Archives for 2008

Wood you like to build? Keva Planks lets kids do just that!

With Keva 200 Planks , the YES answers simply stack up – much like the beautiful maple planks that comprise the set!

The idea behind Keva Planks is simple – but what results from children’s imaginations when they build with them is anything but! Each and every plank in the set is the same size – roughly 1/4 inch thick, 3/4 inch wide and 4 1/2 inches long. By stacking the planks, structures take shape – either from imaginations or from a guide book that comes with the set.

And while Keva planks are a spectacular building tool for children as young as 5, they are also wonderful for older children and adults. Each person builds to his own skill level and what they build can be simple or complex, detailed or abstract. Building with the planks can help with mathematical skills, as well as verbal if the users are building in a group setting.

Keva Planks are made of renewable maple wood and the set contains no glue, no connectors, no different-sized shapes or sophisticated pieces and parts. Experience the unique simplicity of Keva planks; they are certainly one of our favorite building sets here at The Learning Tree!

Click here for more information or to buy.

Doctor, Doctor!

Give me the news!

Your little doctors will be giving the medical news to their patients (friends, parents, dolls, stuffed animals, little brothers and sisters and more!) when they receive this wonderful doctor set.

The award-winning Learning Resources Pretend & Play® Doctor Set promotes imaginative play with its 19 medical-themed pieces. Your little doctor can monitor heartbeats with a stethoscope that is complete with realistic sounds, use the thermometer to “take” temperatures, apply bandages, use forceps and more as they learn about each piece.

They can receive emergency notifications with the realistic-sounding pager or can call in a prescription or make a call to the surgical suite with the set’s cell phone (which requires batteries that we sell at The Learning Tree also).

Not only is this doctor set a great kit to promote education and imaginative play, it can also help children frightened by doctor’s visits ease their anxieties – after all, once they are the doctor and use all of the tools of the trade, everything seems much less scary!

All of the durable, plastic pieces store in a sturdy, portable case. The set is perfect for children ages 3-6.

Click here for more details or to purchase the Pretend and Play Doctor Set.

Gears Gears Gears Gear up for fun!

Lights And Action Gears Set
Do you have a builder – a child who likes to take things apart, put them together, figure out how to make things work? Imagine their sense of delight and satisfaction when they get to do what they love – and are then rewarded with motorized movement and real lights!

The Gears! Gears! Gears!® Lights & Action Building Set is a wonderful construction toy that combines gears-and-cranks building with a power motor, flashing lights, glow-in-the-dark stickers and more.

Lights & Action Gears lit up

Construction toys are ideal educational toys for kids, because there is no right or wrong way to use them – whatever kids can think to do or want to do is the right thing to do. Each and every time they sit down to build they can both dream and create something new. With 121 pieces, this set has endless possibilities.

The Gears! Gears! Gears!® Lights & Action Building Set comes with its own storage tub and works fully with other Gears, Gears, Gears sets . It is the perfect next step for kids who have the Basic Building Sets (or would be a great companion to the Basic Building Set if your child hasn’t experienced the fun of these great construction sets!).

From Learning Resources, Gears! Gears! Gears!® Lights & Action Building Set is ideal for ages 5-10.

Click here for more information or to buy.

Toddler Toys Get Kids Truckin’!

Designing your very own a custom-built vehicle when you’re only three? How cool is that!?

And then building it yourself…from magnets?! Even cooler!
Working Trucks Magnetic Combination Vehicles
Working Trucks from the makers of Magna-Tiles give your little builder the chance to build a vehicle just like they do at the factory! Our Toy Experts think this set is pretty fun in that kids can build their very own imaginative creation or fun vehicles like bulldozers, police cars and fire trucks.

The 27-piece modular magnetic system comes with 4 wheeled base units and plenty of other pieces for little vehicle builders to create their own fleet. All of the pieces are held together with magnets, adding another element of fun, as well as the promotion of fine motor skills (no pun intended!).

Working Trucks Magnetic Combination Vehicles are perfect for children from ages 3 to 6.

Click here for more info or to purchase from The Learning Tree.

Calico Critters of Cloverleaf Corners

Kids love playing with adorable Calico Critters – and we know of which we speak!

Each of our Kansas City metro-area Learning Tree toy stores has a Calico Critters play table and they are never short for action. We’ll walk past them once and the Cottontail Rabbit family will be sitting in chairs “listening” to Mom Rabbit read a story. Later we’ll see that an inventive child has tucked the Buttercup Cat Twins into beds and they are dreaming away.

Calico Critters is an ever-expanding set of miniature animals that are designed with an incredible attention to detail. They live in homes like the Deluxe Village House, Cozy Cottage, and the impressive Cloverleaf Manor that can be decorated with furniture and accessories.

