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Help children free themselves from “worries” with Worry Eaters

 

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SONY DSC

Are you familiar with Guatemalan “Worry Dolls?” They are tiny dolls made out of wire, wool and scrap textiles dressed in traditional Mayan clothing. The purpose of the Worry Dolls is to help a child get rid of what worries them or whatever is weighing heavily on their mind.

To use a Worry Doll a child simply needs to tell the doll/dolls what is bothering them, then tuck it under their pillow at night to “sleep on it.” In the morning the child is suppose to feel better because the doll/dolls are suppose to take the worry away.

It’s an interesting concept. I like the idea of being able to share what bothers you with someone (or something) and have them help take that away so you don’t have to fret anymore about it.

I used to have a set of Worry Doll. My mom gave them to me when I was little. I wish I knew what happened to them.

I think it’s only natural that children worry about things (first day of school, moving to a new home, a big test coming up…). It’s natural. It’s life. We all worry about things from time to time.

A company called the Haywire Group have come up with a fun, modern version of Worry Dolls called Worry Eaters. Worry Eaters are cute, colorful monsters that can gobble up whatever a child is worried about.

Worry Eaters Group Shot

Worry Eaters have sweet, friendly faces with wide zippered mouths.

To use a Worry Eater a child can write down what is troubling them and “feed” it to the Worry Eater. If a child is too young to write they can draw a picture of what is worrying them and feed it to their Worry Eater friend.

The idea is for the Worry Eater to take care of the problem so that the child can get a good night’s sleep. It also allows parents to understand what is bothering their child because parents are supposed to remove the “worry” from the Worry Eaters mouth (ideally without the child knowing that).

Here is some additional information from the Haywire Group about Worry Eaters and why they are helpful for children.

At times, childhood worries can be very BIG, and at other times, very small. No matter how big or small the worries, they are all important in the life of a child.  Parents can help kids learn to manage stress and tackle everyday problems with ease using Worry Eaters as a tool to identify worries, clarify misunderstandings or misconceptions, resolve conflicts and build self-esteem, while promoting the development of healthy coping skills. Kids who can do this develop a sense of confidence and optimism that will help them master life’s challenges, big and small.

Worry Eaters allow children a chance to identify worries and separate themselves from that worry or problem, giving the child some time to “take a break” from carrying the weight of that worry. This separation, giving the worry to the Worry Eater, allows children the opportunity to look at the worry or problem separate from themselves. The act of then sharing that worry inside the Worry Eater’s mouth with a parent, caregiver or trusted friend can help a child problem solve solutions, face that worry, and/or just acknowledge that the worry exists.

Check out this video with speech pathologist  and language expert Sherry Artemenko and children talking about how Worry Eaters can help children.

Worry Eaters Round Table With Sherry and Friends from Haywire Group on Vimeo.

 

Worry Eaters come in a variety of monster designs.

I was sent Frula to review.

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The plush toy is not too big, nor too small. It’s a nice size for a young child.

The plush is flat, so if could easily be tucked underneath a pillow at night, the same way you would tuck a Worry Doll under your pillow.

As a parent I really like the idea of a child being able to write down (or draw) what is bothering them and feed it to the Worry Eater to help them take care of the issue. I also like that it gives parents a way of finding out what is going on in their child’s life – especially a child who might not easily talk about what is on their mind.

I also like that the cute little plush toys can serve as a friend and confidant to a child. They are also really adorable little toys. It’s cute how the zipper look like teeth.

Worry Easters come in small and large sizes. The small retail for $15.99 and the large for $22.99.

Worry Eaters Dolls

For more information about Worry Eaters, please visit the Haywire Group www.HaywireGroup.com/Worry-Eaters/Shop. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think about Worry Eaters? Do you think it’s a great idea?

Which Worry Eater is your favorite?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Worry Eaters Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Take flight on new adventures with Super Wings toys

 

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Are you familiar with the animated children’s series, Super Wings? Super Wings airs on Sprout T.V. If you have young children or grandchildren, chances are you might have heard of, or even watched, the show.

The show is also available on Treehouse T.V. in Canada.

If you are not familiar with Super Wings, here is a brief synopsis.

Super Wings stars Jett, a fun-loving jet plane who travels the world delivering packages to children. During each delivery, Jett tackles new challenges with the Super Wings, a group of awesome airplanes who can transform into robots with incredible abilities. The Super Wings crew includes Jimbo, the airport and mission director, Dizzy, the rescue copter, Donnie, the gadget guru, and Jerome, the expert navigator. Viewers will follow along as Jett and his team work through each problem and teach the audience valuable creative problem-solving skills. Viewers will soar to new heights with Jett and the crew as they travel to 52 cities in 45 countries – from the mountains of the Himalayas to the canals of Venice – and interact with characters from all different backgrounds to underscore the importance of embracing cultural diversity.

