When I became a dad I started saving all the spent paper town and toilet paper rolls in a closet at the end of the hall. I figured that was what good parents did right? Kept those things in case you needed an emergency art project started on a snow day? There they all still sit as my oldest just wants to watch Vamparina on my tablet. This year it is time to take back the paper towel roll surplus and make something amazing. The folks from YOKO (“yock-so”) have teamed up with our parenting pals at PBS Kids and made an opened ended creative building set that integrates into most of the items you have overflowing in your recycling bin. Check out the new PBS KIDS Build It Kit via the link below and get busy building something cool.
Step up your shadow puppet routines with this exciting new way to send the kids off to bed. Moonlite is a storytime projector that attaches to your smartphone and uses the flashlight feature to project the illustrations from some of your favorite children’s books onto the wall or ceiling. The accompanying app allows you to read the story as your child lays in wonder seeing the story come to life high above them. Some of the books now available on Moonlite are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Curious George, Goodnight Moon, Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? and Wherever You Go. This set comes with 5 books read to enthrall your whole family and a charming box that holds everything neatly and can slip onto your bookshelf after you’re done.
Help cultivate your little ones green thumb with this awesome set from Sesame Street. G is the letter of the day that G stands for gardening with this Abby’s Garden Planting Activity Set. This fun set from Green Toys (a Relevant Dad fav) has everything your child needs to take ownership of their very own garden. Included in the set are three pots, seed packs, soil pucks, tools and a charming guide to planting and growing. Your kids will learn about nature and science all the while having a finished product they can be proud of…and eat! Smarter, stronger, kinder as they say.
If you are a Millenial you surely have tried or at least know about the wave of meal box services that have taken over most podcast and Facebook advertising spots in recent years. Have you tried one? They can be great especially for weeknights when you get home late from work or a recital and you don’t want to think about cooking from scratch. But the big problem is there is no way that your three-year-old is going to eat Spicy Polano & Enoki Mushroom Tortas. You know what they might eat though? How about Orange Chicken with Fried Rice or Peas & Cheese Tortellini! Simply put, kid food jazzed up a bit.
Nurture Life is a meal box service that is for your kids and your busy life. You simply enter your child’s age and their dietary restrictions and their team will curate a weekly menu plan for you. Then every week it shows up on your doorstep like some magical food fairy has blessed your house and cured your picky eaters once and for all.
The meals come cold ready to re-heat and in perfect healthy sized portions for your growing kids. You don’t have to worry about reading the sides of mac and cheese boxes to see if there is anything icky inside anymore. The Nurture Life “team of chefs and pediatric dietitian create meals that are designed and portioned to meet each child’s nutritional requirements. We prepare, cook and package all of our meals in our state-of-the-art kitchen, eliminating cross-contamination with the most common allergens.”
What we love the most about Nurture Life’s meals for our toddlers is that we don’t have to worry about them getting all of the nutrients from their meals what we pretend to give them normally. Yeah, you don’t have to pretend that those french fries you threw in the microwave are a suitable veggie. These meals are simply perfect for any family.
As a parent, you are always looking for a way to make bathtime more enjoyable for everyone involved. You have the bath books and a rotating array or rubber ducks that you have to toss when you start squeezing out mold and mildew. Tomy toys have created the ultimate line of toys that will propel your bathtime into fun family play time with Toomies. Tomy sent over some Toomies for us to try as a family and we can not get enough of them. These toys are so fun that we found our 4yo in the tub playing with them when it was dry. Here are some Toomies we love:
The foam cone factory is by far the favorite. You simply add a half cap full of your normal bubble bath and some water into the tank and then pull the lever as you make the most delish soapy soft serve cone you have ever seen. The imagination you kid uses as they sprinkle on jimmies/sprinkles with the included shaker is hilarious to watch. Hand up, dad made a cone in the shower the next morning and found it just as amusing as the toddler did.
The Bubble blast train is similar to the foam cone factory but instead of spitting out “ice cream” as the train choo’s down the track giant bubbles emit from the smoke stack. All aboard for a super fun bathtime with this toy.
The rocket blast fountain is equally fun and useful, your child will learn cause and effect and you will be able to rise that soapy hair with relative ease as they giggle at the water train raining down on them as the rocket blasts off in your tub.
Sometimes you just need to cruise your John Deere tractor over your dad’s foot or repeatedly run into your mom with it while she is sitting on the couch trying to watch, Watch What Happens Live. Of course, we are are talking about the John Deere Monster Treads tractor and gator playset. Yeah, it’s true that gator that you have been wanting for a while is not super affordable…it’s just 6” long and well, a toy. No matter if your kids are princess primpers of wild superhero watchers these toys from John Deere are a load of fun. Tomy sent us over a set to play with and the kids loved them. The massive wheels with super grip treads are perfect for off-roading in your backyard or across the great fields of your couch. Add this set to your toybox so those Avengers or Barbies have a sweet ride when your little one’s imagination is firing at full speed. Oh, the stories they can tell.
