Read These Favorite New Books After Your Kids Go to Sleep

If you’re looking for something to read, here are some favorite new books to put on your radar:

We may have lives that are chaotic and exhausting. The morning routine. Chasing kids. Working. Errands. Afterschool activities. The bedtime routine. Parenting never comes to an end.
Don’t let that stop you from sneaking in a little me-time. After the kids go to bed is the perfect time to crack open a book. If you’re looking for something to read, here are some favorite new books to put on your radar:

TheGypsy

The Gypsy Moth Summer

by Julia Fierro

In the long, sweltering summer of 1992, a gypsy moth invasion blankets Avalon, an islet off the coast of Long Island. Despite being an inescapable burden, the insects are hardly the topic of discussion. Leslie Day Marshall, the only daughter of Avalon’s most prominent family, returns with her black husband and bi-racial children to live in “The Castle,” the island’s grandest estate.
Hidden truths, scandals, and racial prejudices soon emerge in this many-faceted story about love, family, escape, and revenge. “The writing is lovely, and the story is compelling. It’s set in the 90s so it’s fun nostalgia, too,” says Jen from New Jersey.


LittleFiresEverywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng

After reading “Little Fires Everywhere”, Jessica from New York says, “The characters are so real. And I love the way that [Celeste Ng] explores issues of race, class, and privilege in a deep and meaningful way, without being heavy-handed or preachy.”
Picture-perfect Shaker Heights runs like a well-oiled machine. Elena Richardson embodies this progressive suburb’s image, playing by the rules and striving for the best. Things begin to unravel when she rents a house in the idyllic little bubble to single mother, Mia Warren, and her teenage daughter Pearl.
All four of Elena’s children are drawn to the rebellious mother-daughter pair, who ignore the status quo and threaten to upend the community. This instant New York Times bestseller explores motherhood, secrets, and the naivety of thinking that following the rules will keep you safe.


ATangledMercy

A Tangled Mercy

by Joy Jordan-Lake

“A Tangled Mercy” is an interweaving of two distinct, yet connected, narratives: the story of Harvard grad student Kate Drayton’s journey to Charleston, South Carolina, to find answers about her deceased mother’s troubled past, and the lost story of the Charleston slave uprising of 1822 – the subject of Kate’s mother’s research.
Inspired by true events, the book examines the depth of human suffering and brutality and our everlasting hope of forgiveness and redemption. “Joy Jordan-Lake’s ‘A Tangled Mercy’ is an incredibly compelling and meticulously researched historical novel that will have you thinking about it long after you turn the last page,” says Jane Healey, author of “The Saturday Evening Girls Club.”


TheGoldenHouse

The Golden House

by Salman Rushdie

The mysterious and eccentric newcomer, Nero Golden, and his three adult sons, each odd in their own way, take up residence at the Gardens, a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village, on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration. Soon after moving to the neighborhood, Nero is charmed by Vasilisa, a sleek Russian expat, while their young neighbor, René, is captivated by their mystique and quietly intertwines with their lives.
“The Golden House” is set against the backdrop of current American politics and culture, while beaming with the realism of a timely story of love, loss, and deceit. “It’s really delicious reading. It’s like [Salman Rushdie] has the English language on his leash and can will it to do what he wants. It’s incredible,” says Olga of Zuid-Holland from the Netherlands.


TheDesigner

The Designer

by Marius Gabriel

While Paris celebrates its liberation in 1944, Cooper Reilly’s life is falling apart. She’s stuck in an unhappy marriage riddled with infidelity. Unable to endure it any longer, she asks for a separation.
Suddenly alone, she finds a friend in a middle-aged clothing designer named Christian Dior. Hiding in a lackluster, decrepit fashion house seems counterproductive to the brilliance of his designs, so Copper urges him to take a risk while she takes one of her own – tipping her toes into the world of journalism.
“I was swept away by Marius Gabriel’s vivid descriptions of the Parisian fashion world – I could practically hear the rustle of silks. ‘The Designer’s’ evocation of Paris in the dying days of the war and the admirable spirit of the French people as they find their way again after years of occupation was simply enthralling,” says Sammia Hamer, Editor.


