Sometimes getting kids to communicate their feelings can be difficult, but Kimochis, a new line of stuffed toys created by a group of Marin mompreneurs in San Anselmo, are here to help. Kimochi (which means "feeling" in Japanese) toys are cute and huggable characters that come with a set of feelings inside—little dolls that represent feelings like jealous, grateful, shy, happy, and brave. These feelings and the Kimochi characters assist children, parents, and teachers in discussing their feelings, becoming better communicators, and cultivating confidence and character.
Our Kimochi, Bug (an adorable caterpillar with a hidden pair of butterfly wings), was an instant hit with our three-year-old daughter, who insists on carrying it with her just about every place. The different feelings that came with Bug all store in a handy pouch on his tummy, where they can be stored and then pulled out to play with and of course communicate about the feelings they represent. Overall it's a really appealing and well made toy. We're definitely happy to make room for Bug in our home!
Some of the best loved books in our house are those published by Barefoot Books.Founded by mompreneurs in the UK in the 1990s, Barefoot Books has become a successful childrens' book publisher through a winning formula of great stories accompanied by beautiful art and illustrations. Many of their books, like Whole World pictured above, come with sing-along or read-along CDs, many narrated by well known award-winning actors. Stories presented in Barefoot Books are both timeless and timely, and include tales from a variety of the world's cultures.
The New Year is here and it's not too late to get organized in your busy life. One of the tools that I have to do that, which I absolutely love, is my BusyBodyBook! The BusyBodyBook is a stylish and easy-to-use family organizer that allows you to keep track of the entire family's schedules. My BusyBodyBook is for the 2007–2008 academic year, but they also offer a traditional 2008 calendar year version which could definitely come in handy right now at the start of the year.
Now that school is right around the corner, it’s time to start shopping and buying those back-to-school basics. One of those basics for all children is a lunchbox. My son discovered these very cute lunch boxes from Crocodile Creek. The front of the lunch boxes are decorated with whimsical, colorful illustrations depicting a variety of themes including dinosaurs, horses, wild animals, farm animals, and garden. The lunch boxes are made of vinyl, which make them durable and easy to clean with a wet cloth. These lunch boxes are fun and educational at the same time. You can purchase the lunch boxes online at Oompa Toys
In our household, where we're always on the hunt for children's music that doesn't make you lose the will to live, we've been fans of Susie Tallman and her children's music ever since we received copies of her lullaby CDs as new baby gifts for Trevor, who's now 4. We're excited about her recent release, Let's Go! Travel, Camp & Car Songs.
After my son was born a few years ago, we experienced the hottest summer that I can remember in a long time. When we went for a walk I was constantly draping the stroller with baby blankets, shirts, or whatever else I had on hand, to shade him from the sun. Of course I didn't want to make it too hot for him, either, so it was always a balancing act. I searched high and low for some type of sunshade that would fit the stroller, but had no luck. I wish that I found these fashionable sunshades for Your Little Ones from Bellah May Designs. Choose from 27 different styles, all of which are reversible and are made of 100% breathable cotton.
One of my favorites is the Natalie (pictured above), which offers a Parisian flair with Eiffel Towers and polka dots in shades of pink and brown. The sunshades offer a sleeping baby privacy, and full or partial protection from the sun. They also offer a handy pouch for storage. Prices range from $75.00–$85.00. For more info or to purchase, go to www.bellahmay.com.
I’ve heard a lot of talk from moms in the last week about the hazards of using plastic products for children. There are concerns, spurred by recent reports like this in the San Francisco Chronicle, that chemicals used to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC), namely bisphenol A or BPA, may pose health concerns when used in children’s toys, baby bottles, and sippy cups. Glass baby bottles are making a comeback, and I recently ran across this nifty little gadget: Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Sippy Cup