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  • Preschool Toys Archives - Page 3 of 4 - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Category Archives: Preschool Toys

The search engine is rolling into the station

Here’s a quandary. Your company produces an iconic children’s toy beloved by generations. But lately, it seems like everyone is knocking off your product, and sales have slowed. How do you update your product for the 21st century, to keep it fresh and relevant for today’s kids? Well, if you’re Brio, you take a huge risk. You move away from ... Read More »

What (not) to wear

In my children’s little universe, independence is treasured beyond almost anything else. I see the evolution in sharp focus now, with a toddler who wants to do everything “by mysewf”, and a pre-kindergartener who confidently tried to make herself an ice cream sundae last week (complete with microwaving the ice cream to soften it for scooping). Getting dressed each morning ... Read More »

Bouncing balls to new heights: Ogo Sport

One of our favorite new products from Toy Fair has just come in. The Ogo is like a cross between a frisbee and a trampoline. The outer ring is inflatable, while the inside is a strong, elastic membrane. There are several ways to play with the Ogo. You can toss it like a disk, or, with a pair, you can ... Read More »

Name that tune?

International Playthings, distributor of the popular Calico Critters, is having a songwriting contest. Kids are invited to try their hand at creating a Calico Critters anthem by composing new lyrics to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Entry forms are available for download at their website. Completed entries can be dropped off in our store or mailed directly to ... Read More »

By Hook or by Book?

If you have ever listened to the radio, chances are you’ve heard the advertisements for Hooked On Phonics. For me, it was right up there with the See Clearly Method in the category of questionably miraculous products. But armed with passionate testimonials from parents and a memorable toll free number, Hooked On Phonics has enjoyed almost two decades of success. ... Read More »

Belle of the Balls

OK, so check this out. This is a ball-shaped ice cream maker, the Ice Cream Ball. You fill one end with half & half, vanilla and sugar, then you fill the other end with ice and rock salt. Shake it, roll it, and pass it ’round for 10 minutes, stir it, then give it another 10 minutes of activity and ... Read More »

Play School

School Days, by Lako Games, is a new game we discovered at Toy Fair. Designed for ages 4 and up, School Days caught our eye because we thought it was fun, which is pretty unusual with games for the very young. It’s a classic board game format, where players navigate along a path, trying to be the first to reach ... Read More »

Time’s up

A couple of months ago, my 3-year old wanted to learn to tell time. I’m actually ashamed to say that I thought it would be easy. She’s a smart little girl (really – I’m not just saying it because I’m her mother), and I thought it would be a pretty basic concept. First, I sat her down with my watch, ... Read More »

Mechanically inclined?

This is probably one of the most unique toy concepts I’ve come across in a while. Each Automoblox car comes apart into pieces, and if you have more than one car, you can rebuild the pieces to make new cars. The parts are big and chunky enough to be handled by a preschooler, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to ... Read More »

Mail call

I’m a big fan of Melissa & Doug toys. Even before I had the store, I always gravitated to their puzzles, activity toys, magnets, etc. Over the past several years, this great company has enjoyed explosive growth by employing unconventionally friendly business practices and carving a solid niche in the market. Their products have a sort of paradoxical combination of ... Read More »