New to the Zoo: Raccoon and Chameleon from Skip Hop

Every time Skip Hop comes out with new creatures for their Zoo Collection I think they can’t get any cuter, but they are always the cutest ones yet. How do they do it?!

You won’t be the first ones to order the Raccoon

skiphop zoo little kid backpack raccoon

… or the Chameleon, because I already have(!!) but I know you’ll fall in love with them too.

skiphop zoo little kid backpack chameleon

The Backpacks and Lunchies are on the Skip Hop site right now and I spotted the straw bottles on amazon as well. Welcome to the zoo Raccoon and Chameleon!

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Backpacks and Lunchboxes New from Petit Collage

I’m excited to share these new backpacks and lunchboxes from Petit Collage. I usually save backpacks for back to school time, but maybe you’ll want these for your little one’s summer camps and travels. Yup, it’s already time to start prepping for summer!

animal and butterfly backpacks from Petit Collage

The Petit Collage backpacks come in three patterns, Butterfly, Dinosaur and Animal (which is my fave!). These are little preschooler sized bags that fit the littlest ones perfectly. $35

new-dinosaur-backpack-8f0

Add the matching lunchboxes (Dinosaur, Animal and Butterfly) for $25.

new-animal-lunchbox-9b7

The kids are going to love these beautiful bags as much as you will!

Skip Hop Forget Me Not Backpack Collection

We’re huge fans of Skip Hop’s Zoo pack, but once your kiddos hit elementary school, they’re probably going to want a cooler more grown-up looking backpack. The Forget Me Not backpack and lunch bag sets feature the additional bonus of a window showing whether the lunch bag inside!

Skip Hop Forget Me Not Backpack Collection

Available in four styles, Forget Me Not backpacks are large enough for full size folders and retail for $40. The Forget Me Not Collection also includes pencil cases, straw bottles, lunch kits and food jars.

New to the Zoo: Unicorn and Cow from Skip Hop

It’s always a fun day when Skip Hop ushers new characters into their Zoo! This time they’re welcoming Unicorn and Cow!

Skip Hop Unicorn and Cow

The Unicorn and Cow come as a Zoo Pack, Lunchie, Tableware Set, Bib and Straw Bottle.

Zoo Tableware Unicorn Skip Hop

At least I’ve got new nieces and/or nephews coming who may end up with one of these!

Skip Hop

Back to School 2014: Backpack Picks

Having just spent the past 2 days finding the right backpack for my almost Kindergartener, I already miss the days of the toddler backpack. The kids aren’t as picky, they don’t have to carry too much, and the options are so fun!

When you’re shopping for a toddler or preschool backpack, please pay close attention to the dimensions of the bag. Keep in mind that many are too small to hold a lunchbox. For example, I purchased a Mini Kanken when my youngest was two. It was just the right size for him but just barely fit a lunchbox. After one year I upgraded to the regular size. He still uses the Mini one for trips to the park etc… where he only needs to carry snacks and water. The same will be true for most of the toddler sized backpacks. Just FYI.

Cool Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

From Ore’ Originals Sugarbooger line, the Zippee! Back Packs are simple, small and durable. The Pencil Zippee! is the coolest design, but I also like the Ruler. There are a number of other Zippee! designs and matching lunch totes are available.  $28

Herschel Bags are the coolest choice of the year and the Settlement Kids model is the one for your preschoolers. $40 I also really love the versions they made for J. Crews crewcuts.  $55

The Kane bag from State Bags is the perfect option for do-gooding preschoolers.  For each Kane sold, State Bags hand-delivers one of their backpack to an American child in need.  The Garfield is another good preschool option. $55

Milkdot’s Top Kat backpacks are simply super. Available in 4 colors, buy one when you find one because they are in limited supply. Solid lunch totes can be purchased to match. $40

Cute Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

Designed by Michelle Romo, the Teacher’s Pet Backpacks are as cute as it gets.  The designs include the Panda, Lion, Elephant, Fox and Bunny. These are available exclusively at The Land of Nod. $29

Skip Hop Zoo Packs are the classic little kid backpack. With a huge selection of animals in the “zoo”, everyone in your class could have a different Zoo Pack. My nephew has the Hippo and my niece has the Penguin! $20

MIBO backpacks are a little harder to find, but if you’re interested in having something more unique, they’re well worth the effort.  Animal designs include penguin, tiger, cat, dog, rabbit, gorilla, polar bears, rhino, squirrel, fox, lion and giraffe.  $49

From Beatrix New York, both the little kid backpacks ($42) and the big kid backpacks (shown $52) are small enough for preschoolers. The lunchboxes and cozy-cans are cute add-ons.

Classic Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

You can’t think of backpacks without thinking of L.L. Bean, and their smallest school pack is the Junior Original. You can find this bag in solid colors or patterned like the shark print shown.  $25

I already mentioned the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Daypack. $55 This boxy little bag is sturdy (unless your child is dragging it along the pavement!) and is a neutral enough style that adults can carry it around as well. If the mini is too small, get the regular size.

