Wii MotionPlus, Sports Resort to hit shelves soon

Take note Wii fans: the new Wii MotionPlus is set to hit shelves on June 8th.  The Wii MotionPlus, which was unveiled last year, is said to take select Wii games to the next level.  The MotionPlus, which costs $19.99, can tracks players’ movements with even more detail—precise motions are replicated on screen with the slightest turn of the wrist.  Check out the press conference to see it all in action.
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Nintendo said this add-on will be available well before the July 26 launch of the Sports Resort game. The Sports Resort game is a beach-themed follow-up to the Wii Sports game, which comes packed with the console. Each Wii Sports Resort game will be bundled with a single Wii MotionPlus accessory.

The Sports Resort game will introduce a new set of summery activities, like cruising on a water scooter, dueling with swords and throwing a Frisbee.  The Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus will be sold together for $49.99.
If it’s possible, dueling with fake swords just got a little cooler.

Silikids: review and giveaways

With all the news involving BPA lately, this company is one that shows the direction that the baby gear market is heading.

In light of the growth of environmental awareness and social consciousness, especially among new parents, many of us seek safer and much more sustainable products. Silikids, founded by two moms who, in a search for alternatives, decided to turn to silicone, one of the safest and most durable materials on earth, into a product line for children.
After recognizing the lack of hygienic, practical and non-toxic products Giuliana Schwab and Stacey Feeley founded Silikids. They have created a unique line of mom-inspired products, which are germ, mold and toxin-free, hypoallergenic and made entirely out of silicone.
Silicone is a non-porous material made from sand, which is unique for its hygienic, safe, durable and green benefits. Silicone is more frequently being used in children’s products, and is already commonly used for baby bottle nipples, pacifiers, teethers and baby spoons.

The Silikids collection currently includes:

·         Siliskins-silicone sleeves for 4- and 8-oz. bottles (bottles included)
·         Silibibs-soft and easy to clean bibs made entirely of silicone
·         Silipads-silicone kneepads for crawlers and toddlers

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I had the chance to check out these products, and I was so impressed. The quality and durability are absolutely what I look for in the products that I normally buy.  The functionality and eco-friendliness are clear cut selling points, too.
With many families shying away from questionable plastic baby bottles, glass bottles are once again a popular alternative.
The Siliskin sleeves for glass baby bottles are a protective sheath that helps prevent the bottle from breaking. In addition to being functional, they’re fun and colorful, too!

The Silibibs are easy to clean bibs that are a great alternative to the flimsy plastic bibs out on the market. In addition to catching crumbs, many of those plastic bibs catch their fair share of germs if they’re not cleaned properly! These silicone bibs are a safe bet.

Even though my kid is beyond the crawling phase, I appreciate the innovation of the Silipad silicone kneepads. Bumps and bruises are part of our daily routine, but we could’ve definitely used these in the crawling days to cushion little knees from those hard surfaces.

All Silikids products are priced at less than $25.00 and are dishwasher safe, washer/dryer friendly and can be boiled for sterilization. These products which are fairly new to the market can be found at various stores and online retailers.

I have an orange pair of the Silipads and two 4 oz. sized Siliskin sleeves up for grabs.

Want to win it?

Visit the Silikids site and leave a comment with the products you’d like to try.

For additional entries: blog, tweet, stumble or share the news of the Next Kid Thing’s official launch on any social media site.   Please leave a comment for each additional entries.

*****This contest is now closed******

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!

Peter Rabbit skincare

The children’s classic book and well loved character, Petter Rabbit now has a line of organic baby products.  The Peter Rabbit branded baby products from Econatura includes baby shampoo and wash, baby conditioner, baby body oil, baby lotion and Intense Therapy Cream for Baby. The products have been developed from plant-based formulations, are hypo-allergenic and contain natural antioxidants, making it a great option for children and even sensitive adults.  Check out the ingredients here.
The Peter Rabbit Econatura line, which was awarded 2008’s “Best Baby Line” from Natural Solutions magazine, are available exclusively at Whole Foods.

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Goodies: Visit Econatura’s site to get a coupon for $2 off of Peter Rabbit organics.

Read this: Easter basket books

With the Easter Bunny hopping around this weekend, surely he or she might need some last minute alternatives to the 15 lbs. of jelly beans and ultra-glow Peeps.  It’s my thinking that if the Easter Bunny fills up our guy’s basket with cool books, that will only leave enough room for 5 or 6 Mini-Eggs. (The way I see it:  the less chocolate that find their way into the basket means less chocolate to find their way into my mouth.)  There are so many classic books for the Easter Bunny to choose from, but there are also some newer books to check out too!  Here are a few suggestions on some fun treats of the book variety.

Duck! Bunny! By Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
The eye-catching illustrations make Duck! Bunny! one of my new favorites.   With the use of fun optical illusions, this book debates whether the animal in question is indeed a duck or a bunny.  It’s a short and sweet story that kids of all ages would find funny.  Is it a duck or a bunny?  What do you think?
Check out Chronicle Books’ YouTube teaser for the book and you decide!

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Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue By Jon Agee
Orangutan Tongs is a witty book filled with tongue twisters and play on words.  It’s a fun collection of phrases and silly subjects to entertain kids and parents alike.  If you love clever kid reads, how could you not be a fan with text like, you know New York’s unique, but did you know that unique New York’s also pretty chic?

