Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours

"Brown Teddy Bear" by Lydia Jacobs

“If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours,” and today we highlight educational toys that are not only fun but travel well when in a car, on a plane or at Grandma’s house.  We’ll also introduce you to a toy manufacturer that makes all-wooden toys and offers tours, and check in with the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission for the most recent toy and sports products related recalls and news.


Twisterz Toys


These cleverly constructed tube-toys are perfect for keeping little hands and growing minds occupied. 

There are three varieties of take-along Twisterz Toys, each with a delightful purpose that makes learning fun. All measure 12 x 1.8 x 1.8 inches and weigh 5.6 ounces each, and are recommended for children 36 months to six-years of age. Best of all – batteries are not required.

Parents or caregivers initially introduce these toys to youngsters and easily demonstrate how they are used.

The Alphabet Matcher exercises a child’s motor and logic skills while highlighting spelling by matching letters to pictures.

The Word Builder challenges children to create their own words from vowels and consonants, and as their skill builds, the possibilities for creating a variety of two-to-six-letter words are endless. This is an excellent adjunct learning tool for phonics instruction.

Story Starter emphasizes pure creativity, as children twist the tube to find a desired story opening. From there, parents or caregivers can verbally continue the story for little ones, or if the child is older, they create and continue their own story to completion.

The video below offers more information on each of these Twisterz Toys. All products may be ordered direct from the Twisterz Toys website.

Fractiles-7 Travel Edition

This Parents’ Choice award-winning magnetic tiling toy is perfect for ages six and older, and provides hours of fun creating everything from flowers and snow flakes to unique and complex patterns by building images that foster creativity and pattern recognition skills.

The travel set includes 96 brilliantly colored flexible magnetic tiles; an activity board, instructions, and an album style package that makes take-along easy.

The Suggested Retail Price is $27.00 and Amazon.com currently has this item available for $25.32.

Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Travel Doodler with Light

No crayons or paints needed for this mess-free magnetic drawing and doodling board. This version has a flip-up light for drawing in the dark, along with an attached magnetic pen with spring-loaded saver tip, plus an easy-slide screen eraser. The image board is oriented in a horizontal mode and the very durable frame sports a convenient handle for transport. The unit measures approximately 11.25 x7 x1.5 inches. 

 The Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Travel Doodler with Light retails for $24.00 from Amazon.com

Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Travel Green

This doodle and drawing board has many of the same features as the Tough Travel Doodler but without the light, and the drawing board offers a vertical orientation while being slightly smaller at 9 x 1.2 x 11 inches. 

The Fisher Price Doodle Pro Travel Green is priced at $11.99 through Amazon.com.


Maple Landmark Woodcraft

Their high-quality, expertly crafted all-wooden toys have been honored with awards by numerous organizations such as Green Parents’, Creative Child Magazine, Dr. Toy and the International 2011 Gift Fair in New York and Maple Landmark Woodcraft offers tours of their facility in Middlebury, Vermont.

Families are in for a treat when they see how this “Santa’s Workshop” (without the elves) manufactures everything from rocking horses and toy trains, to puzzles and building blocks.

Maple Landmark’s time-tested, kid-powered products are available at over 2,000 locations worldwide, online, through catalogues as well through their own store.

Located at 1297 Exchange Street in Middlebury, just off Route 7 north of town, Maple Landmark is open year round Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sundays (July 31 to December 31) Noon to 4:00 p.m. and their “private” weekday tours (start before 2:00 p.m. and last about 30 to 45 minutes-) for groups that include up to ten people for $10.

If you and your family plan on being in the area, give them a call at 800-421-4223 to set up your tour.

If you can’t visit them directly, you may enjoy watching this segment from the Travel Channel’s “Made in America” with John Ratzenburger. 


The following is a compilation of notices from the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
Below you will find the most recent recalls and product news updates from the CPSC for the last 7 days.

In case you happened to have missed any of the announcements, just click on the following links for complete information on each of the items and breaking news.


No toys were subject to recall since last week’s posting.



No general news releases since last week’s posting.

If you are searching for other consumer product items such as household, outdoor products, utensils, furniture and clothing that may relate to all family members, please review additional listings at the CPSC’s search page.

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