Breaking it down with the Imagination Movers

viewmedia-6Music will always play a huge part of our lives, and so, as a fan to various genres, including kid music, I’d like to introduce NKT’s very first exclusive feature!

Just in time for the release of their latest CD For Those About to Hop, the Imagination Movers sat down with me and the kid to chat. The Imagination Movers, who hail from the New Orleans area and appeal to the preschool set and their parents, have been captivating kids on their hit Disney show of the same name. The former journalist, firefighter, architect and teacher break it down to the Next Kid Thing and tell us their favorite Police album and offer some insight to parents on getting their kids interested in music.

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Kids Crooked House gets a little airtime

A few months ago, I began perusing the web for super cool finds to add to this site here, I came across these awesome playhouses. I thought Kids Crooked House playhouses were extremely unique, I knew they’d be a hit. I even Stumbled it, with every intention of doing a blog post, but of course, I got a little sidetracked.

But last night, the custom playhouses that look animated with their “crooked” appearance got a little bit of airtime on that little show, Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Heh. The Kids Crooked Houses piqued so much interest, Jon and Kate broke their website! (The Kids Crooked House site is now back up and running!)


The Kids Crooked Houses come in a standard model or you can go the custom route. The standard models come in original, deluxe (pictured above) or super deluxe versions.  And be forewarned, the exclusivity and this sort of handcrafting comes at a price. But what I heard from an owner of a Kids Crooked House, it’s worth it.

The creators of Kids Crooked Houses build each house by hand, using traditional 2 x 4 construction, as if they were building for their own kids.  My brothers and I grew up with our own custom playhouse, so I love the concept behind the uniqueness of the Kids Crooked House and totally agree that every kid should have a “place” of their own.

And just like that, I’m dreaming of suburbia, but mainly for my our own Kids Crooked House!

Handy Manny’s Superstar Summer Saturdays

handy-manny5Yesterday marked the official first day of summer, but this past weekend the gang at Sheetrock Hills started the summer fun with a Quinceañera.   Handy Manny, the popular Disney Channel show that stars Wilmer Valderrama as the voice of handyman Manny Garcia, has a lineup of new summer shows that are set to premiere every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. this summer.

The first Saturday of new Handy Manny shows, dubbed Superstar Summer Saturdays, featured pop star Ashley Parker Angel who needed some help before his concert in the park. Everyone’s favorite cartoon handyman, Manny, and his crew were tasked with helping to fix a flower situation for Señor Ayala’s niece’s Quinceañera after a fan threw a wrench into things.

Going beyond helping popstars, Sheetrock Hills’ go-to guy, Manny and his quirky buddies, the talking tools, have a new set of tasks and adventures to accomplish this summer, including overcoming a blackout, saving the turtles and enjoying a day at the beach. The list of new shows included in Superstar Summer Saturdays are as follows:

Saturday, June 20 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “Danny Starr / Quinceañera”

Saturday, June 27 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “The Good, The Bad, The Handy”

Saturday, July 4 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “Lyle & Leland Lopart / Blackout on the Block”

Saturday, July 11 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “A Day at the Beach / The Party Dress”

Saturday, July 18 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “Singing Salon / Manny’s Makeover”

Saturday, July 25 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “A Night with Abuelito / Canine Case”

Saturday, August 1 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “Saving the Turtles / Abuelito’s Siesta”

Saturday, August 8 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) – “Picture Perfect / Some Assembly Required”

Matthew Broderick guest stars in Cyberchase

Matthew Broderick will guest star as the voice of Max in a special Father’s Day episode of Cyberchase, premiering June 19 on PBS KIDS GO!   In this episode, Hacker sets out to ruin Father’s Day while Max and the CyberSquad try to stop him.


If you’re not familiar with Cyberchase, here’s this special episode’s description from PBS:

Cyberchase features a trio of smart, curious kids who outwit the dastardly villain Hacker (Christopher Lloyd) during his mad quest to rule Cyberspace.  With help of their bird pal Digit (Gilbert Gottfried), the CyberSquad uses math and brain power to foil Hacker’s evil schemes. This time, it’s the annual Father’s Day Parade in Tikiville, and Max (guest star Matthew Broderick) is this year’s Cyber Dad of the Year.  Max was once a schoolmate of Hacker’s – and continually bested Hacker in all of their endeavors.  Hacker has decided it’s time to get even. His dastardly scheme is to replace Max with a Max robot and make the robot do awful things during the parade. The CyberSquad must use number patterns to crack a series of coded messages sent by Hacker to save the day in Tikiville.  Matthew Broderick voices both the easy-going, likeable Max and the evil Max robot in this thrilling Father’s Day Cyberchase adventure.

Following the June 19 on-air premiere, the Father’s Day episode with Matthew Broderick will be available for streaming at Cyberchase Online and on the PBS KIDS GO! video player.

Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 to hit full force

Mattel announced several products to go along with the launch of the new series, Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, set to debut in August on the Cartoon Network.  The CGI-animated, Battle Force 5 is said to feature a team of drivers in super fast, super cool vehicles who must work together to save the Earth.


The Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 line features a full range of toys including battle vehicles and figures, a vehicle assortment, a trackset and vehicle assortment two-packs with a DVD containing the first episode of the show. The full Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 line will be at stores in October 2009.  Activision Publishing will release a Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 videogame to Wii and Nintendo DS platforms this November.  Also be on the lookout for a litany of Hot Wheels Battle Force licensed products for boys including clothes, footwear, role play toys, graphic novels, skateboards, bikes dvds, watches and more.

All aboard the Dinosaur Train

The Dinosaur Train, a new tv series for preschoolers from the Jim Henson Company, is set to debut on September 7 on PBS Kids, just in time for the new school year. The CGI-animated series, aimed at 3-6 year olds, will combine two preschoolers’ favorites—trains and dinosaurs—while encouraging interest in science, specifically natural history and paleontology.

dtrainThe Dinosaur Train’s premise follows Buddy, who is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon, and brought to their nest to hatch at the same time as his new siblings, Tiny, Shiny and Don. The show will follow the family’s adventures as they travel around in the Dinosaur Train checking out the prehistoric world and learning about other dinosaurs along the way.

This isn’t the Jim Henson Company’s first foray with CGI animation.  In fact,buddy perhaps one of their most notable new shows, the parent and kid favorite, Sid the Science Kid, is a CGI-animated show that focuses on science, and was recently nominated for 2009 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program.
If the popularity of the Emmy-nominated Sid the Science Kid is any indication, I have a feeling that The Dinosaur Train will be a another big hit and a great natural history-focused addition in the educational media sector.

The full website is expected to launch in August, but in the meantime, be sure to meet Buddy and the gang on The Dinosaur Train’s preliminary website.

Photo credit: PBS

Global Green Pals

Perhaps one of my favorite toy concepts I’ve seen in a long time is Global Green Pals.  I came across the Global Green Pals while at the Go Green Expo and was immediately intrigued.  What first caught my eye about these dolls was the fact that they’re multicultural and very unique.  Growing up with not many multicultural dolls, it’s nice to see that toy companies are mirroring the diversity of the kids that love their toys.

Global Green Pals
What’s great about the Global Green Pals is that each one has a story.  All unique, their stories involve environmentalism and a fervor to save the Earth.  Though not available until this summer, check out the Global Green Pals’ site and get to know Offset Chet, Clean Air Kate, Pani Rani, Pink Coral Laurel and Recycle Kyle!  Just as the dolls are poised to Save the Earth, with every Pal purchased, a portion of the sales will go to 1% for the Planet.


I love the concept behind these dolls and can see them becoming a huge hit!  It’s toys like Global Green Pals that epitomize The Next Kid Thing!

I’ll be sure to share more information about them once they’re available!

It’s time to Shell-abrate!

The Tribeca Film Festival is set to kickoff this weekend in NYC, with all kinds of kid-friendly activities to boot.
But one highlight caught my attention: Tribeca Film Festival will screen the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film to celebrate…wait for it….25 years of Turtle Power.
In addition to tonight’s screening, the Turtles’ year long celebration began when they flipped the switch this morning atop the Empire State Building. The Empire State Building’s lights will go green in honor of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo.wallpaper_b_tb

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), directed by Steve Barron, was selected as the Drive-in movie feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. The outdoor screening is scheduled for tonight at 8:15 PM at the World Financial Center Plaza (200 Vesey Street). Open to the public, pre-activities starting at 5:00 PM include a pizza party, face-painting, photo opportunities with the Turtles, dancing, and martial arts demonstrations with the TMNT and The American Taekwondo Association. And of course, The Turtles’ pal, April O’Neil, will join in the fun.

25 years, really? I officially feel old.

Landmarks to Power Down for Earth Day

empireNew York City’s Empire State Building, Chicago’s Sears Tower and Seattle’s Space Needle will show solidarity with kids across the country by “turning off their lights” tonight for Earth Day at 9 p.m. local time– as kids simultaneously do the same in their homes, as a symbol of environmental consciousness.

“Powering Down” the Empire State Building’s tower lights, the Sears Tower’s antenna and the Space Needle’s exterior lights is part of Nickelodeon’s ongoing The Big Green Help initiative, which is designed to empower kids to take action on the environment and connect them to energy saving and earth-friendly activities in their everyday lives.

Nickelodeon’s The Big Green Help is a multiplatform campaign that provides information and tools to help explain climate change to kids through on-air messaging, grassroots activity, and online gaming. To-date, more than 2 million kids have pledged to participate in The Big Green Help.