Update December 2011

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

Alanna Weissman

Snow Patrol
With winter on the horizon, shield your child from the elements with Protect-a-Bub’s stroller and car seat accessories. Whether it’s the 4-Season Weather Shield for winter use or Sunshades come warmer weather, the award-winning add-ons for strollers and car seats keep your little one warm and dry. Browse the offerings at www.protect-a-bub.com.

Paper Play
Give your child the gift of creativity with Brian Castleforte’s Papertoy Monsters (Workman). Reinventing origami to inspire cute paper critters, also known as papertoys, the book is sure to be a hit with any artistic child. The tome offers 50 cut templates that don’t require the use of scissors. Crafts are easy enough for all ages. Find this and other great reads at www.workman.com.

Get a Boost
The Dorel Juvenile Group’s new car seat, the S1 Rumi Air Harnessed Booster Seat, keeps kids safe and snug on the road. The Rumi absorbs some of the shock from the impact of accidents, as well as lends extra protection to baby’s head during a side-impact collision, which is one of the deadliest collisions for children. Purchase top-rated Dorel products at www.djgusa.com.

A Better Bottle
For a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to plastic baby bottles, check out the new Kiki bottles by Pura Stainless. Each stainless steel container is BPA-free and electro-polished, providing safety and durability. Bottles also grow with your child, turning from a baby bottle to a sippy cup, meaning you won’t have to spend money buying new bottles as your child approaches new ages and stages. Learn more at www.purastainless.com.

Hot to Trot
Your child’s hair can look great through the winter months with Hot Tot, a line of salon-quality styling products that are free of any chemicals known to be harmful to humans, such as parabens, sulfates, phthlates and formaldehyde. Detangler, styling gel, serum and finishing mist are a mere sampling of items in the beautifully packaged line. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from Hot Tot sales benefit worthy charities. Visit www.hottot.com for details and to purchase.

Ready to Read
Acquiring and fine tuning reading skills is crucial for young learners. For emerging readers ages 4-7, Start to Read! (School Zone) uses a three-step approach to teach tykes language and vocabulary, helping kids to thrive in elementary school and beyond. By listening, reading and reviewing, budding bookworms quickly become equipped with important English skills. Buy Start to Read! kits and books at www.schoolzone.com.

Now Hear This
Wish your kids paid more attention and would remember simple directions? Help children develop essential listening and recall abilities with the award-winning computer game Webber HearBuilder Auditory Memory. Available in several levels and geared for kids in grades kindergarten through 8 who have difficulty recalling verbal information, the game asks one to four players to save MemoryTown from the evil Dr. Forgetsit. View the whole line of software that promotes listening and memory at www.hearbuilder.com.

Birds of a Feather
Even when the weather outside is frightful, get a springtime feeling with the Baby Bunch’s Birdhouse PJ Box. Perfect for a gift, each totable toy birdhouse contains a plush bird and infant or toddler pajamas. The pajamas are available in various sizes and pink and blue hues. Gift your kids at www.babybunch.com.

Money Grows on Trees
Ellen Neuborne and college professor Orly Sade’s book How Ella Grew an Electric Guitar (CreateSpace) is one of the only tomes designed to teach financial literacy to girls ages 8-11. Sharing accurate, money-wise concepts in an entertaining and engaging way, the book gives young readers a head start on money management and the confidence to explore other financial topics. Find it at www.amazon.com.

Drink Up
With a revolutionary design and specific products for different age groups, BornFree’s eco-friendly and BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups not only come in an assortment of colors, they are specially created to provide benefits not offered by similar products. For example, the toddler Twist n’ Straw Cups are spill-free while the Training and Drinking Cups for older children reduce the risk of ear infections. Learn more about the products and shop at www.newbornfree.com.

This column appeared in the December 2011 issue.