Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘toys’ tag

April 7th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

100 Easter Basket Fillers

100EasterBasket Fillers

I love to watch my kids’ eyes light up when they find their Easter basket. We fill the baskets with candy and other favorite food treats for the little ones to enjoy, but every year I struggle to find other items to include. Here is a list of 100 items you can fill your child’s basket with!

  1. Pacifiers
  2. Pacifier Holder
  3. Headband
  4. Sippee Cups
  5. Bibs
  6. Onesies
  7. Musical Toys
  8. Garanimals Baby Toys or Foam Letters
  9. Small Stuffed Animal
  10. Toddler Cutlery
  11. Pajamas
  12. Magnetic Fridge Letters
  13. Umbrella
  14. Rain Boots
  15. Coloring Books
  16. Character Undies
  17. Hex bugs
  18. Crayons
  19. Bath Toys/Crayons
  20. Sidewalk Chalk
  21. Bubbles
  22. Fun Toothbrush
  23. Fun Shampoo
  24. Sunglasses
  25. Stuffed Animal
  26. Painting Smock
  27. Art Supplies (pencils, crayons, markers, paints)
  28. Art Kits
  29. Bubble Bath
  30. DVD
  31. CDs
  32. Blocks
  33. Fun Cups/Plates
  34. Frisbee
  35. Dress Up Items
  36. Play Jewelry
  37. Kaleidoscope
  38. Pool Toys
  39. Posters
  40. Fun Duct Tape
  41. Suncatchers
  42. T-shirt
  43. Top
  44. Kids Word Search
  45. Jump Rope
  46. Construction Paper
  47. Hair Pretties
  48. Yo-Yo
  49. Flashlight
  50. Book light
  51. Sandals/Flip Flops
  52. Beach Towel
  53. Matchbox cars
  54. Kite
  55. Play Tool Set
  56. Sand Toys
  57. Shovel and Pail
  58. Chapstick
  59. Bike Horn/Bell
  60. Watch
  61. Character Bandaids
  62. Temporary Tatoos
  63. Water Bottle
  64. Swimsuit
  65. Summer Hat
  66. Books – appropriate for child’s level
  67. Sticket Books
  68. Water Gun
  69. Nerf Gun
  70. Swim Goggles
  71. Lego’s
  72. Sporting Supplies or games
  73. Jigsaw Puzzle
  74. Balls
  75. Cards or Card Game
  76. Jacks or Marbles
  77. Tape Measure (my boys loved the keychain ones since they were toddlers)
  78. Doll
  79. Nail Painting Supplies
  80. Animal figures
  81. Magic Tricks
  82. Comic Book or Kids Magazine
  83. Bop it or Tangle Jr
  84. My Little Pony or other small horses
  85. Play Food
  86. Walkie Talkies
  87. Small Magna Doodle or Etch a Sketch
  88. Glow Sticks
  89. Small Musical Instrument (harmonica, recorder)
  90. Pencils/Pencil Toppers
  91. Action Figures
  92. Trading Cards
  93. Fun Socks
  94. Seeds and a pot
  95. Diary or Journal
  96. Video Game controller or new game
  97. Play Dough
  98. Bunny Ears
  99. Gift Cards to favorite stops
  100. Bunny Money

Feel free to share any other ideas I may have missed!

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March 28th, 2014 at 8:23 am

Multi-Use Foam Bath Letters

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When they were younger, my boys loved playing with foam bath letters during bath time. They helped them learn to spell and read simple words, as well as recognize letters. Now that they take showers, we don’t play in the bath tub much, but we still love to play with the letters. I want to share with you some ideas for using this great learning aid outside of the bath!

  • A great way to repurpose foam letters is to glue magnets on the back. Use them with a magnet board to make word play fun!

magnet

  • You can also use them to practice words on the kitchen table, floor, or other flat surfaces.
  • Sensory bins are a great way for children to explore shapes and other items. Ever think of using the letters inside of a sensory bin?
  • Make baby photos cuter by using the foam letters to spell out their name or current age in months.
  • Decorate your child’s room by mounting words like FUN, PLAY, or even SLEEP in shadow boxes to make word art.
  • Let your kids use them in art projects by gluing them to their pictures.
  • Make letter flash cards by gluing the letters to one side, along with a picture of a recognizable item that starts with that letter.

