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Favorite Things - A Guide to Classic and Cool Toys, Gear, Gadgets and Other Fun Stuff For Kids

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Finding a beloved childhood toy in an attic, hearing an ageless lullaby or teaching our children to ride a bike can bring back nostalgic memories.
For future generations, here are a few of those favorite things, from timeless collectibles, heirlooms to destined-to-be classics and just great kids stuff for little ones and parents, and some even come in brown paper packages tied up with string.
Toys to Remember Since 1789 Holgate Toys has made fine wood playthings, right here in the USA, including the latest edition to their collection of Presidential planes, the Barack Obama Air Force One ($18, for ages 18 months and up).
Available at holgatetoy.
The Skuut wooden bike ($99, ages 2 to 5) is a first bike that kids will always remember, and with its durable design, it can be passed on child to child as a family grows.
It has no pedals and no training wheels, so children propel themselves by kicking off the ground, helping them to learn balance, steering, coordination and independence.
Available at REI and other retailers at skuut.
Girls in White Dresses with Blue Satin Sashes Cupcakes & Pastries is a new line of artsy, deliciously styled dresses for girls designed by a mom and inspired by her two-year old daughter.
The fabrics and details are contemporary and luxurious yet still affordable.
($58-$72, 12 months to eight years).
Available at Fred Segal and other retailers at cupcakesandpastries.
Schnitzel with Noodles Meal time for baby was never so stylish as with the Boon Flair Highchair ($229.
99, Up to 4 years/50 lbs.
), which combines innovative features with distinctive modern design.
The seamless BpA/PVC-free molded plastic seat makes clean-up easy, and the pneumatic pedestal base and gliding casters allow for effortless height adjustment and positioning, including under tables.
Available at Right Start and BabyGAP.
The Baby Dipper Feeding Set features a stay-put rubber grip base that makes it easier for toddlers to feed themselves and gives mom a free hand for other duties.
Transparent angled sides help mommy and baby see when food is all gone.
99, 6 months and up.
Order or find retailers at babydipper.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for alternatives to sugary treats and soft drinks for kids.
Now there's Power Ice, a delicious, healthy frozen snack that helps quench thirst and replace electrolytes with 0 grams of fat and cholesterol and no caffeine, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.
Lime Kicker and Orange Blast flavors come in packs of three for $1.
Available at drugstores and supermarkets nationwide.
Swashbuckling Slumber Party The Pirate Ship Toddler Bed ($289.
99) by Just Kids Stuff is a bed that lil' pirates dream of.
Built ot sturdy wood to last and painted by hand.
To boot, there's a matching Pirate Toy Chest ($230).
Available at artisticsensations.
com Kids will go overboard for the super cuite Olive Kids Pirates Toddler Bedset ($69.
99), including a reversible comforter of light-weight cotton, pillow sham and sheets with a pattern of ships and treasure maps, and four friendly pirates adorning the pillow cases.
Add a matchingPirate Floor Pillow ($45.
99) can be personalized with your little pirate's name.
Available at Olivekids.
Complete the buccaneer decor with wall prints from Art.
com with a variety of pirate-themed prints, like artist Joelle Dreidemy's the Pirate Ship, framed ($114.
99) or un-framed ($19.
After a day of high-seas adventure, your little pirate will slumber soundly in the Pirate's Life PJs shorts set ($32.
95, sizes 2-14), made with flame-resistant cotton and acrylic, or Pirates Raglan Pajamas ($42.
95, sizes 4-12) in a flame-resistant cotton/acrylic waffle fabric.
Both by Sara's Prints.
Available at Sleepyheads.
Along for the Ride For the hard-core kid, the Weplay Push Scooter ($224.
44, ages 4-8) is a heavy-duty ride built with materials that can take a beating, by children as well as outdoor elements.
Its wide three-wheel base provides a safe and steady platform to push off to help kids develop balance and scooting skills.
Available at MunchkinField.
Kids Will be Kids Get kids moving with Italtrike Outside Series Scooter ($69.
