Celebrate and Share: Tag.Give.Read with LeapFrog

It’s my boy’s birthday today, and I’m happy to report that we enjoyed our mini-party this weekend.  Of course, a birthday party wouldn’t be complete without fun gifts, which is why I’m sharing about yet another NKT fave, LeapFrog.

Reading has been a huge, huge part of being 2.  LeapFrog’s Tag Jr. has been a staple in our reading routine since we were introduced to it last summer.  Tag Jr., which is geared to 2-5 year olds, has been such a hit for the kid, that for holidays like Easter and Valentine’s Day, in lieu of excess candy, I’ve made sure to gift the kid with Tag Jr. books to bolster our library.

Watching the boy’s chubby toddler arms plop the equally chubby Tag Jr. on the graphics of his little books are memories that I’ll always embrace.  And the quality time that dad gets to share with the kid while reading with Tag Jr. during the bedtime routine? Irreplaceable.

One of the many fantastic aspects of LeapFrog is that they’ve done a genius job of developing an array of products that grow with kids, and I envision Tag being a huge part of the preschool phase.  While we haven’t officially graduated from Tag Jr., the kid has had a fun time exploring more titles with LeapFrog’s Tag Reading System, which is aimed to 4- 8 year olds.  Superheroes are the favorite phase du jour, so, reading about Spiderman with LeapFrog Tag has offered a great new perspective to Spidey’s adventures.

Tag’s library is constantly evolving, and titles such as Toy Story 3 is one of the new ones that will no doubt find its way into our home.  Oh yes, and how can I forget staples such Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat, which came with our Tag Reader, and for good reason: it’s been one book that’s read endlessly for bedtime.

Check it

LeapFrog has certainly helped cultivate the joy of reading at a young age in our home, and they’re aiming to touch even more lives.  Announced last week, through a partnership with DonorsChoose.org, LeapFrog’s new Tag. Give. Read. program is aiming to help more U.S. children embrace the love of reading by donating $100,000 to match donations made to teachers requesting Tag School Reading systems.

To learn more about the Tag. Give. Read. program, logon to LeapFrog.com. All DonorsChoose.org projects that are eligible for the LeapFrog match are searchable by teacher name or geographic area. Once a teacher’s goal for Tag School systems is half-met by donors, LeapFrog provides the rest.  Awesome, no?

And Those who don’t have money to give can make a difference, by becoming a fan of LeapFrog on Facebook. For each new “like,” LeapFrog will give a Tag book to a Kindergarten teacher, up to 25,000 books.  As if we needed another reason to love LeapFrog!


And because we’re still in celebration mode over here on NKT, here’s another gift for you:  LeapFrog has offered to give one NKT reader a LeapFrog Tag Reading System.

Want a LeapFrog Tag for your kids?  Simply share about LeapFrog’s Tag.Give.Read program.  Leverage all social media outlets and share about this fantastic program. Tweet, Share on Facebook, email your friends and family…  Share: give more kids a chance to celebrate the love of reading.

(actual book in giveaway may vary from photo.  This photo was taken at the LeapFrog media preview)

Please comment below for each way that you share.  Multiple entries are encouraged, so please share away.

Interested in another extra entry?  Become an NKT fan on Facebook and/or “like” this post.  Who knows, maybe I’ll give away something else very soon.  *cough*tomorrow*cough

This giveaway will end October 11 at midnight. Winners will be chosen via random.org, and will be notified via Facebook fanpage and email.

NKT Fave: Chuggington Die-Cast Toys from Learning Curve

Trains, trains and more trains. Thank goodness for trains and massive train tables! Toddlerhood possibly wouldn’t have been bearable without our trusty trains. I do believe I complained about the size of the giant train table the kid got for his birthday last year, but after endless hours of play, I’ll bite my tongue.  Good call, hubs!

During our summer of displacement, the kid constantly asked for his toys, but it was his trains and train table that he begged for on a daily basis.  And because of that, our trains and the bazillion pieces and accessories that go along with it will always be an NKT fave.

I love sharing the next big thing in kid products, and of course, toys! A few months ago, we shared the news that one of our favorite train shows, Chuggington, will be releasing toys here in the U.S.  Chuggington toys will be on the shelves in early October, in time for the holidays, but better yet, you can pre-order them now at Toysrus.com.

