Wonderfuntastical Toy Blog
Posted: March 22, 2018||Tags: women's history month|In the 1980's, a Presidential Proclamation was issued declaring March to be National Women's History Month. Finally, history making women would be brought to the forefront and nationally recognized for their achievements in making our world a better place to live. The importance of educating our children about these amazing females cannot be stressed enough...they are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters. So it's time to celebrate those brave wonderful women who came before us, to teach our growing girls to never stop dreaming, and to know that they can make a difference in any field they choose to study.Every single day of National Women's History Month is an opportunity for teachable moments. We can encourage our daughters and grand-daughters, from toddlers to teens, by our own example. There are board games, books, and other items we can give to encourage and educate the future generation of females Here are a few gift ideas to help prove that girls do indeed rock.Books-We all know books are magical, and books that are fun to read as well as educational is a parent's dream come true. My recent favorite is Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls Vol. 1 & 2. Beautifully illustrated, each volume highlights the lives of 100 extraordinary women in a fairy tale format. Perfect for bedtime, Goodnight Stories will send our daughters into their own sweet dreams. For younger girls, Amelia Who Could Fly is a visually stunning storybook about the life and adventures of a young Amelia Earhart. This book proves that dreams can come true, and to believe in yourself!Board Games-Growing up, girls are often told to play "nice" while boys are allowed to be boys. Teaching our girls strategy, tactile maneuvers, cooperation, and critical thinking are crucial in the real world, and board games are a great way to teach those skills. Games like Pandemic, Evolution, and Outfoxed depend on team mates working together, solving puzzles and maybe even finding the cure for an out of control virus! Let your voice be heard, and take your team to victory.STEM Toys-In 2017, women made up only 15-25% of the STEM workforce worldwide. Some research suggests that gender role stereotyping is to blame, and we can help those numbers by sparking interest in our girls with STEM toys and activities. Build a Green Rocket with recycled objects, collect and study backyard bugs with a Bug Vacuum, or learn how circuits work with a Snap Circuits 3D set! Girls of all ages can be future forces in the ever growing STEM field, all they need is encouragement and the right tools.Role Play Costumes-Dressing up is always a favorite around here, and I would never discourage it. When little girls play dress-up, they are actually role playing, emulating those grown-ups they see around them. Usually an adult's go to costume is a princess or a fairy, those were certainly favorites of my daughters when they were young. How about Introducing a fireman's costume into that dress up trunk? Or a policeman? Male dominated fields are soon becoming a thing of the past, with women finally finding the courage to go after their dream jobs like never before. Jobs our Grandmothers didn't know women could do, because they were told they couldn't.Express Yourself-In the past decade, more accomplishments from women have been uncovered and brought to light like never before. Our history is one to be proud of, so yell it from the rooftops if you are feeling so inclined. If not, fearless girls can still express who they are with something so simple as a trendy fierce clutch that announces her arrival in a room, or a pair of socks that matches her inner thoughts without ever having to say a word!When females support each other, with love and self awareness, along with education and information about the women who came before us...that is the key to changing Women's History Month into a year round celebration for us all. We owe it to our daughters.
Posted: March 14, 2018|||
The Eggmazing Egg Decorator is one of the coolest things we've come across in a while. It's one of those rare products that is truly fun to use, zero hassle for parents, and created by amazing, hilarious, seriously fun entrepreneurs. These smart, savvy goofballs have brought a really EGGcellent idea to life, and we're so EGGcited to have been a part of their journey to bring the Eggmazing to families nationwide!
Last year marked the Eggmazing's first Easter on the market. They were a small company, just a few innovators on Kickstarter with a relatively limited supply for their first run. It turned out that demand for their product was EGGsplosive - all units were sold out nationwide 3 weeks after they became available. Now, we saw the videos, we heard the praise and excitement, but all the Eggmazing egg decorators in our warehouse sold out in less than 24 hours! We barely had time to glace longingly at the colorful lathe as we passed them on to customer after happy customer. But we never really got to play with them! Luckily, our mamas taught us all about sharing, and we were happy these clever little products were making their way into loving, happy homes.
This year is different, though. The Eggmazing team had a whole year to ramp up production, and they've made sure there won't be a shortage this Easter. The Eggmazing crew even scored a spot on Shark Tank, winning even more national attention and additional funding from an honest to goodness shark! And lucky for us, their episode aired while we were hanging out with them at Toy Fair in February (seriously, check these guys out!). There is nothing better than watching people you really like and admire do a fantastic job showing off their hard work and honest passion before a national audience - unless it's watching their faces light up as they see themselves doing so on national television!
