Category: Activities & Crafts

Household Items that are Far Better than Any Toddler Toy on the Market

This scenario plays out in my house almost everyday: The playroom is strewn with blocks, cars are on their sides, balls are piled in the corner…and my son?  He’s playing in our cabinet with the pots and pans. There’s no question he loves his toys, but sometimes I can’t believe how much he loves his “not toys.” So much so that I find myself converting old household products into play things just for some free indoor excitement.

So if you’re tired of buying toys, look around your house and see if you’ve got any of these big winners:

Related article: The Baby Products I Wish I Hadn’t Bought…and Definitely Didn’t Need


The 10 Best Board Books for Toddlers

I got lucky with a son who absolutely loves to read and look at books, but that love of reading doesn’t seem to translate into an appreciation for keeping the books in good condition.  So, for the time being, we’re only using board books so that he can use them however he likes (and for the most part, they have proven to be indestructible).  Luckily, it has turned out that board books aren’t that expensive either, so I’ve been able to get most of them in the $3 range on Amazon.  

So if you’re looking for a good gift idea for your toddler or just need some new inspiration to get them using new words, try out these board books that have been big winners in our house:

The Please Touch Museum: Philadelphia’s #1 Destination for Toddlers

I knew about The Please Touch Museum long before I was even pregnant with my son (my husband and I had our wedding there!), but I was pretty sure it was best for 4, 5, or 6 year olds, so I had pushed off taking my toddler. Holy moly, was I ever wrong.  This place is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for toddlers.  If I was closer, I would be there every single week.  Since heading there for the first time with him, I’ve been on a hunt for other children’s museums that compare and haven’t found anything even remotely close.

So if you’re in the area or live in the suburbs like I do, you need to make sure you take your toddler to the Please Touch Museum the second they’re comfortable walking.  There are so many things to do with little guys (and older too) that I guarantee you’ll want to come back again and again.

Related post: 15 Philadelphia Day Trips for Your Toddler & Preschooler

Here are some of the highlights:


9 Reasons to Take Your Toddler to the Jersey Shore’s Cape May Zoo

In my opinion, each and every day is the best day to be at the Jersey Shore.  I don’t care if it’s raining or sweltering or whether the mosquitos are biting.  The bay and ocean are always in view and there’s something intoxicating about the salt air.

Needless to say, it is an amazing place to take your family, but there are days where you just need a break from the beach and sun.  Luckily there are tons of things to do, one of which is the Cape May Zoo.  It used to be a second thought for me, but now that I have a toddler in tow I will certainly be making regular trips.  I’m telling you from experience, it is one of the best places along the Jersey Shore to take your toddler for a morning or afternoon visit.

Here’s why:


A Guide to Camden, NJ’s Adventure Aquarium with Your Toddler

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took our 1 ½ year old son to the Adventure Aquarium (aka Camden Aquarium to the locals) to meet some friends who also had a toddler on their hands (2 years old). We weren’t quite sure what to expect with him, but were pleasantly surprised by how engaging the aquarium was for such little guys! They’ve definitely worked hard to reach different age groups and it was refreshing to find something fun for my little guy (even the local playground is too tough for him).

Bottom line, we’ll definitely be back again and I would certainly recommend the trip to anyone in need of entertainment for a young toddler.

Related post: 15 Philadelphia Day Trips for Your Toddler & Preschooler

Here’s everything you need to know:

How to Make Edible Finger Paint

Entertaining a toddler can be easy or hard depending on your level of creativity and patience for their odd interests. A bag of rice may hold their attention for 20 minutes, while the $50 toy sitting in the corner only makes them cry. My baby’s favorite toy is still a tupperware container despite various attempts to sway him with Fisher Price’s newest gadget.

In the end, you still want to expose them to new wonders and watch them discover something for the first time. When my friend suggested an edible finger paint get together, I was definitely excited for the outdoor activity. This was my little one’s first paint experience and I must say, it was an adorable act to watch. (more…)

My 1 Year Old’s Holiday Season Bucket List

I’ve always loved the holiday season, but this year is going to be more amazing than usual.  My little guy is going to make it a thousand times more enjoyable and I can’t wait for all the things I want to show him.

Christmas has always been a big deal for me, but this year one of the greatest additions will be celebrating Halloween.  I’ve never been a fan of Halloween (other than it marked the last day of the non-Christmas season), but now that I have a son it has taken on a whole new meaning.

So with all of the great Fall Bucket Lists I’ve seen come out, I couldn’t resist putting together my own Holiday Season Bucket List for my littlest love.  Let’s hope we can live up to my plan and pass down our love of the holidays! (more…)

The Must-Have Beginner Books for Toddlers

For my baby shower, my sister had a brilliant idea idea to ask for a baby book instead of a card.  So with each gift, I received a children’s book with a note in it for the baby, and I now have an awesome collection of books for my son that will last him years.

I’ve sorted them out by age so some are still a little old for him, but at just under 1 year old, he has clear favorites.  In fact, some he loves so much that he’d prefer it over a toy.  We joke that his lovey will end up being a book instead of a stuffed animal.

So if you’re looking for some great beginner books for your little one (or an awesome baby shower gift!), these are the winners in my house: (more…)

A Creative Solution for Toddler Safety in the Kitchen

When my son was 4 months old, he reached out with the speed of light and grabbed my piping hot cup of coffee, pouring it all over himself. He had just started using his hands and it was the first time he had grabbed anything.  It was an awful experience and we ended up spending the weekend in the ER.

Luckily, he ended up being ok with only small scars that will eventually fade. Ironically, that incident was probably a blessing because it showed me just how quick those little hands are and has made me way more paranoid about where he is, particularly when we’re in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, he always wants to be with me when I’m cooking. I have tried distracting him with his favorite toys in the dining room, but he insists on being as close as possible.

So here is my latest attempt at keeping him safe and I’m in LOVE with it.