Present ideas for Little Ballerinas.

We have little ballerine at our house, and she LOVES everything about ballet from little pictures of ballerinas to ballerina dolls.

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Her favorite books are about ballet, favorite movies are about ballet also, so it’s not hard to decide what she wants to get as a present sometimes.

If you have little ballerina in your mind who needs a present, I will share the list of things that will help you to make a good choice.

Books.

1.Tallulah’s Toe Shoes

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Watching the older girls during her ballet school’s performance of Sleeping Beauty, Tallulah notices one big difference between herself and the best dancers at her school: satin toe shoes. When the Lilac Fairy throws out an old pair of pointe shoes, Tallulah retrieves them and tries them out, with painful results. Tallulah’s initial longing and impatience gives way to sadness and discouragement, but Singer’s graceful text brings the story around to a satisfying conclusion. With its glittering jacket, empathetic writing, and expressive watercolor illustrations, this picture book from the Tallulah series will appeal to many young dancers with ballerina dreams.

We love this book!!! The author also has the other titles in this series: Tallula’s Tutu, Tallula’s Solo, Tallula’s Nutckracker.

2. Miss Lina’s Ballerinas

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PreS-Gr 1–Miss Lina has eight students in her house in Messina: Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina. In four lines of two, they dance doing math, while they read, at the park, at the zoo, and at the beach. But with the addition of a new student, Regina, the girls are unable to perform in their familiar formation and chaos ensues. When Miss Lina patiently instructs her ballerinas to arrange themselves in a new configuration, order is restored: “everything’s perfect now there are nine,/because dancing in three rows of three is divine….”

One of Sophia’s favorite book too. This series also has the other titles: Miss Lina’s Ballerinas and the Wicked Wish, Miss Lina’s Ballerinas and the Prince.

3. Angelina Ballerina 25th Anniversary Edition

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t’s been twenty-five years since Angelina danced her way into the hearts of young ballerinas, and she’s still going strong. A true modern classic, Angelina continues to be adored by her legions of fans. Celebrate her twenty-fifth anniversary with this special edition of the original book that started it all. Featuring a lavish jacket that’s as sparkly as one of Angelina’s costumes, this book is the perfect way to commemorate her anniversary.

It was probably the first ballet book at our ballet books collection, and our favorite one so far.

Toys.

1.Madame Alexander 18″ Lavender Angelina Ballerina

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Lavender Angelina 18″ Cloth Doll presents the star ballerina in a lavender skirt with lavender satin bodice with a colorful “AB” logo emblazoned on the center (guess what “AB” stands for). Lavender satin ribbon with an organza overlay binds both the neckline sleeve and armlets. The skirt features lavender glitter tulle over dark lavender satin, and has a lavender satin ribbon binding on the tulle layer. Star of her own TV show and children’s book series by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig, this dancing little mouseling is a favorite of little girls everywhere.

Sophia doesn’t really play with the regular dolls, so this one is one of her favorite ones.

2.miYim Good Earth Ballerina Girl Rag Doll

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The My Natural Ballerina is an earth friendly rag doll made from natural cotton and recycled fiber filling. Her pink dress, hair bow and toe shoes are sure to please dancers of all ages.

This was Sophia’s first ballerina doll. She got it, when she was a baby, so it stays in her bed from that time.

3.Mudpuppy Ballerinas Magnetic Figures

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The magnetic version of Paper Dolls. From warm-ups to costumes, tutus to tiaras, you will find everything you need to take these two magnetic ballerinas from the studio to the spotlight. Enjoy four background scenes and three pages of magnetic costumes and accessories.

We love this magnet set,especially when we go out, because we can easily pack it with us and let Sophia play with it, while we have dinner.

4.Sticky Mosaics Ballerinas

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Follow a simple numbered legend and add over 2000 sparkling jewels and tiles. Includes 5 sparkling projects. Not for children under 3.

