Category Archives: Kid stuff

We Supported Toys for Tots This Year With American-Made Toys

This year, don’t forget to support the programs that get toys into the hands of needy kids. There are lots of children who would really love to find something special under the tree this year.  We support the Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots, which was founded in 1991 and uses only 3% of donations on operating expenses, sending 97% to the kids. 

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy these toys through the Wamart links in this post: Please do!As always, we’ve made a point to purchase items made in America for our donation to Toys for Tots. This weekend, we went to our local Walmart where we found the classic American building set, Lincoln Logs, along with a K’nex “Thrill Ride” set, Crayola Crayons and “My Very Own Tool Bench” from American Plastics Toys Inc.

It really didn’t take us a long time to find these Made-in-USA items, just a little determination and legwork around the toy department. Our local firehouse is a drop-off point and we’ll be heading there tomorrow.

Just a word of advice, if you want to participate, do it soon since collections are usually over by mid December. Leave your toy unwrapped – they need to see the toy to get it to the right kid!. 

The best part: taking a moment on Christmas morning to think about what these gifts might mean to a young person in your community.


Paul and Kathy

How We Combined Giving Tuesday and Made-in-USA

Today is “Giving Tuesday,” a time to hit the pause button on frantic shopping and do something good for someone else. We decided to combine our Giving Tuesday efforts with our Made-in-USA efforts by purchasing American-made items for our local Toys for Tots campaign.

Since 1995, Toys for Tots has been an official activity of the U. S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve. Over its life span, the program has distributed over 512 million toys to over 237 million children.

learningexpressWe also threw in a bit of Shop-local Saturday by going to a store in Morristown, New Jersey, called The Teaching Room, which is also a Learning Express franchisee. Unfortunately, neither of their websites has a reliable way to search for Made in USA merchandise.greentoys1We picked up some items from Green Toys, including the Scooper on the left…greentoys2…and a helicopter boat.thinkingputtyWe also picked up a couple of packages of Thinking Putty.BoardsThere were a few other Made-in-USA items to choose from, including Spooner BoardsTinkerToysTinkertoys,LincolnLogs…and Lincoln Logs.

Hope you observe Giving Tuesday in your community!


Grab the Christmas Pajamas Before They’re Gone!

If you want your family to wear holiday-themed PJs on Christmas morning, many people will tell you that you should have shopped in September. There are still some  American-made sleepwear choices out there now, but you’d better grab ’em quick.SleepyJones1Dad will look great in these Sleepy Jones tops and bottoms (sold separately) from Todd Snyder.HolidayPajamasAnd Mom will look chic in her Bedhead “Holiday Shopping” print pajamas, exclusive to Neiman Marcus.Unisexpajamas1 For the “Christmas at the cabin” look, you can get these unisex plaid pajamas for youthsAdultsizeor adults.BedheadBedhead Pajamas used to make all of its wares in the USA. Now, some items are imported. Check the description of each item for “Made in USA.” Nordstrom normally carries Bedhead too, but the holiday patterns are either all sold out or on their way – if you get stuck, check this link again later. Also, check Neiman Marcus Last Call, which sometimes has Bedhead items on sale.
BedheadPJsSome of their older holiday patterns are available at a discount on Amazon.  When purchasing, be sure to ask if the item you’ll be sent is American-made. These holiday patterns for women are, from left to right, Eiffel Tower, partridge, and candy cane.

KidsPajamasWe found some kids’ sizes in the candy canes pattern as well.CatsPajamasThe Cat’s Pajamas has some California-made flannel PJs in prints like “Reindeer Games” “Vintage Santa” and “Mistletoe.” All of their garments are Made-in-USA except for the cotton blend knits, which are made in Peru.

Regards, Kathy







Two Crows For Joy: Organic Kids’ Clothes and More: Made-in-USA

BabyA pair of moms created the idea for Two Crows for Joy, a company offering American-made and organic clothing, bedding and gear for kids. BabyClothesAccording to their site, the company was envisioned a place for parents, grandparents, and friends to get high quality, sustainable products for children while supporting American workers. Sounds good to us.

romper2 rompers1The designs are utterly joyful, as the name suggests, and you’ll love seeing the kids running (or crawling) around in them.
boyclothesgirlclothesThe product line includes adorable baby sleepers, blankets, sheets, diapers and more, along with clothes and toys for older kids. If you’ve got kids, or you have to pick out a gift for a kid, give Two Crows for Joy a look.

Regards, Kathy



Gotta Have it! Surf Through the Air With the Swurfer: Made in USA

Disclosure: If you buy through our links, we may get a small commission. Please do!

imageI practically jumped out of my seat when I saw today’s product  launch on The Grommet. It’s called the Swurfer and it’s a crazy-fun-looking swing developed by a surfer to prepare his kids for riding the waves.imageBut the best part is, it’s not just for kids. It can hold up to 250 pounds, which means a lot of us can get to relive the fun of a backyard swing in an exciting new way.

imageIt’s made entirely in the United States using rock maple. The Swurfer seems very durable – the video shows a truck driving over the board without it breaking or losing its curve.  imageA double-handled version is also available so you can sit on it as well as stand.

You need a fairly large space because of the way the swing moves. I kid you not: we will be outside tonight, measuring the backyard!

Regards, Kathy