TODAY Show today…active and fun

Natalie and Stephanie discussing ride-on toysI headed up to the studio this morning with my intern Daniel — after putting toys together for us all semester, I thought it would be fun for him to see the studio and the end result of so many packages, emails and testing. I tried doing my hair this morning–and emerged from the building looking like a bad 1970s “before” picture.  Happily, the hair and make-up people at the show are so terrific, that I knew it was going to be ok.  I think they were even a little shocked by the sheer volume of hair.  Thanks to high def tv, I also think make up takes longer (not to mention that I’m a little older!) than it used to.  It really is amazing what professionals can do.  Everyone emerges from the hair and makeup area a better, more polished version of themselves.

This morning we had about ten kids.  One family has tested for us since their son was born five years ago.  They moved to Hong Kong in between and as I traveled up to the studio I realized that we had never met–so that was fun!  They now have two kids and I’m so happy they’re back from their adventure and can resume testing for us! Other kids were on with me about a year ago–so to see them now as full preschoolers was fun.  A new group joined us – I have to say this was the most well-behaved group of kids in the green room.  Their parents were really careful to hold off on the delicious donuts and cookies until after the segment. Smart move.

The challenge was to show toys and equipment for active play –indoors!  The YBIKES were a hit and disappeared when we went to talk about them–but I think they got camera time later on. The Kazam Balance Bike – also great was on the pedestal–and may have been blocked a little by the fire truck. You really couldn’t see how amazingly high the Sky Balls bounce in the air–or the 3D bubbles…but trust me – there are fun choices this season.

A very polite "excuse me" in the middle of the segment

Half way through the segment one of our testers very politely asked if she could go play in the playhouse…one of those great real live moments…priceless.

Natalie, Finley and the end of the segment

Segment over, chocolate donut enjoyed on the car ride home…a good day!

Taking a look at the indoor Hopscotch Rug from Alex

To read the full article about the toys featured, visit

Amazing! : Optrix 3-D Bubbles from Imperial Toy

Optrix 3-D Bubbles

It really must be almost Spring time–the first set of amazing bubbles has arrived. Optrix 3-D bubbles from Imperial Toy comes with 3-D glasses.  So when you blow the bubbles (the set comes with bubbles, a pan and a medium sized wand…you can see STARS around the bubbles!  Super fun.  There are also sets that make you see hearts, lightening bolts and butterflies. We did not test these–but assume they’ll work the same way!  Sets range from $7.99 to $9.99 at places like Walmart and TRU.  We found them on Amazon but the price was above $20 – so be careful to shop this one before you buy…but try them!

With the excitement surrounding Avatar and Alice in Wonderland–it does seem that 3-D is a major trend in entertainment and now toyland.

One disclaimer- I’m really ridiculously happy about bubbles.  It’s hard to stay in a bad mood when you blow bubbles. My suggestion is always be sure to stock up on bubbles. For really little kids, they’re great for tracking and for older kids–there’s nothing more satisfying than making bubbles happen.

WATCH our video.