We wanted to share the fun with a few local kiddos, so we sent a few Eggmazings out into the world to do their Easter best. While we weren't at all surprised that kids and parents loved the egg decorating and clean up process (a.k.a. 100% super fun decorating, 0% clean up), they blew us away with their gorgeous egg designs! Who knew you could get THAT much color on one egg?? And in such glorious patterns and shapes!
We could go on and on about how much we love this egg decorator, how easy it is to use, how simple it is to set up and clean up, but instead, we'll let these local kids and parents speak for themselves. It's EGGMAZING!
From the Herring family - kids ages 7 and 12
Our family tried out Eggmazing for the first time this year and the kids cannot stop using it. James and Maisie, 12 and 7, have both been able to produce some beautiful eggs on their own, but often choose to work together when creating their eggs. The product is very easy to use and the dye markers that come with the product make coloring the eggs a lot less messy than the old fashioned dipping method! Four double A batteries and some hard boiled eggs will get you on your way to having the prettiest Easter Eggs on the block and will provide lots of entertainment for the kids. We have been putting Eggmazing to repeated use because everyone who sees the eggs the kids have produced wants to try it out! I recommend it hands down.
From Kyndra Luce - kids ages 6-10
My kids had so much fun with the Eggmazing Egg decorator that they invited all the neighbors over to try it, too! While I hard-boiled eggs from the grocery store, they dug out all of our plastic eggs, easily set up the Eggmazing machine by themselves, and decorated the plastic eggs. Then they had some outdoor egg hunts, which was a great bonus. They still haven't gotten tired of turning on the machine and decorating more eggs to add to the collection.
The markers dry instantly onto the egg, so artwork isn't smudged and clothes are clean. The spinner works well for both plastic and real eggs. All of the kids, aged 6-10, were able to use it easily and enjoyed the creative process. And the eggs are beautiful! I don't think we'll be able to put this away with the rest of the seasonal decorations, in fact, we may need a few more so everyone can use it at once!
From Sim Ellis - kids ages 7, 15, 40, 46 (parents count as kids when they're having this much fun!)
My family tried EggMazing tonight. My first reaction while boiling the eggs was that of “Why am I boiling eggs to try out this gimmick? Then my next thought was “what in the world does dyed eggs have to do with Easter?” During my sidetracked pontifications I only boiled 4 (one for each family member) I was sure that it would be plenty to serve the 5 minutes of engagement I was going to get out of the product from my family. However, I am delighted to say I was pleasantly surprised when all of us completed our eggs and wished we had more. We made some of the most beautiful creations! They were so much better than the pastel dye we normally get. Each egg was a unique work of art created by each family member. Even watching the colors go on the eggs was almost hypnotic. We had a very good time with this product. So much fun was had that my daughters asked me if we could decorate eggs tomorrow night! This is a huge request coming from a 15 year old who would rather watch anime than participate in “forced family fun”. Family time without the headache of hearing “I’m bored,” “she’s touching me,” “she’s breathing on me,” etc... making art was so refreshing and meaningful.
After our project was over I found out that there is a magic ornament maker!!!!!!! Where were you this Christmas?! I am sold!
If I had to give any constructive criticism on this product it would be:
Sometimes the tip of the egg will shift and fall out of place if you hold the marker on the tip of the egg too hard or too long.
It is loud-not annoyingly loud but the dog did growl when I turned it on (can you tell I’m reaching for constructive criticism?)
Lastly, the insert said “do not eat the decorated eggs”? What don’t eat the eggs? I think you are missing the point of Easter eggs (besides the hiding and seeking part). I consulted the box and it says the markers are non toxic...so I am wondering why can we not eat the decorated eggs? I really hate to waste food especially when I spend half my life telling my kids to stop playing with their food and eat! In essence with this product I am doing the reverse. So I consulted the FYI on the website and pretty much it’s a legal thing that the vendor has to put in the box. However it does make you question what’s happening to the egg and will it kill me or my family if we consume the forbidden ovum. I’m still looking at the finished product contemplating the safety of its consumption. Although I know full well that it is safe.....but there was a warning in the box and I am a rule follower.
Pros of this product:
[...]The colors are fun and it is very little set up and clean up. Now if you can just figure out how to boil the eggs for me and have them magically appear to our work area I would pay double for this product.
As soon as we turned the machine off we could pick up the egg immediately. We did not have to wait for the marker to dry. The colors did not run or ooze and the colors did not smear to our hands another win win.
