Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Throw" Blanket as Toddler Bed Blanket

When our son moved from a crib to a toddler bed, we bought a cute, little, "throw" blanket at Target instead of buying a blanket specifically for toddlers. These small blankets - intended to be tossed over the back of a couch or spread over your knees on cold, winter nights in the living room - are the perfect size for a toddler bed and are usually less expensive. You can often find a variety of interesting and fun designs on clearance.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review: Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat

Our child is now two and my wife and I have never had to use a full-sized high chair at home. The inconvenient size, expense, and the fact of its inevitable obsolescence once your child has outgrown it make for enough good reasons to eschew the traditional high chair in favor of a portable high chair/booster seat. We've been using the Fisher-Price Healthy Care model and have valued it for its versatility, compact size, comfort and ease of transport.

The main drawback of using a portable model at home is having the most "creative" eater in your house dropping big splorts of applesauce all over one of your good chairs. That's why I recommend finding an inexpensive Ikea chair that matches the finish on the rest of your dining room set. The chair you see in the photo above was $20, and you certainly won't regret having an extra chair around when guests arrive.

Good, bad, or okay: Good!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cold Applesauce to Cool and Sweeten Oatmeal

My toddler enjoys a nice bowl of quick oats made in the microwave on weekend mornings, but what to do about the fact that it emerges from the microwave flaming hot? We keep a jar of natural applesauce in the fridge. A generous helping of applesauce stirred into his bowl of oatmeal, along with a bit of cinnamon if you like, not only cools it to the perfect temperature but naturally sweetens it. He loves it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fun Craft Project: Toilet-paper Tube People

Even your small toddler has the motor skills to color the pictures of faces, arms and feet in this PDF document. (It doesn't matter if she stays inside the lines or if the construction worker's face is just a purple scribble!) Once this is done, you can cut out the individual parts and help your child tape or glue them to toilet paper tubes to make charming, little people. I advise you to take the "It doesn't have to look realistic and it's okay if the girl on the right has a leg coming out of her head" approach. I wish I could include pictures of the final product when my son made these, but the files are somewhere among the bazillion pics we've taken of him within the last several months.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Coloring is Free

Coloring books are a great, inexpensive way for your young one to release his artistic energy and have fun. What's cheaper than cheap? Why, FREE of course! The internet age has brought us a wealth of free coloring pages that you can print and keep on hand for your child's next session with the ol' crayons. Just Google the term "coloring pages" and see.

Throw in additional keywords to find coloring pages suited to a variety of interests. I want to expose my son to lots of cool science stuff, so I am totally jazzed at what you can find searching for NASA and dinosaurs. My toddler's current favorite TV show is Curious George, and PBS Kids has a site with numerous printable pictures and games.