Barney: “I Love You” Never Gets Old

What’s not to love about the over-sized, oversensitive, lovable, cuddly purple dinosaur? I remember when Barney first came onto the screen, singing his famous, “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family!” song.  Every time I listen to it, it still makes me smile. No wonder this show is still on PBS and has been running strong since 1992.  Although Barney has been criticized in the past, Yale researchers Dorothy and Jerome Singer have discovered that the shows contain a great deal of age-appropriate material, and have called the program a “model of what preschool television should be.”

In every show, Barney starts out as a stuffed toy, but then comes to life. He teaches kids important lessons about manners, counting, numbers, letters, and imagination.  Barney’s friends often visit the show and tell stories to the children or take them on adventures.  Other friends that appear on the show include B.J. and Baby Bop.  Baby Bop constantly loses her blankie, but Barney always helps her find it.  Barney also has a bag of goodies in every episode, which is known as the Barney Bag.

In every episode, Barney loves and wants everyone to have a good time.  If you are craving even more Barney interaction, click here for a fun website where you can play some pretty spectacular games.  If your child is into Barney, be sure to check out our selection of Barney toys. We have plush dolls, DVDs, party supplies, and more.  In the words of Barney himself, “What a super-deeeee-duper idea!”

Curious George Drawn From Real Life Inspiration

Have you ever wondered why Curious George is so curious?  Or why he has a penchant for mischief, is always getting into trouble, yet somehow seems to narrowly escape disaster time and time again?

The source of inspiration came from the couple who first created the children’s books themselves, H.A. and Margret Reys.  The Reys were German Jews that lived in Paris during the time of the Nazi reign.  Because they were Jewish, they had to constantly search for safe places to hide from the Germans.  Two days before the Germans marched on Paris, they fled on their bicycles carrying drawings that later became the character of Curious George.  The theme of escaping disaster just in the nick of time throughout many of the Curious George episodes reflects the Rey’s own experience in life.

The Reys fled from Paris to New York in 1940.  While on board the ship, Margaret Rey used to sew miniature sweaters to keep the monkeys warm.  However, her efforts proved to be in vain, as none of the monkeys were able to survive the long passage. The Reys also used this time to develop the literature for Curious George.

The original name for George was Fifi.  When the Reys finally made it to America, they showed their manuscript to publisher Houghton Mifflin.  Houghton Mifflin expressed doubts about the name Fifi, especially for a boy monkey.  The Reys proceeded to change the name to George. In England, Curious George is known as ZoZo.

Although the monkeys did not survive in real life, through their literature, stories, and drawings, the Reys were able to create the story of a monkey that survived against all odds.  Curious George is a monkey to which many of us aspire.  This tried and true monkey may have a lot of flaws, but he has a heart full of gold and always learns his lesson.  Please click on the link if you are interested in browsing our selection of Curious George toys.  Although we can’t guarantee your invinciblity, we promise that you won’t be disappointed.

CGI Animation

What is CGI animation? CGI Animation is a process of combining 2D animation and live-action.  It is computer generated using 3D software. Films like Toy Story began to make this type of animation popular.  Dinosaur Train is the second show to use CGI animation from the Jim Henson Company, with Sid the Science Kid being the first.

Not only does Dinosaur Train use CGI Animation, but it takes two of the favorite interests of many children, dinosaurs and trains, and places them into one animated series.  The main show centers around Buddy, who is a Tyrannosaurus Rex that was adopted into a Pteranodon (think: flying) family.  Buddy gathers the majority of his information from riding the magic Dinosaur Train. The Dinosaur Train circles the whole world and can even transcend time by visiting dinosaurs in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods.

The train cars are customized for every type of dinosaur. That is, the Aquacar accommodates sea-dwelling dinosaurs, windows are available for the long-necked Sauropods, and plenty of headroom was available for the Theropods.

If your child is a fan of Dinosaur Train, look no further than the best online toy store for cool stuff for your kids! Our Dinosaur Train stuff includes clothes, live action figures, playsets, and more. Which kind of children’s shows do you prefer? The newer ones created with CGI animation, or the older ones based upon 2D cartoons?

Exploring Your World with Sid

Science was never my thing in school. In fact, I talked my way out of dissecting a worm in the 3rd grade. The teacher let me do some other tasks that counted in place of the dissection.  However, when I watch Sid the Science kid, I am intrigued by the fun and interesting way that they present science. Each episode is loaded with information regarding the scientific experiment and methods for observation and can be categorized according to weeks.

The first week focuses on scientific tools and concepts, including observing, charts, measuring, and estimation.  The second week focuses on transformation and change, including decay and growth, melting and freezing, and the effects of heat. The third week focuses on the senses. The fourth week focuses on health. The fifth week focuses on simple machines. The sixth week focuses on science that you can observe in your backyard. The seventh week focuses on the human body. The eighth week focuses on the weather.

All of these episodes are designed to engage the curiosity in your little ones and to help them figure out why things work the way that they do.  For even more fun ideas and games, click here.  I enjoyed playing “Snow Search” myself, and digging up objects in the snow. Other games include matching up snowflake halves, where kids learn about symmetry. For more cool stuff, see our kid’s online toy store.  You can also check Sid’s page and find some cool pajamas (pictured above) which you can also personalize and keep your child warm at the same time!

Maya & Miguel: Double Delight or Double Trouble?

Scholastic Entertainment has created yet another awesome show that spans across cultures. “Maya and Miguel” does an excellent job of portraying Latino culture.  Maya and Miguel Santos are two young fraternal twins that love to have adventures in their community and at school.

For instance, in one episode, Maya encourages her friend Maggie to run for class president.  Maggie wanted to place pink puff balls on the tops of pencils and change all of the white paper in the school to pink paper.  However, upon further examination of her motives, Maggie realized that she was not good at the things that truly matter, like paying attention to other people’s problems.  One she realized this she gladly stopped running for class president and gave the nomination to Simon, a fellow classmate.

The show does an excellent job of teaching about diversity.  It also places emphasis on serving the family and community, which is a great message for any child to hear. Click here more fun and interactive games with Maya and Miguel.

For even more cool stuff, why not try kids backpacks? We also have clothing, birthday invitations, and more, all of which you can personalize.  In the words of Maya,  “¡Éso es!” (That’s it!).