99, ages 3-5).
A wide non-slip foot plate and convenient foot brake make the scooter safe and easy to use, even for small children.
The plastic wheels have rubber tires and no spokes to protect from pinched feet.
Powder-coat paint on the steel tubing frame won't chip so your scooter looks good year after year.
Find dealers at Italitrike.
When is playwear truly play-wear? When its accessorized with touch-and-feel tags, appliqués, flaps and pockets to encourage interactive, tactile development, like the 100% cotton TAGGIES Colours Sweet Swirls 3-Piece Take Me Home outfit ($28.
00, sizes newborn to 12 months), with a secret friend hidden inside an opening in the jacket.
Available at taggies.
For the coolest styles for little dudes and little misses, Peek Aren't You Curious shops carry the latest hip and happening styles for babies, girls and boys, like the 100% washed cotton fleece USA Track Jacket ($58, sizes XS-2/3 to XL-10).
Locate stores at peekarentyoucurious.
Bring it On For a quick trip to the shopping mall, walk around the block, the comfy Kokopax Classic Carrier ($149.
99, up to 35 pounds), is the perfect backpack for everyday use.
With stylish designs on 100%-cotton canvas and adjustable light-weight aluminum frame and shoulder straps and padded waist support, it looks and feels great.
Includes a handy storage pocket and Earth-friendly carry bag.
Locate retailers at kokopax.
The Sunshine Kids Radian 80 Convertible Car Seat ($249.
98, 5 to 80 pounds) grows with your child, with safety features galore, including 5-point harness, side impact protection and adjustable cushions for bigger kids.
Thanks to its steel frame and narrow seat, you can place three across in a car, and it folds flat when not in use.
To insure you get all the safety benefits, use a professional safety seat technician, such as Infant Toddler Youth, itysafety.
com, to demonstrate the seat's features and instruct you on future adjustments.
Available at Target.
Organize yourself with Baggino ($149), the 3-in-1 Combination Diaper Bag-N-Changing Belt.
It coverts from a shoulder bag to a mommy tool belt, equipped with changing mat, wipes case and pockets and pouches for all your diapering supplies and personals.
Available at baggino.
Share and Share Alike When the playdate is over, make sure you get all the goodies you came with, with Mabel's Labels ($12 for 60 labels), stylish, waterproof labels that stick to just about anything and clearly mark your child's belongings.
Available at mabelslabels.
Music to Mom's Ears For busy moms with no time to download music for workouts or speedwalking stroller jaunts, there's the slotRadio player ($99) by SanDisk, a pre-loaded player with more than 1,000 Billboard hits from a variety of genres, including a chillout selection off mellow music for lulling little ones to sleep using a docking station.
Additional cards are $39.
Available online and at Radio Shack stores.
Plug in your iPod or Mp3 player in the iH12BR iHome Docking Station ($79.
99) to playlullabies in the nursery or music by your bedside.
The compact cube design features a lighted digital alarm clock and a remote control to change tunes or turn the player off when baby is finally snoozing.
Available at Marshalls/TJX or at ihomeaudio.
Tired of children's songs about duckies and rainbows? Plug into Ziggy Marley's Family Time CD ($13) with some cool kids melodies with collaborators mom and dad will love like Paul Simon, Laurie Berkner, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jack Johnson and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Available at ziggymarley.
In Touch on the Go It's no kid's toy, but the Blackberry Bold 9000 sure is fun, and it keeps mom and dad connected, by phone, email and Internet, so they can spend quality family time away from the office without losing touch with work.
With a built-in camera 2 MP and MicroSD slot you can capture and keep plenty of family photos, and GPS, Wi-Fi music and news feeds and other cool apps, even games, inform and entertain on the go.
Protect your smartphone investment with Otterbox custom cases ($19.
95 to $49.
95) that shield from inquisitive little hands to dirt, dust, scratches, bumps, drops and other daily mishaps, from the sleek silicone skin of the Impact series to the heavy-duty shell of the Defender series, your device is covered.
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