I find it confusing to have toys for preschoolers where you make “food” but you can’t eat them – especially when they look so pretty. I get the whole pretend aspect of this toy and that many kids (including some of our testers) enjoy this product, but maybe because I was the kid that would have tasted it for sure, it makes me wonder about the wisdom of such a toy. While I do have a soft spot for Play-Doh extruder accessories, I generally prefer Play-Doh as an open-ended experience – after all, what’s better than making Play-Doh snakes?!
New to the US market, this Breast Milk Baby doll will allow your child to simulate breast feeding. Thoughts?
Here’s how it works. According to the company’s press release…
The Breast Milk Baby simulates the breast-feeding process by including a fashionable halter-top that a young girl can put on like a vest and when she brings the Breast Milk Baby doll’s mouth up to the pretty flower decoration on the vest the doll makes a soft, suckling sound. The two flowers on the halter are positioned where the nipples would be and when the mouth of the doll is brought close to the embedded sensors in the flower, the baby makes motions and suckling sounds.
Even though I absolutely shunned my own colonial dollhouse (sorry Mom)…I really have always loved the Calico Critters (International Playthings) and their houses over the years. The collections always feature what look like storybook animal families and miniature settings that fit them. I am absolutely obsessed with the Hedgehog family (see pic). This year they have a new Country Tree House that has lots of levels and features. Read our complete review.
Delicious! These blabla kids elephants just make you smile. We love the whole collection of animals and girl/boy dolls- just right for toddlers and preschoolers (and their parents!). For a complete review and shopping info visit our site by clicking here.
If you have a child into blocks and mini-pretend settings, be sure to check out Plan Toys new line of wooden Planimals. They are beautifully crafted and just right for adding more dimension to your child’s pretend play. There are three sets (Australia, Africa and Polar). Read our complete reviews by clicking here for Australia, Africa, and Polar.
I told Al Roker yesterday that I had a little crush on this toy, to which Al expressed some concern for me – but I really do love this pretend toy! Most concept toys are so boring or they have that same sweet woman’s voice (I think she’s related to the annoyingly perky GPS woman). The folks at Leap Frog have a male actor saying “open” “shut” or “off” “on” -every time you take the lid off the pot or put it back on. But instead of just saying it the same way…you know the guy has some theater background…the tenor of his voice changes. It’s just funny and very welcomed. I do wish that when you put the pieces of food in the pot that the pot recognized them–that would have been very cool, but probably would have made the toy super expensive. Fill and spill toys are always a hit with sitting up babies and young toddlers–so this toy is right on target without the sound effects. I’m not in love with the songs it sings…but the open/shut gets me every time. Watch our video. Read our complete review at www.toyportfolio.com.
An amazing new collection of dolls just arrived called Dollie & Me from Madame Alexander. They cost $29.99 – incredible. Additional clothes are available for both the doll (and girls). The two sample dresses we received were very holiday-ish…there are also “school outfits” and pjs. The clothes range from 2T to 16. They range from $34 to $62. They’re all are very special and much more reasonably priced than American Girl.
Pretend play is really important to developing your child’s language skills and her imagination. Giving them props for pretend play can be as easy as a basket of your old clothes or some work supplies (post-its are always a favorite). Some kids like to pretend in the miniature (these are the kids that walk around with small action figures, animals, cars)…other kids LOVE using their whole bodies to act out their own scenarios. These are the kids that rather be the superhero rather than play with a little plastic representation.
You know pretty quickly which kind of pretender you have in your house.
If whole body pretending is your child’s preference, take a look at two new craft kits from Creativity for Kids. There is the Cardboard Coupe (think love, peace and the VW Beetle) or the Cardboard Racer (bright red and ready to go really fast!). Obviously you’ll have to help with putting this together–and the decorating will also be a joint project, but then you’ll have a car for your child to “ride” around in. We’re giving both cars an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award.