Lastly no tablets and cups with vinegar and water. When a kid I downed a cup of egg dye thinking it was Kool Aid which resulted in my mother calling poison control. Therefore your product may saves one or more Kool Aid crazed terribly misguided children from drinking the nasty food color water that will cause a massive upset stomach and a freaked out mother.
Thank you for the fun product! I look forward to decking the halls with your ornament maker.
Join the fun and bring home your very own Eggmazing to share with the whole family! We can't wait to see the EGGstravagant designs your EGGceptionally creative kiddos dream up!
Posted: March 11, 2018|Categories: Favorite Toys , Infant & Toddler , Preschool & Kinder , Elementary , Teen & Tween , Adult , Easter||
We can all agree candy is awesome. No one is disputing the gloriousness of binging on sweets; that tummy ache later is 100% worth it. But no matter what rules are in place to encourage kids to pace themselves, all that candy will be gone sooner rather than later. Why not make the magic of the holiday last with some non-consumable, fun all year round, toyriffic springtime treats?
Of course no basket is complete without at least a few confectionary delights - jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and sweetly silly lollipops are always welcome. But after that initial sugar rush, these special gifts will continue to bring joy to your little snuggle bunnies all year long:
1. Jelly Cat: This one is a bit literal. Jelly Cat makes the world’s softest bunnies. Call up an image in your mind of the classic lovable, huggable, floppy little bunny toy - that’s exactly what a Jelly Cat bunny looks like. These cozy critters would be perfectly at home in Pooh Corner with Piglet and Roo and Eeyore too. And most importantly, they are unbelievably soft. Think dandelion fluff meets eiderdown and multiply by 100. Jelly Cat’s creative team has been working overtime lately, as they’ve expanded their offerings to include unicorns, lambs, flamingos, and funky pom pom critters that are out of this world. There’s truly something for everyone, a perfect plush pal to carry with them all year long.
2. Pikmi Pops: These blind box plush pops are just too sweet to eat! Pikmi Pops are perfectly at home in any Easter basket, no matter how much candy you pile in. But you won't have to worry about cavities with these suckers - inside every Pikmi Pop is one plush pet! These soft, scented plush are the sweetest surprise of the season! The ultimate blind box surprise, you won't know what fuzzy friend you've adopted til you've opened your pop. Collect them all and trade with your friends! We’re currently on series 2 of these popular pops, so chances are your little collector has already encountered Pikmi Pops and can’t wait to build a pop menagerie. Who knew the Easter bunny was so hip to current trends?
3. Squishy Squad: We’re back in plush land with the silliest, squishiest stuffed animals around. Squishy Squad critters squish like a beanbag animal and feature soft, fleecy fabric perfect for snuggling. Use as a portable pillow, sensory soother, or as a new plush pal! Tailor-made for the goofiest kid on your Easter list.
3. LOL Surprise: Just a little something special to throw into the mix. Blind box collectors know all about these little cuties - we’re already on series 3! Keeping track of all these mystery blind box trends might be overwhelming for us mortal adult humans, but kids and Easter Bunnies know what’s up! LOL Surprise Little Sisters are just the right size for Easter baskets, and fun for collectors and all lovers of cute tiny things in cute tiny boxes!
4. Thinking Putty: This amazing sensory putty has become our go-to gift for Easter baskets, stocking stuffers, restless hands, present toppers, or a small reward for good behavior or thoughtfulness. There are so many cool options - color changing, magnetic, glow in the dark, shimmering chromatic effects, totally transparent liquid glass...the hits keep coming! All Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty is stretchy, squishy, and bouncy. The sensory applications are phenomenal for both neurodevelopment and soothing those on the autism spectrum, or just keeping your hands busy so your brain can focus at work and at school. Thinking Putty is non-toxic, latex-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, and phthalate-free. It never dries out and is easy to remove from most fabrics. Crazy Aaron manufactures 100% of his products in the USA and is a leading employer of special needs individuals in his community. It is truly the toy for everyone - kids, teens, and adults!
5. Feeling Smitten Bath Bombs: Treat yourself with these deletable bath bombs made in Asheville, NC! These gorgeous bath and body treats are sulfate, paraben and phtalate free, making them safe and gentle for any skin type and age - so you can throw these bombs in any Easter basket! Each bath bomb is beautifully designed and looks good enough to eat - delight in tantalizing realistic cupcakes, donuts, and truffles. Looks great, feels great, and blends in perfectly with that springtime basket of goodies.
6. Stemless Corkcicle: Moms need treats too! These ingenious insulating glasses from Corkcicle keep your favorite adult beverages cool for over 9 hours (or hot for up to 3). Perfect for sipping on Sangria, white wine, and a host of chilled cocktails! Corkcicle’s other insulating offerings are already a hit for all ages (teens are all about the stylish canteens, and coffee lovers of all ages are abuzz for their colorful tumblers). Corkcicle is the perfect Easter basket centerpiece for tweens, teens, and adults who appreciate a gift that’s as beautiful as it is practical.
