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It's a crisp 5° here at Rock Father HQ as I write this, but it's never too early to be thinking about spring (and summer) while the dead of winter continues to set in. A new year means new toys, and 2017 is already shaping up to be a big one - and we haven't even hit Toy Fair yet! One of the first items to become available is the PAW Patrol Water Table by The Step2 Company. Produced under license from Spin Master, this new table brings the excitement of Adventure Bay into the water play realm, complete with fun action features and a trio of included characters from the hit Nick Jr. series - Marshall, Skye and Zuma! The second PAW Patrol item from Step2 following the excellent Lookout Climber (reviewed here), to get a new year of toys kicked off right, Step2 and The Rock Father have teamed up to give readers a chance to win one of these great water tables for your house!

When it comes to play kitchens, The Step2 Company has been the go-to source for fun and innovated models for years. This year they upped the game, releasing the modern Grand Luxe Kitchen to the assortment, but they've also done something completely different... and it's inspired by the sewers of New York City. The TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Pizza Kitchen is the kind of pizzeria that Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael would consider totally rad! There's a pizza oven, a "pop" (or "soda," depending on where you live) machine, electronic stove top burner, mini-fridge and more - along with all the accessories a kid could possibly need to serve up some TMNT-style pie. As a featured pick in my 2016 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, I've teamed up with my friends at Step2 to give you a shot at winning one!

Wednesday, November 23 2016 11:23

Well, HELLO there... Gobble Gobble!

THE ROCK FATHER Magazine has partnered with Hello Products to bring you this friendly feature.

It's Thanksgiving week, or as I like to think of it, that big speed bump on the highway between Halloween and the December Holidays. It's a time when things slow down, and part of that is simply because of all the eating - a lot of eating. Actually, Halloween is probably the true kick-off to the Holiday season, because October-December are all linked by an unseen evil that lurks with every meal, sweet and treat - the potential for cavities. For Halloween I tried to balance things out by staying "cavity-neutral," giving kids both candy and toothpaste... the naturally-friendly kind from Hello Products.  If there's a sugar rush, kids should also feel a need to rush to brush to protect those pearly whites - even if they're not "grownup teeth" just yet. Knock on wood, neither of The Rock Daughters™ have yet to have a cavity! But now, Thanksgiving... Gobble, Gobble!

Published in Health & Fitness

With so many new toys vying for the attention of kids and parents each and every year, it's always interesting to take note of some true classics that have been able to stand the test of time.  100 years ago, John Lloyd Wright (son of noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright) created what would eventually be known as Lincoln Logs - a toy that I had as a child, and one that The Rock Daughters™ play with now. In fact, I still have my Lincoln Logs from the 70s, and that was the door-opener for what I'd call "The Original STEM Toy." Officially, K'NEX (current maker of Lincoln Logs) calls them "America's National Toy," and that's cool, too - especially since they're once again MADE IN THE USA, and for 2016 they've secured a spot in my annual Holiday Wish Guide™ here on THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine...

The Polaris® Slingshot™ has been turning heads ever since it hit the streets back in 2014, a three-wheeled roadster that prompted many to question what exactly it is (car? motorcycle? spacecraft?). Now, Peg-Perego has announced the official launch of its kid-sized Polaris Slingshot battery-operated riding vehicle. The ride-on Slingshot is modeled after the grownup version, and is powered by a 12volt battery. It can hold up to two children ages three through eight and has a top speed of five mph. Available now at Walmart stores and select Polaris dealers, manufacturing for the battery-operated Slingshot is taking place right here in the United States, at Peg Perego's Fort Wayne, Indiana factory! While we haven't gotten our hands on one of these in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™, the folks at Peg-Perego recently issued a pretty cool video preview that highlights some intriguing features (like traction tires!). Check it out...

Published in Rock Father Rides

Early-on in the season I gave you a preview of something that was at that point headed my way - a Crab Pot Christmas Tree by Fisherman Creations. We're usually early decorators here at Rock Father HQ, and with the unpredictable nature of the cold weather here in Northern Illinois, it might be sunny skies and green grass today with sub-freezing temperatures and snow close behind. Knowing that, I've started dabbling with the outdoor stuff, and one of our new additions for 2015 is a 3' Crab Pot Christmas Tree that was sent here for review. Made in the USA (though the lights are imported) in North Carolina, they're green PVC coated crab pot mesh (we're talking material made for salt water), so they're built to stand the elements. The trees fold flat for easy storage, and stake into the ground to fight the wind. Check ours out...

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