Watch PBS Kids 24/7

Earlier this month, PBS Kids, the pioneers in children’s programming, introduced a new TV channel and a live stream on digital platforms. PBS stations across the nation are able to broadcast PBS Kids shows like Curious George and Wild Kratts 24 hours a day on an additional television channel and offer a live stream. Kids will have their favorite PBS Kids shows during primetime and after school, or really, whenever they might need it!  

Nielsen data demonstrates that live TV is the dominant way children access video, accounting for 68% of the time children spend watching video content.  And most of kids’ TV viewing takes place on weeknights and weekend afternoons and evenings – especially within low-income families, underscoring PBS’ mission to reach all children with high quality, educational content.

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Families will be able to access the new channel on-the-go with the digital live stream which complements on-demand clips and full episodes. Viewers will be able to watch the station-branded live stream through and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices, tablets and over-the-top platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast.


PBS Kids is a staple in our home. Since we’re constantly on the go, I love that my little guy can access his favorite shows while he’s waiting for big bro to finish up his sports. For a kiddo with speech delays and unique needs, I’m so grateful that we have access to such excellent programming at home and on the go, regardless of the time of day. Bravo PBS Kids!



Top Toys of 2015

From Toy Fair in February to recent holiday media events, I’ve been scouting toys and trends all year for The Next Kid Thing. I have several lists in the works, but before the biggest shopping day of the year kicks off, I wanted to share some of the coolest toys that I think might be the big sellers this season.

I put this list together based on the play value, my kids’ reaction, price point as well as accessibility. I’ve been checking out the toys’ popularity online and in person and have compiled, what I think, might be some of the hottest sellers this season. Some obvious picks did not make my list because the supply is more accessible or the price is out of reach for many people.

Keep an eye out for more of our picks. Until then, I present The Next Kid Thing Top Toys for 2015.




1. Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train

 This is the latest version of Vtech’s popular Alphabet Train. The multi-phase toy is intuitive and is perfect for tots who are sitting, toddling or already on the go. I love that this toy grows with kids and offers so many different types of educational play and function. On sale, I’ve spotted this great toy in the $40 range.


2. Bright Beats Dance and Move Beatbo

Beatbo first caught my eye at Toy Fair because of its bright and simple aesthetic. Beatbo dances, sings and has engaging educational games, perfect for curious toddlers. Beatbo can be found at major retailers for $35.


3. Paw Patrol Interactive Mission Chase

 Chase has all kinds of features, making him quite the hot commodity. Chase is bigger in size and has cool details for making missions easier. Paw Patrol toys, in general, are popular, so make sure to pick up Chase before he becomes hard to find later in the season. This Chase is #1 on my little guy’s list.


4. Paw Patrol Patroller

This Paw Patroller vehicle holds 3 vehicles when closed and several more when opened, making it an ideal gift for Paw Patrol mega-fans. This cool vehicle has multiple functions and landed on several top toys’ lists, and will certainly be another popular toy this season. Head’s up: Target currently has a 20% off Promo on toys. Head to their site to take advantage of this deal.


5. Shopkins

Just like it’s been all year, expect anything Shopkins to be super popular this holiday season. Right now, playsets and blind bags are in stock, but expect anything Shopkins to be a must-have for kids who appreciate these super cute collectibles. I love this Ice Cream Truck!


6. Clever Keet

Little Live Pets have been a favorite for animal lovers, and Clever Keet is no exception. This clever guy can chat and respond to your voice. He dances and even rides his little cart. 

7. American Girl Grace Thomas

The 2015 Girl of the Year Grace Thomas encourages savvy kids to pursue big ideas and embrace the business world. Available for only one year, the Grace collection includes an18-inch Grace doll featuring long dark-brown hair and blue eyes, plus several French-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys that reflect her interests, such as the premium French Bakery Set with more than 60 pieces.

8. Girl Scouts Cookie Oven

The very cool Girl Scouts Cookie Oven is making quite the buzz this holiday season. With this fantastic toy, kids can bake their favorite Girl Scout cookie flavors at home while learning how to bake. 

9. Interactive R2-D2

With the upcoming release of the latest installment of Star Wars: the Force Awakens, it’s no surprise that Star Wars toys will be among the hottest toys this season. One toy that made our list of hot toys is Thinkways’ Interactive R2-D2. He projects images, turns his head while he talks, is voice-activated, among other cool features. With over 1000 programmable action combos, this smart toy will be a favorite for kids and adults alike.

