Skip to content

Top Toys of 2014

Want to get your child a fun toy that doesn’t require technology?  Check out Parenting’s below list for a few of the best tech-free toys of 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.01.18 AM

Credit: Parenting

Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Cookin’ Kitchen: With five food-themed balls, 10 different activities and over 50 melodies and sound effects, the Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Cookin’ Kitchen will most definitely keep your youngsters entertained. The set also comes with a book that encourages them to recognize foods, colors and letters. Recommended for kids 18 months and up.

Mini Micro 3-in-1 Scooter: The 3-in-1 scooter grows with your child from ages 1-5. The scooter comes with a ride-on seat for age 1, an O-bar for age 2 and a TBar for kids 3-5. The company also sells scooters for kids ages 3-5, 6-12 and 12- adult, so family members of all ages can ride right along with them.

Monster High Create-A-Monster Design Lab: With this Monster Design Lab, kids create a new monster to attend Monster High. They simply use body parts and a tattoo sheet to create a design, place it in the lab and when the light stops flashing a unique doll of your child’s design has been created. Recommended for kids 3 and up.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.01.09 AM

Credit: Parenting

Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 32 Piece Set: These colorful tiles are a step up from the plain wood blocks you probably had as a kid. With the magnetic pieces, kids can create countless formations on a flat surface or in 3D designs and build skills like pattern and shape recognition. Recommended for kids 3 and up.

GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine: The GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine engineering set comes with a book and all the parts your kids need to build with Goldie and leave them feeling like an engineer. It boosts their spatial skills, teaches them engineering principles and problem-solving skills and also lets them use their imagination to create a story. Recommended for kids 4-9.

Perplexus Maze Puzzle: This puzzle in a ball puts motor skills and hand-eye coordination to the test. Players pick a path and maneuver a small marble within the sphere through obstacles while shifting, twisting and working with gravity to reach the end. Recommended for kids 6 and up.

Elenco Snap Circuite Green – Alternative Energy Kit: This eco-friendly themed game teaches your kids about new energy sources by letting them build any of the 125 projects in the kit. They can create working electronic circuits with the included components like solar cell, LEDs, windmill, energy cell and hand crank. Recommended for kids age 8 and up.

How to Use TheFind to Decorate Your Kid’s Room

Looking to add some flare your kid’s room? Check out these décor ideas and utilize our search tips to track down all your decorating goodies on TheFind.

Original_Project-Nursery-Kid-Room-Art-Galleries-Close_s4x3_lg

Credit: HGTV

Frames: Frames are a fun and easy way to spice up your kid’s room with the added benefit of showing off favorite family photos or artwork. Adorning walls with frames in a gallery-style is a popular trend this year.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.33.59 AM

Narrow By Brand or Store: Know of a brand or store that has the style you’re going for? TheFind can narrow your search results to only show items from your preferred brands or stores.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.36.27 AM

Credit: HGTV

Pillows: Pillows are another easy and affordable way to add flare to your kid’s bedroom. We recommend going with patterned fabrics in colorful designs to create a cheerful and unique feel to the room.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.34.08 AM

Narrow By Color: Trying to keep with a certain color theme? TheFind’s narrow by color option lets you narrow your results to only pillows in your desired colors.

Original_Project-Nursery-Kid-Room-Pom-Poms_s4x3_lg

Credit: HGTV

Art: Art doesn’t just have to be just for adults. Try adding  pom-poms, colorful paintings or wall decals that have kid- appropriate designs to give the room a bit more personality.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.34.26 AM

Narrow By Theme or Size: Know what genre of painting you want? Narrow your paintings by themes such as modern, abstract or landscape. If you have a size in mind, utilize TheFind’s option to narrow results by size.

Buy & Track: Once you’ve found your items, simply purchase and track your online order ship dates, expected arrival time and return window.

