Thursday, July 24, 2014

Monthly Favorites: Fifteen & Sixteen

When it comes to being a new mom, "free time" no longer exists. And if by some amazing miracle you happen to somehow get a couple of minutes to yourself, I doubt researching baby products is on the top of your list. Whenever my son is coming to a new age and needing new products, I heavily rely on my fellow mommy bloggers' recommendations. No need to waste precious 'you time' trying to navigate through the thousands of products out there only to find out they're poor quality or useless. So I decided to do my own monthly favorites posts to help out my fellow mommies!

I will also let you in on any deals or money saving tips with each product!

Monthly 15 & 16

1. Toy Story: I bought this movie with money from Myles' first birthday. I played it for him once after I bought it and he couldn't care less. He was so not into TV shows, movies, etc. So I just put away for the time being until I thought he may be a little bit more into it. A couple months later (at 16 months), I decided to try it again. That one random day changed our lives forever! He only had to watch it once to get obsessively hooked! All day long, it was "Buzz/Woody, Buzz/Woody": when he woke up, when he ate lunch, when he got up from his nap, before bed. We even had to start spelling any words that reminded him of the movie or he would go into tantrum meltdown city! I limited watching it to once a day, but if it were up to him he would have seriously watched it 24/7. The good thing is I absolutely LOVE this movie. I was actually excited to watch it again and found it to be even better as an adult. We eventually invested in the 2nd and 3rd ones so we could rotate them. His super obsession lasted about two months and kind of fizzed out after that. He still loves all of the characters, but he doesn't ask to watch the  movies anymore. He has moved on... hopefully not too much though because we are having a Toy Story party for his 2nd birthday.

2.  Sassy Catch and Count Net: I feel like good bath toys are so hard to come by! I am always looking for something different, entertaining, and somewhat educational for the tub and I am forever disappointed in the selection. The Alex brand has some pretty cool things, but I never know what Myles will actually like anymore, so I don't want to buy any of them just to find out he couldn't care less about them. Every time I think he will really like something, he has no interest in it. I have found that with bath toys, the simpler the better. I picked up this set one day at Babys R Us and it is still one of his top favorites 7+ months later. The fish have "1, 2, and 3" on them and are three different colors. Those simple little fish are what we used to teach him colors and numbers. The first time he said blue and counted were with these fish! It is also a really good way to work on fine motor skills with scooping the fish up with the net. When he first got this, he wasn't able to scoop them up. It was something we worked on every bath and I was so proud when he finally got it. Now he loves to take the net everywhere. He even uses it in his water table to catch things. This toy is totally inexpensive and simple, but it is by far our favorite bath toy ever!

3. Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad: I was planning another trip back to Illinois with solo toddler duty, so I knew I had to step up my "keep-Myles-entertained" arsenal! He wouldn't sit still for a movie or TV show yet, so I had to find other ways to occupy him for 4 1/2 hours. Our previous 3 flights weren't too bad, but the older he got the harder it was to keep him sitting still and content for long periods of time. I brought a couple of his favorite books, toys, and snacks, but I wanted to bring something with that was totally new to him. He was starting to get into stickers and that made me think about the sticker clings that came with background settings I had when I was young. I googled something along those lines and found these reusable sticker pads. I bought both the vehicle and animal sets. Each set comes with 5 different backgrounds and about 35 stickers per background. I kept them hidden until the plane ride so that it would be something totally new for him. At that age a lot of the stickers and scenes were lost on him, but he liked putting them on and taking them off and just holding his favorite animal/car. Since then he has grown to engage with these more and more. He knows almost all the animals and different kinds of vehicles and he starting to create imaginary play with the scenes. I like playing with him and making up stories to help him understand that aspect of it. We are flying solo again in a couple weeks, so these will definitely be in our carry on bag! They provide hours of play and are perfect for keeping kids occupied when they are confined to a small area (car seat, plane ride, waiting at doctors, etc.)

4. American Plastic Toys Tool Bench: I found this bench (and extra tools) at my local children's resale shop for $20. I had been eying a tool set for a while so when this popped up, I had to get it. Myles loves all things 'working'. He always wants to be a part of whatever the adults are doing, especially if it involves tools. This set is the perfect way to indulge his love of 'working' while keeping him safe. Although he still will always ask for the real thing, he is usually satisfied with his plastic tools. It comes with lots of different tools and accessories that are awesome for perfecting fine motor skills and imaginary play. It has been really cool to watch Myles over the months grow with this toy and learn how to use the screw driver, hammer, wrench, etc. properly. We even just picked up an electric screw driver at a rummage sale that goes with this set. It is by far his favorite tool to date. He even uses it to drill on our teeth :)

5. Personal Family Photo Book: I have talked about this book a couple of times before on the blog, but it is one of our all time favorites. Being away from all our family has been rough so we try to do whatever we can to make sure we stayed connected. Myles loves looking at pictures so I thought this would be a perfect way to help him remember everyone and get to see their faces whenever he wants. I made this book using Snapfish and it was really easy. I am hoping we can use it to help him learn some more names before we go back for his second birthday soon. I think it would be so sweet if I could somehow make that happen!

6. Crayola Washable Kids Paint: These paints are the best! They have a couple different sets with all different colors. I love them because they are completely washable, but still very vibrant and have come out looking great in all of our projects. They are the perfect paints for hand/foot print art as well. These are my go-to toddler friendly paints! 

A little craft using the paints: Painted Puzzle Wall Art

Christmas footprint art

7. Nuby Insulated No Spill Straw Cup: It is like a full time job just trying to find a decent sippy cup out there. I can tell you that we have one whole shelf in our kitchen cabinets dedicated just to sippy cups and all their accessories. We have recently (starting around 22 months) converted to regular cups 90% of the time, but I have kept all of our sippies for outings and travel. From about months 14-20, I couldn't leave the store without picking up a new sippy in hopes of finding 'the one'. The biggest issue I had with finding the right cup was making sure that it was truly was no spill, but still easy enough to suck the liquid out of. I had the most luck with the Nuby brand and this specific one I ended up liking the best. You can buy the cup and top together or just the top if you already have some cups they would fit on. These are the closest to no spill or leak that I have found and they are still very easy to drink out of because of the easy touch-flow valve. It also has a flip top so the straw stays clean. There are several other cups in the Nuby brand that use this top if you are looking for something bigger, smaller, or non insulated. These are by far the best sippy cup for their price on the market!

  What toddler items are on the top of your list? What are your opinions of these products?


  1. I want that sticker pad! My 6 year old loves stickers, he'd love this!

  2. They have them at a lot of stores too. I had never nocticed them before I bought them on Amazon. But for the price they are amazing! They are reusable so you can play forever! They stick to windows too.. we have them everywhere :)

  3. April @ 100lbcountdownJuly 31, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    I think I need the reusable stickers because Bee loves them so much, she takes them off of EVERYTHING she puts them on. I can't even keep any stickiness on any of them. Love the reviews. Thanks for sharing. Pinning! I have another one growing up and will need some ideas.

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  4. Myles is so funny with stickers. He wants to put them on, but within 15 seconds he is ripping them off. That's why I like these reusable ones because they don't go to waste when he is putting them off and on 500 times in a row! LOL with the sippies! It is so ridiculous. We stopped using them a few months ago now. Myles won't drink out of one. It was fun learning how to drink out of a regular cup. It was water only for a long time :)

  5. That was the same thing Myles did(does). He puts one on then takes it off within 10 seconds again. These are awesome because you can use them forever! Thanks for always stopping by :)


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