Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Animal Guide

Do you know why the animal symbol for Easter is a rabbit? (Trick question: It's actually a hare.) Or why chicks and lambs are also associated with Easter? Have you ever heard about the association roosters have with this holy holiday? If not, click on the links below to learn more about the Easter animals.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Not What You Think

Whoa, get a load of this! This isn't an extra-long jellyfish species. Rather, it's a marrus orthocanna, which is a colonial animal made of several different zooids connected together at the spine.

The zooids work together to move and collect food. The marrus orthocann is a deep-sea creature, found at depths ranging from 600 to 2,500 feet.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Flowerhorn Fish

Say there, what's that on your head? This is the Flowerhorn fish, which gets its name from its distinctive, and colorful, head bump.

The Flowerhorn is a fish hybrid that is not found in nature. These man-made creatures were developed in Malaysia in 1993 and are sold for aquariums. When cared for correctly, the Flowerhorn can live for 10 to 12 years.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pictures Of The Week - Big Cats Making Faces

We had these two pictures save on our Pinterest account, and we couldn't help but notice the difference in the faces these two big cats are making. The first shows how fearsome and deadly these creatures can be; the second shows that all animals, no matter how powerful, can be playful. Blog | Big Cats Making Faces
Whoa, you don't want to mess with this guy!
But this guy seems kind of fun.
Seeing the two faces together reminded us of a very human occurrence; that of two siblings squabbling - one getting mad while the other makes faces. Do you see it? Blog | Big Cats Making Faces

Monday, March 18, 2013

Meet The New Brand - MiYim

It's been awhile since we've had a Meet The New Brand post, and today we're pleased to introduce you to MiYim, an organic toy line that you can feel good about!

MiYim is part of Greenpoint Brands, which "provides safe, healthier and well-designed products... Our eco-friendly playthings are made in a socially responsible manner that honors our commitment to the loved ones and the environment," according to their website.

Not only are  the MiYim toys eco-friendly, they're also adorable and just look like they're inviting kids to snuggle with them, don't you think?

And how fun are these fruit and veggies crib and stroller clips? 
Strawberry, peas & corn clips

MiYim also has a few familiar faces in their toy collection...

Visit our MiYim page on the Jungle Store website to see all of their sweet, green products, including musical pull toys, blankets, teethers and more!

Friday, March 15, 2013

St. Patrick And The (Non-Existent) Snakes

It's one of the most popular Irish myths, the story of how St. Patrick drove all of the snakes out of Ireland and that's why to this day you don't see snakes in the Emerald Isle. However, scientific evidence has disproved this myth: Turns out, there were never any snakes in first place.

"At no time has there ever been any suggestion of snakes in Ireland, so [there was] nothing for St. Patrick to banish", naturalist Nigel Monaghan, keeper of natural history at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, who has searched extensively through Irish fossil collections and records, told National Geographic News. Blog | St. Patrick And The (Non-Existent) Snakes
Sorry to disappoint, but this never happened.
In fact, the only reptile that is native to Ireland is the viviparous, or common, lizard. The viviparous lizard measures less than five inches in length, but that doesn't include its tail which is up to two times longer than its body. Blog | Viviparous Lizard

This lizard species is found farther north than any other reptile species, as far as the Arctic Circle. The viviparous lizard also gives birth to live offspring, rather than laying eggs as is normal for most other lizard species.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

5 Things To Put In Easter Eggs That Aren't Candy

Easter is filled with many fun things, but perhaps none are so tantalizing to a child as the candy. Large chocolate rabbits sit in their Easter baskets. Jelly beans, marshmallow chicks and eggs in every conceivable candy form sit inside plastic eggs waiting to be discovered.

The candy. Oh, the candy! For kids, it’s a dream. For parents, the thought of all that candy, and the inevitable sugar crash that comes later, is a nightmare. To avoid the “too much candy” meltdown, here are five fun, non-sugary things you can fill their Easter eggs with. | 5 Non-Candy Treats To Put Inside Easter Eggs

Safari Ltd. has a lot of small figurine sets to choose from, but we like this Butterflies Toob (very Spring-y) and the Piglets & Bunnies Toob (for obvious reasons).

Puzzle Pieces
No need for the fun to stop once the egg hunt is over! Put several pieces of a puzzle in different eggs, then have your kids put together the puzzle when they've found them all.