TurtlesAllTheWayDown

Turtles All the Way Down

by John Green

Azra is trying to be a good daughter. And a good friend. And a good student. She’s trying to make good decisions, even as her thoughts spiral out of control. She never meant to become tangled in the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett.
With a hefty reward at stake, and her friends eager to crack the case, she has nothing to lose. Or does she? “It’s one of the most realistic depictions of living with mental illness that I’ve ever encountered without being super depressing about it,” says Stephanie from Maryland.
What new books would you add to this list? Please share!

Bee-fore You Put the Garden to Rest, Get Your Wildflower Planting On

Consider at least one more backyard foray this Fall that the kids, the neighbors, and the bees will thank you for – prep a wildflower garden.

Outdoor family-time is waning (for some) as the daylight slips faster and further down into the southern hemisphere. But before you start dreaming of snow forts, consider at least one more backyard foray this Fall – one that promises many entertaining hours for kids, environmental payoff, and a jumpstart on a low-maintenance garden in the Spring.

Prep a wildflower garden. Native wildflowers are easy to plant and care for, produce long-lasting blooms, and support many crucial pollinators in your area. Optimal planting time is coming up fast (for all regions of the United States). Below, you’ll find all the direction and inspiration (facts, videos, books & gear, and a playlist) needed to transform those weedy flower-beds or incessant lawns into a hands-free meadow.

[su_spacer size=”40″][/su_spacer]

graphic of bee and wileflower
 

When to plant seeds

Fall planting is best in all regions of the U.S.

[su_spacer size=”25″][/su_spacer]
[su_spoiler title=”When to plant if you get no frost”]January or February. You can expect your seeds to pop up 2-4 weeks after planting. This is a great way to take advantage of the precipitation winter often brings to the warmest zones, where warm springs and early summer temperatures can sometimes cause stress to young, tender seedlings.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”When to plant if you get mild frost”]about 60-90 days before the first frost arrives. This will allow perennial wildflowers an opportunity to grow strong enough and establish root systems that will endure.[/su_spoiler]
[su_spoiler title=”When to plant if you get more than 60 days of frost”]When to plant if you get more than 60 days of frost:[/su_highlight] when ground temperatures are below 45 degrees. Be patient! Planting too soon will cause seeds to sprout (and then die). Planting now will give you a 2-4 week “jump start” on the more traditional spring planting.[/su_spoiler]

Plan, prep, plant

[su_spacer size=”20″][/su_spacer]
[su_row]
[su_column size=”1/4″][/su_column]
[su_column size=”3/4″]Purchase regional wildflower seed mixes that target pollinators. Poppies, sunflowers, mint, and thyme are all big winners with bees. Make sure you find a good mix that’s Non-GMO, Neonicotinoid-Free, and nectar rich. (Get 10% off a great pollinator mix)[/su_column] [/su_row]
 
[su_row][su_column size=”1/4″][/su_column] [su_column size=”3/4″]Clear a patch of earth by digging up grass or clearing weeds. Spread a thin layer of potting soil over the area. Alternately, fill window boxes or free-standing pots.[/su_column] [/su_row]
 
[su_row][su_column size=”1/4″][/su_column] [su_column size=”3/4″]Shake the seeds over your preped area and gently press the seeds into the soil (some flowers won’t germinate if they’re covered with soil).[/su_column] [/su_row]
 
[su_row][su_column size=”1/4″][/su_column] [su_column size=”3/4″]Water immediately and then follow the directions on the packet for watering frequency.
Get even more details about planting your wildflower patch.[/su_column] [/su_row]

[su_slider source=”media: 321834,321833″ limit=”80″ link=”custom” target=”blank” width=”400″ height=”400″ title=”no” arrows=”no” pages=”no” autoplay=”3100″ speed=”200″]

Parent Co. partnered with American Meadows  because they’re committed to keeping the bees happy, healthy, and buzzing about.