There’s truly something for everyone when you think outside the candy aisle! This year, let’s take those baskets to the next level with treats for today, tomorrow, and all year long!
We love the idea of getting everyone in on the fun. Babies and toddlers can enjoy a basket full of toys and plush. Older kids and teens may think they’re too old for the Easter bunny, but the right gift can rekindle that spark of holiday wonder. And after all, mom and dad work hard to make holidays magical for their families, and they should have a little treat to look forward to on Easter morning too!
Speaking of treats for mom and dad, we have just the thing to ensure your holiday is all about fun and not about stress. Sidestep trying to schedule a shopping trip while the kids aren’t around and order online for delivery straight to your home (free shipping for orders over $99 and free gift wrap every time)! For Charleston locals, place an order with FREE in-store pickup and your Easter gifts will be waiting for you at your local Wonder Works (gift wrapped if you so desire)! And for the fully immersive holiday shopping experience, stop by your local store and get a FREE Easter basket when you purchase $25 of Easter goodies! It’s a Bunny Bonanza, and everyone’s invited!
The sun is shining and the azaleas are blooming here in Charleston! Sweet spring breezes carry the southern scents of pluff mud, freshly mowed lawns, roasting oysters, and dozens of boiling eggs on my kitchen stove.
Easter is only a month away, so let's get cracking on those baskets! Cracking? Get it? I really do tickle myself, but let's not get off track. Mr. E. Bunny, along with his little helper bunnies, have been planning all year for the big day and now it's almost here. Good thing you've got enough helpers in your burrow, creating the perfect Easter basket for everyone in your family. Pardon me? You don't have any? Life with kids is hectic, and you haven't had time to shop for even one yummy jellybean yet? Well I've got news that will make your whiskers twitch with joy. You have Wonder Works, and every spring, our Magic Makers turn into your personal helper bunnies. This copper-headed Mama bunny, one of the Big Bunny's closest buddies, has some tips and tricks to share when it comes to filling baskets for everyone in the warren.
1. The most important trick is making your own Easter basket grass. Plastic grass is a choking hazard for our four legged friends, as well as an environmental hazard for Mother Earth. Spring is a time of renewal and enjoying the beauty of nature, so why not use a natural product to create the same faux grass seen on store shelves? Construction paper, tissue paper, dried natural grass, and even cut pieces of hemp twine are a nifty substitute for store bought Easter grass. Create each child's own unique basket by dyeing the twine or natural grass to reflect a favorite color.
2. Finding baskets for multiple family members every year is one my favorite shopping trips. With 5 kids, I scour the stores for just the right baskets...matching baskets to personalities isn't as hard or time consuming as you might think. I try to stick to a theme every year, and even though my kids all have completely different personalities, likes, and dislikes, it usually works out so that everyone is happy come Easter Sunday. One year, I bought them each a sand bucket in their favorite color, wrote each name on them with a simple paint pen, and we had a new beach toy. Another good one is the year I found baskets shaped like the heads of their favorite animated characters - our table had everyone from Spiderman to Elsa to Dora, and everyone was tickled. Just make sure whatever basket you choose for your bunny is deep enough for that special egg hunt Easter afternoon!
3. Let's talk about my love of dyeing Easter eggs. I have to admit the smell of white vinegar gives me shivers of excitement! When coloring real eggs, you have this perfect white canvas, just waiting for self expression and artistry! There are so many egg dyeing kits these days, it can be very hard to choose which one to bring home. I learned the hard way to stay away from kits with stickers (they always slide right off), and we never go near the kits with glitter. I'm sure dozens of parents are nodding their head right now...no one usually wins the glitter fight so just don't buy it. Beets, blueberries, and blood oranges are great for dyeing eggs if a kit is not your thing. The year I colored our eggs by dipping them in a pan of roasted beets, they were hot pink when we peeled off the shells! My plate of pinkalicious deviled eggs were a smash hit at Easter brunch, but I have to say they were almost too pretty to eat!
Of course, if you're in a hurry or have particularly mess-prone little ones, the Eggmazing is a phenomenal alternative to dyeing and stenciling. Just pop your egg into the center lathe, let 'er spin, and hold the included non-toxic markers against the shell to create stripes and squiggles perfectly encircling your egg. The easiest, cleanest way to get everyone involved in coloring eggs! Not that it's at all necessary, but this is an especially fetching effect if you dye your eggs first, then use the Eggmazing to create unique designs on top of your base color. No matter how you crack it, it truly is EGGmazing!
