Doc McStuffins Color Wonder

Friday Faves: Crayola Color Wonder

Have you tried Color Wonder with your kids? We are constantly blown away by this product.  Essentially, Crayola promises that your children will only color on their coloring book.  How?! They have special markers that only show up on their special color wonder paper.  MAGIC.

Crayola Color Wonder Marker

We were skeptical, to say the least, assuming they either wouldn’t work after a while, or they would be dull in color – and we couldn’t have been more wrong.  These are our favorite way for our toddlers to color – no mess and no “art” on the walls, floor, or self!

 Crayola Color Wonder in Action

Madeline is obsessed with Doc McStuffins, which is great for us because Crayola seems to have partnered with Disney.  They have so many themed coloring books to choose from and are a pretty good value considering how long they last in our house.

Doc McStuffins Color Wonder

Still a skeptic? Check out this video- it’s true!

Crayola Color Wonder in Action!

They don’t just make coloring books though! Sherrie was able to score this awesome stamp set for Logan after Christmas on clearance.  To say that Logan loves to color is an understatement and color wonder makes it mess free!

 

 

Have you tried these Crayola products yet? Let us know in the comments!

 

Friday Faves: Melissa and Doug

Have you ever found a company that just can do no wrong? You love everything they make? That’s how we feel about Melissa and Doug! If you don’t know  about this company and the amazing products they make, you need to!

Melissa and Doug are actually a married couple, they’ve been married over 30 years! And together they have six children.  They founded the toy company with one mission:
To provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose.

This is exactly what our kiddos need! We are all about learning and letting them discover and grown on their own.  We love these toys so much because not only do they allow that, but they are made with an amazingly high quality.  We’ve found that our kiddos spend the most time with these toys just because they love them so much! Here are some of our favorites!

Puzzles:

Melissa and Doug make so many kinds of puzzles!! We love them all, they grow with our kids.  From wooden puzzles with knobs, to just big pieces, to smaller grips that make noise, to mix and match there are so many stages of development that these puzzles span!

Pretend Play:

Melissa and Doug have AMAZING wooden play food!  They come in themed sets like this cupcake set that Logan has, and there are so many different ways to play with them.  They’re not only adorable,  they’re perfect for learning.

Games:
Madeline hasn’t started playing with them yet, but we have mix and match wooden animals as well as a fishing game by Melissa and Doug! These are great ways to learn while again having fun! We can’t wait to show her and see her develop new skills.

Learning:
One of the things we included in our Easter Egg Hunt this year were letter magnets by Melissa and Doug.  We wanted to be able to have the kids learn letters in a variety of different ways, and magnets are a great one.  They will grow with our children for a while, after recognition they will grow to reading and spelling and sight words! We love that we know they will last for a long time!

Dress Up:
Something our kids love is playing dress up. Who says costumes are just for Halloween?! Melissa & Doug offer a variety of dress up costumes such doctor, firefighter, police officer, chef, the list goes on! Each costume features jackets and tools to match the occupation – so much fun!

Our kids have and use so many of their toys that we had a tough time narrowing it down! Are you as big a fan of Melissa and Doug as we are? We want to know your and your kiddos favorites!

 

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Baby Banana Brush

Friday Faves: Baby Banana Brush

**This post contains a product review, while we were given the product, our opinions are all our own.**

Have you ever heard the horror story of a child who was running with a toothbrush and then suddenly they trip and it punctures a hole in their mouth? Sounds absolutely terrifying and terrible, right? That is exactly what can, and has happened, when you use the typical hard plastic toothbrushes designed for young kids. That horrifying incident happened to a family when their 2 year old slipped while brushing his teeth causing his toothbrush to puncture the roof of his mouth coming within centimeters of entering his brain. Can you imagine that happening to your child? As parents, the last thing you want is to see your child in any sort of pain or danger. This is why the family of that 2 year old boy decided it was time to take action to prevent something like that happening to another child. That is how the Baby Banana Brush was born!

You may have seen the Baby Banana Brush  when creating your registry, in the baby store or other families using it. It was rated a best product for babies and we are here to tell why! If you are thinking, do I really need this? Guess what – YOU DO! We LOVE these toothbrushes for our kiddos.  Even if your child doesn’t have teeth yet, baby banana has toothbrush products designed for teething infants up to fussy toddlers. We are so thankful to be able to try out these products for our kiddos!