Each vehicle features:
- 3 function lights and sound action with LED lights
- All-terrain steering
- Super bouncy tires
- Available at Walmart
If you have a kid under the age of 9 in your home chances are they know all about Nature Cat, the cartoon about the lovable housecat Fred who lives for his backyard adventures but has no skill at being an outdoor cat. One of our favorite brands TOMY has created a cute line of 8″ plush characters based on this popular PBS cartoon and they are adorable. They send us a couple and my girls fell in love with them immediately. “Nae-twer Cat!” These stuffies are the perfect size for your kids to take on adventures in the backyard and are ultra-realistic. They are so close to the actual cartoon it’s like they jumped from the screen into your house. It’s fun to act out scenes from past Nature Cat episodes or make up your own adventures with your family. Check them out and click the buy button below.
The fine folks over at Sweet Valley Organics sent us some of their amazing Organic Dark Chocolate Snack Bites and we can’t put them down. It’s a problem. They are so good guys. We often are looking for a sweet snack after dinner, sure some might call it desert but that word screams ice cream or brownies and those words scream another 45 on the elliptical and who wants that right? That is where these snack bites come in handy. We have been satisfying our dessert craving with these nuts & fruits that are USDA organic, fair trade certified, non-GMO and made with no preservatives. Oh, did we mention that they are all covered in dark chocolate? “Chocolate, it doesn’t just make things tastier, it makes things better-er.” What makes these snacks amazing is that everyone in the family has been enjoying them. Check out the 3yo taste testing the varieties with me.
We’ll be honest we had never shopped on Swap.com before we were gifted a credit from them earlier this spring. Boy, have we been missing out. This site is amazing for everyone but especially parents. We have all been there, you know sliding hanger after hanger at the local consignment shop just trying to find something in 4T that is actually worth buying. How often do you leave empty-handed? If you are like us, you get skunked nearly every time.
Swap.com is the site for you parents. It was so easy to find some fun new “used” clothing for the whole family. Yeah, I got some sweatpants and buddy I have hardly taken them off. “Have you washed those yet?” asked my wife last night. Anyways, Swap.com has the type of granular shopping filters that one can only dream of. Do you want something in 6-9mo, gently used, girls, from a group of hand-selected brands like Baby Gap, Hanna Anderson, and OshKosh? You can get that specific. They even have an extensive collection of never worn clothing. We all have those kids clothes that people have given us, you know, the 2T sundress when your girl would be in 2T in December.
Check out all the amazing brands and clothing that your whole family can shop. Where else can you get a toddler dress from Tea, a LulaRoe dress for your wife and a J.Crew Button-down shirt for under $100? Nowhere. Just click on over to Swap and take a look and see what you can find for your growing family today. Save money and shop like a boss.
Use these discount codes EARTHDAY40 and EARTHDAY20. (Good until 6/30/18)
If you have a kid over 7 chances are you already are all abuzz about Marvel’s Infinity War coming out next month. Add to that the amazing new trailer that dropped and the fever pitch has hit a crescendo. Groupon has a deal out on these awesome new 30″ Marvel Avengers inflatable plush characters! Click the buy link below to capture this deal FAST! Don’t make the Hulk angry, these inflatables are super fun and your kids will love playing with them before the movie drops.
We have tons of small figurines here at home, Peppa Pigs, Disney princesses, nearly everyone from Sesame Street and of course M. I. C. K. E. Y. – M. O.U. S. E.. When we got the new line of ANIA figurines from Tomy Toys the first thing my kiddo explained was “They are real daddy!” She meant that they are lifelike in appearance which is a commitment to their amazing design. Each figurine has one or two minimal movements that help create that spark of imagination that will propel your child into adventure with their new animals. These toys have three distinct lines, Ocean, Grasslands, Prehistoric and Arctic but if you are like our family you will totally have a T-Rex mixing it up with a red panda and a meerkat. We may have had a princess or two riding a polar bear at one point no big deal.
You can find these figurines at your local Toys R’ Us or online in a very family friendly price range. Get playing!
ANIA Get ready for a pack of animal fun with ANIA Animals, the all-new preschool line of articulated animals and playsets designed to inspire hours of nature-themed play and exploration. Highly-detailed ANIA Animals feature multiple points of articulation for realistic role play and feature animals from around the globe. Ages: 3 years and up.
Not to sound overly fretty but KIDS COME QUICK…there is a Yeti In My Spaghetti. This Game Of The Year winner is so much fun to play with the whole family. The concept is simple enough that even though it’s advertised as 4+ we found that our toddler loved playing too. Be careful what noodle you pull out, you don’t want to be the first one to let the yeti fall into the bowl dad!
Who knew yetis liked spaghetti?!? We did! In this wacky, fun game, the noodles are laid across the bowl and the yeti is just sitting there on the noodles…but as you remove the noodles one by one (be careful!), the yeti could fall into the bowl, and that would mean you lose!
