My position on toys is...
If you are interested in having me review your product on my blog please email me at thetoysnob(at)gmail(dot)com!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

One more week...

I know I have more readers than just 8 of you out there. So, if you weren't able to check my blog this last week, I'm giving you one more week to do so. The giveaway will end next Saturday, June 7. Thanks for participating. (If you have no idea what I'm referring scroll down 2 posts.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Alphabet Blocks

Alphabet blocks are one of those classic toys, every child has a set. Did you know that it's better to introduce kids to lowercase letters first? That's why I was so ecstatic to find these Lowercase Alphabet Blocks (currently $21.71) from my favorite wooden block site, Barclay Blocks! For your bilingual child they also have alphabet blocks in languages like Greek, Dutch, and Norwegian as well as the typical foreign languages. Check out all their creative block sets featured here. But don't forget to read the previous post!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Finally...A Give Away and a Book Review

I was asked to review this book, The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide by Heather Maclean and was sent two copies, one for me and one for one of my lucky readers. So, read the review and then I'll have instructions for how to win a copy of this must-have book!

I've flipped through many a buying guides at the bookstore but none as informative and up to date as this one. I loved how it was organized, each product has it's own chapter from bottles to car seats to (my favorite) toys! In the back is a list of popular baby gizmo brand names and, get this, a pronunciation guide! I was amazed at how some of these brands are wrongly pronounced. The best part was the rating on whether the product is a must have or just nice to have. It would really help in narrowing down your baby registry or figuring out what to buy on a tight budget. Any expecting parent should get this book and use it as they register. It offers insight from an experienced mom that every parent could benefit from. Those baby stores are so hard to think in and can be a little overwhelming, but armed with The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide you can narrow it down to the items you need in no time. So check it out!

Finally, time for the giveaway! Just leave me a comment that includes the following:
-your name or initials, if you're anonymous I won't be able to tell the difference between you
-your kids gender and ages
-how often you visit my blog
-one tip I could use to improve my blog
-if you tell a friend and they include who referred them, I'll enter you twice!!
The contest will end in one week, Friday May 30 at midnight. I'll write down your names, throw them in a bowl, and let my hubby pick one without looking. I'll post the winner on my blog.
I look forward to hearing from my readers and getting to know you better.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

One More Bike...

I saw this today while browsing Oompa's "New" section and just had to post it on here. It is so cute, just looking at it makes me happy! I think the sun shade is dorky, but at least it's removable. So, so, so cute! It's called Be Happy Passenger Tricycle (maybe that's why it makes me happy) and is made by Italtrike, who has been making tricycles in Italy for over 25 years. Anyway, have fun looking at it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bike Riding Weather is Here!

With Spring here it's time to get out the bikes, or buy a first bike for your little one.
Right now I'm really loving balance bikes like this one from Skuut. Balance bikes are great because they teach kids to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels. At first the child uses it in a walking motion, as they get more comfortable they'll use two feet to push it, then glide along with their feet up as they learn to balance. There is a very limited turn radius, to help children learn to steer. The Skuut has an adjustable seat and is marked ages 2-5. We just got this out for my son, who is a very tall three and it's almost too small for him, so don't wait! There are also several brands now that make these, but the Skuut is the most reasonably priced version I could find. We love ours!
I can't help but love the classic Radio Flyer Roadmaster Trike. This has been a favorite classic toy for I don't know how long, but I know I had one. The downside to this is there is no seat back, so younger riders may have a hard time. Also, if your kid is like mine, he won't use the pedals because they're too difficult to push. My son spent all of last summer walking his trike with his feet. And this summer, he's too tall for it otherwise I think he could manage the pedals now.
This is also by Radio Flyer, but is more a beginner's trike. There is a seat back as well as a push bar for mom and dad if the kid gets tired of pedaling halfway around the block. I think it's cute that they include a bucket in the back for little treasures. It's the Steer and Stroll Deluxe Trike.
My son is also a huge fan of his Kiddie Kick Razor Scooter he got from Santa last Christmas. He has the blue one but they're cheaper than bikes so you could go gender specific on these if you just love the pink one like I do. Anyway, these are great scooters for beginners because they have three wheels to prevent tipping. The handle bar is adjustable for growing toddlers. Ooh, I just saw one with a foldable frame, great for taking it to the park or something, check it out too! They come in blue and orange or pink and purple.

I have a couple suggestions for bike shopping: First, take your child to the store to try bikes on for size, make sure it's a good fit and that their knees don't hit the handle bars, and if you're buying a full size bike, you want them to be able to touch the ground with their feet all the way. Second, don't be tempted (like I would be) to buy a gender specific color scheme because you may want to be able to pass the bike on to siblings. There are a lot of cute pink bikes out there that just tug on my little girl heart. Also, because it's me, I have to say stay away from character bikes. Dora and Diego are all over bikes and accessories but there's usually always the original blue and red version hiding somewhere in the store. This is really just a marketing scheme trap and you don't have to play into it. Sorry, but I had to throw that in there.

Whatever bike or trike you choose for your children make sure to teach helmet safety from an early age so they get in the habit. Have fun being outside in the beautiful Spring air!