Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's Going to be NEW This Year?

Great question! Well, as you know we just got back from Toy Fair last week. It was a great trip...always is! There are a few companies and products that we are especially excited about. Here is one that's coming soon. My stomach is growling just looking at the photo!

Learning Resources "Smart Snacks" series and play food. The "Smart Snacks" are really exciting and they're age appropriate and safe for children 2 years and up! That's great news for Moms who are always agonizing over buying something 3 Years and up for a young child who is very interested in play food! This series contains quite a few different toys, but each is a learning toy as well as a fun play food toy. For example, their Sorting Shapes Cupcakes (shown left) not only look fabulous but each cupcake is also a sorting toy! Look at the cupcake base!

Now that looks like some mouth watering fun! How can you go wrong with cupcakes that are also an educational toy?? Where were these great toys when we were kids?? Look for "Smart Snacks" at GummyLump.com soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Jokes for Preschoolers :)

Just a few more... What do you call a crate of ducks? A box of quackers! What kind of pants do ghosts wear? Boo Jeans! How do you stop a skunk from smelling? Hold his nose! What do cats serve at birthday parties? Cake and mice cream! Why did Donald Duck go to medical school? He wanted to be a wise quacker! What is furry, red, and comes in a jar? Pickle Me Elmo! What does the rain cloud wear under its coat? Thunderwear!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Some Funny Jokes for Preschoolers!

I found some very funny jokes this morning for preschoolers. I have always been interested in preschool education and when I was in college I took a course called "Practicum in Preschool Education". It was for 3 hours a day 3 days a week at the campus (SUNY Binghamton) preschool. At that time I bought a couple of joke books because I never remember any that people tell me. I thought I should try to remember one or two a week because I thought the kids would like it. They did like it! Hard to believe those little kids are now, oh in their late twenties!! Anyway, oddly enough I came across one of those books this morning and I actually remembered a few of the jokes before I even opened it. One thing I found out is that preschoolers LOVE to repeat the same thing over and over and over and over. You get the idea! That even goes for jokes. Find one they like and you'll keep hearing it! It's fate that you laugh with me this early early morning. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this in case you don't like these jokes...my senior thesis was on Humor: "What's so funny anyway?" It focused on what's funny to different ages of children. I did get an A but let's see what you think! REMEMBER this is for preschoolers. Try these out and see what they think! Some have cautionary statements and I advise you to read them! What do you call it when a cow sings? Moo-sic Knock Knock Who's there? Ice cream! Ice cream who? Ice cream if you don't let me in! (CAUTION: This one may put them in the mood for ice cream for days. Make sure it's on hand or don't tell it!) Knock knock Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Knock knock Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Knock knock Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad I didn't say banana ? (CAUTION: Oh yes, it's the all time classic...and still gets great laughs. And so much fun when they keep repeating it wrong and without the punch line! My niece repeated this joke to me incessantly for 3 days...and never got it right. It never stopped her from doubling over in laughter, however! And that cracked me up too!) Knock, Knock. Who's there? Repeat. Repeat who? Who Who Who! (I promise you...it's a killer!) Knock, Knock. Who's there? Tank. Tank who? You're welcome! Knock, Knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange You Glad This is the LAST Knock Knock Joke! (CAUTION: You will be glad...but them...not so much!) How do you make a tissue dance? Put a little boogie in it! ----------------------------------------------------------------- Ok, I have to make the twins breakfast now. More jokes at a later time!

Friday, February 20, 2009

What is TOY FAIR?

Toy Fair NYC takes place every year the week of Valentine's Day. It is at the Javitz Center in New York City. During this expo, vendors (manufacturers and wholesalers) from all over the world display their toys! It is great fun because there are just rows and rows of toys. The Javitz Center is a huge venue, and it is filled with wonderful products that we get to preview, touch, and learn about, direct from the manufacturer. Sorry, you can only come if you have a verifiable toy store! It's the place where the manufacturers unveil their new toys for the upcoming year as well. That's very exciting. It's also an opportunity to find new vendors and start relationships with them. You can make purchases right there at Toy Fair, or take a catalog and purchase at a later date. This year we visited our old friends (current vendors) and scoped out a bunch of new vendors as well. We chose some great companies to work with this time around. We hope you'll approve of our choices. We'll list them in our next Blog Post! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top Toddler Toys: Educo Butterfly Maze