10% off all wildflower seeds with code: [su_highlight background=”#fef4b1″]FEEDTHEBEES[/su_highlight]

[su_spacer size=”30″][/su_spacer]

Facts, books, gear, and songs related to the outdoors. Turn this into a learning opportunity…

Facts about bees for the kids

[smartslider3 slider=12]
Check out all 13 fun facts about bees

[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

Videos for kids about bees and our planet

[su_spacer size=”20″][/su_spacer]
[su_row]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

The Honey Bee

[su_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/98775274″ width=”740″]
[/su_column]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

Can plants talk to each other?

[su_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/192115958″ width=”740″]
[/su_column]
[/su_row]
[su_spacer size=”30″][/su_spacer]
[su_row]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

repurposed plastic from the ocean makes new (old) art

[su_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/133921725″ width=”740″]
[/su_column]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

Stephen Colbert and Viggo Mortensen: Save the Bees

[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-YhqUBZTXU” width=”760″ controls=”alt” autohide=”yes” showinfo=”no” rel=”no” modestbranding=”yes” theme=”light”]
[/su_column]
[/su_row]
[su_spacer size=”30″][/su_spacer]
[su_row]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

Forms in Nature

[su_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/155262093″ width=”740″]
[/su_column]
[su_column size=”1/2″]

The color blue is rare in nature

[su_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/187040716″ width=”740″]

[/su_column]

[/su_row]
[su_spacer size=”30″][/su_spacer]
bees and flowers

For home and hive

(Tap to learn more about a book or product)

[smartslider3 slider=39]

[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

Get your groove on

Buzzworthy jams

 

  1. “Sugar, Sugar” – The Archies
  2. “Mother Nature’s Son” – Beatles
  3. “Down to Earth” (from WALL-E) – Peter Gabriel
  4. “Beautiful Day” –U2
  5. “Bein’ Green” –Kermit
  6. “Big Yellow Taxi”—Counting Crows Version
  7. “The 3 R’s” –Jack Johnson
  8. “Circle of Life” (from Lion King)
  9. “Society”—Eddie Vedder
  10. “Clear Blue Skies” –Crosby, Stills & Nash

 

[su_slider source=”media: 321834,321833″ limit=”80″ link=”custom” target=”blank” width=”400″ height=”400″ title=”no” arrows=”no” pages=”no” autoplay=”3100″ speed=”200″]

Parent Co. partnered with American Meadows  because they’re committed to keeping the bees happy, healthy, and buzzing about.


Get 10% off all wildflower seeds with the code:

[su_highlight background=”#fef4b1″]FEEDTHEBEES[/su_highlight]

[su_spacer size=”40″][/su_spacer]

We’ve selected these items because we want these great products to be on your radar! If you decide to purchase a product using one of these links, Parent Co. will earn a small share of revenue because we are an Amazon Affiliate Partner. By supporting us through this program you are helping to keep the lights on and the banner ads off.

 
 

We Shopped Through These 9 Mom-Targeted Facebook Ads So You Didn’t Have To

We clicked and shopped through nine Facebook ads and are fully prepared to separate the wheat from the chaff.

As parents, we are always looking for that perfect product that’s going to make our lives easier. But, ironically – because we’re parents – we have zero time to search for said perfect product.
What we apparently do seem to have time to spend hours on a day? Facebook. Smart companies know this and are happy to target the hell out of us while we’re reposting memes and liking baby pictures. From tampons and bras to kid’s clothes and superior socks, these Facebook ads claim they offer a one-click solution to life’s little problems. But which products are winners and which are snake-oil? We clicked and shopped through nine Facebook ads and are fully prepared to separate the wheat from the chaff. Get ready to spend some money! (Or in a few cases, not…)

Company: LOLA

The Pitch: “100% organic cotton tampons delivered directly to your door.”
Who Shopped: Apryl, writer & mom
What She Bought: Tampon and pad subscription, $27 every two months
Why She Clicked & What She Thought: “I had just recently broken up with my Diva cup and was back to using tampons. The ad made me really need to have them. I didn’t realize all the chemicals I was putting up there. Who knew? I mostly love that you can design your own box with whatever absorbency you will need. It delivers every two months. I never have to run out to the CVS at 9 p.m. in my pajamas for tampons again. It’s nice that they are chemical free, too.”
Recommended? Yes! “To anyone who menstruates. But parents especially, since some days are so hard and busy that we can’t even make sure we have tampons, let alone a moment to ourselves in the bathroom to insert it.”

