Friday November 29, 2013
I don't believe in rushing into Christmas. I don't shop before the first week of December. I don't put my Christmas Tree up until a week after that. But I do know that if I want my kids to enjoy some Christmas crafts and have the "right" (read comfy) clothes for the holiday I need to start planning at least by December 1. So right now, I am planning our Christmas activities
-- a performance of the Nutcracker, some decoration making, and maybe even a little shopping. I'll get there eventually.
Thursday November 28, 2013
In addition to finding the perfect present for your toddler, you likely have gifts to buy for other family members' children or friends' children. But what do you get a preteen? Is that toy your own child loved as a newborn still "in"? Don't stress; use this family gift guide
to get the best pick for every child.
Thursday November 28, 2013
In a house where bedtime has been crazy for the past few weeks, we had peace last night. A Thanksgiving miracle? Maybe, but more likely it's due to the kids' newest bedtime pal, Twilight Turtle Tunes
. At more than $50, you might thin this toy/sleep aid was too expensive, but consider the facts -- it's a versatile tool that plays music and anything else from your Bluetooth enabled device, plus, it includes rechargeable batters. That price seems very worth it after all!
Wednesday November 27, 2013
The only down side of getting your own web site is that you get on the "mailing list" and your inbox fills up with promotions for products you would never use and don't want to even try out.
Last week, though, I got the equivalent of the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket - an email asking me to test out two high-quality and adorable products to help soothe and comfort little ones throughout the night. I eagerly asked for samples with high hopes and I have to say I was not disappointed when I got my Twilight Turtle Tunes and Nighty Night Owl. They won't turn your problem sleeper into an angel, but the may everyone get a good rest.
Tuesday November 26, 2013
It's just about time for my little ones to start planning their lists for Santa. Lucky for Little Guy, his brother has offered to write out a list for him (which he does by cutting out his favorite pictures from the Toys R Us catalog and putting half of them on Little Guy's Santa letter).
In general, I try to focus on some educational games and activities
for the kids. There are so many great choices after all. At this age, I also plan to wrap up some art supplies
and cuddly things. The big item I'm considering is a balance bike or toddler-sized scooter but I am hesitant --a re they safe? Will they be appropriate for my tiny tot? If anyone has an opinion, fell free to share!
Thursday November 21, 2013
I am not what you would consider "techie." I use a computer to do what I have to do and move on. But I get why kids are wowed by electronic toys. The problem is, most of the really
cool toys aren't for kids -- at least not little ones. The etoys specifically made for toddlers and 2 year olds are little more than beeping noise makers in my opinion. However, some of the toys that are aimed at preschoolers can really be enjoyed by your littler ones (especially if your tot has honed his finger on your iPad).
For the holidays, you might consider the V.Reader Interactive E-Reading System, for instance -- so your child can read books just like you on your Kindle! You can also check out the LeapPad2 Power Learning Tablet -- just be sure to set aside time to go through their vast library of apps to find the ones that are really worth the money.
Enjoy a buzzing and glowing season!
Thursday October 31, 2013
You've read all the experts' opinions about standing firm and being consistent and setting boundaries to help manage toddler behavior. Yet, all your well researched plans and informed reading seems to go out the window when you come face to face with a 2 year old who is screaming his lungs out because he NO WANTS that color shirt or the peas are touching his hot dog or someone looked at him or the wrong song is playing on the radio.
What do you do? The key is to know when and how to choose your battles
. The older your child gets, the more she is going to want to have some control over life -- what she wears, where you all go, what's for lunch. Start recognizing when it's okay to let your tot make those decisions -- even when her choices aren't what you want. It will help her develop into a more happy, confident person and can stop tantrums
in their tracks.
Wednesday October 30, 2013
Halloween has many meanings in our house. We celebrate the religious meaning
, we take the time to enjoy the changes of the fall season
, and, we have a blast pretending to be people or things we're not. Costumes are magic in themselves. It's important to remember, though, that your toddler should love her costume as much as you do.
Sometimes we get caught up in what we want our children to be for Halloween (and I agree, really, the butterfly is so much cuter than Princess Sofia!). It might be a little late for this year if you've already had the costume fight with you tot or discovered, too late, that the one-of-a-kind baby zombie outfit doesn't allow for quick diaper changes. But for next year, adopt the mantra -- simple and fuss free, that's how costumes should be
Wednesday October 23, 2013
When my oldest children were small, it never occurred to me to take them trick or treating and accumulating lollipops I didn't want them to eat in the first place. They're hip to the tradition, though, now . That means Little Guy is too. I'll bend a bit and let them do two or three blocks, but I always try to make the trick or treating less enticing than the annual activities we plan around October 31.
I try to get them interested in a variety of themed activities
. I am lucky, too, since candy isn't the big attraction. It's all about the costumes for my kids.
So I look for as many opportunities as possible for them to prance around in public all dressed up. There's a town parade, a party at our library, a cousin who always hosts a small Halloween party...by the time the "big day" arrives, they've nearly worn out their costumes and are happy to do more "sightseeing" as we hand out treats on our own front porch.
You can also make the day special by baking themed treats with your tot or spending the day making Halloween projects and fall crafts. The bottom line: you don't have to follow the trends. Figure out how to enjoy the best of the season for your toddler or 2-year-old.
Sunday October 20, 2013
We spent the week creating cute ("No spooky, mommy!") Halloween decorations for our front window. There was lots of paper and paint, but a few unusual craft tools as well. In our house we make great use of egg cartons and toilet paper rolls. It's our way of recycling or reusing or just making sure we get every last bit of fun out of any thing in the house.
Check out some of the fun non-crayon tools you can use to make art projects
for toddlers, and tell us what your favorite crafty things are for toddler time projects.