Back at the beginning of October when I was trying to figure out what to surprise my 6 year old daughter with for her birthday, I looked at some of the holiday season’s “hot toy” lists. There I saw a Hatchimal for the first time. One of the descriptions described it as a Tamagotchi that was soft and could be held. Well I loved my Tamagotchi in the 90’s so I started to try and track down a Hatchimal. I found one off Jet.com with a discount coupon and ordered it but when it still had not arrived 2 days before my daughters birthday I started to look for another one. Luckily Toys R Us had one of the Owlicorns available for in-store pickup so even though it was not discounted and I had to drive to get it I got it (for $59.99 they were on sale at Target but were all sold out).
On my daughters birthday night, she opened and was very excited! The next day after school we sat together and started hatching the Owlicorn (there is a large direction manual). Basically the more attention (tapping and rubbing of the egg) you give it the faster the Hatchimal hatches. At first my six year old as very patient sitting there patting and tapping the egg but because her hands are small the Hatchimal kept going back to sleep so I helped some. Once it started pecking out of the egg it was exciting for a while but because (like a real chick hatching) it kept getting tired and stopping/sleeping we thought something was wrong with it and removed parts of the egg oops. The good news is there is a way to set the Hatchimal to its newborn stage if you do this. If we ever get another one we will be more patient. Once the Hatchimal hatched my daughter was very excited to nurture it and follow its cues (sounds and color lights all explained in the manual) by patting, rubbing, and tapping it to take care of it and it quickly grew into a toddler. For the next two days my daughter played with it a lot. In addition to needing to be cared for it can sing, dance, talk and play games. Since the first few days though she only days with it a little and it is still in its toddler stage. She says she still really likes it but the time she spends using it is limited especially for how expensive it is. Hatchimals are probably better for older kids who can read the manual and figure out what the Hatchimal “needs” themselves instead of needing an adult to read and try and figure it out with the child like I need to with my daughter.
Does your child want or have a Hatchimal what are your thoughts?
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Review of Pley Subscription Service
Pley is a toy rental service that I got one free rental credit to try out. The cost ranges from $13-$30 a month depending on toy how many credits you want a month. There is a large selection of toys to rent from Legos to American Girl outfits to games and electronics. Going in I loved the idea of being able to get toys for my kids that would not become clutter later in my house.
When selecting the toy I would have chosen Legos or an American Girl outfit but I was concerned it might get mixed up with all the Legos or doll stuff we already have thus making my life more difficult. I ended up choosing Zuppies Spot which is a plastic dog who you can love, play with, and train because I thought my kids would have fun with it. I was excited when it arrived so I opened it while the kids were in bed to surprise them with in the morning. Well the kids never played with it because I could not get it to work properly or really do anything. After reading the direction a couple times and playing around with the dog I still could not get it to work so I gave up and emailed Pley. After two days Pley got back to me and asked if I had gone through the directions… at which point I said “yes and it still was not working and that I didn’t really want to spend more time on this toy could I return it?” Pley CS said sure return it but didn’t offer to send me a new toy or any other compensation even though the toy didn’t work. Maybe I just chose the wrong toy. According to the website if a piece is missing or broken they just send a new piece out.
I really wanted to like Pley. I think it is a great idea for Legos if your child just likes to build the set and plays some and then is done with it. And if after you rent a toy you just can’t give it up you can buy it at a reduced cost. Maybe I will try Pley again when my kids are older and can really care for the toys themselves.
Want to try Pley use this link then let us know what you think!
Usborne Books & More Independent Educational Consultant
I am always looking for people to join my Usborne team, host parties (Facebook or home), or just share these wonderful books! For more information visit my website or contact me at email@example.com. Plus follow me on Instagram www.instagram.com/mollyhubnersusbornebooks/
It's that time of year again! The famous Cotuit Craftfest is this weekend!!! I am so excited I can't stand it!!! Anyone who knows me knows why this is my favorite Crafty weekend of all......... the TOYMAN will be there!!!! I save my change all year long just for this specific weekend (Read on to find out mroe about this local legend!)
