Category Archives: Toddlers

Top Gift Ideas for Kids (2018 Holiday Gift Guide)

Gift Ideas for Kids - 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

 

I have sought out and compiled my list of top holiday gifts for kids this year.  You’ll recognize some while some may be new to you.  Scroll down and check out the full list – you might find that perfect gift!  

 

Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Mini character and vehicle sets by Spin Master are a perfect place to start.  These are small and portable, and work with most of the bigger sets that have space for other vehicles.  These specific vehicles attach to any of the Ultimate Rescue vehicles. Their size and price makes them perfect candidates for stocking stuffers! 

 

 

Epic Christmas Gift Idea - Lakeshore Learning Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakeshore Learning Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle – every little girl and boy needs a castle to grow their imagination!  This medium sized (approx 12×12) castle is perfect!  

 

 

Flybar Pogo Ball Trick Board (ages 6 & up) – this epic gift idea is suitable for both boys and girls, and will provide hours of active fun.  Comes with an air pump, durable pogo ball, and board with grips.  

 

 

Zoom Tubes Car Trax – I have never seen anything like Zoom Tubes before and they are so much fun!  Connect the tube track and use the remote to launch and zoom your car through.  The best part is you can change the track and mix it up!  Recommended for ages 5 and up.  

 

 

Paw Patrol Themed Cozy Phones – I honestly want a pair of these for myself.  These adorable Cozy Phones are super comfy and have ultra-thin adjustable speakers inside.  These are available in several Paw Patrol characters as well as other fun animals.  Recommended for ages 3 & up with supervision.  

 

 

The Incredibles 2 Junior Super Family Gift Set – this is the perfect all-in-one starter set for the Incredibles 2 fans out there!  

 

 

Flybar Aero 2-Wheel Scooter – with a durable steel frame, adjustable handlebars, light up wheels, and holding up to 175lbs, this scooter will provide years of fun!  

 

3Doodler Start: Hexbug Creation Set – Kids can create their own unique Hexbugs with this set that encourages STEM learning.  Comes with 3 Hexbug micro robotic motors, 3Doodler pen and charger, 8 colors of plastic, 4 molds, and activity guide.  

 

 

Strictly Briks Design-Your-Own Ornament – every brick builder will love being able to create their own ornament!  Compatible with all major brands, you can make this ornament your own and update it year after year.  

 

 

Fingerlings – these adorable little creatures have over 40 animations and sound effects to keep your kids entertained.  They make a great stocking stuffer or even gift from one kid to another.  There are different ones to choose from including Unicorn and T-Rex versions, as well as accessories available.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magic Weighted Blanket – made by the original weighted blanket company, this is a fantastic gift for the special needs child or adult in your life.  It also makes a fantastic comfort gift for any other child in your life as well.  Weighted blankets are known to calm those with anxiety or stress.  Pictured is the Star Wars Cotton Weighted blanket.  There are also blankets available in chenille, minky, waterproof fabric, and various patterns and colors.  

 

 

Uno – Uno is one of my favorite card games and a must for any kid!  

 

 

Polly Pocket Big Pocket World: Snow Globe – Polly Pockets are back and as adorable as ever!  This toy is compact enough for on-the-go play, but has so much fun packed into it.  There are several other Polly Pocket Big Pocket World sets available too!  

 

 

Guess Who Marvel Edition – in honor of the late Stan Lee, this Marvel edition of Guess Who is a perfect Christmas gift for the young Marvel fans in your life!  

 

 

LEGO Creative Box – I couldn’t leave LEGO off this list!  LEGO building (and play) is a big part of my own kids’ lives and is a great family activity.  A basic creative box is a perfect way to start or grow someone’s collection if you aren’t sure what exactly to get them.  

 

Gift ideas for your young Paw Patrol fan (2018 Holiday Gift Guide)

Paw Patrol gift ideas (so many cute new sets!)

 

First airing in 2013, Nick Jr’s Paw Patrol has quickly become a hit among young kids across the nation.  Following the adventures of 10 year old Ryder and six rescue dogs, the show encourages bravery and teamwork.  My kids were hooked early on and are excited with every new episode.  Eventually toys started rolling out in stores and their pretend-play was able to become even more exciting.  

Here are a few of the Paw Patrol toys and items that top our Christmas wish list this year..and shh my boys may even be getting a few! 

