Archives For Toy

Neighborhood Toy Store Day 2012

Heather —  November 8, 2012

dad and em playing tensi

Dad & Em enjoy Tensi, a dice game for 7+, winner of ASTRA’s Best Toys for 2012. Find in independent toy stores

Looking for something fun and local to do this Saturday?? Getting ready for the Holidays?

 I got it! This Saturday, November 10, 2012, is the 3rd Annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day!

Happy Neighborhood Toy Store Day!  Celebrate the benefits of shopping local. Participating toy stores will be hosting in-store events and activities. Find a store near you here: This event is coordinated by ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.


I know you should be able to find a store participating, as even MY small town toy shop will be celebrating.

We have a favorite toy store where I can wander around for ages. It is fun to browse and find unusual, often educational toys that are eco-friendly or at least well made.

love concentration

Em playing with Loopdedoo, a creative arts ASTRA winner. A well made toy that encourages creativity. I love the concentration on her face!

I am excited to mention this event, as I do believe shopping locally really supports my community. When I can find good quality merchandise, for decent prices, in my own town, I feel good about making that purchase. I like having a vibrant downtown shopping area, where we can walk around and enjoy ourselves. Every time I make a local purchase, I am helping that happen.

I had a friend mention she thinks small shops are more expensive. I disagree. The last few times I have shopped locally, I have found great deals. In fact, the last time my daughter and I went into a small toy store, we had so much more fun than shopping in a warehouse store and I spent under $20 for two sturdy, educational and fun toys. And we got a mood ring. How cool is that??

We received two toys, toys that are typical of those found in a neighborhood toy store. Both of these are great examples of good quality toys.


Dad and girls playing Tensi. Fun and simple, this is a great game when you have a few minutes

One is Tensi. When I first saw this I laughed. It looked simple, maybe boring. Not so! I have found my kids playing this all over the house. Based on a simple concept of getting 10 dice to land on the same number, this is fast fun. Yes, I’ve even played it! This dice game won a ASTRA’s Best Toys of 2012 award.


Loopdedoo, an ingenius spinner makes beautiful bracelets, belts, anklets, etc. I like how the thread is stored inside the spinner.

And Loopdedoo. My daughter has made a ton of bracelets on this to give to friends. Loopdedoo by Ann Williams is a winner of Astra’s Best Toys for 2012 award. This is a creative arts toy that makes twisted braces, anklets, belts, etc.  I really like the quality of this toy. The directions are easy to follow and the kit includes the spinning tool and 18 skeins of embroidery thread. I noticed the colors, even of the embroidery thread – the colors were classy colors.

Find out more about Neighborhood Toy Store Day and the WhooHoo Factor, by checking out ASTRA’s new website about safe, creative and educational play for children:, on facebook at Facebook/TheWoohooFactor and on twitter @TheWoohooFactorHashtags: #toystoreday #localtoystore #shoplocal.

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*I received the above products free of charge, to facilitate this review.

Every young boy dreams of being like their favorite hero.  I’ve seen my sons pretend to be soldiers, firemen, doctors.  They reached for whatever was in their toy box and take off on another adventure.   Mattel has introduced a new line of toys associated with the Green Lantern that will help encourage your son’s imagination.

Green Lantern Colossal Cannon

They provided me with a Green Lantern Colossal Cannon and action figure, Isamot Kol.  When the kids saw the toys, they were excited.  The packaging was very eye catching, and they could pull the trigger and hear the Colossal Cannon fire before we got it out of its box.  The cannon came with 10 plastic discs and a lot of cool lights and sounds.  They really enjoyed chasing each other around and shooting the “bad guys”.  I liked the fact that you could mute the sound—as that did get a little old after a while—and the discs didn’t fly too fast (i.e. no one getting hurt by the flying objects).

The action figure was an alien that came with a trap (looked like an old style bear trap)  and a Green Lantern power ring.  Frankly, the alien creature was pretty scary looking.  The boys picked it up and played with it a little, but it had limited mobility and  no real accessories besides the trap.   The power ring turned out to be popular.  They enjoyed wearing it and using its mysterious powers (i.e. whatever they could come up with for it to do).

