As the 2010 Toy Fair draws to a close, we are left with a deluge of new products that our lil ones will be clamoring for in the coming months. With the nation still recovering from a deep recession, were manufacturers keeping our wallets in mind as they developed the latest batch of toys? Take our quiz and see just how much some of the most buzzed about products will set you back this year.
A convention center filled with 10,000 toys may sound like fun and games, but it was all about business at the American International Toy Fair. Manufacturers count on the event to display their wares and make their way onto the hot toy lists for the coming holiday season. Though retailers are hush-hush about what they are actually ordering, we took a look at what was displayed and are making our predictions as to what will be shelved at popular toy stores.
When women are expecting their first child, they have a checklist of everything they need for baby's arrival. Receiving blankets? Check. Bottles? Check. Car seat? Check. But when the second baby enters the picture, mommy ditches the list and just tries to make it to the hospital on time. Having just experienced this, I was physically ready and more mentally prepared for the second child's debut. Blankets shmankets — just deliver the baby and get me home!
Obviously I needed the diapers, a car seat and bottles, but if I could only pick one superfluous item, it would be the Fisher Price Nature's Touch Baby Papasan Cradle Swing ($140). From day one that device has served my son and
Which baby gadget could you not live without?
The promise of warm weather and sunny skies may be upon us, but if you are living on either coast of the nation right now, you are little more than a wet rag with all of the rain we have received. Though swing sets and parks may be beckoning, the current forecast has kept many of us indoors. There are a number of new tech products on the market that will keep your lil ones flaunting their creativity and unaware of the fact that they have been cooped up for the past few days. Take at look at some of our favorites.
When Fisher Price introduced their retro Little People Sets earlier this year, we were inspired. So today we are launching Blast From the Past, a new feature on lil to showcase nostalgic goodies — games, clothing and characters — from our own childhoods that have made a comeback for our kids!
Though there are a number of modern Colorforms kits available on store shelves, this Miss Weather Dress Up Set ($12) brings back memories of the Holly Hobby version of our childhoods. Colorforms were first introduced in 1951 when two art students were looking for a cheap alternative to paint and discovered that a flexible vinyl material stuck to their walls. The kits went on to become wildly popular for their ease of use, ability to be reused and the dexterity they promoted in children. The Miss Weather set combines the popularity of the 80's cult classic Little Miss books with classic Colorforms construction. It can be used as a teaching aid for learning about weather and clothing and makes a great quiet activity for restaurants and car rides.
Fisher Price Little People have certainly evolved over the years. When we were tots, the people were simple pegs with a round head attached to them. No arms, no legs and definite choking hazards by today's standards.
Later this week, Little People will celebrate their 50th anniversary (just like a certain doll that we know) and Fisher Price is celebrating by releasing four limited-edition anniversary playsets. The Little People 50th Birthday Play 'n' Go School, Play 'n' Go Farm, Play 'n' Go Home and Play 'n' Go Fire Station ($18 each) look just like their original models from the peg-shaped people to the handles located on top of each set, but meet current safety laws. Toys R Us locations throughout the country will also be hosting birthday parties for the Little People on Saturday, March 21, so be sure to check with your local store about their planned festivities.
As you know, we are big fans of the modern, colorful prints that come out of DwellStudio. Their designs have translated into beautiful birth announcements, nursery designs, crib bedding and clothing, including a budget-friendly line made especially at Target. So it is no surprise that have teamed up with the retailer once again as they move into the world of baby gear. DwellStudio has joined forces with Fisher Price, for a collection to be sold exclusively at Target. Brighter and more sleek than the baby manufacturer's previous foray into the world of modern design, the Fisher Price DwellStudio collection includes modern-looking pieces with fabrics featuring cool teal, brown and tan patterns that should complement the contemporary furniture found in many homes. To see the entire collection, click through our slideshow.
Preschoolers are quite an ambitious group. They spend their days at school being the line leader or napkin passer, and then come home to demonstrate their ability to complete tasks with less oversight. At this age, they are often rewarded in knowing that they finished a project on their own, rather than with applause or treats. Encourage this independence with gifts that allow them to work by themselves with minimal parental involvement.
Among our choice gifts for preschoolers are:
- Big Wheels were big when I was this age and they are back! Kids spent most afternoons tearing through the neighborhood on their sets of Big Wheels, and I can't wait for my children to do so, too.
- Designed for children ages 4 to 8, the LeapFrog TAG Reading System features a stylus with a camera in its tip that “reads” the letter, words, and symbols on the pages of the 16 books in its library, including favorites like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Little Engine that Could, and Olivia.
- If your lil one insists on dressing herself, she will love the eeBoo Paper Dolls. Each set comes with two multicultural dolls, background scenes, and magnetic clothing that can be mixed and matched to ensure that the doll is properly dressed for each occasion.
- Help your budding A-Rod perfect his swing with the Fisher Price ESPN Better Batter Baseball. The t-ball-like toy plays ESPN music each time a ball is loaded into it.
- Another childhood classic that has been updated for today's preschooler, Lite Brite allows kids to experiment with color and light to create masterpieces on four sides at one time.
- A fun and fast-paced take on Bingo, Zingo will have your tot begging for family game night to begin.
Ready. Set. Go! Just try to stop a curious 18-month-old. Finding toys that capture their attention is quite a task so look for items that help develop their fine motor skills.
- The Fropper is sure to bring out the giggles as tots hop and bounce their way around the room.
- One of the hottest toys of the holiday season, Elmo Live is as close to the real thing as you can get. This version tells jokes, sings songs and perfectly imitates one of our favorite Muppets.
- Get your lil one cooking with a tabletop kitchen. This Countertop Stove is part of Pottery Barn Kids' line of Eco-friendly wooden products.
- Introduce toddlers to the world of arts and crafts with Crayola's TaDoodles Crayon Buddies, which are designed to fit right into the palms of their hands.
- Encourage building and fine motor skill development with the Clipo Creativity Table that offers countless ways to create new things.
- Take a page from your childhood and introduce your tot to the current version of the sit-n-spin with the Spin Around.
Babies may like the wrapping paper better than the present, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't put thought into their gifts. Six-month-olds are really beginning to explore their surroundings so it is a great time to introduce them to toys that stimulate their senses.
- Whether the tot needs a distraction in his high chair or if he just likes moving things around, the Double Bubble Suction Cup Maze will keep him entertained while developing his hand and eye coordination.
- Leapfrog's Baby Tad helps introduce the alphabet to lil ones and is easy for them to use. It attaches directly to strollers and car seats, preventing baby from throwing it on the ground.
- Babies love music, so the lights and sounds that come out of the Fisher Price Little Superstar Sing-Along Stage should keep a babe's attention for a while. The toy is designed to grow with the tot, from just listening to singing along and performing in front of the mirror.
- The Playskool: Busy Basics - Busy Ball Popper is a bit noisy, but loads of fun. The sound of the balls popping out of the machine and the chaos they create will keep your little one mesmerized for hours.
- The six-month-old in your life is teething, the Winkel Toy is the ideal gift to keep him happy. With tons of soft tubes and a rattle to make noise, your tot will have plenty to gnaw on.
- Like stacking toys of yore, the Safari Animal Stacker teaches size and sequencing with the added fun of six plush jungle animals.