Raising kids without fear...
In an interesting contrast to this style of children's product comes a range of goods from the creepily-named Charlie's Playhouse. The "Charlie" referenced in the name is actually Charles Darwin and his playhouse is filled with toys designed to help kids understand evolution and the natural world. And as you might guess, I think the whole enterprise is frickin cool.
Consider, for example, the 18-foot long timeline map of evolutionary history. Your child can skip, jump and play along it, getting a graphic understanding of the deep history of our world and life. There are ancient creature cards that promise to introduce your kids to the bizarre and fascinating natural world of the past, and help them understand where our modern world came from. And for the big kid in you, there are a wide variety of clothing options available through cafepress. I suspect my very young niece will soon be sporting one item from the selection:
The product line isn't particularly deep as yet but I have hopes that it will grow, supplementing creative educational tools like Jay Hosler's excellent The Sandwalk Adventures. And if nothing else, at least these toys help us teach our children about where they come from and what it means without scaring the crap out of them in the process.
Sounds good to me.