Creating an Nurturing Kids Room

A children’s room can be so much more than just a place to sleep. It can be a place to explore, dance, conquer cities, and have tea parties. 

Children have limitless imaginations and their bedroom is the start of where all of that takes place and starts to develop. 

While a child’s bedroom should be functional, it can be beautiful and adventurous too! One of the best things about a well-designed kids’ bedroom is that it can provide support for their learning journey too. It’s not as difficult as you might think to create an incredible kids’ bedroom.

kids bedroom

via “this old house” / nat rea

Children are natural sponges that love to explore. Positive affirmations and maps of the world will increase their self-esteem and confidence, while positive affirmations will show them how huge the world can be.

Make sure that you take into account your child’s wonderful personality as you create the room so that it is instantly somewhere that they can’t wait to be. 

Consider the use of color. Some colors are soothing and peaceful, while others are energizing and bright. As a result, consider utilizing something soothing. Blues and greens are great choices. Avoid yellow since it is harder for our brain to digest and generates low-level stress.

Walls

You will most likely start will some wallpaper – check out https://www.wallpaperboulevard.com/wall-decor/wallpaper-1.aspx – or paint. Keep in mind the colors that your child finds the most enjoyable, and work with that. If the room is small, you might prefer to opt for lighter colors. 

The walls are also a prime place to hang photos, great posters, or frame any of your child’s achievements. 

We all love to achieve things, and it is special to see what you have displayed in your room. It is a big motivator to see them. Medals, rosettes, trophies, and certificates are all a reminder of the journey they are on. 

You can also use the wall space for affirmations. Affirmations can be an essential part of growing up, as they give children a boost of confidence. Some simple ones work for almost all children. 

 

  • I can achieve my goals.
  • I am special
  • I put my best effort into everything
  • I am loved and supported
  • I am intelligent and successful 

 

They are very simple but can significantly impact how your child tackles the rest of the day. It can also be worth adding in some new ones that your child has invented. 

You can create the affirmations together and use bright colors and swirly fonts to make them extra personalized. 

Creativity

Not all children’s rooms are blessed with a lot of space. If you do have room, a small table and chairs can be great for sitting and coloring when they are little. But as your child grows, a desk and chair will be essential for them to study at. 

If there isn’t enough room for your child to have a whole desk and chair, then a fold-down wall desk and a fold-away chair can be the perfect space-saving option. 

When your child has a specific interest like travel, unicorns, or space, it makes a lot of sense to try and have that in the room somehow. This is an excellent opportunity to do a project together and create something for the room. The solar system is always a fun project, and a 3D jigsaw can be fantastic too. 

As your child grows and becomes more responsible with creative tools, make sure that they have a drawer or a small box dedicated to holding all of their pens, pencils, stampers, and more. 

So any time they feel like getting creative, they have everything they need. 

Bookworms

If you have a big reader on your hands, you will probably run out of space pretty quickly as their book collection grows. There are a few things that you can do here. You can have a one-in-one-out rule, where each time they get a new book, an old one should be donated so they can find a new home. 

And only have a select few on the shelving, or if you have the space, create a library wall. A few shelving units (screwed into the wall) should do the trick. It means that they can grow their collection as they grow. 

Sleeping space

There are more models and sizes of beds available than ever. Space-saving beds are one of the best inventions ever. A mid-size sleeper offers room underneath that can be used for desk space or pillow forts. 

The bedroom, rather than a place of punishment, should be a space of nurturing and retreat. We all need time to lay down and process the day, and children of all ages are no different. A child’s bedroom should be their own personal space. 

It is in your home but it’s also a small part of their safe space too. In some ways, allowing your children to create some rules in their rooms might not be a bad idea. You might want to consider not entering without knocking as a small gesture of personal space recognition. Alternatively, give kids a lot of influence about what they have in their room.

Of course, if you have multiple children sharing, there will likely be a little bit more contention over what there will be in the room. One might be a bookworm, while the other is a sports lover. 

Different parts of the room might need to be divided equally so that each child feels like they have their own space and sense of belonging within the home. 

While they are little, they might be more concerned with sleeping in the same place as their parents, but as they grow, children often seek the independence and personal space that their room will bring to them. And even if their idea of interior decoration doesn’t match your own, letting them indulge in what they love is some of the best foundations for becoming their person. 