Beginning in 1970, and now celebrating their 42nd year, the Cotuit Arts and Crafts Festival will feature more than 125 outstanding artisans and craftsmen. They will gather this weekend from 104pm on both days, to offer their latest creations to those who venture to the quaint, seaside village of Cotuit knowing they will view some of the finest traditional and contemporary crafts of the entire region. Not only will there be amazing crafts, but local music will pepper the soundscape for both days! Food will be offered by the local church, kids activities will take place under the kid tent with the playground on site to entertain the famly.
Below are my TOP Exhibitors who are a MUST to visit and why.....
1.) Lester Ruth The Toymaker (Booth 51) = He is the real deal folks! If you haven't read my previous tribute to this amazing craftr then read it now Tribute of Toymaker Lester Ruth This man is no joke, a modern day Santa if you will. American made wooden toys for children and adults! You can't go wrong with any purchase made here. He stands by his products 100% lifetime guarantee! And the kids LOVE LOVE LOVE his toys!!! These are toys that can be heirlooms and handed down! I cannot say enough great things about this legend, he is just AMAZING!!!!
2.) Mattapoisett Bird Works (Booth 72) = Michael McCarthy hand carves/whittles every single one of these birds. They are absolutely exquisitely done and his attention to detail is superior! I enjoy visiting his booth every year and watch in awe as he carves right in front of spectators and shoppers. I am most excited to bring Ethan to this booth because I know how excited birds make him. Plus I know how he is fascinated in watching creation processes.
3.) Lori Devlin Author of Cape Cod Critters (Booth 84) = Lori will be there signing her book Cape Cod Critters, a fabulous book for kids about the unique wildlife inhabitants of Cape Cod. A fun and playful read, kids love this book!!!
4.) Sweet Baby Georgia (Booth 85) = And when your done getting your book signed, pop in next door to see Abigail, owner of Sweet Baby Georgia who creates adorable handmade hair accessories for babies and girls. She is a fellow Cape Cod Mommy as well and I always enjoy supporting our local moms!!!!
5.) Summer House Natural Soaps (Booth 104) = Natural soaps and body care products, all handcrafted in their workshop in Barnstable Village. I am a huge fan of soaps especially naturally made ones. I love checking out this eco friendly businesses' products and sampling the fragrances! With soaps for even the most sensitive to soaps for furry friends, they cover it all. My personal faves from here are: Bath sea salts, the oatmeal milk bath for sensitive skin (works for babies/adults with excema), and the lip balm - the cranberry oil, cocoa butter and other ingredients will definitely help sooth dry lips this season!
These are just some of my favorites to see this yea. There are over a 100 more crafters who will be there this weekend though! Will you be attending this year? Who are you MOST excited to see?
I love finding new and exciting places to shop for my kids. I'm sort of a crazy organic mommy always in search of safe, non-toxic toys for my kids. Since I'm obsessed with handmade items on etsy.com, I thought I'd give their toy section a browse. This may or may not have been a good idea! I literally could spend hours going through each page and liking all of the great products! If you haven't been of etsy.com before, you're welcome:)
Here are a few my favorite toys I've found so far.......
HEART Sorting Game, Waldorf Toy Counting and Color Learning Set
About the product:Rainbow colored heart sorting game for color and counting
learning made in the waldorf tradition. This set includes 12 LARGE size wooden hearts (2 in each color of the rainbow) and 6 rainbow hued wooden bowls all painted in AP certified non-toxic acrylic paint. This set is unfinished, but you may choose to have a light finish of shellac (a non-toxic all natural sealant made from the Lac Beetle and pure grain alcohol) or a rub of beeswax and olive oil.
Pretend Play with Owl Puppets
About Product: Set of 5 Owl Finger Puppets. I handcut each one from felt and machine sew them together for durability. They are decorated with felt pieces, wiggle eyes and nontoxic fabric paint. Each set comes with an original laminated rhyme for everyday use. The set also works well with many other rhymes and songs. Perfect for preschool, daycare or to give as a gift.
