Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giveaway winner - thank you!

We have a winner for the Cindy Lou Who doll giveaway!

Janet Jefferson, please message me on the Mother Knows Best Reviews Facebook page here:

We'll work out getting you your doll - thanks for participating, everyone!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cindy Lou Who doll - Manhattan Toy GIVEAWAY

Christmas is rapidly approaching (hooray!).  We wanted a way to get Pickle into the spirit, but still to incorporate things she already loves.  Since she’s a huge Dr. Seuss fan (the girl has been able to recite The Cat In the Hat since she was 27 months), we were super-excited to check out the Cindy Lou Who doll from Manhattan Toy.  (Check out Cindy here: LINK)

She only runs $20, but she’s super soft and cuddly – no hard edges to poke either me or my preschooler in the ear at 3 a.m., which is a pretty big plus in my book.  It also makes her age-appropriate for smaller kids, as well.  She’s about 15 inches tall, so she’s also a good size – fits in play cribs and car seats and such. 

When we opened the box and I showed her to Pickle, it’s probably an understatement to say she was excited.  Please forgive the graininess of these photos:

That would be Little A dancing around the room with and hugging Cindy Lou Who. 

That was from about a month and a half ago, and she’s still obsessed.  Here’s a photo from last week – she still sleeps with her every night:

She hadn’t been familiar with the story of the Grinch last Christmas (I’d felt like maybe she was a little too young) – but she is ALL OVER this story this year.  She loves having Cindy Lou Who (who she sometimes accidentally calls “Lolly Lou”) help all of her other stuffed animals stop being grinches.  The doll is very durable, so even all of this abuse hasn’t hurt her a bit!

So…  we want to give you a chance to grab one before the Christmas rush!  Please make a separate comment below if you’ve done each of the following things:

      -  Comment once if you like Mother Knows Best Reviews on Facebook:
      -  Comment once if you like Manhattan Toy on Facebook:
      -  Comment once if you have shared this pin on Pinterest:
      -  Go to and comment below with the line on their website that most interests you!

You can enter now through next Tuesday, November 19 at 9 p.m. CST.  We will announce a winner after that time, so please check back next Tuesday!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Crayola Color Wonder Markers and Paper

Pickle really likes art projects.  I love celebrating that, I love encouraging her creativity and talents!  Since she turned about 2, however, she really hasn’t been as interested in the colored pencils and crayons that are so traditionally popular with toddlers/preschoolers.  (The bonus about these two items is that they are unlikely to permanently mark on walls and tables.)  Instead, she wanted to go straight to markers all of the time.  And she’s overall good about understanding where she should and shouldn’t draw, and I watch her, but there are sometimes when a hidden marker gets found while Mama is in doing laundry or something, and 3-year-olds are naturally curious (again like puppies).

There are washable markers on the market, but this is somewhat of a qualified name, in my opinion.  We found this out last night at Halloween when we used a washable black marker to make her nose black for trick-or-treating – three baby wipes, some cold cream, and some Irish Spring later, and she still has a ghost of a black puppy nose.  (Sorta hoping that goes away before family photos this weekend!) 

We found some Crayola Color Wonder markers and “magic” paper – better yet, it was princesses, so the baby girl was on board (LINK).  They ran about $10 for a little pack:

The premise behind these is that the markers themselves are actually clear – while I wouldn’t let a child color on an heirloom with it or anything, it lives up to this claim.  They only make colors when used on the magic Color Wonder paper.  This idea is sort of genius – it allows the child to express their creativity without drawing all over a lampshade.  Win-win, right?

Well, sort of.  The main problem with these is that the chemical reaction between the marker and paper takes a few seconds – so, the child thinks the marker is not working, and presses harder and/or scribbles all over.  Anyone who has had to take 15 seconds to peel a banana for an impatient toddler knows that this few seconds is key in their world.  By the time the colored area shows up, they’ve decided that the marker isn’t working, and gives up.

There have been a few times we’ve played with these when the Pickle has been more patient.  But the other issue with these (besides the smell, which I won’t address) is that the colors are really, really muted.  Vibrant, accurate colors are sort of Crayola’s thing, so this is also a little disappointing to the little ones. 

Overall, we’ve gotten some use out of these, but we have to catch Pickle on a day when she’s patient.  If your child tends to this by nature, these might be a good fit.  If not, I’d maybe just take your chances with washable markers.