Our foam letters are well used and loved at our house…how do you use yours?

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January 30th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Garanimals Baby Toys for Fun and Learning

By

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Baby toys often seem like they’re just for fun and entertainment, but they are important for your little one’s development. Even something as simple as a teether does double duty, serving as something to soothe gums, as well as helping develop tactile and visual senses with textures and colors. Garanimals toys are designed with safety as the top priority, and with education, entertainment, and development in mind. We have everything from rattles to teethers to bath toys! They can play while developing motor skills. What kind of toys does your little one like best?
You can find all of these toys in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com!
Garanimals Wrist/Foot Rattles
Garanimals Textured Links
Garanimals Teether Book 
Garanimals Bee Teether
Garanimals Froggie Teether Beads
Garanimals Chilly Chew, Rattle & Teethe Monkey 
Garanimals Frog Bath Gift Set 
Garanimals Pop & Pour Pals and Squirt & Squeak Blocks Gift Set
Garanimals Hand Rattle Assortment – IN STORES ONLY
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October 15th, 2013 at 5:01 am

4 Fun And Educational Bilingual Toys

ingenioI’ll  never get tired of saying that the best way for kids to learn is to do it through play, while they’re having fun, because they won’t even notice they’re actually learning. Because I’ve been raising bilingual kids since birth, I’m always on the lookout for quality, bilingual toys that can help me in my journey. Here are five of our favorite ones:

Ingenio: It’s hard to choose just one of the toys made by Ingenio, a company dedicated to bilingual toys in several language combinations. My kids and I discovered these toys about four years ago and they were an instant hit. From puzzles to play tablets, there’s something for everyone!

Chicco Talking Farm: This cute toy teaches children numbers, animals and colors in both English and Spanish. We’ve bought several of Chicco’s bilingual toys and we haven’t been disappointed. Some people don’t like that the Spanish used is from Spain, but I don’t really mind.

Leap Frog Learn & Groove Music Table: This toy is not cheap, but it’s worth the money because it’s the kind of product that your kid will play with for a long time to come. It teaches shapes and numbers in both English and Spanish and it has a ton of fun activities that are sure to keep your child entertained.

Just Kidz Sweet Berry Bilingual Laptop: My daughter got this toy laptop for Christmas three years ago and she continues to play with it. It includes memory games, math games and musical activities, among others. Some where too challenging when she first got the laptop, but now that she’s 7 years old, she can play all of them.

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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September 23rd, 2013 at 9:34 am

A Toy You Love and Hate

Do you have an item your kids play with that you can’t decide whether you LOVE or HATE?

It could be a drum set, the sandbox, or my own personal favorite, playdough. My kids LOVE to play with playdough. It distracts them for hours. They make food, people, and shapes of all kinds. Their creativity is at an all time high. I love watching their creations and the time they take with each piece.

The problem is when they are done…

All the colors are mixed together.

The special machines have playdough stuck in every single crevice.

… there are playdough pieces all over my house – ground into my carpet, covering the kitchen floor, and over their clothes.

… it takes me forever to clean up! (An FYI: freezing by putting some ice cubes on it makes it easier to remove from fabrics and carpets).

My love/hate relationship with playdough will never end, but every couple of months I let them get out the bin again because the last playtime is just a distant memory.

What toy do you LOVE when they play with, but once they start playing you remember why it isn’t your favorite?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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May 31st, 2012 at 5:01 am

My Children’s Favorite Bilingual Toys

Just the other day a friend of my mom’s came to visit and was surprised when she heard that a toy my son was playing with spoke in Spanish. When she inquired about it, I told her that because I’m raising bilingual children, many of their toys are bilingual too. These are not easy to find, but I must say that in the last couple of years the selections have gotten way better.

Here are just a few of our favorites:

1) Smart Driver by Chicco — My son is totally into cars and so for Christmas we got him this bilingual steering wheel which he loves to death. It has several songs and it teaches the numbers and colors in both English and Spanish. The dashboard buttons features words, phrases and sound effects that make the experience all the more real for a 2-year-old.

2) Laugh and Learn: Learning Kitchen by Fisher Price — Every little kid likes to play kitchen and this fun toy will help them do just that in both English and Spanish. The toy comes with play food and it includes a tiny fridge, a sink and an oven. The toy has several play modes which include music and learning in Spanish.