Sophia can’t do it by herself, so I usually help her, but this mosaic is a lot of fun.

5.The Ballet Series Alphabet Set by Aleksandra®

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This charming puzzle features all of the letters in the alphabet – each illustrated to depict a ballet term that is referenced in the storybooks. Each letter is bendable and can stick to any surface without leaving a residue.

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Polarn O.Pyret kids’ clothes Review.

I am always looking for a good quality, nice and pretty clothes for my daughter. As you know there are multiple choices of brands in US, and sometimes you can’t really decide what to buy for your kids, because how you will know about quality of the clothes, if you’ve never worn it before. It happened to me so many times at the beginning, when I was pregnant and at the first months after my daughter was born.

I came to the store and like some pieces so much. I bought them and when it came to wear them, it lasted us a month ( I saw little holes after a few washing or it worn out pretty fast etc). But you learn with experience and I got the most important lesson:

“It’s better to get a few good quality pieces, than a lot cheap ones.”

One day I was searching on the internet and found Polarn.O.Pyret website:

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http://www.polarnopyretusa.com

I got in love from the first sight.

Polarn O. Pyret is a Swedish kids’ clothing brand (pronounced ‘Pole Arn Oh Pier Et’ in case you were wondering) with a few stores and online store in US. It translates to “Buddy and the little guy” from Swedish.

If you are from the other country, you can still order from their online store, you just need to ship it to a domestic  US address. They work with a bunch of freight forwarders who can get the order to any country.   The customer service is very friendly and helpful.

My sister from Ukraine got her order in 2 weeks.

Polarn O. Pyret makes incredibly high quality products. They wash well, no bleeding or discoloration, they wear well, you can pull and tug on them and they don’t seem to stretch out, and they look great. I can see these lasting for many years through many families. Polarn O. Pyret makes the type of clothes that are hand me downs forever.

What makes me love this brand even more:

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That means girls and boys can wear the same clothes, except dresses of course.

Sounds cool for me, because if we have a son in the future I don’t have to buy completely new wardrobe for him, I can still use Sophia’s clothes. As I mentioned before Polarn.O.Pyret clothes is a great quality clothes, so you can pass to your future kids and it will still look like new.

Eco friendly Line!!!!!

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 Polarn O. Pyret’s ECO collection is manufactured from 100% organic cotton. The entire supply chain has received the Nordic Swan Eco-label (“Svanenmärkt” to Swedes) an indication of its environmentally friendly manufacturing.

We are lucky to have their store in our area. Last week I took Sophia there and we got some very cute pieces.

The store is so bright and kids’ friendly, so while you do shopping, the kids can play and explore around.

Because  of Valentine’s Day coming we got the most adorable red dress with stripes there.

The stripes are really their brand bearer – you can look at their Classic Stripes in poppy and navy and know in an instant that it is Polarn O. Pyret.  The stripes were launched in 1976 at the same time as the reintroduced brand itself.  They were designed meticulously by two well-known Swedish textile designers down to the millimeter – which according to the lore makes all the difference in their visual appeal.   They are now known as the “Stripy Company” as they always use stripes in their collections from their Signature Stripes to our Block Stripes to even our now equally famous Sailor Stripes.

  I and Sophia are in love with this dress:

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We also got a few pieces for Sophia’s friends birthday presents.  I like to buy clothes for the kids:)

By the way, they have the warmest and the cutest winter clothes. Because Sophia skates, I always worry for her to get cold on the ice, and at the same time she doesn’t like bulky, heavy clothes. Polarn.O.Pyret makes great warm outfits that keep your kids warm and comfortable:

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1. Softy Pile Fleece Hoodie.

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2. Merino Wool Long Jones.

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3. Best Basic Merino Wool Top.

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You can find them on line:

Polarn.O.Pyret online store

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 By the way they have Last Call Winter Sale now up to 70% off and extra 20% off for all the sale items)DON’T MISS IT!!!

