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    May 16, 2016
    Kid Gifts That Will Make Their Parents Hate You

    When I was growing up, my parents’ motto when it came to gift giving was “no toys that make noise!”. And for good reason. While kids love basically any kind of loud, annoying, messy toy, they are complete nightmares for parents. So, if there is a loved little one in your life with a birthday coming up, or you are getting a jump on holiday shopping, please read this article by Michelle Myers at Sunshine and Hurricanes for toys to avoid like the plague:

    -Anything that breathes- NEVER give animals as gifts. Ever. It’s a commitment, not a toy.

    -Glitter, paint, moonsand, playdough, etc.- crayons and coloring books are fine.

    -Musical instruments, or toys with annoying sounds

    -Stuffed animals- kids already have enough, and they seem to constantly be multiplying.

    -A toy that requires batteries without the batteries.

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    March 16, 2016
    Wordless Wednesday: Wall With Toy Storage


    Photo from Casa Abril

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    December 28, 2015
    Toddler Apps

    My spoiled, 2-year-old nephew got a tablet for Christmas this year :) . He loves it, and it’s nice for us since he’s not constantly asking to borrow our phones. His mom put a bunch of games on it already: one that teaches about animals, one with songs, and one with letters and numbers. Hopefully, it’ll turn out to be a great educational tool that he can have fun with! If you let your 2 year old borrow your phone, or they have their own tablet, check out this post by Liz Borod Wright at Travelogged for the best apps for toddlers:

    -Peekaboo Barn

    -Elmo Calls

    -Perfect Piano

    -Kids Paint

    -Wheels on the Bus

    Photo Credit: Maurizio Pesce 

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    June 10, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Board Game Organization

    Photo from Good Ideas For You

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    April 29, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Playroom In Closet

    Photo from Pinterest

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    January 13, 2015
    Baby Boredom Buster- An Idea That Works For Me

    I share my home with a very curious almost one-year-old. He’s always into everything- toys, books, food, garbage cans, cabinets- anything he can get into, he will. I always try to find new ways to keep him entertained and keep his mind stimulated, but sometimes it’s challenging. Once he plays with a toy for more than 10 seconds, he’s done and onto the next new thing. He’s always exploring, but it’s caused a pretty big problem. He was completely uninterested in the 20 or so toys that we got him for Christmas already, and more interested in getting into the TV remotes, my Dad’s iPad, computer wires- and other things he’s not allowed to play with.

    So, I’ve come up with a solution. Every week, we put out only about a quarter of his toys (5 or 6). Then, we switch them out for a new set of toys the next week! So far, it’s worked much better. Every week is like Christmas for him now. He gets to play with “new” toys that he hasn’t gotten bored with, and the other ones get a break.

    If you’re facing the same problem we did, give this a shot! It’s been much better for us and Jayden already.

    Photo Credit: Thomas

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    December 22, 2014
    Toys For ALL Kids

    Pink is for girls. All other colors are for boys. Girls get dolls and princesses and makeup, boys get science, nature, cars, superheroes, building tools, sports, technology, action figures- basically anything on the planet that has NOT been deemed as feminine. Then, we wonder why more girls aren’t interested in science, and why boys who grow up to be fathers are so absent in their children’s lives. To me, this is absolutely ridiculous. The very fact that “boy” toys and “girl” toys exist and are separate things proves that we still live in a very sexist, gender divided society. Some boys will grow up to be fathers and chefs and designers- they should play with baby dolls and cooking sets as well. Some girls will grow up to be scientists and athletes and engineers- and they need to play with microscopes and tools and sports equipment. So, if you’re looking for awesome, empowering gifts for ALL CHILDREN this holiday season, check out this post by Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures:

    -Trucks and cars- always help with problem solving abilities

    -Work bench and tools-Work benches are great for fine motor development, problem solving, creative thinking, language development, and even pre-writing skills.

    -Science kits


    -Baby dolls

    -Cooking sets / play kitchens

    -Dress up clothes- dramatic play develops social intelligence in kids of all genders. Princess or pirate, doctor or ninja, cowboy/girl, — let your kids pick out their own clothes and go crazy!

    -Art supplies, coloring books, and anything that encourages creativity

    Photo Credit: Weird Nut Daily 

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    December 15, 2014
    DIY Quiet Bags

    Sometimes, you just need your kids to sit down and shut up. It’s harsh, I know- but whether you’re going to church, a PTA meeting, a wedding, a long car ride, or any other instance where kids can get fidgety- you might just need to keep them distracted for a while. And this post by Hilary at Pulling Curls has the perfect solution- “Quiet Bags”. It’s a soft bag filled with quiet activities that will keep the kids busy for an hour or so. She made them to bring with the kids to church, and I think it’s a fantastic idea. Here’s more info:

    -Make it a “special” bag- don’t let them play with it any other time except for church (or meetings, etc.).

    -Find things that are FUN and QUIET to go in it- toys, books, coloring pages- whatever works.

    -Bringing food is also a great option when kids are old enough for solids!

    Photo Credit: Katie Tegtmeyer 

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    December 26, 2013
    How to Wash Small Plastic Toys

    Let’s be real for second. Kids are gross. We love them, but they’re gross. They carry diseases, are constantly dripping out of their nose or mouth, and their hands are always sticky. ALWAYS. Chances are, if you have youngsters that are old enough to not eat plastic toys (like Legos and other things with small pieces), you have a ton of them lying around (and you’ve probably stepped on them more than once…OW!). If you’re like me, you try not to think about how germy these toys are. You can throw stuffed animals in the washer, and just kinda spray Lysol on everything else, but that doesn’t usually cut it. Well, when you see how genius this idea from Kiddos at Home is, you’ll want to kick yourself. Simply gather up all the small toys that you want to clean and put them in a mesh bag. Make sure the holes in the mesh are small enough that the toys or parts wont fall out. Then toss it all into the washer! This is especially a good idea if your kids have been sick or there is something going around.

    Photo Credit: Rob Young 

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    December 2, 2013
    A True Warrior’s Task: Getting Your Kids to Clean Their Rooms

    Clean Your Room” is the most terrible thing any kid can hear, and the most dreaded thing any parent can say. It often leads to insane fights, tears, shouting, and can be one the biggest struggles when parenting. I know when I was little, getting me to clean my room was like pulling teeth while herding cats. At the same time. I’m still a little messy, but I like to think that I’ve improved. The point is, kids will often not see the logic in cleaning (when they’re just going to mess it back up again) until they are much older. Fortunately, Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less has some tips to make the whole process a little easier (hopefully):

    Set an Example I couldn’t very well expect my kids to keep a tidy room if I wasn’t willing, able, and downright determined to keep a tidy house myself.

    Be Consistent We start our day by cleaning.For better or for worse, it has become part of our daily routine

    Be Firm I simply don’t take no for an answer.  I don’t plead or waver or back down.  

    Get Rid of Excess Stuff Clothes & shoes that are out of season or no longer fit get put in storage or brought to Goodwill.  Toys are still kept to a minimum.  Papers & junky party favors or prizes are usually tossed immediately (when the kids aren’t looking!)

    Make it Easy to Put Stuff Away My girls both know where things go because everything in their room has a home. 

    Make it Fun I will readily admit that I don’t always make it fun, but the days that I do are definitely far less painful then the days I don’t. 

    Photo Credit: Joe Goldberg 

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