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Archive for the ‘Toys’ Category


Vroom! Vroom!  An eraser car is a creative, fun activity children can make as a back to school craft or even on the weekends! Adult supervision will be required, especially for smaller children, to prevent little ones from putting pieces in their mouths. Have fun!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Knife (have a parent do this part of the craft)
  • White Glue
  • Thumbtacks
  • Cardboard
  • Permanent Markers

HERE’S HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. Begin by cutting erasers with a knife (a parent’s job; kids can use scissors for this, but the cuts won’t be as straight).
  2. Stack the erasers to make cars, trucks, and trailers. Pencil-cap erasers and automatic pencil eraser refills make good cargo. Use white glue to hold the pieces together.
  3. To make tires, press thumbtacks into a piece of cardboard, color them with permanent markers, then remove the tacks and press them in place on the vehicles.

CHECK OUT LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
www.letop-usa.com

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The time finally arrived! My three-year old son has learned how to share. This is a picture of him sharing cars with a friend in his Mommy & Me class. I remember last year when he and two other boys would eye the same car/truck/train, look at each other, then dive for the toy as they each tried to yank it from each others’ grasps. Oh, boy! That was a nightmare because all the mommies had to deal with the crying, the fighting and giving our sons “The Talk” about sharing. It’s a good thing we mothers are all on the same page regarding this, and know that we need to teach our children how to play together.

A year later, I stand in the classroom with pride (and with my camera) as I listen to my son say, “Do you want this car?” and proceed to play nicely with his friend. He’s growing up!

Paulo is wearing the rabbitmoon “discover” striped zip hoody. For this comfy cotton layering piece and more mix and match stylish kid’s clothing go to www.rabbitmoon-usa.com.

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Paulo (wearing the Le Top "Under the Sea" pull over hoodie shirt with a red crab appliqué) and Miranda playing on the beach.

It’s only March here in the Bay Area but the weather has been so warm and sunny (with a few rainy days in between) that we’ve actually been hitting the beach since January! Last week we went to Pacific Grove. My husband was at a 3-day seminar and since he was staying at a swanky hotel, we decided to “join” him and enjoy the amenities that fancy lodging offers, such as a salt water pool and hot tub, breakfast buffets, and free freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm!

While Daddy was sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a dimly-lit conference room, we were outdoors absorbing sun rays along the coast at the Asilomar State Beach. It was sunny but a little chilly and I wasn’t sure how long we would last at the beach. But as soon as we laid our blanket on the sand and the kids dumped out all their sand toys, the chill in the air seemed to dissipate. My kids were ready to go jump in the ocean! (But we didn’t. That water is FREEZING!)

After a couple hours, we packed it up and drove back to the hotel where we spent the afternoon swimming in the pool, then in the hot tub, then in the pool, then the hot tub (you get the picture), until Daddy came to retrieve us for dinner. What a fun day! Daddy should go to more conferences at ritzy hotels.

Paulo is wearing the Le Top "Under the Sea" lined swim trunks.

CHECK OUT MORE OF THE LE TOP SPRING COLLECTION AT
www.letop-usa.com

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Last weekend was beautiful here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the feeling of spring was in the air my daughter and I went to our local retailer for a few outdoor supplies. We arrived home and set everything up in anticipation of some friends coming over.

When they arrived there was a Slip‘n Slide, a couple of Hippity Hops and other toys for the kids, as well as plenty of snacks and refreshments for us all. I’m so happy it was a hot day because the kids played in that Slip’n Slide for over 4 hours. We would make them temporarily stop when their lips turned blue and they were shivering but minutes later they would be back at it. This time of year always brings me back to my childhood and now I get to create those memories for my little one.

Happy spring!

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One of the most rewarding aspects of working for Le Top is the stories you hear from parents and customers. From yearly traditions of wearing Le Top during the holidays to kid tantrums that their ‘favorite Le Top tights are snagged and need new ones’ to their favorite stuffed animals from Le Top.  Le Top is known for making whimsical clothing for kids and it is so true – there is something very magical about knowing how integral Le Top’s clothing can play a part in a family’s life.

I’m not sure how many of you readers know, but Le Top is a family owned business and my Aunt works for the family as well.  She told me a story about a little girl and her love of one of our ‘old favorites,’ LuLu the 2-in-1 stuffed animal and purse. LuLu is similar to our Fall 2010 Haute Dog girls Collection.  We had the Lulu Collection many years ago and it included a really cute Dachshund purse named ‘LuLu.’ 

Here is the story – enjoy and I hope it makes you smile as it did for us here at Le Top:

The storeowner gave a Lulu to her granddaughter, Meg. She fell in love with this little doggie purse and even though she was barely old enough she carried it everywhere.  Her grandmother, Lynn, had told my Aunt Kathy how she loved this purse and called in ‘RuRu.’ It had become so ‘loved’ and tattered that she asked if there was any chance we could find her a new one. We did a land search and found one and sent it off to her. Now, a couple of years later the ‘RuRu’ was starting to look worn again. They told Jerry Gibson, one of Le Top’s sales representatives at market week (where the various children’s clothing brands show their clothes for stores to buy each season) that the dog purse was once again – becoming worn and she still wouldn’t part with it. Jerry had made a store visit to one of our accounts that is famous for holding onto her old merchandise for quite a while…and low and behold there was a ‘LuLu’ purse.  He purchased it and sent it to Lynn’s store for Meg.

