Kid-Tested Toy & Product Review

TR1109         SP1011

Toys

Best New Baby and Toddler Toys

poolmain

Parents! Check out these cool new toys that every baby or toddler will love.

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Step2 Waterpark Arcade
$54.99; 3+
Step2.com
Bring exciting arcade-themed water play to your backyard. Little ones can practice fine motor skills as they squeeze the water blaster, shooting water at each target to activate the spinners and create a big splash. Hit the center bullseye to fill up the spill bucket below – whoever makes the bucket spill into the basin is the winner.

DOLCE Primo Anteater

Dolce Primo Anteater
$39.99; 0+
Magformers.com
Watch as your baby explores the soft fabrics, flaps and learns new sensory and hand-eye coordination skills. Let your baby develop their sensory skills with textured fabrics, observe the fun colorful fabrics and learn to understand cause and effect through the many interesting activities in this toy.  

Radio Flyer Backyard Bouncers

Backyard Bouncer
$299.99; 3-8 years
RadioFlyer.com
Equipped with an extra-wide slide, this inflatable bounce house provides endless entertainment and encourages active imaginative play. Durable material is long-lasting and has an extra grippy surface to prevent slipping. It also features high mesh safety walls to keep kids safe while jumping and a rear door for easy entry and exit.

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Alphapals
$195; 2-6 years
AlphaPals.com
An Alphapals set is both an at-home toy and learning tool founded to help early learning challenges, and encourage children to play and learn. The set is a fun, interactive and hands-on approach helping families experience the fun side of learning. Each set is equipped with 26 plush letters that conveniently slip away into a comfy bean bag.

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Little Tikes T-Rex Truck
$99.99; 2+
LittleTikes.com
The large T-Rex has cool design and makes realistic roaring and chomping sounds that spark kids' imaginations while they ride. Kids love being behind the wheel, while adults love the durability and comfortable design. 360-degree spinning front wheels and durable tires that are designed for both indoor and outdoor play.  

Twist Explore Caterpillar

Twist & Explore Caterpillar
$9.99; 3 months+
VTechKids.com
Twist the caterpillar's body segments into new positions to pretend like it is moving. Shake the beads, spin the rings and press the light-up heart button. Pressing the light-up heart plays music and phrases. With multiple textures from rubbery antennae to nubby rings and ribbons, little fingers will have fun exploring all the ways this cute critter delights the senses.

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Fold & Go Beach Set
$12.99; 18 months+
Hape.com
Be fully-prepared for the summer with this adorable beach play set. The flat, easy-to-carry fish-design canvas bag contains a fold-out bucket, a small spade and a cute fish-shaped sand mold.

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Jooki Music & Story Player
$199.99; 3+
Jooki.rocks
A smart, portable screen-free, high-quality music player that anyone can use anywhere, at any time. It enables the magic of music to be shared with the entire family, including the youngest ones. Designed to be kid-proof, it’s strong and safe, and contains smart parental controls. Instead of using a screen, kids use characters in the form of figurines to choose what music is played — enabling Jooki to reduce screen time for the kids while they enjoy their music and stories.

100 Words About Places I Go Closed

100 Words About Places I Go
$17.99; 18 months+
LeapFrog.com
Featuring age-appropriate words, this interactive book teaches about people and objects in 12 unique places in both English and Spanish. Go to the beach in any season and discover words in two languages about things to bring and surprises to find. Ten touch-sensitive locations on each page teach about words, colors and counting in the context of 12 unique places.

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Bug Hunter Set from Nature Bound
$35.95; 3+
ThinAirBrands.com
Watch out frogs, worms, insects, and creepy crawlers. Includes the powerful but gentle motorized vacuum with detachable nose cone and bug capsule, built-in magnifier and carabiner clip, critter habitat with carrying handle and a sliding lock. 

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Strider 12 Sport
$129.99; 18 months+
StriderBikes.com
The 12 Sport is the perfect bike to take your child from baby steps to big strides, all without busting out a toolkit (tool-free seat and handlebar adjustment and tires that never go flat). The Strider Sport has a seat height range from 28-48 cm, which means it fits a huge range of inseam lengths. The cushy, padded seat and an additional extra-long seatpost means your child will get years out of their Strider.

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Little Tikes My First Bowling Set
$19.99; 2+ 
LittleTikes.com
This six pin bowling set has a console that lets kids reset their pins instantly while they play, so there's no more hassle in delicately balancing pins. The included bowling lane and two balls lets your kids play right away with no assembly. The built-in handle also makes it easy to transport so kids can play anytime, anywhere. 

Radio Flyer Tumble Town Foam Blocks

Tumble Town Foam Blocks - Candy
$149.99; 9 months-3 years
RadioFlyer.com
The stackable 6-piece set is made of a soft PU foam which is comfortable, durable, dense, stain resistant and easily wiped clean. Great for tumbling, climbing and active imaginative play. The blocks can be stacked in endless configurations, so the fun and creativity never has to stop. They are also lightweight which makes it easy for toddlers to carry. 

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Fubbles No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket
$12.99; 18 months+
Amazon.com
Tip it upside down, knock it over..it’s no spill. This bubble bucket includes three wands for multiple children to play at once and an easy to grasp handle perfectly sized for little kid’s hands. Simply twist open the top and pour the solution into the bottom section of the bucket, twist on the top, and you are ready to play. 

Touch Chat Light Up Phone

Touch & Chat Light Up Phone
$14.99; 6 months+
VTechKids.com
Start exploring animals, letters, numbers and words on a toy phone with cell phone-like features to encourage imaginative play with learning. Start in Video Call mode with three emoji graphics and two animals to video-call. Switch to Learning mode to find 12 pretend apps for your toddler to browse. Check the weather, click on a map, send play text messages and listen to music. Keep little ones engaged in play and learning with 70+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases.

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Hopping Cow
$29.99; 18 months+
Amazon.com
Elastic inflatable rubber covered with a thick layer of plush fabric, zero friction, protects your child's skin and safety during play.

Magformers Backyard Adventure Set

Magformers Backyard Adventure-61 pieces
$74.99; 3+
Magformers.com
Click! Connect Create! Build magnetic houses and invite all your friends to the party. Create houses and build a playground. Add your favorite characters including, Max, Maggie and Minibot.

Make A Fort 3

Make a Fort
$99; 4+
Makeafort.fun
Forts, mazes, puzzles, tunnels and mansions--there's no limit to what you can create. Each kit is made from recycled cardboard. The panels are super strong, and there's no need for adhesives. The panels also easily slide together, so you can use your imagination to make super cool designs. Your young artist can color the panels any way they wish. 


Published: May 2021

College Products

College Products

collegemain2

Heading off to college? Here are some great products to send with your college student for dorm and apartment living.

Welcome To Wisconsin Towel

Welcome to Wisconsin Towel
$45; KicksBySammy.com
Super-soft microfiber 100% poly fleece top that reverses to a plush 100% cotton terry loop backing. Perfect for the pool or beach or tanning on campus. Available in multiple college themes.

