Brilliant or lazy? An American father of six children invented the Smart PJ’s, pajamas telling stories before bedtime. How it works? The 47 groups of colored dots are read as braille using a special app with your smartphone or tablet that results in telling a bedtime story. Older children can even read along. After a long day of work, all you have to do is listen in! The aim is to bring more apps to the market with themes like holidays, songs and games. The pajamas remain the same, although the story changes constantly. The interactive Smart PJ’s are available at Walmart for around 19 Euro and are for children that are 1 to 8 years of age. Watch the video!
Do you know the concept reborn baby? I did not until today, but after some research I know more. Reborn babies are made by a small group of artists, called reborners, worldwide. Like Beatrice Landeghem in Belgium, and Marga van Koert-Sante in the Netherlands. They make baby dolls that scary enough, resemble real babies, eyes, eyelashes and hair, I can’t tell the difference. Even the weight seems to be correct. Many layers of paint are applied with specific characteristics on a vinyl head.
They are made for avid collectors who search the internet and fairs and sometimes treat these dolls as their own. Collected by treating parents and grandparents that can’t let go the image of a little baby and for parents who have lost theirs… In that case, the doll has been made into a replica of their passed child. Critics wonder whether these dolls can help in the grieving process. The fact is, that these dolls have such a lifelike appearance that they are saved by others from parked cars, they are mistaken for real babies.
source image: alford-massachusetts
Gotoy is a new toy brand owned by Danish designer Gert Olsen. He used to work as a designer for Lego Duplo and Brio. We are talking about someone who knows what children like and want to play with, he is a professional. Gotoy stacking wood is specially designed and produced for babies, toddlers and their parents. It is a new collection that consists of perfectly finished wooden figures and fabric accessories. All figures and elements can be stacked and combined, so they can build their own little friends. Personally, I believe that the combination of wood and fabric is a very creative idea and by using the different textures, children can greatly develop their sense of touch. Another bonus: all parts are easily picked up and stacked by small hands. Want to learn more about the fantasy-world of Gotoy and it’s potential? Take a look at this adorable video:
What do Jessica Alba, Selma Blair, Sarah Jessica Parker, Khloe Kardashian and Gwen Stefani all have in common? Exactly, they all share the same interest for Apple Park. I encountered this brand for the first time at the Toy Fair in Nuremberg. It was not because I knew that these celebrities love this brand (many brands their products to celebrities in the hope that they will be photographed with their products, for publicity purposes!), but because they immediately caught my attention. Very original, with an eye for detail and beautiful packaging. I fell in love with ‘Who The Owl’, but his little friends Cubby, Lamby, Monkey, Bunny and Ducky are adorable as well. Apple Park has a special and luxurious collection of plush and baby-children’s products which are produced using 100% organic cotton, and stuffed with natural fibers. Apple Park’s animal club are available as a cuddle-cloth, pacifier buddy and of course, as a cuddly creature. Unfortunately, they are not yet available on the Dutch market, but will be soon hopefully!
Whenever my eldest son went to bed, he would take his pacifier and his friend, a stuffed animal, with him. It was only until his teeth moved forward in a way that a pacifier is affecting him negatively; I decided to quit the weaning age. They were inseparable, the animal and pacifier, and it was hard for him to say goodbye without tears. When the pacifier was out of the picture, the stuffed animal stayed. Losing a pacifier or stuffed animal, which your kid loves so much, can be a very sad occurrence, as I know from experience. Paci-Plushies offer a solution, cuddly toys, which can be attached to a pacifier. I spotted these on the ‘Nine Months Fair’ in The Netherlands and got one as a present for the editorial office. The toy can be attached to a pacifier using a tiny flexible ring and are produced in various funny and colorful animals. This means, no more searching for a lost pacifier or toy! If you desire to wash the stuffed animal or quit the weaning age just like I did, you can easily detach the pacifier and use them separately!
