Playmobil Underwater Adventure a Huge Hit

“Wow” was how the review started from one of our testing families.  Our tester parent sent us the following review after watching her kids enjoy this setting : “The complete set with the large boat, submarine, small  boat, diving cage, deep sea diving bell. etc. etc is just incredible.   Each set individually or all of them together provide innumerable  opportunities for pretend play.  The figurines and all of the  accessories provide EVERYTHING a child needs to act out nautical  stories.  I am amazed by the level of detail in each set.”

This set is right for the bathtub…this family also plays with it on “land”…

If you have a child that likes to pretend with miniature settings…this is one to consider!

Barbie I Can Be…a TV Chef

51ilykgb-9l_sl500_aa280_As always Barbie is in touch with pop/cultural trends. In the past, she’s been a teacher, a vet, a pediatrician…but for this year–she’s aspiring to go with the glitz and glamour of hosting her own cooking show. Move over Rachel, Martha, Giada…there’s a new chef in town. Set ($24.99) comes with camera, demo table, lights, oven and refrigerator. Where’s the make up and hair stylist? We actually like this smart and savvy take on Barbie!

Our activity suggestion: have your young chefs tape their own cooking shows. While they’re having fun, they’ll also be researching a menu to cook (reading, planning)–do some measuring (math) in the process and practice their presentation skills. At the end of the day, you’ll have a snap shot of your school age kids that you’ll treasure.

New Puppet Theater from Step2

We’re big on puppet theaters as a great prop for your family’s own shows. The new Puppet Theater from Step 2 is small in scale– really on the mark for the 3-5 crowd. The small plastic theater comes with with two sides that fold out, a stage curtain and two hand puppets. There’s also a dry-erase board for posting the name and time of your show. Our only complaint is that the nifty light that you’re suppose to attach above the theater really requires a power drill since the holes for the screws are not pre-drilled. For many folks this won’t be an issue, but if you’re not great with power tools – it can be challenging. Our testing family came up with attaching the light with Velcro – a clever alternative. The light itself is a nice addition. You can pair this theater with some of the great puppets we have reviewed from Gund, Manhattan Toy and Folkmanis.