Educational Toys For Young Children

In an age of digital gadgets, there is still a place for traditional toys. Kids can have plenty of fun playing with classic types of toys that have entertained children for centuries. Some local brick and mortar toy stores may not carry a selection of unique items that could stimulate the imagination of young children.

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Doll houses are considered to be all time favorites among young girls. Miniature homes include replicas of realistic household furniture and other items. Of course, unique dolls are available to suit the characters of particular girls. Taking on the role of housewife is a great form of play for young girls. Such kids learn at an early age about responsibilities around the household. Perhaps, doll houses can inspire young girls to help their moms and sisters with various chores and other tasks around the house and outside.

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Trains and other locomotive toys inspire the imagination of young boys. Realistic replicas of actual railroad tracks, stations and other features create a fantasy world inside a child’s bedroom. Kids love to watch trains and other vehicles move around. A sense of space and other technical skills may be developed with play sets that include trains and other types of vehicles such as trucks.

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Parents can also shop for musical toys that stimulate the auditory senses and vocals of young kids. Small plastic toys are available to replicate realistic instruments that produce fun sounds. Toddlers can truly enjoy playing with musical toys that bring joy to the ears.

How to Save Money on Toys as a Parent

While it is safe to say that a vast number of UK children are spoiled, doted upon, and have the privilege of growing up in a high income home in which they were never in want of toys, play things, or any other necessities of childhood, this is not the case for all. Many young children who are raised in lower or middle class financial situations have only a relative few number of toys, must share with many others, or have none at all, at least not the most trendy and expensive ones which are naturally the ones they may be begging for each birthday and Christmas.  In this day and age of ballooning technology, toys are no longer just a few marbles in a cloth bag or a stuffed teddy bear that had been passed down. The most highly sought after toys, instead, are several hundred pound video game consoles, collectible and limited edition doll houses and even iPhones and personal computers.

Because of the pressures and desires of children and the influence that their peers may have on their want for this doll or that remote control car, it is no doubt a hardship to not be able to have the toys that you want. But how can you, as a parent, provide your child with the newest and most popular toy on the market without cutting out funds from your food budget or emergency fund? There are a few resources you can turn to in this situation, whether you have few financial savings or none at all.


Spending What You Have Wisely

If your toy budget for your children is limited, but you want to be able to stretch your funds as far as you can without going over board, make an effort to follow a few simple rules when purchasing toys. First, try to buy off peak season. Some toy prices spike at the beginning of the summer holidays when many more children are at home, or during the winter holiday season when Christmas gifts galore are being bought. Try buying clearance toys at the end of the summer holidays when children are back in school, and saving them as presents for your kids to enjoy later. Secondly, buy secondhand. Ebay is an excellent resource for purchasing new or used discounted games, puzzles, electronics, figurines, plush characters, cards and more. Or, try your local charity shop to score serious bargains on everything from children’s books to electronic toys.

Another idea that you might want to consider to save money on toys is setting up a toy swap with friends who have children of similar ages. Some families keep their toy collection fresh and interesting by trading toys with another family every month or two, so that the children never get bored with what they have. Essentially, you are getting an entirely new toy set that will keep the kids entertained for hours, without having to spend a single pound. This sharing of the wealth is a great practice to keep up amongst families on limited budgets whose children are of similar ages and interests.


Affordable Solutions for Toys

There are a good many toy gifting charity organisations throughout the UK whose purpose is to provide  toys to families who cannot afford them. Supplement your children’s toys through an outlet like this, such as the Toy Trust Children’s Charity UK. Though your child may be demanding of bigger, better, more technological toys with lights and sounds, keep in mind that simpler is usually better. Spend time as a family playing classic card games or creating toys of your own like making your own teddy bear or doll out of used fabric scraps.

A Sweet and Huggable Friend for the 2013 Holidays!

The holidays are right around the corner, and if you have a young girl, you might be struggling with finding the perfect gift for your daughter. How do you bridge that gap between toddler toys and baby toys? What still qualifies as a choking hazard? It’s hard to know if your young daughter will even play the toys you are getting her.

For many little girls, social activity is paramount to a healthy childhood. However, sometimes other people aren’t available for interaction, and this is when a doll becomes a girl’s very best friend! Little girls relate to dolls, they see themselves in them, and they look to them for support, love and fun as they go through life together.

For children over the age of two, the Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie doll is a great friend for them to learn and grow with.  Now that your little girl is walking, talking and gaining independence, a “baby” doll is no longer their equal; it is a younger infant to take care of.  Dressed in adorable headbands, tights and tresses, Mooshka Dolls are more “best friend” than baby and are the perfect partner-in-crime for your growing girl.

dolls1Remember the paper dolls we all used to dress up as children? Mooshka dolls are paper dolls come to life! Through the power of love and friendship, they became sweet, huggable 15” dolls, the perfect size to accompany girls on all of their adventures.  And better yet, Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Dolls really do sing! When you hold both of their hands, they croon the words to “Ring Around the Rosie,” allowing girls to sing along and dance.  You can hold both of their hands yourself, spin in circles and sing to your hearts content or you can invite your Mooshka doll to join you and your friends as you spin and sing together.Just as long as both of your Mooshka dolls’ hands are held, she will lead you in song for as long as you wish.

dolls2While Mooshka offers many different dolls with various looks and hobbies, there are three different Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie dolls that are as fun and interactive as they are adorable. Myra, a summer baby with bright red hair and blue eyes is a natural born actress. For any little girl who likes to be the star of the show, Myra will keep her company while she reaches for stardom.  Pink-haired Niva is more of an artist, and will be a great friend for your future writer as they pen poems and letters together all day long.  Lara, with green eyes and a flower in her hair is the most adventurous of the bunch! She loves to collect seashells, and will be sure to accompany girls on all of their backyard adventures.

