So, I began International Babywearing Week with a post about my favorite carriers for babywearing as a parent in a wheelchair, so I thought I’d end the week sharing about my 5 favorite TOYS for babywearing- and do a share-away with 2 of them!!! [see the bottom of this post for your chance to enter]
#1: Haba Pacifier Clips & Chains:  
For Newborn + 
I must say that pacifier clips & chains have been a huge lifesaver for me! There is nothing like having the baby all cozy or sleeping in the carrier, then dropping their toy or pacifier and trying to reach down to get it, right?
So I found these fantastic pacifier clips & chains when I was pregnant and had to get a few! Haba products always have cheerful colors and I love that they are made of wood instead of plastic.
We briefly did a pacifier so I used it for that early on, before using it to attach toys to my ring sling & beco carriers. It was fantastic to be able to bring a toy along everywhere without worrying we’d drop it and lose it somewhere along the way. Yes, I’m the type of person that always get a little sad for a kid when I see a lost toy out on a sidewalk, knowing it’s little owner might be missing it. :’(
 I’ve had a hard time finding these toys locally (in Boston) but I’ve found these pacifier chains & clips online at stores such as Maukilo, Oompa, Moolka, and PadLilly costing about $4 for the clips & $14-17 for the pacifier chains. Check out those shops to see the awesome product variety they carry! You might have a really hard time choosing just one(which is why we have 2 chains & 2 clips at our home)!The clips are awesome if you have a toy with a small lanyard so you can clip it to your carrier. Or you can always  tie a small ribbon from the clip to a toy. :)

 

#2: Haba Rattles & Clutching Toys
For 6+ Months
Around 4 months, Sophie started getting ‘bored’ in the carrier when we were out, so I got her these two toys to take along – Corella Clutching Toy & Nana Clutching Toy. We were working with Early Intervention for gross & fine motor issues (likely the result of a perinatal stroke) so these toys were perfect in helping her learn to use her fingers. The Corella toy’s wooden segments are attached via an elastic ring so the babu can turn them and make different shape creations. The Nana has a rotating flower petal and 2 sections strung together on elastic. Both are made of beech wood with a non-toxic finish.
We have several more Haba Rattles & Clutching Toys so I often rotate which we bring out of the house with us since they can pop on the clips easily. Haba has a wide variety of similar toys – here are a few more – several of which could easily tag along on a babywearing day out!

 

Larum Rattle, $14; Lirum Rattle, $14; Color Snake Clutching Toy, $12;
Flower Trio Clutching Toy, $14; Jungle Caboodle Clutching Toy, $14;
Klick-Klack Rattle, $8; Trioli Clutching Toy, $8; Kastagnetta Rattle, $12;
Jingle Train Clutching Toy, $14; Magica Clutching Toy, $12
#3: FunKeys from B. toys: 
For 6+ Months
Another favorite toy – from another of our favorite toy companies – are the FunKeys from B. toys! They were one of the Christmas presents I bought for Sophie’s First Christmas!
They are a fantastic little set of keys with 4 sounds & a push button flashlight! They are super durable – made of safe stainless steel! B. toys has such an awesome website that you can go check out the sounds right on their page that the keys make! How cool is that? (sometimes playing with their website is as fun as playing with their toys!)

The lanyard attached to the “key chain” makes it super easy to attach to many babywearing carriers! Sophie has recently figured out the light – to look down inside the carrier (searching for lost cheerios on-the-go?)
FunKeys retail for about $9 at Target. A must-have for any babywearer and a great stocking stuffer idea for kids under 3! Or you could put it under the tree since it’s a self-wrapping gift! - How cool is that?

#4: Hellophone from B. toys: 
18+ Months 

As Sophie has gotten older (she’s now 15 months), I’ve realized that to keep her entertained all day I need more then just 1 toy on the go…  so, lately we’ve been wandering around Boston with the FunKey’s on the right side of the carrier, and the Hellophone on the left. I’ll explain all the entertaining features:

Like the FunKeys, this toy also makes some awesome noises – which you can try out on B. toys website! Of course it’s not as cool as the iPhone since we can’t play the music video for Jai Ho (which my daughter thinks is the best song ever), BUT you can record messages on it so your child can hear your voice (or part of a song!).  How awesome is that?