Are you seeking some inspiration for your bedroom? Read more: Have Sippy Will Travel – Easy Ways To Upgrade Your Bedroom.

Fun Activities To Try to Keep Your Kids Entertained

Having a bored child can be a challenge to parents. It is important for parents to find ways that their children can be entertained, whether they are at work or busy around the house. Children need an outlet so that they don’t feel alone or bored during the day when they aren’t with you.

You may not have time to take them out of the house. So it’s a good idea for parents to find ways that their children can keep themselves busy and entertained. The best way to proactively entertain your kids is by getting them involved in activities that are fun and engaging. This includes playing board games, reading, taking walks, watching movies and television shows, cooking together and more.

But if you want some other ideas, read on.

Why Your Kids Playing Video Games Is A Good Thing

Video games have become a part of our culture. Playing video games can help people with everything from learning to socialization. In fact, most people who play video games tend to be more social, and it has been shown that this socialization has a positive impact on an individual’s mental health.

So trying to stop kids playing video games might not be a good idea. Whether it’s drift cars or war games, they might do some good. Playing video games can teach kids about different things such as creativity, innovation, and problem solving. It could also help them learn about technology too.

Encouraging Your Kids To Do Chores For Fun & To Earn Money

As a parent, you will know how difficult it is to get your kids to do chores. In case you need some ideas on how to get your kids to do chores for fun and earn some money too, it helps to make sure they know of the rewards. You could buy them a treat or they can earn their allowance this way. You could also get them to try all different chores to work out which ones they’re all best at and then give set chores going forward. You could also encourage them to be entrepreneurial too, by doing chores in the neighborhood.

Different Ideas For Your Kids To Be Creative At Home

Being creative is not always about having the latest and most expensive painting tools. It’s about finding ways to make your children be more imaginative and creative at home. One way to make your kids more creative is through art activities. This could be painting or drawing, making collages or playing with clay. They could also experiment with sidewalk chalk or making a dress. Either way, creative activities can immerse them for hours on end.

Fun Active Activities and Sports For Your Kids To Play At Home

Outdoor activities and sports are important in the development of kids. They help in building a healthy body and mind. It also helps to develop skills such as planning, teamwork and imagination. Outdoor activities are great ways to keep your kids active and engaged throughout the seasons. Some really fun activities to consider include;
-Horseshoes
-Toss the Frisbee
-Water balloon fight
-Dodgeball
-Kickball
-Football toss

4 Tips For Choosing The Right Childcare Provider

Choosing the right childcare for your baby can be a tough decision; despite being regulated, childcare facilities will all perform differently and have different values they uphold. Of course, every parent wants what is best for their child, so making sure the provider of your choice is right for you and your circumstances is vital to ensure a happy, healthy environment.

finding childcare

What should you be looking for when choosing the right childcare provider?

What Provider You Need

Finding the right provider and style of childcare is of utmost importance. For some families, preschools can be the best type of childcare notion as they are similar to the school environment and enable your child to get used to the structure and routine of being in an education setting. However, a nanny is ideal for families who prefer their child at home and need the flexibility to cover unusual working hours or family dynamics. However, a childcare provider provides preschool levels of care in their home, meaning you get the best of both worlds.

Once you have decided what option is best for you, what do you need to look for in a childcare provider?

Staff and Child Interactions

Keep an eye out for how the staff interacts with the children when you’re touring potential locations. Ideally, a caregiver should be on the floor with the children, either playing with them or holding one of them in her lap. To survive during their early years, babies require tight, loving, interactive interactions with their caregivers. 

To ensure this, newborns’ first caregivers must be warm and responsive. Even in group care, infants and older babies receive a sufficient amount of individual attention. While local states choose staffing ratios for childcare facilities, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a ratio of one adult for every three newborns under the age of 12 months.

Check Their Policies

Investigate whether or not you and the caregivers have similar parenting philosophies on discipline, television; feeding; and sleeping, and so forth. Ask about the sick-child policy (what symptoms preclude a child from attending?) and the sick-child allowance. A backup plan should be in place if the family day-care provider or in-home caregiver becomes ill and cannot continue working. The more questions you ask early on, the less likely you will be disappointed later on.

