1. Remo Kid’s Percussion Rain Forest Djembe
We gave my daughter this djembe for winter solstice at her request. I strongly believe children should have lots of musical instruments at their disposal. Remo makes great kid’s percussion instruments “specifically designed for smaller hands without sacrificing quality!”
The history of the djembe originally from West Africa produces three distinct tones, deep bass tone when striking the center on the drumhead, mid tone played just of center, Rim shot played with fingers on edge of drumhead. Rhythm is the building block for all music making. Let’s make music.
Although these drums are made from synthetic materials, unlike handmade drums, I am willing to sacrifice my natural toy ideology for a good, durable drum. The synthetic materials give these djembes “consistent vibrant tones” and make them easy to play. Of course, we have some natural drums in our home too.
Would I buy this product? Yes. You can usually find this drum on sale for about $50. I have one in my home and one in my classroom too!
2. My Life I Make: Spiritual Reflections in Reggae Lyrics
If you are a fan of reggae music like I am, you will enjoy reading Lauris Faith’s book My Life I Make: Spiritual Reflections in Reggae Lyrics.
The premise behind this book is that Wisdom is all around us. It is in our daily conversations, it is in our classrooms, our playgrounds and even in the words to the songs we listen to everyday.
“My life I Make Revisited” is a book about capturing the knowledge around us, and putting it into our lives. The book is entertaining, whimsical, engaging and informative at the same time. A must read for fans of Reggae Music!
From Bob Marley to Jimmy Cliff, the lyrics include spiritual thoughts anyone of any faith or agnostic person can enjoy. I share reggae music with my children for its uplifting beats and message. This little book is fun to page through, although the flowery cover for some reason deters me. Would I prefer a picture of Haile Sellassie or the Lion of Judah?
Would I buy this product? No. I’d rather spend $15 on some actual reggae music; however, I could see how this book would have been useful if my Catholic grandmother was still alive. Furthermore, there isn’t really anything eco-friendly about this book other than the message contained in some of the lyrics.
3. Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit and Organic ZBaRs
My kids love Clif Kid snacks, but their favorite is definitely the twisted fruit. Using all natural and organic ingredients, Clif Kid makes packing home lunches easier. What is most important to me is that these snack do not contain high fructose corn syrup.
Clif Kid snacks give kids in motion a choice of snacks with the nutrition and energy they need and a taste they really like. Our goal was to energize them with an appropriate balance of sugar and other nutrients as a way of encouraging them to lead active lives.
ZBaR was the first product designed to contain less than 35% of its total weight in sugar to comply with the sugar intake standard for foods available in the California school system set by State Senate Bill 12. ZBaR contains sugar from entirely natural sources, no high fructose corn syrup, and lower total sugar than many other snacks kids reach for such as soda, candy, and cookies.
Organic Twisted Fruit contains 9g of sugar, which is the naturally occurring fruit sugar from the fruit puree and juice ingredients. We do not add any other sugars to the product.
I have to admit I am annoyed when companies use random capital letters in kid products, like in ZBaRs. Not only does it annoy me to type this product name, it also bothers me that children are not shown proper written form in the environmental print they encounter. Environmental print, that is print that children recognize from their favorite products, stores, restaurants, etc., is a precursor for actual reading, and I feel that children should see correct written models.
Would I buy this product? Yes. Even though I do buy these products for my children, I do have some reservations about the Clif Bar company following last year’s peanut butter salmonella recall.
4. iCanMoo iPhone App
I have friends who feel strongly that their children should not play on their iPhones, but really, I think it is an adult sharing issue. Our iPhones provide great entertainment and some educational benefits too for long car rides, airplane trips, etc. iCanMoo is an app that helps children learn their animal sounds and names using live video. The iPhone Mom explains:
iCanMoo takes the idea of using an app to teach animal noises and gives it a twist – real live animals! No cartoons here, this app features actual factual animals. It’s divided into four different games:
Tap & Learn – Nine animal pictures are shown on the screen. Tap on one to hear the animal’s name and see a video of the animal in action.
I Can Moo – This is similar to Tap & Learn except after the video you’re asked to “cock-a-doodle-do” or “moooo”. Make the noise into your phone’s microphone and you’ll be rewarded with more video.
What’s That Sound? – You’ll hear an animal noise and have to tap the animal’s picture that matches the sound.
Find My Match – A memory game featuring the animal pictures. When you make a match you see a video for the animal.
Personally, I think the meowing cat on the video sounds distorted, but the other animal sounds are great. I especially like the matching game.
Would I buy this product? Yes. At $1.99, it is within my budget, but even more important is I think it is an app that would help my son with verbal apraxia. What is green about this product? Not much, but I do think that iPhones are so versatile that they eliminate the need for multiple electronic gadgets.
5. Robby Wash Laundry Ball Pack (12 months)
I have seen laundry balls advertised before, but I have never tried one. Just one box of Robby Wash is enough for a whole year of laundry needs! Imagine the soap you will save with a laundry ball!
Designed in France and popular in Europe for several years, the Robby Wash ball uses a patented worldwide technology to clean laundry better than traditional powder detergents. The Robby Wash hypoallergenic laundry detergent ball contains 10 ounces of macro-molecules of laundry detergent which lasts in the washer up to 12 months replacing 75 lbs. of traditional laundry detergent – saving the environment from harsh chemicals while the consumer saves more than $100 over 200 laundry wash cycles.
Would I buy this product? No. Robby Ball costs $32, which I know is a lot less than what I normally spend on a year’s worth of detergent, but I am concerned that the number one ingredient is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Although my son’s skin problems have largely disappeared as he has aged, I am still wary of SLS. Also, the green claim on these laundry balls is that it “saves the environment by eliminating use of more than 75 lbs. of traditional laundry detergent each year”, yet it may be replacing it with something more concentrated and toxic. Robby Wash is free of chlorine and phosphate, but I think I will stick to my Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent, especially since I know it is safe for my greywater system.
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.
If your trying to avoid toxic chemicals, then the best thing for laundry is Soap Nuts. Soap nuts grow on the Chinese Soap Berry Tree. The berries are dried in the sun. There are no chemicals added. You put about 5 of these dried berries and put them in a drawstring bag and throw it in your washer. They work like magic. They even make suds. They are non toxic, hypoallergenic, non polluting and cost half as much as toxic chemical detergents. I found the site with the best prices. For more info or to order (they even sell a sampler so you can try them) go to http://www.greenvirginproducts.com. They also sell other non toxic products.
I just purchased the icanmoo app but I’m not that impressed with the production quality. I agree that the actual images of real animals are more desirable than just cute art. But, the videos and music are choppy and too short. The wait time before the farmer pops up to tell you that you made the correct sound or match is too long. It’s just not intuitive enough. Great concept, poor execution.
Jennifer Lance says
Thanks for your review PureMothers. I based mine mostly on my five-year-old’s experience, but I do agree with your points as well.
Rowan Gates says
I actually bought the Robby Wash when it first came out at the beginning of the month because it was so inexpensive … and although it may not be for everyone … it works awesome … and after losing my job in late january – I was happy to knock my detergent costs down to $2.75 a month. I guess I’m moving from eco-mom to frugal mom due to circumstance called the lousy economy.