Friday, November 19, 2010

CLOSED: Melissa and Doug Play Kitchen GIVEAWAY

oona said...I love the Melissa and Doug Puppet Theater, my silly daughter loves to put on tons of shows! Thanks!

CLOSED! Winner will be selected by on Monday! Good Luck and thank you for participating in our giveaway!

Melissa & Doug Play Kitchen

Melissa & Doug's Kitchen includes a sturdy stove top, roomy refrigerator, fancy freezer, a see-through oven with working knobs, a microwave and a spacious sink. Sizeable storage, beautiful detailing and bright, colorful graphics, all for an exceptional price.

Enjoy the Melissa & Doug Kitchen for one child or for several! Kitchen play is wonderful for enhancing social skills because several children have to figure out how to work together.

The Play Kitchen by Melissa & Doug has been one of our best selling kitchens for several years because of it's easy assembly with clear instructions, quality, price, and durability.

Assembly Required.

Educational Value: Great for pretend play, role play and imitation. A Play Kitchen is a fantastic toy to have for developing a great assortment of skills including small motor, hand-eye, vocabulary, social, problem solving, and more!

Size Assembled: 42" x 42" x 16.5"     For Ages: 3 years and up

To Buy It - $249.99 $199.99 with FREE Ground Shipping!!


Basic Entry (MUST do this one)Go to our website and pick any one of our WOODEN TOYS that you'd like to own. Put the name of that toy in your comment for 1 entry per day (must be different each day). Your comment should say something like "We want the chomp and clack alligator wooden toy!"

To create a comment you must click the link at the bottom of this post where it says "XX Comments" (where XX is the number of comments, ie. "70 comments") or "Post a Comment."

Bonus Entries (optional):
For 5 Bonus Entries make a purchase at and comment 5 times on this post with your order number.

Join Our Newsletter for 5 entries and comment 5 times on this post with "joined newsletter"

For 5 extra entries Add our button to your blog and link to (for help with this email Choose a button: (125 x 125)
animated holiday button, holiday button, non-holiday button

For 5 extra entries Add a "Play Food" sidebar text link to your blog that links to our home page ( or play food page ( (for help with this email

Post this giveaway on your blog for 5 entries. Come back here and put the link in 5 separate comments.

"Like" on Facebook for 5 entries. Comment 5 times on this post with "became a fan on facebook!"

Follow our blog for 5 entries. Comment that you did this 5 times with "following your blog".

Follow Us on Twitter for 1 entry. Comment that you did this.

Tweet this giveaway on your Twitter account for 1 entry per day. Come back here and send us your tweet as a comment. (tweet shortcut to copy and paste if you'd like => "I just entered to Win a Melissa and Doug Kitchen from @gummylump Ends 12/2: #sweeps #giveaway #toys #Christmas"

Digg this Post for 1 entry. Come back here and comment

Bookmark our site on Delicious for 1 entry. Come back here and comment.

NOTES: It is very important that each entry has a separate comment. That means 5 comments with your order number if you place an order :) Any combination entries will only count as 1 entry.

Entries that do not follow the stated instructions will not be counted as entries. Please email if you have any questions about entering this contest. We are happy to help you!

*Anonymous Entries will NOT be accepted UNLESS your email address is included in your post. We have to be able to contact you if you win. If your profile is private or there is any other reason we can not contact you, your prize will be forfeited 48 hours after the drawing and a new winner will be chosen.

We trust you but...if you win for an entry that says, for example, that you're following us on Twitter, and you're not, your prize is forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Accepting entries thru midnight ET December 2, 2010

Purchase Play Food Toys Here

Purchase Melissa & Doug Play Kitchen Here


Questions? Email

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exquisite Dollhouse Kits for the Beginner Dollhouse Collector or Hobbyist

Dollhouse collectors and hobbyists will swoon when they see the new line of Dollhouse Kits by Melissa & Doug. From The House That Jack Built, Melissa & Doug has selected the most charming collection of dollhouses that you build from the ground up! These Dollhouse Kits are made of wood and contain everything you need, including detailed instructions, to create an incredibly beautiful wooden dollhouse!