 

The Ultimate Rescue Mini character and vehicle sets by Spin Master are a perfect place to start.  These are small and portable, and work with most of the bigger sets that have space for other vehicles.  These specific vehicles attach to any of the Ultimate Rescue vehicles (see the fire truck below!)  Their size and price makes them perfect candidates for stocking stuffers! 

 

This is the top toy on my 6 year old’s list this year – the Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck!  It is available at most popular retailers this year, as well as Amazon.  He is going to be so excited on Christmas because grandma got it for him!  This truck features an extendable ladder, working claw arm, openable cab, a mini fire cart, and of course, Marshall.  This set is going to be a great addition to our current Paw Patrol collection!  

 

 

Paw Patrol: The Night Before Christmas is the perfect pre-Christmas gift!  With 24 flaps and a count down calendar, you can count down to Christmas with Ryder, Chase, Marshall, and the rest of the pups with this fun holiday book.  

 

 

The Paw Patrol Adventure Game is a fun board game for ages 4+ and 2-6 players.  The game is easy enough for preschoolers and even comes with a figure to play with! 

 

If you are looking for the toy that does it all, check out the Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall interactive pup!  He has 150+ real Paw Patrol sounds and phrases and 80+ interactive missions and tricks.  Marshall comes to life and follows you with the wave of your hand. This gift is perfect for ages 3-5 as recommended, and will surely be a hit!  

Every kid needs their own place to lounge.  This Children’s 2-in-1 Flip-Open Foam Sofa by Spinmaster is just the right size for toddlers 18+ months old. And if you are worried about it getting dirty, have no fear – the slip cover comes off for easy cleaning!  

 

It may seem silly but my kids get so excited over new bedding with their favorite characters.  Spin Master and Nickelodeon teamed together for this cute Paw Patrol Twin Size Bedding Set.  Your little one is sure to love cuddling up and going to bed with their favorite characters.  Decorate their room further with these RoomMates Peel and Stick Characters

 

 

The Paw Patrol My Size Lookout Tower is another top one on holiday lists this year!  It stands 2 1/2 feet tall, has a rotating periscope, lights and sounds, and a working elevator and slide.  This toy is action packed for hours of adventure and fun.  

 

If you are looking for a more educational (but still fun) toy, the Vtech Paw Patrol Treat Time Marshall is just what you need for your 2-5 year old.  There are 4 play modes, each focusing on a different educational theme.  

 

 

For Christmas, you can never go too big!  This Paw Patrol large coloring book by Golden Books has over 50 stickers and an easy-carry handle.  I recommend pairing it with this Paw Patrol Coloring Set in Box for an ultimate coloring adventure.  

 

 

If you are looking for a mess free art activity, Crayola’s Color Wonder Paw Patrol Coloring Gift for Kids (Amazon Exclusive) is a great solution.  This kit contains 18 coloring pages, 10 Color Wonder markers, 6 Color Wonder paints, and 30 blank sheets.  

 

Winning the 2018 Toy of the Year Award, the Paw Patrol Sea Patroller has been a huge hit in my own home.  This vehicle transforms from ship to land vehicle with drop down wheels, and even has a moving crane.  It comes with Ryder and his ATV, and a couple of other small pieces.  My boys have made so many rescues with this fun set! 

 

The list goes on..I’ll try to keep adding as I see fit but these are my favorites!  And for those of you who are crafty, be sure to check Pinterest for fun DIY ideas as well – you never know what you’ll come across!  

How to choose a game your toddler will enjoy

Toddlers love playing board games, but it is important to find one just right for their skill level, and short in duration so it can hold their attention. There are so many different games to choose from, knowing what’s right can sometimes be difficult. Here, we have some top tips to help parents find a board game their toddler is sure to love.

 

How to choose a game your toddler will enjoy

 

Easy Toddler Games

The first thing to think about is how difficult the game is to follow. If buying a first board game for your toddler, make sure the rules are simple. Also make sure the game doesn’t last more than 10 or 15 minutes, as toddlers tend to lose interest and stop concentrating after this length of time.

 

What is your Child Interested in?

Think about your child’s interests when choosing a game for them. If your child likes counting, choose a game which involves numbers. If they enjoy matching items, they will probably love a bingo lotto type game where they can match picture cards to their game board.

