• Very cool build-your-own blocks concept from Shirara & Mai Miura. (via Babyology) http://bit.ly/Kbj4D #
  • Caterpods toys teach kids about plant & gardens…and are pretty freakin cute. via@trendhunter http://bit.ly/vYvAM #
  • New Collectible Card Game, for the the young ones: “Herobits.” (via ICV2) http://bit.ly/pCzol #
  • Boys’ property Gormiti to inspire launch of magazine in the UK. http://bit.ly/MtQ8D #
  • Now you can buy the #kids those tasty Burger King Apple Fries in your local supermarkets. (via MediaPost) http://bit.ly/19L8iz # petjf67xn9
  • Top Trumps cards have kids hold cards in front of a webcam and then taken them on a “3-D interactive adventure” http://bit.ly/kqS0v #
  • New animated series to watch: “Pat & Stan” (via ToyNews) http://bit.ly/McFUV #
  • RT @aNbMedia: Renegade Animation relaunches Funny Face targeting boys, ages 6-10. Loud Mouth Lime, Goofy Grape, and crew. #
  • Interesting partnership! RT @kidscreen: Random House and Komixx Entertainment form JV prodco http://tinyurl.com/mdy39a #
  • Sun-In is making a come-back?! This gave my brother orange hair on multiple occasions. (via @trendcentral ) http://bit.ly/RYwWL #
  • RT @cshuler_jgcc: If you still had any doubt about the convergence of virtual worlds and toys: Engage! Expo partners with Toy Fair for 2010 #
  • Good summary! RT @TheToyDetective: Toy industry business week summarised in the Industry Player’s Digest – http://tinyurl.com/lmcrtb #
  • http://oneclickmoms.com/archives/512 #
  • Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and The Storyteller comics on way. I heart creepy Henson! (via Icv2) http://tinyurl.com/lrwzyn #
  • wow! great stat. RT @360KID: When Elmo’s image from Sesame is added to a food like broccoli, ~28% more young children ate broccoli. #
  • Vintage arcade machine doubles as touring 3D magazine (via @springwise ) http://bit.ly/bh1G6 #
  • The Hardy Boys are back: Nintendo DS game on the way from Sega. (via LicenseMag) http://bit.ly/44p6mW #
  • In case you haven’t see yet….you need to. RT @animag: FEATURES: First Pics Drop for Burton’s Wonderland http://tinyurl.com/mxjsu3 #
  • ToyNews has a feature on the tricky girls’ toy market. http://bit.ly/lvDAk #toys #
  • New MTV-created property to watch: Cherry Girl. (via Licensing.Biz) http://bit.ly/3DKR4 #licensing #
  • “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” continues to “wow” (har, har). Handful of food licenses announced. (via LicenseMag) http://bit.ly/ngIHg #
  • RT @smgrimes: Jackie Marsh on kids’ UGC sites, iTwixie, URock2, + Bedroom TV: http://bit.ly/tzjHN #
  • Starz launches online site animated shorts, ABEToons.com – and accompanying talent search. (via @kidscreen ) http://bit.ly/ToMFQ #
  • The paper-folding trend continues. New cool book Paper Foldables is a digest of 3D and 2D designs. (via @PSFK ) http://bit.ly/CINFs #trends #
  • Cool Eric Carle decorative prints. http://bit.ly/o0d9Q (via UrbanBaby) #
  • Very cool paper doll wall art for the kiddies from Alexander Girard. (via Babygadget) http://bit.ly/j7XRN #
  • damn plague masks are scary….RT @Storybird: La Peste is brilliant storytelling http://www.vimeo.com/5079195 A small masterpiece. #
  • Smart way to get behinds in seats RT @BostonFamilyLif: AMC Theaters present $1 movies at Summer Movie Camp http://bit.ly/15YvFC #
  • Pebbles – the Flintstones character not the early 90′s pop star – is ready for a comeback. (via PW) http://bit.ly/C2SyK #
  • My co :) RT @WeeWorld: Vote WeeWorld for The Europas & help make us the best! Vote now & get your friends to vote too! http://clop.in/JNHixg #
  • Thomas & Friends do good! Raise £1 million for National Autistic Society. (via ToyNews Online) http://bit.ly/w4mvQ #
  • Babble.com has an interview with Gustafer Yellowgold. Our family fave. http://bit.ly/ugu5D #
  • Follow Friday my tweeps. Just a few. @WebWiseKids , @todayshottoys , @360KID ,@sidneyeve ,@theikidsblog ,@OneClickMoms . #ff #
  • Seth Meyers develops animated half-hour superhero spoof series called The Awesomes for MTV. MTV!?(via @animag ) http://bit.ly/WchES #
  • RT @PasteMagazine: James Joyce’s Ulysses Gets Graphic With Online Comic http://tr.im/pQRj #
  • sweet! we loves Dress Chica RT @derekeb: PBS Kids Sprout expands iPhone app deal with New Wave http://tinyurl.com/koalvs hat tip @kidscreen #
  • RT @iPhoneAppGirl: Michael Jackson Fan? There’s an app for that ➡ http://ow.ly/fWe6 #
  • The TImes Online reviews summer reading options http://bit.ly/IoDnL #kids #
  • Ghostwire on the Nintendo DSi has you hunting “real-life” ghosting and snapping photos of them. http://bit.ly/14AQ2o #
  • New kids’ television property to watch: The Elephant Princess (via@animag )http://bit.ly/QlTP1 #
  • GeekDad profiles UbiSoft’s girl-targeted games. http://bit.ly/rqGgG #
  • For me, one of the best parts about “Yo Gabba Gabba” is the animated music segments. Explained….http://bit.ly/3yLJOq #yogabbagabba #ygg #

