A couple of weeks ago I spent the day at Toy Fair New York 2019 and phew, it was a BIG day! This was my 3rd year in a row attending Toy Fair New York, which is only open to toy makers & distributers, buyers, and media. Since it's not open for you guys, the consumers, I always feel responsible and excited to walk the expo floor, booth by booth, hours on end, to find the new, exciting, and mind blowing products new to the market or coming soon. Many of these will be the hottest toys for Christmas 2019, and will be on all of your kids' wish lists! For the kids at heart out there, there are some great toys for you, too, as well as some non-toy products!! So, watch my Toy Fair New York highlights video below featuring my picks for the BEST TOYS OF 2019, and keep reading below that for some photos and details of a select few items from the video (some affiliate links are included, which provide our blog with a small comission from items you purchase - thank you)!
BEST ACTIVE TOYS:
BEST ARTS & CRAFTS TOYS:
BEST BABY & TODDLER TOYS:
BEST BOOKS & READING TOYS:
BEST COMPOUND TOYS:
BEST COOKING TOYS:
BEST PRETEND PLAY TOYS:
BEST PLUSHY TOYS:
BEST TRAVEL TOYS & PRODUCTS:
BEST VIDEO GAME & TECH TOYS:
OTHER HOT ITEMS (not toys):
In case you missed my Best Toys for 2018 video from Toy Fair New York last year, watch it below, LOTS of gooooooood stuff!
Tiny Hideaways Kids' Teepee Tent
If you hadn't heard, teepee tents are all the rage these days! Kids love what a fun secret space they make, and parents love how visually appealing and easy to store they are! We recently got our first one and I honestly don't know who loves it more, me or my kids!! HA!
There are several of brands out there making teepees, heck you can even make your own if you love a good DIY project, but in the end I reached out to Tiny Hideaways and couldn't be happier!!
Here are some features we are loving about our Tiny Hideaways Teepee Tent:
Comes in 4 color options, thick white stripes with pink, grey, navy, or turquoise.
Easy to assemble and disassemble!
Each of the 4 poles actually consists of 2 separate shorter wooden poles (New Zealand pine) connected by a plastic piece. Connect them all, feed through the slots in the tent canvas, tie together at the top, and you're done! 10 minutes tops! Spread the poles out and it's ready to play in! Here's my visual assembly guide. Pro tip: assemble WITHOUT your kids' "help"... trust me... it'll be quicker and safer LOL, look at #6 and you'll see what I mean...
Easy to store!
Simply scoop it up and balance it in the corner of the room for quick storage (shown below left), or you can disassemble it in minutes and throw it in its canvas carry bag for transport (below right).
Built in Peek-a-boo Window
Door that closes with velcro and can be tied open
Good for a multitude of ages and uses!
Whether a play center for a pre-crawling baby, a creative imagination zone for a toddler, a reading nook and fun sleep over place for an older child, or even a discreet place to stash the toys when quickly cleaning up, the possibilities for a teepee tent are endless!! It is not waterproof or machine washable, however, so it's recommended for indoor use only.
The wooden feet are covered by the canvas, so it shouldn't scratch up hardwood floors. That said, it should be noted that the teepee does not have a way to lock open in place... when our kids are rough housing it does scoot and the legs can be pushed together so if you're not watching out it can come crashing down unexpectedly. So, especially if you have little ones, please use under adult supervision!
We are loving our Tiny Hideaways teepee, and think you will, too!! You can purchase one on Amazon (affiliate link) for $199 (currently on sale for $139), and you can enter to win one along with 7 other prizes in my $350+ value Unique Gift Guide & Giveaway (ending December 12)!!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased
Razor Jr. Kix Scooter
I recently did a post for Mommy Nearest outlining the best first bikes and rides for toddlers and preschoolers. It was all through research and recommendations, but I hadn't had the chance to personally check any of them out yet, and was limited to being able to only list one in each category (push trike, convertible trike-bike, balance bike, scooter). Well, now I'm excited to be able to actually review one!!
Everyone is familiar with the brand Razor, it's pretty much THE top brand of scooters. But did you know they have a Junior line? That's right! Razor Jr. has a vast array of amazing ride-ons and scooters for little ones as young as 18 months, from 3-wheeled scooters with monster hands or chalk scribbling from the back to Twisti bugs and mini mopeds!
Despite my son being under the recommended age of 3, we decided to go ahead and get him the Razor Jr. Kix Scooter. It has 2 wheels in the front, one in the back, an extra-wide slip-resistant deck, and tilt-to-turn design. It's made of high quality steel, aluminum, and plastic and does need some assembly if you order it online. For someone who is completely baffled by most Ikea instructions, I was really proud I could put this one together all by myself! It comes with all the screws and tools necessary, and took me about 10 minutes to put together before we were ready to roll!