There are loads of games for toddlers which have play pieces such as toy food. These are great because children can use the items from the game as toys even if they are not yet interested in learning how to play the game properly.

 

Cooperative Games

These are the best type of games for toddlers, as all players work together to achieve a goal. It can help toddlers learn to work together with others – a valuable skill to learn from a young age. Games which have one winner or loser have their place, but very young children can become extremely upset if they lose the game, which can put them off wanting to play it again.

It’s best to play a game with your toddler, as they will love spending time with you and learning how to play. Toddlers can learn important social skills from playing board games, such as taking turns, so it’s a good idea to sit with them and show them what to do.

 

Popular Kids Cartoon Characters

Toddlers love cartoon characters from their favorite books and programs. Choosing a game which features a character they love is sure to help them be more interested in learning how to play it. There are many board games and picture cards featuring popular characters – there is sure to be something your toddler will love!

 

Active Games for Kids

Toddlers don’t often enjoy sitting still, so getting them to sit on the floor or around the table to play a game can be challenging. There are some games which encourage kids to move around, such as those where players have to do certain movements and actions or sing songs. These types of games are great choices for wiggly toddlers who hate sitting still!

 

Reading Skills

It’s a good idea to choose a board game for a toddler which doesn’t involve any reading. There are plenty of games which can be played by those who can’t yet read – as long as parents explain the rules toddlers are sure to learn fast.

 

About the Author

Emily Dick is a writer and blogger and is currently writing for her parenting blog WhooopsaDaisy.com. She enjoys writing about a range of topics, whether it’s toys and games for kids or the latest baby equipment. Emily has recently graduated with a degree in social science from The Open University, and she is currently raising her toddler daughter Daisy.

 

How to remain patient with your picky eater

Child reaching for strawberries

 

From the time we are born, our senses are constantly growing and changes.  Our taste buds are developing as well as our desire to be independent.  It may seem like a simple thing to eliminate the picky tendencies that arise but it can be so much more than that.  It can become a major psychological change for the child.

While most children are simply “picky,” some have a sensory processing disorder causing certain tastes or textures to seem despicable and unbearable.  With my children, I have experienced both the typical pickiness as well as oral aversion caused by SPD.  So how do we know the difference?  For most, it takes a trip to a specialist to determine, but we knew early on.  With any food that was not completely smooth, my oldest would choke.  For some, the earliest signs are a dislike for socks and shoes, or getting extremely upset on any type of mess (paint, food, etc) on their hands. 

Other children may have allergies to foods that do not clearly present themselves.  They may develop stomach aches or nausea and automatically have aversions to certain foods from it.  At such a young age, they may be unable to communicate their pain, leaving the only “choice” to be refusal and reluctance of those foods.  This is something we worried about with my youngest for a while.  What if he felt we were forcing him to eat foods that made him hurt?  Fortunately as he has developed his speech, we are able to work through this and determine what is going on. 

But for those who are simply picky, there are a few things we can do to make it easier.

Eat with your child.  Nowadays, it is too easy to fix something separately, eat a something different than your child, but it is so important to the well being of your child to maintain a habit of eating meals together. 

Offer rewards.  Rewards of a mini M&M or another small treat after a bite of disliked food may help put your child past the desire to fight that food.  Once he or she accepts this method, change it to two bites for a treat, and so forth. Prefer not to give candy?  Find something else your child likes such as mommy or daddy making a silly monkey face and noise.  You’ll be surprised how a smile, happy attitude, and silly face can make a difference when you are on the verge of a breakthrough!

Give your child something to fidget with.  I found that both of my boys both benefited from holding something in their hands as they took a bite of something they did not like.  Once you work past your child fighting that food, you can move on to them self feeding.  For those with SPD, it helps take their mind off of the food and give their brain something else to process.

For the older kids, a chore chart with meals could be added.  At the age of 5, my son has a great appreciation for coins.  He earns a nickel for each thing he completes on his chore chart and it is really a great motivator for him.  We added meals to his chore chart and it gives that extra push to help him work past it.  

 

Try to learn what makes your child tick.  Each child is different and will respond differently.  You know your child best and you can do it.  Just keep trying and don’t give up.  You are your child’s world and they need you more than anything!

 

 

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