Find a Tadpole

Gifted Gift Giving for the Younger Set

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soft Rocker

Kids are so noisy. Really, really noisy. In fact, if it's a contest between one of those requisite NYC jackhammers pounding away on a busy corner or a houseful of kids, I might have to opt for the jackhammer as less painful to the ear. My point? Kids are noisy enough by themselves; they need no noisemaking toys of any kind.

Noisemaking toys include musical ones, at least until the kid can take lessons and see music as a serious pursuit. But I'm a not a big enough meanie to disturb their pretend play. That's why this rockin' guitar, made of fabric and stuffing, is so ideal. It comes complete with a handy strap for hanging and strumming. It's covered with skulls and crossbones, giving it a folksy edginess, like a guitar quilted by Heavy Metal Grandma. And, best of all, when the kid wants to really stay in character and wreck his or her "hotel room," this oversized pillow can't do much damage. So let the little wailers channel Pete Townsend anytime they'd like.

Seriously, this is so superior to the plastic noisemakers! Find it at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Totally Rockin' Totes

Once your little girl gets to be around seven or so, she has stuff. Stuff for camp, stuff for school, stuff for sleepovers, sports and just hauling around town. She's loaded for bear and bearing life's essentials. The one thing you know for sure: you don't want to get stuck carrying her stuff.

So take a look at these super cool metallic totes. Sure, they're not Louis Vuitton (if they were, and you were considering purchasing them for your kid, you'd be an idiot, no?), but they combine a classic simplicity of shape with that metallic flash girls covet. That means she'll be able to locate her "stuff" with a minimal amount of fuss, while keeping her fashion I.Q. at high levels.

And did I mention the price? At just ten bucks a pop, these bags are cheap enough to buy in multiples. They'd also make a great "wrapping" for a girl's birthday gift. See them at It's the ultimate carry all for the shiny happy girl in your life.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Summer Romper Room

There are certain fashion items that only look good on kids, but are dragged out to be sold to adults anyway (case in point: my Lilly Pulitzer entry). The romper certainly fits that category. Recently, I was in a store and the saleswoman held up a romper for my inspection. I had to inform that I was too old to wear that; that I was too old to wear a romper at 20.

Now, a romper on a little girl is a completely different matter. Take this romper, from Chasing Fireflies. Done in basic black, its off the shoulder design (with smart straps to keep the thing on) transforms the romper from a preschool item to elegance. Really, this romper looks like Halston for little girls. It's adorable. And it's practical, too. My girl doesn't like skirts or dresses anymore (she has a tendency to end up upside down), so the shorts aspect of romper really work for her. Once she's upright again, she'll look femme and ready for dinner.

I've only seen this fashionista item at It's $48, which might seem steep, until you realize that it's a complete outfit she can do anything in. All she needs now are some gladiator sandals and she's ready for action.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Magnetic Blockage

While every new parent runs around like a chicken with its head cut off, reading the latest research on childhood development and looking for the toy to transform Junior into the next generation's great genius, the basic wisdom of the ages gets lost in the frenzy.

I'm talking about the best toy for kids ever: blocks. Blocks are a two fold toy, boosting both motor skills and brainpower. They are simple and reliable. They can even be esthetically pleasing. And these blocks by Tegu incorporate a new wrinkle: magnets. The magnets hidden in the blocks allow building at new angles and altitudes. Junior can build anything from little people (above) to operational vehicles and truly suspended suspension bridges. Now that's an educational toy! Plus, Tegu blocks are decorative enough for all you fussy parents in your pristine mid-century houses (I'll let you have your delusions of decor for the time being).

Tegu tends to sell out fast; they just got a shipment in and they're probably going to sell out soon. Check them out at And get started on building a blockade.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You'll Never Find a Cuter Scooter

Although The Toad came of age in the vile '80s, and ultimately eschewed ladylike preppie prints for goth hair and ripped jeans, those pink and green hues still hold some appeal. And if you have a little girl, the east coast siren call of prepdom becomes even more irresistible.

Because, let's face facts: if you tried to don some loudly patterned mini skort and wander down your main drag, you'd just look like an ass. Your eight to ten year old girl, on the other hand, will look simply adorable. Angelic. Ready for the primetime tennis club action. And that's why this Lilly Pulitzer printed "scooter" (a polite WASP word for "skort") is so perfect. Made in mini-kiddie sizes, it perfectly displays your girl's cute dimpled knees in an innocent way. Plus, she can still play tennis and hang upside down in the thing.

The Lilly Pulitzer scooter comes in two styles, but this one is best (the other boasts bows, which cannot be worn with true irony). Find this current release of a preppie relic at

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Developmental Dilemmas Solved By the Book

Childhood is often hard on everyone. The kid is constantly grappling with the new, the challenging, the potentially terrifying. And the parents are dealing with constant change and conflict.

Here's a handy tool to help guide your child through difficult moments. They're books, but not books for you. Instead, the Change is Strange book series gives your kid a personalized guide through major milestones, such as giving up the pacifier, dealing with the parents going away for much needed r&r, or adjusting to the reality of a new sibling on the way. The web site makes the process simple: just choose the book you'd like, fill out the online form, and a book which directly reflects your kid's life arrives in the mail. For instance, the pacifier volume boasts your child's name, nickname for their "binky," and plenty of other pertinent info. And given a child's deep self-involvement, they're far more likely to respond to this personalized plea for stoppage than from some ordinary picture book written for the immature masses.

Check out all the titles on Because sometimes, it's best to solve problems by the book.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FREE Kid-Friendly Haggadah!

Passover is getting ready to pass over, and while there's much to look forward to in terms of the Passover Seder, the kids squirming in agony isn't one of them. The whole process is just baffling to the little ones, especially the all important Haggadah. Incomprehensible!

Until now. Finally, there's a kid-friendly Haggadah that makes the Seder a truly family friendly activity (as long as you're not too much of a traditionalist). Introducing My Haggadah: Made It Myself, a kid version of the weighty tome filled with accessible activities and explanations. Plus, in its PDF downloadable format, it's FREE! Yes, you heard right: FREE. You can download it, print the puppies out, copy them, and bring them to your Seder for all kids to enjoy. What a perfect price for Passover peace.

Go to and download your copy today. Now all you need to do is hide the matzoh and kick back with the soup and brisket.