Sesame Street Introduces New Gardening Line

Last year, Michelle Obama visited Sesame Street to tout the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Later in the year, the First Lady cultivated her own organic garden at the White House to further emphasize the value of healthy eating and gardening.

Since then, announcing her Let’s Move campaign, which focuses on combatting childhood obesity, Mrs. Obama has made it her mission to educate families and kids about making healthy choices, including cultivating your own seeds—figuratively and literally.

Mrs. Obama's Garden

So, when Sesame Street, together with Ferry Morse, introduced their new line of gardening products geared to kids, the marketplace area at the Annual Easter Egg Roll was an impeccably-timed venue to help even more kids learn about gardening first hand.  The kid and I had a fun time learning how to plant watermelon seeds, or um, excuse me—wataaaahmelons.

Jack learning how to plant seeds

The Muppets of Sesame Street can be seen on packets of watermelon, pepper, sunflower, pumpkin, garden beans and tomato seeds, for parents and children to plant together.  The new product line also features Sesame Street-themed gardening totes complete with an activity booklet, seeds, tools, labeling stakes and stickers, a mini garden kit and a mini greenhouse with recipe card.


Sesame Street’s new gardening line is a perfect way to encourage kids to be green while going green.  As part of Sesame Street’s My World is Green and Growing initiative designed to support children’s innate curiosity about nature, each product includes educational materials that teach children how fruits and vegetables begin with seeds and grow to become food for the table.  Additionally, it compliments Sesame Street’s ongoing Healthy Habits for Life initiative, helping children develop healthy lifestyles they can practice forever through fun and simple every day activities.  Materials include a booklet with activities for children, planting tips for parents and healthy recipes parents and children can make and enjoy together.  The following items are available now:

  • Seed Packets – $1.99
  • My First Mini Greenhouse – $4.99
  • My First Mini Garden – $5.99
  • My First Gardening Kit (tote) – $10.99

“Research shows that introducing young children to the natural world is the first step towards helping them develop a caring attitude towards the environment,” said Maura Regan, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Licensing states.

Be sure to head to Lowe’s to grab a few gardening items for the kids. I found them at the back of the store, close to the garden center.  Though I wasn’t too impressed with the plastic Sesame Street gardening tools (though, they’d be perfect for the littlest gardeners), the kits do look cool.  Even if you don’t pick up the tote or kits, the seed packets are reasonably priced at $1.99. We’ve got some peppers, sunflowers and green beans to plant!  Let’s hope they fare better than our watermelon seeds which didn’t make it back from DC in tact!


BabyBjorn Debuts Organic Line

With Earth Week just upon us, BabyBjörn’s new offerings are a perfect segue to next week’s eco-friendly and sustainable goodies, gadgets and gear.

Last September, BabyBjörn went a little greener:  three of its most popular products are now being offered in organically grown cotton, including the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Original Organic in Walnut (below left) and the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Active Organic (last one) and BabyBjÖrn Babysitter Balance Organic in Walnut/Khaki (below right).

Organic cotton is grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides and from plants which are not genetically modified. BabyBjörn’s Organic textiles meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).  In addition, all fabrics that come into contact with baby’s skin are Class-1 Oeko-Tex certified, which means that they are absolutely safe and free from harmful substances.


In the baby days, I couldn’t have survived without our BabyBjörn Carrier Active. Not only are carriers wonderful for bonding, but when running errands, traveling or using public transportation, it was nice to have baby close and still have both hands to maneuver.  For busy parents who are on the go, the Bjorn is a product to consider.

The main caveat I had with our BabyBjorn, was after our kid hit 8 months, it was difficult to wear him because he was so heavy.  He was always in the 100 percentile, so after a certain weight, babywearing was tough with our particular carrier.  I’ll have to check out the new carrier with more backsupport for our next kid.  Also, I had to “settle” for our blue carrier, but if we had the option 2 years ago, I would have much rather gone the organic and natural colored route.  If the organic option’s there and you can afford it, then why not?


BabyBjörn’s Organic Line is now available in department and juvenile specialty stores throughout the United States and Canada.  In addition to the Organic Line, BabyBjörn will be introducing the Comfort Carrier, which is set to launch in May.


Mama Likey: Method Laundry Detergent

I typically review and talk about kid products and services, but I thought I’d start something new. I thought I’d overlap Mama Likey over here on NKT and feature products that might not be geared TO kids, but are still used FOR kids or, in essence, products that make our jobs as parents easier.

So, with that, I’ve got laundry on the brain today. With Spring in full bloom, we’re finding ourselves outside for hours at a time usually playing in dirt, getting sweaty and adding to the laundry piles. And I mean PILES.

Because we’re still city dwellers, at least for another few weeks, doing the laundry at the laundromat continues to be quite the chore. Gather, lug, schlep it a few blocks, unload, wait…and wait… It’s such a tedious process, to say the least.