10. BB-8 Sphero

BB-8 Sphero has been a hot Star Wars item since Force Friday earlier this year. This interactive droid is app-enabled and has voice-recognition, and has been dubbed the coolest Star Wars Toy by various outlets. Another toy that’s expected to be a popular multi-generational gift, this guy might be hard to find later in the season.

11. Lego Dimensions

Lego Dimensions joins the market as the latest toy to life video game. But this time, this video game has the clout of its beloved Lego franchise and characters to back up its foray onto consoles. From fun characters from the Lego Movie to classic superhero and cartoon figures, Lego Dimensions is already popular for kids and families. Since spotting it at the Kidz Vuz Back to School party, this game is #1 on my older guy’s list!
Head’s up: Lego Dimensions is featured on Target’s Cartwheel for 35% off for two more days, which makes it around $65. Combine this with an additional 5% off if you have Target RedCard. To compare: Toys R’ Us has Lego Dimensions on sale for $64.99 on Black Friday at 7am. 

12. LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum

LeapFrog’s latest LeapPad Platinum has some of the coolest features yet. It features a faster processor and crisp screen. In addition to the popular LeapFrog games and easy-to-navigate interface, the LeapPad Platinum features the unique and cutting-edge ImagiCard technology. My preschooler is obsessed with ImagiCard and I appreciate how reinforces counting, colors, alphabet, as well as tactile manipulation.

As of today, all of these toys are available in stores and online. Be sure to take advantage of pre-Black Friday sales and coupons which are proving to be cheaper than schlepping out to stores in the wee hours later this week.

Stay tuned for more gift ideas with all of my NKT Holiday Gift Guides!



Reading Rainbow on YouTube Kids

As we’re in the thick of fall festivities with friends, when the kids aren’t busy chasing each other around outside, we sometimes find them huddled in the corner on their iPads. For almost all of our younger kids, the first app or site they head to, without fail, is YouTube. Just like us, the kids are starting to say, “Guys, check out this video!”

And as the kids check out, I often nudge my friends and make sure they know all about the awesomeness that is YouTube Kids. For kids in that younger age bracket, you can’t go wrong with the content that’s curated and offered on YouTube Kids. Despite the ads, YTK is a no-brainer for us, especially when it comes to educational content.

Reading Rainbow on YouTube Kids

One of the channels I absolutely love seeing on YouTube Kids is Reading Rainbow. Yes, THAT Reading Rainbow, the educational delight of our youth. I can still remember watching it on that rolling tv on the media cart in our blackened classroom. As a book lover, LeVar Burton’s voice and enthusiasm of education and reading resonates so much joy, especially now as a parent.

I appreciate that my kids can check out Reading Rainbow on YTK at their leisure and learn all about STEM topics such as 3D printing, athletics and tech, and even how astronauts poop in space! It’s the classic books, though, that bring back the best memories, and ones that I’m thrilled to share with my kids via YouTube Kids.

Looking for a fun way to reinforce lessons at home or to bring a classic book to life? YouTube Kids is a great resource. The YouTube Kids App is free on iTunes and Google Play. As with any app or online content, make sure you know what your kid is watching!

Fun with Educational Insights: Crowded Waters and Hot Dots Tots

When it comes to fun new toys, we’re always game to check them out. Educational Insights sent us a few toys a few weeks ago and we’ve been having fun with them.

Hot Dots Tots

I was first introduced to Hot Dots Tots at Toy Fair a few years ago and I was immediately smitten. These interactive books come in a variety of themes and are ideal for early and beginner readers.

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We received the Animals version of Hot Dots Tots, which was suited my toddler perfectly. Elliott, The Musical Teaching Bear, makes these fun book engaging and fun to navigate. The reading tool, Elliott, is powered by 2 AAA batteries, which are inserted in the head and secured with a plate that is screwed in.

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I liked how the book asks questions and encourages problem-solving and reinforces healthy reading habits for young and eager readers.  My 3 year old loves reading conventional books, so was very intrigued when using Elliot with his Hot Dots Tots books. We can’t wait to get more books to build our library.

Crowded Waters

As Shark Week and Sharknado fanatics, we were thrilled to have a chance to play with Crowded Waters.

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This strategy game is ideal for older kids who are able to insert logic and strategy into gameplay. The board game has a board that mimics the sea with spaces to insert game pieces. Players get to choose their color and then go on to strategize their path to stay afloat in the game.