You Can Communicate Easily

You will have to rely on what your baby’s caretaker tells you about your child’s day until they can communicate. When you drop off your child for the first time in the morning, you should tell the caregiver how your child slept the night before, whether they are teething, whether they ate breakfast, etc. At the end of the day, you’ll want to know the same things, such as how many diapers they went through, when they napped, etc. It is always advisable to communicate with the caregiver in person rather than over the phone. If that isn’t possible, inquire whether there is a convenient time to call, such as during nap time.

Routines That Will Make Your Life Simpler and Home Management Easier

Do you feel like your life is too hectic? Do you seek out Routines That Will Make Your Life Simpler and Home Management Easier?

family life

Do you often forget to do the things that need doing around the house because they’ve become such a routine? You’re not alone. If this sounds like something you need help with, here is how to establish a better home environment.

Clean Up Throughout the Day

It can be a huge pain to try and get everything done in one day. There’s never enough time for it all, so you end up letting things slip through the cracks.

Cleaning throughout the day is just as crucial as cleaning once a week or month. However, just because something isn’t dirty doesn’t mean it needs no attention at all. For example, if there aren’t any dishes in the sink when mealtime rolls around, then put them away. And don’t forget about tidying up before bed.

Don’t clean for hours at a time –  have a clear routine and pick out one or two things and get them done. If you spend too much time on housework without giving yourself any breaks, it’ll become exhausting quickly. Instead, tackle your most dreaded responsibilities first thing in the morning when you’re fresh and motivated. 

Once that task is finished, more energy will be left if something else needs attention later on down the line. Many people say they don’t know where to start, but if clutter isn’t taken care of once it starts accumulating, everything eventually becomes impossible to workaround. Start by making an effort to keep things organized. Try putting away items sitting out on the counter or table, folding clothes instead of leaving them in a pile, and keeping your closets clean.

Conduct Repairs and Maintenance on Time

Please do not wait until your dishwasher, washing machine, or vacuum cleaner stops working before you get it fixed. Inspecting the appliance at least once a month will help you identify issues early on and save money in the long run by preventing major problems from occurring all of a sudden. Also, if there is an issue with any specific part, replace it immediately so that your unit does not have to work harder than usual.

At this point, you should also consider if replacing the entire unit would be more efficient for your needs. If yes, then do whatever necessary steps are required to quickly sell off a broken-down one and purchase a new one that fits well into your kitchen space without taking up too much room.

Switch to Energy-Efficient Practices

All around the world, people are switching to energy-efficient practices because of the growing concern for saving resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, there is an increased awareness about how these changes could make a real difference in your lifestyle by helping you save money on utility bills while also making homes more comfortable.

For example, switching to LED lighting or solar panels for home will help reduce your carbon footprint and positively affect your wallet since LEDs use less electricity than other light sources such as fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. When choosing lights at home, try to replace regular lamps with dimmable floor lamps that allow you to adjust brightness levels depending on where they’re placed so that no part of a room is left in the dark.

Another great way to make your home more energy-efficient is by reusing water. Installing a greywater system can allow you to recycle up to 80% of household wastewater that can be reused for non-potable purposes. With these new healthy habits, you will see an improvement in air quality, so start creating positive changes today.

Arrange for Power Washing at Least 2x Yearly

This will help your house look great and increase its value. Frequent power washing can also keep mold, mildew, algae, dirt, and other problems at bay. Because this service is so important, it is recommended you set up a routine for getting this done once or twice per year, typically in April through July when weather conditions are ideal. 

You should not wait until winter because leaves have fallen off trees containing debris that could harm equipment used for pressure washing. Thus, causing damage to both property and expense if issues arise after work has been completed on the home exterior. You should also set up a yearly window to have this work done after the season’s first significant snowfall. However, it is not recommended that you wait for warmer weather as ice, rain, and cold temperatures may cause problems with equipment used in pressure washing exterior surfaces of your home. This may result in additional expenses or damage if issues arise following the completion of service by a power cleaning company.

Do Laundry Every Other Day

Please get rid of things you don’t need or won’t use in a month, no matter how much you paid for them, do laundry every two days instead of every day, so there is less ironing and clothes smell better when they are clean. Get off your phone while doing chores to avoid distractions. Keep the number on the speed dial, so it’s easy to call someone if something goes wrong with a load. Be willing to pay more for washing machines that have enough capacity for all your clothes. 