PackIt: Insulated Lunch Bag Cooler Goes From Summer To School Year

Credit: PackIt

Get a jump on your school supply shopping this year and break in your new PackIt reusable lunch tote with picnic lunches this summer.  PackIt lunch bags have a freezable gel built into their lining to help keep food and drinks cold for up to 10 hours.  The bags are foldable for compact storage in the freezer overnight.  Just pull it out in the morning and get to packing! PackIt bags will come in handy during the summer then transition well right into the school year.  Say goodbye to messy ice packs and hello to sleek PackIt lunch bags.  Available in solid colors and a selection of trendy prints, each bag retails for around $20.

Boost Your Kid’s Brainpower with Board Games

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 12.10.55 PM

Credit: Parenting.com 

Board games are not only a fun family activity for kids, but they can also be a sneaky way to improve their performance in school. Check out the below games Parenting.com listed as the best entertaining options for teaching kids lessons in decision-making and strategic thinking.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.52.51 AM

Credit: Toydoo, Parenting.com

-       Where is Sock Monkey?: This Sock Monkey themed game is a combination of Twenty Questions and Clue. Aimed towards preschoolers and young grade-schoolers, it gives your kids a lesson in deductive reasoning as well as a chance to race around the house. Though younger kids won’t be able to read the questions, they can figure them out from the pictures—a decoding strategy that is helpful for when they learn to read. The game also gives kids practice in asking questions, listening for answers, following directions and putting clues together.

-       Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It: This 6-foot-long preschool-friendly game, based on the Busytown books by Richard Scarry, is all about on cooperation. The game is ideal for teaching kids teamwork and reinforcing their ability to recognize and match objects, teaching them to be observant and letting them practice associating categories with people and actions.

-       I Spy Ready to Read: This board game, based on the I Spy books and geared for kids ages 4-6, is actually five games in one. The game helps kids practice their visual skills and letter recognition and, because it’s based on rhymes, your child becomes more aware of language structure by hearing the syllables in each word and sentence.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.53.00 AM

Credit: Parenting.com

-       Animal Mastermind Towers: This kid-friendly version of the classic Mastermind board game is all about making and breaking codes, which is appealing to the more advanced thinking skills of children ages 5 – 7. Because kids are required to remember opponent’s answers, the game boosts memory as well as deductive skills. Plus, making up codes helps teach them strategy.

-       Rory’s Story Cubes: This game, recommended for kids 8 and up, is unique because it doesn’t involve winning. In the game, players base stories on abstract sketches, sparking their imagination and teaching them to write complex, entertaining stories. Kids will learn to create stories with beginnings, middles and endings and turn something abstract into something more concrete.

-       Scrabble: This classic, age-old game is loved by teachers for its educational benefits. Not only does it help kids with their reading, spelling and vocabulary – it also teaches them math, problem solving and strategy. Additionally, the game is great for boosting kids’ attention spans and long-term memory, ideal for good test-taking and study skills.

Healthy Baby, Happy Parents

organic-crib-mattress-537x368

Credit: inhabitots

Keeping babies happy and healthy is no easy task, but these gadgets we spotted on BabyZone can make it easier:

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 11.59.31 AM

Credit: BabyZone

WhyCry Baby Crying Analyzer: Figuring out why your baby is crying can be challenging. The WhyCry Baby Monitor can help you figure it out by analyzing the pitch of your child’s cries to identify the source of their unhappiness, so you can quickly fix whatever is upsetting your little one.

Itzbeen Pocket Nanny Baby Care Timer: It can be difficult when your baby last napped, ate or had their diaper changed—especially when you’re a busy, sleep-deprived parent. The Itzbeen Pocket Baby Care Timer is your pocket-sized nanny, helping you to easily keep track of these basic needs.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 12.00.13 PM

Credit: BabyZone

Earcheck Middle Ear Monitor: Ear infections are very common with young kids but it can be hard to determine if your child is really sick without a visit to the doctor. The Earcheck Middle Ear Monitor detects fluid in the middle ear to alert you of an infection, so you can know if a visit to the doctor is necessary.