I just found this article yesterday. It was on BabyZone.com's TOP TODDLER TOYS OF 2008. We carry it! CLICK HERE "Educo Color Flutter Butterfly Magnetic Maze HaPe Intl, Inc. Enhance important hand-eye coordination skills with this hardy wooden toy. Our mom testers said:"My daughter carried this around with her for days. It took such a beating, but still held up." Why it's a winner:This colorful magnetic maze is well-made, durable, and engaging. Little players use the magnetic pen to lead colorful balls through a wooden maze. Because all the parts are attached and enclosed, it is safe and great for travel. (Of course, we do not recommend hard toys for in-car play.)" "The Educo Butterfly is a lovely, classic wooden toy that serves a highly focused purpose: to help develop important age appropriate hand-eye and fine motor coordination skills for kids ages two and up." CLICK HERE to find it at GummyLump.com

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

GummyLump.com is a Winner in TheFind100 Inaugural List of Specialty Merchants

February 10, 2009 TheFind100: Honoring Specialty Merchants You’ve all heard of eBay and Amazon, and they truly are amazing places to buy stuff online. As a shopping search engine that finds over products from over 500,000 online stores and retailers, our goal has always been to include all stores and products found online - from the big guys, to the smallest specialty merchants. A funny thing happened along the way – we noticed that many of the smaller to mid-sized merchants were receiving a lot of clicks from our users, and with many becoming clear favorites in certain categories. As an avid proponent of these smaller shops, we were excited to put together the top 100 store lists and share them with the world. From that, TheFind100 was born. TheFind100 lists our top 100 merchants in 16 shopping categories – including baby clothing, home, health and beauty, pets, kids and family, sports and outdoor, shoes – and more. And with over 11 million people coming to our site every month, these 1600 merchants have a lot to be proud of, since they really have stood out among their peers in front of a large audience. Congratulations to all of these merchants – including Pinkmascara (apparel), Glamajama (baby clothes), Gummy Lump (kids and family), Kidsmartliving (Kitchen), Artbeads.com (Crafts), iGourmet (food and wine) – and more. Visit them all at www.thefind.com/thefind100. If you are a merchant on this list, you can contact us here to receive your badge. Congratulations and may we all continue to support the starts of specialty retailing!

Hey We're One of TheFind.com's Finds!

SBInformer News : TheFind Announces Winners of TheFind100: The Top Specialty Stores of 2008. Guess What? GummyLump.com made their list! Thank you shoppers!

Is Your Child Developmentally Ahead, Just Right, or Behind?

Stages of Developmental Skills: Important Milestones

Every parent is interested in knowing if their child is developing normally and at the same pace as other children the same age. Sometimes it seems that there are great differences between 2 children of almost the same age and this can sometimes cause concern in new parents. However, you will see that developmental skills will develop in a child at an age range rather than at a particular age.

Here is a list of developmental skills and milestones that should be met during particular age ranges.

DOES YOUR CHILD... 0-3 Months Hold Head Up Smile Spontaneous Look at His Hands Laugh Respond to a Bell Vocalize 3-6 Months Roll Over Grasp Rattle Reach for Items Turn to a Voice Look at Speaker's Face Babble Imitate Speech Sounds 6-9 Months Stand Holding Onto Person or Object Gets to Sitting Position Bangs 2 Cubes Held in Hands Waves Bye Bye Can Use Voice (not crying) to Get Your Attention Responds to "No" 9-12 Months Stand Alone Drink From a Cup Play Ball Follow Directions (open mouth) Jabber Mama/Dada specifically Use Consonant Sound (b d g m n) when "talking" 12-15 Months First True Words Appear 12-18 Months Can Walk Well Scribble Build a Tower of 2 Cubes Help in House Point to Familiar People and Toys Use 10-20 Words Follow Simple Directions 18-24 Months Kick Ball/Throw Ball Over Head Remove Garments Wash and Dry Hands Point to Body Parts Point to Pictures Use Own First Name Use 2 Word Sentences Name 4 Pictures Use Pronouns (I, Me) 24-30 Months Jump Up Imitate Words Answer Questions (What do you do when you're tired?) Speaks 100-200 Words Uses Plurals (dogs) 30-36 Months Build Tower of 8 Cubes Give Use of An Object (show me which goes on your foot) Follow 2 Step Directions Understand concept of "one" Uses Question Form (who? what? where? why? what? when?) Relates Experiences Using 4-5 word sentences 3-4 Years Hops Dresses Without Help Understands "why" questions Knows Opposites (fast/slow) Uses Nouns and Actions of Words Most Frequently Can Talk About Pictures in Books Identifies Actions in Pictures 4-5 Years Can Draw a Person Follows 2-3 Step Commands (go to your bedroom, get your shirt, and bring it to me) Says Most Sounds Correctly Except Maybe s, th Has Conversations Using Complete Sentences Which Most People Understand *As always, if you have concerns about your child's development, contact your pediatrician or developmental expert. Early intervention and free consultations are available throughout the United States.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What's a Gummy Lump?