It will save time and money in the long run. Learn how many minutes each cycle takes before buying new appliances because different kinds take different amounts of time to complete tasks. For example, if too much clothing gets put into one machine, some items might not get clean.

Declutter Your Home When Things Begin To Pile Up

One of the best things you can do for your home is to declutter when the clutter starts piling up. If you wait until things are completely out of control, it will be much harder to fix and clean up after yourself.

Conclusion

So there you have it! Making your life easier is just a matter of creating good habits for yourself. And that’s awesome because being organized can change the way you live positively in so many ways. So once you start working on simplifying certain areas of your home or workspace, don’t stop there – keep going until all aspects are covered and perfect for your lifestyle. It doesn’t take long before these routines become second nature to you and make everything much more efficient and easy-going.

6 Back to School Necessities

Summer is many people’s favorite season of the year, and for a good reason too. You get to soak up the sunlight, visit beaches, stay up late, see your favorite shows and spend quality time with your family. However, as the summer starts winding down, you want to slide back into work and school mode gradually. 

kids back to school

The back-to-school season is fast approaching. The earlier you make plans, the better the transition is. There are several items that can help families transition seamlessly and put everyone in the right frame of mind. 

  1. Alarm Clock 

After getting used to waking up and sleeping at odd hours, families struggle to make that adjustment to the routine lifestyle of the back-to-school season. However, investing in a good alarm clock can make all the difference. One key to productivity is developing a consistent sleep schedule. An alarm clock comes in handy, especially after all the late-night shows and parties.

Sleeping and waking up at a consistent time helps the internal biological clock. Often, people need help to transition back to this. This is where an alarm clock is useful. 

There are smarter alarms that use vibrations and bright lights rather than the disturbing sound from the typical clock. Some brands now design alarm clocks that mimic the sun. These wake-up lights simulate the dawn and dusk pattern of the sunlight, helping us wake earlier and naturally.  

  1. Vitamins 

The summer season is synonymous with a sedentary lifestyle of binge-watching movies, altering sleep patterns, and dehydration from alcohol use. It is also a season when so many people break their workout routine. Lack of exercise and other patterns affect the immune system. It is thus essential to find the right vitamins to boost the immune system in the back-to-school season. 

The back-to-school season also opens and exposes people to different germs. Vitamin C, E, A, and D help improve the immune system by preventing and fighting off infections. They support biochemical reactions and are a potent source of antioxidants. Sources of these vitamins are almonds, spinach, bell peppers, carrots, pumpkins, salmon, among others. 

It can often be an uphill task to get the recommended amount of vitamins the body needs from food. Nutritionists often recommend supplements. Supplements come in capsules, tablets, soft gel, powders, and gummies. Gummies are an increasingly popular choice because they are convenient and easy to take on the go. Immune gummies improve the amount of vitamins in the body while strengthening your immune system.

  1. Workout Equipment

It is important to develop a workout routine and stick to it. Knowing your fitness goals will make this easier. Do you want to lose weight or add some muscles? 

Once this is clear, you can focus on being consistent by registering at a gym or buying workout equipment. Equipment like the treadmill or the magnetic exercise bike would make wonderful additions. Also, find activities that would be more engaging for you, such as hiking, swimming, and strolling. This way, you nurture the need for consistency.  

  1. Glass Tupperware

Glass tupperware is an effective food storage container. You want a storage container that can preserve your kids’ food for the longest possible time. They are safer than plastic containers. 

Glass containers are also stronger than plastic and hold heat better. They don’t leak unwanted chemicals into food when heated. They are transparent and more hygienic, making them appropriate for storage. Another alternative is to purchase a lunchbox with adequate insulation. 

  1. Water Bottle

Regular water intake helps prevent infections, regulates body temperature, and delivers nutrients to cells to aid organ functioning. It is important to have a water bottle at work, school, or workout sessions. Stainless steel bottles are a fantastic option for kids to avoid damage. It is also important to purchase a reusable bottle to cut down on plastic waste and environmental pollution.   

  1. Comfortable Shoes

Another item to get off your bucket list for the back-to-school season is comfortable shoes. Work has resumed, and there will be a lot of running around and standing. You need to have comfortable shoes that can handle all that walking. Comfortable shoes are stylish, making them ideal for parents and children. 

