Valentine's Day isn't necessarily a holiday that mandates gifts, but if you're looking to show your lil ones some extra love this Feb. 14, there are a bevy of sweet options out there. We've rounded up some of our favorite Valentine-themed gift ideas for infants, big kids, and everyone in between. Shower them with a little love!
Terrible twos? Sure they exist, but they're not as bad as everyone would have you believe. Plus, when they look at you with those adorable eyes, mama's sure to give in! One way to combat the tantrums is to have a steady supply of activities on hand. Here are some that should do the trick!
A classic like Mr. Potato Head has been keeping lil hands and minds busy for decades. The Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase ($16) is packed with so many combinations that tots will be creating funny faces for years to come. HABA's Rainbow Whirls Pegging Game ($32) is a fun take on the classic stacking rings. A combination puzzle and ring game, tots can pile up the rings by color or any reason they see fit. Lego's are another classic that continues to entertain a new generation. The company's Duplo line brings toddlers in on the action and their new sets range from movie-influenced themes — like Cars Flo's Café ($55) to more familiar sites like the farm or the grocery story. It's never too early to get kids active and Fisher Price's Grow With Me Inline Skates ($24) to do just that! Finally, for lil ones who want to mimic mom and dad in the kitchen, this wooden play kitchen ($200/piece) will help them whip up some imaginary food for upcoming tea parties!
Toddlers have a way with toys. They take them out, play for a few minutes, and then move on to the next great thing (without putting the first toy away – but that's another story). Keeping these busy bees in one place for more than a minute requires skill and planning. Adding a few new toys to their toy box can be all it takes to stop them in their tracks. Like the infant toys we've already shared, these five new items will add some spark to your next play session.
Sometimes it's not the lil ones who become bored with a playroom's contents, it's their mamas! Infants are too young to express their dissatisfaction with the contents of their toy chest, so it's up to mom to switch up the mix. Simply adding one new toy can shake things up enough to end the monotony of daily play time. When we visited Toy Fair last month, several toys for younger tots caught our eye, and a handful are now available. Check out these five toys that should add some spark to your next play session.
Round up those wagons! As any beach or park-going parent knows, gathering children and all of their stuff for an afternoon of fun is an exercise in balance and coordination. Between pushing the strollers and finding space for all of the snacks, blankets, toys and changing supplies, the likelihood of holding onto everything is slim. Wagons, like the custom one Kingston Rossdale rides and the more traditional ones Sadie Sandler and Eden and Savannah Mahoney have are a great solution for maintaining some organized chaos. Whether you opt for a wooden version like the classic Radio Flyer or a more elaborate one like the HABA trolley with rubber wheels and removable nylon fabric, the wagons can be used to pull multiple kids or their stuff. Parents with some craftsmanship ability can also customize their trolleys, adding things like covers, MP3 holders, speakers and attachable blankets to make the rides as plush as possible. Check out some of our favorite ones below.
Spring has officially sprung and it's time to get those sails aflutter. If you find yourself far from the salty ocean water, let your lil ones set sail as they glide through the air on Haba Toys Ship's See-Saw ($250). The indoor swing holds up to two toddlers (weighing up to 75 pounds) and can be installed in any ceiling stud.
Watch as your tots embark on an adventure for lost treasures or use their imaginations to feed off Captain Hook and his band of pirates. The ship even comes with an anchor for tots to throw down when they reach their "destination."
More than 100,000 new toys were on display at the annual Toy Fair in NYC this week, some of which are destined to become the it toys of the holiday season, and some of which may never make it to store shelves. After roaming the convention center's massive halls, we were able to spot a few trends for the coming year. Take a look at our slideshow to see the top 5 toy trends for 2009.
We've already told you about our love for Haba's wooden toy food line, but I'm now taken with their Biofino line of soft, international toy foods. The felt-based toys are a perfect way to introduce your lil one to the colors and diversity of foods found abroad and just may encourage them to try the real thing. The Ravioli set ($12) comes with a dozen felt pasta pockets and felt sauce packaged in a tin can, while the Doner Kebab set ($12) includes felt fixings for the perfect wrap that is magnetically closed. The most colorful among the bunch, the Weiner Schnitzel With French Fries ($13) even comes with a felt ketchup packet from which they can pretend to push out their favorite condiment.
The company that makes Haba toys was founded in the 1930s and you can tell — in a good way. The line of wooden playthings offers the simplicity of a low tech era coupled with bright and lively colors. There aren't any bells, whistles or knobs on them so your little one's imagination will have to do most of the work.
The inexpensive toy food pieces, like this box of toast ($7), are made of hard wood and finished with non-toxic paint.
Children are drawn to Christmas trees with their twinkling lights, ornaments and shimmering tinsel. And, then there's the nativity with small figurines often crafted from porcelain or glass that can break if lil hands get a hold of them and potentially pose hazards.
So why not consider one that kids are welcome to toy around with like this Haba Children's Wooden Nativity ($90). Since my son was gifted one for his baptism, this crafted gem will be under our tree.