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Oscillating Tower Fan 001 with Large LED Display
$85.99; Taotronics.com
Equipped with 3 powerful modes (Normal, Natural, Sleep) and 3 fan speeds (High, Medium, Low), offering 9 different air flow settings to meet your multiple cooling needs in sweltering summer. Perfect 65°oscillating cooling fan is your air conditioner’s BFF distributing air with a velocity of 20ft/s to increase air flow and circulation for quick cooling that saves energy. This quiet, real space saving standing fan can be placed anywhere with utmost ease.

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The Solo First Aid Kit
$50; MyMedic.com
A small, compact kit equipped with hand-picked essential life saving supplies. Small, water resistant, and lightweight. Packs well in a backpack or carry-on. Contains over 45 quality, essential first-aid supplies. HSA/FSA approved.

twinlky

Twinkly LED Smart Lights 
$99 & up; Twinkly.com
Smartphone controllable and come in strings, festoons, icicles and clusters. They are year round lights featuring more than 16 million colors to select for indoor or outdoor use. Combines colorful RGB LED lights with an impressive variety of levels for brightness, speed, intensity, and color palettes; fully controlled though the Twinkly app on a smartphone.

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AS311 AI Speakerphone
$129.99; AVerMedia.com
It's super easy to use as it plugs right into the computer via USB. Suppresses unwanted background noise, 360-degree voice enhancement, plug and play setup with USB, removes echo, compatible with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Hangout, and more.

lavalamp

Lava Lamp Custom Cool
$39.99; LavaLamp.com
These lamps provide relaxing soft light and are the perfect size for desks, dorm rooms or man caves. Watch the mesmerizing LAVA lamp blobs collide and flow as they ooze up and down the glass globe of the LAVA lamp. If you want instant start up action, grab a glitter LAVA lamp. Simply plug in and sparkle.

keebos crossbody phone case

Keebos Crossbody Phone cases
$29.95; Keebos.com
As smart phones keep getting bigger and more expensive, Keebos is the perfect solution to wearing your phone as a necklace or crossbody. Whether going to school, on a stroll, a dog walk, riding a scooter or bike, traveling, Keebos is here to help you keep your phone accessible and safe. 

8in 10in skillet set lifestyle

The Noir Skillet 
$99.95; ZavorAmerica.com
The Noir Skillet offering consists of individual pieces and skillet sets. Available in a variety of sizes to fit all culinary creations, Whitford ceramic coated for superior performance, and a unique removable handle that lets you comfortably take your skillet from stovetop to oven. Your traditional skillet just got an upgrade.

Hemp Backpack

Tan Icarus Hemp Backpack
$39; Salvos.shop
Handmade in Nepal with pure Himalayan hemp and heavy duty cotton. This unisex bag is perfect for school, work, traveling and hiking, mountaineering, camping, and for casual daily use. Ready to carry laptops, tablets, notebooks, and other necessities.

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Neato D8 Intelligent Robot Vacuum
$699.99; shop.neatorobotics.com
Cleaning is the last thing your new grad will think about in a dorm or first apartment, so give the kid a break with the ultimate cleaning machine. If they are on their own for the first time, it’s a great way to check-in on them too with remote sign-in access to schedule cleanings. This premium product at an entry-level pricing offers the signature Neato and quality, like LaserSmart technology to intelligently navigate and an easy, Bluetooth-enabled setup to get cleaning in minutes. 

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LumiCharge II- All In One LED Desk Lamp & Phone Dock
$99; TheLumiCharge.com
Not only is this a functional LED desk lamp, but it’s also a convenient place to charge your phone, making this an all-in-one workstation. It contains a universal charging dock and 10W wireless charger, so no matter what type of cell phone you have, you can charge it with ease. This smart LED desk lamp can also be adjusted for optimal directional lighting.

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Week From Hell Duo
$21.95; WaltonWoodFarm.com

Did the scholar have a hectic midterms week? Help them indulge in a little self-care with this set that includes a "Week From Hell" Hand Rescue (grapefruit and brown sugar fragrance) and all-natural Lip Balm. Free of harsh ingredients like SLS, Paraben, and Phthalate, these body care essentials are also cruelty-free, vegetarian/vegan-friendly, and gluten-free.

pastaimage

Fasta Pasta Microwave Pasta Cooker
$19.99; Amazon.com
With the Fasta Pasta, you’ll never have to wait for water to boil again. Cooking perfect al dente pasta is fast and easy. The Fasta Pasta allows you to save time, energy, and water. It’s perfect for spaghetti, fettuccini, macaroni, lasagna noodles, rotini, and even works great with vegetables, soups, casseroles, and rice. Just measure pasta, add water, cook in microwave, and drain pasta all in a single, easy-to-use container.

RecipesCollege 300dpi

Recipes Every College Student Should Know by Christine Nelson
$9.99; QuirkBooks.com
A perfect gift for hungry dorm-dwellers, this must-have pocket guide will help students make and eat healthy snacks, meals, and other tasty bites. Discover quick breakfasts to help you make it to class on time, backpack-friendly lunches, dormmate dinners for a crowd, study break snacks, and of course an infallible recipe for microwave mug cake—plus basic tools, terms, nutrition, budgeting guides, and safety tips for novice cooks. No matter if you’ve got a microwave and an electric kettle or a full-sized kitchen, this book will have you well-fed and back to studying (or video games) in no time.

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Manta Sleep Mask
$34.99; MantaSleep.com
It is vital for college students to get proper sleep at night, as it will help them stay on top of their studies, do better on exams, and maintain a healthy life balance. Great for post-class naps, it provides 100% blackout for maximized sleep quality — so users feel 100%, all the time. 

 StuffCollege final 300dpi

Stuff Every College Student Should Know by Blair Thornburgh
$9.95; QuirkBooks.com
The ultimate reference for every part of campus life. Packed with tips, tricks, and handy lists, the book gives college kids the lowdown on everything from pulling all-nighters to navigating dorm room drama to actually doing their own laundry. Covering everything from move-in day to graduation, this pocket-sized handbook is the perfect gift for high-school seniors...because textbooks can only teach you so much.

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iHome Weather Tough Speaker
$59.99; iHomeAudio.com 
Features a rugged design and is waterproof, shockproof and sand-proof. Bring it with you on any adventure rain or shine and enjoy up to 11 hours of Audio. Features 5 color changing accent lighting modes that pulse to the music for full spectrum effects. Stream wireless audio via Bluetooth and take calls with the built-in speakerphone. Enjoy 360° stereo sound and enhanced bass with a rear firing passive subwoofer.

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Portable Lock Box
$49.99; Kensington.com 
Made with lightweight yet durable high-impact ABS plastic, the splash-resistant box is perfect for a mobile phone, passport, keys, wallet, money, and more. The dual locking mechanism lets you use the traditional keyed lock or the convenient resettable three-dial combination lock. Easy to take with you to keep valuables safe. A strong, adjustable security strap allows you to tether the lock box to a stationary object, and can also be used as a convenient carry handle.

Updated: March 2022

Back to School Snack Reviews

sncakmain22

Back to School Snacks!  Healthy, fun snack ideas to throw in kids' lunch bags!