Manufacturers make comfortable shoes with breathable materials that prevent foot pain. They aid body posture and prevent leg problems, such as joint ailments. There is a shoe option for every individual need.

Good Health, Good Productivity

Planning for the back-to-school season helps ease the stress and smoothens transition. The aim of the summer season is to resume work feeling rejuvenated. For this to happen, it is essential to prepare and take care of your health in the process. 

    

Baking with Baketivity – Fun For Kids

If you are like me, you love to bake. It is one of the things my youngest son and I do together often. He’s become quite the hand in the kitchen, although he’s still such a mess I’m always surprised. (When does that stop? Ever?)

We’ve recently tried out these fun kits from Baketivity. We did two at once, because sadly we were pretty sick when the “Back to School” one arrived (we had Covid, and I got very, very sick from it). No matter, it was fun doing them both together.

baking with kids

Each kit comes with everything you need, already measured out, labeled, and pre-packaged. It also comes with cute “kid sized” chef gear (hat and apron) as well as a cute little spatula- also kid-sized.  Apologies he’s not wearing them- they are a little too “kid sized” for him, LOL. This boy has been in men’s sizes for a few years now. What can I say- he’s just a giant.

baketivity

One kit was “back to school” themed, and was sugar cookies sliced into the shape of pencils, with colored sprinkles decorating them to look like them, as well. They were delicious, and disappeared immediately. Like, gone within a day.

fun kids activity

The second kit was cinnamon buns, and my son did these nearly entirely on his own, very limited help from me. He really enjoyed doing them. We make cinnamon buns all the time, but usually from either one of my books or from memory (my memory, so he needs me to tell him everything at this point). My books are obviously geared towards adults, so sometimes he gets confused on what to do next, or by a specific measurement. This kit really simplified things, and the directions are so easy for children to follow.

cinnamon bunds

If you have an aspiring baker, a kitchen helper, or you just want your child to be confidant and competent in the kitchen- I highly recommend getting a Baketivity kit. They are fun, easy to follow, and give kids the confidence to try bigger and more difficult things. And hey- don’t worry about the mess. That’s why we have mops and brooms and cleaning supplies, right? They can help us clean up, and it will be one more thing they get better at, right? There we go. Truly- really fun time. You will be so glad that you did.

Enjoy your day, and stay safe out there!

Looking for Non-Candy Valentines Gifts for the Kids? #Ideas

Looking for fun Valentines Day toys and games for the kiddos? Since we are stuck indoors (too cold to be outside for long, and the pandemic is keeping us from being out and about), you’ll want to have boredom busters. Not to mention, no way you’d want to fill the kids up with candy when they can’t burn off all the sugar, haha. CHeck out these fun finds, you are sure to find something you will love.

ARTS & CRAFTS

iLY Pura Loom Bracelet Maker from WeCool Toys

Making beautiful friendship bracelets doesn’t have to be difficult! The new iLY Pura Loom Bracelet Maker by Activity Kings is the easiest way to make the most beautiful and trendy friendship bracelets! Learn different techniques to make a variety of textured and colorful bracelets for you and your friends! Create colorful twisted designs with beads, charms & more! It’s easy to create, wear, and share with your BFF! The combinations are endless, the only limit is your imagination! Ages 6+, MSRP $19.99.

STEM/SCREEN FREE EDUCATION

Smarty PAD™

The new Smarty PAD™ interactive LED tablet gives preschoolers and kindergarteners a new way to play and learn with 12 smart games and age-appropriate curriculum. Motion sensors give the lightweight tablet an innovative spin, encouraging unique sensory play. Smarty PAD™ speaks in both English and Spanish as kids play with colors, patterns, ABCs, and numbers up to 25. Smarty PAD™ teaches phonics, language, early math, and beginning coding, nurturing small motor development and critical thinking. Positive reinforcement, helpful encouragement, and over 100 different responses keep kids engaged every time they play. Ideal for kids 3 to 6 years old. MSRP: $34.99.

Smarty JOJO™

The Smarty JOJO™ is a super-charged interactive airplane that gets high-energy preschoolers learning on the go. Motion sensors encourage physical activity while JOJO teaches directions, shapes, colors and opposites. JOJO’s kidspeak conversation also nurtures emotional intelligence, calling out feelings and helping kids recognize their own emotions. Bi-lingual JOJO speaks in English or Spanish. The newest SMART technology enables JOJO to identify colors. “Can you find something blue?” “Yes, you can!” Over 150 random actions and reactions make the experience different every time a child plays!  Ideal for kids 2 to 4 years old and $24.99.

