May 022013

Thanks to I See Me for providing us with a great personalized book to enjoy.

I’ve seen, read, received and given a lot of personalized books in my day.  I’ve always enjoyed them because there’s just something special about getting a book with your own name and/or photo in it, immersing you in the story.  I had wanted to order one for Bubbles for her birthday this year because she’s very much into books and loves to recognize her own name and picture.  Most personalized books, however, are geared for older children through adults, with easily-torn paper pages and more grown-up themes.

I See Me Personalized Books for Toddlers & Kids

So I was very pleased to come across the I See Me collection of personalized books and other gifts.  They have books for pretty much every occasion: birthdays, Easter, Christmas, being a big sister, being a big brother.  And then they have lots of personalized books that are “just because” like My Own Fairy Tale, My Own Pirate Tale, and other similar titles. Continue reading »

Feb 252013

Inspire Creative Play with Wow Toys

Twin Race Cars and a Royal Princess Carriage from WOW Toys

Bubbles is at a fun stage with her toy play right now.  You can almost see the little wheels turning in her head as she thinks about how she wants to interact with them.  Blocks have gone from just random stacking and tall towers to creating paths for cars to follow and walls to hide behind for hide and seek.  Baby dolls get fed and tucked in, while her pets get “washed” and go for walks.

Of course not all creative play with her toys makes sense – to me, at least.  More than one princess has found her way into the fridge instead of her toy bins when it’s time for pick up.  Horses sometimes get to drive the tractors while the farmers ride in the wagon.  And some of those dog baths have taken place in the soup pot from her kitchen.  It can be hard not to say “Oh no, honey, here, this is how you do it” (though I do have to occasionally remind her the ice cream cone is just for pretend and please don’t actually lick it).   But I try my best to encourage her creativity, imagination, and role play.

So when her princess and horse-drawn carriage ended up at the starting line with two twin race cars (one driven by the prince that normally steers the carriage) I didn’t bother explaining that a horse was going to be no match for a race car.  I just watched the action!  The race cars are friction-powered so once they’re revved up a bit they definitely can out-race the horse, but she evens the playing field by running the horse down the hall ahead of them.  (She also squeals with delight when I send the cars racing after her.) Continue reading »

Feb 232013

Toddler Games and Toys from Melissa & Doug

Toddler Games and Toys from Melissa & Doug

It’s hard (for me) to believe, but Bubbles turned 2 this past week.  It’s cliché to say but time really does seem to fly by with kids this age.  I can remember when she would fit in the nook of my arm while I was feeding her.  Today when I pick her up to give her a kiss, her feet dangle against my knees.  And that’s when she stops moving long enough for me to pick up!

As Christmas was just a few weeks ago (and because this mama has a hard time not buying things at the store as I see them) we didn’t really want to go overboard for her with gifts.  We did, however, want to get her some things and I wanted to make sure they were toys that would keep her entertained and engaged for a few months (when your birthday and Christmas are so close together, there’s a reaaallly long dry spell for gift-giving occasions in between).  She has a few key interests right now that we’d like to nurture: puzzles, dolls, coloring, her kitchen, blocks, anything Disney, and toys like trucks and trains (the last one much to my husband’s delight).

Continue reading »

Feb 032013

Toddler Birthday Party Ideas

Toddler Birthday Party Ideas: part of the Turning 2 Toddler Birthday Celebration

Bubbles is turning two this month and I can’t believe it.  It honestly seems like the other day that she fit in the nook of my arm; now when I pick her up and we’re eye-to-eye, her toes dangle against my knees.  Every day she surprises us with a new phrase. activity, item, or look.  This month in the Turning 2 Toddler Birthday Celebration I’ll be sharing a lot of great things that she loves that I think other toddlers will enjoy.

Before the month gets too far away from me I’m trying to decide on a birthday theme for her party.  Pocoyo is favorite character but the merchandise for it is almost non-existent and I haven’t been able to find any party supplies.  So we’re looking at other options.  She takes after her Mama and is a little Disney girl which makes something Disney a top choice.  She loves Minnie Mouse, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show, Tinker Bell, and the princesses (she can name them all, with Rapunzel and Ariel being two of her favorites).  Here are some of the cute party ideas for a Minnie Mouse party I’ve found so far. Continue reading »