Love, Santa: The 8 Top Toys for Kids This Christmas

Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here. Retailers are prepping their Black Friday sales, so it’s time to start planning your shopping list for your kids’ Christmas gifts. If your child is less than forthcoming with their Christmas wishlist, then you probably need to do a little research about what to get them.

Are you wondering about the top toys for kids this Christmas? Read on to learn all about them!

1. Baby Yoda

Disney+ has a smash hit on its hands with The Mandalorian, which is now entering into its second season on television. One of the biggest stars out of the franchise is, of course, baby Yoda (The Child).

If your kids have been dying to cuddle up with this little cutie, then your prayers have been answered in the form of an animatronic Baby Yoda. This toy features a number of different movements and over 25 different sounds. You can program him to take a nap, too, just in case you get tired of hearing him all day.

This awesome gift is priced at $59 on Amazon, and it’s selling fast. Better get your order in right away!

2. Pets Alive Fifi the Flossing Sloth

Look, there are few animals in the world that are cuter than the sloth. With that in mind, Zuru’s Pets Alive line has released a purple dancing sloth toy known as Fifi the Flossing Sloth.

Fifi dances to three different songs and will keep your kids super entertained with its awesome dance moves and butt wiggles. This fun sloth won’t teach your kids about oral hygiene, but it will make them giggle by embracing one of the year’s biggest dance crazes: the backpack kid floss.

3. PlayStation 5

The Sony PlayStation 5 is one gift that’s on pretty much everyone’s Christmas list. This latest iteration of Sony’s hit gaming console was released just in time for the holiday season. Of course, that also means that pretty everyone is dying to get their hands on it and it is sold out in a number of places.

The PlayStation 5 will also cost you a pretty penny, coming in at either $399 or $499, depending on whether you want Ultra HD Blue-Ray disc playback capability. If this is too rich for your blood, then there is a solution for you. Keep an eye on Walmart clearance finder to spot a deal on this hot item.

4. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen

If you want to give your child a gift that is super fun to use and helps them learn to appreciate healthy eating, then the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen toy should absolutely be added to your Christmas shopping list.

This item is double-sided, so your child can grow fruits and veggies in the garden and bring them into the kitchen to cook. They also get to gather eggs and hone their green thumb by planting flowers. This toy is great for children between 18 and 36 months of age, and it is a great deal at around $60.

5. Healthy Roots Dolls: Zoe

Do you want to get your child a doll that looks like them? Want your child to learn more about diversity by surrounding them with dolls of varying ethnicities? The Healthy Roots doll Zoe is a great way to do all of and support a BIPOC owned and operated business.

Zoe is a black-American doll with curly hair that can be washed and styled. She is 18 inches in height and comes in a super cute outfit featuring a heart jumper and yellow converse.

Zoe is priced competitively with its American Girl doll counterparts at $79.99 and is currently being sold on a pre-order basis.

6. American Girl Joss

American Girl dolls have been all the rage for decades, and this company is showing no signs of slowing down. Joss is the 2020 American Girl doll of the year, and she’s flying off the shelves.

Joss is a surfer girl with a hearing aid to help her stay on top of her cheerleading routines. She’s 18 inches tall with long brown hair that can be styled. She comes with a full outfit, a pink swimsuit, a carrying case for her hearing aid, and a paperback book about her life. There is also a number of accessories you can purchase along with the Joss doll to get the complete experience.

7. Kid Trax Semi-Truck and Trailer Ride-On Toy

Does your kid like heading out for a drive around the neighborhood? This ride-on semi-truck is a great way for your child to explore the neighborhood and feel like a grown-up, too!

This semi-truck looks just like the real thing and hits speeds of up to 4 miles per hour. It has functional lights in the cab, a PA system, and a horn, too! It is powered by a 12-volt battery that is easy to charge up at the end of a long day of hauling. It seats one rider with a max weight of 77 pounds and is priced around $250.

8. LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course

Want to throwback to the days of your youth? Then the LEGO Super Mario Adventures is a great gift for your kids this Christmas.

This kit has 231 super fun pieces that your kid can assemble to re-create the fun of the Super Mario video game. It includes LEGO Mario, with LCD screens for his eyes, mouth, and stomach. Mario is programmed with over 100 reactions to movement and includes a speaker.

