Pleasing the Outer Child: Preschool
Toys Everybody will Love
By Karen Mendez Smith
It used to be that a cardboard box, some pots and pans or an opportune
rain puddle would placate even the most active preschooler. Things are
different now, little ones are much more sophisticated and toymakers have
taken into consideration the shrinking attention span of parents when
they consider preschool products.
Tinkle Crinkle Rattle and Squeak Washable Plush Caterpillar
Mommy and Me’s Knee Pony
Shake a Leg…
. . . or give a squeeze to Learning Curve Toys’ Lamaze Puppy
($19.95) and hear the sweet sound of different notes (instead of whining).
Puppy Tunes comes with a mini-songbook and attaches neatly to the stroller.
Everyone will fall in love with Gund’s 73” Tinkle
Crinkle Rattle and Squeak Washable Plush Caterpillar ($99.99)
It features sound effects. Those who are mastering the art of sitting
up will soon be ready to “Trot, Trot to Boston” on Mommy and Me’s
Knee Pony ($9.99). With bells and squeaks for added fun, it’s
sure to become a classic. And of course, bigger is always better, especially
when it’s Manhattan Toys’ 44” Royal Renaissance
Cordelia ($295.00) -- an irresistible ultra-soft green velour
dragon, all set to become anyone’s favorite playtime pal.
Chicco USA’s Carrot Slide
Flip and Play Activity Table
Viewmaster Projector and Telescope
Little ones will do the bunny hop when they see Chicco USA’s
Carrot Slide (ToyDirectory)
($59.95), perfect for ages 2-5. Also from Chicco is the 13.5” x 13.5”
Flip and Play Activity Table ($29.99) with blocks that
keep ages 1-3 well-occupied (at least until supper's ready) Brio’s
Sand Mill and Truck Set (ToyDirectory)
($15.99) may seem the epitome of simplicity (age 1+), but it is actually
a versatile diversion, either in-or out-of-doors. The Viewmaster
Projector and Telescope ($20.00) from Fisher-Price
is sure to please both parents and budding scientists ages 3 and up. With
a working 17.5x wide-view telescope, it easily converts into a projector
for Viewmaster reels -- great for play both day and night. But for fast-moving
fun, nothing can beat the lime green, 6-volt, rechargeable New
Beetle from Fisher-Price ($149.99). It travels a respectable
2.5 miles per hour with single pedal propulsion and has doors that open
and power-lock brakes. Instant entertainment for everyone!
Sand Mill and Truck Set
Writer's Bio: Karen Mendez Smith has been involved
in children's media for over twenty years as a literary agent, writer,
and creator of animated television and film. Co-founder of Satori Organics
and M/Path Press, she is a parent to eight children and five incredible
grandchildren (and counting).