The “good for you” toy goes beyond the fun factor. SMAKABALL® encourages healthy, active play. Children have the ability to catch an unusually large object fully extended away from their bodies in a way that is novel.  The durable, safe, lightweight design is ideal for indoor or outdoor play.

SMAKABALL® is versatile, appealing to all levels of atheletic ability. Young children can play two handed catch, and older kids can enjoy one handed catching. Adults can enjoy SMAKABALL® as well. The toy, for ages 6 and up, is both disability and special needs friendly.

An ergonomically designed catcher, central to the design of the toy, seems to snatch the ball out of air.  It is the patented design of an Architecture graduate student with a passion for physics.

This is totally fun!  My son and I played in our yard and had a blast.  It requires some assembly…….including blowing up the inflatable ball…but it wasn’t difficult. We look forward to taking it to the neighborhood pool this summer, and it would be great at the beach or at a party.  Check it out



For tweens, TrendyKid has CHAT and Danger Zone designs from its TravelKool line, on-trend cases that appeal to older kids who want their luggage to look as good as the clothes they carry. My son loves his Danger Zone case (pictured).  He keeps his rescue equipment in it and totes it out whenever he needs to go on an “emergency” call, during a playdate when he’s a fireman or EMS worker.  Slick and hip looking and easy to carry and roll, it’s also great for an overnight.

For younger kids…the company make Travel Buddies which may be purchased as a set comprising a 17” hardshell wheelie case and matching 13” backpack, or bought separately at

All cases feature a polyester lining with dividing pocket and zip compartment, internal garment straps and easy-roll wheels that are color coordinated with the case exterior. An adjustable, multi-length handle makes for easy maneuverability for kids and adults.

Shiny, whimsical and colorful….younger kids won’t be able to resist the new Travel Buddies 3-D luggage designs. One-eyed Archie Alien in monster green has his tongue lolling from his mouth. Popo Parrot is glossy in bright red set off with a giant yellow beak. Percy Penguin is a wide-eyed charmer in shiny black.

The new designs joined Rusty Robot, TrendyKid’s design that rocks bright blue and red and also pops in a fun 3-D motif. The four cases are an expansion of the company’s existing ladybug, panda and alien designs. 

Visit to see the full range of cute and cool cases and backpacks.


Enter this at the checkout for 15% off any trendykid styles!  

ABOUT TRENDYKID | TrendyKid, a Washington, D.C. based children’s luggage and travel gear company, was founded by husband-and-wife team Mark and Rachel Stephens in 2003. Current collections include the Travel Buddies lightweight luggage sets for children; the recently launched lightweight TravelKool travel gear for tweens; and the TotSeat portable highchair. Designed by children for children, the brands provide parents with practical luggage solutions, give children trendy travel companions for overnights with friends and travels with family, and embody the unique perspective of children’s packing and travel expert Rachel Stephens. TrendyKid luggage conforms to the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 with regard to child product safety.  Visit

GIVEAWAY: To win a free Travel Kids  Backpack — either Robio (shown) or Lady Bug, drop a note to, and indicate why you’d like to win.  Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.  Put Travel Kids Backpack Giveaway in the subject line.  One lucky winner will be notified via email.









 Counting Dino is a soft and safe activity toy made by GUND.  Press his “on” switch, and he will count to ten as his scales light up to the song. He is 13.5″ with soothing teethers attached to his colorful tail.  Counting Dino comes with 3 AAA replaceable batteries.

This is the cutest plush, and an adorable learning tool for young kids.  Wish he’d been around when my son was little.

GUND, a division of Enesco, LLC, is known for its top quality, soft and huggable plush designs and gifts. Award-winning GUND products appeal to all ages and are perfect for both play and collecting.   GUND products may be found in gift, specialty, toy, book, museum and department stores, etc.  Visit





Race to Unravel the Word! Who knew that positioning a word in one continuous ring would make it so tricky to read!? The challenge in WordARound is to quickly figure out where the word starts and to read it aloud before your opponents. The game seems so simple, but you’ll find yourself baffled as you race to spot and call out words!  My son isn’t big on board games, so this was a great choice for him.  We enjoyed playing and found it challenging as well…and I was thrilled to pull him away from his computer for a bit to play a game that he could learn from and appreciate despite the fact that it’s not electronic.

This convenient at-home or travel game is for ages 10 to adult.  Cool for a party as well! Players: 2 or more.  It features 100 WordARound Cards with 300 Words.  Visit,123,9.htm.

GIVEAWAY: To win a free WordARound game, drop a note to, and indicate why you’d like to play.  Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.  Put WordARound Giveaway in the subject line.  One lucky winner will be notified via email.


 Note: Thanks to the featured companies for providing product samples.


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