This has to be the most frequently asked question that we get! It is a cute and funny name for a company, isn't it? We got the idea for naming our company Gummy Lump from the following story that came from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum. The book is a collection of short stories that reveal life's larger meaning. One story in particular always stuck with me:

"Watched a man setting up a Valentine's Day display in a store window. It's the middle of January, but the merchants need to get a jump on love, I guess. Don't get me wrong -- merchants are fine folks. They give us choices and keep us informed on the important holidays. How would you know it was Halloween or Valentine's Day or Mother's Day early enough to do something about it, if merchants didn't stay on the job?

The other group I count on is kindergarten teachers. They always know about holidays, and when it comes to valentines and other evidence of love, no merchant can compete with them. What the kindergarten teachers set in motion, no merchant could sell -- it's beyond price -- you can't get it at the store. What I'm talking about here is something I think of as the gummy lump. Once it was a shoebox, decorated and given to me by the oldest child. Then it became a repository of other relics of childhood given to me by the younger children. The shoebox became my treasure chest in time. Its components are standard: Three colors of construction paper -- pink and red and white -- faded now, aluminum foil, orange tissue paper, several paper doilies, three kinds of macaroni, gumdrops, jelly beans, some little white hearts (the kind that taste like Tums) with words on them, and the whole thing held together with a whole big lot of white library paste, which also tastes like Tums.

Anyhow, this shoebox isn't looking too very good now. It's a little shriveled and kind of moldy where the jelly beans and gumdrops have run together. It's still sticky in places, and most of it is more beige than red and white. If you lift the lid, however, you will begin to know what makes me keep it. On folded and faded and fragile pieces of large-lined school paper, there are words: "Hi daddi" and "Hoppy valimtime" and "I lov you." A whole big lot of "I lov you." Glued to the bottom of the box are twenty-three X's and O's made out of macaroni. I've counted them more than once. Also scrawled in several places the names of three children.The treasures of King Tut are nothing in the face of this. Have you got something around the house like a gummy lump? Evidence of love in its most uncomplicated and most trustworthy state? You may live a long, long time. You may receive gifts of great value and beauty. You may experience much love. But you will never believe in it quite as much as you believe in the gummy lump. It makes your world go round and the ride worth the trouble.

The three children are grown up now. They still love me, though it's harder sometimes to get direct evidence. And it's love that's complicated by age and knowledge and confusing values. Love, to be sure. But not simple. Not something you could put in a shoebox. This sticky icon sits on a shelf at the top of my closet. Nobody else knows it's there. But I do. It is a talisman, a kind of cairn to memory, and I think about it every morning as I dress. Once in a while I take it down from the shelf and open it. It is something I can touch and hold and believe in, especially when love gets difficult and there are no small arms around my neck anymore.

Oh, sure, this is the worst kind of simpleminded, heartrending Daddy-drivel imaginable. I've probably embarrassed us both by telling you. But it beats the hell out of a mood ring or a mantra when it comes to comfort. I have no apology. The gummy lump stands for my kind of love. Bury it with me. I want to take it with me as far as I go."
Are your eyes tearing?

It's a great little story, isn't it?

As I said, it really stayed with me. Then, years later when we were trying to come up with a name for our business we had narrowed it down to 3 or 4. I secretly wanted to name it Gummy Lump but I was embarrassed to say it out loud because it seemed so silly. But, you've just read the story...it's beautiful, not silly, right? So, when our corporation was being set up the attorney asked us what the official name would be. We couldn't decide so we let the attorney decide. I gave him the 3 or 4 names we'd been thinking of and he didn't seem too keen on any of them -- and then I hesitantly added "or Gummy Lump."

That name he liked but he said "What's a Gummy Lump?"

That's the story behind the name of our company. Now you know that we're "Gummy Lump" and you know why, but we still giggle when people continue to call us "Gummy Lumps", "Gumpy Lump", "Gummy Rump" and "Gumpy Lump". We even get letters addressed to "Grumpy Lump"!

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