With Christmas coming up, you may be searching for ideas. I have a few suggestions of some great toys for a wide range of ages that I would like to share with you. The first one is Elmo Live! I wrote a description on this adorable, soft and fuzzy monster a few months ago (you can read about him here). This Elmo is like no other: He waves his arms, sits and stands, even crosses his legs, all the while telling stories and jokes, singing songs and playing games. Children can activate the magic with a tickle or a squeeze of Elmo’s foot, tummy, back or nose. He is approximately 1 foot tall, so he is pretty tall. I know he is a big hit with Elmo fans everywhere! He is retailing for $60 and will bring hours of fun! What a great interactive toy for our little ones! Elmo Live is a great gift to give to kids ages 18 months and up! Even adults will get a kick out of this little red guy!
Oompa Toys carries a great selection of toys for kids! One of the newest editions to their line is the "green toy" Cheekeyes wooden block sets! Cheekeyes won the prestigious Platinum Award for one of this year’s best preschool toys. Cheekeyes can only be found in the United States at online toy store OompaToys. These wooden toys are handmade in Sri Lanka, from the hands of Dutch designer Rogier van Zijp, with eco-friendly rubberwood. Painted with slight color, with a one-of-a-kind red cheek and painted eye (creating the name Cheekeyes) these sets are in different categories: Arctic, African, Forest, Farm and Dinosaurs. The sets come with 5 animals for $29.99 and you can buy trees and rocks (separately) to go with the animals. Cheekeyes are great for ages 3 and up. You will have the chance to enter to win a set (your choice) of Cheekeyes coming soon!
Playing cards and trading cards are really big right now for the elementary age kids! My son really enjoys the earth-friendly Xeko Mission card game! This is a 2 player card game that he can learn about conservation and the environment while he plays, plus he can be strategic with his moves! Xeko Mission: China is the newest edition of Xeko. This mission includes endangered animals like the Giant Panda, critically-endangered Snow Leopard, and the King Cobra. The Xeko Mission: China starter set comes packaged in a pagoda box decorated with animals from China’s habitats and dragon illustrations that capture the mysteries of ancient Chinese culture. The starter set retails for $24.99. Booster packs of 9 cards are available for $3.99. A new line of eco-friendly plush, the Xeko Pals, also debuted this fall. Each plush is based on the most popular characters from the Xeko eco-adventure game. The plush are made with soy and certified organic cotton “fur” and filled with soy-based stuffing. These new toys feature “mission codes” that allow kids to join the fun at xeko.com, where the Xeko adventure comes to life on the web. The most popular character from Mission: China is the Giant Panda and!retails for $19.99. I think this is a great educational and fun game geared for kids ages 8 and older. Great game to work on math and comprehension! You will also get the chance to win this game and Panda Plush valued at $45.00 total!
One big hit for those toddlers learning to go potty is the new toy from Mattel: Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Gotta Go Doll! This is a great toy to promote developmental and learning activities! The Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Gotta Go Doll includes a complete bathroom area where girls can help their doll learn to go potty and clean up. The Gotta Go Doll goes both “number 1” (and “number 2!”) on her very own small potty, but, unlike real toddlers, there is no mess and no water – just realistic sights and sounds! The doll can flush, knows to wash her hands and loves to do all the things a big girl does when she gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night. The bathroom area features potty, sink, towel and more. Available in Caucasian, African American and a Spanish speaking Hispanic version. Approximate retail price is $39.99 each and is geared toward ages 3 and up!
Everyone is raving about Organic Products these days, and the safety of toys for children. When I was introduced to the new cuddly (and quite adorable) Jooble plush characters, I was greatly impressed! Joobles are from the company Fair Indigo, started by a Mom, Dad and daughter. These adorable animals are made of organic cotton, by artisans in Peru under fair trade conditions. When I gave Madelyn her 11" Mooey Cow Jooble she just kept hugging her and saying, "Oh...Oh..." She is just tickled by the softness. I am so happy that I can rest assured that this plush is totally safe for my daughter to play with. Mooey Cow (as well as the other 8 Joobles) are made with cotton grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or other chemicals. The dyes are eco-friendly, too!
Retailing for just $29 each, Joobles can be found online at http://www.fairindigo.com/ or at specialty e-tailers like Oompa.com. There will be a giveaway for one of these amazing plush animals...keep reading!
