A Hot Cocoa Stand With a Cause

thoughtful-thursday-a-hot-cocoa-stand-with-a-cause

Nothing warms the soul like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day. Instead of starting a lemonade stand in the summer, eight-year-old Tristan Regini set-up a hot chocolate stand during the chilliest season of them all. Why you might ask? He did it to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora where his friend Cade was treated for cancer.

ht_hot_cocoa_stand02_lb_150303_16x9_992

Picture from: ABC News

Back in 2013, Cade was diagnosed with cancer when a scan showed he had a brain tumor. He underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. As of April, Cade now shows no signs of cancer. Tristan was extremely grateful to the hospital for saving his best friend. “If there were no Children’s Hospital, there would be no Cade,” Tristan said. “He’s probably the nicest kid I ever met in my life.” Since starting the hot cocoa stand, Tristan has raised $3000 for the hospital. He hopes that the money he raised will save more lives.

This Thoughtful Thursday we thank Tristan for his generosity and providing his neighborhood with a yummy winter treat!

 

Step2 Outdoor Play Toys Awarded 2014 PAL Award

step2-outdoor-play-toys-awarded-2014-pal-award_

It’s our goal to create products that inspire young minds and enrich imaginations. Step2 toys provide children with open-ended play allowing little ones to express themselves creatively, without limitations.

We’re honored to receive the 2014 PAL (Play Advances Language) Award from Play On Words for the Great Outdoors Playhouse and Alpine Ridge Climber and Slide. Toys that receive this award are known to spark creative play, which is essential for development.step2-wins-play-on-words-pal-award

The Great Outdoors Playhouse has unique features that both kiddos and parents love.

  • Working water pump with a paddle wheel and bucket
  • Spacious interior and high ceilings provide plenty of room for tots and preschoolers
  • Dutch door that opens and closes
  • Grill features click-and-turn knobs and accessories
  • Planting station and flower box with a drain hole can be used to plant flowers
  • Mail slot for sending and receiving play letters (not included)
  • Crawl-through entrance near the grill allows for an easy entrance and exit
  • Seven piece accessory set and rustic decals make it a home away from home

step2-great-outdoors-playhouse

The Alpine Ridge Climber and Slide is a one of a kind backyard jungle gym that provides your little ones with hours of active and imaginative play.

  • Walls have grips, holes and steps to assist little climbers
  • Five climbing walls all present a different challenge
  • Wide platform features a steering wheel and adjustable viewer for make believe adventures
  • Extra-long slide to make exiting this outdoor play set even more fun
  • Several crawl-through tunnels that are perfect for hide and seek!
  • Bottom step doubles as a seat, perfect for snack time or resting

step2-alpine-ridge-climber-and-slide

 

What do you think of these two outdoor play toys?  Check out additional Step2 products that have won the PAL Award in previous years.

5 Family Fun Activities for St. Patrick’s Day

5-family-fun-activities-for-st-patricks-day

Blarney, the luckiest and greenest day of the year is almost here and there are plenty of ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your little ones.  Take a look at these five family friendly activities you and your kids can do to embrace the luck of the Irish.

  • Dress green: In honor of this festive day, you and your family can wear green hats, shirts, pants and shoes. Whatever clothing you have that is green, wear it! It’ll put you right in the spirit for the next activity.
  • Parade: Now that you’re covered from head to toe in green, go to your local St. Patrick’s Day parade! At these parades you’ll see Irish flags and other people dressed in all green.
  • Crafts: Draw with green markers and pencils, create rainbows out of fruit loops and make your own lucky pot of gold. With the help of some clever blogs, we created a list of crafts that are fun and easy for your kiddos to make.
  • Decorate: You can decorate your home with beautiful crafts you and your tots designed and you can even dress up your children’s toys! We turned our visual safety sign into a leprechaun.

kidalert-and-pup-for-st-patricks-day

Product featured: KidAlert & Pup (currently available at select retailers)

  • Eat green: Parents, St. Patrick’s Day is a great day to try to get your kids to eat some fruits and veggies. Gather up all the green food in your house, Granny Smith apples, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, kiwi, celery; the list goes on and on! Encourage children to eat these foods because the more green food they eat, the luckier they will be, especially on this holiday.

What plans do you and your kids have for St. Patrick’s Day?