Everyday I am discovering that the parenting world is different today than 15 years ago when I had Bella. For one, kids have the COOLEST toys now.

A pedal-less balance bike

A pedal-less balance bike

I went to my attachment parenting playgroup (through meetup.com) today and one of the kids had this wooden bike – it has NO PEDALS and is called a “balance bike.” The lucky kid got it in Germany and his mother sells it in her webstore, PlaynNature.com (check it out – great natural toy products there). The bike is appropriate for ages two through seven – and is the perfect alternative to training wheels. The only catch is that it is seriously expensive, to a tune of $315. But I swear, it’s the only thing Christian wants for his first or second birthday – the ONLY thing.

I even checked on craigslist for one today – I did find a pedal-less kid’s bike for $20 (also originally purchased in Germany). That may have to do for the time being.

Watch how much fun Finn is having on his bike. The first video (20 seconds) shows you how he uses the balance bike and the second shows you the long downhill cruise he took – Finn is only TWO YEARS OLD!

By the way, the dirt hill that Finn is trying to climb at the end of the first video? He gets up to the top and cruises down that hill too, much to his mother’s dismay. And in the second video, Finn is going much slower than he did for his first time down after a serious chiding from his mother (he wasn’t wearing his helmet). I was too astonished to video the first run downhill.

I’m joking when I say it’s the ONLY thing Christian wants…but we do prefer one high quality wooden toy to lots of plastic toys. My friend Darlene also recommends www.treasureboxtoys.com for good gifts. Speaking of whom, Darlene posted some touching pictures today from her cousin’s technology-free daycare; like pictures of her 89-year old dad, Grandpa Bob to many of us, having his hair combed by one of the little girls.

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