I have not seen the series myself, but it sounds cute. I think my son would have loved this show when he was little.

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If your family is a fan of the series, you might be excited to know that there are now Super Wings toys available. The line includes play sets, transforming characters and more.

I received to review some of the transforming characters. These are really adorable.

The transforming characters are available in several characters. They look identical to the television version of the characters.

The toys transform from a plane, to a robot, and then back to a plane again, just like on the show.

These remind me of Transformers – but for the preschool crowd. Unlike Transformers, when the Super Wings are transformed into robots they are still cute, not scary looking.

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The transformation is done in just a few simple steps. Any young child can do it themselves without any help from a grown up, although a couple of them were a bit harder to figure out than the others.

These are nice size toys too – not too big, not too small.

The transforming Super Wings toys are made by a company called Auldey. They are available where many toys are sold and retail for $9.99 each.

These would make great gifts for a child who is a fan of the show, or a child who enjoys planes and/or robots.

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As a parent I think these toys are super cute. I also think that they are very well made. I also like toys that encourage children to use their imagination.

I like that they have a girly character too (“Dizzy”).

I think both boys and girls could have fun with these toys.

Look for Auldey’s Super Wings transforming toys where ever toy are sold including Toys R Us and Amazon.

For more information about these and other toys from Auldey, visit AuldeyToys.US (notice it’s .US, NOT .com).

Auldey-Logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Adorable gifts that give back from Kohl’s Cares

 

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If you have read my blog on a regular basis you know how much I really LOVE the products from the Kohl’s Cares program. Just in case you are not familiar with Kohl’s Cares, I’ll give you a brief introduction.

Throughout the year Kohl’s, as part of their Kohl’s Cares program, offers specific products for only $5.00 each. They usually include adorable plush toys, books, games and more. One hundred percent of the net profits goes to support children’s health initiatives nationwide.

I have been a fan of the Kohl’s Cares products for a long time. My favorites are the book and matching plush combinations. Kohl’s Cares usually always has special books with a matching plush toy. They are $5.00 each ($10 for the set). They make wonderful gifts for children for birthday’s, holidays, baby showers, new baby and “just because.”

I have several book plush sets that I display on my bookcase and rotate throughout the year (usually when there are new products from Kohl’s Cares). One I keep on display all the time – Put Me in the Zoo book and matching plush. It was one of my favorite books growing up.

Here is just a few pieces from my Kohl’s Cares collection.

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Some of the pieces I keep for myself to share with my future grandchildren. Others I donate to where I work (I work with children).

The items offered through Kohl’s Cares changes every few months. The products are available both online and in stores. In our local Kohl’s store the Kohl’s Cares products are on display near the check out lines.

The products are available while supplies last, so if you see something you want I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase it.

Check out what is new right now from Kohl’s Cares.

Kohls Cares

I have the Penguin and the Bear, as well as a couple of the books. The books I donated to where I work. The plush I kept to give to our neighbors who are expecting.

The books are hardcover with dust jackets. If you have ever purchased a hard cover children’s book you know they can be expensive. These books are only $5 each.

I love the plush toys. They are SO SOFT! They are made exceptionally well. I can see them being someone’s best friend for years to come. They are the perfect size to tote around too.

I adore the matching books. Together the plush and the book make a wonderful gift. Where else can you find something so cute for $10 (book & plush)?

If you have a lot of young family members, grandchildren or your own children you should consider stocking up on these. These would even be great for a last minute children’s party invitation. It’s always great to have extra gifts on hand just in case. Anyone would be thrilled to receive these delightful gifts from Kohl’s Cares.

Don’t forget, 100% of the net profit from the sales of these items goes to the Kohl’s Cares charitable contributions.

To date, Kohl’s has raised nearly $300 million through the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program. To reinforce the company’s commitment to children’s health, Kohl’s has donated financial support to hospitals across the country. The donations fund hospital outreach programs focused on children’s health initiatives and address the specific issues needed most in each hospital’s community. These tailored programs provide vital resources to families at no cost and include topics such as injury prevention, asthma awareness, dental care, and fitness. A complete list of hospital partners is available online.

For more information or to find a Kohl’s location near you visit www.Kohls.com. You can also find Kohl’s on the various social media sites (all the links are found on the bottom of their website).

Do you have any Kohl’s Cares products?

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Kimberly

*I received free product sample as well as purchased products on my own. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Help promote focus and concentration…with boogers!

