What do your customers do when they feel down, confused or angry? Young kids often don’t know how to work out their feelings and, when problems get bottled up, they can become miserable. Here’s a clever solution! The Feeling Bag is a short, simple book that deals with emotions and how to release them. The original book was developed by writer Jennifer Griffin when she noticed her young daughter going through tough times brought about by a difficult period. The book comes in a choice of boy or girl versions. With each book comes a plush Feeling Bag that kids can punch and hit or hug and take to bed.
They may be seduced by television and video games, but every kid loves a good craft project. With products by Easy Student Publishing, any budding bard can publish simply by uploading their original writing and illustrations. Parents can arm their iPads with a protective case that interacts with the ArtSee Studio app to transform kids’ masterpieces into animated games and activities. Turn the results into museum-quality showpieces with My Art Gallery — funky yet functional frames. With Press-N-Paint, kids can mix paints without spilling a drop. Make summer fun and stock your shelves with these creative solutions.
Every Friday night at 9 p.m. you will find me sitting comfortably on my sofa eagerly awaiting the next episode of one of my favorite TV shows – “Shark Tank”. What intrigues me most with this show is the Sharks’ ability to, within minutes, tell entrepreneurs exactly what is wrong or right with their business. Sadly, for many they hear what is wrong. Almost every time, the very first question out of a Shark is “What are your sales?” If the numbers they share tell the story of a company on the rise, growing at a reasonable, if not accelerated pace, then the Sharks will start to circle the entrepreneur with interest.
Childhood just isn’t complete without the plaintive wails of a child begging for a pet. And that pet? Usually a dog. You may have seen books about the responsibility of getting a pet, but JJ The American Street Dog and How He Came to Live In Our House goes beyond that and teaches valuable lessons about all the amazing things that can come from adopting a rescue dog. The author, Diane Rose-Solomon, is a Certified Humane Education Specialist and has been involved with rescue for 18 years, ever since she adopted a homeless dog.
I am looking forward to attending the ABC Spring Educational Conference at South Point, Las Vegas on May 7-9. After attending so many trade events over the last 30+ years, I enjoy learning more about the children’s business, and especially seeing new things that may take me by surprise. The ABC SEC is one event that allows buyers, manufacturers, reps and media to get to know more about each other. The element of surprise is always part of new experiences. That’s why I asked several exhibitors these questions: “What would someone be surprised to know about you?” and “What will buyers be surprised to see in your 2013 line?”
Most children of the ‘70s and ‘80s have memories of the giant blow-up bop toys that were so popular. Bop toys are still around today, but now more and more parents are disappointed with these kinds of playthings because of the unnatural materials contained in them. Pueri Elemental is a company that offers earth-friendly toy choices for kids. Their Eco-Bonk line leaves the bop toys of old in the dust by introducing new and improved designs and ecologically sustainable materials.
As parents can attest to, kids change constantly. The bookworm becomes a glamour-puss, while the boy who was glued to his electronic device suddenly opts for active sports. Retailers need to offer a range of items that capture the mercurial nature of youngsters and be prepared with items that can change, increasing the play factor. Dolls that morph from one personality to another; games that get kids up and around; action figures with variety built into them; and makeup that helps girls experiment safely are a few currently hot items. Get in on the action with selections from Playhut, ParkZarz, BackSlapz and Luna Star.
ABC will continue to fund key industry initiatives
All Baby and Child Corporation, (ABC), creators of the ABC Kids Expo, and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), the leading industry trade association dedicated to the safe selection and use of juvenile products, announced today that the two non-profit trade organizations will remain independent and will not merge. However, the organizations also announced that they will continue their collaborative relationship which has strengthened over the past two years.
Experts agree that reading is one of the best pastimes for children. It stimulates the brain and helps children create important developmental skills. But what they read is just as important as picking up the book in the first place. Books that grab a child’s attention, like the Harry Potter series, help motivate children to to read more. Attention grabbers with positive messages are even better, which is the clear selling point of Brooks Olbrys’s children’s tale, The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob – A Journey Begins (ages 6 to 10). Lushly illustrated by Disney Interactive veteran Kevin Keele, the book lays out positive messages for finding a goal.
An educated populace is better prepared to make decisions. Who better to help than businesses that promote a fun way to understand the electoral process? And how about creating a product that adds in a healthy dose of fun that sidesteps any partisan bickering and goes right to the heart of the process? Companies like Regina Glocker’s are bringing engaging activities like the Presidential Game to homes, classrooms, libraries and store shelves, creating a brand new generation of informed future voters.
Here’s a little-known bit of trivia about me: I started my college career as a Biology major. Who knows where the idea came from, but I do know when I decided it wasn’t for me. After only a few afternoons spent in the lab, I realized that only interacting with beakers and Bunsen burners all day was a deal breaker. While all the other scientists seemed content to quietly putter away at their solitary tasks, my brain was screaming for more human interaction. Even though my days in the lab were brief, I do remember a few things from those mostly-forgotten science lectures. And surprisingly, a few of those lessons can be applied to the fashion industry.
With electronic games and toys topping the list of must-haves nearly every season, it’s easy to lose sight of the traditional pastimes like board games. But family game night isn’t ready to be buried just yet; a new generation of kids is taking advantage of this time-honored tradition, which is helping renew the board game industry. McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds is the company that produces You’ve Been Sentenced!, a language-based board game for ages 8 and up. McNeill is on a mission to promote smart, fast-paced educational games to today’s kids.