This week it was announced that Vivendi Entertainment had acquired domestic DVD, digital and mobile rights to Every Baby Company’s Eebee’s Adventures. An early favorite of Maia’s, we have already scooped up the various DVDs that Vivendi will now be distributing on a wider scale.

In the official press release Vivendi Entertainment President Tom O’Malley said, “We are excited to work with Every Baby Company to help bring Eebee’s Adventures to the mainstream.” So am I!

eebee bee-bee bee-bee bee-bee baby
eebee bee-bee bee-bee bee-bee baby

As a baby (6-24 months), this was the first DVD and property that resonated with Maia. She loved watching the kids interact with the eebee puppet and host. Watching the “regular” kids and parents explore and play with an assortment of toys and objects left her wide eyed in amazement. I also took away a few ideas for interacting with Maia, based on some of the activities in each DVD.

Eebee’s Adventures is a simple, earnest effort and I think that is why we were so willing to let it into our home. I truly recommend this property to parents of newborns and younger toddlers as these DVDs and toys come from a place that puts the child before the dollar.

Check out a sample clip below or visit the official website.

I love my iPod Touch.  I want to enter into a plural marriage with it. The amount of things I am able to do on this thing amazes me. At the end of the day, it is really just a mini-laptop that is extremely portable.

Of course, one of my priorities in using this device has been finding apps for Maia. At the tender age of 2.5, I have her hooked on it thanks to the many toddler-friendly applications. Below are a few of the favorites in our house.

Suzy Dress Up – Best described as “My First Dress Up Game” or “Intro to Avatars.” Maia loves choosing different hair styles, clothes and even skin colors on this very basic application. A great time-sucker while waiting for the meal to come. This pink-splashed app is seemingly targeted toward girls. ($0.99, 3DAL, LLC)

Suzy Dress Up

Pink-a-licious

Dress Chica – Featuring Chica from the Sprout channel, this is a free dress-up app. Simply dress Chica in assorted clothing items and then mail the final product as an e-postcard. As a frequent Sprout viewer, Maia instantly took to this application. (Free, PBS Kids Sprout)

Dress Chica

Chica from Sprout

Preschool Adventure – For $0.99 cents, this app includes a handful of educational activities including color recognition, shape matching, animal sounds, and connect-the-dots. ($0.99, 3DAL, LLC)

Preschool Adventure
“Preschool Adventure” Menu Screen

Preschool Arcade– From the same developer as Preschool Adventure, this app is arcade themed (including claw-crane, pinball, and space invaders inspired mini-game). ABCS, 123s and shapes are taught here as well as how to spot a real claw-crane in any restaurant. ($0.99, 3DAL, LLC)

Preschool Arcade

“Preschool Arcade” Menu Screen

Wheels on the Bus – Described as an “interactive musical book”, this is one of my favorites. Unique illustrations and triggered animations accompany each line of this standard kids’ song. ($.0.99, Duck Duck Moose)

Wheels on the Bus

Move on Back, Move on Back

I See Ewe: A Preschooler Word Game – Another educational title, this also includes several mini-games to help toddlers recognize shapes, objects, colors, animals, and their “first sight words.”($0.99, ClaireWare Software)

I See Ewe

“I See Ewe” Menu Screen

Wooly Willy – Ah yes, this one is based on the old metal shavings-and-magnet toy. I tried to get Maia to play with the real deal after finding it at a general store in North Conway, NH. No dice. This app will never replicate the true Wooly experience, but it certainly has retro appeal. ($0.99, Paze)

Wooly Willy

Just like mama used to shake

Toddler Teasers Quizzing – While this game is not flashy by any means, Maia simply loves it. It is actually a compilation of a few different titles and includes testing on letters, numbers, colors and shapes. Maia loves the cute virtual stickers she gets to choose from after answering a set number of questions. The vocal coach cheering her along helps as well. ($1.99, Toddler Teasers)

Toddler Teasers

Collect stickers along the way

Colorama: Kids Coloring Book – This neat little app features 53 illustrations to color in. Also features a cute color palette made of pencils that will make you want to mess around with it as well. ($0.99, Artizia LLC)