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Valentine’s Day books for kids.

We love books in our house.

I started reding to my daughter when she was 3 weeks old, and from that time it’s her favorite thing to do.

These days we read all about Valentine’s Day, and I would like to share with you our top list of Valentine’s Day books for kids:

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1.The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart

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PreS-K-Gerry is all about celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s one of her favorite days, and she prepares and prepares for it. She makes valentines for everybody in her family and all of her classmates. When the big day finally arrives, her parents help her celebrate with pancakes, complete with fairy dust, a tiara, and wings. She arrives at school looking forward to the class party, but then realizes that she left her valentines at home. What could be a huge disaster turns into a unique opportunity for Gerry to show her friends just how much they mean to her by acting out her valentines for them, telling them why they are special. It turns out to be a great day for everyone.
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For Valentine’s Day everyone is making valentines to send to Michiko in Japan. Eveline decorates her card with gold glitter. pablo draws a picture of a happy fish. The kids in Mrs. Madoff’s class remember all the things they liked to do with their friend Michiko, even though she’s thousands of miles away now.
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PreS – A little boy creates and presents valentines to his pets, family members, and even his teddy bear in this appealing picture book. Told entirely in rhyme, the story commemorates kindness as well as love: the child reads a book to a younger brother and sends an affectionate note to his grandmother.
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Almost everything about Valentine’s Day is fancy . . . especially with Fancy Nancy!

Mystery is in the air when Nancy receives a valentine from a secret someone. Join Nancy as she follows the clues to find out who it is—all in her trademark fabulous style, of course. Gorgeous stickers included!

Share what are your favorite Valentine’s Books and what you read to your kids!!!!

Cooking Classes for Kids at Whole Foods. Review.

I am so glad we have Whole Foods Market very close to us, it lets us enjoy not just the variety of healthy foods but also different monthly store events.

Some of them are kids’ cooking classes, which are organized by the sotre every Tuesday afternoon. Our daughter loves everything about these classes, because it’s always fun and exciting for her to cook something by herself.

The cooking class teacher Kim is amazing. She is an easy going person and finds the ways to make every class full of useful information not just for the kids but also for their parents.

They try to teach the kids to eat more veggies, fruits, healthy foods and fix their own healthy dishes.

Sometimes they cook something that Sophia is not familiar with ( macaroni and cheese), in this case it’s better for me to skip those days.

But anyway, anyone will find these classes interesting and fun, and they are doing really good job, charging parents only 5$ per class.

Because of this crazy winter weather, we missed some of the classes, and our last one was Pizza Making. Sophia did it already once, when she was 2, so this time it was more professional and she enjoyed every single piece of her freshly baked pizza.

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They used multigrain dough this time, which was healthy and delicious.

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For the toppings they used different types of veggies, sauce, cheese etc.

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Ready to put in the oven:

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While we were waiting for the pizzas to bake, we had a little tour through the store and kids got some samples of food in different departments:

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Pizza is ready!!!!

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Is your cosmetic safe?

The number of chemicals that you put on your skin and that are on their way into your body is amazing! What you put on in the shower can affect things beyond how your arms smell.

Did you know that your skin is your biggest organ? Most of the things that you put on your skin get absorbed and go into your body. Some of them stay near the surface, while others get absorbed into your blood stream and travel throughout your whole system.

When we talk about safe cosmetics, we aren’t just talking about make-up. The national campaigns for safe cosmetics talk about every personal product that you put on your body: deodorant, make-up, shampoo and conditioner, hair gel, nail polish, toothpaste, sunscreen, aftershave, cologne, the list goes on and on. Any personal care product or beauty product that girls or boys use is referred to as a cosmetic.

How can your shampoo or body wash not be safe when it’s supposed to help you stay clean? Right. The whole point of cosmetics – from toothpaste to sunscreen to chapstick – is to help you clean and protect your body. Unfortunately, in the past few decades, there have been large rises in chronic (long-lasting) diseases and changes in the way our bodies work.