We have been having a toddler getting out of bed 2-3 times a night problem for a while now. First, it was the scary AC kicking on in her room, then it was because she was thirsty and most recently it was to check on her little sister. We have compromised with leaving the door open a crack, buying her new Frozen sheets, like Anna and Elsa Frozen, not actual sheets that freeze her into her bed although that is a pretty good idea no? What has actually worked for the time being was buying her an awesome new night light. This birdcage night light was just cute enough that she was both excited to get it but it also was a good incentive to stay in bed. She loves the two different brightness options and the fact that it stays lit all night on a single charge. Check out how cute this thing is and click the BUY button below.
“Jeeze that is a sweet swing, where did they learn to hit like that?” “Well, we started em young with the American Plastic T-Ball set.” “For real?” “Yuuup.”
If your little one is anything like mine they have spent the summer pretending to mimic their favorite major leaguer swinging the whiffle ball bat around in the back yard. Problem is they have no concept on how to actually make contact with a ball. Since they are a little young to take down to the local diamond for BP, we found them this awesome American Plastic T-Ball set. It’s American made which you know is actually making America great when you buy it, and it’s super durable and easy to set up for a hitting lesson outback. My kid has taken many wacks at this set and it and it takes everyone. So if you want your kid to learn the swing of Aaron Judge get them started today with this perfect starter set.
(Set includes tee, bat, and 2 balls.)
One of the great hassles of parenting is shoe shopping. It’s a nightmare, and we have to do it seems every other month at the rate these kids are growing. It’s a constant battle of sizes not being in stock, the little ones wanting the cheap ones with cartoons on them, and finding shoes that fit the season. When we went looking for some quality made yet affordable shoes for our toddler we hit all of the stops around town and stuck out. Another day was wasted and her toes were still crammed into the ends of her dirty sneakers that stopped fitting weeks ago. That is when we pulled up Pediped online after doing some research on the best shoes for kids. Mercy, this site had everything we wanted in shoe shopping. A vast selection, handy sizing guides, and shoes for every season, style and age. Not to mention we could do it all online which saved us another afternoon in box store hell. So whether it is back to school shopping, or just the need for new summer kicks for the kids check out Pediped. As they say, they are the next best thing to bare feet!
It’s hard to build a clever little alliteration around the word frisbee but darn it we try. What isn’t hard is actually playing frisbee with your kids. It’s a time-honored backyard, park field, hot beach tradition, throwing the old disc around. Coop Sports has a great line of frisbees this summer that will provide your next family outing with some old fashioned fun. “Wheather backhand, forehand or hammer throw, Coop Discs make throwing and catching a breeze!” We have been having daily disc tosses in the parking lot after work with the Chill Wave 110 G disc that is perfect for all ages and skill levels. We also love the Reactorz Disc for late night summer fun with the kids. This disc lights up as it’s thrown to provide parents with a handy tool to get the last bit of energy out of their kids before bed. Talk about a dad hack right? The best part of Coop Sports disc’s is that they start at the family-friendly price of $4.99.
Stick-lets tagline is “Because Mother Nature Misses Us” and we say let’s fix that this summer! It’s time to take the backyard back and bring fort building into the modern age. Stick-lets is a unique new product that we found at Toy Fair and fell in love with. The number of uses for Stick-lets is up to your imagination. Want a cabin made out of sticks? How about a tower for your green beans to grow up? Or maybe you want a cool garden sculpture? Stick-lets will hold your child imagination all day as they frolic in nature building forts, and swords, traps for monsters and homes for fairies. Let’s make this summer amazing and reintroduce our kids to Mother Nature’s best toy, the stick.
No doubt you remember that one birthday back in the late 80’s when you got your very first super soaker right? Millenial dad’s childhoods can be broken down into before super soaker and after. After was so, so, so much better. Summer was lit. Your backyard turned into a home base, the neighborhood was a battlefield, allegiances were made and broken, no prisoners were taken and everyone had a blast. Pun intended. Don’t your kids deserve a souped up squirt gun too? Yeah, they do. We love this Super Storm Squirt Gun that we picked up for our kids. The range this blaster has is unlike anything you have seen before. 38 feet of range is more than enough to hit the kids across the street as you and your family battle for dominance on the ave.
These toys are a toddler and a parents dream. Cheap, easy to buy and loads of imaginative fun for everyone. Who doesn’t love flying their helicopter around the kitchen or loading up sand with the dump truck out back? The best thing about these plastic toys is that they are all American made. So while you stuff those Easter baskets this week you can feel good about keeping jobs here at home. You should really check out American Plastic Toys for some really great deals on awesome spring and summer toys for your whole family.
Spring Value Set – Perfect for that new sandbox you intend to build in the backyard right? ($11)
7 Piece Sand Digging Set – Load up the sand and move it with this awesome set. ($14)
We’ve never seen a coloring book that leaves so much up to the imagination. The Teddy Bear Book from Rock & Pebble is 30 blank pages just waiting for 15 magical teddy bears to come to life from your little one’s imagination. How cool is this hand stitched coloring book? It’s like a Moleskin for a toddler except for way more fun.