Looking for a fun, and active game for your pre-teen-adult ages? Guitar Praise (by Digital Praise) is a fun and challenging CD-ROM game that includes a wireless guitar controller. This is the Christian version to the currently popular Guitar Hero. This game is for your Windows/Mac and is fun for the whole family. You can hook your computer up to your TV and enjoy this game on your big screen as well. Guitar Praise has over 50 tracks of songs with a wide variety of music. Some of the artists are: toby mac, Skillet, Petra, David Crowder, Kutless, Newsboys, Jennifer Knapp, Paul Baloche and more! There are onscreen lyrics (so you can sing along, too). You can unlock songs in sets of five as you play. You can also manipulate the guitar to score more points. Do your best to keep up, or the artists will stop the music on you. Keeping track of your high scores is fun, because you can keep the competition going strong, plus you can post your scores online to see where you are ranking. This game is a challenge, but it is a good one trying to master. You strum the guitar to the onscreen cues, press the fret buttons and you move up through 4 levels of difficulty. There are 5 buttons to make the chords. This game can be played with 2 players as long as you have 2 guitars. This game retails for $99.95. For one week only, Digital Praise is offering free shipping~ until December 7th enter FREESHIP as a discount code upon checkout.
I love playing games, and it is a great way for our family to have so much fun! We recently got Pictionary Man, the new game released from Mattel, and it is such a blast! I thought Pictionary was fun, but Pictionary Man brings in a whole new kind of fun! You get to draw on props to have people guess what you are drawing. With a dry erase marker, you can either draw on this man, rectangular prop, or a round prop. Once you draw on the 3 props, you can then act out using them. You can't talk, though! You get your clues from the bottom of the Pictionary Man's foot. There are 5 categories (people: character, celebrity, history; actions; titles: movie, music, TV; role play: occupations and pastimes; and miscellaneous) that the Pictionary man will randomly chose from. Sometimes you get a hint to give to your team mates, but not always. If your team is struggling to get those points, you can catch up in the challenge rounds. Retails for $34.99 and is for ages 14 and up. I think my son, who is 10, could play with...but some of the categories/ideas are a bit challenging. This is a super family game, and I highly suggest it~ especially if you love games! Another great game that I would highly suggest is the Apples to Apples game from Mattel! This game has been around a few years now, but it is still one that deserves to rank high on the top! We play this game a lot at our gatherings, especially Ladies Night Out!
This game is super for 4-10 people! Every round is different! Everyone gets a certain amount of cards dealt to them (depending on how many people are playing). It is a game of comparisons with a wide range of nouns and verbs, adjectives and superlatives. People, places, things and events get categorized with words. The card reader is the ultimate judge, and you never know what they will decide. This game is sure to produce laughter and tears! It is a game where you don't have to think to hard, and you can have a blast! Apples-to-Apples is perfect for any get together with family and friends. Approximate retail price is $24.99 geared for ages 12 and up. (There are also other versions of this game for other ages).Looking for another popular game for pre-teens? High School musical 3 DVD game would be a hit! High School Musical 3 DVD Game combines trivia, video clips, outtakes, songs and dances from both of the popular Disney Channel movies as well as the upcoming "High School Musical 3" theatrical release. Players compete in different categories and test their knowledge of the popular franchise, making the High School Musical 3 DVD Game a definitive performance-based game for all true HSM fans! This game has a DVD that you play along with, but also a game board to help keep score. Players can sing along to the songs, and find the missing lyric, dance the steps to figure out the right dance sequence, and guess which character said what. For ages 8 and up this game retails for $19.99.
Would you like to win one of these great gift ideas? Fair Indigo has offered to sponsor a giveaway for one of their adorable Jooble characters! This contest is open to all readers living in the Continental United States. To enter, you must go to the Fair Indigo site, and click on the tab About Fair Trade to learn what this term really means. Come back and tell me why you should care~ plus what character (by name) you would like to win . Feel free to leave a second choice, because you may not get the one you chose due to these adorable plush are handmade, so it depends on availability. You may come back each day and enter again after you do the first rule, just leave a comment about what other eco-friendly product you like. Click here to see how you can earn extra credits to win, and click here to see guidelines and the official rules. Contest will end on December 10th, at 7:00 PM CST. GOOD LUCK!