Happy Earth Week!

loveyourearthAs Earth Day approaches this Wednesday, The Next Kid Thing will be focusing on green kid topics all week. When Earth Day began 39 years ago, times were much different, but the environmental movement as we know just started to gain momentum. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts. Today, Earth Day is celebrated worldwide.
As the Earth Day celebrations continue to grow, as does the environmental awareness. It might be easy being green one day a year, but 365 days of green-living make much more of an impact. What’s even more important is fostering our kids at an early age to be more socially responsible. Stay tuned for lots of ideas on how kids can help protect Mother Earth and ways to go green too!

(photo via mlumograph17)

LeapFrog introduces iPhone app, Number Rumble

LeapFrog upped their game with the introduction of a new iPhone app, a learning game called Number Rumble. Number Rumble, the first of several iPhone App learning games that LeapFrog plans to release, is a math game that puts the fun in function by helping players ages 6 to 10 gain a better grasp on math basics.

numberrumble

The game, which can be download at the Apple App Store for $2.99, allows kids to practice for quizzes, challenge friends and replay games to sharpen their math skills.

It features three modes of play, including a “Learn It” mode that lets kids choose an operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division), spin the number wheels to create a math problem, then tap the equals sign to see and hear the answer; the “Quiz Time” mode in which kids test their skills by spinning the number wheels to create a problem, then shake the iPhone to select an answer; and a “Random Quiz” that lets kids practice all four operations at once, shaking the iPhone to see “fill-in-the-blank”-style questions, such as “12 + 8 = ?” or “? ÷ 9 = 11.”

With LeapFrog’s Number Rumble, it’s like math to-go with an emphasis on fun (like most LeapFrog products) to keep kids engaged. It’s definitely not your dad’s (or mom’s) iPhone anymore! Learning is involved, so who’s complaining?

Welcome to the Next Kid Thing!

This week marks the official launch of the Next Kid Thing, a blog that is dedicated to the latest and greatest in kid gear.  As the juvenile products market continues to evolve, the Next Kid Thing will showcase great gear and all the good stuff in between.  As many parents know, as soon as you have a kid, it seems like the next month, brand new gear hits the shelves.  It seems that way probably because the baby and kid market continues to grow at an exponential pace–even in this economic climate.  A report by Kids Today said that infant gear reached $1.62 billion in sales in 2007, while another report forecasts that the baby durables market will increase to $6.9 billion by 2015.  Add big kids to the mix, and that’s a lot of gear and gadgets to be bought.

Many of us have waited to start our families to focus on careers, and in turn, this generation of new parents are willing to spend more on high tech, eco-friendly and safe baby gear, insisting on the best for our kids.  With all that stuff out there, it’s my hope that this website will serve as a resource to sift through the excess to profile the must-haves and find the best deals.  From babies to big kids, the Next Kid Thing will feature reviews, interviews, profiles and awesome giveaways!

logoNKT is most definitely a labor of love.  In addition to chasing around my mischevious toddler all day, with thanks to the most encouraging husband ever, I can finally say (again) that I’m doing what I love.  With a journalism background and 8 years of experience as a mag editor under my belt, I’m happily putting my research and reporting skills back to work.  With all the research I did prior to my son’s arrival in 2007, sharing my finds makes so much sense.  These days, it’s all about maximizing your dollars while observing green habits and smart consumerism.  With an appreciation for great gear, a fervor for research and green-living, the Next Kid Thing was born.

Join me as I share great finds, profile cool companies, unearth great deals and of course, roll out some pretty awesome giveaways.  As a way to celebrate this week-long launch of the Next Kid Thing, I will have giveaways galore all week!  Be sure to comment on this post for an opportunity to win some fabulous door prizes!
For additional entries, tell all your friends and family:  blog, tweet, stumble or share the news of the Next Kid Thing’s official launch on any social media site.   Please comment to add additional entries.

I’ll be back later with the first official giveaway and more!