Saturday, June 13, 2009

What Rachel Wants to Buy This Week - Episode 11

I'm getting back in touch with my own childhood this week, with two awesome new takes on classic toys that I loved.

Picnic Basket Fill & Spill by Melissa and Doug
Located in the Baby Room

My mom is fond of telling people that my favorite toy for the first bunch of years of my life was the good old Balls in a Bowl (Fisher Price, I think). It's so old that it's not immediately findable online, to my surprise. Anyway, the point is that I've always enjoyed spilling little things out of big containers, which is half the reason why this picnic basket is so appealing. What's the other half of the reason, you ask? The food has FACES! It just doesn't get cuter than a fuzzy bottle of grape soda that smiles at you when you dump it on the floor. I'm sure every toddler out there will agree with me on that one.

Pandabo by HaPe International
Located downstairs in the Chapter Book Room

Pandabo is all about balance and simplicity--you take one wobbly panda, a pile of bamboo sticks, a die that tells you how many to stack on your turn, and you wind up with a really fun stacking game that resembles Jenga in reverse. The part that clinches it for me with Pandabo, though, is that it's 100% natural bamboo, and includes a little booklet with info on bamboo plants and the UNESCO international toy workshop which produced Pandabo's design. This game would make a great gift for green-conscious families, and comes in an attractive tube with a carrying handle.

See you next time for another episode!

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