Toy Story

One of the stories my mom often related was the tale of Adenoids, her favorite doll (yes, that was her name). Little Joanie adored Adenoids and took her everywhere. At some point, Mom decided that Adenoids was hungry, so she started feeding her bits of food through the doll’s small, open mouth. Needless to say, that quickly became one stinky dolly; one night Grandpa took matters into his own hands and threw Adenoids in the trash after his daughter was asleep....more

Revolt of the Toys

You always know when my three year old grandniece is visiting because our tiny two-room rental house begins to bear an uncanny resemblance to a toy store.  As my wife works from home, having a pile of toys around usually serves as sufficient distraction to allow my wife to take care of her job responsibilities.  Granted, Little One would rather be watching a Disney movie, kidvid on Netflix or (her preference) YouTube videos on my wife’s iPhone.  Hence, the toys.  Even at her young age, I think the kid is addicted to electronic devices.  The upcoming Generation Alpha...more

From City to Suburb: Top 5 Toys for Outdoor Play

When we lived in a city, my kids went to the playground daily. In my stroller basket, you could always find the essentials: helmets, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and balls. Then we moved to the suburbs, a somewhat rural suburb, where we no longer walk to the park, and kids ride in cars and buses. Would our playground toys gather dust in our new home? Happily, minus the stroller, my city kids have stuck to their roots. And yes, our first big purchase for the house was a swing set....more


I drove down to the Central Valley to visit my octogenarian parents for a few days recently.  They live out in the country and generally spend their evenings watching TV, my father in the pitch dark of the spare bedroom, volume turned up to deafening decibels, my mother in the family room with all the lights on.  Sometimes they even watch the same show from opposite sides of the house.  Most often, however, my father is watching a documentary or drama (the more violent, the better), while my mother contents herself with BBC reruns or whatever reality show beams in clearly eno...more

8 Ways to Be Strategic With Toys

Toys can be great ways to help kids learn, socialize, mimic the adult world, have fun, learn how to share, practice vocabulary and motor skills, and learn pre-academic skills.Here are 8 ways to sustain interest in toys and use them to overcome everyday challenges....more

Dear Barbie, Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Dear Barbie,Break ups are never easy, and this one is really tough. Seeing your blue eyes for the last time as I snapped the Rubber Maid lid on your resting place made me feel pretty bummed. I’m really going to miss you....more

Why Barbie isn't Welcome in Our Home

There have been many debates about one of the World's most iconic toys, Barbie....more

The Orange Soda Birdhouse ~ Yes, I Am Not Afraid of Random Creativity

Sounds ridiculously fun, no? Well, my bird thinks it is!...more
melanie jean juneau nice to hear I am not the only crazy, lazy, recycle-er.more

Toys That Are Built to Last and Entertain

When people come over to my house for the first time, they almost always comment on the ridiculous number of toys we have. Some of them wisecrack, “So, you’ve got what, 14 kids?...more

Pewi, what's that smell? "Oh, that's called STYLE, my dear... And I wish I would have had it when MY kid was learning to walk!"

When we were kids, the only method of solo transportation we had was a solid steel walker that looked like it should have come with its own pair of orthopedic shoes. Hell, for all WE know, my grandmother was working a little side deal with her podiatrist and using us as bait!...more