Monday, December 1st, 2008
Baby and Toddler Holiday Gift Guide
Here’s the moderately-cool, but not extravagantly-posh holiday gift list you were probably expecting to see from Thingamababy.
Wake Up Sleepy Head by Parents — It’s a schizophrenic reversible security blanket. A two-timing lovey. One way he’s a smiling face covered with suns and blue clouds. Turn him inside out and he’s a sleeping face covered with moons and stars. I say “he,” but it could be a “she.” You never can tell with bald heads.
Your baby will be the only one on the block who isn’t snuggling up to an animal face. No teddies. No lambs. No doggies. And it’s not pink or baby blue. Buy two and place the spare in a keepsake box to be opened on your child’s 36th birthday. $16.
On second thought, don’t buy the doggy because he’ll drag the whole room down with his sorrow.
Earth Brights 4-Piece Wooden Toys by Sassy — When I think of Sassy, I think cheap plastic. They pay attention to trends though and have been getting serious with a range of (comparatively) inexpensive wooden baby toys. $23.
Pontino by Selecta — Get your babe a nice blanket and stick this mobile in his face. The company claims it can even support your baby’s first attempts at standing. $95.
Plush Rainbow Stacker by Melissa and Doug — Don’t count on these colorful donuts being stacked correctly anytime soon, but they’re not plastic and they’re not wood denting the wall when hurled across the room. $15.
Walker Wagon by Haba — Toddlers love to run, and they go manic when they have something to push. Haba offers awesome wood construction with a seat for stuffed animals and a storage shelf in the driver’s area. $129.
Or splurge for the Pushing Car which is all of the above, plus an adjustable height handle.
Karussell Push Toy by Selecta — This push toy is ten times cooler than that plastic corn popper you pushed when you were young. When in motion, the stringed beads go flying like a helicopter. I’ve seen a number of different styles in action and they’re all spiffy. $33.
Garden Nature Discovery and Play Set by Wonderworld — Oh, sure, it’s made from rubber-wood in Thailand, the favorite of green toy makers. But lookie, it’s a shape sorter that’s tilted toward your kid. And it’s not a cube that requires both hands to pick up and manipulate. Your kid can approach it from any direction and use it, or roll it or whatever. $20.
Portella Doll Carriage by Selecta — Simplicity is bliss. You’ve got to like that curve. And better yet, tell Dad it’s a wooden German wheelbarrow and he’ll be none the wiser when your son perambulates his trucks around in it. $95.
Kokua Jumper Kids Balance Bike by LIKEaBIKE — Learner bikes have no pedals. Your kid learns to balance scooting along by foot and then graduates to a real bike, skipping the training wheel phase. There are dozens of brands on the market, but very few that have what this LIKEaBIKE offers: shock absorption. Simply put, your kid will enjoy bike riding for longer periods of time because his butt doesn’t hurt. For 2-to-4-year-olds with adjustable height. LIKEaBIKE is known for pioneering wooden learner bikes; this one is light-weight aluminum. It has limited steering to prevent jack-knifing, too. $269.
Miracle Pounding by Plan Toys — First your kid enjoys emptying the balls of this crescent moon onto the floor. Then he realizes the hammer is fun, too. Whack a ball down and another one pops out the top. Again and again. $19.
E-Racer Suzuka by HaPe — They’re ecologically-friendly bamboo racers. The ‘Suzuka’ is just the red model. It’s also available in Monza (green) and Le Mans (blue). When these cars are still in use at older ages, the roll cage will keep actions figures safe. $18.
Recycled Cookware and Dining Set by Green Toys — It’s all made from milk bottles, with no phthalates, and BPA-free. You get a stock pot with lid, skillet, 4 plates, 4 cups, and 4 place settings. $33. Also get a tea set while you’re at it. $15.
Varialand by Selecta — This “game” consists of 80 hardwood picture tiles, 1 1/3 x 1 3/4 inches. It’s an anti-puzzle. You create a pastoral scene composed of two houses (maybe one?), farm animals and people, sky and a stream with the idea of composing a story as you go. Where and how you create the picture changes each time you play. $28.