Best Digital Camera for Kids: Vtech's Kidizoom Camera

If you’re not thrilled about handing over your expensive camera to your five year old, we highly recommend the new Kidizoom Camera from VTech. Priced at $59.99 this is a much more affordable (and safe) way to introduce your kids to photography. Features include dual eye viewing (a plus for young photographers), a 1.8 LCD screen, 16 MB of memory and an auto flash. Our testers also liked the added features of the zany faces and hats you can add to your work on the camera screen or when you put your picture on the computer. Marked 3 & up, but we’d really say more like 5 & up. We also liked that the chunky orange/yellow camera will be enjoyed by both boys and girls!For more information, visit

Besides taking their own photos at family events, you can make a book together. Of course you can make a book about anything but here are some topics to get started: favorite pet alphabet book with objects found around the house
3.a book about shapes (share a Tana Hoban book for inspiration) day

Elmo vs. Arnold the Snoring Pig

Elmo is back this season with new tricks in hopes of maintaining his dominance in the novelty doll category. The original Tickle Me Elmo was an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award winner. In fact Joanne’s appearance on the Today Show helped fan the Elmo craze when Bryant Gumbel was so taken by Elmo that he played with it during several segments of the show.

More recent variations of Elmo have lost the appeal of the original Tickle Me Elmo for one very simple reason. The original was also very huggable–true it had that extra novelty–but at the end of the day you were left with a soft doll. The new versions have a hard body (to make the new tricks possible)– but gone is the huggability factor.

My favorite novelty doll is Arnold the Snoring Pig from Gund. Squeeze him and he really does snore–complete with one ear shaking — it’s hard not to hug him and, you guessed it, he’s extremely huggable. Visit for more info on Arnold.