Tag Archives: toddler

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.  

 

Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle (by Lakeshore Learning)

Epic Christmas Gift Idea - Lakeshore Learning Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle

 

Before becoming a mom of two, I never imagined all the toys that I would be excited for, but this castle is definitely one!  Lakeshore Learning’s Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle is a site for epic battles and tons of imagination.  It even is a winner of the 2018 National Parenting Product Award!  

This toy is great for boys and girls alike, and recommended for ages 3-6 but both my 2 and 9 year old nephews had a lot of fun checking it out.  

The Royal Kingdom Adventure castle is quite impressive with all its features and standing at 10.25″ tall.  It is big enough for lots of entertainment but small enough for even apartment living.  And great news for the parents – it is pre-assembled and ready-to-go out of box! 

 

Included in the castle are:

  • explorable chambers
  • stairs to scale
  • watch Towers
  • dragon’s lair
  • working drawbridge 
  • dungeon door

 

The set also contains the following:

  • king and queen figures
  • wizard
  • 2 guards
  • 4 knights
  • dragon
  • 2 flags

 

My 6 and 7 year old boys are going to have hours upon hours of fun with this toy.  As a homeschool family, I think we are even going to put together a unit focused on castle and royal life.  

I highly recommend adding the Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle to your holiday shopping list.  It will be such a fun present for your child to open under the tree on Christmas morning! 

 

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!  

Easy Ways to Encourage Physical Activity

Easy ways to encourage physical activity (in the digital age)

 

In the past few decades childhood obesity has tripled in the United States and it is now believed to impact the lives of more than 12 million adolescents and children. It has become a particularly sensitive subject, which has left many parents looking for practical ways to help their kids get a grip on their weight and steer clear of the many weight related health conditions.

So as a parent, what can you do to help your children stay fit and healthy?  As well as adopting healthy eating habits as a family, another fundamental goal is to encourage kids to maintain an active lifestyle. This certainly isn’t an easy task in the age of the internet, where computer games and smart phones are unavoidable, but with a little effort, it is certainly doable.  

 

Stop Driving Everywhere

The modern car revolutionized the way society operates and made getting to work, school, and seeing friends and family so much easier. Yet that does not mean we are obliged to use our cars for every journey.

Is it really necessary to drive to a friend’s house that lives just around the corner? Walking whenever possible is a sure way to encourage your kids to get active and appreciate the outside world. Even better, it will help you save on fuel and avoid additional wear and tear of your vehicle.

 

Make it a Family Event

Another great way to make exercise fun is to make it a family event where every generation of the family can feel involved. Instead of planning a day out at the cinema or going for a meal, consider activities such as a family bike ride.

This will allow kids of all ages to get involved and it can be made into a fun fuelled adventure that doesn’t feel like exercise one bit. Not only are bikes a great way to get active, but allow you as a family to explore local environments and make treasured memories.

 

Consider Garden Activities

Don’t just allow your kids to play on their computer games or watch TV all day. Ensure you are limiting their screen time to a healthy amount. The rest of the time they should be taking part in other activities, such as study, socializing and physical activity. Of course, sports aren’t for everyone, so if your child really isn’t a fan, then there are still many other opportunities.

For instance, my kids have various outdoor toys in the garden, including a trampoline, climbing toys and swing sets. These are affordable and a fun way to get kids outdoors and active.

 

Keep Play Fun

If you are playing a sport outside, don’t get too wrapped up in the details and rules of the game,  especially with regards to younger kids. Allowing your children to let loose without any restrictions is likely to be much more fun for them.

As kids get older, they will organically become more and more familiar with the rules, so for now just let them concentrate on having as much fun being active as possible. This can be a difficult task for sports fans, but still an important factor to bear in mind.  

 

Age Appropriate  

Another thing to consider is whether or not an activity is age appropriate. The most important part of encouraging kids to stay active is to ensure they enjoy it. The reality is that if they find it boring or too difficult then they are going to become dissatisfied with the activity and lose interest.

As a parent, you main role is to ensure they stay motivated and engaged. Younger kids and tots can really benefit from simple activities such as kicking a ball around the yard. Not only will this help them burn off some steam, but will also help them develop hand eye coordination and motor skills. Older kids and teens tend to find sports such as soccer and baseball more rewarding and the social aspect can also greatly aid them in their development.

 

Be a Motivational Parent

As the parent, you have the responsibility of ensuring your kids stay motivated to participate in physical activity including sports. Often, all a child needs is a little bit of encouragement from their loved ones and they will find the confidence to participate. As they get involved, continually let them know how proud you are and praise them whenever they make progress. The influential effect of a parent’s compliment should never be taken for granted.

 

The Bottom Line

Keeping kids motivated is arguably more difficult than ever with so many distractions from the digital world, but it that makes it even more important. Exercise is not only essential for a healthy and well balanced body and mind, but it can also help in a myriad of other ways too. This can include childhood development, confidence building and acquiring social skills.  You may even find that it builds a closer relationship between you and your child! 

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