Infant Toothbrush

Baby Banana Brush Tooth GelI know you are probably saying to yourself, my infant does not need a toothbrush! But the truth is that it is never too early to introduce good dental hygiene habits from the start! Baby Banana Brush designed this flexible infant brush in a fun banana shape! It has a soft texture and is made of the highest quality silicone. The  unique design of the wide banana peel handles allows infants to easily grasp the brush to learn how to use the brush in their mouth. You can even use the handles to hold a binky strap! The added bonus? It doubles as a teether! It can sooth sore gums for a cranky teething baby. You can even throw it in the freezer! This brush is intended for children under 1 year of age which was ideal for our littlest family member, Finn. He is 5 months old and in the early stage of cutting teeth. He loved it! The brush was easy for him to hold – he  didn’t want to put it down! 🙂

 Baby Banana Brush TeetherBaby Banana Brush Teether

 Toddler Training Toothbrush

Toddler Baby Banana Brush

When your baby turns to a toddler it is crucial you really get into the habit of teeth brushing, especially since they are now eating mostly solid foods. The toddler training toothbrush was designed with safety in mind. To prevent mouth injuries, it is flexible and bendable and is made with medical grade silicone. The small bristles also massage teeth and gums. This brush is designed for children over 12 months of age, perfect for Madeline who at 1 year of age has 11 teeth! This toddler version of the classic banana brush was the just the right upgrade for her.  We put a pea size of the Kid’s Spry tooth gel and let her chew on it, making sure she’s hitting all of her teeth.  She loves it and we think we have her fooled into thinking it is just another toy! 🙂

 Baby Banana BrushBaby Banana Brush


Elefriend Toddler Toothbrush

Baby Banana Brush Elepfriend

The elefriend toddler toothbrush is a flexible toddler toothbrush also designed to be safer than typical plastic toothbrushes to prevent mouth injuries. The adorable toothbrush is an elephant whose spout is a bendable neck with ADA recommended nylon bristles with enough resistance to effectively remove plaque. This brush was designed for children 2 to 4 years old. This was the perfect toothbrush for Logan, who just turned two last month! He loves animals so the elephant design was right up his alley. He is also not a sit still toddler so we have peace of mind knowing it was designed with his safety in mind. 🙂

Spry Tooth Gel

Baby Banana Brush Tooth GelWhen your kids reach the age of one they can begin brushing their teeth with tooth gel. In addition to their fun and safe toothbrushes, Baby Banana also has tooth gel. The Spry Tooth gel is safe to swallow, fluoride-free and comes in a variety of great tasting flavors! They have banana berry, strawberry banana, bubble gum and more!  And the best part? It is made with all natural ingredients. The gels contain the xylitol which is a proven cavity fighter and provides tooth-strengthening calcium to protect and strengthen developing teeth. Madeline got to try the strawberry banana and Logan had the bubble gum – they loved it! 🙂

 

We cannot say enough wonderful things about the Baby Banana Brush company and their products. They are fun, effective and safe for children and it is great that they have created a products for teeth brushing for all ages.

Baby Banana Brush

Our kids love their products and we know yours will too! To view and purchase more of their  fun and amazing products, visit their website! Thank you so much, Baby Banana Brush!!!

 

Redeeming Pampers Rewards!

Last year we shared a post about why we love Pampers Rewards. In a nutshell, Pampers Rewards is a free loyalty program where you enter codes found inside the packaging of diapers or wipes. We both absolutely love Pampers and stand by their products 100%. So the program to us is an added bonus!

After I first signed up I took a glance at what rewards I could redeem my points with. There is a ton of great options to choose from. A few examples of the rewards are Pampers coupons, a Shutterfly calendar, books/magazines, toys and so much more! I immediately set my eye on the Step2 Cozy Kitchen –  I only needed 7500 Pampers Rewards points to get it. So I made it my mission that I would save up my points until I could score the kitchen!

Well I can proudly say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! A few weeks ago I entered a code and realized I was just a few hundred points away from claiming the kitchen. I sent out a tweet to Pampers and being the awesome company that they are, they thanked me for my loyalty and added some points to my account to get me to my goal! Thanks, Pampers!!!

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It said it would take 6-8 weeks to arrive, but it arrived within a week.  Logan really enjoys his play food so having this kitchen just made his day! He loves to  pretend to cook us up stuff and give us plates to eat. It is the perfect size for our living room, too. It doesn’t take up much space. I am so glad I held onto my points for this!