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The Mini Me by Boards & Co. 
$85; ShopBoardsAndCo.com

An amazing assortment of cheese board kits made just for you and also have a classroom resource that will teach you and your little everything you need to know about cheese basics, board building, pairings, and so much more. This is an excellent way to expose your kids to new flavors, offer them a fun experience, encourage them to learn, and give them an opportunity to bond with you. 

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Three Peaks Manuka Honey Certified UMF 15+ Ultra Premium Manuka Honey
$34.99; Amazon.com  
The highest quality pure manuka honey from New Zealand with unmatched taste and texture. Just sweet enough, with a smooth, creamy texture. Enjoy daily by the spoonful or combine with your favorite food or drink.

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Food For Life's Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium Sprouted Flourless English Muffins 
$7.59; FoodForLife.com 
Certified organic, vegan, and free from preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. Made from a unique combination of freshly sprouted grains and legumes that provide a source of complete protein. With 0mg sodium per serving, these convenient, whole grain options are ideal for a heart-healthy diet.

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LikeMeat's Like Chick'n Nuggets 
$7.99; LikeMeat.com
With their juicy center coated in crispy breadcrumbs, Like Nuggets are a great fast food alternative and a perfect snack on-the-go. Dunk ’em in your favorite sauce for extra cheek smearin’ goodness. And they’re gluten-free.

New Marvel Box 01

Spider-Man Lemon-Lime & Orange and Avengers Strawberry-Mango
ChloesFruit.com
Two new Marvel inspired flavors: tangy Lemon-Lime & Orange variety pack featuring Spider-Man and Ghost-Spider, and a perfectly sweet Strawberry-Mango Pop featuring Avengers characters - Thor, Doctor Strange, The Falcon and Captain Marvel. Chloe’s also added to its No Sugar Added offerings with its deliciously juicy Grape option. Smaller 1.5 oz pop size with 10 pops per box, making them perfect for family snacking. 

Ultimate Popcorn Collection 2

Pop Cups Discovery Kit
$34.99; Opopop.com
Made for snacking greatness. Fulfill your craving with snack-sized servings of four new flavors when any popportunity arises. They're supremely snackable and amazingly delicious. Each kit includes a microwave popcorn popper and lid, plus three Pop Cups of each flavor. Simply peel, pour + pop.

 sweetdianesgranola

Sweet Dians’s Granola 
SweetDianes.com
The healthy and delicious, plant-based granola transforming your breakfast routine. Featuring tasty, all natural ingredients and superfoods, Sweet Diane’s brings you energy while tasting delicious. Whether you bake it into a recipe or eat it for breakfast every morning, there are countless ways to enjoy the naturally sweet treat. 

Johnsons Popcorn Panache 1 gallon hi rez

The Panache Tin of Caramel Corn
$57.95 for 2 Gallonwww.JohnsonsPopcorn.com 
Select your favorite flavors and from gift ideas like tubs and tins of sweet and savory popcorn. All products are gluten-free and you can choose from Caramel Corn, Salty-n-Sandy, Cheddar, Peanut Crunch, Chocolate Drizzle, Platinum, Butter and Tri-Flavor.  

NEW Tidbits Fun Bites Regular all flavors

Tidbits Fun Bites Meringue Cookies
$5.00 per bag or $40.00 for the bundle of 9 flavors; www.Tidbits.fun
Sugar-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free, cholesterol-free and non-GMO. Tidbits bite-sized treats that come in a 40-piece resealable bag and come in the following flavors: Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, Cappuccino, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel, Cotton Candy and Birthday Cake flavors. 

Published: May 2022

Lunch Boxes

backpackmain22

Backpacks, Lunch Boxes and Water Bottles! Check out this fun selection of backpacks, water bottles, lunch bags, bento boxes and snack bags that are perfect for school, work or day trips.

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So Rad Backpack
$120; KicksbySammy.com
Lightweight and water resistant with adjustable shoulder straps. 4 compartments: 1 main zip pocket, 1 front pocket, 1 water bottle pocket on the side and inside compartment for a laptop or tablet. Can be customized with any name, initials, word, or phrase.

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Cat Ninja Backpack
$29.99; 
https://getepicstore.com/ 
Kids of all ages love the most popular Epic Original series, Cat Ninja, so they’ll be ready to go back to school with confidence, style, and their favorite superhero pets. 

Tropical 2

Bentgo Kids Prints 2-in-1 Backpack and Lunch Bag
$35; Bentgo.com
Features a double insulated lunch compartment and available in colorful and fun prints and with two roomy compartments for school supplies (including a 13-inch tablet). Keep kids styling, organized, and fresh. 

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MCubed Backpacks
$34; mcubedbackpacks.com
Affordable, comfy, and ever-so-stylish. Roomy enough to fit for all the school essentials, yet not too large to overwhelm young children. Lined with resilient 600 denier polyester and comfortably padded straps. Features lined nylon interior pocket, an extra inner back pocket, and a side non-mesh pocket. Perfectly sized and shaped to fit books, standard folders, and all the school essentials.

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be.BOX Lunch Bag
$35, each patch $5; beyoubefun.com  
Provides kids the chance to celebrate their individuality, interests, or mood on any given day for any given occasion. The durable and spacious be.BOX has a loop material on both sides that provides the perfect blank slate for our hook material YOU.patches. Kids can trade, collect or rearrange their YOU.patches over and over again.

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Pastel Tie Dye Backpack
$29.99; Amazon.com
Large enough to fit books, binders, and laptops, but small enough to be comfortably wearable. Contains two internal compartments, inner and outer zipper pockets, and an external mesh water bottle pocket. Fits most laptops in the padded computer pocket. For every Fenrici product purchased, 5% of the proceeds are donated to the non-profit organization Global Genes to fund the research and education for childhood rare diseases. 

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Bentgo Chill Lunch Box
$30; Bentgo.com
A bento-style lunchbox with a built-in ice pack. Simply place the ice pack in the freezer overnight and pop it into the lunchbox on days you want to keep food chilled on the go. Make getting ready for school a fun routine and get the kiddos involved in choosing their food and colorful lunchbox for the day.

Traveler 18 oz Berry

Welly Bottle-Traveler (18 oz.)
$33; WellyBottle.com
Minimalist design made with natural and renewable bamboo. This triple-walled, vacuum-insulated bottle comes with a removable infuser and sleek loop cap that makes it beautifully simple to stay hydrated. Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for up to 14 hours.

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LEGO Brick Backpack
$49.99; Lego.com
Features classic LEGO 1x2 brick shaping in durable, water-resistant fabric made from recycled beverage bottles. Includes a large zipped main compartment with name tag and slip pocket and 2 LEGO stud-styled zip pockets. Ergonomically padded shoulder straps, back panel and haul handle for comfortable transportation. Adjustable front sternum strap helps balance the load with an easy click. Each backpack saves approximately 11 plastic bottles from landfill. 

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Miniware GrowBento Lunch Box Set
$38; Miniware.com
This set with two silipods is ideal for kids on the go. Leak-proof silipods offer storage for a wide range of food combinations, even including liquids like hot soup and dressings. The ultra-durable materials are long-lasting.

