Play-Doh turns 50 years old this year, and Hasbro is releasing this ginormous set of Play-Doh to celebrate. It sports 50 colors of Play-Dohy goodness instead of the usual four that you probably played with. Of course, no Play-Doh set would be complete without a few accessories. Perhaps the Play-Doh Ez 2 Do Zoo or the Play-Doh Hand Tools Set. Whatever you get, its pretty hard to go wrong with such an imaginative toy!
November 2, 2006
Haba always makes wonderful wooden toys, and Perpeto is no exception. This toy is colorful and bendable. Made with multiple coats of natural, water-based non-toxic lacquers this toy will stay vivid for many years to come, and you don't have to worry about your teething baby getting this in his mouth.
November 1, 2006
I wrote about this toy the other day. However, since then we've put our money where our mouth is and bought this toy. The idea behind it is simple enough: lots of things for Andy to grab on to, lots of different textures, and lots of different designs.
At first, Andy liked the toy a lot. It was one of the few substantial things that he could grab onto. He loved to pick it up and swing it around. The bells inside would jingle and he would smile with glee. Since then, the toy has lost a little of its initial appeal. Andy still likes it, and he quite often plays with its tag. But he's moved on to bigger and heavier toys to swing around. However, now that he's started teething, we'll see if he goes back to chomping on its rings!
All in all, I would say this toy was worth it. I wish we had bought it a little earlier so that we got a little more out of it. If you're looking for toys for your little ones, or are looking for a good gift, don't hesitate to buy the Multi-Sensory Clutch Cube!
October 27, 2006
This tricycle is a bit different from the one we wrote about the other day. While a few dollars more expensive at $169, the Air Happy Tricycle from Kettler has a few more features that are definitely worth it. The tires are real air-filled rubber tires, you can adjust the seat up and down as your child grows from age 1 to age 6, and finally there is a removable push-bar which makes it easy for you to push your child around after a long day at the park. And right now, Oompa is offering free shipping on all Air Happy Tricycles!
October 26, 2006
This toy is very similar to the one we posted yesterday, except instead of teaching object permenance, this box teaches children about cause and effect. The Infant Box with Tray may look simple but is a deceptively brilliant way to teach infants who have begun to sit on their own the basic concepts of hand-eye coordination as well as cause and effect as the ball goes tumbling through the hole and into the tray below. Minute variations in completing this exercise will fascinate your child and give them the repeated satisfaction of success. This toy is also hand made in Holland with painted beechwood, and is designed to last a lifetime.
Okay, if you can look at this and not want one for yourself then there's something wrong with you (or perhaps you're a girl). Not only is the Sand Digger great for building hand-eye coordination, but you get to indulge your child's interest in digging in sand. And who can deny them such pleasure! The coated, steel frame is covered in appealing primary colors. The sturdy, molded seat is perfectly sized for preschool-aged children. And right now, Oompa is offering free shipping on all Kettler Sand Diggers!
October 25, 2006
I had totally forgotten about Radio Flyer. Another mother who has a larger baby than Andy (which I can't believe is possible as he's off the charts in weight!) gives me some of her used baby clothes, and two of the onesies had Radio Flyer wagons on them. As she was describing them, I had no idea what she was talking about and felt like a fool. Then I find all these great products in my LL Bean catalog! They don't sell the old fashioned wagon that I remember from my childhood, but they do have a Walker Wagon. Besides that, there's also a Tiny Trike, a Little Red Fire Engine, a Wooden Rocking Pony, a Scooter, a Tricycle, and a Roadster. We think it's great they are still around making products for children, and we're happy we stumbled across them!
I went to a Montessori school when I was a young child. I never really understood what that meant until I started thinking about how I wanted Anderson to be educated. Okay, I still don't really get it. However, Maria Montessori definitely came up with some good ideas back in the 1920s, and toys like this really show how simple and powerful this kind of learning can be. This box teaches children about object permanence — even when they can't see something, it still exists and is waiting for them to find it again! Your child will push a soft cotton ball into the hole in the top of the box and then remove it by pulling the drawer knob and lifting it out in this exercise to develop hand-eye coordination, sophisticated hand movements and simple problem solving skills. The box is made by hand in small batches in Holland, and will last many lifetimes.
October 23, 2006
Back in my day, we would've called this a fort, but I guess now it's called an activity house. It seems like a really neat idea: a pile of corrugated cardboard that assembles into a house shaped structure. The blank walls just beg to be drawn on. Or you can apply some fabric or paint. Decorate the inside and outside to make a unique play area. If you want some ideas, check out these houses made by the Design Within Reach staff. I do wonder how stable the whole thing is, but since its just cardboard, it's probably not too much of a risk.
October 19, 2006
The Pilot Tricycle is definitely not like the tricycles you and I grew up with. These are used throughout Europe, and are only starting to become available here in the United States. They're made by Italtrike, an Italian company that actually specializes in tricycles. The handle bars are designed with children's hands in mind — they can put them in the most comfortable position for them. The tricycle is low to the ground and has a wide base to increase stability as your little one learns to balance. This tricycle is for children between 1 and 2, and there are others for older kids as well.