In short, this $60 starter course will bring Super Mario to life in your own living room!

These Top Toys for Kids This Christmas Are Sure to Thrill!

Buying any of these top toys for kids this Christmas will undoubtedly make your kids super happy on Christmas morning. Of course, some will take more effort to find, but if you can score one, you’ll be their hero. Happy holiday shopping!

Looking for more great articles to help you improve your life? You’re in the right place! Check out the rest of our blog for tons of fresh content.

 

8 Ways To Handle A Home Emergency Like A Pro

Suffering a home emergency can be tough, so knowing how to handle it is key. This is especially important if you live with kids and pets, as you’ll want to keep everybody safe. Of course, how you handle the situation will depend on what is going on, but in general, you should take the following steps or similar to ensure that everybody is as safe as possible. 

 

  1. Call An Emergency Service To Help You 

Don’t waste any time – call an emergency service to help you clean everything up. The sooner you do this, the better, because otherwise you may be waiting even longer for them to show. If you can call them before doing anything else, you’ll be able to get everything sorted out much faster. Look for companies that cleanup sewage, or another company that suits your needs. There will be a company in your area that can help you. 

 

  1. Find Somewhere For Your Kids And Pets To Go 

Ideally, you want to get your kids and pets out of the house so they don’t hurt themselves or try to explore the damage. Send them to a friend or family member’s house if you can. If you can’t, then give them strict instructions to stay in one room – only if it’s safe to stay in the house. 

 

  1. Only Remove Valuables If It Is Safe 

You may be worrying about your jewelry and other items, but you should only remove items like this if it’s safe for you to do so. Never put yourself in harm’s way – hopefully, your insurance will cover things like jewelry. 

source

 

  1. Stay Calm 

Always stay calm in an emergency. This can be tough, but the rest of the family will take the lead from you. If you panic and get stressed, they will do the same. This will make the situation even harder to handle. 

 

  1. Call Your Insurance Company 

Call your insurance company. You may have home emergency cover or even just home insurance cover. Get an idea of what you are covered for so you can start putting plans in place and inform them of what has happened. 

 

  1. Never Put Yourself In Danger 

Don’t put yourself in danger during a home emergency. There are various situations that could be dangerous. Flooding can be dangerous, but a fire or a gas issue can be especially dangerous. Don’t try to fix these things yourself. 

 

  1. Shut Off Main Water Valve/Electricity 

You may have received instructions from the emergency company you have called. If not, ask them if you need to turn off the main water valve, electricity, or do anything else to help the process along. 

 

  1. Do A Little Clean Up If At All Possible

Make sure you only attempt this if it is safe to do so. Check with the emergency service provider if you’re not sure. Getting rid of excess water will help to prevent mold and mildew, for instance. 

 

Handling a home emergency can be tough, but the faster you act, the less damage to deal with.

How to Help Your Kids Through a Divorce

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

 

Divorce isn’t easy for anyone. When there are children to think about as well, this can make it even more difficult. Children may not understand exactly what is happening or why it is happening, and you want to do the best you can to help them through this scary and challenging time. If you have no idea how you can help your kids through this situation, try not to worry too much. We have some ideas below to provide you with some helpful information, so you can figure out the best way to help your child through this.

 

Both Parents Should Still Be Involved

Your child loves both of their parents, and even though you and your partner have decided not to stay together, it doesn’t mean that your children should not be able to see one of their parents just because one parent can’t stand the other one. It is important to remember that both parents have the right to continue to spend time with their child. If one parent is not letting the other parent see their child, for example, a mother is not letting the father see the child, then there are resources that can help with father’s rights.

 

How to Tell Them 

Having a conversation about your divorce with your children is not going to be easy, but it is something that has to be done. In terms of what to say, it will vary depending on the age of the child. You will want to be open and honest about what is happening. Another good idea is to have both parents present when you are telling them about it and to make sure that you tell the child that it is not their fault as well as preparing them for the idea that there will be changes.

 

Helping Kids After You Tell Them

After you have told your children what is happening, you want to be prepared for what to do next. Children can react in many different ways to the news that their parents will no longer be together, but make sure you let them know you are there for them and that whatever they are feeling is ok. You also want to convey to them that they can talk to you about what is happening when they feel that they are ready. They may have questions for you, so you also want to prepare for this possibility. Finally, make sure to let your children know that this is an ongoing conversation, so they won’t feel scared to bring it up again or ask more questions if they think of others later on.

