Haba Teethers

By , February 28, 2007 3:22 pm

I adore all the Haba teethers! They are lovely, smooth cheerful chunks of bright, primary colored wood. Made in Germany.

This one, the Trix, is a series of triangles strung on a sturdy elastic so that little hands can manipulate them into different shapes. These teethers feel so clean and solid, like they’ll last forever!

Here’s a link, along with links to a few more that I like:


By , February 28, 2007 12:23 pm

Welcome to my first post in my new webspace! I hope to reach out and connect with those interested in discussing the challenges of giving our children a simpler life.

What started as a shopping blog for parents interested in “nice,” simple toys and books that encourage creativity and imagination, has become something more. I want to tie it all in to family life and parenting in general.

This goal may be overly ambitious, but I really think that like-minded parents could have an interesting, ongoing discussion of topics related to giving childhood back to our children. I think this could be really fun and educational for all. Are any interested people out there? If so, please comment if you wish, or at least come back often or subscribe to see where we can go with this!

Let’s Eat! What Children Eat Around the World (Beatrice Hollyer)

By , February 27, 2007 8:52 pm

Let’s Eat: What Children Eat Around the World might not transform your picky eater into a lover of exotic food, but it sure will interest him and open his eyes to the fact that kids around the world eat different things. I think that the best lesson is that although kids from different countries eat different things, they are really all the same, having fun with their families and eating their favorite foods.

Packed with photos, this book provides a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of five boys and girls from around the world (India, France, South Africa, Mexico and Thailand). We follow them through their day, and their meals. We also attend an important celebration or activity involving food.

The book also includes one favorite recipe from each child: Condensed Milk Tart (South Africa), Tomato Salsa (Mexico), Thai Fried Eggs, French Chocolate Cake, and Coconut Sweet (India).

I find this book as enthralling as my children do. Hopefully you will too. An added bonus: all royalties go to Oxfam, so by buying the book, you are actually helping children and families around the world too!

(You might also be interested in my post about this other wonderful Beatrice Hollyer book.)

Cranium Cariboo

By , February 27, 2007 7:20 pm

Cranium games are fun and educational, although some of them do require batteries and make noise. Cariboo is a quiet one that seems to be quite fascinating to preschoolers and young children.

Kids must match cards to the flaps on the game, then open the appropriate flap with the “magic” key in the hopes of finding a ball. Once all six balls have been found, then the treasure chest will open.

Teaches letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. Play time is short enough for little attention spans and no reading skills are required. It can also be played as a cooperative game if you prefer.

My kids even enjoy just sitting and opening flaps for fun. Hey, anything that keeps them occupied, right?

A multiple award winner. Check out the Cranium website for more info on their award winning games as well as some great family fun ideas.

Misadventures of Gaspard and Lisa (Ann Gutman, Georg Hallensleben)

By , February 26, 2007 10:05 am

This delightful series centers on the fantastic adventures of two small stuffed dogs living in a human world. Nobody seems to notice that Gaspard and Lisa are not human children! The charming stories combine real children’s issues with a touch of fantasy and silly humor.

What really makes this series and its two canine stars so appealing are Georg Hallensleben’s marvelous oil painted illustrations.

Each small hardcover runs about 30 pages (with minimum text and maximum illustrations on each two page spread) making them ideal short bedtime stories.

Here are plenty of links for you to browse (click on the image to redirect to the Amazon page where you can read more about the book):

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