Tag Archives: bunny

Making Spring Clean and Colorful

When Daylight Savings begins, you know that Spring can’t be far behind—and neither are Easter, Passover, and Spring cleaning. This week, we review some Easter bunnies, outdoor art adventures, and a decluttering marvel.

3d sidewalk chalk3D Sidewalk Chalk (Thames & Kosmos).
The folks at Thames & Kosmos can’t help themselves: they include a really fun, educational component in everything they make. Their new 3D Sidewalk Chalk is no exception.  The kit comes with plaster power, dye, mixing cups, molds, and 3D glasses. The fun starts by making your own chalk by mixing the plaster powder, dye, and water (not included). Then, pour the slurry into the molds. When it hardens, you’re ready to start creating art. Here’s where the science comes in: when you put on the 3D glasses, your drawings seem to jump off the sidewalk. The instruction manual explains how and why that happens and includes directions for making rainbow chalk, and more chalk science experiments. Ages 8 and up. About $15. http://www.thamesandkosmos.com/

crayola sidewalk chalkSidewalk Chalk Mega Pack (Crayola)
Crayola’s sidewalk chalk doesn’t have much science behind it, which means it can focus on what Crayola does best: giving kids tools to make colorful art. The Mega Pack includes 12 large chalk pieces: 3 neon, 3 glitter, 3 tie dye, and 3 basic bold colors. No instructions required. The chalk itself is especially easy to clean up—just hose it off—a big plus if your neighbors are persnickety about their sidewalks. Unlike most other sidewalk chalks, these pieces aren’t cylindrical, which means they won’t go rolling down your driveway into the street—with your child running after it. Ages 6 and up. http://www.crayola.com/

 


alex washable bunnyColor & Cuddle Washable Bunny (Alex Toys)

How many times has your child “decorated” a favorite stuffed animal with a Sharpie? If that sounds familiar, you’ll love Alex Toys’ Color and Cuddle line. The idea is pretty simple: make a toy that’s snuggly, let kids draw on it, and allow them to change their mind whenever they want. And that’s exactly what happens: color, wash, repeat—as many times as you’d like. The only rule is that your young artist needs to use the included markers. The Washable Bunny is perfect for Easter. Other options include a bear, a doll, and a pony. Ages 3 and up. All are about $21. http://www.alextoys.com/

 

funshine easter bearFunshine Easter Bear (JustPlay)
This 16-inch, soft, cuddly, plush gets your child’s best Care Bear ready for Easter too. Cleverly disguised as a bunny—complete with Easter Bunny ears—Funshine is a great addition to any Holiday basket. $24.95 at Amazon and elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

fujitsu ix500 scannerScanSnap iX500 Scanner (Fujitsu)
When we think of “spring cleaning” the images that come to mind usually have to do with sweeping and mopping and maybe reorganizing the garage. But what about all that stuff in your file cabinets? Worse yet, what about all the stuff—including those boxes of old photos—that should be in file cabinets but is sitting around in piles? The ScanSnap iX500 can help. It’s incredibly easy to install and even easier to operate. Drop in a stack of documents, press the button (there really is only one), and in seconds all that paper is transformed into pdfs or Jpegs. Then you can save it to your computer or upload directly to Dropbox and other cloud services. The ScanSnap handles everything you can throw at it, from business cards to long (up to 34 inches)  documents. Put it in crooked? No problem. ScanSnap straightens is out. Upside down? It’s rotated automatically. A great way to keep those important family documents and memories organized. $499.  http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/computing/peripheral/scanners/scansnap/

East of Easter

How is it that giving candy and chocolate to kids has become such a major part of so many holiday celebrations? Every one of those holidays has its own, special, traditional sugary treat. In the case of Easter, of course, it’s eggs and bunnies. But these days we’re hearing from more and more parents of very young children who are looking for two things: reduced-sugar treats for the kiddies, and toys that aren’t too big for their little ones to pick up and play with. Here are some of our spring Easter-basket-stuffing faves that satisfy both of those requirements.

bunnies tomy cloud bBubbly Bunny and Glow Cuddles Bunny (Cloud b)
These two adorable bunnies are perfect for baby’s first (and maybe even second) Easter morning. Bubbly Bunny plays four soothing sounds, including giggles, wind, waves, and a cute lullaby. The selection and volume are set by mom and dad. There’s also a variable sleep timer (23 or 45 minutes). Comes with a Velcro strap to secure Bubbly to baby’s crib.

Cuddles Bunny adds sight and touch to the infant bedtime experience. The slightest hug makes Cuddles glow and activates a vibrating heartbeat (easily be disabled by a parent), which are designed to help your baby learn to calm herself.  The light is dim enough to not interfere with sleep, and shuts itself off after 23 minutes. Both bunnies come with batteries and retail for $30 (Bubbly) and $33 (Cuddles) at http://cloudb.com.