If you are a Pampers customer, you definitely need to get in on this program! It’s so great! What is your reward goal with your points?

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Toy Rotation: A Lifesaver 

Toy rotation is something we have both implemented in our homes. If you’ve never heard of the term toy rotation you are probably wondering, what is that? Well, it is exactly how it sounds.  Toy rotation is the practice of rotating out your child’s toys after a given time period.

So now you may be thinking, so why would parents want to do this? Shouldn’t my kids just be able to play with all their toys whenever they want?

Let’s face it – our kids have WAY too many toys. At birthdays, Christmas, special holidays, etc. our kids are being inundated with toys. And playing with the same thing all the time doesn’t foster learning. By changing up the toys they play with, you’re changing the textures, colors, sounds, different things toys can do and therefore you are engaging different parts of their brain.

How do you get started? It is easy. The idea of toy rotation is to not give them all the same toys that promote the same type of learning.  So you begin by gathering all your kids’ toys and sorting them based on what they do (i.e. blocks, puzzles, cars, dolls, sensory toys). After you sort them you can take a few from each pile and put them in different bins/buckets/boxes if you want. Here is an example of how we set it up.

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The second part of toy rotation is observation.  Different developments happen in our children at different times (see our post on development and why we love The Wonder Weeks).  By watching what they are gravitating towards, it may clue you in on a skill they are learning, and slowly (or sometimes quickly!) mastering. Observing their play will help you decide when it is time to switch out the current toys they have. If you find they have mastered that puzzle or are getting bored with the same truck, it may be time to switch up the toys! Toy rotation is a wonderful way to steer their play towards learning and exploring at the same time.

Toy rotation has been a lifesaver for us!  It keeps our kids engaged while learning and growing at the same time. Each time they discover (or rediscover!) a toy, they learn something new to do with it. For example, Madeline now knows how to feed her baby Stella doll and Logan can build skyscrapers with his mega blocks. It’s so cute to watch them learn new things with each toy rotation round.

Toy Rotation

Do you plan to implement toy rotation in your home? Let us know what you think!

Sherrie & Emily

Make Your Own Snow!

Are you looking for a fun indoor activity to do with your toddler? Well we have one for you! A few weeks ago at Madeline’s winter themed first birthday party the favors for the little ones were this make your own snow activity. So the other night when Logan & Finn’s Aunt Jess stopped over we did this fun activity with her. 🙂

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The “fake snow” can be ordered on Amazon. It’s called EZ Snow and all you have to do is add a small amount of water. Once the water hits the white powder, it immediately expands to 100 times its size. Not only was Logan was amazed watching it expand, but all of us adults were too!

snow

The fake snow feels very real – it is cold and the texture is pretty close to real snow too. EZ Snow is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, plus it can be reused. Just leave it out to dry and it will return back to its original powder state. Please remember to not put this down the drain when you’re done, as water makes it expand!

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We gave Logan a toy shovel to play with it – he loved that!  Finn just sat and watched. 🙂

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This would be a fun activity to do at parties or give it out it as favor like Emily did. We had a good time with it, thanks Emily & Madeline! <3

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Please note: Some link(s) in this post contain affiliate links.

DIY: Classmate & Teacher Valentines

This Madeline’s first Valentine’s Day where she will be has celebrating in a school/daycare setting.  For her fellow classmates Valentines I knew I wanted to make something adorable and yummy.  However, when you think about a typical Valentines for kids- it usually involves some form of candy, which just isn’t appropriate for one year olds. After much searching on Pinterest, I came across the idea of using pouches of applesauce instead.  In addition to these being candy free, it was perfect because Madeline is currently obsessed with anything that comes in a pouch. 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Printed Tags
Ribbon
Squeeze Pouches (any flavor or brand you prefer)

I made the tags on my computer (you can use word, publisher, etc.). The say, “Valentine- you’re main my squeeze!” I cut the tags out and glued them on to pink cardstock for a nice added touch! I punched a hole at the top and using baker’s twine I tied the tags around the pouches cap.  They came out super adorable!