Many scientists think that changes in our health – such as the increase in long-lasting diseases like cancer, puberty starting earlier, or reproductive problems in adult women – may be partly caused by all of the chemicals that we are exposed to every day.

How can this happen? Part of the reason is that there’s not enough government regulation in the cosmetic industry. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the same types of laws for things that we put on our body as it does for the things that we put in our body.

Without the government telling companies what they can and can’t put in their products, many companies pick chemicals that make their products smell better or look glossier without thinking about the health impacts of all those chemicals.

Safe Cosmetics are made from ingredients that have not been linked to cancer or birth defects. Doctors and environmental experts recommend that you avoid putting the chemicals listed below in your body.

Check around your house and see if any of your favorite cosmetics contain chemicals on this list.

  1. Butyl Acetate: prevents nail polish from chipping
  2. Butylate Hydroxytoluene: prevents colors from fading and changing too quickly
  3. Coal Tar: dissolves dead skin cells and controls itching in shampoo and hair dye
  4. Cocamide/Lauramide DEA: causes foaming in shampoo and bath products
  5. Formaldehyde: disinfectant and preservative in deodorant, nail polish, soap, shampoo, shaving cream
  6. Diazolidinyl Urea: helps the disinfectants (like formaldehyde) work
  7. Ethyl Acetate: liquid in nail polish, mascara, tooth whitening, perfume
  8. Parabens: group of chemicals that are preservatives and don’t allow bacteria to grow in your cosmetics
  9. Petrolateum (Petroleum): makes lipsticks shine, creams smooth, and softens skin
  10. Treithanolamine: keeps lotions, shaving cream, soaps, shampoos, and bath powders from clumping
  11. Triclosan: prevents bacteria on your hands from growing in your cosmetics, like on bars of soaps or deodorant
  12. Toluene: liquid part of nail polish and hair dye that makes it stick to your hair and nails and look glossy
  13. Talc: absorbs moisture and prevents powders like eye shadow, blush, deodorant from clumping in the containers
  14. Sodium Laureth Sulfate: helps the cosmetics stick to your skin
  15. Propylene glycol: keeps products from melting when it is too hot or freezing when it is too cold
  16. Phthalates: keeps color and scents dissolved in the nail polish, perfume, hair spray, and others

Safe cosmetics do not contain these chemicals (and many others). Check the label on the back of your cosmetics containers to see if your product is safe!

Here is my top 5 safe cosmetic list, that I regularly use:

1. Tarte Cosmetics Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara 0.24 oz.

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An Amazonian clay smart mascara that instinctively treats your unique lash concerns- working overtime to keep lashes hydrated, intact, healthier, and stronger, while delivering the appearance of voluminous lashes.

Formulated without : parabens, mineral oil,   phthalates,  sodium lauryl sulfates, gluten.

My favorite mascara!!!!! I have very sensitive eyes, and with this mascara I’ve never gotten any problems!!!!

2. Organic Lavender Remover

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This ORGANIC nail polish remover is soybean oil based and derived from American farm crops. It is packaged in biodegradable and recyclable materials and is NON TOXIC and NON CARCINOGENIC.

It is on sale in Whole Foods now, so you can get it for 50% off.

They also have great non-toxic nail polishes, that I am planning to try.

3. Mineral Fusion Natural Nail Polish, Citrus Cove, 0.33 Ounce

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Mineral Fusion is dedicated to making nail care healthy and effective while contributing to the wellbeing of our community.

Free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and butyl phthalate.

This nail polish on last at Whole Foods now too.

4. Desert Essence Soft Curls Hair Cream Coconut — 6.4 fl oz

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Made without:Animal Derived Ingredients or Animal Testing, Parabens, Artificial Dyes, Petroleum Compounds including Mineral Oil,Petrolatum and Paraffin,SLS,PEGS, PPG, MEA, DEA or TEA,Glycols,Phthalates,EDTA.