Overall, the experience the boys had with these two toys was mixed.  Honestly, the action figure fell flat.  Aside from the lack of mobility and accessories, I didn’t like the alien character.  Its appearance was too scary for a young child.  On the other hand, The Colossal Cannon was a definite hit.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of Mattel and received Green Lantern toys to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Giveaway Closed. Oooohhh! We have had one happy little girl around here. And, I think I’m just as tickled. The reason? Well, we got a doll bunk bed from Guidecraft’s doll furniture collection.

Guidecraft logo crop

While I knew that Guidecraft was a company that made well crafted products, I originally thought they only created items for schools, libraries…that type of thing. When I realized they had toys and items that individuals could afford I was very excited to go look through their online catalog.

As a mom, I am very particular about our toys. I don’t want a bunch of plastic junk that just fills up the closets. I want items that are tough, useful and beautiful—toys that can stand up to wear and tear…toys that can even be passed down to my children’s children.

As soon as I saw the doll furniture collection, I was in love! I went ahead and told my daughter and we spent a few days deciding what doll item to get. We eventually chose the doll bunk bed in espresso, because Emma has two special dolls and she wanted them both to have a spot!

The bunk bed came quickly and was very well packaged. Emma ran to get her oldest brother to put it together, as she was having a hard time waiting for her Dad to get home. Looking back, I could have easily put it together, as it was very simple with easy directions to follow.

Of course, her brother was happy to do it for her, especially when he saw how excited she was.

Emma and I spent the rest of the day making the bed and unmaking the bed…dressing the dolls up and down and deciding where to put the bed. It was so beautiful, I wanted to leave it out by her bed!

I really was impressed with the quality of this doll furniture. The wood is sturdy, the color is gorgeous and even the bedding was so nice. I love the little pillows!

Anyway, we got this a while ago. And, I am pleased to report that it hasn’t lost any of its magic. Emma plays with it all the time and still puts her dolls to bed each night. She even did a video for me to show you all about it!

So do you know another little girl who would think this is magical?

You can buy the Bunk Bed, or one of the coordinating Doll Furniture pieces at Guidecraft.

Or, win it! Guidecraft has offered to giveaway another Doll Bunk Bed!! (value $120) Whoo-Hoo!!

For the mandatory entry, go to Guidecraft and tell me what other product you absolutely love!

For additional entries, you can:

  • Follow Guidecraft on Twitter
  • Fan Guidecraft on Facebook
  • Follow Guidecrafts Blog
  • Follow Faith, Family and Fun
  • Follow me on Twitter @ quinnschilling, and tweet the giveaway (1x daily)
  • Follow Faith, Family and Fun on Facebook and share the giveaway
  • Publicly Blog about this giveaway and give a link back (+5)

I will choose a winner on 11/30/10. Giveaway is for US only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments!

I received a Guidecraft Doll Bunk Bed to review, and one to giveaway from Guidecraft. I have expressed my opinion and have received no other compensation.

Summer Fun!

Heather —  June 22, 2009

I just got a note that someone over at Parenting Pink liked my siesta idea for the summer:) Thank you! Having a rest during the day has made my life easier…therefore the children are happier, too!
We have been having a good summer. We enjoyed a Lowe’s “Build & Grow” Clinic recently. My little one built a Daddy’s Day present with her Dad:) I recommend this fun, free activity–check here or with your local Lowe’s for more info. I think they have a “Build a Pirate Ship” coming up–You do need to pre-register, but you can do it online. (I think the experience probably does vary by store, but if you’re out and about on a Saturday morning, this is a little treat for the kids)

I also got a kick out of just letting our little one play with the legos at the lego store. Who knew that could be so fun? When I was younger, I would hurry my kids through. Now, I just get a cup of coffee and watch them:)

Well, this week will be all about Vacation Bible School for us, but if I hear about any little fun things to do I will post them here! Oh…speaking of which–the rebox code rbxthxu6 should be good through tomorrow for a free redbox. Thank you, uh oh. I cannot find where I got that tip from! But, I did use it today & it worked.