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Laura Ashley Girl's Blue Critter Cat Mini Backpack
$18; LauraAshleyUSA.com
This adorable backpack is perfectly sized for preschool, kindergarten and elementary age kids. Easily holds homework papers, art projects, crayons, pencils, pens, calculators, glue sticks and more.

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Pastel Tie Dye Lunch Box
$19.99; Amazon.com
Unlike many hard-shell lunch boxes that are too bulky and get damaged easily, this will fit every size and shape containers without skipping a beat. One exterior pocket with hook and release for napkin and extra storage and 1 interior mesh pocket for cold pack, utensils, and snacks. 5% of proceeds from each lunch box sale are given to national non-profit organization Global Genes to fund the research and education for childhood rare diseases.

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Zwraps
$7.50 each; zwraps.com
Z Wraps beautifully elevate food storage to a level of home chic that plastic can’t touch, with a lifespan that’s sustainable from beginning to end. We’ve added more patterns to fit every style and color palette, and our new multi-packs merge utility and value by offering a versatile assortment of sizes and designs at an accessible price point. Our new 5-pack is our most popular item. Using Z Wraps for your cheese, bread, and veggies will keep them fresher and longer than plastic wrap.  And they can be washed and reused at least 100 times!

Updated: Sept. 2021

Back to School Games

BTSGamesMain

Many kids say the best part of going back to school is shopping for new supplies. These kid-tested, parent-approved products will help kids have a functional and fashionable start to the school year.

ABC Seasons Months Day Rug 1

KC Cubs Educational Rugs
$34.99; https://kccub.com/product-category/educational-rugs/

Add a dash of color and fun while creating a roomful of learning opportunities with fun and educational rugs. These eye-catching statement pieces feature simple yet engaging designs that hook their curiosity and send their imaginations soaring. Perfect to teach your child the alphabet in an interactive way with memorization games.

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iPad (5th/6th Gen) & iPad Air Case (1st Gen)
$49.99; ZuguCase.com
Made to rise above every challenge and built to take your iPad to the next level, this protective Zugu case looks as good as it functions. Adjustable magnetic stand with up to 8 different angles. Robust bumper and rugged TPU + PC shell for major drop protection. Secure magnetic mount capability (on any metal surface). Soft microfiber interior.

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U-Konserve Stainless Steel Food Storage
$22.95-$25.95; https://ukonserve.com/
U-Konserve's trusted stainless steel nesting containers come with plastic-free silicone lids. These are the perfect waste-free solution for storing leftover food, meal prepping or enjoying food outdoors. The flexible silicone lids are easy to open, and the leak-proof feature keeps spills at bay. This new non-toxic stainless steel and silicone combination make these lunchboxes the best zero-waste solution for you and the planet.

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Do It With Passion Lap Top Sleeve
$55; KicksbySammy.com
Available in sizes 13” or 15” for laptops. Made from light weight and water-resistant neoprene. Fuzzy cushion inside with zipper closure. Can be customized with any name, initials, word, or phrase.

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Colors of the World Skin Tone Colored Pencils
$5.99; Crayola.com
Contain 24 specially formulated colors representing people of the world. These skin tone colored pencils make coloring pages and drawings even more detailed and realistic. The subtle shades inside are formulated to better represent the growing diversity worldwide. Also availbale in markers.

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Toddler Learning Addition flash cards
$9.99; Amazon.com
Designed by teachers, these laminated flash cards feature bright, colorful imagery and teach little ones a variety of important first-concept topics: letters, numbers, shapes and colors.

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BIC Velocity Original Mechanical Pencil​
$7.99/5-pack; Bic.com
Smoothest, darkest writing with strong lead that erases cleanly​. Durable eraser and soft comfortable grip​.

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Derwent Chromaflow Coloured Pencils-12 pack
$24.99; Amazon.com
Formulated with rich pigments to deliver bold, vibrant laydown making blending, layering, and shading easier. Perfect for high school and college age artists, and even talented younger children who are learning to blend and layer. 

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No Bad Vibes Spiral Notebook
$38; KicksbySammy.com
118 ruled line single pages, metal spiral with document pocket on the inside back cover for added storage. Can be customized with any name, initials, word, or phrase.

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KidKraft Study Desk with Chair 
$219.99; KidKraft.com
Gives young students a perfect workspace for finishing homework, studying or working on craft projects. A bulletin board surface gives them a place to pin pictures, drawings and important notes. Two cabinets and a pencil drawer offer plenty of storage to keep kids organized.

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Graphing Scientific Calculator fx-CG50
$118.99; edu.casio.com
Easy-to-operate, high-definition 3D Graph provides visual support for mathematical exploration. fx-CG50 has intuitive operability and exploring features, ideal for mathematics learning.

Mighty Zip Binder RH 01

Case-It: The Dual 2.0 2-in-1 Dual Ring Binder
$27.99; Caseit.com
These tough-as-nails zippered binders offer mobile style and storage alongside a durable build that won’t buckle or warp, making it easy to keep everything from pencils and paper to calculators and chrome books organized.

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Fiskars Starter Kids Scissors  
$3.50; Fiskars.com
Designed to teach beginners how to properly hold and squeeze scissors. Features plastic safety scissors blades and straight, no-loop handles that make them easy to grip.

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LilGadgets Connect+
$17; LilGadgets.com
Wired and designed for kids 3+. Compact, foldable, non-pinching, with snag-free cushioning and comfy fixed-ear cup design. With a max volume of 93db, LilGadgets headphones reduce outside noise so kids don’t have to crank up the volume. 

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LEGO DOTS Gel Pen 6 Pack
$19.99; Lego.com
Writing has never been smoother, while the pens’ securely attached plates offer unique decorative possibilities. The slender, square-shaped pens each feature a removable cap, comfort grip and 2 authentic 1x4 LEGO plates. The pack also includes 25 colorful DOTS tiles so kids or fans can decorate the pens. These cool pens can be redesigned at any time to reflect an ever-changing style. 

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Viteyes Blue Light Glasses
$19.99; Viteyes.com
Help shield your eyes from high-energy blue light that is emitted by digital screens, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions. These blue light blocking glasses fit most ages 9 through adulthood.

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BIC Gel-ocity Quick Dry
$8.99/8 pack; Bic.com
Fast drying ink dries up to 3x faster for less smearing​. Super smooth writing experience​ with comfortable full grip barrel and vibrant fun colors​. 

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Apple Counting Color Matching Factory
$24.99; Skoolzy.com
Kids will love sorting the apples and matching the 2 halves. These educational toys are a great way to learn numbers, colors and to count. It promotes number recognition, counting color recognition, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and STEM learning, all while having fun.

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BuddyPhones+
$29.99; BuddyPhones.com
These features include safe sound settings that keep audio under the 85dB and StudyMode that helps isolate voices from other sounds, producing crisper vocals for studying or watching lessons.

