Tag Archives: parents

What a Livin’ Doll

If you have daughters, nieces, or, gasp, sons or nephews who like playing with dolls (and no, there’s nothing wrong with boys who play with dolls), then there’s a very good chance that you have dolls on the brain. And the floor, the furniture, your car, and everywhere else. While the choices in dolls may seem as endless as that hour between dinner and bedtime, there are some fun, new twists on the basic baby doll that have recently come out, and your little doll is sure to love ‘em.

Peek a Boo Dolly (Gund)
peek a boo gundThis cute doll is great for the youngest children. She engages them in games and actually talks to them. Peek a Boo Dolly pulls her pink blanket up over her eyes and asks, “Where did you go?” and then, a few seconds later, lowers the blanket and announces, “Peek a boo, I found you!” She says six different phrases and plays for roughly 40 seconds at a time when her button is pressed. Dolly is soft and snuggly, and kids will love to hold her. With a sweet smile on her face and fleecy clothes, she looks happy, plush, and has no small parts to choke on or come loose. She needs 3 AAA batteries, which are included. Dolly’s cousin is a brown Peek a Boo Bear, who comes with a cream colored blanket. Each retails for $40 at your favorite gift- or toy store, as well as at http://shop.gund.com

PlayTime Baby Love Ewe (Adora)
adoraThis doll is so sweet, and would make a great Easter or spring friend for your precious little one. Dressed in a little lamb-covered one-piece outfit and pink headband, she is truly adorable and kids will gravitate to her. She comes with her own bottle, her eyes open and close when you move her, and she can suck her own thumb. The best part about this baby, though, is that she’s completely machine washable. You read that right! When she gets dirty, as your kid’s favorite toy is bound to, just toss her in the wash on gentle and hang her on the line to dry. Can’t get any easier than that. These doll are handmade and have a light baby powder scent, and you and your child will appreciate the life-like features of this toy, from her little fingernails to her turned up toes. Their “skin” is made of special “Gentle Touch™ vinyl” that makes them soft and cuddly as well. Available for $35 on http://www.adoradolls.com

Cozy Cutie Drink ‘n Wet Doll (Kidoozie)
drink n wetCozy will make your child giggle and keep her (or him) busy for hours. Give the baby her bottle and she needs to run (or be carried) to the bathroom right away! Just put her on her included potty and she’ll wet. This is a great way to get kids interested in potty training, and to encourage them to go themselves (“Hey, Cozy Cutie’s doing it, wouldn’t you like to give it a try too?” Or, “Who can get to the toilet quicker—you or Cozy?” Whatever works, right?) In addition, kids love all things bathroom related, as we all know quite well, so you might get a few moments of peace and quiet as your child gives the bottle and gets baby to the potty over and over (and over and over) again. The Drink ‘n Wet doll retails for around $20 from http://international-playthings.shptron.com and comes with a removable two-piece outfit, headband, bottle, and potty seat. Drink up!

If You Build It… You’ll Have Fun

There’s nothing that says “play” better than a construction kit—and nothing that says “great way to spend time with your kids” either. So it’s no surprise that so many different manufacturers making so many different kits out of so many different materials. This week we take a look at one kit that’s traditional—in a very innovative way, and two that actually have an agenda.

Knuckz Delux (KnuckleStrutz)
knucklestrutzBefore you even open the package and start building, you’d better clear your calendar because you’re going to be need a few hours, but the time will fly. KnuckleStrutz kits are traditional in that you have a variety of pieces that you can assemble to create something. But those pieces are like nothing we’d ever seen before. KnuckeStrutz are incredibly well made: they fit together snugly—and stay that way until you take them apart to build something else. We also marveled at the engineering brains behind KnuckleStrutz who created so many pieces that can go together in so many different way.

The Knuckz Delux comes with more than 300 pieces and instructions for building two very intricate things—a fire truck and big rig truck. On the website, there are instructions for 13 more creations, including robots, motorcycles, dune buggies, and even a helicopter. The printed instructions that come with the package are sometimes hard to read, but the online PDFs are much easier. And, of course, there’s no limit to what you can create without instructions. Challenging, engaging, and great for building patience, dexterity, imagination, and parent-child relationships. Perfect for rainy days, or any other day, for that matter. Recommended for ages 6 and up, but kids under 8 or 9 will definitely need help with the instructions and may need a little assembly assistance. Kids over 10 will be able to help dad or mom when they get stuck. $78, for ages 6 and up. http://www.knucklestrutz.com/

Goldie Blox and the Parade Float
Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine
goldieblox parade floatThe folks behind Goldie Blox are very open about their mission: To inspire the next generation of female engineers, and along the way, they hope to help girls develop the spatial and building skills they’ll need. Each kit focuses on slightly different (but somewhat overlapping) skills. Goldie Blox and the Parade Float ($20 on Amazon) is designed to demonstrate wheels and axles, gear action, and vehicle design. Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine ($29) also works on wheels and axles, but adds in force, friction, and tension. Besides the pieces, each kit contains a story book in which Goldie, her friends, and even their pets overcome challenges by building various machines. The idea is to tap into girls’ verbal skills to help them discover and develop hand-eye and engineering skills.

goldieblox spinning machineWhat a terrific concept. Although meant for girls 3 to 9, we recommend Goldie Blox for the lower end of the range. Older kids may be frustrated by the stories, which will appeal much more to little kids, the small number of pieces (there are only around 30 in each kit), and the pieces themselves, which don’t always stay together as long as they should. But little girls and, perhaps, some boys who don’t mind pink tool belts and ribbons, will love Goldie Blox. http://www.goldieblox.com/