And so, when a new laundry product designed to streamline this process makes its way onto the market, I’m usually the first in line to try it out. In this case, a few months ago, the husband* brought home a smallish, slender bottle not too long ago. The packaging, itself, was eye-catching because of the sleek modern design.

The cool bottle was none other than Method Laundry in Fresh Air.


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NKT Feature: The 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll

Egg Rolling, DJ Lance, fresh fruit and outdoor activities on the White House South Lawn?  Why, yes, please.

Yesterday, around 30,000 people from all 50 states and DC made their way to the South Lawn of the White House for this year’s Easter Egg Roll. Out of luck, our family won tickets in the online lottery for this year’s event and battled the traffic—cars and people—and let the kid have a go at this Egg Rolling business.

In addition to the generations-old tradition of egg rolling, the event reflected Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative introduced earlier this year. The Egg Roll’s theme, ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ echoed the First Lady’s campaign to educate kids about making healthy choices in an effort to combat childhood obesity.

As the official welcome, as seen in the event program, described, the White House’s South Lawn was transformed into America’s Playground for the day.  The Easter Egg Roll, the largest annual public event held at the White House, featured stations and activities sprawled across the Lawn, which were aimed at entertaining and educating all the kids (and even the parents in attendance.)

White House Easter Egg Roll

Healthy Activities

Aligned with the Let’s Move initiative, the healthy activities were a welcome addition to the event.  We spent most of our time dancing to the fun music in the Hop to It stage.  We missed out on seeing Yo Gabba Gabba which played during a different timelot, but we had the chance to see our good buddy, DJ Lance hula hooping on the Hop to It Stage.

DJ Lance in the (White) House!

The kid even hammed it up for Ellen Degeneres’ cameraman while dancing to DJ Tony, who just so happened to play a few of his favorite songs, one of which included Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow.  It doesn’t get any more memorable than that.

DJ Tony of The Ellen ShowDancing at the Hop to It station

The Family Farmer’s Market was a cool area that gave kids a look at healthy eating with celebrity chef demo stations.  One of the stations was the smoothie station, something that the kid adores, much thanks to one of his favorite shows.  We loved the Make Your Own Garden, which not only used the White House Kitchen Garden as inspiration, but showcased some of the new seed packets from Sesame Street’s new gardening line (more info on this in a different post)  We took home a watermelon seedling and hope to plant some sunflowers in the garden of our new house.

Learning how to plant seedlings


The sports station, geared to the older kids, featured demos on softball, golf, soccer, basketball and tennis.  At later time slots, I heard professional athletes were on hand to offer the demos!

The performers and celebrities were quite the highlight of the day’s events.  In our specific timeslot, the kid managed to sit in on Maria reading a story, with Elmo on hand to help out.  Later in the morning, Reese Witherspoon, one of my favorite actresses, read to the kids as well.

Accessibility and Sustainability

The accessibility and sustainability of the Egg Roll were the two main aspects that impressed me the most.  In years past, the Egg Roll was said to be reserved mainly for Washingtonians and other locals.  This year marked the second year that tickets for the Egg Roll were distributed online.  The White House extended this year’s event, beginning the festivities at 7:45 AM (yawn!) and an end time of 5:45 PM. Each group of 6,000 guests spent two full hours on the White House’s South Lawn.  For the first time, guests from all 50 states and DC were represented at the annual Egg Roll.

Egg Roll!

As a parent who aims to be eco-conscious, I was pleased that sustainability was prevalent throughout the event.   I appreciate that the event geared to teach kids how to garden, to shop at Farmer’s Markets, make healthy foods and much more.  The White House said that it made an effort to minimize the environmental impact of the 2010 Easter Egg Roll.  Some of the highlights include: the “greenest” souvenir egg in Egg Roll history, crafted from Forest Stewardship Council certified U.S. hardwood; goody bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic; the use of organically grown fruits and vegetables at the Play with Your Food station; and increased recycling and composting capabilities on the day of the event.

The official Souvenir Egg from the Easter Egg Roll

Winning tickets for the Egg Roll was a special thing, and one that a few of my Twitter followers and friends were sure to remind me about. As opposed to the events that we regularly attend for NKT, this wasn’t a blogger event, it was pure luck:  Out of the 250,000 people who registered to attend, we were one of the lucky few.  In general, we don’t win much at anything, in fact, we usually have the worst luck ever.  So, even if it was an unexpected expense to travel to DC while we’re in the midst of buying our first house, and miss seeing most of our family this Spring, it was incredibly important for us to attend the Egg Roll.  To experience this special event, and also to be a part of the Let’s Move campaign first hand, a topic that I try to cover as often as possible here on NKT, the White House Easter Egg Roll was a fun adventure we won’t soon forget.

White House Easter Egg Roll

Thanks for letting me share this event on NKT, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

And here’s more information, in case you guys want to know more:

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Green gift idea: Hugg-a-Planet Earth

hugaplanetLast week, I had the privilege of being invited to the annual Blogger’s Brunch here in NYC, where a number of influential bloggers networked and interacted with various companies and marketers. One of the organizations present at the brunch was Goddard Schools, a school that I know a few of my friends and family have turned to in the past.