Throughout the divorce process, things such as trying to keep a consistent routine and continuing to support your children are essential. If, in the divorce process, you end up having to go through a custody evaluation, you can look into resources to find out helpful information for going through that process. Remember that although this is a difficult situation, you will get through it.

Fun Ways To Teach Your Kids

Image

 

Children develop from a. Dry early age, and their first 10 years of life and crucial for their development and educational later on in life. Teachers, of course, provide most of the teaching a child needs in their weekday, however, they aren’t the only ones who should be teaching valuable lessons to your child.

 

As a parent, you should try every day to teach your child different subjects and get them interested in science, nature, and maths. There are plenty of early learning centers which you can send them to, but you can also do your bit by teaching them in a fun way at home and out and about. Here are some of the ways you can teach your child today.

 

Go Outside

Children love nothing more than to be outside and active. Take this as the percent advantage to teach your child about nature and science. For example, you can buy a Collins bird book online for your child and when you are out and about in the countryside they will be able to identify different species. If you have a pond in your back garden or there is one near your home you can go and investigate the species of frog, newt and insects in there too. Children learn best by getting their hands dirty so this method is a brilliant way to get them interested in nature.

 

Play a Game

When you are teaching your child it doesn’t have to be a chore. When you are at home you can make learning into a fun game between you and your child. For example, you can teach them maths with marbles or balls. You can even teach them square roots by using a Connect 4 Board. When your child puts together a square which has 4 counters down and 4 across: as them to count the number of counters in total. 16 is 4 squared, so this will teach your child in a simple way what a squared value really means.

 

Get Crafty

Children love to be creative and this is a fact you can exploit to teach your child about maths and even about art. You can cut out shapes to teach your child about the different shapes for maths, you can write things down on colorful paper to make them feel as if they are playing while learning: and you can even make a playhouse out of cardboard with them and this will actually help them learn how to measure. You can use great resources online such as with pandaparents to give you inspiration and make your children learn lots of amazing things.

 

Visit a Museum

If you want to have a fun day trip as well as teach your child about science and history then going to a local museum is the perfect option. Museum,s are filled with amazing artifices, interactive displays, and information which will get your child completely immersed in the subject and make them interested in different things. Once the trip is over you could by them a book about what they have seen to encourage them to do their own further reading afterward. A lot of children are fascinated by history and science so this could be a great way to teach.

 

To The Stars

 

One of the most magical things you can teach your children about is space and everything in it. Taking the time to teach your child about planets and the solar system will be a great way to open their eyes and make them want to learn even more. For example, you can show them some NASA learning resources which will help your children understand more about the planet. And as a fun evening trip, you can take your child into the country and let them watch the stars in the sky. You can even bring a sky map so you can show them the constellations too. It will be a great way to teach because children find stars magical.

 

Play Science

 

Interactive learning is the most fun way to learn for your children, and also a fun way for you to teach them. There are tons of different experiments you can perform for your child to get them into science, and one of the things you could do is make your own putty. Children love playing with putty so if you show them how to make it, it can be really fun for them. You can teach them about chemical reactions with baking powder and vinegar, and you can teach them about

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party

“This post was sponsored by Fresh Avocados – Love  One Today® as part of an In-Home Party Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.”

Growing up, my mom served avocado with just about every meal we had.  She loves them more than anyone I’ve met before, except maybe me.  I don’t know if it was due to her influence of serving avocados so much or if it’s because I have the same cravings as she does, but like her, my kids were raised on avocados.   From tacos to salads to my 7 layer dip recipe, I serve avocado’s just about daily.  I even use them in my smoothies.  As much as I love avocados, I equally love to host parties. Of course, I show off my favorite avocado recipes during all of my events.  Some I’ve created myself and some I talked my mom out of.  I’ve tried just about every avocado recipe online that I could find as well.

Wholesome fresh Avocado 7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

 

There are several reasons why it’s easy to get the kids to eat avocados. In fact, they were my kids first fruit. They are smooth and have a creamy consistency along with a mild taste. I would mash them up and feed them from a spoon until they were old enough to have slices of them. Like my own kids, even before I knew about the nutritional value of fresh avocados, I loved them. After learning that Avocados contribute nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients, that are important to infant/toddler nutrition, I started giving them to the kids even more often than I already was. My mom probably knew all of this when she served us avocados, but being a child, all I knew was that I loved the taste. She was counting on that when she served us meals with avocado in them. I’m sure she also knew that wholesome, fresh foods are less likely to contain added sugars, salt, and other processed ingredients.