These photos & letter were sent to Jerry and we thought you might enjoy it too.

Letter to Jerry

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Every time my niece and nephew go anywhere in my car, they have to bring a toy with them.  It doesn’t matter if we’re driving to grandma’s house an hour away, or if we’re only going a few miles to the grocery store.  They have to have something to play with in the backseat.  Sometimes the tradition of picking out a travel buddy is a fun little activity, but when I’m in a rush, it’s really hard to help them decide which stuffed animal buddy is least likely to get “car sick” or “bored” on the drive.

The worst part though, is when I’m hurrying to get somewhere on time and make them leave the toys in the car because “we’re just going to rush right in” and get/do whatever we need, but when we get inside, we have to sit and wait on something.  (Like picking up a prescription—Why are prescriptions never ready when the pharmacy calls me to tell me that they are?)  If it’s only a few minutes of waiting, it’s not that bad.  But when it drags on and the kids starting getting really bored, it’s rough.  I want to go out to the car and let them grab whatever car buddy they brought with them, but then I have to weigh how long it takes to get back out to the car, get the toy, and come back in verses how much longer my estimated wait time is.  It’s all very frustrating for me and for the kids.

Here’s my solution:  Tiny Toy Travel Totes.  (I like alliteration, can you tell?)

Buy three identical sets of small toy collections, like the Dino Toob or Ponies Toob from Safari Ltd (http://www.safariltd.com/), and two small zippered pouches (like a large pen bag or a small toiletries bag).  Put one set of the toys in each of the zippered bags and keep the third set separate.  Keep one pouch in your purse/backpack, one pouch in your car, and keep the third, loose set at home.  That way the kids will already be familiar with the car toys; when you’re in a rush to get out of the house, the kids will already have something to play with in the car; and if you get stuck in the lobby of a doctor’s office or in the waiting area of restaurant, you’ll have the tiny toys they love in your bag, ready at a moment’s notice. 

You won’t have to worry about losing the toys in the journey between the house and the car or the car and your destination because each set will stay at its predetermined location.  You also have less chance of losing individual toys from each bag since you and your kids will quickly become familiar with the set and will know exactly how many pieces go in the bag. (Bonus:  Practice counting or addition/subtraction with your kids while putting the toys back in their totes.)

Tiny Toy Travel Totes are a BIG time and energy saver for me when I’m trying to get the kids back and forth from the car.  They say good things come in small packages—in this case, the good thing stuffed in those pouches with the tiny dinosaurs and ponies is my sanity.

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No, not the name of Michael Jackson’s child, but yes, the infamous Blanket. Every child has one and adores, loves, obsesses, ‘can’t live’ without one.  Every parent, from generation to generation, knows how emotionally attached a child can become to a soft toy or blanket. They understand that their child needs the comfort of their blankie each night when they go to sleep. While most parents do know and accept this fact, not all of them are aware of the reason for the attachment of the kids to their blankets.

Growing up, I had a blanket that was shredded at the edges and disgusting, I sucked on the corner of it every night – it’s name was Blankie. One time I accidentally left it at Disneyland in the hotel and I went back home to San Francisco where I lived as a child. I didn’t sleep for 2 nights until it came back. My heroic Aunt Kathy went to Southern California, dug through lost and found and brought back “Blankie.” My hero!!

Research published by the international journal Cognition in 2007 suggested that children tend to think their toy or blanket has a unique property or ‘essence’. According to ScienceDaily.com, “To support this theory, Professor Bruce Hood from the University of Bristol and his colleague Dr Paul Bloom of Yale University, USA, showed that 3-6 year-old children have a preference for their cherished items over apparently identical duplicates. Professor Hood said: ‘When offered the choice of originals and copies, children showed no preference for duplicates of their toys unless the object to be copied was the special one that they took to bed every night. A quarter of children refused to have their favorite object copied at all, and most of those who were persuaded to put their toy in the copying machine wanted the original back.’”

Most research has said that attachment to blankets or toys are because they are comfort items that provide a sense of security. However this study suggests that in addition to these physical properties of the toy, children believe that there is some other property of their objects that cannot be physically copied – in other words, these objects have a sort of “essence” that are invisible properties that make blankets or these special toys unique.

Other reasons why blankets are so important to children?

  • First of all, the blanket provides a sense of comfort and security. This is the feeling the child associates with its mother right from the time it arrives into this world.
  • A child also feels warm when wrapped with the blanket. This is another feeling associated with the mother when she hugs her child. Naturally, a child develops an affinity to objects that keep him or her snug and cozy.
  • It provides a special feeling – most blankets are soft to the touch, just the way a mother is to a child. A child needs the presence of his or her mother when going to sleep. Blankets offer the child the feeling of having their mother around them when they fall asleep.

In a surprising discovery, research conducted by Richard H Passen and his team at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee revealed that children liked their security blanket because it helped them cope with newer changes in life and helps in their learning. In fact, blankets of multiple colors are the best way to get children to learn the names of the colors and recognize their easily.

Kids, just like all of us adults, like the feeling of being safe and kept warm and snuggled. Conclusion?  No wonder a security blanket is indispensable!  Check out our Le Top so soft blankets by clicking here: http://www.letop-usa.com/Shop/ProductGrid?category=blankets&section=Baby

Le Top Soft Blankets

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