Two weeks into January, and the winter weather has covered everything from an ice storm and subzero temps, to an unseasonal tempest that hints of an early spring. Today brings about a cold, damp rain…but I’m still debating whether I should put away my flip flops. If this roller coaster of a winter is any indication of the next few months, then we’ll glad hide out at home with a hot cup of something and a leisurely soak in the tub. If your version of reality hardly lends itself to undisturbed mommy time, then at least you can make bathtime for baby a little more fun –and less of a chore for you. One product we’re raving over is the brand-new Skip Hop Moby Waterfall Bath Rinser. Finally, a way to get the soap/shampoo out of your little one’s hair and not in her eyes. After years of experimenting with plastic cups and wash cloths over the eyes, not to mention foam visors that shielded little eyes from soapy nightmares, we’re thrilled to see such ingenuity in the bath department. Like its name suggests, this rinser creates a cascade of water that flows down in a steady stream, all the while staying out of eyes and ears. It’s easy to grasp, so you can use a free hand to safeguard your slippery babe. Plus, the bath rinser’s handle hangs for easy drying. And of course, no bath would be complete without a sweet-smelling soap like the aden + anais bubble bath. This gentle formula contains no harsh chemicals or dyes, and lathers up with a rich sandalwood fragrance…so intoxicating, you may just have to steal some for yourself.
In a Nutshell: A cleverly designed tool for the tub and a delicious sweet bubble bath to sweeten the deal.
I’m amazed that my 4-year-old still likes doing the wooden preschool puzzles at our local library. Maybe it makes her feel proud to show off just how fast she can complete them. Or maybe it’s because they’re unlike the same old, same old puzzles at home. If you know a preschooler (or even an ambitious toddler) looking for the next step up in the puzzle world, but who’s not quite ready for the 24-piece jigsaw variety, check out Skip Hop’s Animal Zoo Match and Play Puzzle, made up of 6 mini vignettes of playful animals just begging for little hands to uncover. Because each of the 10 pieces corresponds with the correct letter in its background, it’s a fun way to teach matching, letters and shapes (that whale’s spout can’t possibly fit inside an apple). We like that this multi-tiered layout offers plenty of stimulation, without frustration. Younger puzzlers may need an extra hand from a patient grown-up, but after some practice, they’ll be mastering this toy before you know. And you may just find yourself spending a lot more time in the library’s puzzle corner, too.
In a Nutshell: Perfectly pleasing, this puzzle helps preschoolers figure out how to problem-solve while playing.
As preschool slowly winds down, camp sign-ups are looming large. Lucky for us, my 4-year-old’s school conveniently offers a summer program with flexible scheduling. That means this mom can both work independently and enjoy some summer fun with her little one (or two). And since the camp day includes time for lunch, we’re already on the hunt for a combo lunch/backpack that can stand up to plenty of preschool play (or should we say, wear and tear?). We can never get enough of the adorable kids’ accessories from Skip Hop, and now there are some new animal friends to add to the merriment. Hippo and Dinosaur Zoo Packs and Lunchies are the ideal one-two punch when getting the kiddies off to camp. The coordinating sets feature spacious pockets and charming details (check out the zipper pulls). The backpacks are perfectly sized for small backs, while the lunch bags attach easily to their matching bags. We can’t decide which one we like best, but we know they’ll be a hit this summer.
In a Nutshell: Get ready for summer with oh-so-adorable backpacks/lunch bags for your favorite pint-sized camper.
If you haven’t figured it out already, The Talking Walnut is a big fan of Skip Hop, makers of durable kiddie products kid gear in eye-popping designs. So when we recently had a chance to see their new Alphabet Zoo Wall Decals in the flesh, we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed…and we were right. This adorable assortment of removable decals perks up any child’s room or nursery with a touch of whimsy. Whether you’re spelling out your little one’s name or introducing her to the ABCs, these stickers offer instant personality to even the closest of corners. If you’re working under tight conditions (city dwellers, you know who you are) or decorating on a shoestring (man, those cribs are costly!), this sweet set will work magic for your little one’s special space. And did we mention these decals are removable? Perfect for that bundle of joy who may someday turn into a precocious preschooler with her own ideas of decor (sigh)…Well, at least you can enjoy them while they’re young–and you still have a say!
In a Nutshell: Brighten up baby’s space with some entertaining art that’s also educational. And if she learns that “f” is for “fox” before she moves to a big-kid bed, we’ll take all the credit.
