able to buy a smaller version of this track for your door at home. The idea is to bring men back to the brand – so this type of real world event (with IZOD as a partner)  is meant not only to wow current Hot Wheel fans but to entice their dads as well.  I guess you’re supposed to play with your Hot Wheels  while wearing your Izod shirt.

With pre-event coverage already on, I’d say they’re on the right track. Sorry.

If you want to engage with Team Hot Wheels, you can follow them on their site or on Facebook (they already have over a quarter of a million fans).  I wonder what the average age is on this page.




Super Fun Bowling Set from Step 2

One of the pins from Step 2's Pin Pals Bowling Set

The new Pin Pals Bowling Set from Step 2 may rank as the best toy bowling set we’ve ever tested. The reason? The clever wide-based design. The ten pins are a little bit wider than a normal toy bowling pin–making them that much easier for older toddlers and preschoolers to place into position by themselves.  With other sets, the pins often tip over when they’re being set up…where’s the fun in that?

Also because of their design, the pins can be stacked. This added a whole new dimension to setting the pins up in vertical arrangements!

One of testers at play!

Our tester stacking them up on his own

Our testers also love the funny faces on each of the pins.  If you’re of a certain age, some of the them will remind you of Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live.

Watch our video.

behind the scenes at the Today Show

Stephanie practicing her bird calling technique

So I was preoccupied this morning with demonstrating the bird calling whistles for Backyard Safari. One requires filling it with water–it makes the BEST noise, but it does drip and if you don’t have the right amount of water in it–it just doesn’t do its thing. Ali took video of me practicing. Click here.

If you missed the segment this morning you can watch it by clicking here. I did the segment with Ann–we got through a lot of products…but I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to about all of read the article and the reviews of the products featured  – it’s all on our website:


Today Show tomorrow morning

Getting ready for tomorrow’s segment on How to Help Your Child With School Skills. I’ll be on in the 9 o’clock hour. The driving force of the segment is how to help without reducing your child to tears with flash cards!  We’ll look at strategies and products if your child is having trouble with math, science, geography, writing, reading and sticking with a task! For the complete article, visit