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Admittedly, this game was hard to understand at first, but once we re-read the instructions, we caught on. I like that this game makes kids think, but isn’t an intensive game where kids may lose interest. This is definitely a new mainstay for game night!

Full disclosure: I received the games to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions on NKT are mine.



Ruby Rocket’s Shares Healthy Snacking Options with Philip’s Academy in Newark, NJ

It may be frigid and gray outside, but things at Philip’s Academy are quite vibrant and full of energy.  Last week, I had the unique opportunity to visit Philip’s Academy, a charter school in Newark, to cover an assembly on nutrition and healthy snacking presented by Ruby Rockets.

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Ruby Rockets, a frozen snack brand known for its naturally sweet, non-GMO veggie and fruit pops, presented an informational presentation to eager students. The brand, who aligns with making nutritional choices, suggested to the grade schoolers that making healthier snack options has many benefits.  The brand, which boasts snacks that don’t contain any extras such as added sweeteners, artificial coloring or chemicals, presented a slideshow with healthy snacking guidelines. 

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For healthier options, Ruby Rockets suggests that snacks should:
  • be low in sugar, contain sugar from fruit and veggies only
  • have a 2:1 ratio between carbs and protein
  • high in dietary fiber
  • have around 200 calories
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After the informational presentation, the children at Philip’s Academy were treated to Ruby Rockets as a dessert following their lunch. Many of the children were excited about tasting Ruby Rockets for the first time. Representatives from Ruby Rockets presented the kids with the naturally colorful frozen treats and were greeted with elation from all corners of the cafeteria.

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The students at Philip’s Academy are no stranger to making healthy choices. The school has a curriculum-based initiative that follows many environmental and sustainable concepts with its innovative EcoSpaces program. As part of EcoSpaces, the school has its own rooftop garden and maintains an AeroFarm, which is a hydroponic garden that doesn’t require sun or soil.

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As part of the program, the students’ lessons about sustainability, urban farming and their healthy lunch program is reinforced with hands-on exposure in their teaching kitchen. The students’ salad bar is a unique feature of the cafeteria. It was quite inspiring to see so many children enjoy a spectrum of vegetables and fruits.

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Ruby Rockets wanted to partner with Philip’s Academy because they felt that they were a good fit since their EcoSpaces program reinforced what they were doing.  

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When Frank Mentesana, EcoSpaces Director at Philip’s Academy, saw Ruby Rockets’ ingredients and understood their mission, he agreed that they were in line with what they were trying to do.  In fact, “we make smoothies all the time—almost all the time.  I looked at their ingredients and they sound like our ingredients,” Mentesana said. “I saw they had beets in one of their pops. We do a beet and berry smoothie. We do a spinach and kale smoothie. This was a great opportunity for the kids to see snacks alternatively. We also do tastings and those ingredients are on our menu and appear in different forms. For example, they’ll try beets six different ways. So, they may not like beets one way, but they may like it another way.”

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And because the dining room is also used as a classroom for the students at Phillip’s Academy, the conversation that started at the assembly with Ruby Rockets was a topic of discussion during and after lunch.

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As an outsider looking in, I admired the way things were run at the school. Not only was the EcoSpaces program mind-blowing, but I thought the interaction between students and educators was inspiring. Overall, the school exuded such positivity and seemed like a model for a cohesive learning and teaching environment. I think I came away learning more about urban farming and the EcoSpaces curriculum, considering how the students were so well-versed with healthy eating. 

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When asked what their favorite part about Ruby Rocket’s frozen snacks one intuitive student told me: “I love that these pops have natural colors and sugars from the fruits and vegetables.”


What grade schooler says that?  Super smart ones who are a reflection of their learning environment.

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Well, there you have it: this, my friends, was a prime example of students schooling adults. After spending a day with these students, I feel the need to boost my beet intake! 


A big thank you to Philip’s Academy for welcoming me to cover this assembly and event, and to Ruby Rockets for letting me be a part of this conversation on healthy snacking.


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Ruby Rockets come in Rock-it Red, Orbit Orange and Galaxy Green. The frozen snacks can be found at retailers such as Wegmans and Stop and Shop.


Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time and efforts. Opinions on NKT are my own, just as healthy snacking is always encouraged.

Partying with LeapFrog’s LeapTV

The other day, we had a mini-party to celebrate the weekend. And because we’re all about play, we were tasked to have a party with MommyParties to celebrate the launch of LeapFrog LeapTV .