Company: Glossier

The Pitch: “We’re creating the new essentials: easy-to-use skincare and makeup that form the backbone to your unique beauty routine.”
Who Shopped: Elizabeth, Freelance writer (and self-described “sucker” for Facebook ads.)
What She Bought: “Boy Brow” brow gel, $16
Why She Clicked & How it Went: “I was not looking for brow gel, but I was drawn in by the ads. They were video ads of different women applying the product. It seemed so easy. A few swipes of a mascara wand and your eyebrows stay put all day. I really liked the product. It’s as easy as it seemed and has staying power. I’ve purchased it a second time in fact.”
Recommended? Yes! “I’ve definitely recommended the product to my friends. It was not a disappointment.”

Company: ThirdLove

The Pitch: “The best bra is one you never think about. Available in cup sizes AA through G (DDDD), including our signature half cup sizes.”
Who Shopped: Me! Phaea, writer & mom
What I bought: Tee-Shirt Bra, $68
Why I Clicked & How it Went: After five years of nursing two separate children, I had no idea what size bra I wore. I’d wanted to duck into a store and get measured, but there never seems to be anytime. ThirdLove features an online quiz to help you figure out your size as well as a 30-day free trial period to test out their product. This was a total win-win for me. I took the quiz (32 C ½!) and ordered the recommended Tee-Shirt Bra in Naked-2. When the bra arrived a few days later, I was skeptical because it looked awfully small. But low and behold, it fit me perfectly!
Recommended? Yes! I’m not sure what kind of witchcraft ThirdLove employs to figure out my size without measurements, but I’m a big fan and will absolutely be going back for more.

Company: THINX

The Pitch: “Period Panties for Modern Women.”
Who Shopped: Mary, writer
What She Bought: One pair of Hiphugger panties, $34 & one pair of Boyshort panties, $39
Why She Clicked & How it Went: I had read about THINX in a blog article … but seeing the ad acted as a reminder. I will say though that the ads themselves were a big turnoff. It felt like they were trying really hard to be edgy – lots of raw egg yolks dripping all over. Because of these ads, I actually first went to a competitor period underwear company … but was disappointed. So, I eventually went back to the THINX site, held my tongue, and opened my wallet. I like [the underwear] a lot. I know that I’m a really heavy bleeder in general, so was always planning to use these as a backup in conjunction with tampons or pads. For that, it’s been amazing. No more stained clothes or sheets, and no more mid-day underwear changes. If I’d tried to use them INSTEAD of pads or tampons, I would have been disappointed.”
Recommended? Yes! “I encourage folks to try THINX in spite of the ad campaigns. Since the product works so darn well, THINX can try a bit less with their marketing. Right now it’s a lot of slick hipster lifestyle stuff that just misdirects from the fact this sh*t actually works!”

Company: PatPat

The Pitch: “Good Quality Deals for Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Moms.”
Who Shopped: Emily, writer & stay-at-home mom
What She Bought: Matching family Christmas PJs: $16.99 set of four.
Why She Clicked & How it Went: “I clicked on an ad for family Christmas PJs. We have been wanting to get all matching ones for a Christmas card. I thought ordering them on sale in August would be great so they would be ready to do for the holidays. After a couple weeks, I received an email saying it would take longer than expected and they gave me $5 off my next order. I emailed daily asking for an update. After 2 months, I said I wanted a refund (my card was charged immediately) and the order canceled. I had to send several emails asking this. I finally got an email saying they had canceled it because they didn’t have the items in stock.
Recommended? No! “I can advise against ordering from this company. I was so disappointed not to get what we ordered, and to have to deal with the company.”

