SafeSippy, how do I love thee? review+giveaway

Have you ever bought a product that you and your kid love so much that you can’t stop telling others about it?  Yeah, me too.  And that’s part of the reason why I felt so compelled to start this blog.  Times have changed; we moms and dads are heavily influenced by each other more than ever.  This sippy cup is my prime example…

In the fall, as Jack transitioned to a cup full time, I was in search of a sippy cup that was durable and an alternative to plastic.  We’d been using a great BPA-free plastic sippy cup, but after several weeks of usage, I noticed the wear and tear.  At the baby store, amidst the wall of plastic cups, I set sight on this gleaming stainless steel sippy cup.  Hello, SafeSippy!  Modern looking, clean design and practical–my first impression was, this sippy cup completely met our needs.

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Apart from its aesthetics, this cup, inside and out, is well-designed.  It features a narrow spout, a contrast to many other sippy cups’ flat drink spouts.  Research has shown that wide, flat drink spouts can cause developmental and speech problems in young mouths.  The cup boasts a removable handle that can be removed once your kid can grasp the cup.  My kid, though old enough to hold a sippy cup without handles, likes this specific cup’s handle, which makes it better to “crank” and chug.  Don’t ask…
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Click this: Kids off the Couch

Are the kids on spring break this week?  Have you run out of ideas on how to keep them from climbing the walls and everyone involved sane?  If this is you, it’d behoove you to check out Kids off the Couch.

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When I ran across the website, Kids off the Couch, I immediately thought, ‘what a great resource!’  Kids off the Couch is a free weekly e-newsletter that offers insightful suggestions on family-friendly activities.  The e-newsletter and its accompanying site and blog were created by moms and targeted to other parents, especially those with big kids.  It features a laundry list of creative ideas and activities for families with kids of all ages, including tips for movie ideas, cultural activities and staycation suggestions that are relevant all year long, not just for spring break.  As I browsed through the adventure archives, it was one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments.  Well, thanks to the moms at Kids off the Couch, here’s a resource that takes the guesswork out of finding that next family adventure! As someone who appreciates culture and local adventures, this is the kind of newsletter that is a great addition to my inbox.

Go on, after you sign up for their newsletter, unplug yourselves, get off the computer and get the kids off the couch!

Toys “R” Us introduces $1-$2-$3 Fun

Fellow barganistas, behold: Toys “R” Us has set up a new shop with us in mind. Toys”R”Us has introduced a new concept within their stores called $1-$2-$3 Fun!

1-2-3-fun-low-resThe feature shops are located in the front of its stores nationwide and are aimed to provide affordable fun.  In this economy, you can’t go wrong with inexpensive and fun goodies.  In the same vein of Target’s Dollar Spot and other discount store concepts, each shop features around 100 items for $1, $2 or $3. The shops will showcase different themes such as dinosaurs, games and fun toys, princess dress up, musical instruments, art supplies and party favors. The goodies found in $1-$2-$3 Fun would be ideal for party favors, stocking stuffers and other daily events where inexpensive goodies are appreciated!

Who says you can’t get anything for a dollar anymore!?

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.

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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?

Bugaboo celebrates 10 years + a giveaway

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 10 years since this ubiquitous line of strollers began populating streets in Holland.  Since then, Bugaboo has become a household name among many new parents worldwide, as well as a part of many celebrities’ baby gear aresenal.  In celebration of the high-end stroller line’s 10 year anniversary, from March until July, the company is announcing various exciting offers.  To find out about these offers, check out their site and sign up for their emails.

As if exciting offers aren’t enough, Bugaboo has teamed up with another brand well known to modern parents–Paul Frank.
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In February, Bugaboo announced that the Cameleon can now be outfitted with the Paul Frank Special Collection. Who doesn’t love Julius the monkey?  The iconic Paul Frank characters adorn the Special Collection, which includes two tailored fabric sets, two footmuffs and two blankets.  Retail prices are $129.95 for the tailored fabric set; $159.95 for the footmuff; and $49.95 for the blanket.

Speaking of cool blankets, Bugaboo added Micro Fleece Blankets to their accessory collection not too long ago.  The blankets come in a spectrum of colors that coordinate with the entire Bugaboo line.  The Micro Fleece Blanket is super soft, weather and water repellent and ideal for a brisk spring day at the park.  The blanket retails at $40

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I have a Red Micro Fleece Blanket up for grabs!

Want it?
It’s easy: spread the word about the Next Kid Thing launch and comment below.
Email, Facebook,Twitter, StumbleUpon–whatever social networking site you choose.


For additional entries:
share the news on more than one social networking site and comment with each additional link.

This contest ends next Tuesday, April 21 at 11:59 p.m.

Goodies: Be sure to check out their online community, Bugaboo Friends, for tips and other great info.

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

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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