3) Learn & Groove Counting Maracas by LeapFrog — My daughter got these when she was born and although she didn’t get to use them until she was about 6 or 7 months old, they were her favorite toy for a very long time. Besides the fun already associated with maracas, these help children learn the numbers and the colors in a super fun way.

Do you have any favorite bilingual toys?

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s currently working on her first book, based on her blog, to be published in September. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

 

 

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October 17th, 2011 at 5:00 am

My Biggest Stress at This Time of Year

Work? School? Kids? Chores?

I have to make a big admission- during this time of year my biggest stress is the amount of toys my kids have. What adds to this stress is the fact that in a little more than two months we will gain even more. How are you doing on your Christmas To Do List?

For the past 5 years I have just ignored our playroom until a week or so before Christmas. That, combined with the normal stress of Christmas, has ended up in near panic attacks. So, this year I decided that I was going to do things a little earlier, and a little differently. It seemed to go a little easier, plus I really weeded a lot more out than I expected.

First, I went through the room and took everything out that the kids no longer show any interest in. I piled all these items in my kitchen so I could accumulate any parts that may have been separated at first weeding. I was amazed at all the things that I was able to pile together. What surprised me even more is that my youngest son, who was home at the time, only threw a fit about two items. I asked him why he wanted these items and he was convincing so those items went back into the room. If he would have asked for much more, I would have had to make him make harder decisions about what he wanted to truly keep.

Next, I went through the remaining toys in the room and reorganized them. If I discovered broken parts then I decided wether something should truly be kept. Most of those things went. I was able to reorganize and move some things around and make the playroom much more spacious.

The last part is that I went through the times that I plead in the “garbage” pile and made sure that some of the little parts weren’t truly essential parts to toys we were keeping. My oldest son did this with me and only one item he pleaded to keep. Most of the items were truly garbage.

Now, we have a clean playroom that has some room to grow. I do find as my boys get older that we don’t accumulate as many toys since their wish list has some video game and book options. It’s amazing the difference that this experience felt like compared to the normal “cleaning of the playroom” at this time of year.

No, I truly feel like I can tackle Christmas!

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June 22nd, 2011 at 5:00 am

Stuffed with Stuffed Animals

It all started predictably enough with the birth of my twins — the parade of stuffed animals that arrived two by two. We got pink and blue bears (our last name is Bearman), twin monkeys, even a pair of matching storks from famous pickle company. Our insurance agent sent us small twin bears wearing company logo t-shirts.

A mere six months later, my husband bought a pet store and our fate was sealed. Every birthday, every holiday, every special occasion saw another pair of stuffed animals climb aboard our family ark. Is it any surprise that when our second son was born five years later that we decided to name him Noah? And when his brother, our youngest, arrived just 16 months later, the stuffed animals again arrived in pairs.

I’m not a heartless mom. I know that all young children need some kind of transition object, a lovey to help them through the dark night or difficult days. The twins never actually played with any of the stuffed animals. Perhaps there were just too many of them.

Our middle boy, however, is affectionately known as “Bear” in part because his stuffed animal of choice is of the Winnie-the-Pooh variety. His three favorites (shown here) are Pooh, New Pooh and Pooh Buddy, a tiny little bear for when you need some comfort but don’t want anyone else to know.

Our youngest boy went for the stuffed rabbits. His trio (shown here) includes Honey Bunny, Bunny Honey and Baby Bunny. If you look closely you will see that each bunny has suffered an attack from our late dog, Roscoe, who seemed to have a thing for stuffed bunny hands and arms.

Here’s my problem. The four children in question are now all teenagers and have amassed a collection of hundreds of stuffed animals. With the exception of their very special friends, the rest of the menagerie has been relegated to four huge laundry baskets in the basement. I have planned a garage sale for later this summer, but the children are adamant that we must save every single animal. I suppose I should be grateful that at least stuffed ones can’t reproduce.

Something has to give, or I’m afraid we’ll be nominated to appear on Hoarders. I’ve begun to do my research and have found that many charities accept gently used toys, so I’m going to clean these stuffed animals and sneak them out of the house the way they came in — two by two.

Susan Bearman also writes at Two Kinds of People, Mike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds and The Animal Store Blog, as well as being a regular contributor to The Chicago Moms and Technorati.


 

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