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04.17.2006

Fisher-Price iTod MP3 player

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Fisher Price is set to release it's iTod MP3 player this summer at a price point of $78 with its own rumored online music store. It's targeted towards toddlers and come preloaded with 6 songs (identified as symbols since most tots can't read) and the usual accessories - USB connection cable, software, and corded headphones. Yeah, yeah...I admit, I know at least one 2 year old with his own iPod, but toddlers don't need headphones plastered to their ears at this early age. There are enough personal music players geared towards kids out in the market already, but this is the first that is targeted towards kids this young (around 3) and $78 isn't exactly cheap. I personally see a future not too far away where my kid will spend all of her time in headphones (and I do speak from personal experience, and yes mom, I do now think that the slight imbalance in my hearing is from that! Yikes!) so starting them this young is, of course, ridiculous, but we can't be too surprised, can we?

via Mobile Mag.

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04.12.2006

MyPublisher Classic Hardcover PhotoBooks

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For years I scrapbooked with the best of them. As I got further and further behind on my scrapbooking I started to wonder if there wasn't a better way to preserve my family's history. I began looking into some of the early versions of online bookmaking. After uploading photos to different bookmaking sites I chose MyPublisher to create and purchase my first book. It has one of the easiest interfaces for dragging and dropping pictures into albums, multiple formats and page layouts to choose from and I liked the ease of adding text captions to tell our story.

The software is downloaded onto your computer so there is no need to be online while working a book up. When I was finished creating our album I uploaded the book, chose my cover color and put in my order. When it arrived about a week later I could not believe how beautiful and professional it looked. It was printed on heavy archival paper and they had used 4-color offset printing just like a real magazine or book. You can even format the books to print all the way to the edge of the page.

Continue reading "MyPublisher Classic Hardcover PhotoBooks"

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03. 1.2006

Stereo Squealers

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What is it about farm animals that make mundane items cute? I've seen other speakers disguised as animals before, but these snout speakers are particularly charming and the volume is adjustable by twirling their curly tail. Put it in the kid's room and use it with any personal music player, laptop, or PC.

At the Gadget Shop.

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02.16.2006

One Red Dot and Cookie Count

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There are two books that I selfishly keep on my bookshelf that my toddler doesn't get to read by herself. One is One Red Dot, by David E. Carter, which was released last year. The other is Cookie Count, by Robert Sabuda, which I bought for myself years and years ago.

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Both are amazing pop-up books by 2 masters of the craft that feature wildly imaginative paper engineering techniques. I'm a huge pop-up fan and have a life-long goal to constuct a book myself (which I will most likely take to the grave, given my slow progress on this particular project). Sabuda creates stunning work in every book, but I think Cookie Count is his best to date.

Carter is, perhaps, best known for his cheerful, cartoony pop-up books featuring bugs, but One Red Dot ia a stylistic departure from his bug books. Each page is a different paper engineering wonder, featuring eye-popping colors and dramatic, graphic shapes. Both books have to be experienced in person.

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02. 2.2006

Coby Portable DVD/CD player

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I just got off a 5-hour plane ride with the family, so even though I try to limit TV for my kid at home, I see the real benefits of portable media players for occupying kids on long trips. I really could have used something like Coby's new portable DVD/CD player (the TF-DVD560), which will be available in March for $120. My wiggling toddler immediately sat still when I put on the Elmo DVD on my Apple laptop as a last resort, but after 20 minutes, she wanted to play with the keyboard and touch the screen, which is a no no at home (computers are for mom's work only).

If you do a lot of travelling and rely on CDs and DVDs to entertain and distract your kids, it makes sense to give them their own media player so they can handle and play with it all they want. The TF-DVD560 has a 3.5 inch color screen, plays DVDs and CDs, and includes a remote, headphones, and a stand, but it also includes 12 classic Sega games to keep the kids busy. The games aren't the latest, slickest games, but if your kids are a certain age where they aren't hip to the the newest cutting edge games, they won't care.

via New York Times (thanks Camilla).

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01.26.2006

Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!

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The new Nick Jr. show Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! has the distinction of offering "the world's first video podcast for pre-schoolers." It's called the Wubbcast, and while its weekly episodes don't begin until March, you can subscribe to the feed for your toddler's video iPod or PSP. (Come on, you spent at least $400 on her portable DVD player, and the iPod can't be opened and won't skip! Might want to find some portable speakers for it, though.)

The preview Wubbcast introduces the show's very catchy theme song (download mp3) and three cute characters, Wubbzy, Widget, and Walden. Want to know more about where W!W!W! came from? In addition to the podcast, the creators have been running "the Wubblog" to document their show's development. Check out the photo albums for concepts and early designs. It's clear that these folks love animation, have a sense of humor (so lacking in many preschool shows), and show some style.

Oh, and if you're a filmmaker and have a short that's appropriate for kids, they're taking submissions!

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01.24.2006

Safe Baby Handling Tips

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Little did I know that the makers of the Wheel of Responsibility have a whole slew of products, including this fun little book of practical parenting advice, the Safe Baby Handling Tips. Easy to follow directions and illustrations - there's no gray area interpretations here - just simple yes, no, good, bad.

And if you really need these simple parenting instructions right in your face at all times as a reminder, dress your baby in these fun onsies.

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All from Wry Baby.

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01.10.2006

Wrap your baby in baby-gami

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It may sound a bit far-fetched, but I actually have memories of being wrapped up in a giant kerchief around my mother's back as a baby. Instead of my having some sort of prodigious memory, I was probably begging for rides on her back until an embarassing late age. I do know that all throughout my childhood, when I'd spot that same long scarf, usually as it was porting around some big, baby-sized household item, I'd get an intense memory of feeling safe, all bundled up.

Swaddling a newborn helps keep them comfortable in a familiar, womb-like cocoon. Baby-gami, the book, gives step-by-step instructions on how to create the perfect baby wrapping. The book is divided into swaddling that newborns can't squirm out of, and comfortable slings for the older baby. The instructions are, in fact, much like the ones for creating complicated origami shapes, but the results are so cute (and snuggly for your baby), that it may be well worth the effort.

Baby-gami is $10 from Amazon.

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12.31.2005

Born Yogis

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What a shame that we're born with this incredible, dough-like flexibility which takes thousands of hours of yoga practice to regain even a fraction of later in life. Any student of yoga would marvel at Baby Yogis (by Susie Arnett and Doug Kim), a book of beautiful black and white photographs of babies in yoga poses that just come naturally to them. Each of the 50 photographs taken by photographer Doug Kim is accompanied by the posing baby's name and an inspirational quote from a classic yoga text.

I've put this book on my wish list at Amazon (a mere $9.71) for the next baby shower I go to. I wonder if one of the poses shown is the non-traditional but very popular "big toe in mouth" asana.

Thanks for the tip, Norm.

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12.21.2005

How are you peeling?

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There are a handful of books that my toddler likes to read everyday. From that selection, there are only a few that I don't mind reading everyday. Aside from the pretty bad pun, "How Are You Peeling" by Joost Elffers, is definitely a book to check out. The artists have done an incredible job of carving extraordinary facial expressions on various vegetables and fruits (my favorites are the scallions), while teaching kids all about feelings in playful rhymes. The book is incredibly graphic and colorful, and even if your baby doesn't yet understand some of the concepts in the book, it is still very fun to look at.

Buy it at a discounted price on Amazon

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