Wednesday, May 21, 2008

celebrate you kids with a photo session at kiddywampus

Lisa Slotsve, a veteran photographer in the Twin Cities, will make a special stop at kiddywampus on Friday, June 13th, from 12:30–5:30 pm. She'll have sessions available in our big studio and props from the kiddywampus shop. Make sure you sign up ahead of time, because sittings are going fast! Lisa has a knack for capturing children in their natural essence, using natural light and limited staging to create timeless images.

On that day, kiddywampus will give 20% of the day's sales to Faith's Lodge, which works to provide a place where parents and families facing the serious illness or death of a child can retreat to reflect on the past, renew strength for the present, and build hope for the future.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a snack fit for a fairy (or picky eater!)

We at kiddywampus love to use our right brains (where the imagination+risk taking happens)–even when it comes to feeding the little ones. What would fairies eat at a tea party? Why, pearls of course! Mozzarella pearls in a shot glass make for an inventive snack, and a healthy one at that!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

rainy day idea: mesmerizing colors

Sky blue, lavender, through for new colors and help your little one decide what to name them.

Friday, May 16, 2008


St. Louis Park toy store will use web-based gift registry to help ease the stress of long-term medical treatment.

ST. LOUIS PARK, MN – May 16, 2008: Starting in early May, kiddywampus will offer a new concept for children’s birthday parties: Toy Connection. The program will use children’s birthday parties held at kiddywampus to collect toys and art supplies for children undergoing treatment at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. kiddywampus will provide parents an alternative to the traditional model of birthday gifting with the option of giving back while celebrating.

Toy Connection will collect toys and art supplies for Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF), which is dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer by providing funds to the University of Minnesota for research and training relating to the prevention, treatment and cure of childhood cancer. The nonprofit organization also funds Care Partners, a quality-of-life program for pediatric cancer patients and their families at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital, Fairview. Teresa Turner, Care Partners Manager will distribute collected toys to children undergoing treatment at the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Outpatient Clinic.

With the help of a parent, children who are invited to a Toy Connection birthday party at kiddywampus can view and purchase products from an online list pre-selected by Turner. During the traditional party “present time,” attendees will view in real life the collection of toys they selected for donation to the BMT.

Turner chooses products that allow for creative expression, like art supplies and games that encourage open-ended play.

“Many of our patients must come to the Outpatient Clinic two to three times a week and it is important that they have opportunities for normal growth, development and fun. We want to normalize the not-so-normal BMT process for children as much as possible,” said Turner.

John Halberg, CEO of Children’s Cancer Research Fund, emphasized the dual beneficiaries of the partnership. "We are delighted to partner with kiddywampus on the Toy Connection," said Hallberg.

"This innovative concept has two appealing benefits: It improves the lives of young patients facing the challenges of pediatric cancer, and it reinforces the importance of giving among children. It's truly a 'win-win' program."

In September 2007, kiddywampus owner Amy Saldanha announced her goal to give all post-tax profits from her store to charities benefiting children. As her almost two-year-old business–which offers toys, parties, art classes and summer camps–grew, Saldanha found her customers looking for more active ways to participate in giving back.

“Our customers have told me they want a way to introduce giving to their children. We created Toy Connection because kids get it. It is a tangible way for young children to give back.”

Switching up the traditional model of a child’s birthday party is not an easy thing to do, but Saldanha is confident her customers, and their children, will enjoy the unique offering. “Toy Connection is about taking all the energy that goes toward celebrating the birthday of a child and channeling it toward helping a child in need. It just makes sense,” said Saldanha.

Once her pilot Toy Connection is up and running, Saldanha plans to create future registries for other nonprofits in need of toy or art supply donations.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

general mills party at kiddywampus!

kiddywampus was all abuzz today with the creative energy of General Mills families. Kids overflowed from every corner–what fun! Here's a slideshow with photos from the event.

Monday, May 5, 2008

kiddywampus fav: Q-BA-Maze

Q-BA-Maze is one of the toys we keep out to test in the store and kids (especially the 6-9 year-olds) love to create cool structures with these translucent, colorful blocks. This is definitely a game for a sunny room because the Q-BA-Maze catches the light like nothing else. Check out this video for a taste, then come on in and try it out in person!

video via

Friday, May 2, 2008

rainy day idea: a to-do list

(to-do note from russell+hazel)
Yet another rainy day in the Twin Cities leaves us scratching our head for ideas. Take a cue from Maya Waldman and create a to-do list with your little ones–the zanier the better (but don't forget to buy milk!)

Here are some of our ideas: puddle stomp•top smile competition•kumquat shop•stand on head•toes are hands•sunny song search...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

catch that show! dan zanes pulls up in st. paul

We at kiddywampus absolutely love dan zanes' "catch that train!" album. It's as much adult music as it is pure fun for kids. We've heard he's awesome in concert, and his youtube videos certainly attest to that. He'll be in St. Paul on Sunday, May 4 for a show at the Fitzgerald Theater. If you go, let us know how it went!
Here's a video from his recent show in Portland. What a cute idea to say goodbye to all his fans!