Dora Discovers a New App

Dora is that classic Latina cartoon that has been around since 1999.  Dora is a very adventurous little girl with a heart of gold. She loves to go out and explore real places with the help of a map and her buddy, Boots the monkey.  In every episode you learn Spanish words and phrases. Also, she does not hold grudges, even when the mischievous fox, Swiper, tries to steal things from her.

I am so impressed with Dora that I recently stumbled upon an awesome website that I’m sure you will want to share with your kids.  On Nick Jr.’s website, they teach you everything from how to make a Dora cake, to playing games with Dora, to printing out coloring pages for kids.  There is even a new Dora app for your smartphone, which is the third learning adventure in the Nickelodeon Literacy Suite.  This app will teach your children early reading and phonics skills.  They will be ready to leap into phonics!

Dora is never afraid to explore, nor should you be.  Check out our awesome website for an impressive selection of Dora toys. From rompers to bubbles and more, I dare you to try to find something that we don’t have!


Start gearing up for back-to-school at Ty’s

It doesn’t seem possible that summer is nearly over, but for those of us who head back to school in early August, it’s a reality. Part of me weeps for the end of those halcyon days…

… and the other part of me realizes that I am remembering through rose-colored glasses that have quickly forgotten the cry of “Mom! We’re bored! What should we do?”


Anyway! Soon we’ll be back in the classroom; my little darlings will be learning important lessons, and I’ll be being hit up for Kleenex and hand sanitizer. It’s the circle of life! Or at least, the circle of public school!

Ty’s Toy Box understands that getting them there in the right mood is half the battle, so feel free to check out the new Back To School Store for all of your back-to-school needs. There’s enough backpacks in there to delight even the most hard-to-please kid, from Thomas the Tank Engine to Avatar to Dora to Hannah Montana.

(Funny, for some reason my daughter is still balking at my suggestion of the Little Miss Trouble bag. I cannot imagine why.)

Hey, I know summer flew by, but at least getting ready for back to school can be fun!

Pirate Week on Nickelodeon

If you’ve got a preschooler in the house, good news—next week Nick Jr. is hosting Pirate Week!

And really, who doesn’t love pirates? No one who’s any fun, right?

It may not be quite as much fun as International Talk Like a Pirate Day (sorry, that’s not until September), but starting June 9th, 2008, your little darlings will be able to enjoy a week of pirate-themed episodes of their favorite shows.

It’s all being kicked off with a special episode wherein The Backyardigans go to camp:

The young audience and early education television programming block Nick Jr. continues to send springtime adventures to audiences early this year, as it schedules an early June broadcast of a new episode of The Backyardigans sets to air. A fantasy-adventure series that sets its characters’ escapades to song and dance, The Backyardigans, during the second full week of June, will accompany other Nick Jr. programs during a week of pirate-themed television cartoons. Nick Jr. is a specially designed programming block airing on Nickelodeon weekdays from 9:00am-2:00pm (ET). The programming block is dedicated to preschoolers, is curriculum based, and best-of-all, commercial free.


In “Pirate Camp,” Uniqua really wants to be a pirate, so she convinces a fearful Pablo to join her at Camp Walk-A-Planka. Under the tutelage of the great pirate captain Austin, the campers learn about “pirattitude” and dance the scalawag to a Garage Band soundtrack. When Austin is captured by pirate captain Red Boots, a fearsome ghost played by Tasha, it’s up to the pirate campers to use their “pirattitude” to help set him free. But can they escape being tickled and turned into ghosts by captain Red Boots?

There will also be themed episodes of your other favorites—Wonder Pets, Max and Ruby, and Dora the Explorer.

Your favorite preschoolers shows and piracy go together like… like… chocolate and peanut butter! Or maybe gum and hair, seeing as how we are talking about preschoolers…. Either way, it looks to be a great week of programming, matey!

Add Dora to the live-action list

If I had to make a list of beloved animated children’s shows which I feel are ill-suited to become live-action movies, I couldn’t promise you that Dora the Explorer would be number 1, but it would definitely make the top 5.

I mean… I guess Spongebob might be even stranger, as a live-action affair. Though I suppose they could deal with the water through CGI.

The main problem, for me, is that Dora—while hugely popular, yes—is specifically designed to look like a computer game. A computer game for 2-to-5-year-olds. Does the same demographic that shrieks “MAP! MAP! MAAAAAAP!” at the television care if Dora is a real person as opposed to a cartoon? I think not. Additionally, live-action implies something exciting to me, something which feels even more cutting-edge and dangerous when it involves a real person.

I’m not sure how scary it’s going to be to watch Dora help little birds find their nests and stuff. Will we have an entire theater of preschoolers screaming “LOOK OUT FOR THE BIG CHICKEN, DORA!”?

Nevertheless, Nickelodeon is making a prime-time movie that will feature a real live Dora:

The show’s been a marketing bonanza for Nickelodeon, which has spun “Dora” off into a lucrative merchandising business and a live stage show.

[Nickelodeon's president of animation] Johnson says Nick will likely hold a national casting call for the live-action Dora – who will be a little older in the movie to corrall a family-oriented audience.


“Our first priority is to cast someone who’s Latina and bilingual,” she says. “We’ll cast someone between the ages of 10-13.

I thought Dora was around five or six years old, myself. Someone between 10 and 13? I dunno. Maybe she’ll suggest we all look in her PURSE for her LIPSTICK just to keep the whole feel of traditional Dora.

Clearly, I’m skeptical. We’ll see, I guess.