Holiday Gift Guide: He’s Got a Ticket to Ride

November 16th, 2007

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I bought this pedal car this past summer for my 2.5 year old son. I didn’t want to spend money on a tricycle that would have a limited life and he was too young for a two wheeler bike even with training wheels.

This little car is great. The seat is adjustable so it can be moved back farther away from the pedals for your child as their legs grow longer. It has a handy little pull brake on the side, kinda like big wheels used to have back in the day. The manufacturer says that it is for children 4-7 years old, but my 10 year old can fit on it with the seat pushed all the way back. Now I wouldn’t BUY this solely for a 10 yr old, (they make pedal cars that are much larger if your child is interested in one), but if you buy this for a younger child you can be rest assured that they will get many years of use out of it.

It is sturdy, but lightweight enough that I can easily carry it up and down our front porch stairs.

Kettcar Pedal Car by Kettler

Holiday Gift Guide: Original Colorforms

November 16th, 2007

Generally speaking I have never understood the appeal of Colorforms. What fun is it to stick your licensed character in different settings? Along with a chair and a table. I try to steer away from all the licensed character things as much as I can.

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But this set of original Colorforms is something entirely different. It is a book of various colorform shapes that your child peels off to make things completely from their own imagination. There are no pieces that “look” like something already.

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In this photo you can see the book from which my son is peeling some of the green colorforms from the green page. There are plenty of pieces for multi child play.

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This set is 6-7 years old and still going as strong as it was the day I, errrr Santa, brought it home.

Holiday Gift Guide: Stacking Gnomes or Stars

November 16th, 2007

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I can’t find this exact item anymore, we have had ours for at least 7 years now, but this one is very similar. And I can honestly say that after all these years it still gets played with on a regular basis.

Holiday Gift Guide: A Book Called PHOOEY!

November 15th, 2007

PHOOEY!

PHOOEY!

Love this story of a little boy who spends all his time complaining that he is bored that he doesn’t see all the fun stuff that is going on around him. The illustrations have a vintage feel, my children said it reminded them of Curious George. There aren’t many words in the story, instead relying on the illustrations to covey the story.

My almost 3 yr old loved pouring over the pages and pointing things out. “Wook at dat cat in the tree!” And my 4 and 6 yr olds loved listening to the story and laughing.

Hardcover books are always great presents in my opinion. Add an inscription inside and it is something that will be treasured. I still have some books that were given to me by my Godmother in 1971.

Holiday Gift Guide

November 14th, 2007

Over the past few days I have gotten numerous emails asking for advice on buying Christmas presents.

“What are you buying for your kids?”
“What did you buy them last year that they liked?”
“What the hell can I buy that isn’t made in China?” (This one might just kill me, by the way.)

And so I thought I would resurrect this poor red headed step child of a blog and post a holiday gift guide that answers these questions. Everything will be items of which I have actual first hand knowledge, a combination of books, toys, and gadgets.

I’ll post a different item every day, maybe more than one a day, I don’t know. I start out with big ideas and don’t follow through. So how about we just say one a day.

Enjoy.

As If You Needed Another Reason…

November 8th, 2007

not to be buy products from China.

Aqua Dots is recalled after it discovered to be tainted with GHB, also known as the date rape drug.

U.S. safety officials have recalled about 4.2 million Chinese-made Aqua Dots bead toys that contain a chemical that has caused some children to vomit and become comatose after swallowing them.

Bindeez, which were named Australia’s toy of the year, contain a chemical that converts into a “date rape” drug.

Scientists have found the popular toy’s coating contains a chemical that, once metabolized, converts into the toxic “date rape” drug GHB, or gamma-hydroxy butyrate, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson told CNN

According to the article at CNN, just last month alone 69,000 toys made in China were recalled.

It’s enough to want to give your child a block of wood and tell them to whittle their own toys.