When I think of the word ‘letter box’, I think of old wooden cabinets in which printing offices used to store lead letters for printing. They were totally hot in the 70s for displaying miniatures. But the new children’s furniture brand ‘Minius’, founded by Anne-Marleen and Paul de Nooy, have breathed new life into the word ‘letterbox’. I am very enthusiastic about their unique product that will be launched in early April. The cupboards are shaped like a letter, 1 meter in height and 20 cm in depth. The width depends on the letter. Every letter in the alphabet will soon be available in endless color variations and with customized back panels. The special shaped cupboards are made in their own studio and because some characters simply require more work than others (think of bending wood for the letter ‘Q’!), the price varies for each cupboard. What a good idea to have a cupboard shaped like the first letter of the name of your child!. It serves as a great display for small baby items or to just use it to store your kid’s toys. Sounds like a great baby shower gift to me!
The winners of the BabyStuf Baby Innovation Award have been announced! The votes from the jury, as well as from the mothers at the ‘Ouders van Nu’ jury day and all the online voters have each made up one third of the votes for the final decision. This year, the awards go to: Sirona by Cybex; the car seat that can be used from birth up to 18 kilograms, in which your child is seated with its back towards the front. The IVM 150 Smart Babymonitor by Alecto; the first plug and play video intercom that is operated using an app. The BeSafe Pregnancy IZI FIX; a car safety belt for pregnant women. The Original Ba; a bottle-holder that is easy to use for babies themselves from a young age. The Bednest; a cosleeper that enables you to let your baby sleep close to your bed in a safe way. Milestone Baby Cards; cards that enable you to visually capture the very first milestones your child achieves. And to conclude: the special ‘Ouders van Nu’ Consumer Award was for the YoYo buggy by BabyZen; a very easily foldable buggy that you can take with you as hand luggage in an airplane.
We are now getting ready for the presentation of the awards at the Negenmaandenbeurs (‘Nine Months Fair’), where the BabyStuf team will praise the winners. All nominees get the opportunity to demonstrate their product in the mornings. And perhaps even they will have to go to the makeup room during lunchtime, as AT5, the regional broadcasting company from Amsterdam, will attend the presentation to ask the winners what makes the winning products so special!
Life on the countryside is not always easy for women in countries far away from here. Men are often dominant in these communities, and on the countryside there is a shortage of nearly everything. Last year I went to the incredible Kenia to celebrate something with my family. There I could see with my own eyes what a good job the founders of Kenana Knitters do. 500 women learn to spin and knit and get a fair wage for it. Also medical care and training was taken care of. With this, they can increase their standards of living and that of their children. This also influences the entire community they live in. But most of all it is a social happening. I saw these women enjoy a chat while knitting these beautiful stuffed animals with their children playing around in the meantime.
Recently I received a press release from Renske de Gee about a similar initiative. Renske migrated to Thailand in 2010 and decided to start a business there. By the name of KiddyColors, she teaches women from Thailand and Burma to make gifts for children and baby showers. An example of the sort of gifts they make are these very nice decorations, which you can design yourself. The women work under good circumstances and get a fair pay. By doing this, the founder wants to make the life of these women a little brighter. Renske asked if we could give this some attention. I did not have to think twice about that!
I have two boys who have made me the most amazing creations with Lego. They’d rather not do that with their bony knees on the hard wooden floor in the living room, so often I put the coffee table aside so the container with Lego, which grew bigger and bigger after every birthday, could be overturn on the soft carpet in our sitting area. From the big pile of Lego blocks, wheels and figures they would make beautiful creations, from space ships to drag racers to pea fabrics! I find it great toys, good for their motor skills and their spatial awareness. In my opinion it is a shame that there are more and more pre-made packages on the market; fun to build with the step1 to step 20, 50 and even 100 steps, but it leaves no space for the children’s imagination. In my opinion you can never start too early with encouraging their imagination, and that also counts for girls! And now Lego come with a new series for toddlers: Duplo on wheels! It is a combination of building and rolling, so especially fun if your toddler starts walking.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to keep your baby calm in a packed waiting room or if you’re in line for the bakery. I always had my keys ready or a toy, but you have to find it in your bag and on a moment like that, you often can’t find it. Especially for these moments, Dushi designed the Mama & Kind necklace. The necklace is soft and safe, looks nice with bright colours, big figures, soft fabrics and sounds; enough to entertain your baby if necessary. They have done a lot of research about the safety of the product: there is no danger of loose beads, sharp edges or rough points. Because of the special clasp the necklace will be cut loose if it gets stuck somewhere. The necklace is nice enough to wear as a fashionable accessory with a single coloured dress or top, but my guess is that a small toddler also would love to wear this.