Get your kids ready for the Inauguration

Regardless of your political leanings, I think it’s impossible not to feel the excitement as we get ready for the Presidential Inauguration happening tomorrow. It’s a historic time in our country’s history, and kids have been fired up about this election in a way we’ve never seen before.

Whether it was the Nickelodeon Kids Pick the President campaign or a special election-themed WordGirl, kids have been seeing election buzz for months, now. And this week, it all comes together as President Obama is sworn into office. And Nickelodeon is ready—they’re planning their first coverage of the Presidential Inauguration:

Nickelodeon, in another first, will feature coverage of the historic presidential inauguration starting Monday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. ET/PT. KPP Election Connection Team correspondents — Lily Collins, JJ and Pick Boy — will report on the political celebration from Washington, D.C. in a series of pre-taped interstitials highlighting the historic Inauguration Day and the celebrations leading up to it.

Additionally, on Inauguration Day — Tuesday, Jan. 20 — at 8 p.m., vignettes featuring footage of the President-Elect’s Oath of Office, will air on Nickelodeon, The N and Nicktoons Networks. Interstitials will continue to air on Nickelodeon through Jan. 31 and will highlight the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue; President-Elect Obama’s arrival at the White House; his inauguration speech; and more.

What a savvy move by Nick, both to keep kids interested in the world around them and to ride the current political wave. This is smart children’s programming at its finest.

SpongeBob is turning 10!

I think he doesn’t look a day over 8, myself, but 2009 marks the 10-year anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, and Nickelodeon has plans to celebrate all year long.

I suppose the “biggest” news is the new and improved Official SpongeBob site, which includes links to things like the backstage blog and various other goodies. But frankly, one item from the press release really grabbed me:

Also to mark the anniversary, Nickelodeon has commissioned the first full-length original TV documentary which will chronicle the beloved character’s evolution to international pop culture icon status. The documentary will be telecast across MTV Networks’ various TV platforms to commemorate the anniversary of the series’ first episode. Over the last 10 years, the porous brainchild of creator Steve Hillenburg has grown from a single Saturday morning kids’ show to a certified pop culture maverick that has inspired nothing less than fun and frenzy around the world. Soaking up everything from clothing to controversy, the show has inspired people to deeply identify with the characters, to adorn themselves with SpongeBob tattoos, to use SpongeBob products to save lives and even, occasionally, to vandalize and politicize the character; but most of all, to kick back, laugh and relax.

It’ll be all “SpongeBob: Behind the Pineapple” or something. I’m sure of it. And I can’t wait.

Don’t forget to check out the SpongeBob SquarePants Store at Ty’s for all your SpongeBob needs!

Ringing in 2009 with the kids

Every year I vow to do something special with the kids on New Year’s Eve, and every year I end up buying them a bottle of sparkling apple cider and threatening to send them to bed early by 8:00 or so.

Good times!

This year I may try something different. We’ll be visiting the grandparents, so perhaps a dump-n-run…? (Kidding! I’m kidding, Dad. Honest.)

Well, I did some poking around online, and there’s no shortage of ideas for ushering in the new year with your little ones. Here’s a few sites to check out if you’re looking for some ideas for tonight:

  • eHow has 8-step instructions for the evening.
  • has plenty of party suggestions.
  • Family Fun is always good for some interesting ideas.
  • And Fine Living reminds us that New Year’s needn’t be an adults-only holiday.

Whatever you end up doing, have a wonderful evening. And here’s to a great 2009 from all of us here at Ty’s!

Happy Holidays from Ty’s Toy Box

The holidays are upon us, and hopefully you’re someplace warm and cozy with your family, and maybe even have a couple of days off work.

On behalf of everyone here at Ty’s Toy Box, here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

If you’re hanging out with the kids and looking for some holiday-themed things to do over the next few days, I’ve got you covered. Check out for both Hanukkah and Christmas crafts, as well as (which also has plenty of both Hanukkah and Christmas ideas).

And of course, don’t forget my annual favorite: The NORAD Santa Tracker! My kids never tire of that one, and will be asking all day to check in on Santa.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Ready for Thanksgiving?

Ahhhh, Thanksgiving. Here in the United States, there’s nothing else quite like it. First you run around like a chicken with your head cut off (oh, wait… maybe that’s just me), then you eat yourself into a stupor and watch a lot of television. It’s the quintessential American holiday.

(I kid, of course. I’ve never actually eaten myself into a stupor. I prefer to eat until I’m just this side of a stupor, to leave room for a turkey sandwich later on. Heh.)

Here’s hoping you have a day of good food and wonderful family/friends planned, but of course you know I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t insist we spend a few minutes talking about the television offerings. Because TV is as much a part of Thanksgiving, for most families, as the meal.

You’ve got the football. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The football. The various program marathons. And did I mention the football? I think I may have.

I’ve particularly come to enjoy Thanksgiving television since growing up and putting on my own Thanksgivings; nothing causes my kids’ eyes to light up faster than my suggesting they go watch some more TV. And when I’m trying to baste a turkey, a child happily viewing is a child that’s not under my feet or about to get burned on the oven door.

Need a little viewing guidance for the holiday? I’ve got you covered.

Whatever you end up doing, Happy Thanksgiving from our families here at Ty’s Toy Box to yours!