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Marklighter2
$5.28/6 pack; PilotPen.com
Cleverly pairs a broad, chisel tip highlighter with a fine, bullet-tipped marker in one streamlined barrel made of 89% recycled plastic. The 10 quick-drying ink colors are vibrant enough to catch your eye, yet translucent enough to layer without bleeding through paper. 

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My First Math Dice
$10.99; ThinkFun.com
Recognition of numbers 0-5, more than/less than, one-to-one correspondence, addition to 10, concentration, focus, patience and overall love of math.

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Summer Bridge Activities® Workbook (Preschool–Grade 8) 
$12.99; CarsonDellosa.com
Designed to prevent a summer learning gap and keep kids mentally and physically active, the hands-on exercises can be done anywhere. These standards-based activities help kids set goals, develop character, practice fitness, and explore the outdoors. 

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Magic Adventures Globe
$84.99; LeapFrog.com

Using the stylus, children can tap on the interactive learning globe and experience new places, languages, cultures, animals, geography, habitats and more through high-quality BBC videos. Featuring a 2.7" integrated video screen, animations and live-action videos fully immerse kids in the curriculum to provide a better understanding of the world through more than five hours of videos. They can also play three interactive games.

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Crayola SuperClick Washable Retractable Markers
$12.49; Crayola.com
Awesome bright colors and the first ever--WASHABLE retractable marker. Retractable with special ink that is designed to resist drying out. Their conical tips make it possible to create thick and thin lines, while the easy-click design makes them ideal for coloring on-the-go.

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Words Over Easy
$14.95; Winning-Moves.com
 Pop the Letter Eggs into the Egg Sorter to see which letters you can use to spell words. Letter Eggs that fall into the green side are good, while Letter Eggs that land on the red side are rotten. Players scramble to come up with words using all the letters, face-up, on the “good eggs” and none of the letters from the “rotten eggs”.

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Writing Art Inspired Stories
$27.99; Crayola.com
Includes colorful art supplies and an informational parent guide so families can practice curriculum concepts together. These creative homeschool materials feature writing projects for kids that help nurture curiosity, creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking through age-appropriate activities. Kits use a project-based learning foundation so students learn important reading, writing, and creativity skills supported by family.

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MasterPieces’ Sesame Street Elmo & Friends Matching Game
$9.99; Masterpiecesinc.com
This age appropriate card game stimulates memory skills, recall, picture and color recognition with the help of some of the world’s most beloved, classic preschool characters.

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FriXion Clickers 
$19.99/10 pack; PilotPen.com
Offer unlimited do-overs so you can write, erase and re-write until you get it right. Pilot created thermo-sensitive ink that becomes clear from the heat generated via erasing friction. There’s no wear and tear to the paper or messy eraser crumbs. 

Updated: Sept. 2021

Craft Kits & Activities

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Craft Kist & Activities! Here are our favorite craft kits and activites to stimulate creativity and relieve boredom.

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LED Candle Critter Pegasus
$24.99; 8
Amazon.com
Set includes a high-quality ceramic Pegasus with beautiful cut-out details, three ceramic markers including gold metallic, LED tea light with battery and instructions all packed in an adorable cottage-shaped box. Easy and fun to use, the three smooth writing ceramic markers can be wiped away with a damp cloth if a mistake is made and permanently set within 24 hours. Turn on the included LED tea light and display while enjoying its warm glow. Perfect gift or craft activity for kids and adults alike. Comes with everything you need to create your own home decor or classroom decor masterpiece.

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Lite-Brite Oval HD 
$19.99; 4+
Target.com
Bring detailed designs to life with a modernized high-definition grid that has 50% more holes and 3X the pegs than the Classic grid. Create beautiful art using one of the 8 HD templates and 650 mini-pegs in multiple colors, or use your imagination to create your own designs. Light up your art with 5 different light modes - 3 color changing patterns (fad, flash, white light) or 2 animations (slow, fast flash). Plus, the modernized oval frame is perfect in any room or social video backdrop. 

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Crayola Spill Proof Washable Paint
$9.99; 3+
Crayola.com

This less mess paint set prevents spills, drips and messes as little ones create. Even better, the Spill Proof Washable Paint requires little set up or clean up to use. When changing colors, simply wipe the brush on a damp cloth to keep your paletteclean. Paint colors work well on most paper and dry quickly to prevent smearing.

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The Crayola Paint & Create Easel Case
$24.99; 4+
Crayola.com

65+ painting supplies, workstation and a carry case all in one. Includes a durable and portable travel art case that makes it easier than ever to keep your colorful painting supplies protected and organized while on-the-go! Young artists can try new painting techniques with the included tools. 

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Colorforms 70th Anniversary Edition
$24.99; 3+
Amazon
Colorforms vinyl repositionable playsets provide safe, creative, open-ended and imaginative play, and have been trusted by generations of parents and grandparents. What began as basic shapes of squares, triangles and circles, has evolved, incorporating popular licensed characters and other innovations that engage kids and encourage storytelling.  

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Chalk Alive
$4.97; 5+

ChalkAlive.com
With Chalk Alive, creating art with sidewalk chalk transforms into an exciting augmented reality experience. First, head outside with the 6 colorful sidewalk chalks and 3 character stencils included and prepare to create a portal into a whole new world of lively, creative fun. Use the chalks to color in the stencils. Then, download the free, interactive Chalk Alive mobile app. Scan your art, snap a photo using the app, and watch your drawings come alive — in 4D.

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Watercolor Wonders
$18.99; 6+

Klutz.com
As you paint, reveal hidden designs in our invisible, paint-resistant "ink." Uncover patterns in scenes with adorable animals, a star-studded galaxy, whimsical fairies, and more! Follow step-by-step instructions to learn the basics of watercolor and work up to more intermediate techniques like ombré and tie-dye with 20 pieces of adorable, ready-to-paint artworks. With premium paints and magical designs, this is the perfect starter kit for budding artists.

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PaperCraft Dolls Fashion Parade
$9.99; 3+
Amazon.com
Color in your own paper doll cuties and design your own fashions for hours of screen-free playtime fun. These large, easy to color dolls and outfit stickers can stick (and unstick) for frustration-free design and display on walls, windows and more. Mix and match your fashions for thousands of combinations creating super stylish outfits that encourage a child’s creativity and imaginative play. 

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Sew Squishy Cubes
$21.99; 7+

Klutz.com
Designed for beginners, the kit includes everything you need to make 3 squishy felt creations: a unicorn, a phoenix, and an on trend yeti. Each animal is made with felt pieces pre-cut with holes for extra-simple sewing. Once your projects are stitched and stuffed, customize each cube with stickers and faux fur with felt-friendly double-stick tape. Sprinkled with humor, these cute plushies spark imagination and play.

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Wish*Craft Mystical Moons Paint a Scarf
$19.99; 8+
BrightStripes.co
This stunning, breezy scarf has a beautiful, mystical pattern with moons and flowers in gold foil. Mix the neon fabric dyes in the included palette and create a totally wearable and striking accessory! Pin to the included cardboard surface to keep your scarf taut and work area clean. Includes a 5 ft long polyester scarf, 3 liquid fabric dyes, paintbrush, palette, 40 pins, cardboard painting surface, and instructions.

