Beach Time!

Summer is almost here, which means that many of us are gearing up for an annual family vacation! If this is your child’s first trip to the beach, or if your trip will be a particularly long one, you may want to consider bringing along his or her favorite friends:

Before packing for your trip, read Olivia Learns to Surf together to get your child in the mood for a vacation and then let your little girl try on her Disney Princess swimsuit before she packs it in her suitcase. Don’t forget a hat to block those harmful sun rays! If your child is a fan of Yo Gabba Gabba! you can have this Brobee bucket hat personalized!

You can purchase beach towels featuring all your child’s favorite characters—Strawberry Shortcake, Super Why!, Ben 10, and Caillou. (Those can all be personalized, as well!) Before you leave, pack a good beach bucket like this Thomas & Friends tin pail. And then put together a healthy lunch and grab your child’s Clifford lunch box to bring it along.

To keep it all together, toss it in a big, linen bag like The Wiggles Summer Fun Tote Bag and head out the door! Now, on a family vacation, a day at the beach, or a sunny day in the park, your child can have all their favorite friends along for the adventure.

Dino dan continues to expand

Dino Dan

Attention all you Dino Dan fans!

Nick Jr (US), TVO (Canada), and TVA (French Canada) have all placed an order for a second season of Dino Dan.  Toronto-based Sinking Ship Entertainment is scheduled to produce 52 more 11-minute episodes of Dino Dan starting this March.

The TV networks decided to order more seasons once they heard that the Dan franchise was expanding its merchandise in retail stores and online. In March, Sinking Ship Entertainment is also scheduled to produce an iTunes app, which ties in with the dinodan.com site.  A second Dino Dan DVD is scheduled for production, as well as a mass-market launch of seven new toys.  Be on the lookout for these exciting new guys!  Dino Dan’s licensing is managed by The Licensing Shop.

Season one has already been sold to more than 100 countries by distributor Breakthrough Entertainment.  The new episodes of season two will go into production this spring, and will be airing in Canada by the fall.

Continue to check our website for more merchandise in the future. In the meantime, check out our Dino Dan toys.  Creator and Sinking Ship partner J.J. Johnson states, “We’re sure that this season Dan’s imagination is going to take kids on an even greater dinosaur journey.”

 

Olivia: A recipe for success

Since cupcakes are Olivia’s favorite food, why not bake some for a party?  I recently had the opportunity to bake some cupcakes to celebrate my niece’s birthday.  She is a huge fan of Olivia the Pig.  I went looking for good recipes that I might find, especially cupcakes with an Olivia the Pig theme.

I did find one, which I would love to share!  Here is a recipe for Olivia the pig cupcakes, courtesy of Nick Jr.’s website:

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. Dutch cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 bottle (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups pink candy melts (like Wilton® Candy Melts® available at party supplies stores)
1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
Red food coloring
1 tube chocolate or brown decorating frosting

Muffin pans (for 24 cupcakes)
24 cupcake liners
Olivia Cupcake Templates
Wax paper

Directions:

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Step 2
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and the sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until well blended.

Step 3
Combine the buttermilk and the food coloring in a measuring cup. Add the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Combine the vinegar and the baking soda in a small bowl and immediately stir into the batter until well blended.

Step 4
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 12 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Step 5
Meanwhile, melt the pink candy melts in a medium bowl until smooth, about 45 seconds. Spoon into a resealable bag. Place the ears and nose template on a sheet pan topped with a piece of wax paper. Snip a very small corner from the bag with the melted chocolate. Pipe outlines of the ears and nose and fill in with more chocolate. Repeat to make 24 sets of ears and 24 noses. Reheat the chocolate if it becomes too thick. Place the chocolate pieces into the refrigerator until set, about 5 minutes.

Step 6
Tint the vanilla frosting a light pink with the red food coloring. Remove 1/3 cup of the frosting and tint it a darker pink with the red food coloring. Spoon the darker pink frosting into a resealable bag. Spread the light pink frosting on top of the cupcakes and make smooth.

Step 7
Peel the chocolate pieces from the wax paper and insert the ears into the sides of the cupcakes. Add the nose in the center. Snip a very small corner from the bag with the darker pink frosting and pipe outlines on the ears and the nose and pipe the mouth on top of the cupcakes. Pipe the chocolate frosting for the nostrils and the eyes.

I have to say that every last cupcake was eaten at the party. The kids loved them as did the parents.  I had also bought this book for my niece, which she loved!  I can’t wait until the next party.  Keep reading my posts in the future for more options on how to plan a party.  For more options on what to choose for a themed party, check out our kids party supplies. For more birthday gift ideas, check out Olivia toys.

 

Kickin’ it Yo Gabba Gabba Style

Yo Gabba Gabba is a unique show in and of itself. It has great appeal to a multitude of people and spans many culture, languages, and barriers.  But what makes this show so amazingly popular?  Is it the live action puppets? Or the indie rock music? Or those cool 8 bit looking graphics? It’s a combination of all of these things and more.

The Yo Gabba Gabba Live Show toured 55 cities and performed 130 shows in 2011.  Not bad for a show that’s already in its fourth season.  Usually it takes at least 20 years for a brand to catch on to all age groups.  Not only has this show caught the attention of preschoolers, toddlers, and adults alike, but it’s caught the attention of 20 and 30 somethings.

The show also has many retro elements in it, making it look like a show from the 70s. Retro is back in style and so is Steve Urkel.  This day and age it’s cool to wear just about anything, especially if it’s mismatched.  Perhaps that’s why adults and hipsters everywhere are embracing their inner child and rockin’ the Yo Gabba Gabba shirts.  Click on the link and then select “adult” under the “clothing” tab. We also have styles for your little tike too.  You can even put their name on it.

Rock on!

Wubbzy helps children deal with the unknown

Wow Wow Wubbzy is a gem of a show that was created by Bob Boyle using Toon Boom and Adobe Flash Software.  The show has good intentions and funny story lines.  It teaches preschoolers important social skills.  The show also teaches children about sharing, responsibility, and self-awareness.

In one episode Wubbzy and his friends are preparing for a dance party at the Wubb Club. Madame Zabinga asks if Wubbzy has a band coming to play for the dance party. Wubbzy hadn’t thought about hiring a band. With only hours to spare, Wubbzy, Widget, and Walden form a band.  Widget plays the drums, and Walden plays the Horn.  No one thinks that Wubbzy is a good singer at first but then Wubbzy takes a risk and just sings. He actually turns out to be a pretty good singer.  They name the band the Wuzzles.

Bob Boyle knew that things don’t always turn out how we plan them.  He also knew that sometimes things turn out for the better, although we can’t always see that at first.  One of the reasons that he created Wow, Wow, Wubbzy was to help children cope with circumstances that are beyond their control, helping them understand that things may turn out for the better.  In other words, as Bob humorously puts it, “I want kids to know what to do when a robotic chicken is running amok!” If you are a fan of the show, check out our great selection of Wow Wow Wubbzy toys.