Monday, May 19, 2008

Maiden America

DING DING DING updated to add that I tossed your names in a cup and pulled out PM and Tabba. Email me your addy's and i'll send them off!

I had the opportunity to review Maiden America barrettes courtesy of the fine women at Parent Blogger Network recently. I wanted to review them for 2 reasons: 1. M's hair is so thick and curly I have a hard time getting barrettes to actually hold onto her hair and 2. because they are handmade by moms for moms without the use of toxic glue.

I ordered several barrettes but my favorites were the Ladybug and the Rosette because they happened to be M's favorite ones, she's worn each of them all week long (now if I could only get her to understand that they don't really match when worn at the same time). They are made very well and didn't slip out of her hair. They also have great clasps so M was unable to take them out herself, which meant I could send her to school and she'd actually come home with it still in her hair.

These barrettes are much fancier than anything else we've ever had. I pride us girls on being tomboys and normally these aren't something we'd choose because of all the flowers and jewels but M's been in a serious princess phase for the past several months, she insists on only wearing dresses and spends a long time picking out the "jewelry" that matches each outfit out of a pile of old beads and hand me downs, something I will continue to shake my head at every single day and yet force myself to allow, her first self expressions while different from my own are hers just the same.

I think these would make lovely gifts for girls in a wedding or for you upscale mamas who dress your kids to the nines. In fact, I'd like to show you what I'm talking about so I'm raffling off two of the smaller ones so if you are interested in checking them out leave me a comment and I'll throw your names in a hat tomorrow and let you know who won.

Monday, May 5, 2008

bamboo, who knew?

I had the opportunity to review the Bamboo Collection Rapelli Game from Discovery Channel Store courtesy of ParentBloggers recently. I'd originally jumped at the chance to review this game because it's made of all natural eco-friendly materials (100% bamboo) and I was happy to see the wooden pieces and dice and the bamboo stand.
The Rapelli game is cute, a bamboo "tree" with holes in it that you fill with little colored wooden caterpillars which are then pulled out of the holes depending on the roll of the dice. The game says it's for kids ages 4 and up and M is only 3.5, so some of the concepts were a bit hard for her to understand which was our issue and not the product, but as an adult I felt the directions could have been clearer too. A couple of things were confusing: 1. how many times could each player roll the dice on his/her turn and 2. the symbols on the dice.

I think the first point could have been easily resolved with a bit more clarity in the directions and the second point was more conceptual, perhaps there would have been a different way to direct the caterpillars back and forth in the holes than needing to decipher multiple arrows going in two different directions. It wasn't a big deal but I do think M would need to be quite a bit older before she could understand the dice by herself.

Overall the concept was terrific and it was a fun game for the three of us to play together. All I suggest is that the directions could use some fine tuning in order to make the game a bit clearer to the adults so the adults can more clearly explain the game before the little people get too impatient and start throwing the little caterpillars around the room.