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The Dumb Bunnies’ Easter By Dav Pilkey
The Dumb Bunnies are at it again!  This time, they’ve got their holidays all mixed up!  On December 24th, they’re cutting down their Easter tree–wait a minute!  Check out the Dumb Bunnies’ ridiculous adventures and find out why they’re for the Easter Bunny to drop eggs down their chimney!
Here’s the thing:  the Dumb Bunnies books by the same hysterical author that brought us Captain Underpants has a gift for making kids laugh with his book.  Some parents may not be fond of the “Dumb” descriptor for these silly bunnies, but c’mon, it’s harmless fun.  On his site Pilkey says it best:

The only thing that all human beings have in common is our endless capacity for doing dumb stuff.

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All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant (Author), Nikki McClure (Illustrator)
By the Newbery Medal-winning author, Cynthia Rylant, this book has a simple but very important message–to make the most of each day.   The illustrations, cut-paper art and text are equally appealing to both parents and kids, making it a perfect read for any age.  At times like this, isn’t it all about living life to the fullest while embracing what each day has to offer?

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Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs? By Karen Katz
Karen Katz’s books are a big hit in our house.  So much so, they’ve been read and flipped through so much, the pages have become so tattered from all the page-flipping excitement.  The colorful and sparkly surprises that can be found when flipping the flaps is what keeps these books at the top of our reading regimen.  Where could those Easter eggs be?

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Etsy find: MiaJoie Elena Organic Baby Shoes

As I was perusing Etsy, I fell in love with Jessica’s shop, MiaJoie. Jessica creates stylish, unique and eco-friendly shoes and accessories, with a penchant for sweet baby girl shoes. Problem is, I don’t have a girl. It’s a good thing that MiaJoie also has unisex shoes, too.

With Spring in the air, nature and newness comes to mind, which makes me love the Elena style so much more. This versatile style is made from two types of organic cotton. The poppy flower is made from reclaimed vintage satin and finished with ruffle toe and a tiny coconut bead. This sweet style comes in sizes 0-4.

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It’s no surprise that MiaJoie’s Peyton Cork Baby Shoes/Booties was recently featured in Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine.

For the love of the game

In our home, Opening Day of baseball reignites the April-October daily regimen of bonding over baseball. America’s past time is loved by so many, so it’s no surprise that these days, the love of the game extends beyond the game itself. From the littlest baseball fan to the aspiring ace, here’s a short lineup of fun gear in honor of opening day:

Topps recently took baseball cards to a new dimension–quite literally–when they unveiled 3-D Live. With a webcam, baseball card collectors can now view a 3-D avatar of players from select 2009 Topps trading cards on their computer screen. Rotate the card, and the figure rotates in full perspective.   Augmented reality is a combination of a real image with a virtual one.  3-D baseball cards?  Now that’s a brand new ballgame!

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We grew up in a cul-de-sac, so in our baseball games, we used car bumpers, manhole covers and curbs as bases and we mentally kept score.  But for the high tech set, Junk Ball has a pretty cool Ghost Runner Baseball that’s designed to remedy all that guessing.  The Ghost Runner electronically keeps track of runners on base and the score. And with lights and sounds, it also tracks innings played, team at bat and the number of outs in each inning. It automatically switches teams after three outs are recorded. Information is entered into Ghost Runner’s electronic home plate with the touch of a button/base.

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Learning to love baseball isn’t just a rite of passage reserved for boys anymore! The baseball greats might be rolling over at the thought of a Princess-themed baseball set, but who says girls can’t play too? Little Tikes has a T-ball set in pink that just might hone even the girliest girl’s budding ball skills.

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It’s never too early to start grooming them to play ball.  From an early age, tots can learn to perfect their swing to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Play Ball” with Playskool’s Swing ‘N Score Baseball.

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Baseball and Build-A-Bear

In honor of opening day, check out the fun selection of MLB-themed gear Build-A-Bear has to offer.  My fave, of course, is Curly Teddy in Mets gear.*

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Build-A-Bear Workshops has teamed up with MLB once again to offer a families another way to cheer for their favorite baseball teams with Build-A-Bear Workshop Day at various ballparks, in addition to new team-branded merchandise.  On Build-A-Bear Workshop Day at the Ballpark, fans will receive exclusive team-branded stuffed animals while supplies last. Each furry friend comes with a free virtual gift redeemable at buildabearville.com, the Build-A-Bear Workshop virtual world.


Check your favorite team’s website for dates and details, but here are a few scheduled Build-A-Bear Workshop Game Day Giveaways:

Pittsburgh Pirates
Sunday, May 17 at 1:35 p.m.
Sunday, September 20 at 1:35 p.m.
New York Mets
Saturday, August 1 at 7:10 p.m.
Kansas City Royals
Sunday, May 17 at 1:10 p.m.
St. Louis Cardinals
Sunday, August 2 at 1:15 p.m.
Chicago Cubs
Saturday, May 30 at 3:10 p.m.
Friday, July 24 at 1:20 p.m.
Cincinnati Reds
Sunday, August 30 at 1:10 p.m.
San Francisco Giants
Saturday, May 30 at 6:05 p.m.

Goodies:
Score your own Curly Teddy or get one for your little baseball fan with this $5 off coupon.  Expires April 19, 2009

(Fellow Mets fans:  the choking hazard warning to the right of Curly Teddy is referencing small pieces included with the toy–NOT the game 😉  It’s a brand new year, a brand new ballgame…and a brand new stadium!)