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LeapTV is a new video gaming system from LeapFrog, the brains behind the LeapPad and LeapReader. With the LeapTV, kids can learn through motion as they jump, dance and go crazy. This system is unique because it was designed for kids specifically in the 3-8 year age range. The interface is simple and intuitive, the graphics are sharp, the motion-sensing camera puts kids front and center and the games are forward-thinking.

With LeapTv, there’s 3 unique ways to play: body motion, pointer play and classic control. Through these methods, kids get to experience fun games with plenty of educational content in between.

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I found LeapTV to be much more appealing than I had envisioned. I thought, “a kiddie gaming system?” I was certain I wasn’t going to like it, even though I’m a diehard LeapFrog fan. Truly, LeapTV exceeded every expectation and then some. From my delayed 2.5 year old to my gamer 7 year old, LeapTv satisfied both kids’ gaming desires. It was easy enough for the younger guy, yet engaging enough for my seven year old.


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At just $149, I think LeapTv is a great primer gaming system. LeapTV can be a bit redundant if you already own an Xbox or another gaming system that has a camera. It’s perfect for littler guys who express an interest in video games, yet can’t quite play any games on the Xbox. The camera and games geared for the smaller ones make this system appealing for families who aren’t ready to invest in a full blown gaming system. Above all, I loved watching my small and big guy interact together while they moved, grooved and reached for action words and slapped odd numbers. So fun! LeapFrog did it again with LeapTv!

Here’s a video we put together that showcases our LeapTv experience:


Full disclosure: I was provided with a review unit to facilitate this post, and to share with friends and family at our LeapTV party. Affiliate links are included in this post.

Review: Disney Boys’ Book of Fun and Boy Stuff-Paper Planes

In between road trips and time at the beach, we’ve been reading quite a bit this summer.  My soon-to-be first grader absolutely enjoys reading everything in sight, so it’s been quite fitting to be a part of Parragon’s Book Buddies program.



Last month’s Book Buddy titles included Disney Boys’ Book of Fun and Boy Stuff- Paper Planes.  Both books were perfect for my six year old to bring along on our road trip to Va to my high school reunion.  The books kept him entertained for most of the seven hour trip.  He loved flipping through the different planes and learning how to perfect his craft.


Disney Boys’ Book of Fun is a beautiful hardcover book filled with colorful pages of beloved boy-centric characters.  From Mickey and pals to Lightning McQueen to Buzz, this deluxe activity book is geared to boys who appreciate reading, doing mazes, drawing and doing puzzles.  

IMG 5679IMG 5681Each page is a different activity that keeps kids engaged and unplugged.  My son, who has recently discovered the joy of comic books, loves the different comic-style pages included in the book.  I love how comics teach kids the importance of story sequence, something that’s of importance for young, eager readers.  Another feature that I absolutely loved is the different games that can be played just like a board game.  Again, so perfect for traveling or simply unplugging at home.

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Boy Stuff-Paper Planes is yet another relevant title for my young reader.  This book helps kids to make cool paper airplanes with simplified templates.  This kit includes a book with instructions on how to fold 25 different airplanes, a pad of pre-printed templates and a variety of stickers to decorate the planes.   IMG 5684IMG 5687IMG 5690 The planes range from standard rockets to Birds of Prey to Robots—you name it, this book covers it.  My son loved how practically everything is included for handcrafting a fleet of super cool paper planes.  The only thing we were missing were scissors for several of the templates.  This kit is absolutely perfect for any kit who appreciates the art of making and flying paper planes.


Full disclosure:  These books were provided to facilitate this review.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.  Affiliate links are included above.

Developmental Toys for Toddlers

We’re toys (almost) all the time around here, but with baby’s ongoing therapies, my view of some toys have totally changed.  Being in the business of kid products for a few years now, what I once thought was a so-so toy, is now an excellent developmental tool.

We just had another crazy week of doctors visits, therapists and tests, so I wanted to focus on positive aspects of our day: toys.  Toys always make things better, especially when “professionals” are constantly evaluating my sweet guy.

So, I thought I’d round up just a few of our favorite toys of the moment, particularly ones that I consider to have excellent developmental value for my boy with delays. Even though my guy is just about 20 months, most toys’ age designators round up around 18m, hence the photo’s title.  What’s so great about these toys is that they’re geared to kids of all abilities, which basically means, they can be found on “regular” toy shelves or specialty stores and online.