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Rainbow Daydream Soap
$12.99; 6+

Klutz.com
The kit includes a sudsy soap base that melts easily in a microwave or double boiler. Add the custom scent, then pour the soap into the molds of your choice. You'll also find for using the included materials in creative ways and whipping up spa recipes with ingredients you can find in your kitchen.

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Tie Dye Party Kit
$29.99; 12+
Amazon.com
Now you can sport your own custom designs by turning any natural fabric item From Blank to Swank. Tie dye it all from t-shirts to towels and socks to scrunchies. The no-mess squeeze bottles and gloves are easy for any size hand to use. This is a great indoor activity for rainy days, slumber parties, birthdays, and home-school art activities.

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STEAM School Painting Science
$18.99; 4+
BrightStripes.co
Boys and girls are introduced to the wonders of symmetry by making folded paintings then watching a paper flower bloom! Basic science concepts like optical illusions and capillary action will wow young scientists and future mathematicians, right at the kitchen table. In all, five fun art projects introduce math and science concepts while getting creative.

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Paint Your Own Squishy
$15.99; 8+
Amazon.com
This super slow rise Squishy Kit has all you need to paint your own adorable octopus squishy, along with a color mixing chart. Play, poke, stretch, squeeze and squish. Squishy toys are great for calm, focus, increasing hand strength, and help relieve anxiety in kids. Kit contains specially curated puffy paint for squishies in teal, orange, white and purple, one brush, and a large squishy octopus.

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PaperCraft Dolls Sweet Boutique
$12.99; 3+
EducationalInsights.com
Customize your own outfits and model them on adorable paper dolls. Design tops, bottoms, dresses, and more any way you like. Then mix, match and style and let your custom creations (and your imagination) shine with pretend fashion shows that encourage creativity. The PaperCraft Sweet Boutique package transforms into a playset, complete with cardboard accessories, that is part of the sustainable playtime experience.

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Face Paintoos – Licensed
$11.99; 4+
Amazon.com
Face Paintoos now feature popular characters from Disney Frozen 2, Marvel Avengers, Marvel Spider-Man and Disney Princess. Children love dressing up, role play and parties…and they love getting their face painted. Allows for all of the fun and detailed designs of face painting without the hassle of wet paint and the expense of a professional face painter. 

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My Cat Mermaid & Friends
$19.99; 4+
Klutz.com
Build fine motor skills and learn to sew with a cat-tastic mermaid and her sweet sea critter friends. Start with simple lacing cards featuring a seashell and sea star, before you dive into the three felt projects: seahorse, narwhal, and a cute cat mermaid. Get creative by decorating your undersea friends with felt stickers and glittery embellishments.

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Paint & Peel Jelly Stickers
$19.99; 6+
Klutz.com
Use custom jelly paint to trace sticker designs from penguins to rainbows, then simply let the paint dry. This kit comes with everything you need to make up to 60 reusable stickers and then decorate them with rhinestones and wiggly eyes. These stickers are perfect for phone cases, water bottles, and screens. They're guaranteed to glam up your gear.

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Scribble Scrubbie Pets Cloud Clubhouse
$14.99; 3+
Caroyla.com
Includes an exciting new Scribble Scrubbie innovation (colored pets!) that you can color for even more fun. This set also includes a rainbow slide, a rainwater shower and a cloud environment that doubles as a storage solution. 

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Tropical Tie Die Soap
$12.99; 6+
Klutz.com
The kit includes a sudsy soap base that melts easily in a microwave or double boiler. Add the custom scent, then pour the soap into the molds of your choice. You'll also find for using the included materials in creative ways and whipping up spa recipes with ingredients you can find in your kitchen.

Published: December 2021

STEM Toys and Games

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Educational games and toys that support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are all the rage. Check out some of this year's great products that support STEM learning at home.

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Snap Circuits MyHome
$74.99; 8+

https://shop.elenco.com/consumers/myhome.html
Electricity is everywhere–even in your home. Whether you live in a city skyscraper or a house in the country, our homes are powered by electricity, and it’s easy to learn. Build a house or city tower with real, working, 3-D circuits, just like the ones you use every day. Learn about circuitry, security systems, dimmer switches, automatic lights, alarms, motion detectors, fan speeds, appliance motors, generators, and much more.

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GeoSafari Jr. KidScope
$39.99; 5+
EducationalInsights.com

The KidScope is a perfect introduction to slide microscopes and receiving hands-on practice with a real scientific tool. Kidscope teaches kids as young as give how to stage a slide and focus a microscope, offering kid-friendly magnification and 15 printed slides with 4 unique images on each one. Supports STEM learning. Features a rotating stage, double-eye viewer, focus knob, rotating dial stage, LED light and slide storage drawer.

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Jurassic Park Chess Set 
$45; 7+
NobelCollection.com
Travel to Jurassic Park where dinosaurs dominate this chess match. Complete with 32 finely sculpted game pieces with a full graphic chess board, this chess set will transport you right into the island where dinosaurs roam the earth! Will you come out on top as you battle your opponent among these predators?

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Blinks Starter Set with 9 Games
$129; All ages
Move38.com
World's first smart tabletop game system – built with AI-powered intelligent game pieces that respond to your touch, communicate with each other, and think for themselves. Every piece knows its own game and can learn new games. Blinks are completely modular, so the more Blinks you have, the bigger games and experiences you can create. 

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Make a Fort
$99; 4+
Makeafort.fun
Forts, mazes, puzzles, tunnels and mansions--there's no limit to what you can create. Each kit is made from recycled cardboard. The panels are super strong, and there's no need for adhesives. The panels also easily slide together, so you can use your imagination to make super cool designs. Your young artist can color the panels any way they wish. 

Skyrocket Sky Viper Nano Drone

Sky Viper Nano Drone 
$19.99; 12+
Target.com
The Sky Viper Dash Nano Drone is a 2” compact sized drone that is great for flying indoors. This ultra-durable drone features auto launch and land, and one-touch stunts. 

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The Young Scientists Club Extreme Fossil Dig
$19.99; 6+

TheYoungScientists.com
Walk in the footsteps of a paleontologist as you use the excavation tools, like a mallet and chisel, to dig through stone and find 18 real hidden fossils — from shark teeth to dino bones and ancient sea creatures. Then, remove the dig particles with the brush and use the magnifying glass for an up-close-and-personal look at your findings — refer to the bonus poster and collector cards to identify them all, and keep them safe inside the fossil bags! 

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Star Trek Tridimensional Chess Set
$145; 4+
NobleCollection.com
Enter an intergalactic chess expedition with the Star Trek Tridimensional Chess Set. This chess set is an authentic prop replica of the iconic Tridimensional Chess Set, as seen in the classic TV series Star Trek. With three main playing boards and four moveable “attack boards”, this unique chess measures 13 inches tall. Featuring translucent acrylic game boards and 32 die cast pieces, this chess set will have you taking on the next villain in a new dimension.  

