Top3finds_dad

Top 3 Products for 0-3 yrs: voted for by a Daddy Entrepreneur

Top3finds_dad

Here’s our very own Cahootsy dad’s shortlist of the Top 3 products for 0-3 yrs that will help keep you and your little one happy.

1. Leapfrog Learn & Groove Activity Station 2. Gro-Clock 3. Micro-Scooter

LeapFrog Learn & Groove Activity Station

If you buy one product for your 4 month old (if he can hold his head up) to 18 month old, this is it.  We bought ours 4 years ago and 2 of our children and at least 3 of our friends have all grinned, gurgled and bounced their appreciation while their parents took a brief respite from the onslaught of a 6 month’s olds entertainment demands.  It holds your little treasure upright and presents him with a 360 degrees of interactive disco balls, letters, numbers, animals and a turn table that will play 2 different tunes whenever he feels that Scratching urge.  Once our littl’un was dropped in, we got at least 20 minutes of tea slurping relief and I have witnessed other kids bounce gurgle and grin for well over an hour.  At a proper man BBQ in the summer (no ladies and one baby), the young champ occupying the DJ’s seat simultaneously pooed and bounced with such vigour that he managed an impressive projectile squirt out of his nappy and onto the patio beside us.  We did laugh – then, and as we watched his dad clear it all up. But it’s all machine-washable and this should not in any way put you off what is a life changing buy!

Perhaps I am glossing over the point: this 1 year old was happy turning, bashing, bouncing and gurgling for a good hour or so – in the garden and near (safely distant) a BBQ while we chaps raised the odd glass in his direction.  That’s magic.  Of course, there are others – but I’ve seen mine and other kids in them and they simply can’t compete.

 

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Gro clock

My form teacher in secondary school hated it when we leapt up as the bell rang so we could get to the next lesson or break time (usually faster for this one).  Pavlov’s dogs he called us.  Wasn’t really sure what that meant, but I gathered it was something to do with responding to sounds/ light in trained way – and that he thought that this was a negative.  How wrong he was – though we weren’t (then) sleep deprived fathers. So maybe he can be forgiven.

Now I know that routine can mean sleep.  Sleep beyond 5:30am in the morning.   Sweet, glorious, almost-a-lie-in sleep (I have accepted that true lie ins will never be mine again and so content myself with plotting to destroy my teenager’s lie ins many years from now).   But reasonable sleep is possible – it is what the Gro clock promises and (after a little bit of training) delivers. The principal is simple: the clock glows blue and shows stars while the little terrors should be sleeping then lights up yellow and shows the sun when it’s time for our little angels to wake up.  It even comes with a little story to help you explain the benefits of BEING QUIET in the morning.

And it works! It’s not full proof – it can’t change nappies or calm night terrors – but it delivers simple light based boundaries that an 18 month old can understand and actually wants to follow.  80% of my wake ups now involve my choir of two singing “Sun up!”.  Music to my ears.  Seriously, just think about this; your child lies in bed (possibly singing to themselves) and  then is really happy when they see the Sun come up and proud that they can tell you about it (with justifiable loudness).  God bless whoever thought of it!

 

groclock

Micro-scooter

Around 3 times that of most other scooters on the market, the Micro’s price really grated for me and so I point blank refused to buy it. I picked up and examined another 3 wheel scooter, pondered, nodded and declared to anyone who would listen (Tarika is very patient) “This has 2 wheels at the front and 1 at the back, it steers leaning on the footplate and thus I deem this to be every bit as good as the Micro. But it’s much cheaper.  Let’s buy this one.”

I then watched my son scoot in perfect diagonals into the nearest obstruction and said “He’ll get the hang of it”.  No.  He didn’t.  After purchase and for many weeks later I watched all the other kids with Micros start zipping around like pros and began to wonder why my son had not inherited my own natural-surfer’s balance (ahem*). It couldn’t be the scooter…I had examined and made a sound mechanical judgement –it was the same as the others except for a Brand.  Turns out I was wrong there.

Why is the Micro great?  Because it’s made by those masters of engineering that perfected the many-tooled pocket knife; the Swiss.  Flip over a Micro and you’ll see a cunning torsion roll dampener. Take a Micro and another 3 wheeler and turn them upside down – you’ll see the Micro has a robust and very-patentable method to prevent the scooter-board from tipping too quickly and unmanageably – while the other has a flimsy couple of springs.  Thus your sproglet can lean GENTLY on a Micro – and can control it intuitively.

After 6 months of wondering why our child didn’t want to get on his scooter, we popped him on a Micro in John Lewis and watched him glide effortlessly down the aisle, easily dodging people ahead, clearly surpassing any latent surfing genes I may have pushed his way.  He’s had it a year now and lives it with a passion.  This is a really well made product that is well worth the price tag.

One tip: if your child is 3; get the proper Micro – it may be a tad high but its weighty (sturdy) and will last him for years.  If your child is 2; get the min-micro because they can stand on it while you push them along with the handle.

 

microscooter

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