AVA the Elephant Medicine Dispenser: Kids can be extremely stubborn when it comes to taking medicine. AVA the Elephant Medicine Dispenser helps it go down, with a dispenser that features a “trunk” medicine dropper. Simply fill the dropper with the correct dosage, press the button and AVA encourages you kids to swallow with a cheerful “One, two, three… open wide! Good job!”

SnoozeShade: Keep your baby protected from harmful UV rays on sunny day walks with the SnoozeShade. The shade’s breathable, lightweight fabric has UPF 50+ sun protection and the Plus version features a “lookout” window that can be zipped shut when it’s time for a nap. It fits conveniently over strollers, with a “Twin” version available for double strollers.

Princess Rosalina Play Tent Opens Door to Imagination

HABA, a toy company with a reputation for quality, well-priced toys that encourage imagination and curiosity had recently added some new products to it’s line including the Princess Rosalina Play Tent. Using the plastic piping and connectors, follow the easy directions to piece together the frame. Then add the fabric roof, walls, windows, door and floor — all in one swift swoop!  This one piece tent goes over the frame and zips around the bottom. The set comes with two pink pouches for storage so you can take the tent apart and store it compactly. Since the play tent takes up a lot of space when it’s put together, it’s nice to have the option to put it away when you need the room for something else.

The design of this toy absolutely adorable with pretty colors and cute characters.  The door can be rolled up and fastened for easy in-and-out plus there are mesh windows for ventilation.  Your child’s imagination will instantly come to life when they have this beautiful castle style house to play in.  The Princess Rosalina Play Tent retails for around $90.

Slip, Slide and Splash: Summer Fun

School is almost out, which means it’s about time to bring out those summer water toys. We’ve compiled some fun options below we spotted on Parents that are sure to make a splash with your kids this summer:

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 12.09.08 PM

Credit: Parents

Alien Eyeball Toss Game: Kids will have some out-of-this-world fun with the Swimline Inflatable Alien Eyeball Toss game, where they can take turns tossing eyeballs back into the Alien’s face.

Water Gun Kickboard: While kickboards are great for kids learning to swim, they’re not the most exciting pool toy. Go with a water gun kickboard to make it a bit more interesting.

Super Subbie Motorized Pool Toys: Encourage kids to get active with the Supper Subbie Moterized Pool Toys. They can chase the swimming animals around or swim along with them.

Noodle Head Shooter: Noodles are a staple pool toy. Spruce them up with a noodle head shooter – simply place the shooter on top of your existing noodle and squeeze and release it under water to fill it up.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 12.09.20 PM

Credit: Parents, bkstr, Jolly Mom

Rotten Egg Game: In this Rotten Egg Game, each egg has a number 1 – 5 inside or the words “rotten egg”. Let kids compete to get the eggs – whoever has the highest total numbers wins!

Swim Thru Rings: If your kids are especially good swimmers, challenge them to swim through rings. The Stream Machine’s Swim Thru Rings can adjust to float near the top or bottom of the pool, so you can make unique and challenging courses.

Slip N’ Slide: What would summer be without a slip n’ slide? The Wham-O Triple Racer is a good option for multiple children, with three lanes so kids can race. The slide also comes with three slide boogies for extra speedy sliding.

Beach Ball Sprinkler: Water Sprinklers are a great way to cool down when you don’t have a pool. The 88” circumference Beach Ball Sprinkler splashes water while you roll around the giant ball, combining beach ball action with water play.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

It’s almost that time of year to show Dad just how much we appreciate all that he does. Whether he’s old-fashioned, sporty or techy, the below ideas we spotted on AskMen can help you find the right gift for dad:

15-great-father-s-day-gifts_1400625836

Credit: AskMen

Cookbook: For fathers that are also Head Chef of the house, a cookbook is a wise gift that he will enjoy probably just as much as you love eating his tasty meals. The Carnivore Cookbook is good for dads that like to cook both simple and elaborate meat-based meals and includes a blend of traditional and contemporary dishes.

top-25-father-s-day-gifts_1400627093

Credit: AskMen

Amazon Fire TV: Let dad watch exactly what he wants with an Amazon Fire TV. The small, easy and well-designed box allows him to stream everything from the latest blockbusterto his favorite TV series and games.

top-25-father-s-day-gifts_1400785098

Credit: AskMen

Panasonic Wet/Dry Shaver: A high-end shaver is a gift you can be sure he will appreciate. The Panasonic Wet/Dry Shaver provides a quick yet precise shave and easy clean-up. Plus, it’s equipped with waterproof technology for use in wet or dry conditions.

