Tag Archives: Toy Insider Mom

Educational toys and accessories under $25

16 Sep

Kids are officially back to school!
Earlier this week The Toy Insider Mom, Laurie Schacht talked about some of the school gear kids will love as well as some educational toys that will keep them thinking. And the best part? They of the toys on the list are less than $25!

To see full segment click here.

Penguin Young Readers (Penguin Books)
Penguin early reader books are offered in a variety of fun and loveable preschool character including- “Butterfly Girl, “Skippy Jon Jones”, “Corduroy” & more.

MSRP: $16.99 each for the books; $9.99 each for plush
Ages: 2+

I Spy Ready to Read Game (Briarpatch)
Get ready to read! Develops verbal, pre-reading skills and letter, shape and pattern recognition.

MSRP: $16.99
Ages: 4+

Time and Space Projection Alarm Clock (Blue Hat)
This rocket-shaped alarm clock projects a digital clock display against vivid galactic images on any wall or ceiling.
MSRP $19.99
Ages: 3+

Angry Birds Multi Pocket Backpack (Accessory Innovations)
Head to class in style with Angry Birds backpacks featuring smart details and spacious designs, including extra durable zippers, multiple pockets and organizers to keep everything close at hand.
MSRP: $24.99
Ages: 3+

Shains Notebook (Shainsware)
Personalize the cover with your name, class subject, or decorate and change it whenever you want.
Comes with 60 elements for personalization.
MSRP: $16.00
Ages: 7+

Uglydoll School Planner (Ugly Doll)
Makes it easy to get and stay organized!
MSRP: $14.99
Ages: 10+

Squinkies™ Bubble Packs (Blip Toys)
Squinkies are great as pencil toppers, too
Collections include your favorite Disney® Princesses, Barbie® and Hello Kitty®, as well as themed sets boys will love too; from monsters to aliens, to Cars 2, to Marvel super heroes
MSRP $9.99
Ages: 4+

Counting Money Jar (Summit Toy)
This handy jar will count your coins and digitally display your savings.
With Balance Guard ™, it remembers your balance…even if you have to replace the batteries.

MSRP: $9.99
Ages: 5+

Scruble Cube (RSV Entertainment)
Players rotate and twist rows and columns of the cube, with the goal to rearrange letters to create new words.
One word is formed per turn and can range from 3 to 16 letters spelled horizontally, vertically and, uniquely, around multiple faces of the cube. Each of the 96 letter pegs is assigned a point value.

MSRP: $24.99
Ages: 8+

20Q™ (Techno Source)
The new 20Q is an updated version of the best-selling electronic game of twenty questions.
Players think of any animal, vegetable, mineral or other object, and 20Q magically reads their minds by deducing the answer in twenty questions or less.

MSRP:  $12.99
Ages 6+

Inkoos (The Bridge Direct)
Inkoos are funky, quirky characters that are drawn to life with a little “Inkspiration”!
By using the Inkoos’ amazing washable markers, creative tweens can express themselves by drawing, designing and decorating their Inkoos into anything they imagine.
Then with a spin in the washing machine, Inkoos are ready to be designed all over again!
MSRP: $7.99
Ages: 4+


Traveling with kids this spring break? We have tips!

22 Apr

With the weather warming up and the kids on break and looking forward to summer, many families are beginning to plan their family vacation.

Traveling with kids can be challenging- especially when the trip is long- but if you are prepared with all the right toys and travel gear your traveling experience can be headache free.

The Toy Insider visited “Money Matters” this morning to give her very best tips on how to occupy kids on the go!

Toy Insider Mom Travel Tips:

– Start with a great mom bag that keeps all of your travel toys and gear in one place,
always ready to go!

– Pack lots of healthy snacks and something to drink—no-spill cups and containers are

– Look for toys that are portable and small enough to throw in any carry on bag;
storage compartments are key if there are tiny pieces.

