Chugga, Chugga, Chugga! Already a global hit, Chuggington, a Ludorum property, is a CGI children’s show that focuses on a trio of trainee Chuggers and is set to debut on Playhouse Disney on Monday, January 18. Playhouse Disney, home to kiddie favorites like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and one of our faves, the Imagination Movers, is known for introducing fun and playful shows—especially ones with theme songs that are sure to linger. (Hot Dog dance, anyone?)
Chuggington, which is geared to the preschool crowd, follows three young trainees, Wilson, Brewster and Koko and their colorful adventures. Introduced in the U.K. in 2008, and then in France, Australia, Germany, Japan and Canada, Chuggington is poised to be the new favorite locomotive series stateside.
The show conveys life lessons and social-emotional values relevant to preschoolers, validating its global popularity with kids and their parents. Chuggington was developed by the same brains behind Bob the Builder (Sarah Ball, Director and Writer) and Thomas the Train (Don Toht who led the creation of the toys systems).
P’kolino, best known for their modern and innovative children’s furniture and toys, has added a Chalk Table to their product lineup. The Chalk Table, which has a cool pair of bench-style seats, features a reversible tabletop that hides a clever storage space underneath. Can this table be any more perfect for a budding Renoir or Matisse?
Always a fan of clean aesthetic and functional design, P’kolino’s Chalk Table would complement any stylish preschooler’s room—boy or girl. I’ve been a longtime admirer of P’kolino’s Klick Desk and Little Reader, the Chalk Table is likely to find its way on to my shopping list, once we move to a bigger space. I’ve seen the great quality of a few P’kolino products in person, but I’ve yet to see this one, since it was just introduced. Once I have the chance to see the Chalk Table for myself, I’ll be sure to report back.
The $90 P’kolino Chalk Table is available for pre-order now and starts shipping on January 20th…and it looks like they’re offering free shipping, too!
At any given moment when a good song comes on in our home, it’s likely we’re having a mini jam session with the kid on the guitar, dad on the keyboard and me often playing the drums. The 2 year old band leader who “distributes” the instruments accordingly, has the rocking out routine down to a science.
Because music is such a big part of our lives, I appreciate toys that encourage musical value and Baby Genius does just that.
The first ‘Best of 2009’ and companies and products to watch in 2010 is Polliwalks.
To be upfront, we are not a clog kind of family. Y’know, as in Crocs and the like…well, until we tried Polliwalks on for size.
Clogs, personally, are not my style, but for kids, I think they’re functional and they seem comfortable. True story: the summer when the kid started to cruise, I brought a pair of clogs home. The next day, I was asked to return them. That’s right, the clogs were vetoed. And of course a few months later, at a family outing, we learned that the kid has a fondness for clog. (pastel pink ones to be exact!) They always want what they don’t have; funny how that works!
And so, this fall when Polliwalks approached me to check out their line of clogs, I happily obliged. Polliwalks has a wide variety of animals, bugs, creatures and character-themed clogs, so it was hard to choose which shoe to try. Since it was around the time of my trip to Sesame Street, the characters were even closer to our hearts, so we went with Cookie Monster.
Without a doubt, in 2009 I researched, tested and reviewed more baby and kid products than I could comprehend—truly. Some of the products I wanted to share with you just didn’t make it on to the blog because of time, especially with the madness of the holidays and wrangling an active kid. And because of this, I wanted to do my roundup of innovative gear, gadgets and goodies of 2009. These are all products that I thought made an impression to me and certainly companies that I will watch in 2010.
I’ll post the products in the following days in no particular, with a few giveaways to boot.
Way before tracking trends and kid’s products even became a blip on my radar, I stumbled upon Putumayo Kids music at a local gift store. A huge advocate for diversity and lover of all things music-related, falling in love with Putumayo Kids was a given.
There are children’s music compilations and then, there is Putumayo Kids. Putumayo’s various cds, which are geared to entertain, educate and inspire cultural curiosity in children, boast upwards to 3 million cds sold and stands apart from other children’s cds. The compilations are well-thought out and enjoyable for both kids and adults—a must for our music-loving family.
This fall, Putumayo released A Family Christmas, which I found to be one of the best recent kid-centric Christmas music collections. Putumayo’s A Family Christmas is a melodic departure from all the character-based songbooks, shows and cds that seem to monopolize the storeshelves, especially this time of year. The songs on this cd are ones that we know and love, but the artists featured are none that I can recognize aside from Big VooDoo Daddy, (though you might recognize a few) which makes it even more appealing. Can you think of a better way to enjoy the songs you hear a billion times over during the holidays than with a new fresh take on the classics for kids?
From Johnny Bregar’s acoustic take on “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy retro-swing version of Louis Armstrong’s song, “Is Zat You Santa Claus?,” to The Christmas Jug Band featuring Angela Strehli and Maria Muldaur’s “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,” Putumayo’s A Family Christmas covers all the music genre on one fun collection. This compilation truly appeals to music lovers of all ages and from all walks of life! My only complaint is that I can’t seem to locate Putumayo on iTunes. Maybe the next one?