Goddard Schools had a lot of great information to share with us bloggers, but one piece of information that was especially helpful for NKT was their 10 Eco-Friendly Toys Under $30. Together with Eco-Child’s Play, Goddard Schools unveiled a really great list of eco-friendly AND budget friendly toys.

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Etsy find: Natural Cars from Happy Squash Toys

With toy recalls and reports of unsafe toy manufacturing and imports creating a cause for concern, in an effort to observe more sustainable choices, naturally, some families opt for greener toys made from renewable resources. And of course, a smart and economical alternative to mass produced toys are unique, handmade goodies. Beyond whittling your own collection of handmade toys yourself, thank goodness for the treasure trove that is Etsy! I always say this, but you can’t buy the kind of craftsmanship that you find in Etsy in a mainstream store —no matter what the product might be!

Jack playing with Natural Cars

Today’s Etsy find is from a toy shop that I’ve featured before—I love these toys that much. Happy Squash Toys sent us a trio of Natural Cars for review, and based on the kid’s inability to put them down for one second, it’s official: they’re a hit.

Like most boys his age, our almost 2-year old is fascinated by anything with wheels or rolls. Cars, trains, animals with wheels, bikes, tractor trailers—you name it, he loves it. The Natural Cars from Happy Squash Toys are no exception. He loves wheeling them around the floor, furniture and whatever surface that will let him mobilize these cars. The trick is always finding a way to make all 3 roll at once since his little hands aren’t quite big enough to push them all at once yet. I love the way our little guy makes his own little car sounds when playing with the Natural Cars. I’ll take those sweet imaginative noises over the loud battery-operated honks, beeps and flashing lights any day.

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My Green Dollhouse by Green Lullaby

Some kids love the cardboard boxes their toys come in, more than the actual toys, but the My Green Dollhouse by Green Lullaby is a new—and quite literal—take on cardboard-turned-toys.

Green Dollhouse

An alternative to the mammoth plastic version, this eco-friendly dollhouse that boasts pink and neutral hues, is constructed out of cardboard made from recycled materials.  Both recyclable and biodegradable, the My Green Dollhouse is easy to assemble and disassemble, complete with a carrying case.  Because all of Green Lullaby’s products are made with super sturdy cardboard, similar to the kind of cardboard that’s used for packing fresh produce, they resist moderate amounts of water. In addition to all paints, lacquers and adhesives being non-toxic, the dollhouse is treated with a non-toxic, non-hazardous fire retardant, making it a truly green toy.

For families like us, who don’t have much space to spare, a collapseable and sustainable dollhouse like this is the best of both worlds!  The My Green Dollhouse is exclusively available at giggle.

Cariboo Kiwi Cot Collection is modern and green

Cariboo (yes, the same New Zealand manufacturers of that gorgeous bassinet that’s a hit with several celebs) has a collection called Kiwi Cot Collection. The high-end kids’ furniture line features handcrafted pieces made from sustainable Radiata pine with a biodegradable finish, available in either teak or espresso. The collection has a modern and European look, but the soft edges give it its timeless and classic appearance.


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Eco-Friendly Line Green Peas Kids Debuts

Perhaps one of the coolest aspects of running NKT is getting introduced to, discovering and sharing all about these great products, sometimes even before they come out—or in this case, right as they launch!

Green Pea Kids, a line for babies and children 0-24 months, are designed and produced in the US and Europe using eco-friendly bamboo, organic cotton, and hemp.  Sebastian Salvado developed Green Pea Kids after noticing a void for affordable, colorful and eco-friendly in the children’s clothing market.  Right now, the new Green Peas Kids site features some cute clips, blankets and dresses.  Next month they will introduce separates for boys and girls which will be in the $20-40 range.

And how adorable is the Apron Dress?  Made from 100% hemp, the dress is classic, cute and airy for summer.


The dress has a bamboo/silk lining that makes it super-soft against baby’s delicate skin.  The dress comes in infant sizes up to 24 months.  And get this, just like all of their other products, shipping is FREE!

Etsy Find: Full Moon Flower Prairie Dress

Despite those scorching days we had here on the east coast, summer isn’t exactly here yet.  But just because summer isn’t here yet, doesn’t mean we can’t bolster the kids’ closets with warm weather frocks.  Need some summer dresses?  How perfect is this adorable prairie dress from Earth Groovz?


With its bold, contrasting patterns, this dress is light and versatile–perfect for spring and summer!  Not only is it cute, eco-friendly, too.  The prairie dress features organic adjustable knit straps that tie in the back, organic natural elastic and the sustainable cotton material, leaving no carbon footprint.  The dress is made to order and comes in sizes 6M, 12M, 2T, 3T, 4T.  Be sure to check out Earth Groovz’ shop on Etsy for even more cute, eco-friendly spring/summer dresses.