• The Playful Walnut Archive

    As much as I hate to admit it, summer is quickly drawing to a close. If you happen to live in a place where school has already started, then you know the sting of those first few weeks: Everyone is desperately trying to get back into the swing of things, and you promised yourself you would start off the new school year without yelling. (OK, so promises are made to be broken.) But seriously, we know how hard it can be to motivate your kids to get to the bus on time, do their homework and get to bed…just so they can wake up and start all over again. To give my girls a little boost, we ease into the whole homework cycle by making [&hellip

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    As August begins to wind down and the new school year looms in the not-so-distant future, my thoughts always turn to ways to get my kids back into the groove. (And of course, if you know me well enough, that usually involves a good book.) For any parent who’s fretting over how their child will fit in to a new class of kids, the delightful Ally-Saurus & The First Day of School offers some much-needed reassurance. This story follows the antics of a precocious tot who appears to be more comfortable as a dinosaur than in her own skin. Like so many imaginative, young kids her age, her cuteness borders on near-frustration for her ever-patient parents. So when the first day of school arrives and [&hellip

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    Are the dog days of summer here already? Sure feels like it out there. After a solid month of swimming at the beach, sleeping late and catching fireflies, the novelty of summer seems to have worn off a bit (or at least, that’s how it feels in our house). Sure, my kids love the slower pace, but it doesn’t mean boredom doesn’t set in from time to time. To keep those creative juices from drying up, I recently introduced my crafty 7-year-old to Fibre-Craft’s Zoo 2 Do. This line of craft kits is every kid’s dream of endless crafting projects. With over 20 animal-themed projects to make, there’s plenty of opportunity for kids ages 6 and up. An instruction sheet of inspirational ideas guides younger [&hellip

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    Is your family getting psyched for the opening of Jurassic World this weekend? It’s been so long since the last film, I’m feeling like a dino myself! If you’re looking to get your kids in the mood for this summer blockbuster, you can turn playtime into a movie set with the Lionel Dinosaur Diesel Train Set. As tourists are shuttled through the amusement park on trains in Jurassic World, kids can recreate the scenes, and even make up their own. The set lets them reenact the movie once they’re back at home with plenty of cool extras, including an electronic locomotive controlled by remote, two freight cars carrying precious cargo of dinosaur eggs and scientific equipment, a caboose, track and a pack of dinosaur figures. [&hellip

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    Breaking Bad may be over, but the legend of Saul Goodman lives on. If you’re a fan of the television series, chances are you’ve been able to get your fix on this season’s spinoff Better Call Saul, starring the legal eagle himself. My husband and I get a kick out of watching this guy make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, so to speak. I don’t know what pains me more: his makeshift law office in the back of a nail salon or his sad attempt at trying to connect with people other than potential clients. Lawyer or not, this is one guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and we love him for it. Because we catch up on our DVR [&hellip

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    Homework is a real drag. And at this point in the school year, with the warmer weather beckoning kids outdoors, it’s getting even harder to sit still and get that work out of the way and done! In the spirit of finding innovative (read: inexpensive) ways to entice my newly minted 7-year-old to breeze through her math problems, I presented her with Wild Animal Scented Erasers and boy, did she perk up. These soft erasers are designed in colorful animal shapes–purple gorilla, blue elephant and green frog–and sit atop an easy-to-grip decorative holder. With 5 refills in each pack, your kid can make as many mistakes as she pleases. And don’t be surprised if some of them are intentional; one whiff of those erasing animals, [&hellip

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    There aren’t too many preschool-aged TV shows left that my budding middle schooler and soon-to-be second grader can agree on. (Sometimes, I miss the good, old days of crowd pleasers like “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Oswald”…sigh.) Lucky for me, “Peppa Pig” is one of those shows; my older daughter will “tolerate” it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that she actually enjoys it. I mean, C’mon: Who doesn’t like a catchy jingle about baked beans and the adorable British accents of Peppa, George and the rest of the gang (including Mr. Zebra)? Fans of the show will finally get their day in the sun when a live show makes its way around the country this fall. Dubbed Peppa Pig’s Big Splash, the show [&hellip

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    It’s that time of year for spring cleaning, home improvements and renovations. And for the gang over on Sesame Street, they’ve been treated to new digs just in time for its 46th season, which begins production this week. Faithful viewers of the classic children’s television show will notice a slew of changes on set, giving Elmo, Cookie, Abby and the whole gang plenty of new space in which to spend their days. Highlights include: -a new garden for Abby, full of flowers and colorful vegetation -a new nest for Big Bird–and now in a tree like his fellow feathered friends -new homes for Cookie Monster (above Hooper’s Store) and Elmo (in the 123 Sesame Street brownstone) -a brand-new Community Center for neighborhood gatherings and get-togethers [&hellip

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    Are you all ready for the Easter Bunny? My kids are chomping at the bit in anticipation for his arrival…and that’s still not for another couple of days. If you’ve dyed your eggs, had your photo taken with the town bunny and participated in an egg hunt, how else can you count down to Easter morning? Get crafty, of course! We stocked up on some festive art supplies from eeBoo and decided to make some bunnies of our own. Pom Poms in Bunny Colors are the perfect bodies for your bunnies. Because they come in a variety of sizes, you can create an entire family of bunnies with extra soft bunny tails in sweet Easter colors. (My girls even used the smaller pom poms for [&hellip

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    Happy April Fools’ Day! If you haven’t yet pranked your favorite little someone, how about getting in on the action with a gag gift from Skip Hop? Each year, the company has its own April Fools’ Day fun by releasing a new product meant to put a smile on parents everywhere, and this year is no exception. Paying tribute to the well-loved Game of Thrones comes the Iron Potty. Designed in the likeness of a royal throne, it’s one toilet training seat that’s fit for a king (or queen) in the making. Devoted fans of the show will surely want to snatch up this limited-edition seat before they’re out of stock. No matter how much they loathe potty training… Tags: April Fools Day gags, April [&hellip

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