This is a season of girl-power toys. But I take issue with GoldieBlox, which has an entertaining commercial (mostly featuring toys from other companies) and not yet a great product, IMO…here’s hoping they come out with something better next year. My colleague agrees, and also the Toy Industry Association nominated them yesterday for ”Most Innovative Toy” but not for “Best Girl Toy,” I suspect because they need to up the fun factor a bit.
One thing that was nominated for “Best Girl Toy” is a Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker bow. Yep, we’re breaking ground by giving girls sophisticated weapons, just as we do with boys. We declined to include weapons (except for the ones in a Lego set) in our Parents Best Toys story, but as a mom, I do know that toy weapons make it into the toybox…my son has a bow and arrow set, a Minecraft sword, and so on. I still balk at calling them a “best” toy.
All this makes me want to go back to an oldie but goodie. Several of us here swoon when we look at the two Barbie Dreamhouses sitting in the toy closet. What an awesome toy! Setting up the Dreamhouse is not an exercise in domesticity (who makes Barbie clean or cook?) but a fantasy of living on one’s own. Barbie is not a baby doll who needs to be mothered. She’s a grown-up and when I watch my daughter use Barbies, it’s to try out grown-up roles: Barbie is waitressing, she’s fighting with a friend and making up, she’s meeting a gal who is a mermaid. (There’s some practice in acceptance for you!)
It makes me wish that my son had a toy that could similarly let him try out social situations. Or that there was a more gender-neutral alternative to the Dreamhouse. The best we found for out Best Toys story is this awesome little Lego Treehouse.
In the meantime, these two beautiful Barbie Dreamhouses need to be with children who will love them and play with them. We’re happy to mail a Dreamhouse each to TWO lucky winners after the Thanksgiving break. Each is worth about $185. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and Monday, December 2, and don’t forget to read the official rules. Be sure to check back on December 3 and scroll to the bottom of the comments to see who won. We also reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
Congrats to our winners Tonya Munque and Mary Happymommy!
I was on the Today Show talking about picky eaters, and the segment focused on preschool kids…making broccoli tasty for them by stir-frying it, trying grilled chicken on a stick to lead kids away from nuggets, freezing grapes and cutting them in a half for a candy-like fruit snack.
Preschoolers have opinions on everything, but toddlers are more open-minded about what they put in their mouth. Take advantage of that magic window between age 1 and 3 to serve a huge variety of healthy foods. Anything soft and easily chewed and swallowed is fair game. My son preferred blueberries, strawberries, and shredded cheese. It all made a huge mess, but that’s how these things go. Check him out happily tearing apart a quesadilla!
I think the biggest culinary mistake parents make is thinking that a toddler only wants bland food. So not true! Give your kid the chance to be an adventurous eater early and you may spare yourself a decade of making pasta with butter. And watch; though they may first spit something out, they’ll be willing to try it again. (And again!)
I tried to mostly serve whole foods or homemade meals, but life being what it is, I also used Gerber Graduates. The Gerber company is 85 this year! And they’ve come a long way from simply pureed peas. The Graduates line now includes Sweet Corn with Red Peppers, Brown Rice with Mixed Vegetables, and Turkey Meatballs. Yum!
This week we’re going to give away three baskets each with $120 worth of Gerber Graduates, appropriate for ages 2 and up. Just leave a comment below, up to one a day, between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, June 5th. We’ll randomly pick our three winners after that. Note: Comments are now done via Facebook, so if you’ve won, we’ll be shooting you a Facebook message. We won’t show up in your “friends” message folder, we’ll be in your “other” message folder. See the word “other” in this picture? You’d click on that after June 6th to see if you’ve won! PS There are also giveaways every day for 85 days on the Gerber Facebook page. Goody luck!
Calling all Hayao Miyazaki fans! The acclaimed Japanese filmmaker’s animated film My Neighbor Totoro is turning 25 this year. The whimsical movie tells a tale of friendship and sisterhood that the whole family will enjoy. And the Disney version features the voices of real-life sisters, Elle and Dakota Fanning. To celebrate its anniversary, Disney and Studio Ghibli are releasing it—along with another Miyazaki classic, Howl’s Moving Castle—on Blu-ray for the first time ever on May 21.
We are excited to announce that Disney and Studio Ghibli are also letting us give away a Miyazaki Blu-ray gift basket, containing these two films along with The Secret World of Arrietty, Whisper of the Heart and Castle in the Sky, a $200 value. To enter, just leave a comment at this post. You can comment once a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. You can also read the official rules, or find additional information about the films here.
And be sure to check out this fun clip of My Neighbor Totoro:
UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Bonnie! Please check your Facebook “other” message folder to claim your prize. Thanks for playing, everyone!
Can I tell you how many cribs we build here at American Baby? About a dozen a year, sometimes more…enough that we know a sturdy crib when we see one. Bonavita Lifetyle Cribs go in the “built to last” category. They are cribs that convert to a toddler bed, and then to a headboard and footboard for a fullsize bed, so though they cost a bit more, they’re made to last for all of childhood.
