Tag Archives: moose toys

Parents@Play Holiday Gift Guide, Number 3

Still haven’t found the perfect gift for the little ones in your life? Check out some of these hot new toys before they get snapped up.

kurio smart tabletKurio Smart Tablet (KD Interactive)
Looking to help your youngster get ahead in school? The Kurio Smart Tablet might be just the ticket. It’s the first 2-in1 Windows device designed for kids. The 2-in-1 part means that your child can use Kurio as a computer or detach the keyboard and use it as a tablet. Comes with 32 GB of storage, Microsoft Office, a bunch of games and other useful software, and parental controls to keep your kids safe. Prices vary. Learn more at http://www.kurioworld.com/

happy dance snoopyHappy Dance Snoopy (Just Play)
With the new Peanuts movie still in theaters, Peanuts Happy Dance Snoopy is adorable and timely. Parents who grew up with Charlie Brown and the gang will fall in love again, and the newest generation will join them. Snoopy dances to the Peanuts theme song (aka “Linus and Lucy”) when you squeeze his paw. And because you won’t be able to resist, the loveable hound respond to kisses, (although he’s unpredictable—sometimes you’ll get a kiss, other times a laugh, howl, burp, or something else). Oh, come on—he’s a dog. Under $30 at Target, Amazon, and others. http://justplayproducts.com/

qixelsQixels (Moose Toys)
Boys have been largely left out of the bead-and-water craze of the past few years. But thanks to Qixels, that’s all in the past. Kids can either follow a predetermined pattern or use their imagination to create works of art using tiny cubes. Once all the pieces are in place, spray them with water and they fuse together into 8-bit looking creations reminiscent of Minecraft. Make monsters, ninjas, zombies, or anything your heart desires. Ages 6 and up (younger is okay, but because of the tiny pieces, adult supervision is required). Under $20 at Toys R Us and others. http://moosetoys.com/

cleverkeetLittle Live Pets CleverKeet (Moose Toys)
Kids are loving the tech pets craze right now, and CleverKeet is one of the cutest. This sweetie just flew into the Little Live Pets pet shop and would love to be adopted by your family this holiday season. Name your CleverKeet, and he or she will remember it. Just like a real bird, he likes to dance in front of the mirror and sing. He also knows all sorts of words and will answer your questions (often in silly ways). CleverKeet comes with one bird, a playground (he loves to swing!), one cart, an instruction booklet, and an adoption certificate. $59.99. http://moosetoys.com/

meccanoidMeccano Meccanoid G15 KS Personal Robot (SpinMaster)
Before you start unboxing Meccanoid, make sure you block out a big chunk of time. You and the kids will have so much fun putting together this 4-foot tall wisecracking robot that you won’t want to stop. He comes with voice recognition capabilities and more than 1,000 pre-programmed phrases, means he can respond to what you say. He’s also easy to program, thanks to his Meccabrain and an on-screen ragdoll avatar. You may want to send the kids to bed a little early so you can have him all to yourself. Under $400. http://www.spinmaster.com/

world village playset chinaWorld Village Playset—China (Whole Wide World Toys)
In an era when just about everything beeps and/or is made of plastic, the Whole World Playset is a joy from the moment you open the box. The 13 wooden puzzle pieces move smoothly across a soft, fabric playmat and take children on a trip to China, where they learn about culture and pick up a few bits of vocabulary along the way. There’s a 32-page story about China narrated by a brother-sister duo who are traveling through the country. There are also more than a dozen cards that encourage kids to make up their own stories. Ages 4+. $59.99 at http://wholewideworldtoys.com/

The Art of Parenting

Sometimes looking at a blank piece of paper and being told that you can create anything you want to, just makes you freeze up. The options are limitless, but somehow you can’t think of anything to do. This week we take a look at several art kits that can help parents and kids overcome even the most stubborn case of artist’s block.”

Gelarti Scene Creator (Moose Toys)
gelarti parents@playGelarti Comes with three paint pens, a large scene sticker, and a number of smaller stickers. Customize the stickers with the paint, let your creation dry overnight, and the next morning you’re ready to start decorating any smooth surface you can find. The stickers themselves are a little bit limiting: each shape, whether it’s a bird, puppy, bone, heart, or house is already pre-cut, so it’s not easy to make your own designs. It would be wonderful to have a similar Gelarti kit that came with blank sicker sheets so young artists and their parents could fully unleash their creative juices. That said, Gelarti is still plenty fun for parents and kids. Plus, Gelarti stickers are easily peeled off and can be moved and re-stuck over and over. Anyone who’s had to scrape stickers off of hardwood floors, windows, and refrigerator doors will appreciate that. Ages 5 and up. http://gelartistickers.com/ (don’t leave out the “I” before “stickers”)

Artzooka! (Wooky Entertainment)
artzooka kits parents@playArtzooka! has solved the artist’s block problem by making more than two dozen kits that are focused enough to give you a starting point, yet open-ended enough to encourage nearly unlimited creativity. We had a chance to try out four, and we loved them all.

  • Pop Stick Photo Frames comes with 40 popsicle sticks in a variety of colors and sizes, stickers, and glue. That’s pretty much it. Theoretically, you’re “supposed” to use all those ingredients to make picture frames—and you’ve got enough to make several really spectacular ones. But no one’s going to call the art police if you decide to create something else.
  • artzooka clips n' caps

  • Clip N’ Cap includes 16 bottle caps and can tabs, more than 35 stickers, string, and more. The pictures on the box show necklaces, but that’s just a suggestion.
  • Cupcake Creations was the simplest and, in some ways, the most fun. You basically get 20 colored cupcake liners, glue and stickers and some basic directions for creating delightful animals. But it’s easy as cupcake to go far beyond.
  • With nearly 300 pieces, Button Mosaics is one of Artzooka!’s biggest kits. Besides the sticky buttons, each kit includes several pre-drawn mosaic blanks. Younger kids may want to use them, but older kids and parents will want to make their own.

artzooka caps and tabsA few years ago Pepperidge Farms had a cookie that they advertised as looking just like homemade. Apparently they meant that the cookies—even though they were made by machines–weren’t all exactly the same (which explains why people refer to things that look identical as “cookie cutter”). Artzooka! does something similar with their bottlecaps, buttons, cupcake liners, and soda can tabs. Instead of using real ones from actual bottles and cans—a kind of artistic recycling that parents and art teachers have been doing forever—Artzooka! has made their own, in a variety of colors, often with pre-drilled holes for stringing up. Scavenging for bottle tops and buttons and decorating them yourself adds a layer of creativity. However, using the ones Artzooka! provides doesn’t detract in the slightest from how enormously fun Artzooka !kits are—and how great they are for parents and kids to do together. Ages 5 and up. http://artzooka.com/