Smarty FLUTTER™

Flycatcher’s Smarty FLUTTER™ learning toy teaches preschoolers on-the-go as they fly through a room or a yard. Smart Technology identifies colors, and kidspeak conversation calls out feelings, helping kids recognize their own emotions. Fun missions teach right and left directions, shapes, and opposites. Motion sensors encourage active physical play. Over 150 random actions and reactions make the experience different every time a child plays. Smarty Flutter™ also speaks in both English and Spanish. Ideal for kids 2 to 4 years old and $24.99.

STRESS FREE TACTILE FUN

Insta Studio Hands-Free Video Station from WeCool Toys

The new Insta Studio by WeCool Toys has everything one needs to shoot their very own viral videos. Equipped with an adjustable base and rotating head to shoot at the best angle possible, this device allows kids of all ages to shoot viral videos hands free! Kids can use their Insta Studio to shoot all types of videos. From cooking, crafting, and sliming, children have the freedom to create fun videos. Includes fun and trendy backgrounds, mixing tools, various slimy compounds, and sparkly mix ins! The only limit is your imagination. $19.99, 4 and up.

Angry Putty from Crazy Aaron’s

Turn your frustration into fun! Angry Putty™ features a unique formula that builds resistance as you play. This amazing putty actually absorbs your tension— getting tenser and tenser with each stretch—to leave you feeling happy and relaxed. The line includes three skus’, Hot Head, Stress Ball, and Drama Queen.

scenty putty

Holiday SCENTsory from Crazy Aaron’s

Cozy up with these four delectable holiday scents featuring fun SCENTsory texture that will joy to anyone’s world. The line includes two skus’, 4” Jingle and 4” North Pole. MSRP $3.50

Vibes SCENTsory Putty from Crazy Aaron’s

Vibes SCENTsory® putty is great for gamers, all-night study sessions, and anyone who is craving a little more intensity from their SCENTsory® experience. This collection features bright colors and bold scents that are perfect for powering up. The line includes Jam Session, Flower Power, Crunch Time.

Mixed by Me kits from Crazy Aaron’s

Mix up your very own custom-colored Thinking Putty! Each kit includes 5 tins of clear putty, 3 color concentrates, 3 special effects, and an instructional mat—everything you’ll need to make cool colors that are all your own! You can even use the included colored pencils to decorate your tins to match. Two sets to choose from, Holographic and Glow in the Dark.

SUSTAINABILITY

shore buddies

Shore Buddies Plush Line

Shore Buddies stuffed animals collection are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The bottles are collected and sorted by recyclable collectors before cleaned and shredded into plastic flakes. Some of these flakes are used for the Shore Buddies’ stuffing, others get melted and turned into polyester yarn for the soft outside. It takes six plastic bottles to make one 12″ stuffed animal and the line features a fun array of characters including Sammy the Seal, Stephen Seagull, Shelly the Sea Turtle, Emma the Whale and Finn the Dolphin. Each of the five Shore Buddies also has its own unique authentic sound when pressed. All ages MSRP 19.95

Cargo Plane from Green Toys

All systems go! The Green Toys™ Cargo Plane is filled with freight and ready to take flight! This bright yellow and blue flier features a three-wheel design and handle on the body, so little pilots can easily go from taxiing on the ground to soaring in the sky on an eco-friendly adventure. Access the spacious cargo hold through a flip-down door that doubles as a ramp, perfect for loading up the included Green Toys™ Mini Car or anything else imaginations want to stow away. Great for indoor and outdoor play, the super-safe design has no metal axels or exterior paints or coatings. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with eco-friendly inks. For ages 3 and up. MSRP $19.99.