Add a soft, weightless bounce to curls with this feather-light natural leave-in conditioner. Just a small amount of this silicone-free cream softens and moisturizes curly hair, making it silky smooth to the touch. Infused with 5 desert derived botanicals and coconut oil to strengthen hair and repair damage from environmental stressors and styling.

5. Elma and Sana 100 % Pure Organic Argan Oil Cold Pressed Virgin, Golden, 2 Ounce
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Elma and Sana golden argan oil 1 oz blue glass bottle with dropper 100% natural raw cosmetic argan oil is the perfect oil for the face, body, hair, and nails. Ideal for all skin and hair types, argan oil improves skin hydration. This non-greasy formula is fragrance-free and organically cold-pressed. Made from the nuts of the Moroccan argan tree, It is high in vitamin E and essential fatty ideal for all skin and hair types. Improve skin’s hydration. Non-greasy 100% raw organic cold pressed. 100% natural fragrance free. Benefits, Non-greasy, fast absorbing and moisturizes softens and nourishes eliminates frizz and adds shine to hair strengthen soft and brittle nails imported directly from ecocert certified women’s cooperatives from morocco.

The best skin moisturizer!!!!!

The Best Health and Fitness Applications for Your Phone.

I guess almost everyone has smartphones nowadays, and sometimes we can’t imagine our life without it.

This gadget is part of you, and it helps you in many cases.

I love to use my iphone for different aplications about health, fitness, exercising, healthy recipes etc.

Today, I would love to share with you some that I personally use and find them cool and useful.

Fooducate.

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My favorite app.

Reading food labels is important, but it’s also time intensive. Fooducate helps speed things up. Use it to scan an item’s bar, and not only will it offer a quick nutritional rundown, but it will also give the food a grade and highlight important details, such as serving size, GMOs etc.

This app is available for iPhone and Android.

Nike Training Club.

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This is the best app for exercising anywhere: home, gym, travelling.

Choose individual workouts, or select a targeted, structured four-week or 30 day program to help you get lean, toned or strong in 30 days. Add running to boost your results. Customize workouts with the drills you prefer. See the results, and celebrate your progress with your friends.

Featuring more than 100 workouts by Nike Master Trainers and world-class athletes like Maria Sharapova, with all the instruction and motivation you need to blast through your fitness goals. Take control of your training with Nike+ Training Club.

My fitness Pal

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Lose weight with MyFitnessPal, the fastest and easiest-to-use calorie counter for iPhone. With the largest food database of any iPhone calorie counter (over 3,000,000 foods), and amazingly fast food and exercise entry, we’ll help you take those extra pounds off! There is no better diet app – period.

PepperPlate.

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Channel your inner foodie with this all-in-one kitchen tool kit: import recipes from websites, food blogs or Word documents, then put them in a weekly or monthly menu planner. Tap ‘add to shopping list’ and the ingredients appear on your grocery menu.

Locavore

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LOCAVORE is the easiest way to find local, in-season food. Pinpoint nearby farmers’ markets & farms that sell the products you love. Discover seasonal recipes.

 

MyHealthyHabbit.

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Whether you’re trying to eat more fruits and veggies or drink more water, this app can help you reachyour goal. Choose a habit and the program monitors your progress in 21-day increment, sending out reminders, motivational messages and tips to help you stay the course.

These are my favorite health and fitness apps.

Share what are your favorite health and fitness apps.

 

Wonderworld Toys Review.

I believe the toys market is the biggest selling market in the world. Nowadays, you can find any kind of  a toy for you kid. Unfortunately, not all the toys are safe for our little ones. They are loaded with chemicals, toxins etc.Toxic or dangerous toys can still be found on store shelves despite tough new federal regulations, according to a report released Tuesday.
For example, one vinyl toy, the Marvel Super Hero Squad Soft Shield, contained 29 times the legal limit of lead.