My personal favorite on the cd is definitely Mele Kalikimaka by Debbie Davis & Matt Perrine, which I consider a kind reminder and shout out to one of our family’s highlights of the year—our trip to Hawaii this summer to celebrate the kid’s Godmother’s wedding!
Be sure to check out the Putumayo Kid’s site to check out their other award-winning cd collections. Also, head on over to Amazon to give a listen to A Family Christmas, which is where I sampled this cd myself. Music is a wonderful gift for everyone, especially cd compilations that have garnered awards like, Parents’ Choice Awards, National Parenting Publications Gold Awards, iParenting Media Award and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.
Without a doubt, after I pick up this cd from Barnes and Noble, Putumayo’s A Family Christmas will be blaring from our speakers on our drive back to Virginia for the holidays. Putumayo is so cool, they’re offering a free MP3 download! Just sign up here to receive your free download of the song “Jolly Old St. Nick” by Brave Combo from the new Putumayo CD A Family Christmas.
A Family Christmas can be found at retailers like Barnes and Noble, as well as online.
Finally! I’m just now getting all caught up and posting my much delayed Holiday Gift Glossary! Over the next few days, I will be unveiling my favorite top picks for the NKT Holiday Gift Glossary. And oh yeah, I’ll be giving away a few goodies, too!
Today’s installment of the Holiday Gift Glossary is all about games! Check them out here or under the Gift Glossary tab above!
As I started my day this morning, I just so happened to turn on the Today Show, right as the Top 10 holiday toys you don’t know about segment came on.
I was so excited to see that Zoobies made that list, because Zoobies are another one of those items that the kid just loves. Our guy was gifted his Zoobie Pet, Tama, last year from Santa, and hasn’t let go of it since.
Zoobies are a plush 3-in-1 concept: Each pet is a stuffed animal, a pillow, and a blanket all in one. The velcro latches on each Zoobie is child friendly and can be easily unfastened to transform the animals into the pillows. The zippers at the bottom unzip to reveal the blanket inside. Each blanket can be detached from the pet for machine washing.
Aside from the vibrant colors, great selection of animals and that they’re appropriate from babies to big kids, Zoobies make a practical gift/toy/lovey and are ideal for traveling. They’re durable and truly cozy and soft. Our Tama is often involved an various toddler accident and spills and has had his fair share of baths in the washing machine. A year later, he still looks just like Santa brought him to us.
Zoobies come in small, medium and large; our Tama is the smallest size and he is just right for the little guys. The stuffed animal, itself, is just the right size to cuddle for little grips, yet the blanket is big enough for mom and kid to cuddle under. According to the site, the blanket measures 53 x 34 in.
Zoobies added several new pets to their brood, and I’m definitely in love with Bubba the Black Bear that was just featured on The Today Show this morning. Soft, cute, cuddly and practical!
The small Zoobies are in the $30 price point and can be found online and in stores such as Buy Buy Baby.
Tonight is one of my most favorite nights for holiday tv: it’s the annual Rockefeller Tree Lighting on NBC! This year, is a little different since we’re not even in the NYC are at the moment, but it’s sure to be just as amazing!
As in years past, this tree lighting will be ushered in by a host of fabulous celebs and one of my favorites, Zachary Levi of Chuck will be hosting alongside of Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock Fame.
The tree lighting celebration will feature Michael Buble, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, The Roots, Shakira, and The Radio City Rockettes performing a mix of some festive tunes. I heard some rumblings that the Electric Mayhem (as in The Muppets!) will perform along with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and Pepe the King Prawn tonight as well!
Aside from the Tree Lighting Celebration on NBC, be sure to catch day 2 of ABC Family’s annual “25 Days of Christmas.” The ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas will features a great lineup of holiday family movies, with the Pixar Shorts as the highlight for me.
Starting at 7:00 p.m. tonight as part of the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family, Disney will present 20 “Pixar Short Films.” The lineup of shorts will include: “Presto,” “Lifted,” “Jack-Jack Attack,” “BURN-E,” “Unidentified Flying Mater,” “Adventures of Andre and Wally B.,” “Boundin,” “For the Birds,” “Geri’s Game,” “Knick Knack,” “Luxo Jr.,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Mike’s New Car,” “One Man Band,” “Red’s Dream,” “Tin Toy,” “Your Friend the Rat,” “Rescue Squad Mater,” “Mater the Greater” and “El-Materdor.”
Jack Jack Attack and Boundin’ are our family’s absolute favorites!
The Tree Lighting Ceremony AND Two fun hours of Pixar awesomeness! Holiday programming just doesn’t get any better than tonight!
While we all have turkey and stuffing on the brain, I guess it’d be a good time as any to let you know what our friends over at Nickelodeon have planned. Dubbed Superstuffed Nicksgiving Weekend, Nick has a great lineup of shows this weekend including new episodes, marathons, and movies.