Wooden Stacking Blocks
About the product:This large hand-crafted wooden rainbow stacker is perfect
for your little ones to spend hours imagining with. One moment the rainbow can be made into a tunnel the next it is an arch. The possibilities are endless with this toy.Each of our Rainbow Stackers are uniquely handcrafted and are one of a kind.
Organic Numbers & Shapes BLOCK SET
About the product: LEARN TO COUNT!! A classic wooden number block set for
little ones of any age - handcrafted from gorgeous local or sustainably sourced
hardwoods, silky smooth, and full of natural color! This 10-piece set will grow
with your child - it works well for beginning to count, and as little one grows
it becomes a more challenging learning tool with geometric shapes.
Custom Sophie Scarf!
About the Product: Tired of your baby's toys flying out of the car seat/stroller/playpen?? How many teething giraffes have you bought?? I bring you the solution: the Sophie Scarf! Handmade with a lovely cotton blend, this toy tether will keep your little one's toys easily accessible. The crocheted scarf has several natural button holes - so just make sure the button is securely through one of them and off you go!
Attach the other end to your baby's hand, their stroller or car seat, even your diaper bag! No more worrying about the grossness that toy might be covered in after falling on the ground. No more lost toys!
Today I wanted to give tribute to a very talented toy maker:
I first heard of Lester Ruth in the fall of 2010, when my sister and girlfriend started talking about the toys they had seen at the Cotuit Craft Festival. They raved and raved about the toy they had just bought for our friends daughter.
The following year, my sister reminded me of the festival, so we packed up the car and headed on over. We talked excitedly about the toys as we drove. Upon arriving there were many vendors displaying some pretty amazing products; from hand carved wooden birds with exquisite details to homemade belt buckles and leather shoes. There were even some baby/toddler shoes for only $5! (I bought some of course). But I could not be swayed from finding this myth of a man whom everyone talked about.
We finally rounded the corner and found his display and I was instantly brought back to childhood!
The beautiful wooden toys gleamed on the table, aching to find a loving home with a family and a child who would love them as much as their maker had. There were trains that would delight any child, wooden boats with people that float, walking toys, dogs, dinosaurs, frogs, baby carriages and more. He even had wooden toys for adults! Old fashioned telephones, movie cameras, airplanes and cameras are sure to bring some nostalgia to many!
Lester didn’t disappoint either. He reminded me of slimmed down Santa Clause if you will. He had the snow white beard complete with the glasses, and a twinkle in his eyes. He picked up each toy lovingly and describes how he made it, what it is painted with, whether it has the ability to float, where the people can be moved to, etc. You could tell how extremely passionate he is about what he does and that is something rare to see.
Lester also gives a lifetime guarantee on his work:
“Since 1977, same terms:
Unconditional, unlimited guarantee of satisfaction. If you are ever dissatisfied with a toy you purchase from us, we will, at your sole discretion, give refund or exchange, make free repairs, always, postage paid both ways, collect calls accepted, personal checks are best, or money orders, we take visa, mc and amex. ….”
That’s pretty amazing! It is rare to find toys for our children these days that are American made with a lifetime guarantee, wooden, simple, and that our children will come back time and time and time again to play with.
We came away that day purchasing a 6 seater pull toy for my son while his Aunt bought him a wooden boat that could float in the tub. We knew at the time that these would be great birthday presents.
Since his birthday, my son remains obsessed daily with these two toys. He takes the wooden people out and puts them back, we talk about the colors of the people and I show him how they can slide through the boat. He chases after me as I pull the toy and then stands to mimic me and
tries to pull it along. We even brought it to our Mommy and Me Conditioning class and shared it with the other babies who also loved it! These are toys that will be well loved by our son and can be handed down from one generation to the next. They are well worth the investment to us.
So Mr. Lester Ruth, THANK YOU! Thank you for having the passion to create such simple yet wonderful toys!
Below I have put up a file of Lester Ruth’s order form and toys. He will also create custom pieces upon request. Happy Playing!
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