Colorama

Sample illustration

Parra Plays – Created by one-named Dutch artists Parra, this application was created as promotional app for tech accessory company Incase. The urban graphics are what caught my eye, but it was the Pairs matching game that made it appeal to Maia. (Free, Incase)

Parra Plays
Parra’s Unique Art

Buddy the Bus #1: There’s Always Tomorrow – Essentially, an interactive storybook. I look forward to seeing more book apps, including adaptations of some of our favorite titles. I assume it won’t be long until writers will be creating original material for this platform as well. (Free, iOrbi LLC)

Buddy the Bus

Buddy Himself

Bubbles – Already a staple on the iPhones and iPod Touches of many parents, this simple “pop-the-bubble” app is a no-brainer. (Free, Hog Bay Software)

maiapod

A Girl and Her Touch


“A few people have mentioned the childlike, sing-along quality in our songs. I think it’s because my voice isn’t too high or too low, and the lyrics have that chanty quality, so anyone can sing along to them. Or maybe we’ve just got the brains of four-year-olds!” – Katie White, leader singer of The Ting Tings. (As quoted in The Guardian).

They call me quiet, but I'm a riot.

Well said Katie! From the age of 1.5, their “childlike, singalong” tunes instantly had my daughter Maia’s head bobbing. I think the first lyrics she learned were the chanting calls of “the drums, the drums” from their hit single “Great DJ.”  Today, she enjoys imitating the rock star moves of this electronic/pop/rock band.

Compromised of lead singer Katie White and drummer/guitar player/programmer Jules De Martino, The Ting Tings debut release “We Started Nothing” was released a few years ago. Despite the fact that it is not your traditional family album, it will be a welcome addition to your car rides.

The Ting Tings have dabbled in kindie music as well, including a cover of “Happy Birthday” by Altered Images that was performed on “Yo Gabba Gabba” late last year. Our daughter’s favorite YouTube video is a mashup of Brobee singing “Party in My Tummy” with their hit single “That’s Not My Name.”

So, throw some tunes written for an adult audience in the iPod mix, knowing the little ones will also enjoy. (Disclaimer “Shut Up & Let Me Go” may be a skipper for impressionable minds.)

Check out the “Party in My Tummy” / “That’s Not My Name” mashup below.

Any music maven knows the basic quandary of Kylie: huge worldwide following while the US mostly evades her. Is one of daughter’s favorite shows getting the same treatment?

Look how cute I am.

Pocoyo, a CGI animated toon, can be easily purchased on Amazon and other online retailers. But this TV show remains mostly homeless in the world of US TV, despite finding airtime in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and more. (“Pocoyo” does in air in Spanish on Discovery Familia in the States).

This show truly stands out, featuring sparse white backgrounds covered by bright animations. Narrations from British actor/comedian Stephen Fry lend themselves to the quick and interactive plots. I won’t bore with the list of awards this show has won, but the folks behind this (Spanish producer Zinkia Entertainment) have some serious talent.
I discovered this property at an animation festival in San Fran a few years back, and then rediscovered it on the wonderful video site Totlol.com. Since then, it is a must in our house. But no dice if the little one wants any licensed goods as Pocoyo licensees seem to be very UK-centric.

So, this is my plea to whoever is listening: give young Pocoyo, Pato the duck, Elly the Elephant and Sleepy Bird some US airtime.

Deprived girl needs her Pocoyo toys.

Deprived girl needs her Pocoyo toys.

Check out a sample episode below.

About 8 years ago, I took on the role of editor/writer of a newsletter at a design firm focused on children’s projects. The newsletter focused on a broad scope of trends in media, toys, fashion, technology and general lifestyle. It was a part-time project that kept me in touch with this fascinating demographic, even when my full-time job didn’t. Although the newsletter was credited to the design firm, my general lack of ego helped me find more pleasure in realizing my work was finding a large audience.

Recently, this part time gig came to end. This was the final catalyst for this long-delayed blog project. After some additional fire under the behind from a close friend, Nugget Island was born.

As for the name: Nugget Island starts with a nickname I had for my little daughter, Maia Zoë. It ends with a song from one of our favorite artists, Gustafer Yellowgold.

So that is my brief intro. Hope you find a few ‘nuggets’ here that are useful in your personal or professional life.

Gustafer's Nugget Island

Gustafer's Version of Nugget Island