– Toys that make noise should have volume control

– Keep travel toys separate from house toys to make them new and exciting for kids

For families traveling on spring break, here are some great toys and games that will keep the
kids entertained without breaking the bank:
Graco Carina Flap Messenger (Baby Boom Consumer Products)
Spacious interior holds everything needed for your outings
Lots of pockets (7 total) to keep you organized and allow for easy access
Removable changing pad for on-the-go diapering
Adjustable strap for comfy carrying
MSRP: $19.00

Snack Catchers (Munchkin)
Easy access for little hands, with no spills
Holds 9 oz. of dry snacks
Protective bottom keeps tabletops scratch-free
A place to write child’s name on the bottom
BPA free
Top rack dishwasher safe
Ages: 12+ months
MSRP: $7.50 for 2-pack

Nûby No-Spill™ Easy Grip Cup (Love n’ care)
Valveless, leak resistant spout ensures no spills! Made from the same safe, soft silicone material as Nûby™ nipples, gentle on your child’s tender gums  Unique contour shape easily fits small hands
BPA free
Ages: 6+ months
MSRP: $2.99

Are We There Yet? Keep Me Comfy Neck Rests & I.D. Tags (Aurora)
Neck Rests: Makes long trips easier with soft & cuddly support for sleepy heads.  Ideal for napping on planes, trains, buses and automobiles
Ages: 18mos+
MSRP: $13
ID Tags: Clip on kids bags and backpacks, in case they get lost.
Ages: 3+
MSRP: $ $6.00

Beat the Parents (Spin Master)
Parents and kids go head to head in this fun filled family trivia game that puts your knowledge of the other generation to the test Adults answer questions about kids’ stuff, and the kids answer questions their parents should really know
A perfect travel card game for families to play in the car or while on vacation
Ages: 6+
MSRP: $5.99

Mini Games to Go (Briarpatch)
“Play’em, Clip’em, Take’em, Collect’em!  Mini Games to Go are compact card games you can play anywhere
After you play, just clip’em to your backpack or belt. Assortment includes: I Spy Memory Game, I Spy Shadow Match Game, Fancy Nancy Game, Dino Duel Game, Pirates Brawl, Princess Matching Game
For 1,2,3, – 4 players per game
Ages: 4+
MSRP $4.99 each

Fun on the Run Games (Hasbro)
Fun on the Run Games are compact, travel-size versions of the classic games we love
Assortment includes Connect 4, Hungry, Hungry Hippos, Battleship and more
For 2 players
Ages: 4-7+
MSRP: $5.99 each

SpongeBob SquarePants Clam Catching Game (Cardinal)
Mini fishing game perfect for the car, plane or bus
Catch the moving clams while the board is spinning
The player with the most clams wins!
For 2 Players
Ages: 4+
MSRP: $2.00

Elmo Travel Songs and Games on DVD (Warner Home Video)
Lots of travel fun starring Sesame Street favorites Elmo and Abby
Follows Elmo and Abby as they embark on a fun-filled road trip to the zoo with Elmo’s Dad
To help pass the time, they play stimulating travel games featuring the alphabet, counting, shapes and rhyming
Sing along with them to family favorites “Let’s Go Driving” and “The Bear Went Over The Mountain,” as well as the new “Are We There Yet?” song
Don’t forget to buckle up and go to the bathroom before you go on your trip, Elmo shows you why that is important!
On DVD May 3, 2011
MSRP: $14.98

Mad Libs On The Road (Penguin Books)
Help create car songs, spot some historical sights, even stop at a roadside diner–with a Mad Libs® twist, of course!
Includes 21 stories to fill-in-the-blanks – educates and entertains simultaneously
There is also an iDevice app edition that allows fans to email their wacky stores to friends from the car ride itself!
Ages: 8+
MSRP: $3.99

3D Dry-Erase Activity Set (Crayola)
Unique surface lets kids draw cool, eye-popping art and amazingly bright messages
Images appear as if they are floating without 3D glasses!
The board comes with Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Crayons in bright colors that burst off the board with boldness for doubly dazzling drawings!  Washable dry-erase crayon formula makes it easy to remove marks from walls, clothing and skin  convenient built-in crayon holder on front keeps contents organized
Includes: 5 Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons, E-Z erase mitt and crayon sharpener
Ages: 5+
MSRP: $12.99

Soaking Up Summer Time Fun On The Streets Of NYC

26 Jul

Today our Toy Insider Mom, Laurie Schacht did a segment on Good Day New York highlighting some of the great new toys out this summer.

My son and daughter got to demonstrate the toys- they had a blast!

My son road the Whiplash Scooter & simultaneously fell in love with LOTSO BEAR (from Toy Story). My daughter, whos new obsession with Elmo was all about the Elmo Rid On Toy and The Adorable Dora Bubble blower… and well ALL of the kids could not get enough of the Sand and Water Table!

Yes, all was fun in toy land. So fun, that the “big kids” couldn’t resist getting in on the action.