Today I’d like to share my favorite 7 layer dip recipe with you so you can encourage your own kids to enjoy avocados. It’s sure to be a party favorite so go ahead and bookmark my post to save my recipe.

Wholesome fresh Avocado 7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

Ingredients:

5 Ripe Avocados. Use 4 in recipe and dice 1 for the top.
1 can of refried beans.
16 ounces of sour cream.
1 pack of dry taco seasoning mix.
1 to 2 lemons (need 2 teaspoons) or lemon juice.
Garlic cloves (grind 3 cloves).
Green onion (chop 3 to 4 stalks)
2- 8-ounce blocks of cheese, grated (I use mild).  If you’re in a hurry, pre-grated cheese works well.
1 small can of sliced black olives.
1 medium-sized tomato diced, chunky sizes.

Instructions:

In a glass bowl spread the can of refried beans evenly along the bottom.
Combine the sour cream and the dry taco seasoning, then spread on top of the beans.
Mix the avocados with the lemon juice and garlic. Sometimes I mash them, sometimes I cube them. Add on top of the sour cream mixture.
Add the cheese, green onions, black olives and tomatoes to top it off.

Serve with Tortillas.

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

To learn more about Fresh Avocados – Love One Today®  visit their website.

Follow Socially:
Fresh Avocados – Love One Today®: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

What’s your favorite way to eat a Hass Avocado?

 

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

 

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easing The Stress Of Being A Mom Will Help Your Family

Image source

 

Working comes with a whole host of stress. You’re basically dealing with stress from nine to five, with small glimmers of hope and sunshine dotted about. Working as a mum is 24/7, which kind of gives you some inkling as to the amount of stress that is involved. Thankfully, it i the best kind of stress imaginable. It is fun and unique and amazing, inspiring and worthwhile, totally worthwhile, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful too.

Yes, every single mum situation comes with its very own unique set of circumstances. It comes with the territory. But so does the need for you to constantly place an emphasis on your own health and well-being, and don’t for one second think that is selfish. Your being healthy is the catalyst to your family being healthy too.

So, here are some top tips on how to stay healthy, stress-free and sane as around the clock mum. After all, you deserve it.

Image source

 

Get A Granny-Nanny

We all have that moment when we search the internet for some help, someone who can assist with the kids for just a couple of mornings a week. That would be enough. Well, why not make that someone a granny-nanny. These are semi-retired women that typically don’t have family close by. Nurturing people that will cherish everything you do. They are people that love baking, gardening, reading, colouring-in, and they know how to ace homework, while also cherishing the wonders of children. They are people that want to be involved with children, that’s the key and, in return, you’ll be relieved of some of the stress. You can do those errands you needed to do or just grab a pinch of personal time.

Schedule Your Personal Time

Yeah, this may sound sad, at least to begin with, but if scheduling in some personal time in the same way you would schedule an appointment is the only way you’ll get it, then do it. Personal time is so important. Seeing friends, getting that soft tissue massage you promised your doctor you would get, seeing friends for a coffee, going for a run, having your nails done, or just sitting in a quiet park. Whatever floats your boat on that day. Don’t feel guilty about this either. We all need a bit of peace and quiet, and your family will thrive if you grant yourself that space. Just make sure your family knows that these are appointments, one’s that you can’t miss.

Image source

 

Bring A PA Into The Family

This idea of having a personal assistant to help in your personal life can be so rewarding, for everyone, especially if you are a mum that balances working with being a mum. The more you accept them into your family the better it will be too, not least because they will have such an important part to play. The reason we are referring to them as a PA is because that will help you distinguish their role a bit more. In the same way, you would lay out a set of tasks for an assistant at work, do the same for them each morning. Then they will know exactly what you would like doing, what principles you cherish and what is important to you, like the operation #dontforget you are championing. All this can be achieved while they also ensure your kids laugh from the moment they get picked up from school to the moment you get back from work, and you won’t feel stressed about the tasks that haven’t been done because, well, they will have been done. A PA is a right-hand person, someone you can trust no end, so why not have someone like that to help with your children?

