Wednesday, December 14, 2011

African-American (and Asian) Boy Baby Dolls at Ikea for Under $10!

I was so excited when I learned from my mom that Ikea is now carrying a Black / African-American baby doll... and it's a boy, to boot! Our two year old foster son just loves baby dolls, and we don't discourage him. Some people, especially birth family members, express discomfort at our little boy playing with dolls but I firmly believe that boys need to play at being daddies, and it helps encourage them to grow up to be involved dads.  Doll play encourages the values of nurturing and caring for children in both boys and girls, which we see as a very positive thing. We try to make sure that he has lots of multicultural (especially Black) dolls, toys and books... but sadly, he's no longer deeply in love with his Peter doll from Ezra Jack Keats' timeless storybook A Snowy Day which was his favorite for a long time. We figured it's time for him to have a new baby who is brown-skinned and a boy like him. I personally prefer cloth dolls, rather than plastic ones, for a variety of reasons - So I was thrilled when I found out that for under $10 I could get a brown-skinned boy baby doll at Ikea.

Here's LEKKAMRAT (what? It's Ikea! Did you expect he be named Joey?). The doll costs only $9.99 (!) and is also available in a blond-haired peach-skinned version or a version with black hair and light skin that I imagine is intended to be of Asian descent.

You can see more details here. They are available in Ikea stores only.

The doll has limbs that can be rotated due to plastic joints, but is otherwise made of fabric and totally soft. The skin seems to be made of microsuede that is very soft to the touch. The yarn hair has a lovely texture. The face is not so baby-like, but instead gives the impression of a toddler or older child. Regardless, I think our little guy will love him.

Confession: As I wrote this post, I looked at the outfits available for these dolls and noticed that one of the dolls comes in a pink outfit. So I think they're actually intended to be gender neutral... Which is kind of fabulous. Maybe it's best to leave the doll's gender up to the child who receives the doll as a gift!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Morning Routine

I loved a recent post by the new foster parents who are blogging at FosterWee, which showed the collage chart they made with their foster daughter to illustrate her morning routine. What a great way to get a kid engaged in creating visual cues for their routines and responsibilities. In our house, this would have to be a little more structured and linear, accompanied by check boxes and a way to earn points. But I love the idea of adding pictures to our current points charts.

Although we haven't yet used it, my other half created a laminated checklist of morning responsibilities and then poked a hole in it with a hole punch and tied a wipe-off marker to it. The idea is that as our older foster son, who has a lot of organization and distraction and opposition/resistance issues, can be responsible for his own morning routine by checking each thing off as it's completed.

How do you help your kids with their morning routine?

Deal Alert: ONE DAY ONLY! Deep Discounts on Carol's Daughter Hair Products

Lots of deeply discounted Carol's Daughter hair products in ideeli today. Hair Milk shampoo and conditioner is $9.99 instead of $16 per bottle, and this 4 piece Macadamia Hair Care Set is $44.99 instead of $72! A bunch of other products for skin and hair care are available as well. Check it out. This line is a favorite of many of the women of color in my life as well as parents of all races whose kids have curly hair, including Black or mixed-race hair.

According to Wikipedia, the founder "began working on the products for her line in the 1980s, when she was working on the set of The Cosby Show. In her free time she made organic beauty products in her kitchen, including pure oils such as sweet almond, jojoba, and soy. Her experimentation eventually led to a mail-order and online business" that has now grown to include a number of stores. Investors include Jada Pinkett, Will Smith, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Tommy Mottola and more.

To purchase, click here. LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Deal Alert: Toys & Tools for Kids to "Travel the World" from Your Living Room

SavvySource right now has great deals on toys and projects for kids with the theme of World Travel. From world music to foreign language learning, these are some really great deals that would be perfect for holiday gifts. SavvySource is unique in that it also donates 5% of the cost of your purchase to the preschool of your choice, or to a fund helping provide scholarships for families who cannot afford preschool. Their deals also tend to be for high quality items that are deeply discounted.

Little Pim Language Learning Set for Kids - $60 $36.  Choose from Spanish, French, German, Chinese or Italian. Introduce your child to a foreign language with fun and friendly Little Pim's unique Entertainment Immersion Method ®.

Little Passports: A Global Adventure - $54 $26 for a 3-month subscription. Your child will be sent a monthly package including letters, souvenirs, and secret codes so they can join Sam and Sofia on their global adventures, learning about each country they visit.

National Geographic Kids World Atlas  - $13 $7. An up-to-date, colorful atlas for kids ages 8+.

Putumayo Kids Sesame Street CD/DVD Set - $15 $9. Join Putumayo Kids and Sesame Street as they travel around the world on a musical journey from China to Russia to India and more.

There are many more products, as well - Including overnight bags and travel accessories for kids, more language learning options, and a variety of National Geographic Kids atlases and books to help your child learn more about different countries and the languages, people and animals found in them.

You can find all of these items at SavvySource but all are limited time deals. Most are guaranteed for delivery by Christmas!

Deal Alert: 20% Off Curly Hair Products at is one of our favorite sources for curly hair products. They sell many of the products I've mentioned before. They have products appropriate for all types of curls and folks of all races and ethnicities, and in particular feature a lot of all-natural products which are great for people who are eco-minded or have kids with sensitive skin or asthma. They sell Kinky-Curly, Miss Jessie's, Curly-Q, DevaCare, Jane Carter Solution, Mixed Chicks, Aubrey Organics and more.

They are having a sale right now: 20% OFF your order at by entering the coupon code WINTER20.