By Jenna McCarthy

A virtual learning library
A new program available on CD-ROM or through paid access on the Internet makes getting your child ready for kindergarten and beyond more convenient than ever.

The award-winning True Learning series features 3,000 printable worksheets designed to stimulate your toddler’s rapidly developing brain.

Suitable for children from age 3 to 6, it’s packed with fun and engaging activities in a variety of subjects from math to motor skills, each with four progressive levels of advancement.

To accomplish the suggested window of 15 minutes of learning a day, just pop in a disk (or log onto the web site) and print a few sheets, then watch in amazement as your toddler explores and masters spatial relationships, spelling, math and more. $19.99 for the CD-ROM; online access, choose the $9.99 annual rate or $1.99/month;



Carried away
You thought when your tot learned to walk, your poor arms and back would get a break. Alas, she’ll still demand “Uppie!” on a regular basis. When she does, you’ll be glad you have the Kemby Sidekick.

A combination baby bag and child carrier, the Sidekick sports all of the features you demand in a diaper bag (insulated pockets, changing pad, wipes case, cool color combos), plus the handy option of converting quickly and easily into a carry seat for your child. Use it as soon as baby can hold her head up, all the way until she’s a strapping 35 pounds. After that, you’ve still got a stylish tote packed with all the amenities you could ever want. $165;




We see London, we see France…
Something unavoidable happens when your little girl graduates from diapers to “big girl underpants”: She just can’t resist showing them to everyone. (Hey, she’s proud! And it is a big deal.) Modest moms will appreciate Francie Pants, a hip collection of sassy, silky, boy-style shorts that allow your little princess to climb trees and turn cartwheels without having to worry about what lies beneath.

Our toddler testers were wild about the funky palette of prints (from polka dots and stars to pink leopard and hearts-and-roses); in fact, a few downright refused to take theirs off. We’ll take that battle over an unintentional Britney moment any day of the week. $16.50;



Lost…and found!
If you’ve ever lost sight of your toddler in a public place for even a nanosecond, you know what terror feels like. After experiencing just such panic, mom of three Jamie Rayko came up with the idea for the Spot Me ID collection of safety products for kids.

Put off by the idea of children on leashes, Rayko created bracelets, lanyards and temporary tattoos that are fun for kids to wear while giving parents peace of mind. Each Spot Me product comes with a waterproof permanent marker for filling in your cell phone number or other important information. The FDA-approved line is totally nontoxic and features an adorable canine mascot (aptly named “Spot”) that kids immediately love. Up to 2,000 children get lost or separated from their parent or guardian every single day—this cute, practical product ensures that if yours is one of them, you’ll be reunited quickly and easily. From $7.95;



Tray cool
He dropped his sippy cup. Then his book. Then he spilled his Cheerios, and now he wants another toy. And seeing as you are very busy driving the car, you can’t always attend to these emergencies as quickly as he’d like.

Traveling with a tot no longer has to be an exercise in frustration or contortion, thanks to the Snack & Play Travel Tray from Star Kids Products. The portable, lightweight mini-table features a universal fit that slips easily around any car seat, booster or stroller to provide a convenient flat surface for snacking and playing.

Wrapped in mess-free, wipe-clean fabric, the Snack & Play boasts wrap-around walls—brilliantly preventing items from rolling off the surface—and comes with elastic side pockets so that toys and other goodies can be stored in his easy reach. File this under the “why didn’t anyone think of this sooner” category, and pick one up today. $20;



Just what the doctor ordered
Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Over the past half decade, Dr. Seuss’s Happy Birthday to You has helped more than 650,000 little ones celebrate their big day as they do in mythical Katroo.

Awakened by the Birthday Bird, readers are swept through a day of classic merrymaking only Seuss could imagine (hint: it will take 20 days to clean up the mess). In honor of the 50th anniversary of the original beloved publication, Random House has released a special foil-cover edition that’s guaranteed to get the party started. $14.95 where books are sold.


6 great new products designed to make toddler life simpler, safer…and fun!

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