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12 Simple, Affordable Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids & Tweens

21 Dec

3 More shopping days to go! Do you have your stockings ready to be stuffed?

Yesterday, our Toy Insider Mom visited ABC Now You Know and gave her suggestions for stocking stuffers kids will love!

All of the items mentioned can be found for under $25 and she even has some suggestions for Tweens!

Take a look-

(Click image to view)
ABC Now you know stocking stuffers


Below (from left to right) are items suggested in the segment-

1.) Thomas & Friends Buildable 2- in-1 sets $5.99

2.) Furreal Fuzzy Frenzys $7.99

3.) Grab and Go Games $11.99

4.) Diary of a Wimpy Kid $7.99

5.) Rubik’s Slide $19.99

6.) Color Blanks $12.99

7.) Hello Kitty Glow Board  $19.99

8.) Groovy Girls $19.99

9.) Sharper Image Photo Keychain $20

10.) Steif Plush Keychain $14.50

11.) Carolle Babi 11.99

12.) Lennon Sisters Best Pals $25.00


Holiday Crafting For Kids

20 Dec

Kids love crafting! One thing they love even more? Crafting up gifts for those they love.

The holiday season is especially great for various crafting activities because kids can craft to their hearts desire creating gifts for friends, family and teachers.

For more durable handmade gifts, you can purchase crafting kits for your children to create their own Picasso painting, ceramics, and foam-fetti picture frames, snowmen and other creatures!

But when it comes to the smaller gifts for friends and neighbors- we love candy cane crafts like these reindeer ornaments!

Photo credit: Talented Kid Zone


We even love attaching these to gift tags on gifts! They are just too sweet! {pun intended}

Here is how you can make your own Reindeeer ornaments-


  • Candycanes
  • Thread
  • brown yarn
  • wiggly eyes
  • small red pompoms
  • tape
  • glue gun


  • Place two candy canes side by side (Candycane hooks  facing in opposite directions) and tape together.
  • Cut  thread and tape a loop onto one side of the joined canes (this will be the back)
  • Starting at the bottom of the 2 joined candy canes, tie a knot around both and begin wrapping with brown yarn. (Stop wrapping when you get to the hooks)
  • Using hot glue (always with parent supervision!) glue on two googly eyes and one red pom nose on to the yarn.

Holiday Time Means Baking Time

15 Dec

I am not an avid baker.

In fact, through out the year my baking typically consists baking boxed cakes & brownies with my friends Betty (Crocker) and Duncan (Hines), but the holidays are the exception to the rule. During the holidays I morph into baking queen, bust out the apron and begin my holiday cookie tradition.

I bake mexican wedding cakes and peanut butter cookies

Pecan tassie cookies-

And as of last year, I began baking my mother-in-law’s famous

Tri-colored cookies-

Can you say YUM? They are to die for!

And since it *is* the season of giving. I am going to share the recipe with my fellow Big To Book Moms & Dads!

  • 4 egg whites – separated
  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 drops red food coloring
  • 5 drops green food coloring
  • 8 oz seedless apricot preserve
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line three 9×13 inch baking pans with parchment paper. (I use tin pans)
  2. In a medium bowl, break up almond paste with a fork, and mix with butter, sugar, and egg yolks. When mixture is fluffy and smooth, stir in flour to form a dough. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the dough. Divide dough into 3 equal portions in separate bowls. Mix one portion with red food coloring, and one with green food coloring- leave the 3rd alone. Spread each portion into one of the prepared baking pans like so:          .                         .              .
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Carefully remove from pan and parchment paper, and cool completely on wire racks.
  4. Heat and strain apricot preserve.
  5. Place green layer onto a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap all three layers. Spread green layer with apricot preserve, and top with uncolored layer. Spread with more apricot preserve, and top with pink layer. Transfer layers to a baking sheet, and enclose with plastic wrap. Place a weight on top of wrapped layers to compress.  I use books, you can use a heavy cutting board too.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
  7. Remove plastic wrap. Top with melted chocolate chips, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until chocolate is firm.
  8. Slice into small squares to serve.


Do you have a holiday cookie you make every year? Feel free to share in the comments!

– Corine


2010 Holiday ALL-DAY Toy Extravaganaza {Twitter Party}

29 Nov

Now that we have all had a chance to check out some of the great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we here are The Big Toy Book are ready to ring in the holiday season with our annual Holiday Toy Extravaganza!

Last year we partied online all day long with over 300 of you and gave away over 18 of the hottest holiday toys!

Since it worked out so well last year with our hourly pre-party leading up to our official Twitter Party we decided to do the same this year. After all, we want to make sure you all get a chance to join in the fun!

(Never been to a Twitter Party? … No worries! Get the details on how to participate here)

Here is how our 2010 Extravaganza will work–


Follow us official Twitter handle: @TheBigToyBook

Follow our Big Toy Book Moms and Toy Experts: @Toyinsidermom @ToyTrendExpert @ToyBookShopGirl @ToyBook

RSVP by leaving your twitter handle in the comments below

Between the hours of 12pm and 5pm we will be giving you a chance to win a pre-party prize!


Monster High Doll (Exact Style TBA)


Lego Duplo Set (58 pcs)


Velcro Kids Pirate Ship


LaLaLoopsie Doll (Exact style TBA)


Mighty Beanz Star Wars


Fuzzoodles (Exact set TBA)


{{ Take a break… grab some dinner… put the little ones to bed…. pour a glass of wine…}}


JOIN US BACK ON TWITTER at 9pm (ET) for even more chances to win!

Our toy experts will be talking about trends, answering your questions and giving suggestions for little ones of all ages on your list!

During our chat we will be giving away the 8 more hot- holiday-toys:

Mega Bloks Ultimate Action Dragon Destroyer

Olivia 2-in-1 Transforming Playset

LalaLoopsie Doll (exact doll TBA)

Fin Fin Friends Tropical Aquarium

Bop It Bounce

Toy Story- Buzz Blast Off

Twinkle Twinkle Little Violet

Paper Jamz Guitar







$50 Big Toy Book Cash for you to do some holiday shopping in our Private Sale Store!

Grand Prize $50 Big Toy Book Cash

To win our GRAND PRIZE: Help us spread the word by retweeting this message

” Join This Holiday’s Biggest Toy Extravaganza w/ #thebigtoybook Tues. Nov 30 ALL DAY LONG”

See you there!

Contesting details:

Winners will be chosen by random draw and Q & A participation.

Winners at pre-party are eligible to win at 9pm Party.

1 prize per person at 9pm party.

All winners must be present to win. If winner does not respond within 24 hours we reserve the right to choose another winner.