1.  Haba Walker WagonAs first time parents, my husband I invested in less toys, but instead procured quality, eco-friendly baby products.  From our crib to this wooden walker, I carefully researched each item that we welcomed into our home…and I’m so glad we did!  Six years later, we STILL use many of those products, including this amazing Walker Wagon from Haba.

Made of solid wood and touting storage in the back and fun seat in the front, Haba’s Walker Wagon is a sturdy walker and one that can carry toys or a sibling upfront.  Its solid construction makes it a heavy toy, one that’s not meant to be picked up, but instead, serve as a sturdy walker that can help early walkers to balance themselves.  I absolutely this thing and am so glad we opted for this one years ago, now that we have a late walker who needs a bit more reinforcement.

2. Happy Giddy Bowling Set

While the concept of bowling and toddlers may not align well, this Happy Giddy Bowling Set from Melissa and Doug engages would-be knee-high bowlers.  Along with the bright colors, M&D incorporates fun bug faces to engage curious tots, including my own.  We don’t own this set, however, the baby’s physical therapist uses the bowling set to encourage total body interaction—picking up, putting down, rolling— something that helps my late walker to build his core.

3. Tolo Electronic Cash Register

I am a huge fan of Tolo toys, specifically this cash register, which just so happens to be the only electronic toy on this list.  The main electronic feature of this great developmental toy is the noise it makes when a child swipes the mini credit card.  The cash register features Tolo’s primary colors and sturdy plastic construction, all assets that engage my toddler.  What makes this cash register stand apart, is that it’s small enough for a toddler to manipulate with their tiny fingers. It’s easy to operate, which also keeps my toddler engaged long enough to play a pretend game of grocery store with big brother.  Tolo has a great chart on their site that indicates the developmental skill that is used for each toy, which I LOVE!  Dexterity, hand-eye coordination, memory and color recognition are just a few skills that are encouraged when playing with the electronic cash register.

4. Scrambled Eggs Puzzle

This puzzle game from Reeves Toys is another toy that our physical therapist introduced to my toddler.  By incorporating colors and shapes to the interior of the eggs, this toy allows a toddler to handle each piece while figuring things out on their own.  I enjoy the overall concept of the puzzle that helps with cognitive and fine motor skills, I just wish the egg crate was easier to open and close for kids.

5. Sensory Balls from Hedstrom

I’m sure many of you have seen these balls, and probably own a few too.  What I like most about these balls is that they’re colorful and the tiny nobs give toddlers a better sense of grip, hand-eye coordination and color recognition. These sensory balls also allow toddlers to engage in independent play as well as co-play with friends.  Personally, I love the size of these sensory balls and tend to have two or three in the car or stroller to entertain the tot when we’re on the go.

6. Parum Pum Pum from B. Toys

This set is actually one of my favorite toys to give to one year olds for presents, but ironically, we don’t own it ourselves.  Instead, this is one toy that motivates my toddler to walk during his sessions with his physical therapist.  Like many tots, he loves music and banging on things, so this set capitalizes on both with the drum storage and drumsticks. The tambourine, bells and other fun instruments also keep him happy with their fun sounds.  The colors and bug faces, too, keep him on his toes.  What’s so great about this set, like many other B. Toys, Parum Pum Pum set is highly rated by Able Play, a rating system for children with special needs and disabilities.

I’d love to hear about any awesome toys that you and your kids love that also promote developmental skills.

Full disclosure:  samples were provided for the cash register and scrambled eggs.  For everything else, we bought on our own, or don’t actually own.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.  And please do not ever mistake my opinions for medical or child professional advice.

Reading Enrichment with Play-Doh and Star Wars

With school back in session, I wanted to share one of the many activities that we’ve been doing to sharpen and enhance Biggie’s reading skills.

Because of his late September birthday, we redshirted our five year old and thus, I’ve been vigilant about bridging the transition to Kindergarten. I have much to say about redshirting and transitional kindergarten in general, but I’ll save that for another day. Today, it’s all about Play-Doh and Star Wars.

Reading enrichment comes in many forms, but for one rainy afternoon, we paired Play-Doh and Star Wars to engage in a hands-on reading activity that just happened to focus on Biggie’s favorite characters. I let J flip through one of his favorite books right now, which is a DK Readers Level One book called Who Saved the Galaxy? by Catherine Saunders. Since he’s not quite reading fluidly on his own, I love the fact that this book has characters he loves and can decipher words with graphic help. Not to mention, it’s a well known tactic that familiar characters engage beginning readers. In our case, my beginning reader is most interested in things like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, space and Star Wars.

