Update August 2011

All the gear infants, tots, children and parents need.

Donald McDermott

Get Organized
Perfect for busy moms, teachers and students who need help keeping track of schedules and school tasks, the WonderFile Portable Workstation is an affordable new portable organizer. WonderFile folds out into a large 34-by-27-inch workspace equipped with a smooth writing surface and pockets to store pens, computers, documents, coupons and more. It also folds for easy storage and travel. Pick up the WonderFile in stores and online in time for the new school year.

Teach Them How
The Big Book of How (Time Home Entertainment Inc.) offers 501 fun facts and answers a multitude of the questions that kids commonly ask. Packed with vivid illustrations and impeccable research, this new 192-page book helps kids ages 8 and older discover the answers to questions such as: How does a chameleon change colors? How do diamonds form? And How was Mount Rushmore built? Appealing to inquisitive kids, the Big Book of How is available in bookstores nationwide as well as online at www.timeforkids.com.

Cuckoo for Zazoo
The Zazoo Photo Clock from Zazoo Kids offers an ideal way to teach kids good sleeping habits. The daytime photo on the clock tells kids when to get up for school, while the starry night image shows that it’s still sleepy time. The clock even has a nap time setting, plays music and videos, and can be personalized with pictures. Order one at www.zazookids.com.

Fit Lit
Kathy Brodsky, psychotherapist, poet and author of uplifting children’s tales, shows that anyone can be fit and healthy in her new book Stover (Helpingwords). The title character in this unique tale is a chubby little pig who exercises and eats right with enthusiasm because it makes him feel good. With child obesity on the rise, the tome is designed to encourage kids to believe in themselves, exercise more and eat right. Copies of Stover can be purchased at www.helpingwords.com.

Hairy Situations
Don’t let tangled hair and unruly kinks take over when kids go to camp or out to play this summer. Instead, send your kids off on their seasonal adventures with Ouidad’s KRLY Kids Collection. The collection includes No Time for Tears Shampoo, No More Knots 2-in-1 Conditioner and Pump n’ Go Styling Spray Gel. Head to www.ouidad.com to purchase.

Biker Babes
Remember learning how to ride a bike? The endless scrapes and bruises that came with countless falls? Now there is a better way to show young children how to ride a bicycle. Extremely lightweight and pedal-free, GlideBikes allow people just learning to ride to focus on maintaining proper balance. Instead of the pedals, the bike is equipped with two foot pegs that children can rest their feet on, much like resting their feet on the pedals of a regular bike but more sturdy. Visit www.glidebikes.com to check out the different models.

It’s in the Bag
Canon U.S.A. and Jill-e Designs have come together to create the one-of-a-kind Deluxe Gadget Bag. Fashionable and functional, the unique bag makes it a cinch for casual photographers to safely transport their cameras and free up their hands. The accessory also features a durable, water-resistant material, dual carrying handles, pro-quality interior padding, a matching detachable pouch for personal items and various pockets and compartments. The Deluxe Gadget Bag is available exclusively at www.shop.usa.canon.com.

A Season to Play
Whether outside for fun in the sun or inside on a rainy day, Playmobil’s new play sets inspire hours of imaginative play. The extensive line of summer toys includes a Family Motor Home, Pool with Water Slide, Beach Racer and the amazing Summer House, complete with an outdoor terrace and grill. Find details at www.playmobilusa.com.

Better at Bedtime
Independent London musician Jay Harris puts an original spin on old favorites in the new CD Bedtime Nursery Rhymes. Designed with the intention of creating something magical to put kids to sleep, the recently released CD offers a soothing atmosphere and a few calming surprises along the way. Find the album on iTunes and www.bedtimenurseryrhymes.com.

Creature Comforts
Education, fun and comfort are all rolled into one thanks to the Zoobies Very Hungry Caterpillar Toy, Blanket and Book Combo. The three-in-one item incorporates a soft version of the memorable character and the classic book The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Philomel Books). Plus, a 44-inch butterfly print blanket comes zippered inside the cozy caterpillar, making the 40th-anniversary-edition plush character and book set a hit for children and collectors alike. Find the item in stores and online.

This column appeared in the August 2011 issue.