Post-LEGO Movie Inspiration: LEGOs, Duplos, and LEGO Friends

If The LEGO Movie inspired the child in your life to get building, we’re re-posting a review we did back in 2012 of the LEGO options that make up today’s market.

LEGO Friends, the new-ish “legos for girls” are a hot item. From the voice of Get More Girls into STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math), some people love them and some people hate them. They were even nominated for a TOADY award (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children). I don’t love them, although since I first wrote this, LEGO has drastically expanded their offerings to be less gender stereotyped, and I even bought one for Fair Play Niece for Christmas. I’ll also go off on a tangent in this post about toy companies and their treatment of horses in children’s toys because this is a lifelong pet peeve of mine.

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re-Gift Guide: The Princess Problem (Gifts for 2 & 5 y/o Girls – doll, art supplies, scooter)

We’ve been negligent in getting up Gift Guides this holiday season, owing to an unfortunate surgery and lengthy hospital stay. But, we’re back in action! To provide you with maximum content and inspiration, we’re going to do some “re-Gift Guides,” re-posting/revising some of our favorites from the past, in addition to brand new Gift Guides. As always, if you have a specific question, send it our way! Today we kick off with the re-Gift Guide to purchasing for the princess-loving little girls in your life. How to avoid stereotypes? We have some answers!

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Trick or Treat! Planning the Halloween Costume

It’s that time of year again! One of our favorite holidays, Halloween, is right around the corner. We have big plans for October to get you in the mood and prepared for the big day. We’re going to be re-posting the Trick or Treat series from last year (costumes, books, and movies) and adding to it with some new Halloween children’s crafts and treats. To kick things off (and since this is probably the #1 conversation topic in your household right now), let’s talk the Fair Play Shopping Strategy — for costumes.

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The World Didn’t End, Time to Finish Your Shopping

From Jezebel.com, “First Photo Out of Australia After the Mayan Apocalypse: It’s Not Good” — Just kidding. Christmas is still on!

To no one’s surprise at all, the world did not end, although I find the above photoshopped creation quite hilarious. Today we’re just rounding up all our recommendations in one single post. For most web shopping, today is your last day to get in orders for guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery (depending, of course, how much you are willing to bleed for overnight shipping – you may be able to push this back to tomorrow). This weekend look for our Last Minute Gifts – the Hail Mary of gift-giving, also known as the homemade gift certificate. Actually I delight in homemade certificates, but we’ll get to that on Sunday.

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Gift Guide: The Princess Problem (Gifts for 2 & 5 y/o Girls – doll, art supplies, scooter)

Instead of buying a Barbie, I bought this doll and doctor set for a little girl in the family I adopted for Christmas. It can be hard not to buy Barbies when children ask for them, but there are other options out there that may fulfill their interests and desires without indulging the Barbie or Princess factor.

Today’s Gift Guide is a little bit different. I’m using the Christmas List from the family I adopted for Christmas to illustrate how you might get around the Princess Problem. What is the Princess Problem? The princess problem is this: you might not want to buy the little girl in your life a princess (or Barbie)-related item, but she says she really, really wants it. What to do? Buy her what she wants? Ignore her wishes, and buy her something else? Call me heartless, but I vote the latter. There are some craftier ways to do that, though, so let’s use this list as an example:
Jenny, age 5. Gift Ideas: 1. Barbie and Barbie’s Horse. 2. Art supplies. 3. Princess Costumes. Jenny is very girly, likes art, books, princesses, and dolls.
Molly, age 2. Gift Ideas: 1. Dolls. 2. Balls. 3. Dressing up in costumes. Molly is a girly tomboy, she likes to draw, play dress up, and she is very active.

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Yellow Light, LEGO Friends (and Why Can’t Toy Companies Get Horses Right?!)

If you are well into your holiday shopping for a little girl in your life, or you’ve heard any holiday shopping-related news at all, you know that LEGO Friends, the new “legos for girls” are a hot item this year. From the voice of Get More Girls into STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math), some people love them and some people hate them. They were even nominated for a TOADY award (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children). I don’t like them too much, and I’ll tell you why. You cannot find them in the Fair Play Amazon Store and I won’t link directly to them here. I trust if you need to purchase them you can find them all over the internet and in every toy store in America. I’ll also go off on a tangent in this post about toy companies and their treatment of horses in children’s toys because this is a lifelong pet peeve of mine. Happy Sunday!

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Kid Crafts: Finger Puppets

A turtle finger puppet (drying on a popsicle stick) – easy for tiny hands, start to finish!

Today, the second post in our series Kid Crafts, we’re going to learn about making some simple and fun finger puppets. Since I’ve been back home visiting Fair Play Family, the Fair Play Twins assist on this one. I can assure you it is kid-tested by a pair of discerning four-year-olds. There are a number of ways for children to be involved in this project, so it is nearly all ages – Fair Play Twins were able to help out with every step from sewing to gluing to drawing, with some grown-up assistance. This tutorial uses animal puppets as an example, but these puppets can be made into just about whatever you can imagine.

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When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A…

This post could also be subtitled “Justice Sotomayor is Fair Play’s Five-Pinwheel Person of the Week.” She went on Sesame Street last week and talked about the word “career” with Abby Cadabby. With no pretense or apology, Justice Sotomayor explained that while pretending to be a princess can be fun, being a princess isn’t a career. YES! YES! A THOUSAND TIMES YES! But let me back up…

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Trick or Treat: Gender In Halloween Costumes

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about Halloween books and movies to get in the spirit, but today we’re tackling the tough issue of gender in Halloween costumes. Halloween can be a wonderful time for your child to exercise their imagination in generating creative costume ideas. It can also quickly devolve into the Annual Celebration of Gender Stereotypes.

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What’s Cooking?

Felt Pizza Set by Melissa & Doug

If you read our post about kitchen sets, you know that Fair Play is currently on a kitchen play kick! As I explained in that first post, make-believe play is so important to children’s cognitive and language development. Kitchen play is a fun way to encourage pretend play but finding well-made, gender-fair options can be a challenge. Today we’re going to look at some of the pretend food options for your child’s kitchen play.

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