Lil’ Chirpers Sorting Eggs (TOMY)
These cute, festive, brightly colored eggs are perfect for a child who is becoming more mobile. Six eggs come in a handy carrying/storage case that includes two different matching games. “Break” open an egg to discover a chick of the same color. Press the chick’s head to make him peep. Great for building manual dexterity and leaning colors, shapes, sorting, and patterns. $12 at http://tomy.com

Lamaze Bella Bunny and Giggle Bunny Ball (TOMY)
Bella Bunny lets your baby use almost every one of his senses: The colors are vivid and engaging (vision), there are a variety of fabrics and textures (touch), and the ears crinkle (hearing). Plus, Bella is made of completely non-toxic materials, so your baby can gum and gnaw away to his heart’s content. Lamaze color codes all their products to make it easy to find the perfect toy for your child’s age and developmental range.

Giggle Bunny Ball is another a great toy for babies and has been tested safe for birth on up. Like Bella, Giggle is colorful, crinkly, and multi-textured. But what sets her apart is that she giggles when shaken (and yes, there’s an on/off switch). One of her ears is a loop, which makes it easy for baby to grab on to and even easier for ma and pa to attach it to a crib, stroller, or car seat. Bella Bunny retails for $16 and Giggle Bunny is $10, both at http://tomy.com

Jelly Bean Racer (Little Tikes)
jellybean racer from little tikesIf you’ve got a budding Kyle Busch or Danica Patrick on your hands, he or she will love these racers which, as you might guess from the name, really do look like giant jelly beans on wheels. They come in four colors: pink, red, green, and orange, and sport two antennae-like “handles” to keep kids secure on top. By using their feel to pedal or push off the ground and to steer, kids can cruise around the house or any relatively smooth outdoors surface. Best for kids 12-24 months). Retails for $20 at http://www.littletikes.com

The Basket Case

easter basket gund calico critters hog wild toysWhat’s an Easter basket without a few stuffed animals? Most young kids love something soft to snuggle up with, and Easter is a great excuse to give them cuddly toys. But, honestly, do you really need an excuse?

Bunnies and More (Gund)
Gund is definitely on our list of favorite stuffed-animal brands, and they’ve got such a huge variety that you’re pretty much guaranteed to find the perfect addition to your little one’s menagerie. At this time of year, of course there’s no shortage of traditional rabbits, but they also have plenty of other soft and snugglies. Let’s start with bunnies. “Floppy” is a large, white rabbit that, as you might guess from the name, is actually floppy. But he’s also wonderfully plush and makes a great cuddle companion. Floppy comes in two sizes, for $15 or $25. “Ditter Bunny” is velvety smooth to the touch, and the perfect size for small hands. He is available for $12, and his sweet face will bring smiles to yours on Easter morning. A fun new addition to the Gund family, “Li’l Sprout Bunny,” is available in four fun and festive spring colors: white, yellow, green, and pink. He’s got a great, cartoon-ish face, complete with rosy cheeks. He’s also a little flatter than most stuffed toys, which makes it all the more interesting. Li’l Sprouts retail for $12 each, and can be a nice addition to your Easter décor. But you should have a Plan B, since your kids or grandkids are going to make off with them as soon as your back is turned. Gund has tons of other Spring toys, including even more rabbits, chicks, ducks, and lambs. You can find them all at gund.com or your local specialty stores.

Bunny Popper (Hog Wild Toys)
Bunny Popper isn’t quite as cuddly as some other Easter toys, but he’ll definitely add a little pop to your holiday. Put one of the six included soft foam balls in Popper’s mouth, squeeze, and it can fly as far as 20 feet. The harder the squeeze, the further the balls go, so you need to be the judge of whether you want to risk your fine crystal or send Popper and the kids outside. Popper is available for $10 on http://www.hogwildtoys.com/, or at many other retailers, including Amazon.com and Fatbrain Toys.

Character Eggs (Playmobil)
What’s Easter without eggs? Playmobil’s alternative to those high-calorie chocolate ones pack a lot of fun into a small package. Each one contains an entire scene, complete with characters and props. Scenes include race car drivers, knights, fairies, unicorns, and more. After playtime, all the pieces fit neatly into the egg, which is small enough to take anywhere your child goes. If you’ve got other Playmobil play sets, the eggs will fit in quite nicely. At $8.95, they’re a great value.

Hazlenut Chipmunk Family (Calico Critters)
Speaking of play sets, for kids who love Calico Critters (and most do), the new Chipmunk Family will be a hit. Each member of the family (mother, father, sister, and brother) has a distinct personality and works with the Calico Critter World theme, where everyone has a special job, and they’re all friends with each other. These cute toys are great for teaching social skills, stimulating imagination, telling stories, and learning about what makes a community. The Chipmunks and plenty of other families (bunnies, elephants, and more) run $23 and are available at http://www.calicocritters.com/.