 

Find It EWW Gross game

Why is it that children find gross things amusing? I try and think back to when I was a child. I didn’t find gross stuff funny. Maybe that was because I was raised to be very “prim and proper” by my very “old school” parents.

I work with children from 1st to 7th grades. Every day I get to experience (not willingly) their peculiar sense of humor which includes burps and farts. Just last week the boys AND girls were doing “arm farts” to see who could do it the grossest and loudest. Really kids? You find THAT amusing? Sigh…

A new game by the makers of Find It have taken a cue from what kids find amusing and created an identity game called Fit It Eww Gross.

What is a Find It Game you might ask? It’s an ingenious game idea that a self-contained game that you can take with you where ever you go. It can be played with others, or enjoyed on your own.

According to the manufacturer;

In every version of the Find It® game, you will find brightly colored pellets plus 40 or so small items that follow a specific theme.  The items are listed on top of the game for easy reference.  Some are easy to find; others a bit harder.   Twist, spin, shake or tap the filled container to spot the hidden items – in alphabetical order, smallest to largest, fastest to slowest, etc.   It sounds easy, but it’s a challenge for any age – there are so many ways to play a Find It® Game!

Find It Logo

There are several Find It Games to choose from;

  • Find It Made in Washington
  • Find It Pirates
  • Find It Wildlife
  • Find It Dino
  • Find It at the Beach
  • Find It Starry Night
  • Find It Discover America
  • Find It Glitz and Glamour
  • Find It Kids
  • Find It Original

There are several most including the one I was sent to review – Find It EWW Gross!

The games might be geared more towards kid (especially EWW Gross!) but adults can enjoy them too.

Unlike other games, Find It Games offers families more than one way to play their games which means you won’t be easily bored by the game.

Here are just a few suggestions from the Find It website on the various ways to play.

  • Time yourself to see how long it takes to find all the items
  • Find the letters alphabetically (Kids & Deluxe versions)
  • Spell words or practice for a spelling test with your kids
  • Find the objects alphabetically
  • Look up and find fun facts of all the animals (Zoo, Beach & Bird versions)
  • Write a story with the objects you find in 5 minutes in the order you found them

I have found myself just looking at the game and not really playing at all. I simply try and see what items I can find when I shake it and turn it around.

Types of objects found in the Find It EWW Gross! game

Types of objects found in the Find It EWW Gross! game

The Find It EWW Gross! Game contains every day items that most people find gross including ear wax on a cotton swab (one of the easiest objects to find due to it’s size), maggot, road kill, broccoli, chewed gum, dandruff, spider, roach, fish bones, rat droppings, eye ball and slug – just to name a few. I believe there are over 40 items in all. I have played this games numerous times and there are several items I have yet to find.

What I really like about this game is that the pieces (except the cards) are self contained. You don’t have to worry about a mess or pieces going missing. It’s an ideal game for long car trips, camping and summer camp.

Believe it or not, these types of games (even if the objects are questionable) help to promote focus and concentration. You need to focus to locate the items hidden in the colorful beads and you need to concentrate to look for specific items or to recall where you saw an item last.

As we age we need to engage out brains in a variety of activities to prevent things like dementia. Games like this certainly help to engage our brains – and they are fun!

Can you find cat puke/hairball, broccoli, a toe name clipping and the letter "t"?

Can you find cat puke/hairball, broccoli, a toe name clipping and the letter “t”?

I’ve shared this game with the kids I work with and they love it. This is one of the games that I keep in a tote bag in my car so I can bring it to the different sites I work at. The kids keep requesting that I bring the game back in (especially my 4th – 7th graders). It’s been a popular game with them. They too sometimes don’t even play a traditional game but rather see how many things they can find personally.

I have ever heard a few kids utter “Eww gross!” LOL!

This is a fun game. In fact, I’m interested in getting another Find It Game or two.

Find It EWW Gross! sells for $19.99 on the Find It Games website – FindItGames.com. You can also check them out on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What do you think about Find It Games or Find It EWW Gross! Do they look like something your family would enjoy?

Can you find the bloody bandage?

Can you find the bloody bandage?

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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An extra special Family Movie Night with Star Wars and Hasbro

 

Awesome surprise package filled with Hasbro goodies and more.

Awesome surprise package filled with Hasbro goodies and more.

We make an extra effort to have a Family Movie Night almost every weekend. Our kids are teenagers now and we know that there are not many years left with them at home. Our daughter is in college and looking to transfer to another college next year. Our son also graduates high school next year. Pretty soon our Family Movie Night will dwindle down to just me and my husband. Maybe some day, God willing, we’ll have grandchildren and we can have Family Movie Nights with them.