If you close the phone for a few minutes, it will randomly ring – then when you open it it either plays your recorded message, a dial tone or a busy signal (but don’t worry – if you don’t answer it the first time, it will stay quiet – this isn’t one of those toys that will wake you up at 3am)! Of course this feature is always a conversation starter on the MBTA when people hear a phone ring and a 1-year-old “answers” the toy phone. :)

For babywearing, like the FunKeys, this phone has a lanyard too – making it easy to attach to a carrier! And, in typical B.toys style, Hellophone comes in all sorts of awesome colors!  You can find it at Target for about $8-9!

#5: Alphaberry from B. Toys: 
18+ Months 
As I said, we are big B. toys fans! They are affordable toys, come in great colors and are from a company who wants to B. nice to the planet! And for me, they are also happen to be locally-based! :)

So if you were impressed with the FunKeys & Hellophone, you’ll really be impressed with the Alphaberry! I don’t think there could be a cooler way to learn your ABCs then pressing the buttons on Alphaberry and watching the letter appear on the screen and getting to hear it’s name!

It also sings the Alphabet in 4 different styles! Wanna hear them? Just check out the Alphaberry Page and try the “i make sounds” buttons! Way better then listening to the “classic” alphabet song over and over and over,  right?

This is the toy we never leave home without. In fact – we now have two of them! As a parent in a wheelchair, I needed something to keep Sophie from touching my wheelchair buttons on-the-go and this was fabulous! If she tried touching mine, I’d hand her this so she could have “hers.” It has buttons and a cool screen just like mom – but even cooler was the fact that it has sounds – now we never touch mom’s buttons because the $13 Alphaberry is WAY cooler then the $20,000 wheelchair (cheaper is always better with kids, right?)

Right now, I’m totally sporting it with my Beco Gemini Luna Carrier  I realized after how well the Alphaberry matched our carrier! – I told you B. toys has great colors!


Hellophone & FunKeys Share-Away:

Sometimes, when you have really fantastic toys, you end up with duplicates, right? Well that happened at our house! And since we already tell our friends about b. toys, and they love them too, we haven’t been to any parties where we could share our extras… So we contacted B. toys to see if a give-away was all right with them… and they came back with an even better plan: a share-away! to quote B. toys:
We’re big into sharing.  That’s why our toys come not with cross-sell brochures but with kids’ words of wisdom.  That’s why Hellophones and Alphaberries come in boxes that can be shared with mom or big sister to store notecards or hair doo-dads in.  That’s why we send 10¢ from the sale of every toy to Free The Children.
  • I have an extra brand new set of Red FunKeys & an Orange Hellophone that I want to share with 2 lucky readers 
  • PLUS: our friends at B. toys would also like to share a set of funkeys & a hellophone with those 2 readers favorite charities!!!
How To Enter:
  • Mandatory Entry: leave us a comment below telling us what your favorite children’s charity is, and why that charity is important to you! 
  • Extra Optional Entry (to increase your odds) in a separate comment: Tell us about a child you’d love to give the hellophone or funkeys to – who is he/she and why are they special to you? 
Only TWO comments per person please! Each comment counts as an entry!
TWO winners will be chosen - one for hellophone & one for funkeys – but if you enter twice you have a chance to win BOTH – plus one for your favorite charity!
Live outside of the US? no problem! We are happy to SHARE with readers all over the planet – after all it is INTERNATIONAL Babywearing Week, right? ;)

Oh, and while you wait for the share-away to end, be sure to stop by the B. Quotes and read some words of wisdom from kids – or share some of your own child’s quotes!

Don’t forget to come back on October 24th to see who we are sharing these great products with! –
and we have a few more upcoming giveaways so “follow us” to stay tuned for future share-aways & giveaways!



Links You Might Love:
Little Free Radical: facebook | twitterblog etsywebsite

DISCLAIMER: This shareaway is open to anyone on the planet! It will begin 10/16/2011 and end 10/23/2011. The winners will be announced in a separate post and have 48 hours to respond with their contact info & choice of charity. I was not financially compensated for this review. The opinions stated are my own. 
 

That’s all! I just wanted to tell you a few more of my favorite things when babywearing, and share our extra B. toys! I can’t wait to read your comments!

PS: Did you hear about the Babywearing Flash Mob Boston Babywearers did Downtown Boston? You won’t want to miss this! :)