But- what about her Valentines for her teachers?! I didn’t want them to be left out.  In my opinion, coffee is a must for watching just Madeline, let alone eight kids, so I thought I would get a Dunkin Donuts gift cards.  I stumbled upon this cute (and free!) printable online and couldn’t resist.  I  just printed, cut them out and taped it all together and we were good to go! Super cute and super easy!

They were a huge hit at daycare! And the best part was they were super cost effective and fun to make!

What did you do for Valentine’s? Are you a make your own or buy a box type of person? We want to know!

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DIY: Valentine’s Day Photoshoot!

This year for Valentine’s Day we came up with the idea of capturing some cute photos of all the kids together! We don’t have any great photos with all three of them, so what a perfect opportunity we thought this would be.

Of course, that meant that we needed to create a backdrop! Sherrie had all of these supplies in her craft stash, so this took no time or money at all and it turned out REALLY cute!

Here’s what you need: 

Pink and Red Cardstock
A Bunting Template (we just printed one off google)
Letter Stickers
Red Ribbon
Themed Clips

Seriously, this couldn’t be easier, no glue involved at all! Once you trace and cut out all the  banner pieces on your cardstock using your template, you simply stick the letters on in the correct order.  Then using the clips (or glue if you prefer that) and string it on the ribbon.  Hang the finished banner on the wall with tape and you’re good to go!

The craft was much easier then getting the kids to cooperate!

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But, in the end we got some good shots!

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(Yes, Madeline and I have matching Lularoe leggings- more about Lularoe in a coming post! 🙂 )

For now, Happy Valentines Day from our gang to yours! <3
Don’t forget to take milk breaks- they’re important 🙂

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Sherrie &amp; Emily

 

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DIY: Busy Bags 

One thing I’ve noticed now that Madeline is quickly leaving the “baby” stage is that she constantly needs to be entertained. She’s usually pretty good while we’re out and about and is the center of attention but I knew I would want to be prepared. I thought it would be great to have something I could quickly pull from her diaper bag.  That’s when I stumbled across busy bags. Once my idea of busy bags took shape I knew they would also make great gifts! You can make a busy bag with almost anything but here’s mine.

I stumbled across these zipper pouches from Thirty One – they’re made of canvas so they’re super durable and clean easily. A plus is that they can be personalized! That added touch makes a big difference!  (Side note- if you don’t know about Thirty One gifts, you need to! We’re obsessed. A blog post to come!)

So you picked out your bag now what can you put in them to keep them busy?! Well as you know I’m crazy for Usborne Books so I picked out a sticker activity book that was age appropriate for each of my nieces and nephews.

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Then for good measure I  wanted to add a toy. Logan and Ellie are both between 1 and 2 years old so I thought these DIY Lacing Cards were perfect! Jack on the other hand is a little older so I wanted to add something he could have fun with. That’s when I found the idea for a DIY Car Wallet!  Everything fits perfectly and the bag can go right in your diaper bag, purse or keep it in the backseat of your car!

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The Busy Bags turned out great! They were a huge hit with the kids and parents this Christmas!

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DIY: Car Wallet 

My nephew Jack is four and right now he’s very into cars, trucks and trains. When I stumbled across this project on Pinterest I knew I had to make it! It is a DIY car wallet! I followed this tutorial but made my own modifications along the way.

First things first, here’s what you need:

2 Coordinating Fabrics: 1 piece measured to 8″ x 34″ and another 8″ x 6″
4 Favorite Matchbox Cars
Coordinating Ribbon
Black Fabric
Sewing Machine

Start by folding the larger piece of fabric wrong sides together- this is so you can place your road. I then cut a curvy road out of scrap black fabric and then pinned it in place. Sew it on but be sure to unfold before you sew!

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Next you’re going to place your car pouch. Fold the smaller piece in half (I chose a solid fabric) at the bottom underneath the fabric road. Then sew around the side and bottom edges keeping the top open for the cars. Before you sew the pockets for the cars it is very important (!!!) to to test the pocket size with the actual cars you picked. It would be awful to make the whole thing and have the cars not fit! Then mark where you will sew and sew straight lines.

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In the final steps, fold the whole wallet right sides together, pin two pieces of ribbon to the bottom edge underneath the car pockets. Then stitch all the way around the wallet leaving an opening so you can turn it inside out. Lastly, sew a top stitch to secure. And you have a car wallet! Put in your favorite cars and you’re all set. I think it’s adorable and so did Madeline who wanted to play with it!!!

DIY Car Walllet

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