600 Toy Outlets

Kroger is helping to fill the void left by the closing of Toys “R” Us through Geoffrey’s Toy Box in 600 Kroger stores.

Perhaps you’ve seen – or shopped- the designated area. Products vary by location, but include exclusive toys from familiar brands including Animal Zone, Imaginarium, Journey Girls and Edu Science.

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Play with a purpose

The sounds, motion and flashing colors on this year’s holiday toys are intended to do more than engage your child.

Mere playthings are designed with a higher purpose: teaching foundational concepts that will turn into actual job skills someday.

Purposeful play has been a theme for several years, but it appears to be reaching a fever pitch this month.

Sniffy

Children’s scratch and sniff stickers have aged up.

To stand out in the annual holiday ad barrage, marketers are tapping into the power of our olfactory sense (smelling).

While some marketers use scratch and sniff marketing as a way to tap into nostalgia, others see aromatic strategies as a way to balance the digital world with a “real world” connection.

Is there anything more real than watermelon and evergreen smelling labels?

Mom gamers

Moms who are gamers is a new initiative on the diversity front.

Networks that encourage women in the gaming industry to share their experiences are helping to even the playing field among parents.

Girls and boys who grow up as gamers might not understand that a concerted effort has been needed to insure gender diversity for their moms.

Santa still rules

Artificial intelligence, robots and the latest tech gadgets haven’t replaced one holiday icon.

According to research, 85% of six-year olds still believe in Santa. Belief in the magical man ends about the age of eight, which has been true for years.

Kid power

I’ve rarely been interested in car commercials, but recent advertisements have caught my attention.

I’ve been amused and entertained by the various attempts of car makers who are obviously trying to reach parents through their children.

Of course, these ad execs are tapping into a fact of life: more than 90% of parents admit their children influence daily household purchasing. That’s true kid power.

Grab and go

Portable, low-prep and portioned are the three characteristics that describe the breakfast trends for school children during this school year.

The hectic pace of getting everyone out of the house in the morning rush has made the first meal of the day a grab and go essential.

The one difference this year: an increased emphasis on nutrient- dense foods to power students through the morning.