Update June 2012

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

Donald McDermott

Game On

Zynga, creator of Words with Friends, invites families to play their latest game Hidden Chronicles. The new venture combines elements of some of your favorite search-and-seek games with eye-catching animation, challenging puzzles and friendly competition. The game is available for free at www.facebook.com/hiddenchronicles.

Keep It Contained

Packing food for any outdoor jaunt just got safer and easier. Steeltainers offers a collection of stainless steel, leak-proof food containers, which are durable and include a steel food tray to minimize contact with plastic. The line is available at a variety of stores as well as online. Learn more information at www.steeltainer.com.

Join the Hunt

An old-school campground prank becomes an interactive modern-day game in Snipe Hunt. Education Outdoors presents the indoor and outdoor game of hide-and-seek where players try to be the first to find their opponent’s Snipe and return it to its nest. Snipe Hunt is available in stores and online. For details, pay a visit to www.educationoutdoors.net.

What’s Cooking?

For fathers who love to experiment in the kitchen, T-Fal’s Family Griddle and Jumbo Wok are the perfect gifts for Father’s Day. The griddle is an excellent way to cook anything family style, from pancakes and eggs, to bacon and grilled cheese. The wok uses a unique Thermo-Spot heat indicator, which shows when your pan is perfectly preheated to seal in the flavor of your food. Available at www.t-falusa.com.

Safety First

Available exclusively for the iPhone and iPod Touch, the Safety 1st Baby Book application allows mobile moms and dads to easily capture, chronicle and share baby’s special moments via a tech device. The app also provides parents with valuable child-safety tips and articles. Download for free at www.apple.com.

Book ‘Em, Dad

Surprise the special guy in your life come June 17 with a new book. Some of the greatest sports coaches of all time lend their advice in Dad’s Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers (Chronicle Books). Also discover easy and creative ways to spend time with the man of the month in 88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates (Teigen & Teigen). For crafty patrons, check out the 30-plus father-child projects in Handy Dad in the Great Outdoors (Chronicle Books).

Grillin’ and Chillin’

Summer is almost in full swing, and that means it’s time to step out of the kitchen and fire up the grill. This year, let QVC be your one stop shop for everything, from state-of-the-art party grills and sleek on-the-go grills, to an endless array of flavorful sauces and grilling accessories. To turn your summer season into something memorable, see www.qvc.com.

Jump for Joy

Evenflo extends its already popular line of ExerSaucers with three new ExerSaucer Jump & Learn models. Featuring Safari Friends, Jungle Quest and Jam Session, each new member of the Jump & Learn line includes a modern design, spin and jump action, a variety of age-appropriate “take me with you” toys, and a secure learning and play environment for your tot.

Keeping Pets Safe

Dealing with a lost or runaway pet can be a traumatic experience. Luckily, there is a new service designed to help make it easier for your pets to stay safe. The PetHub ID provides immediate, one-scan access to critical information, such as emergency contacts, medication, allergies, immunizations, vet and insurance providers, and dietary needs. Users can access PetHub via smartphones and www.pethub.com.

Up to Par?

Struggling golfers can improve their game with SwingPerfect. The revolutionary golf-swing trainer simultanously analyzes swing plane and club position. To order, see www.swingperfect.com.

This column appeared in the June 2012 issue.