Company: Bombas

The Pitch: “Bombas are game-changing socks that have to be felt to be believed.”
Who Shopped: Elizabeth, freelance writer
What She Bought: Woman’s Solids Calf Four-Pack, $45.60
Why She Clicked & How it Went: “I was sick and tired of my darn socks falling down all the time. Especially when wearing short boots. I searched and searched for socks that stayed up but nothing worked. Then I saw the ad for Bombas on Facebook, which claimed to be the world’s best socks or something. They were expensive. I think $45 for a four-pack. But I thought what the heck, let’s see if they live up to their claims. And they totally do!”
Recommended? Yes! “They don’t fall down at all.”

Company: Primary

The Pitch: “Kids Clothes Start Here. Brilliant Basics Under $25”
Who Shopped: Stacey, stay-at-home mom
What She Bought: Baby PJ set, $20 & Kid PJ set, $24
Why She Clicked & What She Thought: “I saw the Facebook ad for Primary quite a few times before I ever bought from them. Fast forward to Halloween. The four of us wanted to be characters from Winnie the Pooh, but there was not a single character costume still in stock on the entire internet. So, we decided to DIY. I remembered the Primary pajamas. We got Simon a set of orange pajamas that Patrick then sewed stripes and a belly panel onto. We bought a set of Tigger ears and a tail from amazon, and voila, Simon was Tigger. For Baxter, we bought him a set of the baby pink pajamas and a raspberry-colored tunic. We drew stripes on the tunic with a sharpie and bought a set of Piglet ears from Amazon. Voila, Piglet.”
Recommended? Yes! “I sing the praises of Primary as a Halloween base layer every year. Additionally, the PJs were really well made.”

Company: DressLily

Who Shopped: Elizabeth, freelance writer
The Pitch: “…the latest casual style wear for women and men, comfortable and suitable for everyday wear.”
What She Bought: Halloween Lace Panel Plus Size Dress, $18
Why She Clicked & How it Went: “I loved the look of the dress because I loved the haunted houses and it was only $18 so I figured I’d try it. [I] got the dress yesterday and I love it! I mean, it’s not the best quality but again, it was only $18, and I’m only going to be wearing it once a year. Oh, and the shipping times were long – I think it took a month?”
Recommended? Yes, with exceptions. “I would recommend it though for fun, cheap, special event clothes.

Company: Keen & Social

The Pitch: “…modern and unique products for Men and Women looking for something exciting.”
Who Shopped: Meredith, Project Manager & Mom
What She Bought: Londoner Long Tail Hoodie, $40
Why She Clicked & How it Went: “When I saw the ad, I thought it would be a cool look. I have black “skinny” jeans and some boots and the sweater would cover my personal trouble zones yet looked really cute and what I thought to be fashion forward. Plus, it was 70 percent off.  It took about six to eight weeks to arrive. It looks nothing like the picture. My son called me “Lord of the Rings” when I tried it on. I bought it to try to look kind of hip and cool and instead I looked like I belong on the Shire.”
Recommended? “Nope! [And] I will never order clothes from an ad from Facebook again unless it is a company I know and trust – like Lands’ End, etc.”
While shopping online is always a gamble — and clicking on Facebook ads doubly so — there are certainly a few companies out there that are worth your attention and well-earned cash. Are there any products or online stores you’re crazy about (or crazy-disappointed with?) Share all about it in the comments!

2017 ABC Kids Expo Editorial Round-Up

Our directed mission at this year’s ABC Kids Expo: to uncover smart, useful, innovative brands making a positive impact on parents’ lives.

