Next to glow-in-the-dark toys, glitter glue is on my personal top hit parade of great playthings. There’s just something so satisfying about glitter glue. We just got in the new line of Carnival Glitter Glue from eeBoo. Each of the 4 tubes look like peppermint sticks with two tones. At $5 a pop, this is a fun activity craft that won’t break the bank.
We are fans of the Eye Can Art line. They are well-thought out and executed craft kits that introduce kids to different art experiences. The latest…Sketch Foam Art Print Kit provides a great way to experience print making. For reviews of this and other award-winning craft kits, visit www.toyportfolio.com. You can see our video on our youtube channel.
For most of us, the Olympics are a positive introduction to the world. Sure, as a kid you may hear about places in the news–but it’s rarely a happy story. In contrast, the Olympics are generally a feel good event that celebrates our global community. For the days of the games, we hear human interest stories from all over the world. To me this is the best of reality tv– watching dedicated young men and women compete. For many, qualifying for the games is their prize.
Growing up, geography was always made fun in our family. We played the game of geography to make car rides go by faster. A definite rite of passage was getting your own atlas so that you could mark your “travel” lines. My Dad remains big on gathering those lines! I slept under a world map. I had pen pals in India and Sri Lanka. Even in a pre-internet world, my parents made an effort to pull us in to a bigger world view.
Like most families, we watched the games together. And while we were enjoying the events, we were also asked questions that prompted some “look it up” time. For example, when Nadia took the world by storm with her perfect 10, the question was: can you find Romania on the map?
Each Olympics has its own story and flavor. Please take a look at our article on how to engage your kids at www.toyportfolio.com. I’ll be on the Today Show on June 13th.
A Polly Pocket in the middle of ping pong match at the Spin 'N Surprise Hotel
Fans of Polly Pockets (Mattel) will love this new Spin ‘N Surprise Hotel. Our favorite part is the elevator that spins the Polly Pockets as the travel up and down the three story structure. It’s just silly- in a good way. The two top floors also have a FLIP side–giving the dolls twice as many settings to play. Our testers loved the ping pong table, the big slide into a pool (that you can fill with water), and the Polly Pocket shoes that make it possible for them to stand up. We also like that there’s lots of action but no batteries required. A plus!
You know we loved Hot Wheels Wall Trax line last year. It made our Platinum list. The line brilliantly combines 3M stripes to make one of my childhood dreams come true: putting Hot Wheels trax on the wall. A very cool use of a rather low-tech technology. This year’s new entry is the Power Tower. It requires 2 D batteries to run the corkscrew tower that feeds the cars up to the top of the track. There’s also a car-chomping beast. We put our hands in the beast’s jaw…no harm done. While this does more than most – it’s more about watching the car move than making something happen. Of all the sets, not really our favorite.