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Deluxe Studio Science STEM SCHOOL
$32.99; 4+
BrightStripes.com
Count ‘em — ten amazing arts and crafts projects are stuffed in one deluxe studio set! Each activity has fun science, math and engineering learning embedded in each one. With fully illustrated colorful experiment cards, kids will be completely engaged playing with gears, painting, building with conductive light-up dough, making paper gliders and so much more. But you’ll know they are also learning about the cycles of time, engineering, symmetry, electricity, shapes, and aerodynamics!

Easy Electric Circuits
$29.95; ThamesandKosmos.com

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The Butterfly Nursery
$39.99; 4+
LakeshoreLearning.com
Kids watch caterpillars grow, spin silk and form chrysalises, then emerge as butterflies! Our big nursery lets children observe the butterfly life cycle from every angle—they can even decorate it with leaves and flowers! Nursery comes with all you need: a stand for tabletop setup, feeding supplies, a coupon for 3-5 caterpillars (includes shipping), a guide, and a zippered mesh cover for easy feeding and viewing.

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Solar-Powered Rovers
$19.95; 8+
Store.ThamesandKosmos.com
Build three types of solar cars, a solar fan, and a solar robot model. Conduct science experiments with each model to learn about gear ratios, solar cells, and more.

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See it Grow Plant Lab
$29.99; 6+
LakeshoreLearning.com
Seeds grow right before your eyes. You get three plexiglas greenhouses containing a nontoxic gel that accelerates growth and gives children a clear view of the roots. The gel contains all the nutrients the plants need—no watering required. Lab includes all you need for 3 plants.

 

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SmartLab Toys Storm Watcher Weather Lab
$29.99; 7+
Amazon.com
Lets kids conduct experiments involving wind speed, wind direction, temperature, rainfall, atmospheric pressure, the water cycle, evaporation, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, drought, and more. The 32-page book gives kids a thorough understanding of what causes local weather and how it relates to climate change. 

Updated: December 2021

Subscription Reviews

Special Products for Special Times

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We are all in this together! Here are some products for these uncertian times, from face coverings to family games to hand sanitizer.

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Work Wonnie
$79.99; WorkWonnies.com
The world’s first and only, one-piece business/leisure apparel combo. It’s basically a full-sized onesie that is a comfortable pair of sweats on the bottom and a more business-like dress shirt on top. Business on top, home-office party on the bottom.

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NuWave OxyPure Smart Air Purifier
$599; NuWaveOxyPure.com 
Ensure your home is a safe, allergen, dust, germ and virus-free space. OxyPure is the first air purifier proven to remove coronavirus from the air. The air purifier’s advanced 5-stage filter system is designed to capture 100% of microscopic airborne particles as small as 0.09 microns. The unit is Wifi enabled and can be linked to a connected smartphone or tablet app so users can control and monitor air quality in their home – from anywhere. 

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Snapstyle Printable Face Masks 
$17.99 for 4–pack; SnapStyleMasks.com

Replicate almost any picture, pattern, or other artwork directly onto a 100% cotton, printable, protective mask using just your mobile device. Simply snap, or pull from your camera roll any picture, pattern, design and use the Mask Creator app to adjust and preview the mask. Print the mask to an inkjet printer, then cut out, fold and attach ear loops and comfort nose band using the heat-activated adhesive. 

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VitEyes Blue Light Glasses
$19.99; VitEyes.com
With an increase in e-learning, remote working, and screen time, we are bombarded by harmful blue light everywhere we look. These glasses help shield your eyes from high-energy blue light that is emitted by digital screens, such as computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions. Available in adult and kid sizes.

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Crep Face Mask
$12; CrepProtect.com
Uses a soft, breathable foam, providing an additional layer of comfort during wear. The ergonomic toggle strap design allows it to be adjusted to fit any face, whilst completely covering the lower half of the face. The adjustable nose bridge creates an additional function to personalise your fit, while the discreet inside pocket can be lined with a breathable filter for maximum protection. Can be washed and re-worn.

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Eco Gloves Individually Packaged Gloves for On the Go
$17.95; EcoGloves.co
Provide the convenience of disposable gloves in a plant-based and compostable alternative. Two gloves packed in convenient size packets help you keep your hands clean at home and on the go and are perfect for your purse, pocket, wallet, diaper bag or anywhere you might need an emergency stash. They’re non-plastic, non-nitrile, latex free, BPA free, powder free, and paraben free so you can use them without worry. Also available in Bulk Box option.

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Essential Mask Case and the Personal Mask Case
$8.50-$10; OneLessCase.com
The Essential Mask Case portable design is ideal for individuals with a variety of mask styles that need to keep their masks clean and safe. The Personal Mask Case is a perfect solution for individuals that need portable mask storage to safely place their masks in their pockets, bags, purses, or backpacks. Ideal for active individuals that are on the go with busy personal and work schedules.

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Pocket UV-C Light Sanitizer
$42.99; TheUVCare.com
This UV-C light technology is the chemical free way to clean by simply flipping open the unit and pressing the "ON" button for five seconds. Quickly eliminate harmful germs, bacteria, viruses, allergens and molds by shining the light for a few seconds within 1/4 inch of the surface area or object to disinfect. Perfect for sanitizing mobile phones, gadgets, keyboards, door knobs, toys, pacifiers, high chairs and countertops.

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Hadron Epoch Reusable Cotton Mask
$16; HadronEpoch.com
These handmade, reusable masks are made of 100% cotton with an opening to insert a disposable filter. Masks have been washed prior, sanitized with high heat steam, and are shipped in FDA compliant poly bags with protection from moisture and light to ensure maximum safety.

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Smile Window Learning Lovey Masks
$9.95; BabyJackandCompany.com
Include a translucent, plastic window for improved cognitive development and easy lip-reading to encourage communicating while wearing a facemask. Made of breathable, 2-ply, micro-poly with vibrant colors and patterns. "Smile window" made of breathable acrylic poly film. Kids and adult sizes available (one size fits most). 20% of all sales donated to Starlight Children's Foundation to support families with ill children.

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Children's Face Shield - 5 Pack
$19.99; Ripclear.com
Comes in 2 different fun styles that your child will enjoy wearing. It's also designed with comfort in mind - lined with 3/4" foam around the forehead to reduce pressure points, and held in place with a soft elastic headband. These face shields are kids size and offer full face protection against splashes and sprayed particles. 

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Fall Purple Face Masks with Earloops
$12; 
RockSaltApparel.Etsy.com
Enjoy the fall in style with Rock Salt Apparel's autumn purple adjustable face mask. 6% of the profits go to protecting the ocean. It's made with ethical manufacturing practices, including low-environmental-impact water-based ink. Matching leggings available.

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Earth to Skin Hand Sanitizers
$6.99 for 6-pack; Walmart.com
A line of affordable naturally inspired high powered skincare. The sanitizer line is safe, soothing, effective and best of all comes in delectable scents and luxurious formulations for the full family. Available in an array of scents such as Watermelon, Coconut + Aloe, Lemon + Basil and Blueberry. 

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Marcellamoda NY
$14; marcellamodanyc.com

Unisex face masks featuring cotton, nose wires, adjustable ear loops and reusable filters. Providing designer style and all day comfort for both women and men, they’re the essential wardrobe accessory that keeps you safe while looking good. 