It’s a jungle out there, especially if you’ve got little ones running around at home. When I’m making dinner, I swear there’s a stampede of elephants overhead–and not just two little girls playing. If you’re in search of a way to keep your playroom accident-free and spare newly mobile toddlers from acquiring more bumps and bruises than necessary, consider the Skip Hop Zoo Playspot. A refreshing alternative from the ho-hum hopscotch patterns we’ve seen in one too many kiddie gyms, this fashionable print may just bring out the wild child in your little monkeys. The adorable faces of a dog, bee, owl and monkey are so cute, they may be entertaining enough to coax your constant crawler into actually sitting still for more than five seconds. We like that the puzzle-like pieces snap together easily to create an intimate play space of 4 spots or up to 12 spots wide for multiple movers and shakers. And if you’re extra concerned about safety, you’ll appreciate that these tiles are BPA-, PVC- and Phthalate-free. And that makes for smiles all around.
In a Nutshell: Protect your precious little ones–and your hard wood floors–with this soft covering that’s as playful as it is practical.
Bathtime boring? Not in our house. Who could get tired of splashing around in a sea of bubbles, all the while getting squeaky? While it may already be my kids’ favorite time of day, it never hurts to kick things up a notch with some new tub time friends. Skip Hop Moby & Friends Bath Squirters are an ideal companions for any soaped-up kid. Six colorful sea creatures are just begging to take a dive and fill up with bath water, so kids can squeeze and squirt them over and over. We love that they’re easy to grasp, especially when you have slippery fingers. And when it’s time to drain the tub, make a game of it by dropping them into the Sort & Spin Fishbowl Shape Sorter (sold separately), which affixes right onto the wall. The next time your kid is ready to bathe, he can spin the sorter and watch everyone dive into the water. Rub-a-dub-dub!
In a Nutshell: Don’t let bathtime become ho-hum in your house. With these silly squirters, your kid is bound to have some good clean fun. Just add bubbles.
Happy (almost) 2012! If you’ll be welcoming a new arrival into your family this year, chances are you may be registering for baby bedding. And if this isn’t your first child, you may already be familiar with the potential health risks associated with crib bumpers. They may look pretty, but are deemed unsafe by the American Academy of Pediatrics with regards to SIDS prevention . That being said, any bedding set that can pull off the look of a complete bedding ensemble–minus the actual bumpers–gets a nod in our book. Skip Hop’s Complete Sheet Collection is just that product, offering a bold printed sheet whose design extends to the mattress sides and features a contrasting pattern on top. Finished with linen piping, the 100-percent cotton, 200-thread count sheet achieves the look of a bumper without having one in place. Now there’s no need to worry about your newborn becoming entangled in her sheets. And that means a more restful night’s sleep for the both of you.
In a Nutshell: It’s a ban on bumpers; this sheet set makes great strides in bedding for babies that is both safe and stylish.
Today’s new moms have no excuse for committing fashion “don’ts.” These days, there’s no shortage of hip baby accessories out there, including diaper bags. I can’t say the same for myself when I was a first-time mom. Back then, I thought my lame-o canvas bag in fire-engine red looked cool just because it didn’t have Winnie the Pooh or ducklings all over it. Little did I know the fashion police would be after me…With this in mind, we are loving the latest designer bags from our friends at Skip Hop: the Jonathan Adler Loves Skip Hop line. This collection is awash in bold graphics and a dizzying array of patterns–a signature celebration of the home decor giant’s Happy Chic modern style. The well-named Duo, Dash and the Pronto Changing Station reflect the frenetic, yet always fashionable lifestyle that is motherhood. After all, if you’re going to be toting around poopy diapers all day, at least you can disguise them with a look that conveys coolness. And you won’t have to be on the run from the fuzz either.
In a Nutshell: Motherhood isn’t always pretty. Sling one of these bags over your shoulder when you’re heading out with your baby, and you’ll feel like you’ve got it together…even on the days when you clearly don’t.
Practically every Saturday night is takeout Japanese in my family. What started out as a convenient way of grabbing dinner on my way home has developed into a tradition that we’ve come to relish. The fact that my 2-year-old is learning to use my chopsticks and that my 6-year-old knows her sushi from her sashimi is something we can be proud of–really. Perhaps it’s my love for Japanese food that prompted me to take a closer look at the Bento ultimate diaper bag. There aren’t too many other bags that I’ve seen with their own Bento box for keeps baby foods and snacks mess-free in their own separate containers. An insulated cooler bag and freezer pack keep a stash of grapes cool…so you can keep your cool when little hunger pangs strike. Plenty of pockets means ample space for wipes, diapers and all those other on-the-go necessities. And using the Shuttle Clips, you can strap this bay right onto your stroller’s handle bars and away you go! (I don’t know about you, but I’m off to pick up some shumai…yum yum!)
In a Nutshell: Got a diaper bag that’s not proving its worth? Say “sayonara” and pick up the Bento bag instead.