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Yo Gabba Gabba gets lots of well-deserved props for the musical guests that perform on the show. Whether it’s indie soft-rockers The Shins telling kids “It’s Ok, Try Again” or electro-funk act Chromeo reminding us to keep our hands “Clean,” there is no shortage of cool ‘Super Music Friends’ on this show.

But, one of the main reasons I tune in is Gabba’s animated music segments. Unlike the Super Music Friends Show segment, which features the band members as guests, these segments pair cutting edge animated segments with original songs from some of the coolest indie acts out there.  Usually completely forgoing the Gabba characters as well, these quick segments all feel like they are directly pulled from an animation festival.

Some of my personal favorites:

“Listen” – This chill out song from Paco mixes a message about listening to all the sounds around you with retro psychedelic animation from Lori DWatch now online

Image from “Listen”

“Hey, Won’t Somebody Come and Play” – One of my Maia’s favorite songs from Yo Gabba Gabba, this cover song from The Little Ones features rainbow-colored animation with artist Jesse Ledoux‘s unique characters brought to life by frequent Gabba go-to PUNY. Watch now online

Image from “Hey, Won’t Somebody Come and Play”
Hey, Won't Somebody

“This Is What The Summer Brings” – This song by Tony Goddess & The Silver Lining perfectly sums up my favorite time of year. The 2-D, hyper-colored animation by Joel Trussell is a quick-collage of everything that makes this time of year great. Watch now online.

Image from “This Is What The Summer Brings”
This Is What the Summer Brings

“Train” – This sunny, catchy tune from Tahiti 80 takes a little girl through 3-D, candy-colored wonderland and an adventure inside a dinosaur’s stomach. This animated piece from PandaPanther is probably my personal favorite. Watch now online.

Image from “Train”

“I Found Love” – This song from the Trembling Blue Stars is another sunshiny Gabba classic. The pink, red and green, colored animation from Bran Dougherty-Johnson will remind you of both the retro cartoons you used to catch on the Disney Channel in the 80′s (non-Mickey ones) as well as the coolest Valentine’s Day card you’ve ever gotten. Watch now online

Image from “I Found Love”
I Found Love

“Bedtime Lullaby” – Animation house Lippy takes this beautiful song from Mark Kozelek and immerses it into an equally beautiful animated segment. As a young mouse drifts off to sleep, he is lead into a colorful dream inspired by the mobile in his room. Watch now online

Image from “Bedtime Lullaby ”
Bedtime Lullabye

“Come & Play With Me”- Another come-out-and play themed song, this time from The Clientele. This time the 2-D animation from Merijn Hos and Jurriaan Hos has a bunch of walking fruits and veggies playing on what looks like a psychedelic, 60′s-inspired alien planet. This is nothing you will ever see outside of a show like Yo Gabba Gabba and that is why I love it so.

