Update November 2011

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

Alanna Weissman

Repurposed Bags
Crafted by a women’s co-op in the Phillippines, Bazura Bags save trash from landfills with the array of backpacks, purses and other accessories made from discarded juice containers. Help the planet by buying your next carryall from www.bazurashop.com.

Super Powers
Turn your child into a superhero with PowerCapes. The affordable capes are handmade and can be customized to best suit your unstoppable tyke. Also fun for party favors, PowerCapes are available in 11 colors and with more than 25 emblems. To purchase, fly faster than a speeding bullet to www.powercapes.com.

Puppet Pals
Instead of throwing away items past their prime such as overused socks and towels, keep them and buy Diana Schoenbrun’s Puppet Play (Andrews McMeel). The inspiring book provides 20 ways to make creative, whimsical puppets out of old materials. Visit www.andrewsmcmeel.com for this book and others.

Afraid of the Dark
Helping children overcome their fears of the dark or of sleeping alone is Sandy Harsanyi Murphy’s book A Light in the Night (CCA&B). Each copy comes with a cuddly “nighttime guardian,” which has a night light in its belly. To get the set and access tips for making your child’s bedtime a pleasant experience, log onto www.alightinthenight.com.

Lazoo for You
Created by dads and born from a series of books, Lazoo has expanded to include a full line of clothes and toys. Shop the brand’s offerings, from apparel for kids up to 4 years old and backpacks, to plush goodies and activity books, at Babies “R” Us or www.lazoo.com.

How Sweet It Is
Written by 11-year-old Isabel Janavs, Izzy and the Candy Palace (The MMJ Foundation) is not only an enthralling, illustrated tale, it does good as well­— 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to the Orange County Kid’s Cafe program’s Second Harvest Food Bank. Support the initiative and give your child a good read by buying a copy at www.thecandypalace.com.

Blast Off
Space Chips are plastic pieces that snap together to form various items, including simple “drons” and ducks as well as abstract shapes. The chips are endlessly entertaining and teach about geomotry, astronomy and architecture. Soar to www.monkeybusinesssports.com to purchase a set.

Play All Day
Longtime child-adored brand Playmobil has released several new play sets with themes such as farms, fire rescues and ancient Egypt. Chock full of add-ons and lots of ways to play, the affordable playthings are all incredible buys. Browse Playmobil products at www.playmobil.com.

We are the World
In Anthony Asael and Stephanie Rabemiafara’s Children of the World (Universe), child representatives from each of the nearly 200 United Nations countries explain what life is like for them in their homeland, promoting understanding across cultural borders. Book proceeds benefit the charitable foundation Art in All of Us, which helps children understand others and explore the world through art. Head to www.rizzoliusa.com to get the enlightening tome. For additional details, visit www.artinallofus.org.

Cast a Spell
Fans of witchcraft and wizardry love the new Top Trumps Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a kid-friendly take on the card game War. Players must use characters from the Harry Potter franchise to cast spells against each other to win more cards. Buy a deck for your little Muggle at www.toptrumps.com.

This column appeared in the November 2011 issue.