It seems that I have passed the stage in life that requires bridesmaid dresses galore and into the phase where diapers and pacifiers are abundant. There was a two-year period when it seemed I received that special “We’re engaged” phone call every weekend; now it’s the weekday “We’re having a baby!” I cry after every single announcement—I tell you, there is just something about a baby that brings forth the waterworks in me. Three particularly close friends just welcomed their first children into the world, and my cousin did as well. In the last three months, three very close friends called with the exciting news that they are expecting. Being across the country is difficult when there are new babies to hold in Alabama! I’m missing baby showers, delivery rooms, and those sweet babies.
The distance brought on the decision that I’m going to make sure to be the cool “aunt” that sends toys, books, games, etc. all the way from New York City. And after meeting these precious babies for the first time, I only want to send more. I did, however, want to give gifts that will set me apart from all of the other adoring friends and family members, and luckily, my job in the toy industry gives me the inside scoop on the neatest and newest play things for babies.
The Shake ‘n Dance Puppy by Blue Box is a dancing puppy that comes with a rattling shaker. The puppy shakes his adorable, little tail at the sound of the shaker. I can see the grins on their chubby baby faces now.
Magical Night by Tiny Love is a mobile that grows with the baby to fit developmental stages. I love knowing that a toy will stick around for longer than a season! Once a baby has passed the mobile stage, turn it into an adorable ceiling projector and music box. Even the crib becomes a tabletop nightlight.
The Learn With Me Color Fun Fishbowl by The Learning Journey is just too cute. The talking fishbowl has “discovery” and “find it” modes that teach kids to spot colors as they put the colored fish in and take them back out at the bowl’s color request. It’s perfect for fun and early development. If it keeps me entertained, I know it will keep a new learner engaged.
My Pal Scout and My Pal Violet by Leapfrog are soft, plush puppies that connect to the computer so you can customize the music and personalize the learning with your child’s name and favorite food, animal, and color. The cute little buddies will teach your child about feelings, daily routines, numbers, words, and time. I love this because it’s appropriate for even the youngest learner.