Their toys of choice though? The Air Hog Plane, The Monster Truck… and The Super Soakers! … Oh, the Super Soakers… and well- you take a look for your self-

Can you guess who did not win that water fight?  ha ha

Laurie got caught in the line of fire, but she didn’t mind because it was so hysterically funny.  The whole segment was just fun- plain and simple… and does that really come as s surprise when we are talking about some of the coolest toys this summer?

Not. at. all.

– Corine

You can watch the entire clip here:

Featured Toys:

Whiplash Scooter

Play Up Adjustable Sand and Water Table

Sesame Street Fly With Elmo Activity Ride On

Toy Story 3 Lots-O’ Huggin’ Bear

Nickelodeon Bubble Vehicles

Rock Crawler

Nurf Super Soaker Wars Shot Blast

Air Hogs Titan

Crayola Spira Chalk Blaster

*In addition to these amazing toys, be sure to check out our Private Sale Site to see this week’s sales up to 60% off!

Spring Toys & Easter Baskets – Twitter Party Recap

26 Mar


Wow! What a great time we had at The Big Toy Book Spring Twitter Party last night! In the true Big Toy Book style, we pre-partied with many of you from Noon til 5  and even went into an after party (so many toys, so little time! ). In addition to our  many fabulous prize packs won, we had great participation and lots of ideas shared for both spring play and Easter baskets.

It is always nice to see our regulars, as well being able to welcome some new friends too!  These twitter parties happen so quickly that we thought it would be great to go over some of the new and fun items that we gave away.  -Some of our lucky winners are receiving toys that have not even hit store shelves yet!!
Since we’ve all been talking to much about games lately, let’s begin there.
Bubble Talk, by Techno Source (*not on shelves yet, but we have a few more for our Friday giveaways.)
This is a great game that I’ve already mentioned my family loves (and remember, I have teens that are very picky).   It’s an easy game to play. You simply place a photo in the middle for players (or teams) to use the “Thought bubble” cards they’ve been dealt to find the funniest caption the photo. Once everyone has submitted their caption, the judge of the round picks the best one (new judge every round).  The player/team that makes the most “funnies” wins!! (Our own teen insider is quite good at this game).
Guesstimation by Discovery Bay Games
This is another new favorite! I was never good at trivia and would hide when a trivia game came out to play…but no more!  In Guesstimation, the closest guess wins! So we all have a chance to win- everyone can guess! A question will be asked, for example:  “How many pizza’s are made each day in NYC”. Everyone then puts in their guess and even if you’re off by millions- if you are the closest you will win the round.  It’s a lot of fun and as with all games, the appeal is that every time you play a game…it’s different.  The other appeal is that games are priced well!
The Wave G2 by Street Surfing
Spring is in the air and when the rain subsides, pull out that bikes, scooters and especially the Wave G2!  The Wave is an inline action board. It’s a combination of surfing  and skating and it’s an awesome ride.  My kids are great, I’m better on their Whiplash (I need to hold on).
Crayola, Crayola, Crayola
It’s a name we all grew up with, and continue to find new reasons to love it today. At our Pre-Party, we gave away Jumble Blocks. These are great chunky blocks for little hands.  They come in packs of 12 and 20 and are ideal for keeping little hands busy and active while on the go- so be sure to keep 3 or 4 (various colors) in your diaper bag at all times!
Crayola Dry Erase Travel Kit (*not yet on shelves)
We talked about this product a few weeks ago and so we just had to give one away.  This is a product I wouldn’t leave home without, it is perfect for keeping in the car so it’s “special” for traveling, making your look forward to those long rides (or at least keep them busy for them!).
More great outdoor fun by Crayola. You put the chalk in the spinner, attach to the launcher, give a twist and create beautiful colorful designs on the sidewalk.  I tested this one out on 5th ave in front of my office – 5th avenue sidewalks have never looked so pretty
Speaking of toys I’ve played with on 5th avenue,
Optrix 3D Butterfly Dip and Blow Bubble Set from Imperial Toy
This toy was included in one of the baskets we gave away at the Party. It’s truly the best and is perfect for both spring and Easter baskets. Here’s the scoop-
Like many bubble sets, you put bubbles in the tray and use a wand— but, unlike other bubble sets–Ready for this?
You put on special glasses and can watch (in the sunlight) how your magic bubbles create butterflies.  You had to see the crowd on 5th watching me blow bubbles… kind of funny!


