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Chicago’s Best Stuff For Toddlers

October 5, 2010 11:26 PM

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Chicago's Best Stuff For Toddlers

Chicago’s Best Stuff For Toddlers

Chicago's Best Stuff For Toddlers

Chicago's Best Stuff For Toddlers

Toddlers have big hearts and relatively short attention spans, so having a list of tried and true, well-loved toddler items can really help parents avoid unnecessary spending on kids’ gear that is not embraced by little arms. And it’s quite a nice combination when toddler gear is as equally loved by the little people as it is useful for mom and dad. Each item on the list can be found locally in Chicago or the suburbs. — Hyacynth Worth

Kleen Kanteen’s Kid Kanteen with sippy spout

Found at REI locations suburb and city-wide
www.rei.com

Toddlers love to imitate mom and dad, especially during meal time. Kid Kanteen are a great step toward helping little ones master using big-kid drinking bottle with the protection of a sippy spout. The best part is that Kid Kanteen are made from food-grade stainless steel and sport lids that do not contain any BPA, giving parents who are looking to steer clear of plastic and chemicals that often leach from plastics an alternative without handing little sets of hands a glass cup. Another perk to Kleen Kanteens? The stainless steel helps maintain cool drinks even under Chicago’s hot summer sun.

BOB Revolution Stroller

Found at REI locations suburb and city-wide
www.rei.com

Of course, there are times when parents really enjoy the convenience a stroller provides. In the varied terrain that makes up the city and surrounding suburbs, the BOB stroller gives parents versatility to use it in myriad places – from the lakefront to the shops in Andersonville to the forest preserves and malls of the suburbs, the BOB Revolution makes taking little ones along for the journey pretty easy. It features a swivel wheel that locks while jogging and unlocks when strolling around the tight curves in your neighborhood. And the Revolution Dualie (a double side by side} even fits through standard door entrances, making the BOB a great choice for families with two pairs of little legs.

CatBird Baby Pikkolo buckle carrier

Found at Be By Baby
1654 W Roscoe St. / Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 404.BABY
www.bebybaby.com

The CatBird Baby Pikkolo with removable support belt is a great accessory for parents who have little legs that love to walk and run but tire quickly. This buckle carrier accommodates newborns through toddlers, and when the support belt is added to the waist, provides a comfortable and convenient way for mom or dad to carry their little walker through crowded Chicago stores or tight suburban farmers’ markets without having to drag along the stroller and fight their way through the aisles and crowds.

Baby Bjorn Little Potty

Found at Be By Baby
1654 W Roscoe St. / Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 404.BABY
www.bebybaby.com

Toddlers who have expressed interest in potty learning often are enticed to make the switch from diapers by the prospect of having their own, tiny-sized potty. The Baby Bjorn Little Potty is simplicity at its best — there are no lids or fancy parts on the potty that sneakily harbor residue from a job well done. The little potty simply is a place for little bums to sit and do their business. Parents also may appreciate that the potty’s simple design doesn’t feature many interesting gadgets a curious toddler might deem play-worthy. It’s also small enough to take on road trips and use when stuck in nightmarish Chicago rush-hour traffic or for emergency breaks when the nearest rest area is miles away.

Robeez Shoes

Found at: Whole Foods locations suburb and city-wide
www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Little feet that are just learning to walk feel comfortable taking those first steps {and even runs} in soft-soled shoes like Robeez because it allows the toddler’s feet to connect with the floor similar to walking barefoot. Robeez come in many colors and done appealing emblems like footballs and frogs, perfect for enticing the young walker to wear his or her special froggy or princess shoes. Parents can rest assured that the shoes hold up well even when worn outside, though, the shoes have a better lifespan when kept dry.

Just B. Byou Parum Pum Pum Set

Found at: Target, locations suburb and city-wide
www.target.com

Toddlers love to create and explore different noises; the Just B. Byou percussion set includes wonderfully interactive toy instruments that encouraged little hands to make all kinds of sounds with a drum, egg shakers and tambourine. Parents seeking to instill a love of music in their toddlers’ hearts will enjoy listening to all of the different sounds their little one makes with the instruments in the set. And who knows, perhaps all of the drumming will someday lead to little one becoming a percussionist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (or even a patron who thoroughly enjoys the music).

Curious George DVDs

Found at: Target, locations suburb and city-wide
www.target.com

While parents normally much prefer to give their little ones lots of time engaging in hands-on play inside and out, sometimes a little TV break offers rest for a tired toddler and equally tired mom and dad. Curious George episodes span only 15 minutes each, long enough to have a storyline but short enough to hold tiny attention spans. Curious George episodes typically focus on math and science concepts told through simple stories easily understood by toddlers and preschoolers. Parents can rest assured that the little monkey learns great lessons about the world in which we live and there are never any haughty conversations, backtalk or disrespectful tones of voice used by any of the characters. Mom and dad might also giggle about how similarly the little monkey George and their own little monkey think.

Tails by Matthew Von Fleet

Found at: The Magic Tree Bookstore
www.magictreebooks.com
141 N. Oak Park Ave. / Oak Park, IL
(708) 848.0770

Because little minds are learning so quickly and little hands are exploring at even faster pace, toddlers become enamored with interactive books like Tails. Each page of the Tails book features a new tail to touch and feel or some inner-page flaps that are fun for small fingers to maneuver open and shut. Tails is colorful and chalked full of animals, so it offers great talking points about animals sounds, shapes and sizes if your little one is really into reading the same book a dozen times per day. Plus, it’s so much fun to read Tails and then take little one to Lincoln Park or Brookfield Zoo to see all of the tails in person.

Hyacynth Worth writes about attachment parenting, green living and the myriad thoughts {and feelings} of a wife and mother of two boys at Undercover Mother.

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