For this project, we used Play-Doh’s new Ultimate Rainbow Pack. The wide range of colors makes this activity fun since the novelty of new colors and variety keeps J interested in the task at hand. Once he picked his colors, he used various cutters to cut out letters for characters like Luke Skywalker.

We moved on to other characters and even picked colors that matched the characters color scheme; yellow and brown complemented C 3P0 quite perfectly!

To change it up, we decided to roll letters, which also works on those fine motor skills, and is important for proper writing utensil handling. By rolling the letters, I found that it was a great way to better understand letter formation since he had to manipulate pieces to form the letters.

Our most favorite part of this project was making a model of R2D2. This project was a fun way to work together to create something we both like! To work further on those fine motor skills, I let J cut out the tiny buttons that make up R2D2’s robotic exterior. I helped J to make the formation of R2D2 himself, but allowed him to make the final touches of all the pieces.

By pairing Play-Doh and Star Wars, not only were we able to keep occupied and have fun on a rainy afternoon, but we made Play-Doh educational by twisting it into a reading activity. Play-Doh isn’t the cleanest activity, so I’d suggest using Glad Press and Seal for easy clean up. To make Play-Doh an educational activity on our own, just grab your favorite book, pull words and play away. The more accessories, colors and words, the better!

I’m so sure teachers do activities like this in school, but for us at home, it’s a great way to sharpen reading skills and express creativity by bringing our favorite characters to life via Play-Doh and Vine!

Full disclosure:  we were provided with a sample of Play-Doh, but we used our own creativity for this fun project.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Best Kid-Centric Twitter Profiles

Happy seven years to Twitter!  As a writer who has transitioned mainly from print to digital, I’ve found Twitter to be an invaluable resource. But more importantly, as a digital mom, Twitter is always there at 2am when my IRL network of family and friends are asleep and I have a bizarre question about one of my kids or some random thought that’s keeping me up at night.

Seriously, social media is my bff when it comes to researching ideas or stirring up inspiration. And in between the actual writing of articles, I appreciate tweeting with friends and kid-centric brands and organizations.

Always researching the latest in kid trends and relevant parenting topics, my Twitter Favorites list is a hotbed of profiles that (I think) are worth following.

1. @PBSKids

While yes, I may be a PBS Kids VIP, but I’ve been following every PBS Twitter profiles long before joining this fun ambassador program.  Specifically, @PBSKids does a great job with sharing great ideas for the kids, as well as relevant show and digital media information.  I’m big on continuing educational conversation at home, so even if it’s a 20 minute after school activity, I appreciate PBSKid’s helpful links, which often highlights their curriculum-based media with characters that my 5-year old knows and loves.

My most recent @PBSKids favorite links to some writing milestones for kindergartners from @pbsparents

I’m such a fan of Sara DeWitt, VP of PBS Kids’ Interactive.  I favorited her tweet that shared the link to her Podcast of her session at SXSW.

2. CBC Book

The Childrens Book Council dishes out the latest and greatest in children’s and young adult lit news. One of my most recent favorites from them was this one:

3. Kidscreen

Kidscreen tweets timely headlines about children’s entertainment industry.  And because they cover the global market, they share breaking news about toys, online media, tv shows and much more.

4. @Inhabitots

Inhabitots tweets interesting news that may be relevant for the eco-concious family.

5. @Playworks

I’m all about playtime and encouraging play and recess, which is why I appreciate following Playworks.  They not only share helpful stats and articles relating to play, but they also engage with like-minded advocates.

6. @HasbroNews

We’re all about toys and theHub as of late, so I love checking out @HasbroNews to keep abreast of all of their properties.

Overall, I’d love to see more organic conversation on Twitter, including these brands, I do like seeing them in my Twitter stream.  Everyone I know uses Twitter differently, but I really wish people didn’t use it as a surveillance channel or as an promotion machine.  I get it, people enjoy “watching” others online, but Twitter was actually created to stay in touch with friends.  As in, conversation.  Conversation, to me, is key when it comes to Twitter.  Sharing information and interacting with others first-hand is perhaps the coolest aspect of this social media channel.  I appreciate brands and organization who “get it” and follow through with dialogues that were created by “regular” followers and fans.  Better yet, I appreciate fellow Twitter users who still engage with one another!

And if you’re one of those who just funnel links to your work on Twitter, well, I’m just not a fan…and I know many others aren’t a fan either.

So, who are your must follow Twitter profiles?