If you’re looking for a birthday present for a girl totally into the whole pedicure/spa scene, look no further than Creativity for Kids Pretty Pedicure Salon. This set comes with a blow up tub for soaking, three nail polish colors, toe separators, slippers, a heart shaped file, heart shaped confetti soap, a towel (that comes in the shape of a heart–that unfolds when you wet it), decals, liners for making perfect French nail tips and a bag for keeping it all in. Ok, so if this isn’t your thing, it seems pretty silly but if you’re in this zone–it’s a memorable gift (and clean feet).
Now that Bo has happily arrived at the White House…here are some of favorite toy dogs just in case bringing home the real thing isn’t in the cards…
New for Spring, from the same Furreal line is a smaller and much more affordable Lil’ Patter Pup. If the Gabor sisters were going to have a toy dog, this would be it…of course that dates me…so if you’re Paris Hilton…you get the idea. There is a Shih-Tsu and a Pomeranian…both bark and unlike Biscuit, they do walk! At $29.99 they are a good buy.
And if a low tech pup will do the trick, we love the new Spot from Kids Preferred. This oversized delicious doll is $29.99.
And if you’re looking for a great book on dogs…I’m biased but I highly recommend my mom’s Have You Seen Dogs?
Barbie is not the gymnast herself this time–but the coach – a welcome and empowering message for girls. Set comes with Barbie’s kid sister Kelly who spins on the balance beam (a fun feature). Of course there is a hairbrush, a medal and Barbie’s purse (with a bottle of water). Will be a hit with young gymnasts in training…
- We’ve loved the other dinos (T Rex and Triceratops) from Kid Galaxy. Both won Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards last year. This line is just right for preschoolers because the controller has an easy to use single button. This Brontosaurus is friendly and will not scare your three year old. Also new and fun, My First RC Animal Pal series–we love the Penguin the best!
Spring time always meant new bubbles in my house. I’m a big fan of the Little Kids No-Spill line—probably because I can still remember crying over those plastic bottles of pink or blue bubbles–remember those? You had to put your finger in the bottle to pull out your wand? This Bubble Blitzer with a Dora the Explorer theme makes lots of little bubbles when you blow…Our testers had no problems making this one work. The Bubble Blitzer Glitter Critters are very cute looking but required more air than our testers could muster. If you’re worried about your child running with the Bubble Blitzer in their mouth (not a good idea)…stick with the original.
Go! Go! Sports Girls from Dream Big Toy Company are an empowering collection of multi-cultural fabric dolls that encourage girls to be active in a wide range of sports. They are slightly larger than Groovy Girls and have that same pleasing old-fashion quality to them with their stitched features and yarn hair. What sets this collection apart is the focus on sports– my favorite is Suzi, the swimmer—I love her goggles! They are really cute (see photo above)….they retail for $22.99 each. Below is a group picture…
I really like this new Dinosaur Park puzzle too–all of the dinosaurs are friendly looking. Just right for young dino-holics. Just like the Busy Bugs Puzzle, this is 2′ x 3′ and comes with 24 oversized pieces.
The actual Busy Bugs puzzle from Mudpuppy is really stunning…for some reason the artwork on the box doesn’t really convey how attractive this puzzle really is even though it’s the same image. Kids will enjoy working on this oversized (2′ by 3′) floor puzzle that illustrates how busy all the bugs are in the garden. Comes with 24 large, sturdy pieces–lots’ to talk about as you work on this one. Suggested retail $17 (3 & up–but of course 3s and 4s will need help to begin).
The little boy in this book is really proud of his Mamma–who is really, really big (one of the illustrations shows that she takes up two seats on the bus.). Ok, that’s fine…but then Mamma decides to go on a diet so that she’ll be “prettier”. Really? How about because it would be healthier. Instead the little boy tells his mother that he wants her to stay big. At the beginning of the story we learn why he loves size: “Her hands are pillows, her arms are bolsters. And her chest..as soon as I lay my head on her chest, I feel like falling asleep with a great big smile on my face.” The little boy revolts until Mamma gives in and starts eating again…and everyone is happy. The End. Really?
With the rising rate of child obesity, I was sure this book was going to be about how Mamma decided to get in shape, eat well and be able to play more actively with her son. Now that may be too “message” oriented in the current world of children’s books…but I don’t think that means you have to deliver an upside down message either.
I got a call about six months ago from product developer Bruce H. Wolk. He was working on a book for parents and grandparents about products made in America. With all the worries about lead in children’s products, his timing was spot on. The book is now available and is a great reference for anyone looking for American made products for the kids in their lives. There are separate chapters on Products for Infants, Clothing, Furniture, Sports & Fitness, and Toys and Games. For each company, Bruce gives you all the contact information about the company, interesting facts and where to find their products. Well done!