Category: Toys + Playthings

The Rhythm is Gonna Get You

With the abundance of battery operated musical instruments out there screeching out some bizarre electronic form of "Twinkle Twinkle," I find it totally refreshing when I stumble upon some really great instruments that kids actually have to play themselves.

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We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Barbies

Thanks to my mother-in-law, that 36-22-36 blonde doll made an unwelcome entrance into my toddler’s toy gallery this holiday season. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving in to all future Barbie requests so fast. It just means I’m going to have to find something ten times cooler than her royal plastic majesty.

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I Dream of Genie

Let’s admit, there’s been quite a bit of dvd-watching over the last few months. How else are you supposed to get the gifts wrapped, the holiday cards sent, and the cookies baked–or at least ordered through a handy toll-free number?

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Stop: Hammer Time

When I was in middle school, I should have failed Home Economics. I burned my banana bread in cooking class, and the blouse for my final sewing project might have fit had my head been the same size as my arms. But woodshop–now that, I aced. And Aunt Ginny loved her new birdhouse.

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Rock The Boat, Baby

One of the downsides of our charming New York apartment – our toys outnumber our square footage. I fear any holiday gift for the kiddo bigger than a breadbox is going to have trouble finding a permanent home here–except for maybe a breadbox itself. Then at least we could store other toys in it.

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Dollhouse Meets 2006

I know my daughter would love a dollhouse, however, I just can’t give in to buying a huge pink plastic house with frilly shutters and a white picket fence. Just thinking about it gives me a weird sugar high. Plus, I’d love my next child (perhaps a son?) to be able to enjoy playing with a cool house without having to endure all the oozing girliness.

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Premium Pow-Wow

The Christmas of my childhood generally consisted of a full stocking and one big gift, which we certainly preferred to the alternative of fourteen crappy plastic toys and a few itchy grandma sweaters. It was way cooler to get something like a ballet barre, a rocking horse, or a teepee.

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Rub a Dub Dub, No Toys in My Tub

There’s nothing like anticipating that glorious, uninterrupted, naptime shower only to have to spend an extra ten minutes emptying out all the darn bath toys that are scattered around the bottom of the tub. And the net thing? Please. That holds one rubber duck and my scrub brush, if that.

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Masterpieces To-Go

Considering my daughter can spend upwards of two straight peaceful hours a day drawing and coloring, it would be great if I could find something to help us take her artwork on the go. Oh how much I would pay for a quiet restaurant meal!

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Back in Block

One of my favorite pastimes as a child was building mini kingdoms with my brothers’ wooden blocks. There was something entirely gratifying about building big towers and castles – and then knocking them all down with one fell swoop.

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Oh Rats!

I’m not the most experienced parent in the world, but from what I understand, I have only a few months left until my daughter asks that inevitable question: Can I get a pet? Knowing her, it won’t be any old pet; it will be a turtle or a snake or, help me, a rat.

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Balloon Animals

Ever since I got wind of the whole latex balloons are the devil stuff, I’ve been distraught. While I would hate for my daughter’s birthday celebrations to be entirely balloon free, I also don’t need to decorate the place with a bunch of colorful choking hazards.

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Play it Again, Bunny

When I was young, I had a beautiful wooden music box that featured a dancer pirouetting on a mirror inside. It was regaled to a high shelf in my bedroom except for the few times a year when my mom reluctantly pulled it down for me. I’m still bitter whenever I hear "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

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Dino-Mite

Choosing gifts for boys can be a bit tricky. Okay, it’s pure hell. While boys like what boys like, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a fleet of miniature metal cars that only end up under the sofa.

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Get Your Own Derby

Derby_1With today being the annual running of the Kentucky Derby, we tried to come up with something apropos for cool moms. But, quite frankly, we can’t see anyone wearing a huge hat or taking the time to make a mint julep (I just pour whiskey in my coffee nowadays).

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Where the Heck is Wyoming?

Mappuzzle_1It seems I’ve got a little puzzle glutton on my hands. With a few handy 25-piecers, she reaps intellectual benefits and I get a good 20 minutes of quiet time. However, all that is null and void on car rides since, I’m pretty sure even a genius couldn’t put puzzles together in any type of moving vehicle.

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