I turned 45 years old yesterday, which is my excuse for not posting a toy. I am finding 45 a very hard birthday. It may have something to do with my dad turning 70 and my husband turning 50. Or it may have to do with the new Candace Bushnell's book which states within the first chapter or two that 45 is middle-aged. (I guess I should have picked another book to read on my birthday).
So in my reminiscing, I looked back at the time at spent with my daughter who is almost twelve and 5'2" and remembering all of the good picture books we read together. That led me to remember all of the great chapter books that I read in elementary, middle and high school--all of the books that I am now suggesting to my daughter that she won't read. After all, they are her mother's suggestions. : )
Therefore, in honor of my 45th birthday, my daughter and I made a list of 45 of our favorite picture books and I made a list of my 45 favorite chapter books. I hope these books will bring fond memories to you or give you ideas for the future. At the Let Kids Play website is also a list of chapter books my 12 year old recommends--these are probably the ones that will get smiles from your tweens this holiday.
I would love to hear what books you have enjoyed with your children or that you remember fondly.
Tomorrow, I promise a really special toy. The lists are belowe
Our Favorite Picture Books (with a few early chapter books thrown in)
My Favorite Childhood Chapter Books
1. From The Mixed-up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
2. Harriet the Spy
3. Free to Be...You and Me
4. The Phantom Tollbooth
5. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
6. Charlotte's Web
7 The Secret Garden
8 Johnny Tremain
10 All-of-a-kind Family (entire series, except last book)
11 About the B'nai Bagels
12 A Little Princess
15 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
16 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
17 Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
18 Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
20 Anne of Green Gables (entire series)
21 Little Women
22 Rose in Bloom A Sequel to Eight Cousins
23 An Old-Fashioned Girl
24 Eight Cousins
25 Little Men
26 Jo's Boys
27 Little House in the Big Woods (the entire series)
28 A Bintel Brief: Sixty Years of
29 Where the Sidewalk Ends
30 First Term at Malory Towers (entire series)
31 The Twins at St.Clare's (entire series)
32 The Good Earth
33 The Chosen
34 My Name Is Asher Lev
35 The Promise
39 Advise and Consent
40. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown) (all of them)
41. The Hundred Dresses
42 Gone with the Wind
43 Follow My Leader
44 A Light in the Attic
45 Forever . . .
Here is another great innovative toy manufacturer, Active People. They make Babals. What in the world is a Babal you ask? Well, Babal is a ball. No wait, it is two balls. No wait, it's a block to stack. It can't possibly be all those things, but it is.
According Babal USA's website "Like much of what is most interesting and attractive to children, Babal is simple and also surprising. Developed by Swiss toy designer Alex Hochstrasser, it is one ball which is actually two balls. In a large ball of one color there is a recessed dimple which snugly holds a second small ball of contrasting color.
When the two are fitted together, Babal rolls and bounces just like all balls do. When the small ball is removed, however, unexpected things happen. When set on its dimple, the big ball becomes both stationary and stackable. Multiple big balls can be stacked to make a towernot something one expects to do with balls. The smooth, nestability of the small ball into the larger ball provides lots of fun simply fitting them together.
Nesting, bouncing, catching, balancing, or bowling Babal is designed to stimulate creative play, nurture hand-eye coordination, promote the development of motor skills, and spur the imagination. Provides hours of fun, for kids solo or in groups indoors and out. Multiple Babals multiply the fun."
Go to my website and check out the Babels, they are under balls. Each one costs less than $15. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about another amazing Active People toy.
There is really no way to explain Bilibo (which as I promised comes from Active People), except to say it is the most open-ended toy I have ever seen.
Here is what it says on the Amazon product description, "Designed in Switzerland, this toy has won countless awards for design and play value. Its simplicity is deceptive and modeled after extensive study of children's play patterns. Bilibo is a completely open-ended toy that stimulates a child's imagination. It can be a helmet, sit and spin, doll cradle, train tunnel, shovel, water basin and much more! Let your imagination run wild! Nearly indestructible, suitable for indoors and outdoors."
So here is a video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYMWgazSrH4 Once you watch the video, you will be wanting to know where you can buy this great toy, go right to the letkidsplay website. The larger ones cost a around $28 and the mini's cost a little over $10.
More Active People toys tomorrow.