Friday, March 11, 2011

Not Just for Grandmothers - The Ignite Stroller

Update on 2/23/14 - I first wrote this article in 2011 and it continues to be one of my most popular posts as people searching on "stroller for grandma" find it.  It was a great stroller and had outstanding reviews on Amazon.  It most unfortunately has been discontinued but I can now recommend its replacement - The First Years Jet Stroller.  I am not changing the writeup as I haven't had a Jet stroller to test but the link at the bottom of this post and in the sidebar now feature the Jet stroller.  I am leaving the link to the Ignite just in case you absolutely must have it.  Since it is manufactured discontinued it is listed at a very high price.  Grandmothers enjoy - and get your own stroller - one that is good and sturdy but isn't a whole "transportation system."

It’s beginning to look a lot like Spring around here and so my thoughts are turning to outdoor activities. We live just a block and a half away from a county park and bringing my grandson to the park, walking around the lake, playing at the playground and walking home is a favorite activity of ours. Usually we let his mother come too. The weather has been warming up so we already got to do that a few times.
The transportation?  My daughter has a stroller which is comfortable for Zach but weighs a ton. collapses in a rigid position and barely fits in our trunks and takes a good deal of manipulation to get it in. I bought a super flimsy umbrella stroller for $5 at a garage sale which is okay for a short trip but it can’t be used for everything – especially a “sturdy” walk in the park.
The other day a large package arrived from UPS containing a The First Years Ignite stroller. Wow! What a perfect item for me to review!  Every Grandmother who sees her young grandchild often should have her own stroller.  But let’s face it we really don’t want one that weighs a ton and hurts our back getting in and out of the trunk. And alas, my $5 model doesn’t fit the bill either. But…. This Ignite stroller by The First Years may just be perfect for grandmothers.

Here’s my list of what I like about the Ignite:
1. It was super easy to put together. My husband took about two minutes. That, in itself, was a great start.

2. It is lightweight but not flimsy. It only weighs 14 pounds. When you push it, it doesn’t feel like you are pushing a ton nor does it feel rickety like my $5 one does.

3. It folds up easily, umbrella style, and it is easily transportable without taking up your whole trunk.

4. It has a euro style frame and although lightweight it looks comfortable and sturdy.

5. It has sitting and reclining positions, a foldable canopy, handle bars at a comfortable height, a small canvas zipper container and cup holder between the handles and a lightweight shelf under the seat.

6. It’s rated for 50 pounds so it should last as long as you need a stroller.  Lots of other stroller say up to 35 - 40 pounds so this may be more important than you think.

7.  It has really nice steering and doesn't stick.

And the best part….

Zach loves it!  When he first saw it he walked around, pushed it, patted it and climbed in. He had me take him for a ride around…and around…and around….the dining room table. He didn’t want to get out. Since then, we’ve been to the park and back.  This picture of him above tells the story.

I am thrilled to have this stroller and I highly recommend it for parents – but especially for grandparents. I know that it is the perfect match for my needs – especially after experiencing stroller at either end of this one.  After I wrote this review I checked out the reviews at Amazon and ToysRUs and found out that it was highly rated by parents - especially those who have had other strollers - for many of the same reasons I mention.  It was frequently mentioned as being great for travel - something parents and grandparents both love to do.

Thanks Learning Curve/TheFirst Years for bringing this stroller to market and for sending me one to review.
You can order the stroller at Amazon and have it shipped right to your door.  Click below.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It’s Dr. Seuss’s Birthday – Celebrate by Reading His Books

Today we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday. He would be 107 years old today – Imagine That! Cat in the Hat!  And all across the country children will be listening to Dr. Seuss favorites – from Cat in the Hat to Hop on Pop to my favorite Oh, the Places you Go!
This is named Reading Across America Day in his honor and so there will be many special reading aloud events across the country today. And Dr. Seuss is definitely a Read Aloud book. Michelle Obama will be reading Dr. Seuss favorites at The Library of Congress. Libraries will have special readings and there will of course be readers adorned with a Cat in the Hat hat. Famous people have been recruited to read one of their favorites. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Was a favorite graduation present for me to give for quite a while – I once bought five at one time for this purpose!

If you see your grandchild today make sure you read a Dr. Seuss story. What makes his work so special? Yes, we all love the funny rhymes but they also take us to a place where our imagination runs wild – no matter how young or old we are. Our imagination is one of the most important things we have and one of the engines of success of our society. Although there are so many toys today that claim “to use a child’s imagination,”  you can't teach that. All we can do to help a child to develop imagination is expose them to experiences that capture their imagination and let it take on a life of its own.

Dr. Seuss books stimulate that experience. Read a Dr. Seuss book with your grandchild today – and smile as you can “see his or her imagination “run wild.”   And please…share you memories or experience with Dr. Seuss with us by leaving a comment.  I remember reading Dr. Seuss books at bedtime to my children but I had a limit of reading a favorite twice because by that time my tongue was so tongue twisted I couldn’t read it anymore.   Part of my kids' pleasure was noticing my mistakes by the second time around.  Fox in Socks was the hardest one for me and so, of course, my son's favorite.  I did much better with One Fish Two Fish and so that is the one I am steering my grandson to.....We'll see how long that lasts.

P.S.  I got to read The Cat in the Hat to my grandson, Zach when he came for lunch.  We both enjoyed it.  Oh My that mischievous cat!!