As a Chuggington Conductor, I’ve had the chance to get the latest Chuggington news as it breaks, so that I can share it with all of you.  This time around, we were able to get the new toys in our hands BEFORE they hit the shelves to be able to share a sneak peek with all of you.  In the spirit of the next kid thing, check out our video and review of the new Chuggington toys from Learning Curve.   Apologies for the shaky camera!


And because it’s my boy’s birthday next week, as promised, I want to give YOUR kids toys that my kid loves. Sooooo…


Want to win a Chuggington prize pack? The prize pack will include a Launch & Go Roundhouse, Straight & Curved Track Pack and a few Die-Cast Engines.  (Engines may vary from what is shown in my video.)

Comment below and tell me who your kids’ favorite Chuggington character is, and why.

The kid and I mutually love Koko because she’s feisty, strong-willed and fun.

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Party On with Perfect Piggies

It’s a sunny Monday in our part of the world; what a great start to another week.  This week marks the kid’s last week as a two-year old, and so in the week leading up to his birthday, I will be spotlighting his favorite things à la Oprah.  Unlike Oprah, I won’t be giving away a bazillion and one things to all NKT readers, but I will be hosting some exciting giveaways and downloads—fun toys and goodies that have made our lives a little sunnier.

One of the kid’s favorite authors, Sandra Boynton recently released a fun new book, Perfect Piggies.  If you love Boynton’s books as much as we do, then I’m sure you’re familiar with classics like Moo, Baa, La La La and Barnyard Dance.  Many of her books have a sing-song appeal that’s catchy and memorable, just like this instant classic.

“We are all perfect piggies and we know what we need.  It’s really very simple, very simple indeed: a troughful of food, a place in the sun, and a little bit of comfort when the day is done.”

Perfect Piggies, a simple celebration of being unique, echoes the same, fun rhythm and rhyme that Boynton on Board books are well known for, but better yet, this one has a downloadable song that goes along with it.

The Perfect Piggies song is sung in a cappella, and has a sweet swing to it.  It’s catchy enough to induce some toe-tapping, finger-snapping and definitely kid-dancing.  The song reminds me so much of one of my favorite groups, Straight No Chaser, an a cappella group that’s been known to make people laugh and swoon with their fabulous performances.  And no doubt, the Perfect Piggies song and book make us swoon just as much, if not more.

Want to check out the song for your crew?  Download the Perfect Piggies song for free here.  Oooh, and there’s more, since we’re in party mode, have your own Perfect Piggies themed party, too!  Download some activity and craft sheets, a party poster and even the song sheet, and throw yourselves a party that’s perfect for all piggies and kids alike.


Download me!


Perfect Piggies is published by Workman Publishing and retails for $6.95.  The song can be downloaded for free online, and the book is available in bookstores now.

Sale alert: Hape Toys at Mini Social

I’ve pledged my affinity for a variety of sustainable toys, among them, of course, are the fun and educational toys from Hape.  Hape has a fantastic selection of toys that’s appropriate from babies to school-aged kids, but I personally covet their educational playsets and wooden puzzles.











Speaking of puzzles, today on The Mini Social, one of my favorite flash sale sites, is featuring Hape’s bendable Anamalz, Sporty E-racers and educational puzzles.  It looks like some of the toys are half off for a few days, making them great for stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts.  You do have to sign up, but the sales on The Mini Social are well worth it.

Gift Idea: PetCakes Combine What Kids Crave

One of the best aspects of staying with our family* for the past few weeks is that we’ve been able to hang out with my husband and kid’s cousins.  Since I don’t have a daughter, these two adorable little girls have helped me better grasp the latest in cool girl play things.

I typically cover girls’ products, trying my best to go beyond princesses and dolls.  Ultimately, many girls love princesses and other girly-ish toys, but other that, what else is there?   Two words: cupcakes and pets.


I was introduced to Petcakes, a new collectible plush toy, at the Time to Play Spring and Summer Showcase.  Well Made Toys, the brains behind these plush toys, had the foresight to combine two things that many girls crave:  lovable pets and the ongoing trend of cupcakes.

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