Update March 2012

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

Alanna Weissman

Better Burp Cloth
Cut down on your laundry with the Babba- Burpie. Because the burp cloth is reversible, when one side is dirty, it can simply be flipped inside out to lend a clean surface. Say goodbye to doing incessant loads of laundry as the BabbaBurpie offers more uses than a typical feeding cloth. Find one at www.babbaco.com.

Presto Change-o
For an ultra-lightweight and versatile stroller, look no further than the Presto Flat by Aprica. Weighing in at a mere 15.8 pounds, the stroller grows with baby, offering four positions for kids of different sizes. Presto Flat also boasts a leg rest that folds up to create a bassinet and is compatible with any Graco car seat. Purchase this convenient childhood necessity at www.aprica.com.

Far Behind
Get kids interested in drawing with Alexis Moniello’s Everything Butt Art (Madbrook). Available in both farm- and zoothemed editions, the step-by-step guide humorously shows children how to create a variety of animals starting with the simple shape of a derriere. Appealing to kids ages 7-9, the tome is sure to inspire both creativity and giggles. To get a copy, log onto www.everythingbuttart.com.

Toy Story
For environmentally sustainable, kid-powered toys, check out Pure Play Kids. Nonelectronic and made of natural materials, the playthings include throwback-style classics, such as cloth dolls, wooden fire trucks and soy crayons. View the entire collection at www.pureplaykids.com.

Spelling Dog
Man’s best friend helps kids build grammar skills with Party Pups. The board game pushes kids ages 4 and older to identify and correctly use various prepositions in a quest to collect the most doggie treat tokens. Players succeed with guidance from Party Pups, who come in various breeds. Watch an instructional video and buy the game at www.superduperinc.com.

Expert Advice

With a faltering economy, it’s more important than ever to ensure your children’s future financial security. Gather tips from financial planner Rick Rodgers in The New Three-Legged Stool (Marketplace Books), which explains ways to guarantee a solid retirement fund for your children before they reach the age of 20. Get a firm financial footing at www.amazon.com.

Big Hug
Children stay close to loved ones— even if they’re far away— thanks to Huggalos. The open-armed stuffed dolls
feature compartments in their bellies that hold photos of friends and family members. Huggalos are available in five styles, one of which is a blank autograph doll that’s perfect for the last day of camp or school. Friends can simply write encouraging notes to adorn the stuffed companion. Learn more about the plush line at
www.huggalos.com.

Bathroom Break

For parents worried about the effects of disposable diapers on the environment but who don’t want to use cloth comes GroVia’s BioDiapers. The super absorbent, disposable diapers are biodegradable and compostable. Discover all about the brand’s extensive assortment of cloth diapers at www.gro-via.com.

Bouncing Babies
Bring part of the playground into your home with the Spiro Bouncer. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the seesaw-like Spiro has seats that rest on rubber balls. Riders thus experience less impact and increased bounciness on this innovative seesaw than on traditional playthings. It also spins around 360 degrees. An added bonus: The Spiro strengthens young children’s muscles and aids in the development of coordination without kids even realizing. Get the award-winning product at www.discoverystore.com. 

Grandparent Grandeur
Dig up Longbeard’s Treasure Hunt, a game designed to foster the relationship between children and their grandparents. The game requires the two generations to work together to figure out clues that lead to buried treasure. Strengthen the bond among your parents and children through play by going to www.grandcamp.com.

This column appeared in the March 2012 issue.