May 18th, 2015

wood cat

if you need toys for a very young child

Inspired by a picture on FB of a friend with one of my prior go-to baby toy gifts (alas, apparently no longer being made), and because I'm home this morning, I thought I'd link to my two other reliable gifts in this vein, for people who may be unfamiliar with kid toys but need a gift or to start their own collection.

1) For when they start holding things: this soft-sided sorter comes with three different kinds of stuff inside, hard rattly things, vinyl squeaky things, and soft fabric things, all of which are likely to be of great interest to a young child (and, judging by SteelyKid, to be tasty, too). Plus you can zip up the top and keep all the things inside, which is great for travel. (FWIW its availability seems to wax and wane, as I've bought it for cheaper than the current price and avoided buying it at other times.)

2) For when they start manipulating things: I spent way too much time looking for stacking rings, and these look and feel really nice, plus the slightly different design lets kids experiment with different stacking patterns as they grow.

(Bonus: not a toy, and don't give it as a gift unless you know the kid is using this particular kind of pacifier, but these pacifier holders were essential for us.)

And not for babies, but while I have my Amazon history open:

A really nice tea set.

Open the doors and find animals.

Magna-Tiles are expensive but they're very durable and endlessly fascinating. Good for as young as three, and possibly earlier.

(Finally, if you like to give books, try the "That's Not My..." board books from Usborne (available in any bookstore); any of Sandra Boynton's board books; any of Mo Willems' Pigeon or Elephant & Piggie books; or Peekaboo Morning.)

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Welcome to Night Vale (purple logo), Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale, "The Investigators" (minimal spoilers)

So I have come home from the latest live Welcome to Night Vale show, taken some Tylenol, given it time to kick in before I stuck my hands in hot water because it's my night to do the dishes, and done the dishes, which means it's time to briefly write up the show so I can go to sleep.

As the above may have suggested, I had a terrible headache through a good deal of the show. Note to self: you are 5' 3", literal front row seats before a raised stage are not a good idea. Between the neck strain, and some confluence of the speakers and the bass output of the opening musical act that had me feeling like a glass of water in a Jurassic Park movie, well, not so good.

Also, have an extremely vague description of part of the show, so vague that I doubt anyone who hasn't seen it will know what I mean: Collapse )

But the guests were delightful and clearly having a ton of fun. If the guest list counts as a spoiler to you, avert your eyes Collapse )

Finally, a fanwork rec:

Open & Notorious (45 words) by fleurrochard, Torra, Rhea, cantarina, bessyboo, Verbyna, anotherslashfan, jedusaur, knight_tracer, argentumlupine, regonym
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale intro segments
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Joseph Fink
Additional Tags: exciting news, existential quandaries, your linen closet, socket wrenches, Podfic & Podficced Works, Podfic, Podfic Length: 10-20 Minutes, Multiple Voices
Summary: We are all, in our own way, Joseph Fink.

This multi-voice podfic takes Joseph Fink's (and "Joseph Fink"'s) intros and runs with them; it is amazing and if you like Night Vale you will like it—even if you don't like the intros, because it makes them entirely Night Vale-ian instead of only occasionally so. The scripting and editing is impeccable, I laughed out loud at least twice, and basically it's just super-cool.

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