Green Toys™ Disney Baby® Mickey Mouse Stacker

The Green Toys™ Disney Baby® Mickey Mouse Stacker takes a classic toy and makes it safer and more playful, with no sharp edges, small parts, or interlocking pieces that can pinch fingers and an adorable Mickey Mouse-themed topper and base. The seven brightly colored red, blue, and yellow nesting pieces stack easily from large to small, while also allowing children to use their imagination and stack in any order. This eliminates frustration when they’re little, and leaves room for learning and improvement as they grow. The set is designed with no center post, making it a perfect first stacking toy for babies. With this toy, babies and toddlers can gain practice in important developmental areas, including but not limited to motor skills, coordination, categorization and sorting, problem solving, spatial reasoning, and color identification. Like all Green Toys™ Disney Baby® products, the Mickey Mouse Stacker meets FDA standards for food contact and is dishwasher safe, making it safe for teething babies to put in their mouths. It’s made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic and free from external coatings, eliminating the fear of toxins and lead paint. No BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Packaged using only recycled and recyclable materials printed with environmentally responsible inks. Recommended for ages 6 months and up.

ACTIVE PLAY

Mobo Explorer Balance Bike

With the Mobo Explorer Balance Bike kids can experience the thrill of riding California freestyle with the security of having two feet on the ground. As your child masters the use of the explorer you will see them go from small steps to riding with ease. With its multiple safety pads and extended frame your child will be extra safe while learning. The cushioned premium seat accommodates children 2-6 years old. The included two seat posts accommodate most kid sizes! As your child builds strength, balance and confidence they’ll have a blast using the integrated footrest to roll in style. With never-flat tires your child will have many years of maintenance free fun. The sturdy frame and optimized geometry makes it stable and easy to handle. A child’s first bike encourages their sense of freedom, curiosity and wonder. Let them experience that feeling in style and safety with the Mobo Explorer Balance Bike. MSRP $89.00.

BOOKS

Guion the Lion

Guion The Lion is a new children’s book that celebrates the differences in all children through a colorful and exciting journey. The book, which follows the adventures of an imaginative little lion who sees things a little differently from his friends, was penned by mother, entrepreneur and author Rebecca Wilson Macsovits and inspired by her three children including Guion, her oldest son who also has Down syndrome. Full of whimsical delights, discoveries and beautiful watercolor illustrations, this book teaches children that appreciating individual differences and embracing others’ ideas can lead to unimaginable adventures and endless fun. Guion The Lion is available now via Amazon and online at www.Guionthelion.com. MSRP $17.99.

diverse dolls

DOLLS

I’M A GIRLY

I’M A GIRLY fashion dolls encourage children to play creatively and help them find their very own style. All dolls are co-designed by the brand’s own kid design team, KIDS4KIDS. The design panel, made up of 8 to 14-year-old boys and girls, tells the brand exactly how the products should look. Kids can customize a doll just for them with more than 150 accessories, interchangeable wigs in many colors, and dolls with different skin tones. I’M A GIRLY fashion dolls are made of 100% high-quality vinyl. The hair can be styled and combed in various ways, thanks to the procurement of first-class Kanekalon. Kanekalon is a material used for the production of adult wigs. For the first time, one can even cut the doll’s hair and simply exchange the wig afterwards. The packaging is made of recyclable materials and can be used as well to store the fashion doll or for crafting.

RELATIONSHIP GAMES

Fog of Love – from Hush Hush Projects

Learn How To Play Here

Playing Fog of Love is like starring in a romantic comedy, it’s a rollercoaster ride of awkward situations, laugh out loud moments and difficult compromises you have to make. Two players will create and play two vivid characters who meet, fall in love and face the challenge of making an unusual relationship work. Just like in a real relationship, you each might want different things. Do you stay true to yourself, or do what your partner wants for the good of the relationship? You can even decide to break their heart. There’s no guarantee it will end happily ever after, but you will always get a story full of surprises that will make you smile. Available at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Barnes & Noble. Learn how to play Here. Suitable for players ages 18 and up, MSRP: $50.

INTERGENERATIONAL GAMES/RELATIONSHIP GAMES

What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups? – from Authentic Agility Games

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How often have you wished that your teen would stop playing video games, sending friends videos you can only hope are appropriate, and going out, and instead, share what they’re thinking… with you? What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups?, a new intergenerational card game from Authentic Agility Games, can help. A fun way to engage kids of all ages, the 500-question card game creates an open two-way dialog that allows you to make new connections and deepen your bond. They may think you’re cool — for a few minutes. Authentic Agility Games donates a portion of proceeds from your purchase to organizations advancing education and entrepreneurship. Available now on Amazon. MSRP: $24.99, all ages.

