Into the Box
In 2022, even the simplest decisions can require significant research. For on-the-go lunches, bento boxes work so well for kids that Target aisles and Amazon ads present an endless variety. Yumbox, founded in 2013 by two moms, stands out with its dishwater-safe, two-piece design and playful illustrations. The littlest kids can open the latch, and the leakproof lid seals each food compartment from its neighbor. Even the yogurt you add to the dairy compartment won’t leak into the blueberries. The concept was inspired by the balanced meals served at the co-founder’s French preschool. Yumbox Original has six compartments, each labeled with what goes where, like grains and fruit. Yumbox Panino holds a sandwich plus two snacks and a dip or a treat. The new Yumbox Presto is the company’s first version in stainless steel.
Under the Rainbow
When the weather turns blustery, bounce houses provide a healthy way for little kids to dispel wiggles indoors. And in the backyard sunshine, they’re just as fun. Aesthetically, they have always been a better fit for cartoon-themed birthday parties than design-driven interiors—until now. Stuck at home with their wiggly kids in 2020, the founders of Salt Lake City–based Smol conceived the bounce house designs they wanted to buy but couldn’t find. Instead of red, blue, and yellow, they use neutral, muted tones to complement home decor. Launched in August 2021, the larger of the two bounce house designs, Rainbow Gate, measures about 11 feet wide with the slide and stands almost 8 feet tall. Without the rainbow-shaped arch, Tumble takes up the same footprint, but stands one foot shorter. Each is available in either Tadpole (three shades of teal) or Parachute (shades of peach).
Whether you like them or not, you can learn to make green eggs and ham in a skillet thanks to a new collection of 50 kid-friendly recipes. Released in January, Cook It! The Dr. Seuss Cookbook for Kid Chefs by Daniel Gercke uses charm, humor, and rhyme to inspire young chefs. Written with beginners in mind, the book breaks down kitchen basics and details the essentials, including “Be patient, have fun, and do not sweat the spills. The kitchen’s the place to try out your new skills!” Recipes, each with a Seussified name such as “Pups in Cups,” are organized by the skills they require to foster independence and encourage parents and children as young as 7 to play in the kitchen together.