There’s another reason I like cribs that grow with your kid…you’re not tempted to try and make a crib work for new baby siblings. You introduce safety hazards every time you take a crib apart and then rebuild it for another newborn, because you risk screws growing loose or going missing. Keeping a piece of furniture with one child, turning it into a toddler bed and then fullsize bed, eliminates those problems. I am something of a safe-sleep evangelist, so here’s a link with more on making your crib safe.
In time for what may be your first Mother’s Day, Lajobi, the parent company behind Bonavita, will give you the opportunity to win their “Sawyer” Lifestyle Crib, in Linen Gray. The crib only comes out in June 2013, and will be sold exclusively at Buy Buy Baby for $500. To be eligible to win, leave a comment below, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, May 15. We’ll randomly chose one winner after that. Click here to view the official rules. Goody luck!
I might be obsessed with baby feet. Especially my own kids’ feet. I had a friend once exclaim “ew!” when she watched my son put his feet up by my face, but I assured her that it’s entirely different if they are tiny feet and, what’s more, feet you managed to make yourself! They are delicious. Not that I bite my kids’ feet (often).
What are also adorable are the baby shoes that are for such tiny feet, they barely look like shoes at all, but more like leather socks. Robeez are a prime example. Because they don’t need laces or straps and all that, they can be decorated in what seems like a bazillion variations. We have the star ones, below, coming out later this spring, sitting in our office right now.
Infants don’t, strictly speaking, need shoes, but they do help keep their feet warm. If your baby is up and cruising, he’ll do best barefoot, but if you need to protect his tootsies, something flexible like Robeez are best. And yay: Robeez is giving away five pairs of shoes! Leave a comment below, up to one a day, to be eligible to win. (If you win, we’ll ask you for your baby’s age before we send a pair.) You can comment each day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, January 16th. If you have a funny story about your baby trying to learn to walk, I’d love to hear it! If you’re still pregnant or have a newborn, tell me what baby products are on your radar…I would love to hear that too. Read all the official rules here. Goody luck!
PS If you’re shoe-shopping for a baby who is fully walking, I love this video, explaining what to look for in a pair of “real” shoes!
Happy New Year! We’ll help you get off to a happy start by giving away 11 new baby books for your child’s library. I feel like I can never have enough books for my two kids; they want a story (or two, or three) a night and it gets tough being the narrator if you have to keep going over the same tales.
We like to compare favorite books here in the office. Our executive editor tipped me off to Little Fur Family, which is by the classic children’s author Margaret Wise Brown. She wrote Goodnight Moon and one of my other favorites, Big Red Barn. Her books are sweet and poetic and make you want to drift off alongside your baby! But the book that became my goodnight song to my kids is If You Were My Bunny. My 10- and 7-year-old still go to sleep only after I recite the whole thing in song!
The eleven books we’re giving away are all new, recent titles, and include both board books and paper pages. Maybe one will become a favorite! In total they’re worth about $110. To be entered to win, leave a comment below between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, January 9. For the full rules, read here. Goody luck!
This sweepstakes has ended and the winners have been notified.
Editor’s Note: Due to a link error during the original sweepstakes period, we have fixed the link and decided to extend the sweepstakes. It is now running again between. Fri. 3/30 – Fri. 4/6.
Since Tax Season is upon us, you might be more worried than usual about your finances. To give you peace of mind, Parents.com partnered with LearnVest.com to bring you the best budgeting and family finance solutions through the Baby on Board Bootcamp newsletter, a free newsletter that helps you manage money better over a course of 10 days.
As part of the collaboration, LearnVest is also giving away two (2) free voucher codes to access their online Budgeting Plan for free.
The plan includes: a customized list of how to improve all of your financial red-flags, a 30-minute diagnostic phone consultation with a Certified Financial Planner™, and three months of unlimited email support from the same expert. This helpful plan, valued at $69.00, will help you set realistic budgets and goals and get your financial life back on track.
Be eligible for this giveaway by following these steps:
1- Sign up for the LearnVest Baby on Board Bootcamp newsletter by CLICKING ON THIS LINK ONLY. Sign up between Fri., March 30 – Fri. April 6.
2- After Fri., April 6, LearnVest and Parents.com will choose two (2) random winners from the sign-up list.
3- The two (2) winners will each be presented with one (1) voucher code to redeem on learnvest.com/make-a-plan/budgeting-plan. The voucher codes grant the winners access to the Budgeting Plan without any payment. Winners will have 90 days to redeem the vouchers before they expire.
This contest has now ended. Congratulations to our winner, Heather D. of Beavercreek, OR!
As promised, we’re unveiling five of the Fab 15 toys selected by Kmart Toys and Rico Rodriguez of “Modern Family”! We’ve collaborated with Kmart Toys to present one grand prize winner with a bundle that includes the five toys below:
(1) Simon Flash ($29.99) (1) I Am T Pain Mic ($39.99) (1) Lalaloopsy Treehouse ($39.99) (1) Redekai Championship Battle Tin ($29.99) (1) WWE Crashdown Arena ($42.99)
These five toys (total retail value of $182.95) will certainly bring a smile to any child’s face for the holiday season.
To enter, share your favorite holiday memory in our Comments section below between Mon. December 5 to Fri. December 9. One grand prize winner will be selected randomly to win the bundle of five toys. Come back to this post again after Mon. December 12 to find out the winner. Read the full contest rules here.