Update November 2012

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

Tasheena Carpenter

A Pirate’s Tale

Leadership can be a difficult lesson to teach tykes. Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) demonstrates the responsibilities of being a leader and making decisions that benefit the entire group. Readers follow two young characters who use their imaginations to turn a bed into a pirate ship and stuffed animals into a crew. Find the book at www.amazon.com.

Mystery Series

Dani & Yo-Yo (Wheaten World Press) focuses on a girl who has a unique bond with her dog. After adopting a pup named Yo-Yo, she realizes that they can speak to each other. Their relationship leads them to solve a series of mysteries. Find it at Amazon.com.

Activity Jumper

The Evenflo ExerSaucer stimulates baby’s brain while further developing his motor skills. The product allows you to keep tots safe and occupied while you tend to tasks nearby. Adjustable height, a 360-degree swivel, a jumping pad and developmental toys all lend to the item’s appeal. Find it at Target.

Inspire with Decor

Use words to express personal style by transforming them into art at www.wallyworld.com. The site offers vinyl decals that look like custom paintings. Browse a selection of quotes and graphics and choose fonts, colors and text size to adorn your creation. The literary art looks great in living rooms, children’s bedrooms and anywhere else you want to impart some inspiration.

Creative Wall Art

Display special memories with ixxi. The decorative system allows users to design a collage of your favorite images or illustrations in any size. Users can also enlarge photos and choose artwork from a gallery. Learn more at www.ixxi.nu.

Speak Clearly

The new Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 has updated software for PCs that has unprecedented accuracy and speed for voice recognition. The program is a fast and easier to use than the original. Talk more and type less thanks to its core technology powering voice technologies. More information is available at www.nuance.com.

New Tech

Keep warm this winter with Dyson Hot, a fan heater with Air Multiplier technology. Coveted features, such as precise temperature control, long-range heat projection and automatic shut-down, make this a must-have appliance. Purchase at www.dyson.com.

Pull the Plug

The days of looking for an available power outlet to keep food warm while entertaining are long gone thanks to the Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker. Its stoneware maintains optimal serving temperature even without a power source, keeping fare hotter. The cooker boasts a travel gauge that provides visual feedback, integrated handles, and a locking lid and cord wrap that make transport easy. This six-quart slow cooker also has programmable controls, including four pre-set time settings and an auto-shift to warm feature with count-up timer. Find it at www.crock-pot.com.

Fine Planning

A busy schedule makes it hard to remember important dates. Keep affairs in order with Dotmine Day Planners, which are great for tracking work, family and personal appointments. Utilize tear-out pages that have check lists for babysitters, inspiring and funny quotes, and fun reminder stickers. See the collection at www.timemine.com.

Share Hugs

To help shy or anxious kids is The Huggalo Doll. Add a photo to its pouch and your tyke can give Huggalo a squeeze and look at a familiar picture when in an unfamiliar situation. See the toy at www.huggalo.com.

This column appeared in the November 2012 issue.