Kids

Themed cupcake kits with cute adornments are all the rage these days. They’re also extremely handy for those of you (like me) who can’t decorate baked goods to save your life. In an effort to not bring treats to parties that look like a five-year-old was getting busy in the kitchen you can still swirl on the boring layer of plain icing, but then brighten things up immensely with just the touch of a toothpick.

This particular kit is perfect for all of the lazy football filled Sundays that await us this Fall. The helmets and cheerleaders are especially fetching, and if you get bored with all the intentional grounding and first downs you can always pull off the paper footballs and flick them at other people’s heads.

Eureka! I’ve found it at last! Egg Nog Bubblegum: the perfect stocking stuffer. I’m an egg nog fiend this time of year, and since those delicious Egg Nog lattes only last so long during the long work day wouldn’t it be nice if you could pop a cute little gum ball in your mouth and enjoy some instant holiday cheer without having to bundle up and walk down the street to your favorite coffee shop? You better believe it!

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Just when you thought that cupcakes couldn’t possibly get any cuter someone comes along and designs costumes for them. For local readers please note that I happened upon these Yum Bot silicone bases while browsing at Henry Bear’s Park, a toy store in Porter Square.

While I’m never been one to geek-out over cupcakes, the science fiction nod that this product brings to the table truly speaks to my inner geek. These would, of course, make excellent additions to any child’s themed birthday party, but honestly I think I’d rather break them out for a Doctor Who marathon. As long as the Yum Bots don’t try to take over the world I think we’ll be in good shape.

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While shopping for a birthday card in Paper Source these adorable scratch and sniff Valentines stopped me dead in my tracks. You’ll be the belle of the ball this February if you send out these disarmingly cute cards to your friends. Why should little kids be the only ones to enjoy this festive exchange of correspondence? Tell the ones you love that you seriously heart them by mailing a cheery ice cream, popsicles, or snow cone in vivid scents like strawberry, vanilla, orange and blueberry. The Fun Pack contains 20 scented cards comprised of 4 different designs as well as accompanying envelopes. By the way, of course I bought a set for myself, how could anyone possibly resist the temptation?!

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Chew on this! From organic baby product company, Under The Nile, comes a crate of full of veggies your little one will love to gum. The organic cotton veggies baby teething toys set features a smooth wooden box with four soft cotton vegetables—a carrot, mushroom, green bean, and tomato—tucked in and ready for baby’s play. Stuffed with 100% organic Egyptian cotton, these veggies are safe for little mouths to chew on, and encourage children to develop a positive attitude towards food stuff found in the produce aisle. Teaching kids to reach for veggies even before they’re old enough to spear their first asparagus? Genius. Now if only there was something similar for all those grownup veggie-shy bachelors …

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Growing-up one of my favorite bedtime tales was The Popcorn Book written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. I simply adored having this story read to me over and over again. Brimming to the rim with fun facts and historical anecdotes, this tenderly drawn read is sure to become a beloved possession in no time. Children will enjoy learning that archeologists have discovered popcorn kernels that were more than 5,600 years old and like me wonder at the oddity of early colonists eating popcorn soup. All of these fascinating experiences are bookended with the story of two young brothers, accompanied by their cats, making popcorn the proper way — on the stove in a pot with oil and salt. The book even includes instructions and recipes to make your own batch of buttery goodness for those of you who might only be familiar with popcorn that comes out of the microwave. This interactive delicacy will undoubtedly be a huge hit with the entire family.

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Puffy Tea SetThis pretty Puffy Tea Set from Pottery Barn Kids is the perfect gift to spark the imagination of your little girl. A teapot, two cups and saucers, spoons and tea bags — essentially everything she’ll need to throw a fanciful soirée for all her stuffed animals and friends of the real and imaginary kind are included in the convenient pink zippered case. In addition, for a small fee ($6.50) you can personalize her unbreakable tea service and truly make this item one-of-a-kind.

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Kit's Holiday Baking KitI like to tease my mother about the fact that I never got an American Girl doll for Christmas growing up; whereas my younger sister came along and somehow ended up with at least half a dozen. To this day I have a soft spot for these historical dolls and I’ve been known to wander around the brick and mortar American Girl store in the Natick Mall with a look of awe upon my face.

Presently my pick for best American Girl doll is Kitt Kittredge, probably because I loved how adorably Amber Breslin portrayed her in the film version. One of the Kitt doll’s accessories also happens to be a fabulous holiday baking kit that includes: 3 cookie recipe cards, 2 metal measuring cups, a pretend sugar box, a pretend flour box, a pretend can of baking powder, a flour sifter with a handle that really turns, a wooden rolling pin Kit can use to “press” patterns into the dough, 2 metal cookie cutters to create festive shapes in the dough, pretend cookies on a golden platter, and a festive tablecloth with a star-shaped centerpiece.

I’m certain that doll lovers (whether they be offical owners of the Kitt doll or not) will light up upon opening this fanciful set. This would also be the perfect Christmas Eve gift if your family happens to holds with the tradition of children opening one present the night before Christmas.

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Snowman PastaLet’s ponder for a second the possibility that maybe this year Santa doesn’t want you to set out milk and cookies for his annual trip down your chimney. Perhaps the big guy will go into sugar shock somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and he’d simply relish a small break from sprinkles and chocolate chips? If you think this might even be a remote possibility then might I suggest a well-timed bowl of piping hot Snowman Macaroni and Cheese should be left fireside instead? While all of that gooey Gruyère certainly wont lessen Santa’s waistline one bit it will definitely perk him up for the long toy delivery journey ahead.

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Reindeer Dinner PlatesOn Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen, on Comet, on Cupid, on Donner  and Blitzen . Pottery Barn’s popular line of classic, reindeer tableware is given a kid-friendly twist with these fun and fanciful Reindeer Dinner Plates. BPA and phthalate-free, melamine/bamboo reindeer dinner plates feature each member of Santa’s famous sleigh team and are top-rack dishwasher safe. Like to have the complete tablescape? Check out the reindeer runners, tablecloths, and placemats. And for those who are fans of one red-nosed reindeer in particular, Rudolph makes a solo appearance on sets of too-cute tumblers, napkins, and dessert plates.

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