If you want their backpack to last a long time, the Jansport Superbreak is a great option. This bag will be a large for the smallest toddlers but by pre-K it will work. They’ll be able to use the bag until it falls apart or they just want something different.  $35

Kelty is another classic name in backpacks and the Kelty Minnow is the one for the tots. Pick orange, green or blue.  $40

Crazy Toddler Kids Preschool Backpacks

Clockwise from top left:

The Crocband™ Backpack 2.0 is made of the famous crocs material.  It’s durable, can be personalized with Jibbitz and you can even get shoes to match.  $30

MadPax come in all sizes and lots of funky forms, but the halfpack is the smaller size for kids. $48 Nibblers (shown) are insulated and best for carrying lunch.  $32

I’ve been tempted to get at JumpFromPaper bag but I’m not a fan of the type of attention a bold accessory like that would attract. Not specifically designed for kids, the Spaceman is a fun and funky bag. $140 Imitations abound.

The Lego Brick Backpack is harder to find (unless you’re at the gift shop at Legoland).  $60

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New to the Zoo: Hedgehog and Butterfly from Skip Hop with Giveaway

Two new zoo pals join the crew at Skip Hop.  Meet the Hedgehog and the Butterfly!  These cute characters join the menagerie as Zoo Packs and Zoo Lunchies.

Skip Hop Zoo Packs Butterfly Hedgehog

These should just be mandatory for all preschoolers.

Z_Pack_Hedgehog_L2(H)

To celebrate the launch of these two new styles, Skip Hop is giving away your choice of a Hedgehog or Butterfly Zoo Pack and Zoo Lunchie.

Hedgehog and Butterfly

Enter to win via the rafflecopter widget below.  You must leave a comment telling us which pack and lunchie you’d choose.  There are a few additional entry methods you can take advantage of to increase your odds of winning.

This sweepstakes is open to US resident over the age of 18.  It starts right now and ends May 14th, 2014 at midnight.

Thanks to our friends and advertisers at Skip Hop for this fun giveaway and good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Some affiliate links included.

 

Cat Kidston Maclaren Quest

In case you want your stroller to look like your great-grandmother’s favorite armchair, Maclaren’s Cath Kidston Spray Flower Quest Buggy is back.  $335

Cath Kidston Maclaren Quest

Nothing against Cath Kidston, I just prefer her modern vintage English style in smaller doses…

Cath Kidston kids

Clockwise from top left:

Garage Kids Mini Backpack- $26
Penguin Double Duvet Set- $90
Puppies and Kittens Nursery Set- $20
Kew Sprig Kids Backpack- $42

Cath Kidston Changing Bags Diaper Bags

Posy Zip Changing Bag- $120
Spot Changing Bag- $105
Spot Zig Changing Bag
- $120
Cowboy Changing Bag- $100

And now please excuse me as I redecorate my son’s bedroom to suit that penguin bedding!

Back To School: Wooden USA Puzzle

So everyone who’s going is back in school now, right?  Whether your children are in the classroom or still at home with you, start them off right this year and make geographic literacy fun with a great puzzle.

This beautiful “My Puzzle Tis of Thee” ($69) wooden puzzle of the United States is a Nod exclusive and includes 45 pieces and the tray.

my puzzle tis of thee US puzzle from The Land of Nod

Another USA Jigsaw puzzle to consider if you’re interested in having colors is this one from Puzzle Man.  ($40)

Wood_Map_Puzzle_US_2

I also like this one from Hollow Woodworks because of the little pegs on each piece.  ($58)

Hollow-Woodworks-USA-Map-Puzzle

Montessori USA puzzle map ($35 + shipping) is always a great choice.

Montessori USA puzzle

This laser cut magnetic US puzzle from Steven Mattern Design features the continental interstate highway system though they also have one with rivers and lakes. ($102)

USA Map Puzzle - Continental Interstate Highway System

Hope everyone has a great school year!

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Perfect Pairing for Back to School- DwellStudio + Thermos

We’re in the middle of Back-to-School season and in case you haven’t found the perfect backpack / lunchbox combo, you’re in luck, because I have!  I love this partnership between DwellStudio and Thermos.  Not only do you get a cute DwellStudio pattern backpack and matching insulated lunch box, but the Thermos straw bottles, food jars and sippy cups round out the set perfectly.  One of my little one’s favorite lunch options at preschool is macaroni and cheese in his food jar, but ours isn’t nearly as cute as these.

DwellStudio and Thermos

In case you’re not quite ready for back to school yet, the diaper bags are super and stylish as well.  The messenger diaper bags are $110, the Madison bags are $70 and the Hudson bag (teal) is $180.

DwellStudio Thermos Diaper Bags
Some affiliate links included.

New to the Zoo: Skip Hop Dinosaur and Hippo!

I’m happy to introduce you to Skip Hop‘s newest zoo creatures.  The Hippo and Dinosaur Zoo Packs are now available for $20.  They are also available as Zoo Lunchies for $14.  They join the bee, dog, elephant, fox, frog, ladybug, monkey, mouse, owl, penguin and zebra.

This collection just keeps getting cuter and cuter.  Keep these in mind for camp or back to school.

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