Aug 10, 201209:11 AMEditor's Blog
Cool for School
While I don't have school-age kids to shop for, I still like to see what's out there -- the new and hot items for back-to-school. Of course, smartphone technology is constantly evolving, so I found one that might be of interest to parents. Other trends include "green" items that are healthy for both kids and the environment, and great-looking footwear that can withstand the wear and tear that kids give them.
The Kajeet smartphone is a smart phone for parents who are considering getting their child a full-access phone. With Kajeet http://www.kajeet.com, young people can have a phone with all the smartphone capabilities they want, and parents can have the control they desire. Kajeet is a prepaid Sprint-based mobile virtual network operater that was created especially for families. Parents decide what features they want to control. For example, parents can block numbers, manage when phones can be used and even view the calls their kids make. Access to the web can also be controlled. Kajeet has free sites -- Dictionary, Google Maps, and Sports IQ -- and beyond that, parents can work with kids to decide how much access will be allowed. For an added cost, you can add a GPS tracker.
I found these TSUKIHOSHI shoes for boys and girls at Trippett's at 26th & Harvard. I used to buy my kids' shoes at this store because I knew they would get a good fit and the employees were always helpful and knowledgable. The shoes pictured here are designed with kids in mind. They provide stability for growing feet while also being flexible and comfortable. Kids' feet are not fully developed, so they need shoes with more kid-friendly features than adults. I love the fact that these great-looking shoes are washable. I don't know about you, buy my kids never saw a mud puddle they didn't like. Being able to wash the shoes is a big plus. And, yes, stinky feet can be a problem. These shoes have an annitbacterial insole that deodorizes the smell in shoes. Your child's teacher will thank you.
The lunch box is one of the best places to start teaching our kids to be green. When we send them to school with food stored in plastic bags, we're sending more plastic to landfills. I shudder to think about how many plastic bags I've contributed to the environment over the years. It doesn't have to be that way. There are many new products out there to help us be more environmentally minded, and these products are also better for our childrens' health. The PlanetBox (left) available at Pottery Barn Kids at Utica Square is a slim, stylish lunch box with a stainless steel insert. The insert has compartments and containers that are perfect for everything from sandwiches to sushi. And if you have a picky kid who doesn't like having his food touch each other, then you're in luck. The compartments keep everything separate and confined. Better yet, stainless steel is safe, non-toxic, non-leaching and it doesn't give food a yucky odor or taste like plastic does. At the end of the day, just put the insert into the dishwasher and you're done.
Another healthy and green lunchbox option is by Crocodile Creek (right) and is available at Whole Foods Market at 41st & Peoria. The lunch boxes, food containers, drink bottles and backpack are not only fun and colorful in design, but eco-friendly as well. I love the water bottles -- they have cool designs (the robot is my personal favorite) and they're child-sized. They're made from safe stainless steel, so you don't have to worry about dangerous phthalates. The backpack and lunchboxes are also PVC and phthalate-free, so chemicals won't be leeching into your child's food or drink. The sandwich keepers have matching designs to go with the lunchbox and drink container. It's safe, "green," and has an attached lid, so you won't have to go searching for the top to fit the bottom. (I have to do this on almost a daily basis, so I love the smart idea of having the top and bottom attached.)
The last product I want to tell you about is The Knot Genie, available at Kicks for Kids at 81st & Harvard. If this product had been available when my daughters were little, I definitely would have bought it. Brushing long hair, curly hair, tangled hair can be a real time-eater when you're trying to get out the door for school. This unique little brush almost magically and painlessly goes through a child's knotted hair in minutes. End the tears of the tender-headed and try The Knot Genie. I don't have any kids at home these days, but I'm really considering buying one for my Labradoodle!
If you want to learn more about these products, you can watch me on Good Morning Oklahoma, KTUL News Channel 8 on Tues., August 14.