As a family project, or maybe a special bonding experience with just Dad and daughter, these wood Dollhouse Kits are a  pleasure to assemble today, a treasure to enjoy forever! Each heirloom quality dollhouse kit comes in a beautiful architectural style in 1:12 scale with the necessary quality to fit into the very best neighborhoods! Each dollhouse kit is made of natural, unpainted cabinet grade, birch-faced plywood, with step-by-step instructions and grooved construction.

Related Links:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wooden Toys: Choosing The Right Christmas Gift for Your Toddler

Wooden toys make great gifts for kids! Whether you're shopping for a birthday, new toys for your own child, or for a Christmas gift, wooden toys make great gifts for toddlers. Choosing the right wooden toy for the child on your gift list can be easy with this guide as long as you know the child's age!

Wooden Toys for Toddlers 12 months to 18 months

Some great choices are:

Wooden Pull Toys

As a child is gaining mobility by crawling and toddling around he loves any opportunity to bring something with him! Pull toys offer him this chance to really control his world. He no longer has to depend on someone else to bring him a toy to play with! This independence is completely new for him and something he can't get enough of!

Most wooden pull toys contain an animal, or a connected group of animals, with a cord attached that a toddler can easily pull. Many children love to "walk their dog" around but walking isn't required for a toddler to enjoy a pull toy. As long as he can crawl or scoot, a pull toy is wonderfully engaging for him and helps him develop hand eye coordination, depth and distance perception, and also strengthens large and small motor skills.

Wooden Push Toys

Push toys are so engaging to toddlers 12 to 18 months because they are just learning to walk. A toy that helps them balance or lets them "strut" their new walking skills is immediately interesting to them.

Push toys are usually one of two types for this toddler age group. One popular type is a cute animal on a long dowel with a large knob at the end that the child can grab onto. The animal will often waggle, click, or make another pleasing sound as the toddler walks with it. Another popular type of wooden push toy for toddlers is a doll pram or large push toy. These have much larger bases and are sometimes made to carry your toddlers favorite items like dolls, a blankie, or a favorite stuffed animal. Either way, you can't lose with the gift of a great wooden push toy for a toddler!

Jumbo Knob Puzzles

A toddler that is 12 months to 18 months old can begin enjoying puzzle play! Knob puzzles or Jumbo knob puzzles are wooden puzzles that have large knobs on the ends of the pieces. These large knobs are easy for chubby fingers with limited dexterity to grab onto.

As early as 1 year toddlers can begin playing with 3-5 piece jumbo knob puzzles. Their earliest attempts with these wooden puzzles may only result in them picking up the pieces and moving around with them and that's ok! Repetition and practice with knob puzzles helps strengthen toddlers' small motor skills, hand eye coordination, matching skills, problem solving skills, spatial skills, vocabulary development and much more! This simple toy - the knob puzzle - is fantastic for toddler skill building and he will enjoy every moment of the experience.

Jumbo knob puzzles come in a variety of childhood themes - pets, jungle animals, and shapes for example. Most children will like any of the themes so don't worry too much about that!

Wooden Toys for Toddlers 24 months - 35 months (2 years)

Some great choices are:

Wooden Nesting and Stacking Toys

Two year olds love almost nothing more than stacking and nesting objects. Give them a bin of any kind and they'll fill it. They also love tipping it over and emptying it. Wooden nesting and stacking toys will allow them to enjoy this activity with a toy that's made for that express purpose!

Stacking and nesting toys use small motor skills, problem solving skills, spatial recognition skills, and depending on the toy - they can also help build vocabulary.

Wooden Peg Puzzles or Sound Puzzles

If your child has mastered Jumbo Knob Puzzles by the time he's 2 years old, then it's time to challenge him with peg puzzles. These wooden puzzles are quite similar to jumbo knob puzzles, with their main difference being that peg puzzles have a small peg on each puzzle piece. This considerably smaller peg requires more dexterity and use of fine motor skills.

Sound puzzles are a version of peg puzzles where placing the correct piece in the correct spot will cause a sound to play. The sound may be an animal sound, musical sound, or the pronunciation of a word depending on the puzzle theme. Sound puzzles provide additional reinforcement for correct puzzle piece placement and toddlers find them to be great fun. Often children will enjoy imitating these sounds which can also be helpful for children with special needs like speech delays.