STRATEGY GAMES

Sagrada – from Floodgate Games

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As a skilled artisan, you will use tools-of-the-trade and careful planning to construct a stained glass window masterpiece in the Sagrada Familia. Players will take turns drafting glass pieces, represented by dice; carefully choosing where to place each one in their window. Windows have unique color and shade requirements, and similar dice may never be adjacent so placing each die is more challenging than the last. Fortunately, you’ll have just the right tools to help you through. Gain prestige by adapting to the preferences of your fickle admirers, and of course, by adding your own artistic flair while completing your glass masterpiece in Sagrada. Available now at Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, Hobby Game Stores. Suitable for players ages 6 and up, MSRP $39.95

Holi: Festival of Colors – from Floodgate Games

Every spring, celebrants gather to spread color and cheer during one of India’s most vibrant festivals. Move around the festival grounds throwing colored “gulaal” powder onto your friends and the crowd. Aim higher and let your color fall from above on as many people as you can. For Holi is a time for playful mischief and a little friendly rivalry is just what the festival calls for… Playing Holi In Holi [hoh-lee], players gain joy by throwing color on the boards (higher levels are worth more points), getting color on others, and from collecting sweets. Play your color cards cleverly, climb up at the right time, and spread the most joy! Available, November 10, 2020 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hobby Game Stores. Suitable for players ages 13 and up. MSRP $39.95

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Prisma Arena – from Hub Games

Begin your training as a Guardian of Hope in this fun, tactical, all-ages game of over-the-top arena combat. Spar alongside Mo’kon – friendly creatures that embody emotions. As you train, customize your hero with unique powers and costumes that reflect YOUR unique personality and play-style. Suitable for players ages 10 and up. MSRP: $40.00

MEMORY GAMES

Flip Over Frog – from Hub Games

Help your brightly colored frogs take control of your tiny corner of the rainforest. Pay attention and cleverly place your frog tiles, causing those around you to flip face down OR face up. When all squares are occupied, the game ends and the player with the most face-up frogs is the winner. Suitable for all ages, Flip Over Frog packs a surprisingly tactical area control game into a small portable box. Suitable for players ages 6 and up. MSRP: $15.00 alentin

Adorable Holiday Fun for Kids

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- and with it, comes gift giving. Why give boring gifts when you can give something the kids will actually play with- without breaking the bank? It doesn’t ALL have to be screens (and lets face it, this year especially, they can use some screen distraction). My kids had fun with these, and my guess is that yours will as well.

kids activity

Gross Anatomy: Make Your Own Squishy Human Body – from Thames & Kosmos

Anatomy has never been so fun! Make a model of the human body by casting organs out of colorful slime and putty, and then arranging them in a clear plastic torso. Learn about the major organs as you mold each one: heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, and liver. You can even pretend to be a doctor by experimenting with a safe plastic scalpel. MSRP: $19.95; Ages 8+

fun toys for kids

Mini Tin’s Thinking Putty – from Crazy Aaron’s

Light up Halloween night with our glowing MINIs. Ectoplasm glows a speckled green: Jack O’ Lantern glows a bright orange; and Trick changes from purple to green and glows a solid green in the dark. There are also scented, magnetized, and so many other options. MSRP: $2.99 each; Ages 3+

best toys for kids

Camping Adventure Set – from Magformers

Magformers Camping adventure toy set allows your little builder to immerse themselves in the excitement of a summer camping experience. Use Magformers squares and triangles to build campfires and tents. Add Mason and Mutt to your scenes and create your own stories! MSRP: $39.99; Ages 3+.

fun games for families

EXIT – from Thames & Kosmos

EXIT: The Game is a series of party games for up to four players that offers a unique, unforgettable gaming experience. These games allow you to bring the excitement, intensity, and team spirit of an escape room to your living room. In each EXIT game, your team starts out locked in an imaginary room, or trapped somewhere. You must solve a series of riddles and puzzles in order to unlock doors and reveal new riddles. Each correct solution brings you to another riddle and eventually to freedom. EXIT is constantly expanding with new stories. MSRP: $14.95; Ages 10+

putty

Ghostwriters 4″ Hocus Pocus – from Crazy Aaron’s

Cast a spell with this fun Phantom! It turns from orange to magenta with the included Glow Charger(R) and glows an eerie green in the dark. MSRP: $14.99; Ages 8+