Funny Band-Aids
Kids LOVE covering themselves in Band-Aids, whether they need them or not. And with these silly rainbow monkey and tattoo bandages, the worst scrapes and boo-boos won't seem so bad.

Fake Mustaches
Just cut apart the individual fake mustaches in this fun set to fit them in the eggs, and then laugh as your kids try on their new "looks".

Silly Bandz
Are kids ever going to get over their love for Silly Bandz? We think not. You're kids will love to find the Rock Star and Baseball sets in their eggs.

Do you have any other suggestions for fun, non-candy Easter egg items? Let us know about them in the comments section!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

12 Ideas To Celebrate "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" Day

Next Wednesday, March 20, is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" Day, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle's classic children's book. Not only does the book have gorgeous illustrations, made by Carle from tissue paper collages, but it also encompasses so many wonderful teaching themes: reading, the life cycle, days of the week, counting, healthy eating... we could on!

Whether you're a home-schooler, daycare worker, Kindergarten teacher or a parent who just wants to foster their kid's love of reading, these Very Hungry Caterpillar party ideas, activities and crafts are fun ways to celebrate one of our favorite children's book.

Here are two ways to use balloons to make a Very Hungry Caterpillar. See more decoration ideas from the original links here and here.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Decorations

Very Hungry Caterpillar Decorations

Pottery Barn Kids has a tutorial on making a Very Hungry Caterpillar Lantern here.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Lantern Decorations

And here's an easy banner you can make out of construction paper. Use your students' class pictures if making it for a school decoration. Even without pictures, it's still a cute decoration. 
Very Hungry Caterpillar Banner Decorations

Download this Very Hungry Caterpillar color sheet from the Eric Carle website.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Color Sheet
If you don't mind getting a little messy, this blog has a great idea for Hungry Caterpillar balloon paintings.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Crafts

Or you can use the paints to color your Hungry Caterpillar plate puppet. Instructions are here.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Crafts

Teach your kids a lesson about recycling and reusing by making your own caterpillar with found materials.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Crafts

Here are a couple healthy (and creative) snack ideas. See the original links here and here.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Snacks

Very Hungry Caterpillar Snacks

And because no party is complete without something sweet, check out these Hungry Caterpillar cake pops. See a basic cake pop tutorial here.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Snacks

Don't forget to shop our Eric Carl section for lots of fun Very Hungry Caterpillar toys! | Very Hungry Caterpillar Products

So tell us: How do you plan on celebrating "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" Day with your kids?

Friday, March 8, 2013

5 Animals That Are Symbols Of Good Luck

With St. Patrick's Day in just a couple weeks, we can't help but think about luck and charms. This inspired us to put together a list of animals that are considered to be symbols of good luck around the world. Some you likely know, but others are unexpected - it's interesting to see how different cultures view animals and their symbolism.

5 Animals That Are Symbols Of Good Luck
An albatross is both a symbol of good and bad luck. Ancient sailors considered seeing one a sign of good luck, as land was near. However, the "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" also gave the albatross status as an unlucky charm.

5 Animals That Are Symbols Of Good Luck
In China, the bat symbolizes a long and happy life. Bat charms are often worn to protect against bad luck.

5 Animals That Are Symbols Of Good Luck
In Asian and European cultures, finding a cricket in your home has been a symbol of good luck for thousands of years. And unlike us, they don't mind crickets chirping in the night; it's considered a sign of companionship.

5 Animals That Are Symbols Of Good Luck
In Germany, pigs are considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity.

5 Animals That Are Symbols Of Good Luck
The tiger is a good luck symbol in Chinese culture, and considered a protector against certain evils.

Feel like you need some extra luck? Shop by animal to add any of these symbols of good luck to your home!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

5 Pictures Of Cats Chewing On Things

Dogs have the reputation for chewing on things (mostly your favorite new pair of shoes) but we've found proof that cats enjoy a good gnaw as much as their canine companions! Take a look at this photo gallery of cats chewing on things...

5 Pictures Of Cats Chewing On Things

5 Pictures Of Cats Chewing On Things

5 Pictures Of Cats Chewing On Things

5 Pictures Of Cats Chewing On Things

5 Pictures Of Cats Chewing On Things