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Happy Holidays from Mamanista!

Happy Holidays from Mamanista!

This has been an exciting year and we hope you have enjoyed our posts.  In 2010, we will continue to bring you reviews of cool baby gear, fashionable children’s clothing and accessories, educational toys, and other finds for mom, baby, and the whole family. We also want to highlight more charitable efforts as part of the Bloganthropy project. Because looking at stuff is neat, winning stuff is fun, and giving stuff to people in need is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chanukah, Charity, Christmas, Featured

Supporting The Shop Around the Corner

Supporting The Shop Around the Corner

Looking for a last-minute Hanukkah present or last-minute Christmas present? Visit your local toy store! There are so many benefits to shopping locally. One of the big benefits: education. Local stores provide personalized service. I have a great relationship with my local store owner, and I have appreciated some of their tips and product recommendations. My neighborhood toy store carries unique educational toys. But I bet you didn’t know that you are actually supporting your local schools … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Educational, Featured, Gift Ideas, Hip Find, Play, School Aged Children, Socially Conscious

Driving in my car…Beep, Beep!

The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe is, hands down, the most popular toy at our play dates. We’ve been able to teach the toddlers and preschoolers to line up, inspired by their desire for a turn at the Cozy Coupe. This 30th Anniversary edition has bright yellow and red primary colors, an appealing cartoon-style face, a steering wheel, a “car key”, gas tank, a door that opens and shuts, and a removable floor for infants who are too … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Featured, Pre-schoolers, Ride-Ons, School Aged Children, Toddlers

Educational Toy Awards

As a mom and an educational consultant, I believe in the power of play. A few carefully chosen toys can boost creativity and problem solving–here are a few of our top picks this year.  With the best educational toys, your children will not even realize how much they are learning! Preschoolers on up will enjoy solving the picture puzzle on these simple, yet clever Backyard Buddy Puzzle Blocks from ImagiPLAY (Wild Dill or Amazon – … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Gift Guides, Language, Learning, Reading, Toys (12-24 M), Toys (All Ages), Toys (Pre-School), Toys (School Age)

Best Ride-Ons (Hottest Holiday Toys Awards)

Ride-ons are toy classics–right up there with blogs and dolls. As soon as man invented the wheel, mom and dad probably thought up the ride-on. We like ride-ons that spark the imagination and get kids moving–here are our picks for Award Winning Ride-Ons from our Hottest Holiday Toys. Kids love to scoot around on ride-ons, building independence and their physical coordination and strength. Ride-ons can be well-crafted, wooden, heirloom toys and this Giraffe Scoot-a-Long … Read entire article »

Filed under: Baby Gifts, Featured, Gift Guides, Pre-schoolers, Ride-Ons, School Aged Children, Toddlers

Crazy for Cars

Crazy for Cars

If your little ones are crazy for cars, make their holiday dreams come true with this line of exclusive cars from RosieHippo.com. RosieHippo.com is a top source for organic toys, wooden toys and handcrafted quality toys. All of the toys have been carefully selected by owner Kim Bloom. Kim is a mom, and the line of exclusive cars and trucks came from her son Ethan’s requests. My son has the small Rosie Hippo Recycling Truck toy ($6). … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Coupons, Featured, Gift Ideas, Hip Find, Play, Pre-schoolers, School Aged Children, Toys (All Ages)

Stop Relationship Abuse and Relational Aggression

Stop Relationship Abuse and Relational Aggression

Love is not abuse. Too often, however, people become entangled in abusive relationships they mistake for love.  Having seen high school from two sides now (as a student and then as a teacher), I know that this cycle of violence begins early for many of our teens. When I got the invitation to Liz Claiborne’s “Its Time To Talk Day” and realized I might not be able to go, I immediately forwarded it to my college … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Featured, School Aged Children, Women's Issues

Ready, Set, Sleep – A Super-Light and Easy to Set-Up Travel Crib

Ready, Set, Sleep – A Super-Light and Easy to Set-Up Travel Crib

When my first child was born, I went on a quest for the lightest playard/Travel Crib available. Since then, some new lightweight cribs have come on the market but assembly was a challenge. Now, BabyBjorn has a new entry into the lightweight travel crib category.  BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light has a simple “one movement” assembly, making it an innovative new baby gear offering. I have not had the opportunity to try out the BabyBjorn Travel … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Featured, Playards, Travel

Best Push and Pull Toys

This is one of my favorite categories of toy. My mom recently brought out an old pull toy of mine and it is a classic that just keeps on giving.  Push and pull toys delight babies, amuse toddlers, and occupy preschoolers.  Some, like the sophisticated and clever mix-and-match Automoblox, are collectibles suited for older children, teens, and even adults. The selections from our Hottest Holiday Toys Awards are engaging, interactive, and made from high-quality … Read entire article »

Filed under: 06-12 Months, 12-18 Months, Featured, Gift Guides, Pre-schoolers, Push Toys, School Aged Children, Toddlers, Toys (06-12 M), Toys (12-24 M), Toys (Pre-School), Toys (School Age)

LeapFrog Adds Up to Educational Fun

LeapFrog Adds Up to Educational Fun

Kids love tracing. My daughter will sit there filling page after page, tracing numbers and letters.  In an attempt to save a few trees, I got her a dry-erase book for copying her letters and numbers.  Which works pretty well until she forgets to clean it or the pen dries out or her baby brother gets ahold of the marker and tries to eat it. Even better? The LeapFrog Scribble & Write which they sent me … Read entire article »

Filed under: Contests, Counting, Featured, Language, Learning, Pre-schoolers, Reading, Toddlers, Toys (12-24 M), Toys (Pre-School), Toys (School Age)