Top 15 Things Your Child Should Know Before Entering Kindergarten Free printable packet!

   

Be able to state first and last name when asked.
Be able to write first name with first letter uppercase and remaining letters lower case.
Use appropriate three-finger grasp when using writing instruments (pencils, crayons, and scissors)
Count to at least thirty and tells what number comes before or after a given number to 20.
Know all the letters in their first name.
Identify basic geometric shapes (triangle, circle, square, rectangle, oval, star, rhombus (diamond) and heart)
Know basic colors (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, brown, pink)
Identify numerals 1-10 in random order.
Make most letter/sound matches.
Identify most upper and lower case letters.
Use finger to accurately touch count items to ten.
Knows concepts of print (front and back of the book, which page comes first, track words left to right).
Be able to rhyme words.
Retells simple stories in sequence.
When given a word (“man”) and a new beginning sound (/f/), creates the familiar word (“fan”)
Socially Your child should be able to…
Adjust own clothing before and after using the restroom.
Use restroom independently including washing hands without a reminder.
Take off and put on outer clothing
Sit for a story for 5-10 minutes
Clean up after themselves
Shares materials and toys with other children.
Attend kindergarten with a positive attitude
Be confident and ready to separate from the parent.
Be able to listen and follow 2-3 step directions.
Be able to solve problems without aggression.

Help Prepare Your Child by…

Going to interesting places such as the beach, park, zoo, airport, farm or lake. (Example: Use car rides to play I Spy, this encourages children to identify shapes, colors and helps develop their vocabulary in fun ways.)
Encourage your children to observe and talk about their experiences, as conversations with adults who care enrich a child’s vocabulary and understanding of the world.
Make eye contact with your child while listening to them speak, showing them that you value what they say.
Expose your child to many kinds of literature by reading to them daily.
Praise and encourage your child’s efforts and curiosity, knowing that from mistakes come learning and confidence. Criticism can discourage children from trying new things and lower self-confidence.

Here is a great free printable packet to help your little one get ready for that first day!

 

 

 

10 Letter activities to prepare your Preschooler for PreK / Kindergarten & Free Printables

As a retired teacher, I can’t stress enough the importance of helping your child be prepared for Kindergarten!

The advantages:

  1. They are confident, because not only have they heard this before but it is easy since it is familiar.
  2. They learn how to lead, other children look to those who already know for help.
  3. They can see that it is easy and are less likely to struggle later in school
  4. They can read earlier and quicker than the others.
  5. They will spend quality time with a loved one, one on one learning!

The Cons:

  1. NONE

I always felt sorry for the children who struggled in my classes, I taught middle school and a lot of times they were just moved up and couldn’t even hardly read. This was obvious when they didn’t want to participate and usually tried to get in trouble when they feared they would be called upon.

No child should have to experience this!

If you spend 30 minutes a day with your preschooler on activities you would be amazed how quickly they absorb the information.

Here is my top ten list of letter activities:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq3yfQnllfQ (Letters and sounds video extremely important for them to learn the correct letter sounds)
  2. http://www.worksheetfun.com/category/letter/letter-tracing/ Free printable letter sheets.
  3. http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2013/05/sidewalk-chalk-4-letter-activities.html  (Sidewalk chalk fun!)
  4. http://www.learning4kids.net/2011/08/16/alphabet-sponge-letters-bath-time-fun-2/ (DIY Sponge Letters)
  5. Interactive Notebook – (This is very important for them to learn, they will use interactive notebooks in school, so teaching them early is a plus and they can get all their work in one place to show their loved ones!)
  6. https://www.education.com/games/alphabet/ (this is a free online interactive game, I would limit it to maybe 15 minutes a day).
  7. http://www.abc.net.au/abcforkids/games/ (another online free site)
  8. http://www.themeasuredmom.com/letter-recognition-activities/  (A variety of letter recognition games)
  9. https://www.pinterest.com/explore/dollar-tree-classroom/  (Dollar Tree finds to use for letter games)
  10. Write their name on everything, toys, cups, and even their clothes tags, they will learn to recognize their name!

Feel free to add some ideas that you have used, I really just want to stress the importance of doing some daily with your little one and given them a huge advantage in school!