Because the husband works in the health and beauty sector, and as someone who reviews children’s products, our family has been so fortunate to get our hands on the latest and greatest in consumables, among other things. Some of these products are just eh, while others are a good fit for our family; take for example, the 365 Everyday Value Diapers.
The 365 Everyday Value Diapers, Whole Food’s store-branded diapers, recently changed their product by improving their sizing, securing a better fit and living up to their name by lowering the pricepoint. Their diapers are made with chlorine free materials, are hypo-allergenic, latex free, and contain no perfumes or dyes, which are extremely important factors for many families. It’s true, way too many disposable diapers end up in our landfills. But let’s face it, not everyone can cloth diaper all the time. And because 365 Everyday Value Diapers are chlorine, dye and latex free, they’re gentler on baby’s skin, and they are less harmful to the environment, making them a more sustainable choice for disposables.
Last weekend, I had a fun mini-party that I billed an NKT playdate. It was a super small gathering of some of my friends from back home, some of whom I hadn’t seen since we embarked on our own crazy adventures of parenthood.
At the playdate, I showcased a number of toys and product samples that I’ve received, but haven’t had the chance to write about on NKT. It was a great way of getting the products into my friends’ hands, and getting a different perspective while sharing some cool kid finds. I’ll be sure to write a more thorough post on what I shared and what some of them had to say. Since it was my birthday earlier this week, naturally, I still have cake on the brain!
One of the cool activity sets I featured was the Girl Gourmet Cake Bakery from Jakks Pacific, which came out last fall. The Cake Bakery is one of those fun activity sets that’s quite timely in relation to the ongoing cake craze. With the rise in popularity of cakes from hit shows like our neighborhood favorite, Carlo’s Bakery of The Cake Boss fame to the ever-inspiring Ace of Cakes, cake-making and decorating has never been so sweet.
This set allows kids to create cakes with a little help from Duff of Charm City Cakes, the bakery which is chronicled on the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes. With the Girl Gourmet Cake Bakery, kids can create a mini 2-tiered fondant cakes. Kids just add water to one of the cake flavors, stir and pour into the cake molds, and then place into the container and microwave for 30 seconds. To create one of the fondant mixes, water is added and then can be rolled out onto the non-stick mat. The cakes are then removed from the mold after they cool, which are then ready to be covered with the fondant. The mini cakes can be placed on the decorating turntable and can be fancied up by using the air powered gel decorator gun. Need more embellishments? Add the included candy garnishes! How sweet it is!
One of the best parts of spring and summer is the joy that is eating outdoors. In fact, tomorrow celebrates just that! June 18th marks national picnic day.
With keeping sustainability in mind, paper plates and plastic forks and spoons have gone by the wayside for many families. So, besides using reusable picnic gear, what’s a family to do?
Go the bamboo route.
Bamboo, well known for its ability to grow quickly and decompose just as fast, has become one of the most sustainable materials out there…and that goes for kid plates and utensils. As much as I dislike the idea of disposable gear, sometimes, for the picnic or beach, there’s no way of getting around it.
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).
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.
In the video game sector, titles and technology are constantly evolving. With many new handheld titles and fun family titles to choose from, I had a tough time narrowing down NKT picks. I could go on and on with this exhaustive list for great family video games, but I chose many of the ones below because I had the unique chance to experience them first hand. For the ones that I didn’t try out myself, I felt that their family-friendliness and entertainment value coincided with NKT’s scope. And as far as giveaways go, this is a biggie! Enter for a chance to win these recently released video games and NKT picks!
So, here they are:
Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom
Books are perhaps some of my most favorite gifts to give kids. They’re great as an add-on gift or a stocking stuffer, too! Though not all kids will put books high on their gift list, you really can’t go wrong with a great book or three!
Baby Love: A Board Book Gift Set
The next installment of the Next Kid Thing Gift Glossary is all about DVDs for toddler and preschoolers. I’m all about less is more when it comes to tv watching, dvds and video games, especially for the smaller kids. But a great show on DVD is often what separates me from getting dinner cooked without a meltdown. So, here are a few dvd picks for preschoolers (and even one for toddlers) that are entertaining for everyone.
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!