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Name that tune?

International Playthings, distributor of the popular Calico Critters, is having a songwriting contest. Kids are invited to try their hand at creating a Calico Critters anthem by composing new lyrics to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Entry forms are available for download at their website. Completed entries can be dropped off in our store or mailed directly to ... Read More »

This little Piggy stayed clean

The Piggy Platter is a new placemat for babies and kids. It was designed by a mom trying to avoid the sticky mess left over from breakfast oatmeal. There are a couple of nice innovations here. First, the surface of the mat is clear, so you can put funny pictures, flashcards or other stimulating graphics underneath. There’s a no-slip rubber ... Read More »

New features on our website

We just launched two cool new features on our website. The Stroller Matchmaker is a form that asks a series of detailed questions about parents’ lifestyle, habits and tastes. That form is submitted to us and is reviewed by one of our Stroller Matchmakers. Then, we send a list of tailored recommendations for strollers. The turnaround time is listed as ... Read More »

Safety concerns and lawsuits with Magnetix construction toy

While this is not an official recall, it’s a pretty scary story. Magnetix (which we have never carried in our store) is being blamed for the death of a 22-month old boy and the serious illnesses of two other young boys, all of whom live in Washington state. Apparently, the small magnets became dislodged from the plastic toy and each ... Read More »

A bib for the ages

Although it isn’t new, the Crumb Chum is worthy of praise, so here it comes. There are a lot of bibs out there, but the Crumb Chum is the most wearable and most effective bib I’ve ever used. The coverage is incredible – it’s somewhat like wearing a smock – and the fabric is very thin and light, so it ... Read More »

Life’s a picnic

This summer’s must-have backyard accessory for the pint-size set. Science and Nature‘s new kid-size picnic table is completely adorable, and kids will dig the cheerful graphics and the working umbrella. I checked it out at the Boston Gift Show yesterday, where they had one assembled. The price is so great, I was curious about the quality. It was about what ... Read More »

Second time around

My younger child celebrated her second birthday today. I think it’s a bit hard to find the right tone for this particular age. The first birthday is always more for the parents than for the baby. By the second one, the child can understand that something special is happening, but still doesn’t have any expectations for the day. By three, ... Read More »

Too young for Elmo?

Yesterday’s Boston Globe had an interesting story on the front page. Apparently, Sesame Workshop has partnered with Zero to Three, a highly regarded organization dedicated to supporting the healthy development of infants and toddlers through parent education and resources. The result of this collaboration is a series of DVDs designed for parents to watch with their babies and toddlers, from ... Read More »

New Xplory is here

The 2006 update to Stokke’s revolutionary Xplory stroller has arrived, and they have made some very nice improvements. Most significantly, they are now offering a “Baby Bag”, or a bassinet attachment. The “Baby Bag” lingo is sure to cause some confusion in the US market, though I’ve been told that it’s a question of international terminology. It is just like ... Read More »

Friendly Foam

Bloco is another of our Toy Fair finds that has just arrived in the store. These striking foam construction sets are beautifully designed, fun to build, and kids can also play with their creations, thanks to a unique plastic joint component. The high-density foam pieces can be interlocked flat or stacked to create whimsical 3D characters. Right now, there are ... Read More »