4. A soft, snuggly plush is an Easter basket staple in almost everyone's house. Traditionally, the Easter Bunny brings a cuddly critter that's associated with spring, like a lamb, bunny, or duck. But this year, as my kids grow from babies to teens, I'm thinking of going with fantastical creatures such as unicorns or dragons with pastel bows tied to their necks. I finally realized it's not the size, shape, or animal that's in a basket on Easter morning, it's the feeling of comfort that's felt the first time a child holds their new friend. To a small child especially, that pastel plush bunny was picked just for them, a treasure to take to the Easter egg hunt, a buddy to help pry open candy filled eggs. An Easter basket friend is something special - even surrounded by chocolate eggs and small presents, it's the first thing to be plucked out of that basket, to cuddle and hug.
Happy Easter to you and all of your helper bunnies; happy spring y'all!!
Posted: March 02, 2018|Categories: News & Events , Infant & Toddler , Preschool & Kinder , Elementary , Teen & Tween , Adult||
Do you and your family love flipping through bright, colorful pages filled with fun? Check your mailbox and your local Wonder Works store for our amazing new Spring Catalog! Get inspired with brilliant ideas for the coolest gifts and games for all ages!
Not on our mailing list? Passionate about going paperless? Well, good news! You can still enjoy that classic browsing experience with our dynamically digitized eCatalog!
Navigation is simple - just like a real catalog! Use the arrows on the left and right of each page to flip through (you'll even hear that satisfying flippy sound as you turn each page). Click the top or bottom of each page for options to save, bookmark, or share. Get inspired to visit your local store, browse our site for more creative gift ideas, or scroll down to the bottom of this post for a shoppable selection of our favorite catalog items!
Don't forget to read through to the back cover for a special surprise! (Hint: It's a number that starts with 2, ends with 5, and saves you money on one fabulous gift!)
We can't wait for spring - we're more than ready to get outside and play! Not to mention, it's almost time to start decorating eggs, building baskets, and looking out for our favorite magical bunny to come hippity hopping down the lane! Candy is dandy, but for lasting fun, check out some of this year's hottest gifts with a spring theme to surprise and delight on Easter morning!
Get ready to fill that Easter basket, stock up for spring break, or just start getting some fabulously fun ideas for birthdays and special treats! Spring has sprung, and we're ready to play!
Posted: March 01, 2018||Tags: spring|
Anyone in your house yearning for a unicorn? Staring wistfully at sloths? Longing for a llama, perhaps?
Well if so, you are in luck! You see, it's becoming more and more apparent that 2018 is truly the Year of the Unique. These three examples are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are this writer's personal faves so that's what I'm going to write about. Teddy bears and baby dolls are still at the top of the list of our most loved toys, but it's time to broaden our horizons when it comes to shopping for our children. Embrace the uniqueness of those you love, celebrate the quirkiness, and remember that if you can think it, you can be it. Forget the Year of the Dog...the Year of the Unique is coming in strong!
Let's start with the fabled unicorn, the subject of many a bedtime story in my house. Honestly, you can't swing a fairy in a store without hitting a unicorn. Whether you're in the market for a cuddly plush, a pillow (with or without sequins, your choice), books, journals, slippers, etc., etc., you'll find it. Why the sudden shift to these unique mythical beasts? Maybe because these fabulous creatures, with their silky manes and mysterious horns, beckon our babies into a fantasy land...encouraging little minds to never stop believing in the magic that surrounds us. Even teens and adults have continued their love affair with unicorns, and I'm betting dollars to donuts this fascination started at a young age.
Sloths have recently been in the spotlight for a number of reasons. These fascinating creatures sleep 21 hours a day, love to be held, and bath time usually lasts for hours. I like to believe that sloths are becoming popular because we humans are always moving at such a fast pace. These furry guys with the permanent grin remind us that cuddle time should have its own symbol on every kitchen clock. Relax, have a snack, regroup, and hang out with friends. Now that's a life lesson I, and especially my teens, can believe in.
The scientific name for llamas is 'Lama Glama', which is actually my inner nickname for myself. Amazing, but true. If I see a llama in a photograph or stitched on a sock, it make me smile. This not so majestic animal, with its huge overbite, tangled wooly fur, and huge eyes is the epitome of the word "unique". Kind of like me, my family, and at least a handful of friends. Boring is blase, and introducing the weird and wonderful to kids is our job as parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Embrace the inner you, and be the uncommon one in the crowd. Be YOU.