“That toy is recommended for ages 2 and up,” said Andrew Fish, a program associate with the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group. “It really shouldn’t be recommended for anyone at that level.”

A Lamaze-brand infant play mat contained high levels of antimony, a toxic metal that has been classified as a cancer-causing agent. A Ninja Turtles Pencil Case contained high levels of phthalates and cadmium. Phthalates are chemicals suspected to cause developmental health effects. Cadmium is a toxic metal that can cause learning disabilities and kidney problems.

That’s why I always look for the least dangerous toys for my daughter. She doesn’t need to have a lot of toys, just a few, but well made and safe for her health.

One of our favorite ones are wooden toys.

Advantages of wooden toys over plastic toys

Most wooden toys tend to be more durable than plastic toys. Most plastic toys are likely to break easily, while wooden toys can last for generations. When plastic toys break, they shatter into small pieces, which can be dangerous to toddlers since they might be able to swallow them.

The surface of well-crafted wooden toys is smoother than that of plastic toys, which is another safety factor for your child. Some plastic toys also have sharp edges, which can hurt your child. Since wooden toys last longer than plastic toys, there will also be lesser waste in the environment.

Tons of plastic toys were also proven to have contained harmful chemicals, including Lead, Phthalates, and Bisphenol A (BPA). Wooden toys do not have batteries, which makes it safer since parents will be worried that their toddlers would be putting them into their mouth and be chewed.

One of the brands which I found few years ago was Wonderworld Toys.

Wonderworld takes great pride in bringing both enjoyment and education to children through high quality wooden toys that are specially designed and created for the age range of birth to five years old. For over twenty years Wonderworld has offered their products all over the world and they are recognized for excellence in design, as well as having the highest safety standards.

Wonderworld takes great consideration in the research and development of their products. To ensure that they provide only the best toys, Wonderworld conducts multiple field tests to monitor children’s behavior in relation to their play. To be sure that children are getting the most educational value from their products, Wonderland then alters their designs in accordance to test results so that their toys properly reflect children’s responses and the analysis obtained from real-life scenarios.

Wonderworld has successfully established itself among the world’s premier wooden toy brandnames. From the instant an idea for a toy is conceived on paper to moment that it eventually ends up in a child’s excited hands, Wonderworld takes pride in all that they produce.

We got our first toy Rainbow Sound Blocks when Sophia just turned 1.

  • Made from rubber wood and strictly using non-toxic paints, dyes and lacquers
  • Blocks are hollow and filled with beads that produce different tones
  • Red, yellow, blue, green, purple and natural wood colors
  • Sound producing transparent colored blocks filled with beads
  • Winner of the Silver Practical Pre-School Award in 2006, and National Parenting Publications Award in 2001
  • Made from formaldehyde free glue while the packaging is made from at least 70% recycled paper

She is still in love with these blocks. She loves to play music with them, build something, explore the colors, beads inside etc.

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The other toywe got last summer Wonder Vacuum because Sophia was into cleaning a lot and I wanted to get her a vacuum, but not the plastic one, and I found this one. Believe it or not, but it really picks up the stuff from the floor.

The wonder vacumn is suitable for picking up small objects. It has an adjustable handle also making it easy to get to tight spaces such as underneath the table or bed. Comes with 2 pretend trash pieces. Comes with 2 trash pieces. Really picks up small objects. Encourages role play. Encourages social skills. Made in Thailand from rubberwood and strictly using non-toxic paints, dyes and lacquers and formaldehyde free glue. Packaging is made from at least 70% recycled paper.
This toy is a hit!!!! Every time when I clean up, Sophia uses her vacuum too, and I am glad that it’s not just a cool toy, but first of all it’s a well made, safe toy for my daughter.  
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If you are still considering what to get for your kids for Christmas, Wonderworld Toys might be the perfect choice.