My son couldn't have been more excited to take it for a spin, and asks to ride his "cooter" every day. He definitely needs a LOT of practice, but I'm really excited that this scooter will see him through at least a couple of years of scooting fun! And its storage footprint is MUCH smaller than the push-trike we'd been borrowing from a friend, so that's a big bonus (note: they do make a folding scooter which would be even easier to store)!!
He scoots along, then he'll put his feet on either side and kind of walk/run with it between his legs, and then I have him hop up on it and I push him until my back can't take that anymore haha! It's lots of fun and great quality!! The board is super grippy and wide enough for him to have both feet on it side-by-side, and the tilt-to-turn function is really great, though he doesn't quite understand how it works just yet. It's also very light which is great because I usually end up carrying it home after he's scootered out!
Here's Kenzo on his Kix in live action:
Sudsy Dough Moldable Bath Soap
What if I were to tell you there was a new soap out there that was just as much fun as any bath toy, or actually, MORE fun!? Well... there is!!! Or, actually, there probably will be. That's right, Sudsy Dough moldable bath soap is running a month long Kickstarter campaign and if they get enough funding, Sudsy Dough will be out there in all its glory for your family to buy and enjoy!! Sorry, I'm a bit over excited here, let me tell you why...
What's so cool about Sudsy Dough:
Amazing right?? So what are you waiting for?? Go check out their Kickstarter page... NOW!! :)
Giveaway: The Calla Toddler Pillow
We are a co-sleeping family. It started when my son was about 18 months (see my story on Mommy Nearest) when we realized bringing our son into our room and attaching his crib to our bed "sidecar" style meant a full night's rest for all three of us. Now, I couldn't be happier with our situation! Except... my son is a pillow thief!! About halfway through the night he'll roll or crawl his way into our bed and basically push me off of my pillow and use it himself. If I dare try to reclaim it, all hell breaks loose! So, I've been sleeping without a pillow half the night for a couple of months now. It could be worse. At least I'm sleeping! But it got me thinking: isn't he about ready for his own pillow?
Most pediatricians and professionals recommend waiting until a child is at least 2 years old before allowing ANYthing into the crib, from pillow to blanket to stuffed animal. I've adhered to this for the most part so far, but my son is 22 months old and I figure we're close enough! I did some research and got what I found to be one of the best toddler pillows on the market...
So what makes the Calla Toddler Pillow so awesome!?
My first thought upon opening it was, awwwww, how cute. It's like a mini pillow (13" x 18" - great for toddlers, or even as an adult's travel pillow). It was really soft and fluffy, a natural cream color (not all bleached and processed in appearance like most pillows), and there were no chemical smells or anything, phew! Also, the following were included and a nice reminder that the Calla Toddler Pillow is a family-business - love that!!
My only problem is now I have to find a pillow case that fits it. For now we have a regular sized pillow case on it, which is fine. I might try a t-shirt on it as well. I feel like a snug fit is probably safer.
Also, it should be noted that while the cover (i.e. the part that comes directly in contact with your child's face for 12 hours a night) is made of organic cotton, the filling is not. But that doesn't mean the filler is all chemicals and baddies. Quite the opposite. The filler is a special blend of Calla Polyester Cluster Fiber. It's hypoallergenic, washable and non-aromatic. Jeremy Mentz, half of the parenting duo behind the Calla Pillow explains, "Unfortunately there are no organic filling options for toddlers that are washable, hypoallergenic, and non-aromatic...so we did our best to match form with function. This might be a deal breaker for some parents, but we've found most parents (and their kids) appreciate the practicality."
So, what's my toddler think about it? As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words...
And the best news? He slept on it the whole night!! My pillow is mine again!!! Hooray!!!
Oh wait, I lied, that's not the best news... The best news is that you can enter below for a chance to win your very own Calla Toddler Pillow (you must be 18 or over and a resident of the US to enter, giveaway will end at 11:59PM EST on Thursday, November 6 and winner will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail)! If you can't wait, you can buy one on Amazon for $49.99 (don't forget to add code "NU8IBVXP" for 15% off! valid through the end of the year).
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
This post marks the beginning of a new series which will feature my favorite things for toddlers, as I discover and fall in love with them! Unless otherwise noted (at the bottom of the post), none of the "Toddler Faves" posts are sponsored or in any way tied to the brand or any company.
Without further ado, my first Toddler Fave is...
Why is this a Toddler Fave?
I got our set EUC on the local recycle group I created on Facebook, but you can get it for $9.99 on Amazon, click the image below and away you go!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)