Best Holiday Gifts for Babies and Toddlers 2016

There are several great holiday gifts this season. We have some reviews for a few best sellers.

This is a great educational learning toy. It is interactive and plays music. It also plays sounds and has phrases. It can even be used as a piano. This is designed for babies between 6 months and 3 years of age. The volume is adjustable. This is an enjoyable book especially if your child loves music and singing. Children can sing along to any of the six nursery rhymes. The book is very colorful so it assists in helping children learn their colors as well. The pages are fairly easy to turn. Overall the VTech Musical Rhymes Book is a fun and entertaining gift for baby.

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar

What a fun toy. It is designed for children between the ages of  36 months and 8 years. The code-a-pillar drives around with sounds and lights with turns and code changing abilities. This toy gives the opportunity for children to learn how to connect the pieces together. It comes with an optional expansion kit which gives your child more room toy to play with; it does require a bit more space. For optimal play it should be used on a hard surface with plenty of room. Overall the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar is a great toy for stimulating thinking skills, a fantastic toy for the holidays.

Fisher-Price Little People Surprise & Sounds Home

This cute addition to the Little People line is designed for ages 12 months to 5 years. It's portability comes in handy while traveling and the pieces fit inside securely. The oven is fun to open and close and the alarm clock is also fun to play with. Additionally, it makes sounds for your child's enjoyment. This toy home is a perfect size for toddlers and it is very compact.  Overall the Fisher-Price Little People Surprise & Sounds Home is a great toy for imaginary fun and a great gift idea.



Mummy Dogs for Halloween Dinner!

Mummy Dogs


1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls
10 cheese hot dogs

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Step 2: Unroll dough. Cut dough into 6 separate pieces. Next cut thin strips, totaling approximately 25 strips. Strips should be both longer and shorter for the bottom and top.

Step 3: Wrap each hot dog, leaving a space for the eyes.

Step 4: Place in oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Step 5: Remove from oven. Add two drops of mustard for the eyes on each mummy dog. 

Step 6: Enjoy your Mummy Dogs and Happy Halloween!

7 Days of Halloween Treats - Saturday

Scary Spider Saturday

A Recipe from 7 Days of Halloween Treats, by Kimberly Hodgkins


Spider mold
Green caramel chocolate baking chips

Step 1: Prepare 1-2 hours prior to making pancakes. Microwave baking chips for 30 second increments until melted. Stir.

Step 2: Pour chocolate into spider mold. Place in freezer for one hour.


2 cups pancake mix (makes 10-12 pancakes)
1 1/3 cups water
Green food coloring
4 tablespoons sugar or 6 Stevia packets
2 teaspoons vanilla
Black gel
Chocolate spiders (see above)

Step 1: Spray cooking spray over griddle. Heat to 375 degrees.

Step 2: In large bowl, mix pancake mix and water thoroughly. Add 8 drops of green food coloring. Stir until mix is green throughout.

Step 3: Add sugar or sweetener and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

Step 4: Pour ¼ cup pancake mix onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, approximately 1-2 minutes. Turn pancake, cook until golden brown, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Step 5: Draw spider web on each pancake using black gel. Place chocolate spider(s) on web.

Step 6: Enjoy your Scary Spider Saturday Pancakes! Happy Halloween!


7 Days of Halloween Treats - Friday

Frankenstein Fingers Friday

A Recipe from 7 Days of Halloween Treats, by Kimberly Hodgkins


Sugar Cookie Mix
Green food coloring
Green frosting
12-24 slivered almonds
Strawberry jelly
Black food gel

Step 1: Mix sugar cookie mix as directed. Add green food coloring (optional).

Step 2: Using a spoon, make finger shapes across cookie sheet, 2 lines with 6 fingers shapes.

Step 3: Bake as directed on package. When done remove from oven, let cool.

Step 4: Cut in half and trim cookies with knife to resemble fingers.

Step 5: Frost each finger cookie’s tip with green frosting. Place almond sliver on each tip.

Step 6. Place a dab of strawberry jelly on the bottom of each finger cookie.

Step 7: Using black gel, draw three lines in the middle of each finger cookie.

Step 8: Enjoy your Frankenstein Fingers Friday!

7 Days of Halloween Treats - Thursday

Thing Thursday

A Recipe from 7 Days of Halloween Treats, by Kimberly Hodgkins


3 Mozzarella string cheese sticks
2-3 tablespoons cream cheese
5 slivered almonds
1 half hamburger bun
¼ of half hot dog bun

Step 1: Place mozzarella sticks on plate or cutting board. 

Step 2: Cut mozzarella sticks into finger sizes resembling five fingers (i.e. thumb, pinky etc.). Cut three lines in the middle of each finger.

Step 3: Trim hamburger bun to resemble the palm of the hand. Trim the hot dog bun to resemble a wrist.

Step 4: Place cheese sticks, hamburger bun and hot dog bun on plate or serving tray to resemble a hand. Spread cream cheese on the tips of the fingers (cheese sticks), hamburger bun and hot dog bun.

Step 5: Place an almond sliver on the tip of each finger (cheese stick).

Step 6: Enjoy your Thing Thursday!


7 Days of Halloween - Wednesday

Witchy Wednesday Pops

A Recipe from 7 Days of Halloween Treats, by Kimberly Hodgkins


8 large marshmallows
8 pop sticks
5oz. caramel apple chocolate baking chips
1 cup coconut flakes
Red and yellow food coloring
Green frosting
Black gel
8 thin Oreos
8 Hersey’s kisses

Step 1: Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.

Step 2: Insert each marshmallow on a stick. Melt baking chips in microwave safe bowl, approximately 1 minute.

Step 3:  Spoon mixture on each marshmallow. Place in freezer for 1 hour.

Step 4: Remove from freezer. Place coconut in bowl. Add 12 drops of yellow and 4 drops of red. Mix thoroughly to make orange coconut.

Step 5: Spread frosting on top and sides of each marshmallow. Add coconut to top and sides of each marshmallow to resemble hair.

Step 6: Using black gel, add eyes and smile to marshmallow. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Remove from freezer, spread a layer of frosting on one side of Oreo. Next, add a dab of frosting on the other side of Oreo. Place Hersey’s Kiss on top of dap of frosting on Oreo. 

Step 8: Place frosted side of Oreo on top of Marshmallow. Place each witch pop in holder or cup. Enjoy your Witchy Wednesday Pop!


7 Days of Halloween Treats - Tuesday

Tongue Taco Tuesday

A Recipe from 7 Days of Halloween Treats, by Kimberly Hodgkins


1-lb. ground beef
1/2 package taco seasoning
1 can olives
4 tablespoons salsa (optional)
1/4 head lettuce, chopped
Sour Cream
Shredded cheese
Mild salsa
12 corn taco shells
12 sliced pickles
24 stuffed green olives

Step 1: Cook ground beef until done. 

Step 2: Add 4-6 tablespoons water and taco seasoning. Cook on high for 1-2 minutes, add olives and salsa (optional), cook for an additional minute or until no water is left.

Step 3: Chop lettuce, set aside. Place taco shells in oven and cook as directed.

Step 4: After taco shells cook, spread a layer of sour cream on each side of taco shell.

Step 5: Add 3-4 tablespoons of hamburger mixture to each taco.

Step 6: Place pickle in the center of taco shell below hamburger. Add lettuce and cheese on the sides for hair. Cut each olive halfway down from the bottom of each olive, place on top taco shell for eyes.

Step 7: Optional: Add salsa, add drops of red taco sauce on pickle. Enjoy your Tongue Tacos!