Disney Fairies Tiny Tink & Friends Pop-Up Tea Kettle Playset by Playmates

What little girl doesn’t love Disney Fairies?  This is the only small doll mini playset where girls can bring the magic of Disney to life through a beautiful Tea Kettle playset.

. .

Ugly Dolls

What party would be complete without these lovable, adorable, ugly guys? Certainly not a Big Toy Book Party! I have one in my office, my teenage girls beds are lined with them (still) and my 8yr old niece has a full collection too. Even the President’s daughter is a fan- and who can blame all of us? They are so ugly but so cute! They come in various sizes and are popularly collected by school kids on their backpacks.


Rubiks Touch Cube, by Techno Source

This was our final Grand Prize… and what a prize it is! It has what I refer to as the “i” touch technology and is really cool for all ages. Best of all, never again will you be left twisting the cube, and never finding the solution.   Play it alone, challenge yourself with friends, but most of all- as with all of the toys we talk about- Have fun!!


All items we talked about at the party are available to purchase on The Big Toy Book Store, where you can also view a complete list of our spring toy suggestions.

We look forward to seeing you at our  TGIF Friday giveaways at 2pm (et) every week as well as staying in touch all week long, and helping make you toy purchasing experience easy and enjoyable at your favorite destination, The Big Toy Book!

Happy Spring!


Leap Frog Tag Junior- Is 16 Months really too young?

3 Mar


Is there an issue with giving my 16 month old a Leap Frog Tag Junior? He loves books, but didn’t know if there was any reason not to give it to him, as it is recommended for 2 years +.

-Twitter Follower, Abby Winters

There are two key reasons that manufacturers of all toys list an age, first and foremost is safety.  On this particular item, I don’t believe that’s much of an issue (we always worry about small parts and choking for any child under 3….and sharp or pointy edges for all children…but that is not really relevant with the Tag Junior).

The second reason they age a product is because a young child can get very frustrated with an item that is too difficult or complicated.
There’s an enormous difference in growth, physically and mentally from 16 months to 24 months.  For this reason, I do think that your child will enjoy this much more in a few months.
That being said, Leap Frog‘s Tag Junior is a sensational item that will enforce your child’s love of books and I highly recommend it for the age intended. It could make a great gift for your little one’s 2nd Birthday! 🙂
Have a question for the Toy Insider Mom? Submit them here

Join us every Wednesday, where Toy Expert and site founder Laurie Schacht is answering questions from The Big Toy Book Community.

Hot Toys For Preschool Boys

24 Feb


What are some hot new toys for preschool boys?

– Twitter Follower, Julie Davis from Finn & Tanner.
... ..
Preschool is such a fun age for play, isn’t it?

The Thomas line is a favorite among preschool boys and one of my favorites this year is a new line of Thomas and Friends by Mega Bloks. Thomas and Friends at the Quarry utilizes its box as part of the building, and I love the height and dimension that boys get to create with this line. The first of this new line will be available this spring (with plenty of additions in the fall!)


Tonka’s Chuck & Friends is another well loved character for preschool boys. This year, you can be on the look out for Tonka Chuck by Hasbro for your preschool boy. There’s a great new track set for him to do flips on and a new talking chuck as well! Preschoolers are going to love them!


Baby Genius has a full line of friends that sing and dance to both preschool boys and girls, with new DVD’s, flashlights with their favorite images lighting up the wall and even a singing broom.






When it comes to preschool games, Wildplanet’s Flipper Frenzy available this fall, which is something I highlighted on the CBS morning showCBS morning show during Toy Fair. They also have a Woody’s Roundup  game due out this spring that preschoolers are going to love. Both games call for running and listening fun- which mean your preschooler gets to burn off lots of that never-ending energy we all envy.

I hope that has given you some great ideas for you and your little boy!

Have a question for the Toy Insider Mom? Submit them here

Join us every Wednesday, where Toy Expert and site founder Laurie Schacht is answering questions from The Big Toy Book Community.


Wednesday with The Toy Insider Mom: Toy Fair Trends

16 Feb

It has been one busy week with Toy Fair. So many great toys, 4 days hardly seems long enough to see them all.

Our very own Toy Insider Mom, Laurie Schacht highlighted some of the shows hottest trends this morning on The CBS Early Show and on Good Morning America! We’re very excited to share the clips with you for today’s Wednesday’s with the Toy Insider Mom post!

If you have questions you would like to submit for next week, please submit it in the form below!