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  • Spilling The Beans - Insider's Guide to Baby Gear - Magic Beans

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 »

By Hook or by Book?

If you have ever listened to the radio, chances are you’ve heard the advertisements for Hooked On Phonics. For me, it was right up there with the See Clearly Method in the category of questionably miraculous products. But armed with passionate testimonials from parents and a memorable toll free number, Hooked On Phonics has enjoyed almost two decades of success. ... Read More »

Easy or not, here it comes

When the Easy Walker stroller debuted at the JPMA show last May, we had a mixed reaction from our team. There were some great features, and the design was sleek and minimalist, but it was only available as a package bundled with the carrycot, and it was quite expensive. We weren’t sure how the US market would react. The strollers ... Read More »

Valco strollers on sale

Valco is usually one of the last stroller manufacturers to receive their next model year inventory, so when all the other sales have come and gone, Valco is just getting started. The 2006 Runabout models aren’t expected until the end of April or later, so we’ve been able to negotiate some nice deals with our good friends at Valco, including ... Read More »

A new world order

Erno Rubik’s puzzles have been entertaining people of all ages since 1977. His newest puzzle, Rubik’s World, takes a familiar shape and subjects it to the same scrambling as his famed cube. It seems like it ought to be easier than the Rubik’s Cube, but I was one of those impatient kids who just moved around the stickers to solve ... Read More »