My daughter’s second birthday is coming up, and I’ve had several family members ask what they can buy her for a gift. My typical response: “Anything!” I really wasn’t aware of any cool, new toys for toddlers that would be perfect for her.
Last weekend, however, I was lucky enough to attend The Big Toy Book Baby Palooza in NYC, hosted by The Big Toy Book, Charlene Chronicles, and Real Mom Media. Here I saw a ton of great gift ideas for the little ones! My favorites included:
-The Delta Children’s line of Upholstered Chairs. I don’t know what it is about these pint-sized pieces of furniture, but every time my daughter sees one of these chairs in a store, she HAS to get out of the shopping cart and go sit on one…and then try to put the chair into my cart. I especially liked the Disney princess chairs, but there are many different kinds, including Cars, Minnie Mouse, and Elmo. Delta also makes gorgeous furniture for babies and kids. There was one gray, modern-looking crib there that I would have snatched up for Baby #2 if I didn’t already have a crib at home!
–The VTech InnoTab 2 Baby. The first tablet specifically designed for infants, the InnoTab has music, art, games, and special apps already installed on it. It is nice and sturdy, and features a soft, gel bumper to cushion it from falls. My daughter has been playing with her InnoTab for almost a week now and I can safely say it is both drop-proof and drool-proof (she tends to drool when she’s concentrating really hard on something, like the InnoTab’s coloring activity). There is even a camera to take pictures or videos! So far we have stuck to the games and activities included with the InnoTab, but there are extra games/apps available for purchase at the VTech app store. According to the company, the InnoTab 2 Baby is for babies 12 months and older. I think I can definitely see this toy holding my daughter’s interest for a few years.
–MegaBloks. L is at the perfect age for these chunky, colorful blocks. I came home with the Twinkle Castle, and we were ready to start building! The best part about block-building? It is an activity that helps your child be creative, problem-solve, and concentrate…all while having fun! Bonus: MegaBloks come with a tub big enough for storing the blocks in it, plus room to fit additional blocks you purchase…love that! Makes clean up easy. The Twinkle Castle also comes with two princesses, a horse, and some stickers to put on the blocks. Even before she is able to build something on her own, L enjoys just stacking the blocks to make a tower by herself. Then we build the castle (or some sorry variation of it) together. Hopefully L will inherit her dad’s creativity and building skills instead of my non-existent ones!
-The FirstYears Toddler Feeding Products. The First Years was at The Big Toy Book Baby Palooza to give us an advance showing of their new IAlert car seat that debuts in June. (Briefly, it is the COOLEST car seat I have ever seen, with safety features not seen in any other car seat on the market…but more on that next week!) My household has been fans of The First Years’ products since my daughter was born. We used their pacifiers, pacifier wipes, and BreastFlow bottles and loved all of them. These sippy cups and feeding sets by The First Years are both cute and functional. I feel like we go through ten sippy cups a day in my house, so I am always on the lookout for more.
–Cloud b Twilight Turtle Tunes. This is another company we are fond of- L has used both the Sleep Sheep and the Twilight Turtle many nights. Well, the Twilight Turtle is getting an upgrade- starting in summer 2013, this turtle will be able to rock! (Or at least play some sweet lullabies.) Parents will have the option to either create a playlist from included songs or use their own music to completely customize the Twilight Turtle experience. I LOVE this idea because it eliminates the need to have a separate iPod playing in my daughter’s room every night (which is the situation now). The Twilight Turtle Tunes gives you the soothing comfort of the lights PLUS the gentle music you choose- a win-win! This is one product I will definitely be purchasing when it is available.
–Madame Alexander Newborn Nursery Dolls. Famed dollmaker Madame Alexander (celebrating its 90th birthday this month) had lots of dolls on display. I particularly liked the Newborn Nursery Middleton Dolls. As my daughter prepares to be a big sister, a doll like this (lifelike in appearance and size) would give her excellent practice. Beware, these dolls are PRICEY, but appear to have excellent quality and craftsmanship.
Disclaimer: I received several sample products from The Big Toy Book Baby Palooza’s sponsors, but am willingly and happily writing about my favorite ones of the bunch! All opinions are my own.