Tag: travel toys

Skateboarding to school just got a lot easier. And cooler.

When we lived in a big city, my kids loved to watch teens skateboarding to school. There was this effortless coolness to gliding along, flipping the board, tossing it over a shoulder, and hopping on a bus. If you think your kids might be a great age for rolling up the sidewalk by your side but don’t want to carry those skateboards home yourself, here’s a great way to combine skateboards with school supplies. Bonus: No more back-to-school backpack shopping. Related: 15 simple, possibly unexpected ways parents can connect with their tween or teen Penny Skateboards is known for well-made...

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26 of the best car games and activities to keep kids happy without screens.

I was one of those parents who insisted that I’d raise the kind of kids who would play fun, screen-free car games on our family road trips, or perhaps watching the world whiz by while asking intelligent questions about all the sites and sounds around them. Sound familiar? Yeah. Well after one particularly long road trip, I quickly learned that sometimes screens are really, really useful for making an endless drive feel… not so endless. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve totally surrendered to the lure of electronics. There are times when all the screens need to go off so we can discover other ways to...

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Fisher-Price hires Jonathan Adler, and wait until you see what’s coming for babies and toddlers

This post has been updated with corrections. Fisher-Price is of course the brand behind many of our favorite childhood toys like that now iconic telephone and the little gumball machine looking push-toy. So their big announcement this week that Jonathan Adler — yes, that Jonathan Adler — has signed on as their new creative director in charge of baby and children’s items is huge news for those of us fans of his modern, clever design work. And those of us fans of modern, clever children’s gifts and gear that won’t break the bank. It’s not a totally shocking move for him considering he’s got...

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Helpful tips for flying with kids from been-there-done-that moms who survived. Mostly.

With spring break here or coming up for lots of us, and summer vacations around the corner (whoo!), we know so many families will be hitting the skies — some of you for the very first time with kids in tow. So, as a couple of been-there-done-that moms who’ve flown alone with our children since they were babies, we’re often asked by our readers for travel tips for families. Ask and ye shall receive! On this latest episode of  Spawned we’re share lots of cool tips, tricks, and our own experiences — the good, the bad, and the sleepless — that will hopefully help you...

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Color-your-own placemats turn any table into the coolest restaurant ever

I’ve always been a big advocate of keeping my kids’ games and videos put away at the dinner table.  Especially in restaurants, which is why I have a special place in my heart for those that provide crayons to kids — in particular the smaller, more wiggly ones. So I think plenty of other parents will also be thrilled to discover the new OMY color-your-own placemats that we spotted at Toy Fair, from the same clever company that invented the artistic giant coloring posters our kids adore. I absolutely love these for dining out, dinner at the grandparents’ place, birthday parties, road trips, or just a way to make dinner a...

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Immerse your kids in Chinese culture without the super long plane ride

We love finding new ways to teach our kids about the big, diverse world that extends far beyond the boundaries of their neighborhood and town. And while nothing can replace actually going to the countries themselves, playsets like this one from Whole Wide World Toys may help even our littlest jet setter hopefuls learn all about different countries in a way that is fun and educational. And their first stop? The huge country of China. What makes Whole Wide World Toys’ World Village China Playset so neat is how it incorporates a ton of age-appropriate information along with the toys themselves. Each playset comes with...

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The coolest travel books for kids of all ages. Because no, we’re not there yet.

We’re getting close to the holidays, which for many families means road trips with the kids. And there’s nothing more fun, right? Hahahahha. I recently did 16 hours in the car with my three kids — each way — and lived to tell the tale. If there’s one thing I learned on that trip (other than that I’ll never do it again) it’s that movies are an easy way to pass the time, but at some point the kids need their alone time. And books are great for that. So, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite travel books for kids of...

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Pop culture peg dolls, for fans of The Penguin, Harry Potter, pirates, princesses, or Percy Jackson.

Though there are sure to be many awesome high-tech toys out there this holiday season, our latest obsession is the adorably low-tech wooden peg dolls by Wooly Llama on Etsy. I mean, what could be better than hearing your kids playing their own imaginary game of Star Wars while making their best beep-beep-boop noises for the wee little R2D2 peg? Or doing their own version of Harry Potter complete with a rolly-polly Hagrid? Beyond those two huge franchises, Wooly Llama has even more incredibly cute wooden peg dolls, with sets paying homage to the casts of Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson so you can pick one that appeals...

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The cutest travel pillow just for kids, when they’re too old to just fall asleep in your lap (sniff).

I admit that I still love that feeling when my tweens want to cuddle up next to me and rest their heads on my shoulder next to me on the plane. But I also admit — and yes, it’s a little sad — that one day you will not be so enamoured of that moment. So I’ve found possibly the most adorable travel pillow for kids ever. We discovered Kikkerland’s Zip Flip Travel Pillows for kids at the NY NOW gift show last week, and it was one of my kids’ absolute favorites. (More on those to come!) Related: What to buy a 7...

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6 ways to entertain kids in restaurants without (gasp) pulling out a screen.

The very first thing my son does when we sit down to eat at a restaurant (well, after ordering both ice water and milk) is ask for my iPhone. I’ll admit that I’m often tempted to hand it over because it’s such an easy way to keep him entertained while we’re waiting for our food in restaurants. I mean, I always have it on me, and he can play any number of kids’ apps, watch a movie, or find kid-friendly clips on YouTube. But, he’s four. I know doesn’t need all that extra screen time. (Do any of us, really?) Plus,...

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