Sunday, February 7, 2010

Just Groovy

Munch has discovered Barbie. I was unaware that she had them at her new daycare (which she started this past fall). So I was surprised when, at Christmas, she told Santa that a Barbie doll was at the top of her wish list. (And, from all accounts-because I wasn't with her- Santa assured her there would be one under the tree on Christmas morning- we won't be visiting THAT mall Santa again!) I loved Barbies when I was a kid- I had a bunch AND a dreamhouse- no Corvette though! But I just felt that three years old was a little young for Barbies, but then again, all the kids seem to be getting into things at a younger and younger age nowadays (gosh, that makes me sound old!) I decided that with the holidays and her birthday, I wouldn't mind if she happened to receive a Barbie as a gift, but I really wanted to find an alternative. So I went looking around online and at the toy stores.
First, I saw the Only Hearts Club dolls- these are "real-looking" dolls whose message is to "listen to your heart and do the right thing". Nice, positive message, but geez those dolls are kind of ugly. Next!
So I moved on to the American Girl dolls. These dolls were so much cuter. I was most aware of their line of historical dolls, who come with stories that are set in American history. And of course, there was the Jon & Kate Season 1 episode where they took the twins to NYC to an American Girl show for their birthday. But have you seen the price of these dolls?!? Most of the collection, such as the historical line or the "Just Like You" dolls run in the $100 range. Not exactly the kind I can afford a collection of!
Turns out though, the answer was in our local, independent toy store- Groovy Girls, made by Manhattan Toy. Positive message? Check! The Groovy Girls have partnered with the Girl Scouts to create the Troop Groovy line, whose dolls promote respect, responsibility, and courage. Cute? Absolutely! These dolls are soft and cuddly with colorful yarn hair and wear adorable and funky outfits. And there is a good selection of princess and mermaid dolls, which Munch adores. Diverse? Yup- but without smacking you over the head with it. And the price? I have yet to see a doll over $20- and most of the ones Munch has are in the $11 to $14 range.
Munch DID get a Barbie from a friend of mine this past Christmas- her girls are older and definitely in the Barbie stage. And we did get lots of Barbie play in those first few days of Barbie infatuation- her recently purchased Ariel is Barbie's newest pal. But it's her Groovy Girls that Munch talks to, tucks into bed at night, and carries around most often.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Money Lessons

Munch got a birthday check from her very generous grandparents recently. Rather than just depositing it for her, I wanted her to understand and experience the process of saving it. So off we went to our bank where Munch told the teller that she had a "posit". The teller asked if she'd like to endorse the check, so Munch carefully wrote her name on the back. I decided that she could have $15 dollars of it to go shopping with, so the teller gathered up fifteen dollar bills and counted them out with Munch before placing them in an envelope for her.Munch loved holding actual dollars- she's been really into dumping the coins out of her piggy bank and counting and sorting them lately.When we got to Target, she carefully took one dollar out of the fifteen in her envelope and said that she'd spend this one and save the rest- I had to re-explain that she'd already saved some at the bank and THIS was all her spending money. We didn't get into the fact that a dollar wouldn't get her much :)
I let her look around the toy section, making sure that she checked the prices with me so that she'd stay in her budget. Munch ended up choosing some Tinkerbell themed paper lunch bags from the dollar bins and a mermaid-themed Playmobil play set.At the register, she counted out her fifteen dollars, held tightly to her very important receipt, and was thrilled to find she had about 70 cents in change to bring home to her piggy bank!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Munch's 4th Birthday

It's amazing the way the birthday celebrations go on and on. We had already had a family party for all our January birthday people. Then, Munch got her favorite dinner (mac and cheese) on her birthday along with a cake on her ACTUAL birthday.And after all that, of course we had the friends over for a birthday bash. Actually, the party was held at Grandma and Grandpa's house (thanks Mom & Pop!), because we live so far away from all her friends and I didn't want our guests to make the long drive to our place. Munch was a great help and did a super job with the party craft- Since we were hiring her dance and music teacher for the party, Munch and I filled and assembled "ocean drums".At the party, we had the kids decorate them as they arrived Next up was Jamaica, Munch's awesome music teacher from JAMaRoo Kids. She had the kids (and parents) dancing and making music in no time!After snacks present opening and cake Munch and her cousin A. got in a last cuddle with Grandma and Grandpa before heading home.
There was an error in this gadget