Get ready for Earth Day!

Earth Day is coming, and that can only mean one thing—you have extra guilt to use as leverage when your kids leave the lights on. Oh, I guess that’s not all it means. But you’re certainly going to want to seize the opportunity to get your kids excited about sharing and caring for our planet, right?

Don’t forget that the U.S. Government has a special page of Earth Day links for kids, to get you started. FamilyEducation.com has some great ideas, too.

Over at the Iddy Biddy Blog, you can read all about the PBS KIDS GO! rev-up for Earth Day, including special themed episodes of many of your favorites, from Curious George to Clifford to Maya and Miguel. And speaking of the Idbids, have you shopped the Idbids Store lately? We have organic cotton Idbids Earth Day shirts ready for personalization; they’re sure to be a hit with your little eco-warrior.

(Of course, we have all of your favorite characters from this month’s eco-themed episodes on PBS here at Ty’s Toy Box, but you already knew that.)

However you choose to get ready for Earth Day, we hope you’ll celebrate!

Wubbzy speaks for World Autism Day

Did you know that April 2nd is World Autism Day? It is! There are over 67 million people worldwide are affected by autism. This year Autism Speaks (the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization) has teamed up with a beloved children’s pal to spread the word.

Introducing the first official “SpokesWubb” for World Autism Day, none other than Wubbzy:

You may have already seen this PSA on television, but what you probably don’t know is that the folks behind Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! donated their time and resources absolutely free of charge because of their desire to help spread the word for a worthy cause. I think that’s pretty amazing.

Visit the World Autism Awareness Day site for more information, and be sure to check out how to Walk on the Web with Wubbzy, too, if you’re interested in fundraising.

Leave it to Wubbzy to remind us all that we need to love each other more. Thanks, Wubbzy!

Don’t forget to visit the Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Store here at Ty’s Toy Box for everything Wubbzy!

Happy Anniverary, Hungry Caterpillar!

Did you know that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was written in 1969? It seems hard to believe that he’s been hungry for 40 years, but it’s true! Eric Carle’s fabulous children’s books have been around for a looooong time.

I love this brief interview with Carle about the evolution of this tale:

(Seriously, don’t you just want to hug him and squeeze him and put him in your pocket? I love Eric Carle.)

How will you celebrate this auspicious occasion? Check out the official anniversary events posted to Carle’s website, or submit your own. And don’t forget to visit the World of Eric Carle Store right here at Ty’s Toy Box, too.

(Also, just feel free to randomly insert, “But he was still hungry!” into conversations. That’s how I plan to celebrate.)

All Kids Can… be part of Arthur!

Arthur. He’s just a regular kid, in a regular school, with regular problems. If you overlook the whole thing where he’s an anteater without an anteater nose (really, I never quite understood that part of it…), he’s pretty much Everykid. He’s utterly relatable.

So I’m completely loving this: From February 1st to March 31st, your child (aged 6-12) can go visit the Arthur / All Kids Can Character Search site and submit their ideas for a new character to join the cast of Arthur. Isn’t that awesome? Check it out:

Calling all ARTHUR fans! Do you have an idea for a new friend for Arthur, D.W. or Buster? Well, here’s your chance to create a character for Elwood City. ARTHUR, the award-winning PBS KIDS GO! television series, and CVS Caremark All Kids Can, a program dedicated to making life easier for kids with disabilities, are teaming up to announce the “ARTHUR/All Kids Can Character Search”!

Beginning February 1, 2009, the “ARTHUR/All Kids Can Character Search” invites children ages 6-12 to send in their ideas for a new character for Arthur. And not just any character–one who can show that having a unique ability, character trait, or disability might make life a little bit different, but not any less fun. Kids can mail in their entries, with a drawing of their character and a description of what makes them special, starting February 1, 2009. The child with the selected idea, along with their character, will be featured in a live-action segment on the ARTHUR show. In addition, he or she will receive a visit from ARTHUR creator and author Marc Brown at the child’s school, local library, or PBS member station.

I love this. How better to help kids learn about inclusion than to let them be a part of this process? Arthur continues to delight me. So get your kids to put on their thinking caps, and good luck!

Mr. President… Super-Hero?

I don’t know about you, but I spent most of yesterday glued to CNN, taking in Obamarama. (Oh… is that… not the official name for it? It seems like it ought to be.) Anyway, this phenomenon of Obama’s pop-culture popularity is something to behold, regardless of what you think of the man’s politics.

And so today I thought I’d point you at a great article about super-heroes who’ve ascended to the presidency.

Though he’s already met the Savage Dragon and Spider-Man, and will be playing a role in both Youngblood and Marvel’s Thunderbolts series, Obama is no superhero president.

While he may joke about being rocketed to earth from Krypton as a child, comic book readers know that there have been times when real super-heroes have been inaugurated as President. Often times these stories are used as springboards to explore larger topics, but more often than not, are funhouse mirrors on our own world.

It’s a must-read for any comics fan, not to mention that I’d had no idea that Obama had already been inserted into several comics, already. Fun!