15-great-father-s-day-gifts_1400623276

Credit: AskMen

Chillsner: Dads aren’t hard to please – sometimes all he wants is a nice and refreshing ice-cold beer. Give him just that with the Chillsner, which ensures his large IPA is perfectly chilled every time. Designed like an icicle, the Chillsner fits into a bottle’s neck so that his drink cools off almost instantly, top to bottom.

top-25-father-s-day-gifts_1400682541

Credit: AskMen

MeUndies: Think underwear isn’t a touching Father’s Day gift? You might want to reconsider. MeUndies have been dubbed the world’s most comfortable underwear that any father would be thankful for. The premium undies come in a variety of colors and prints that will keep him feeling funky and fresh—you can bet he will be pleasantly surprised with this simple but thoughtful gift.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 12.17.17 PM

Credit: AskMen

MyBasis Watch: Techy dads will be ecstatic to receive this MyBasis activity band that can help him get fit, sleep better and stress less. The MyBasis band is riddled with sensors to capture heart rate motion, activity trends, sleep patterns as well as perspiration and skin temperature. In addition to regurgitating information, MyBasis analyzes tendencies and habits to suggest ways of optimizing daily potential.

Bring Back Family Night

What better way to do some family bonding than with a bit of friendly competition during family game night? Show you kiddos just how fun hanging with mom and dad can be with the fun ideas below we spotted on Spoonful:

roll-the-marble-games-photo-420-FF1107GAMEA01

Credit: Spoonful

-       Roll Out the Marble:  For this action-packed, homemade game, speed and balance go hand in hand. Before you play, cut cardboard tubes into equal-length troughs, one for each player. Have players line up 2-3 feet apart. The first person in line sets the marble on one end of his trough and without touching the marble, rolls it the length of their tube and into the next player’s. That player passes the marble to the next and so on. As each player passes the marble, they rotate to the end of the line. If someone drops the marble, they are out and the marble goes back to the beginning of the line. For larger groups, split players into 2 teams and have them race.

-       Life Size Hungry Hippos: To play this life-size version of hungry hippos, you’ll need plenty of balloons and either 2 small hockey nets or 2 laundry baskets. Players compete against each other to quickly get more balloons in their net than the other player.

indoor-foot-volleyball-games-photo-420-FF0204ALMEA11

Credit: Spoonful

-       Indoor Foot Volleyball: While you might not be flexible enough for this unique take on volleyball, your kids will love it. To play, first tie a piece of yarn or string across a 10-foot playing area roughly 1 foot above the floor. Divide players into 2 teams and have them get in a crab position on the floor (face-up, leaning on their hands and feet). Have 1 player on the serving team launch the balloon into the air for a teammate to kick over the string to their opponents and the teams kick the balloon back and forth. If one team lets the balloon touch the floor, the other team earns 1 point and restarts the game by serving the balloon from their side. The first player to reach 15 points wins.

Simply Sweet ColorCakes: Wow Worthy Desserts Anyone Can Make

Credit: Eat Your Books

If there’s one course of the meal you can really wow guests with, it’s dessert. Whether you’re attending a summer barbecue or picnic or having a dinner date at home, Simply Sweet Colorcakes: WOW-Worthy Desserts Anyone Can Make will help you get an incredible dessert ready for the big meal finale. From stunning rainbow desserts to ombre, layered, and hidden “surprise inside” recipes for cakes, cupcakes and more, these easy desserts are easy enough for anyone to make.  This complete guide offers over 100 recipes for fun and amazing bakery-style deserts at home.  Simply Sweet ColorCakes will have your guests exclaiming “How did you make that?!”