Last night we watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My husband and I have already seen it twice (once in the theater and when we received a review copy of the film). Our daughter has also seen it before (in the theater). Our son had yet to see it.

Usually Family Movie Night consists of the movie and a few snacks. Last night’s Family Movie Night was epic because we received to review a lot of fun Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys and games from Hasbro. Thank you Hasbro!

Box of goodies

We received to review (and enjoy) the following toys.

PLEASE NOTE: The life size Darth Vader and robotic Yoda are our “toys.” They were not sent to us to review. They are toys we already owned. I just added them into the mix to make it more fun.

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Star Wars Nerf Episode VII First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster

This is a Nerf gun that comes with 12 foam darts. It has to be put together (it was easy to do – just a couple of snap on pieces).

The foam darts are housed in a clip that attaches to the side of the gun. This gun can fire all 12 darts rapidly without having to reload.

These darts fly far! The brand says they can go up to 65 feet (20 meters). We never had a chance to measure that (we used them indoors) but we will the next time we visit Grandpa. He has a big yard.

The gun also has a tactical rail and a removable scope that allows you to get better aim at your target.

Star Wars Episode VII Nerf Rey (Jakku) Blaster

This Nerf gun is a lot smaller, but more manageable. It comes with an internal clip that holds four foam darts. Just like the larger gun (mentioned above), this gun also fires darts up to 65 feet.

FYI… If you use these guns around dog please know that dogs might see the darts as fun chew toys they can chase after and eat. LOL! We had to have someone go after the darts after they were fired before the dog could get to them. Thankfully he didn’t destroy any.

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Star Wars Bop It! R2-D2 Electronic Game

I have seen Bop It! before but I never had the opportunity to try it out. Hasbro makes a version that looks (and sounds!) like R2-D2. It’s the same fun Bop It! game, just in a different form.

Bop It! asks you to do things such as bop R2-D2 on the head, twist his head and pull on his “legs.” The more you go along the faster it gets. It essentially tricks you into doing a move that was not asked. To date my highest number is 16.

Here is a brief video I made so that you can hear how realistic the sound are.

 

I like this game because it’s not only small and portable, but it feature sounds and voices from the films (R2-D2’s beeps and C3-PO’s voice – he tells you what to do).

This would be a fun game to bring along with you on long road trips this summer.

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Kylo Ren Mask

Yoda

Kylo Ren & Darth Vader Masks

These fun masks let you pretend to be the evil villains from the franchise. I think they are geared more towards younger children (due to the fact they really didn’t fully cover adult faces). There is an adjustable elastic band in the back that holds it on to your face.

Light Saber

Star Wars The Force Awakens Kylo Ren Deluxe Electronic Lightsaber

Most Star Wars fans love light sabers. They are fun to pretend play with. It’s even more fun when the saber lights up and comes with cool sound effects.

This light saber looks identical to the one that Kylo Ren uses in the film. It even comes with additional pieces so you can turn it into a dagger too.

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Star Wars The Force Awakens Takodana Encounter Action Figure Set

I wanted some Star Wars: The Force Awakens action figures for my desk (I love to display toys on my desk – and play with them too). I was thrilled when I saw this set in the package from Hasbro.

The Takodana Encounter set comes with Rey, Finn, BB-8 and Maz. It also has weapons, two light sabers (one “on” the other “off”) and the box that Rey found Luke’s light saber in.

Our cat Bella is in love with BB-8. She thinks it’s a cat toy. Everything I put it on the table she would reach up, smack it on to the floor, then chase it around. It was funny to watch her do that. She kept doing it over and over again. Right now I had to hide BB-8 until she forgets about him.

Bella trying to reach BB-8 off the table.

Bella trying to reach BB-8 off the table.

Bella and BB8

In addition to these awesome toys from Hasbro we also received some Star Wars: The Force Awakens party wear (cups, plates and napkins) as well as a package of Limited Edition Star Wars: The Force Awakens Barbecue PopChips. 

Popchips

Lastly, we received the ULTIMATE Star Wars book from DK Publishing. It’s called Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

This book has it all. It’s chock full of interesting information, trivia, photos and more ranging from the first Star Wars up to The Force Awakens. It also contains information for all of the Star Wars animated series.

Book

Star Wars Book

I love! love! love this book! I haven’t finished reading it all yet, but I plan to. If you are a Star Wars fan you’ll want to get this book. It would also make a great gift.

As far as the movie goes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is amazing. I WANT TO SEE MORE STAR WARS! It left us anxious to see the next installment. You can read my review here – Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on Blu-ray & DVD!

Party goodies - plates, napkins, cups and a snack.