Wooden Chunky Puzzles

These wooden puzzles have great play value because they are really 2 toys in 1! Not only are they puzzles but the chunky pieces stand alone as well as fun pretend play toys! The thick, chunky wood pieces are easy for toddlers to hold and manipulate and place into the puzzle. The bright graphics in childhood themes lend themselves perfectly to your toddler's budding interest and experimentation with pretend play!

Wooden Blocks

Every child needs a great set of blocks! Wooden blocks are the ultimate open ended toy! There is no right or wrong when a child builds with blocks - there is only imagination and creation. I've written many articles about building blocks and how they're probably the best toy ever created for children! There's no room to detail that here, but I'll sum it up by saying that building blocks stimulate a child's imagination into creative action! First, comes the idea and then the reproduction outside the child's mind. Blocks stimulate imagination while honing small motor skills. If you have no other toys for your toddler (did I just say that?), make sure you have a nice big set of wooden blocks for him! He will find unlimited ways to entertain himself with them while learning all kinds of skills from size and shape relationships to math concepts and problem solving skills!

Wooden Pounding Toys

What toddler doesn't like to pound on things? Perhaps their motto should be "the noisier the better!" Toddlers have a seemingly unquenchable thirst to experiment with every object they encounter. Once they discover that they can make loud sounds by banging things together, it's something they want to repeat over and over again.

In order to keep your treasured household objects safe (and you child too!) why not invest in a wooden pounding toy? This has several advantages. First, your child and your knickknacks will be safer. Second, many modern pounding toys do more than just allow your child to bang. Some are also ball tracks so that once a ball is pounded into the hole, it then rolls along a track and comes out the bottom. This has great developmental benefits including hand eye coordination, small motor skills, and the experience of cause and effect. Other wooden pounding toys let your child pound a peg through one side and then turn the toy over to start again on the other side.

As a gift, a pounding toy will be a sure hit for a toddler!

Wooden Toddler Play Kitchen

First, let me be clear that this should be specifically a toddler sized play kitchen. Full size play kitchens are generally too large for a 2 year old. They will not be able to enjoy most functions of the kitchen if the main play surfaces (sink, counter top, microwave) are beyond their reach.

That said, there are some wonderful wooden play kitchens for toddlers on the market. A solid wood one will last until your child has children of his own - and perhaps beyond that. Toddler kitchens provide so much play value that they're worth the money and space given up for them!

All of the following skills are built and practiced during play with a wooden toddler kitchen: large motor skills, fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, vocabulary building, language skills, pretend and imaginative play, imitative play, and social skills.

Children with special needs may sometimes need to be shown how to use pretend play toys. A pretend play kitchen is perfect for demonstrating imaginative play with your child. It's a great special needs toy.

Wooden Bead Mazes

All children need to develop fine motor skills in order to learn how to write. Wooden bead mazes captivate toddlers while intently working their fine motor skills. Wooden bead mazes often have brightly colored beads that toddlers are attracted to right away. The wire maze is also visually interesting to toddlers and they want to know what it does. We've all seen bead mazes in the doctor's office and it's always the place that the children are playing almost to the exclusion of any other toys there!

Wooden bead mazes may be small or large in size and price. The price largely depends on the size and function. Many bead mazes are actually part of a large cube activity center. These are the most expensive. However, smaller bead mazes intended for only one child are quite reasonably priced beginning at about $15.

So get shopping and be confident that you're selecting wooden toys that your favorite toddler is going to love! Not only will he spend hours playing with his new treasured toy, but you know that it'll last and help him develop important skills while he's just having a great time!

Tags: Christmas, Toddler, Child, Shopping, Gift, wooden toys, toys, toddler toys, toys for toddlers, wooden toys for toddlers, gummy lump, gummylump, Christmas Shopping

Originally published here:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Special Needs Toys: Top 10 Sensory Toys for Sensory Seeking Children

Special Needs Toys: Top 10 Sensory Toys for Sensory Seeking Children
Some children with special needs, specifically SPD or Autism, are under-responsive to sensation. These children are sometimes called sensory seekers because their experience of things like touch, texture, smell, sound, pressure, speed and balance needs to be intense. 
Sensory toys are toys that respond to your child's action. They offer feedback (sound, light, movement, etc) that can help children with autism or sensory processing disorder to focus their attention, calm themselves more quickly and decrease hyperactivity.…
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