From the family room with an aquarium to a baby’s pink bedroom set to a kitchen set with 9 pieces of furniture and more than 40 cooking utensils, there is a full line of furniture sets to keep all of the Calico Critter animals living comfortably.

Calico Critters encourage creative, imaginative play. We love that the animals are tiny and easy for kids to pick up, play with and move around, which encourages them to continue their inventive play. We carry a full line of Calico Critters It’s a great line of toys to ask grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to add to as holiday or birthday gifts throughout the year.

Calico Critters, from International Playthings, is ideal for children ages three and up.

Click here to see all the Calico Critters we’ve rounded up for you at The Learning Tree.

A Hop, Jump & A Blast Pad!

  • Ah, the power of launching a missile, just with a jump!

One good hop onto the Blast Pad® sends one of the three Metalix™ missiles high into the sky – the jump forces air through the launch tube to vault the missile into space! We think there are lots of good things here:

  • The flex launch tube extends almost 3 feet, points safely away from children and only launches in the vertical position.

    Blast Pad Advanced Missile Launching System

    • To make the missiles launch, it takes a jump – that’s action , people! Kiddos playing with this toy have to get their hops on and be active, making the Blast Pad a great toy – it’s fun and promotes physical activity.
    • The action continues, as the jumpers or their friends have to run, walk, skip or hop (or any other way to get from point A to point B) to reclaim the missile after it returns to earth.
    • Blast Pad Missile Specifications

    • All of the parts store neatly into the base.
    • The Blast Pad includes 3 missiles and comes in three different colors: Comet Tail Red, Electric Extra Terrestrial Green and Exploding Sun Yellow.

The Blast Pad Advanced Launch Missile System is recommended for ages 8 to 11 but big kids like us have a great time with it too!




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Toy Expert Training / Let’s Play Games!

The Learning Tree recently had a staff meeting in preparation for our busy holiday season that will go into full-swing tomorrow. The best part? We got to play games!

We make sure everyone on our staff is familiar with all of our products so they can retain their Learning Tree Toy Expert status and help our customers find the best kids toys and gifts for their children, families, friends, and themselves!
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Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred Teaches Recycling

Even kids can go green! All it takes is some play time with Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred!

Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred! is one of the WOW Toys we carry – a unique line of toys that require no batteries yet still have delightful moving and animated parts. Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred! is friction-powered and is the perfect toy for all of those kiddos who run to the window each time they hear the trash truck rumble down the street!

Flip n Tip Fred

Not only can they make the truck do a mini-version of rumbling down the street (aka your floor!), kids can use the bucket to tip trash into the truck or sort the bins and flip them into the rear. Other animation includes an automatic trash crusher that spins, as well as a sliding door that opens to empty the truck.

Flip ‘n’ Tip Fred comes complete with three different recycle bins, a boy and girl recycling team and a sturdy carrying handle – this is a great role-play toy that your child will want to play with over and over again.  For ages 18+ months.

The Amazing Bilibo

When we say that Bilibo is an open-ended play kind of toy, boy, do we mean open-ended!

If Bilibo has taught us anything, it’s that children’s imaginations truly are amazing things and that, given the chance, their minds can come up with some pretty inventive things to do with Bilibo. Things, that quite frankly,  our adult minds never even came close to dreaming up!

Bilibo Rocks!

Bilibo is a plastic scoop-shaped "shell" with rounded edges that is anything a child wants it to be. It can be a cradle for a doll, a spinning hat, a turtle shell, a stepping stone. The list, literally, is endless!

There is no "one way" to use Bilibo , and that’s its magic. What the children dream to do with it is dependent only on their age and interests. And, speaking of age, there’s no one age for Bilibo – as they grow, children will discover new uses for Bilibo .

Click here for a link to our product page and a fun video showing how kids play with Bilibo.

A Stack of Bilibos Available in a selection of bright colors, Bilibo is one of our favorites; a toy full of possibilities powered solely by a child’s imagination, invention and creativity. How wonderfully simple, yet amazingly multi-faceted!

Created by a Swiss designer and a team of child development experts, Bilibo is recommended for kids from 2 to 7 but we’ve found that older and slightly younger kids can have fun with it also. It comes from Kid O.

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Home School Fun with The Pretend and Play School Set

Pretend & Play School Set When we were kids we loved playing school at home. We’d set up kitchen chairs in rows and find some tablets and pencils and take turns being the teacher. It was fun to imagine being an instructor and helping the other kids with their lessons. Today’s kids can take their imaginations a step further with the Pretend and Play School Set . It helps kids quickly create a classroom anywhere.

The set includes a big tri-fold board that is easy to set up and it makes any space feel like a real school room. The board has a dry erase section in the middle, and maps and calendars on each side. The set even comes with a grade book, some stickers, hall passes (in case somebody needs to go to the kitchen to get snacks!), crayons, a clock and the important hand bell to signal when class is about to start. [Read more…]