Party goodies – plates, napkins, cups and a snack.

All of the toys and game from Hasbro that I was sent to review are available where most toys are sold. The Star Wars book is sold where ever most books are sold. Look for Star Wars party supplies where ever they are sold and the PopChips at a grocery store near you.

Hasbro’s official website is Hasbro.com.

Check out the hashtags #StarWars and #StarWarstheForceAwakens to see what others have to say about the film and the fun toys inspired by the film.

To get you excited about the movie’s release I have some fun “extras” for you.

 

Have you seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet? If so, what did you thin about it?

What are your thoughts on the cool Star Wars toys? Which is your favorite?

Bluray

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review from Hasbro, Disney, DK Publishing and PopChips. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Introducing Teddy Canz – Cuddly teddy bears in a can

 

Hippo

I’m a sucker for a soft and cuddly plush toy. If you come into my home you will noticed a variety of plush animals. What you would see is only the “tip of the iceberg.” I have a lot more in the bedroom closet and in storage. I like to rotate them throughout the year.

I’ve always been partial to stuffed animals. Even as a child I would collect stuffed animals.

I would always be attracted to plush animals that had something wrong with them whether it was a crooked eye, matted fur or a missing tail. When I was young I felt like the stuffed animals were real in some way. I knew they were not real (of course!) but in some way I felt like they had feelings. I worried that the flawed ones would never find a home because no one would buy them because they were not “perfect.” I always felt like everyone and everything deserves to be loved and appreciated, so I would intentionally buy the flawed toys. That way I knew they would find someone to love them – ME!

Even as an adult I find myself looking for the less-than-perfect plush toys.

There is something about plush toys that makes me smile and it gives me a sense of peace and comfort. I guess its because they remind me of my childhood.

Pal an Bridgette

Pal & Bridget – Two stuffed animals from when I was a baby that I still have.

Whenever a holiday or my birthday comes around, and my husband asks what he can get me, I always tell him “nothing” unless he wants to give me a stuffed animal. I’m always open to that gift idea.

There is a brand new company that makes gifting stuffed animals – teddy bears to be exact – in a unique way.

The company is called Teddy Canz. You might have already guessed that cans has something to do with them.

Teddy Canz are cute, plush teddy bears that come inside a specially designed can. Talk about a unique way to package a teddy bear.

According to the brand:

Our collectible bears are packaged in unique composite cans labeled with amazing artwork, and offers endless thematic variations. Teddy Canz bears and their apparel are made of superlative materials, and can be customized to preference (customization available through direct-sales on TeddyCanz.com).

Additionally, we are honored to partner with the Marines’ Toys for Tots program, through which we donate a bear to a local Toys for Tots repository for every bear sold (through specific campaigns available with participating retailers).

Teddy Canz

There are currently several varieties of bears available – each one comes in it’s own specially designed can.

Teddy Canz are currently available in the following designs;

  • Birthday
  • Love
  • Dog Gone It
  • Story Time
  • Hazard
  • Bear in the City
  • Comfy Spa
  • Princess
  • Police
  • Fire
  • It’s a Boy
  • It’s a Girl
  • Get Well Soon

They did have an Easter bear, but since Easter is over I’m sure that won’t be available for much longer.

I was sent the Comfy Spa bear to review.

Teddy Canz1

Teddy Canz2

Teddy Canz 3

The bears really do fit inside the cans. They also come out pretty well. They are not all mashed up from sitting inside their can.

The bear I received is made very well. It’s not a “cheap” bear. It’s also incredibly soft and cuddly and simply adorable.

My bear came wearing a soft and snugly bathrobe. I’m jealous! I wish I had such a luxurious bathrobe.

You can store the bear in the can if you want, but who would want to do that. Instead you could re-purpose the cans to hold small toys, beauty products, craft supplies or even different outfits for your bear. The possibilities are endless.

Teddy Canz bears

Teddy Canz would make a great gift for just about anyone – young and old. I’m sure any adult who is feeling under the weather would appreciate a Get Well Soon bear, or a Birthday bear on their birthday.

This would make a great gift for a child or grandchild who live far away. Imagine the look on their face when they open the package and find a can stuffed with a bear inside. They will love it.

Teddy Canz also makes custom designs. You could have cans made up with your company logo as a fun giveaway at your next event.

Teddy Canz sell for $24.99 each (shipping is $6.45 for USPS Priority shipping). They also have a Priority Express option if you need to get the can to the recipient sooner (in case you forgot a birthday).

For more information visit TeddyCanz.com. The brand can also be found on Instagram.

What do you think of the idea of Teddy Canz? Did you see a design or bear that you really like? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

TC

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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