Toronto - MOMS & KIDS
June 17th, 2011
Not everyone is a fan of games at a baby shower, but we need to keep the mom-to-be entertained while we drink all her champagne.
1. Match the celebrity and their baby. Print out lists of celebrities and their baby’s (ridiculous) names, ask the players to match each child with their parent. The one with the most correct matches wins. Do you know who Bear Blu, Moon Unit, and Princess Tiaamii’s parents are? The fun begins….
2. Decorate onesies while mom-to-be opens gifts. Unwrapping presents can take a long time, so provide a few sets of plain onesies and let the guests personalize an outfit for the baby. Non-toxic fabric paints and printed fabrics (for appliqués) make for some very memorable onesies.
3. Baby bingo. A great opportunity to hand out some fun little prizes, you could make your own bingo cards, or go the easy route and order these cute ones from Etsy. We love nail polishes or antique tea cups and saucers as prizes, and if many of the guests aren’t parents yet, baby making kits (sexy panties) are fun too.
June 10th, 2011
If it's "early to bed, early to rise" for most people, then it's "never to bed, always to rise" for new moms.
You may not have the little one sleeping through the night quite yet, but Canadian-made sleep sacks by Big Fat Hen will at least keep them comfy while they learn to doze for more than two hours at a time. Made with eco-friendly fabrics, these sleeveless sacks unzip easily for diaper changes and are soft inside and out. Made for babie 0-18 months, they come in three cute designs (yellow chicks, pink piggies and green owls) and hold up well in the wash.
And one day soon, the sun will rise before you. We promise. —MT
$79.90 at www.bigfathen.ca
June 3rd, 2011
When we discovered the Vancouver-based designers Akimbo, who uses great Euro fabrics to make washable covers for their Mung-bean-filled toys, we called them up to brainstorm all their great creative and developmental uses:
1. Ask family members to balance one on their head all through dinner, thus perfecting posture.
2. Create a target toss for your kids, with high and low targets for age 2 to adult and see how many different ways you can throw them.
3. Throw the beanbags, pat your tummy and your head before catching them.
4. Put them in the freezer for instant “owie” relief.
6. Use a stack of them as a chic doorstop to the playroom.
7. Toss them back and forth with different emotions (happy, sad, silly, sleepy).
8. Toss beanbag into the air, do a pirouette, catch.
9. While your kids lounge on their FatBoys, their dolls can lounge on these.
10. Beaning your brother over the head.
$20 for set of three at Dilly Dally, 1161 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, 604-252-9727, www.dillydallykids.ca and Molly’s Furniture Salad, 4055 Macdonald St., Vancouver, 604-732-7712, www.furnituresalad.ca or email email@example.com
May 27th, 2011
In many hip 'hoods, it's easier to buy a crystal-studded chihuahua collar than a sippy cup.
New boutique Saf & Benjamin, opened by a Vancouver mom frustrated by the lack of baby and kid goods available in her Yaletown neighbourhood, stocks a fantastic—and practical—selection of Tawna Hill natural skin care products and pieces from Canadian lines, like Mini Mioche hoodies, Escargot cowboy shirts and 3 Sprouts storage bins and wall organizers.
See, there's room for the four-legged and two-legged babies... just try not to stare when you spot a poodle in a pram.
Shop the new online boutique or in-store: Saf & Benjamin, 1081 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver, www.safandbenjamin.com
May 20th, 2011
Designing a nursery is easy. There is a ton of choice, and let’s face it, babies don’t really notice their rooms.
Decor gets more complicated for children and teens. Kids need a space that reflects their personality and style, but without compromising the taste of their parents. Which is why it came as great news that PB Teen now ships internationally.
The PB stands for Pottery Barn, and the stock reflects that: stylish and reasonably priced. The site sells great bedding and bathroom accessories but the study spaces are probably our favourite.
Now you won’t feel bad for sending them to their room. —ASI
May 14th, 2011
While we hope our sons grow up to be responsible, successful men, we want them to enjoy being kids while they can. Even if that means dealing with a mini rebellious streak.
Red Dragon Apparel recently expanded its youth range, and kids with a bit of attitude will wear these pieces with pride. What started in 1988 as a skate gang founded by a group of 12-year-old boys in North Vancouver (they must have been so cute back then), RDS has evolved into one of the most well-known cult skateboard clothing labels in the world.
Some devoted fans even have the brand logo tattooed on their body. But of course our boys wouldn’t do something silly like that!
T-shirts from $26, hoodies from $49. Available at the North Vancouver flagship store, 201 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver, 604-990-4737. Find national retailers here.
May 6th, 2011
Picking toys up off the living room floor is inevitable, but aesthetically pleasing toys make the job much more enjoyable.
P’Kolino started as a project between two dads who wanted to improve play at home. Their design philosophy is “playfully smart,” which means all of their children’s toys are fun and engaging—and look good, too.
Our favourite is the multi-solution shape puzzle ($20, pictured), which is both challenging and entertaining because there are a multitude of solutions, unlike a standard puzzle. Even smarter is that each piece is non-toxic and durable.
Just don't try to pronounce the name. —ASI
April 29th, 2011
When you're faced with planes, trains and automobiles with kids in tow, dragging along their 100-piece Playmobile set just isn't in the cards. And until they learn Gin Rummy, you'll need another solution.
Hello Books for boys and girls (ages 4-7) are extremely light and compact (think the size and weight of a greeting card) yet accordion out into an interactive book with buildable stickers for kids to create their own stories.
"Once upon a time there was a little Princess who always ate her vegetables, put her gowns in the laundry and went to bed on time...."
Now that's what I call fiction. —SB
From $10.99 at www.raspberrykids.com
April 21st, 2011
Our childhood discomfort in the dental chair has been replaced by slick offices with personal TVs and spa-like facilities—but it all starts with the daily brush.
Just in time for Earth Day we tested a sustainable, compostable, biodegradable dental line, Clean Idea. Designed in Vancouver and made from veggies like potatoes, corn, tapioca and wheat, the children's toothbrush ($3.99) has soft bristles and a handle designed especially for small hands, while the kid's ecoflosser is topped with a Mr. Molar cartoon.
We'll get over our headgear one day.
For national retailers, click here.
April 15th, 2011
It’s time for the little piggies to be free.
The adorable Salt Water Sandals, seen on stylish celeb kids including Suri Cruise and Matilda Ledger, are now available in Canada—and so cute we can hardly stand it.
Quality crafted in a rainbow of 14 colours from bright lime to shiny champagne, the four styles (Original, Sea Wee, Surfer and Sweetheart) range from infant to tween sizes and have a classic, European look that never goes out of style.
Even if she wants to wear them with a tutu and Dora tee. —MT