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SwaddleDesigns Cloth Cotton Masks
$9.99; SwaddleDesigns.com
SwaddleDesigns converted their Seattle-area baby blanket production facility to manufacture cloth masks. They use cotton fabrics consistent with CDC recommendations. Two cotton face mask options: 1) 2-layer 100% Cotton Flannel Masks designed to filter airborne particles. The flannel is baby soft, lightweight and breathable. Features ear elastic and headband elastic for secure fit. 2) 3-layer 180 thread count woven 100% Cotton Chambray. The masks come with an adjustable, bendable nose piece for snug fit and ear elastic. 

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Virus Card Game
$14.88; Walmart.com
When Goliath launched the card game, Virus, in January of this year, it never expected a global pandemic to boost consumer sales by 10 times overnight. Now, the company is giving back and all proceeds from the game will go to the World Health Organization during the month of April to support research necessary to stop the pandemic. For ages 8 and up.

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Communication Window Mask 
$15.99-$19.99; https://adcohearing.com/collections/adco-brand-masks
Addresses the growing need for accessibility due to the requirements for face masks. For those with hearing loss who rely on the ability to lip read, face masks present a real barrier to effective communication. These masks work to address this issue while ensuring that all safety standards are met regarding mask protocols. Made with 100% Kona cotton fabric (window is made with a clear vinyl material) with elastic earloops for comfort and ease-of-use. A portion of each purchase is used to help provide free masks to nonprofit organizations across the country.

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Eczema Honey Wellbeing Kit
$16.99; EczemaHoneyCo.com

Includes a reusable face covering, a comfy pair of cotton gloves, and a travel size hand sanitizer. The reusable and washable face covering is triple layered and a great alternative to disposable face masks. Made in the USA with 100% cotton on the outside and a pleated polyester layer in the center. These Cotton Gloves are a super comfortable way to provide a barrier between your skin and the environment. The fragrance-free gel formula hand sanitizer is a simple and convenient to use antiseptic rub. 

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Child Fabric Face Masks
$9.95; BabyJackandCompany.com
Masks are soft and breathable microfiber polyester Learning Lovey fabric cloth, 2 ply with elastic. Reversible with plain white fabric inside. One size fits most. 

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When the World Stays Inside by Mikey Woz
$12.99;  Amazon.com
A refreshingly positive, whimsical book that reminds us all of the importance of finding beauty in the seemingly mundane and uncovering the bright side of any situation. Using clever, Seussian-style rhymes, When the World Stays Inside aims to empower children through gentle prompts that encourage them to be creative, move their bodies and find new ways to play when the weather or other external force causes them to stay indoors. Created during the 2020 pandemic is about all of the exciting things we can do to pass the time indoors, and teaches us to cherish that special time we spend with the people we love.

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Closca Mask + 6 Filters
$22; Closca.com
Closca Mask is a filter container with an internal pocket that can incorporate different type of filters. The pack includes six high protection washable filters that once placed inside the pocket fits in the mask, as well as a nose adjustment piece for optimised comfort and covering. The reusable box contains a Closca Mask, a hygienic bag and six washable filters.

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Everyone's Hand Sanitizer Spray
$17.99 for 6 count; Walmart.com

Harnessing the power of moisturizing ingredients like Vegetable Glycerin and Organic Jojoba Oil, this spray keeps your hands feeling soft and nourished without the addition of triclosan, benzalkonium chloride, phthalates, parabens, synthetic fragrance and dyes found in most hand sanitizers. Enriched with the natural scents of pure essential oils. 

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Britanica for Parents
Free; Parents.Britannica.com
Britannica for Parents provides information, resources, and advice from trusted experts in child development and early education. The site contains articles by different experts, activities, and tips to make everyday life more fun and interesting.  The site is divided into four sections: 1) Curious Learners offers everything from advice on how to advance listening skills to how to talk to your kids about diversity, to what COVID-19 means for your family. 2) Tech Savvy Family focuses on how to balance screen time and what apps and games to use to make screen time a valuable experience. 3) The Power of Play arms parents with activity ideas, as well as recommendations for toys that teach. 4) Raising a Human provides parenting advice on current trends like how to get your child to wear a mask to more traditional topics like recycling and books for bedtime.

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California Face Mask or Bandana
$13-$14; MapTote.com

Handmade fabric face mask with graphic icons that illustrate our love for California. Stay safe with this stylish mask. Made of two layers of 100% cotton recycled flour sac, with slot for filter. Two elastic ties for ear loops. Available in natural and blue.  These versatile bandanas can be used for everything from a headband to a handkerchief, napkin, or even wall art. Available in navy, chambray, natural and red.

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Unisex Mask Bundle
$75; GiftGowns.com

Want some functional, trendy, and cozy masks perfect to add to your wardrobe? This bundle is the perfect combo to help you feel more safe and secure during your day-to-day activities. Features two layers of cotton, a pocket to insert a filter, fits snugly across your face, classic and cute design on the front, breathable and machine washable. 

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CalmOptics Glasses
$64.99-$119.99; CalmOptics.com
Social distancing and quarantine measures are responsible for a blue light boom. Now that we have endless time to sit in front of our digital screens, protecting our eyes has become an important topic. These trendy blue light blocking glasses help reduce the eye strain caused by your digital screens. All glasses are non-prescription so everyone can benefit from this blue light solution. Available in Adult, Teen and Kid sizes.

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Basic Care Package
$27.50; PPEGifts.com

All the personal protection equipment in one small box. This set includes: (5) 3-Ply premium civil defense face masks with embedded metal nose guard, (1) disposable KN95 face mask (95% filtration efficiency against dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne irritants), (1) 3.3 oz 70% ethyl alcohol hand sanitizer, (1) pair of scratch-resistant safety glasses with 99% UV protection.

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Independence Mask by Indie Source
$16; IndieSource.com
This Los Angeles-based clothing manufacturer pivoted immediately when Angelenos were told they had to wear face masks in public. The manufacturing company nimbly adjusted its production capabilities to construct and ship out fabric face masks to those in need. Currently, for every mask that is sold, one is donated to a Los Angeles based front line worker.

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HÄNS Ultra-Clean Formula
$14.95; Hans-Swipe.com
Contains roughly 2.5 times the amount of active ingredients as the leading disinfecting/sanitizing wipes. Formulated to clean phones, tablets, computer touchscreens, keyboards, AirPods, VR glasses, covers, cases, cables, chargers and much more. Accompanied by the Microfiber Cleaning Cape, the cape transfers the wetness of the solution onto the surface it is cleaning; reminiscent of a cleaning wipe and is antibacterial treated and washable for continued just-like-new use.

Updated January 2021

San Diego Family's 2016 Summer Toy Review

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Summer is the season of fun, especially for kids!
We’ve compiled the hottest parent-approved and kid-tested toys of the summer! These toys are sure to provide hours of enjoyment and entertainment for your kids..

Click the link here to view the Summer Toys pdf file

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Updated: May 2021

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