In this ongoing update, we’ll fill you in on the latest in gear, gadgets, and new ideas that can make caring for your baby safer, more efficient, or more fun.
We also want to hear from you! Have you found a great gadget that’s helped you during pregnancy or parenting? Let me know, and we’ll share that idea with millions of our BabyNames.com readers. Email us!
Is it ever to early to get children engaged in programing their own computers? Well, before 4 years of age is too young — but 4-year-olds are the whom this Kickstarter project is aimed at.
The Kibo from KinderLab Robotics is “a robot kit that teaches youngsters fundamentals of programming through intuitive, age- and developmentally-appropriate technology” by showing kids how to customize and personalize their own two-wheeled robot base unit.
Kibo engages four- to seven-year-olds in building instruction sets that control the actions of robots by creating programs, or lines of code, through the use of familiar ‘manipulative’ wooden blocks. Each block represents an action for the robot.
It’s based on research at Tufts University. “It’s important that children grow up with the understanding that technology isn’t magic, but is something that they can learn to master, “the researchers behind the project say.
There’s more information here.
New baby not sleeping enough? This “rock n’ play” sleeper combines rocking with “calming vibrations,” Fisher-Price says. “The cozy fabrics give your little one a comfortable seat, and a gentle push from mom rocks and soothes baby.”
The Deluxe Newborn Vibrating Rock n’ Play Sleeper also collapses and is very lightweight, “so its easy to move around the house or bring along on trips.”
It’s $59 here.
Sometimes you need a bed for your child when on-the-go. Howabout one that inflates in just 30 seconds?
The Tuckaire Toddler air bed from Shrunks “keeps children secure and comfortable throughout the night,” its makers say. It’s “great for overnight stays at the grandparents, hotel, and camping or perfect for the bedroom at home. Kids feel secure and cozy, and right at home, thanks to the portable air bed’s unique design.”
It’s $64 here, and includes a carrying bag, repair kit, and a Jetaire electric pump.
iPad Play made Real
May 28, 2014 by Paul W.
Osmo gives your child’s hands “the freedom to create and discover in real life,, developer Tangible Play says, “and turns any surface into an imaginative playing field.”
The developers had kids of their own, and “wanted to create a way of bringing real-world play back into digital gaming to encourage social interaction, creative thinking and problem-solving.”
Using Osmo promotes social intelligence and creative thinking, they claim. “No one likes seeing their little ones turned into screen zombies disengaged from the world and people around them. Osmo is an iPad gaming device which aims to bring real world and social play to the iPad, by transforming the space in front of the tablet into an interactive environment.”
The Osmo reflector mounts over the iPad’s frontcamera. Then, its “Reflective Artificial Intelligence” recognizes and respond to your child’s real-world moves. No batteries, electronics, or WiFi are required.
It’s available for pre-order here for $99.
The Laugh & Learn Apptivity case from Fisher-Price protects your iPhone while it “lets babies enjoy their very own apps.”
The durable case has easy-grasp handles “sized just right for baby to hold,” and of course it also protects your phone from dribbles & drool. It also blocks the Home button to prevent accidental “baby dialing.”
Fisher-Price provides free Laugh and Learn learning apps for the child-proof case.
It’s about $8 here.
LeapFrog says its upcoming LeapBand is the first wearable activity tracker designed just for children that “encourages active play and healthy habits while nurturing their very own personalized virtual pet.”
LeapBand “gets kids moving and having fun with 50 different activities and challenges,” the company adds, “tracking a child’s physical moves so the more active a child is, the more points they earn with their virtual pet.” As the child earns points through active play, they can unlock additional games, challenges, levels of play and virtual rewards for their on-screen pet.
The LeapBand has a built-in accelerometer, color screen, rechargeable battery, and a water-resistant design.
It will be available in August for about $40. There’s more information here.