Mooshka dolls are a great holiday gift for any little girl in your life. Dressed in cute dresses and headbands, it will be easy for your daughter to see herself in them, and recognize them as friends and equals. Additionally, the Mooshka fun doesn’t stop with the doll: the Mooshka website offers e-books that you and your daughter can read together or she can play on her own, cute crafts, like paper dolls and puppet theater backdrops, and seasonal Mooshka decorations.

With so many additions, it will be easy for girls to immerse themselves in the world of Mooshka.  Mooshka dolls are also great for when girls spend time with their real-life friends, as they can all hold their Mooshka doll’s hands and sing Ring Around the Rosie together.

For any young girl over the age of two, Mooshka dolls are a great holiday gift that will offer your child endless fun. You can buy your very own Mooshka doll at Toys-R-Us, Wal-Mart,, Target or Little Tikes.


About the Author

Freelance writer, Jordyn Fisher, contributed this article on behalf of Mooshka dolls, a product of MGA Entertainment. 

Hasbro Games to Go! TRAVEL MONOPOLY Fun with the Kids

If you had 1,000 pesos to spend at Lazada Philippines, what would you buy? I initially wanted to get something for hubby but all the ones I liked were way beyond the budget so guess what I ended up purchasing? Hasbro Games!  It would have been more frugal to have bought more useful things but seeing those board games brought back so many wonderful memories that compelled me to buy the game sets.

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In the cart went a Hasbro Travel Monopoly (P349), a Hasbro Travel Battleship (P349), a Hasbro Scattergories Taster (P150) and a Hasbro Taboo Taster (P150).   I placed the order on a Monday and received them Friday of the same week.  I would have probably received them sooner had it not been for Typhoon Maring.

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We were booked for an overnight stay at the Summit Ridge in Tagaytay that weekend so we decided to take the Travel Monopoly with us.  It was just roughly the same size as my planner and even weighed much lighter. It was small enough to fit nicely in the front pocket of our luggage.  It can actually fit inside a tote bag or a kid’s backpack.

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The Hasbro Travel Monopoly comes with 6 plastic tokens, 6 plastic keys, 22 deed cards, 4 railroad property cards, 2 utility cards, a community chest card, a chance card, 3 pcs of dice, houses and hotels, and monopoly money all inside a compact foldable plastic board.  This specific game board is a UK version so don’t expect to see Atlantic City or Park Place.  And instead of Reading, Shortline, B&O, and Pennsylvania you have Fenchurch St., Kings Cross, Marylebone, and Liverpool Stations.

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The game is designed for kids age 8 years old above so we had to adjust the game mechanics for the little ones.  For one, they didn’t have to collect all properties of the same color to buy houses.  We also didn’t wait for anyone to go bankrupt to end the game (if we did, we would still be playing now :-)).  We set a time limit and whoever had the most properties was declared the winner.

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The Hasbro Travel Monopoly is very convenient to carry but can only be played indoors though.  The plastic tokens are much too light that they can easily be toppled by a gust of wind.  It’s also impossible to play with it inside the car as there are no magnets or ridges to hold the houses firmly onto the board.  I also wish that the set came with a small tray for holding the monopoly money.  I guess we’ll just have to put our creative juices to work and craft a small tray that would fit inside the box.

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It may not be the perfect travel board game but the kids still love the Hasbro Travel Monopoly.  My kids just enjoy throwing the dice and moving their tokens around but it’s actually a great way to hone their basic arithmetic skills (counting dots on dice, spaces, and reading numbers) and to teach them how to count money.  They’re still a bit too young to understand investing and managing their money but they would eventually learn these as well.  Moreover, it teaches them how to take turns and to play fair.  Best of all, we all get to spend some quality bonding time playing together.  If you have kids in the family, I do highly suggest that you take them off their tablets and put board games back on the table.

WINX BELIEVIX FAIRY: Making A Little Girl’s Wish Come True

I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!

My four-year-old still pretty much believes in fairies and the power of pixie dusts.  She never tires of dressing up as a fairy and doning those flimsy fairy wings.  It’s no wonder she was ecstatic to receive these from Richwell Club.


Flora is one of the six Winx fairies in the Believix Dolls collection.  Her shiny glittery fairy wings are detachable and she comes with a butterfly shaped mirror and comb.  My daughter Jade loves to brush her hair and put her own clips on Flora.  She also gushes about how pretty Flora’s dress is and how she loves Flora’s pink boots.


Here’s what my little girl has to say about her new doll:

She has been asking me to get another Believix fairy (actually, she wants all six of them!) because, according to her, Flora is sad because she has no friend and needs another fairy friend to play with. 🙂

When asked if she wants her friends to have a Believix fairy also, she said yes because they’d love to play with the pretty fairies.  So if you have a little daughter who’s as enamored with all things pretty, click here to buy Flora online at  You may also want to check out the new Harmonix and Magical Hair dolls.



Winx are a group of magical fairies in the mystical dimension of Magix trying to make the grade in fairy school while fighting evil warlocks on the side. Join Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Techna and Layla as they save the world and the last fairy on Earth with the new power called the Believix.

Follow their journey in the Season 4 series of Winx Club every weekday at 4:30 PM on Nickelodeon. And watch these brave fairies in action as they discover new transformations, unlock secrets and go on countless magical adventures together.

Winx merchandise is exclusively distributed by Europlay Distributor Company, Inc. Available at all leading toy stores and department stores nationwide. For more information, call Europlay at telephone numbers 732-5141 to 47 loc 211.