Update July 2011

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

Donald McDermott

Create with Crayola
Crayola makes summer even brighter with new products kids are sure to adore. Glow Chalk inspires hours of creative outdoor play even after the sun goes down. Sidewalk Tattoos offer peel and stick detailed outlines that children can place on the ground and color in for a personal masterpiece. Perfect for travel, Color Wonder activities keep kids happily occupied, even on long trips. Color your family’s world at www.crayola.com.

Baby Soft
Snugli eases the transition into motherhood by relaunching the trusted brand’s line of soft baby carriers. The updated line includes 16 high-impact designs, colorful styles and eye-catching prints, from herringbone and black to mini skulls, love tattoos and more. To shop the line, stop by Buy Buy Baby or log onto www.buybuybaby.com.

Life’s a Beach
Two sun and surf appreciating moms have invented something great to make your next visit to the beach even more delightful. The Noblo Umbrella Buddy anchors beach umbrellas for safety and sun protection. Small enough to fit in your pocket, the Noblo is simple to use, affordable and available in different colors. Purchase one before your next beach jaunt by logging onto www.thenoblo.com.

Take a Seat
Chicco raises the bar on highchairs with the Polly Magic highchair. Featuring premium upholstery, five height positions and a three position reclining backrest, the multi-function highchair can accommodate your child from newborn age to 3 years old. The chair also has an adjustable toy bar, a handy storage basket, padded seats for maximum comfort and the latest safety modifications. It’s also ultra compact for easy storage. Get this and other items from Chicco at www.chiccousa.com.

Animal Kingdom
Seven Footer Press presents two animal-tastic titles. Part picture book, part game, all fun, Animals Home Alone by Loes Riphagen introduces readers to fifteen animals that find unusual ways to play when the humans are away. In Cecile Boyer’s charming Woof, Meow, Tweet-Tweet, words and sounds take the place of pictures to tell a story about dogs, cats, birds and some of their often hectic encounters. Both titles are available online and in bookstores.

Special Delivery
The importance of asking for and accepting help from others is at the heart of Dingle: The Helpful Ice Cream Cone Delivery Dog (Authorhouse). Using colorful illustrations and a clever story line, author Audrey Kinsella tells the touching tale of a friendly black Labrador named Dingle and his wheelchair-bound, independent-minded owner Aunt Reeny. For your copy, visit www.dingleenterprises.com.

Growing Up
Help your kids develop a green thumb with Miracle-Gro Kids Gardening Sets. The perfect way to enable children’s planting prowess to blossom, the new sets from Peachtree Playthings turn gardening into an entertaining activity that kids are excited to dig into. Each set comes with seeds, plant care instructions and Miracle-Gro Gro-Mix, everything needed to see results in as little as two weeks. Find Miracle-Gro Kids items at www.scotts.com.

The Power of Play
Turn an ordinary day into a universe of play with Easy Playhouse. A simple blank canvas that with a little imagination can become a fort or a fairy-tale castle, Easy Playhouse comes in two pieces of 100-percent recyclable material. It can be broken down and stored under a bed or in a closet when not in use. When in use, the playhouse offers hours of amusement in whatever type of abode families choose to create out of the playhouse by decorating the walls with crayons, paint, collage...whatever kids’ hearts desire. For helpful tips on what to turn your Easy Playhouse into, visit www.easyplayhouse.com.

Simply Da-Best
Feeding your little prince or princess can make a royal mess. But where regular bibs fall short DaBib reigns supreme. DaBib has a patented Scrunch Neck and flexible fit that accommodates children as they grow. Innovative features like the waterproof design and crumb catcher motif keep wearers and the eating area mess-free. The bib comes in three colors and two styles, DaHugs and DaGiggles. To purchase, see www.dabib.com.

Hair and Now
Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, a popular children’s hair salon in New York City, offers trouble-free ways to make girls’ hair pretty in no time. Sharing the wonders of the salon experience with families everywhere, the recently published Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls’ Hair (Artisan) features fabulous pointers on everything from the best cuts for all face shapes to instant fixes for bad hair days and five-minute styles. This 200-page book also incorporates step-by-step illustrations and photos of looks for girls of all ages, such as ponytails, braids, buns and bobs. Read additional details at www.cozyscutsforkids.com.

This column appeared in the July 2011 issue.