Watch “Come & Play With Me”  now!

Lucky visitors to the upcoming “Art of Yo Gabba Gabba!” exhibit at the Pink Hobo gallery in Minneapolis are sure to be treated to some of these videos, as well as behind-the-scenes details. Your jealous Boston friend looks forward to a full report!

Sunny pop from the Asteroids Galaxy Tour. No, really.

We are huge proponents of quality kids/family music in our house. However, I also celebrate adding a few adult songs to your kiddie-centric playlist.  Specifically, appealing to your child’s blossoming music tastes while appeasing your need for some songs that are NOT about the ABCs and 123s. Below, is a summer-tuned, shuffle-friendly playlist of music that wasn’t written with kids in mind but that Maia and I thoroughly enjoy bobbing our heads to. Yes, it is slightly biased to my music tastes, but I promise this summer-riffic playlist will have you smiling too!

Basement Jaxx - We love blasting this electronic duo’s greatest hits. Their music is full of bubbly, fast-paced grooves with a decade-plus songbook to handpick toddler-friendly grooves from. Maia’s favorite is the chant-like “Bingo Bango.” New summer-themed single “”Raindrops” is also rising up our charts as well.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - This Danish band has several songs on their new album “Fruit” that are made for warm summer days. Our family favorite is “The Golden Age,” where lead vocalist Mette Lindberg’s vocals are mixed with a unique combination of rat-pack era jazz and hip-hop beats.

Passion Pit
Boston boys make it big

Sonny J – This English singer/songwriter/ DJ/ producer has a year-old album full of songs that are sure to get the family moving. The Jackson 5-meets-Fatboy Slim track “Can’t Stop Moving” is the true summertime standout on this sampledelic album. The video itself is worth a view too, recalling 70′s era “Sesame Street” musical numbers.

Passion Pit – One of the biggest breakthrough acts of the spring,  this Cambridge, Mass-based band have a few songs from their new Manners LP that are perfect summertime jams. The surefire hit is the synthy, beat-driven “Sleepyhead” with its  sing-along chorus.

Madonna - Don’t hate. We’ve got mad love for Madonna in my house. We have been playing Maia a lot of the newer stuff. “Do you like to boogie-woogie?” is one of her favorite lines. And no,  “Justify My Love” is not on the playlist.

A few more warm weather-inspired recommendations that Maia seems to have taken to, and that I am more than happy to play if the lyrics are appropo:

Ting Tings – (See previous post)

The Little Ones - L.A. indie pop (and “Yo Gabba Gabba” guests)

Phoenix – French pop/rock band

Annie – Norwegian electropop singer

Miike Snow – Swedish pop/rock/electronica band

Cut Copy – Australian synthpop band

Goldfrapp - British electronic music group

Backseat Fun!
All smiles in the backseat with Dad on the decks

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Slightly Photoshopped Maia showing off Goldfinch print
Slightly Photoshopped Maia showing off the Goldfinch print

First off, I will admit my biases here, as they are threefold. MeMe Baby is based out of our neighboring city, has used my daughter as a model on their website and even supports a cause that is close to me. Looking past that, MeMe’s unique infant and toddler clothing designs stand on their own merit as a cool addition to any wardrobe.

MeMe was founded by Jennifer Subrin, out of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Their garments are made of materials like organic cotton and are produced using environmentally and socially responsible organizations. According to their website, their distinct designs are inspired by the birds of New England and etchings of Olde England.

When I originally heard about bird designs on clothes, I had images of old lady house dresses dancing through my head. But Jennifer’s husband Dennis Witnauer has created original prints that are urban and modern.

Most importantly, MeMe is also involved with the HER Foundation, (Hyperemesis Education & Research foundation), an organization that provides education & support to mothers suffering from the serious and debilitating pregnancy disease Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Having a close friend who has a suffered from this disease, I have seen the toll it takes on a woman and her family and I am glad to see a company bringing some attention to it. MeMe’s HERon bodysuit and organic cotton tee shirt raises money for the the HER Foundation. (Jennifer suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum during her last pregnancy.)

MeMe infant and toddler clothing can be purchased in baby clothing and gift boutiques or purchased directly online at MeMeBaby.com.

"HERon" Print
“HERon” Print