Like conscientious messengers returning to our tribe from the far reaches of the desert, we’re here to tell our tales from the 2017 ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. Our directed mission: to uncover smart, useful, innovative brands making a positive impact on parents’ lives.
In no particular order, here are 10 standouts that caught our eye:
 

Kudo Banz kid behavior reward system Kudo Banz kid behavior reward system

KudoBanz

Check ’em out
There is a ton of well-founded research and data that supports the use of positive reinforcement combined with recognizing good behavior when it happens. It’s considered one of the most effective methods for improving a child’s behavior. Sticker reward charts are a great way to implement this action.
Kudo Banz is stepping up the game, however, with a fun, wearable reward system that’s always with you. The 1, 2, and 3 on the wristband have attachable “Kudos” that come in a wide variety of characters, from dinosaurs to superheros. This shows your child their progress and motivates them to earn their next Kudo with good behavior.
Tech Bonus: Once they reach the third level, your kids can open the accompanying app and scan the Kudo to unlock their personalized reward wheel and move up a level in the Kudo World. This keeps kids motivated over the long term.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

Lilu hands free breast pump

Lilu

Check ’em out
For mothers who pump, an astonishing 62 percent are unsatisfied with the way their pumps work according to the Journal of Human Lactation. Chief complaints include: discomfort, pain from pumping, as well as insufficient and slower milk extraction than when breastfeeding. Additionally, 66 percent of moms massage their breasts while pumping in an effort to express more milk.
Lilu is the first pumping bra to offer hands-free, automated breast massage, enhancing your pumping session and boosting your production. Little inflatable pockets generate massage and compression motions that gently stimulate milk flow from further back in the breast toward the front. This enables mothers to extract up to 50 percent more milk per session in a shorter period of time, all without needing to use their hands.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

Cake Maternity nursing bras

Cake Maternity

Check ’em out
Few people understand that nursing bras have a lot to do with breast health. Cake Maternity is on a mission to educate women and ensure breast health during this delicate time in a mother’s life. Part of every consumer experience addresses why and when it’s best to be fitted, as well as what bras are recommended by stage.
Cake understands that the pregnancy and breastfeeding journey isn’t easy and, even more importantly, that mothers are women first. It’s with this mindset that Cake respects and celebrates the uniqueness of each mother’s body. Cake products are fashionable, functional, and resourceful, reinforcing a woman’s essential selfhood after the birth of her baby.
This maternity and nursing bra company is setting a new tone and raising the stakes for the whole industry.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

Purill Step Stool from Hasegawa LaddersHasegawa Ladders

Check ’em out
Feeling around on top of the fridge for extra breastmilk-storage bags, or reaching that recipe book on the top shelf of the pantry, or helping your toddler reach the sink to brush his teeth…all these daily tasks could use a little boost.
Sure, you could go to Lowes and buy a step stool used by painters and contractors, but do you really want a clunky eyesore cluttering up your HGTV-styled home? (Okay, you have a kid, so it’s probably a mess, but you still appreciate and aim for a thoughtful aesthetic.)
Why not go for an upgrade and try the Purill Step Stool from Hasegawa Ladders. This brand has been creating beautiful, home-friendly ladders and step stools in Japan since the 1950s. Now available on the U.S. market, their designs are sexy, durable, fun, and colorful.
The Purill Step Stool is the ideal family friendly option for a little lift at home. It’s like a new pet that you don’t actually have to take care of.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]
[su_row][su_column size=”1/2″]

[/su_column] [su_column size=”1/2″]

[/su_column] [/su_row]

Malarkey Kids

Check ’em out
Beware the Munch Monster! This nocturnal beast can easily be identified by its massive amounts of drool, cranky disposition, guttural whelps, and a masochistic gnawing of its own fingers and hands. Have you ever had a run in with this creature?
When your baby begins to cut that first tooth, you, too, will encounter the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” tendencies of your sweet child. While time is the ultimate cure, the Malarkey Kids Munch Mitt will ease the struggle.
This wearable teething mitten textured for chewing is sensorially crinkley, aesthetically interesting, and helps prevent drool-induced dry skin. Avoid the knock-offs, because there’s only one true Munch Mitt.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

Love Bug Probiotics

Check ’em out
Our bodies are full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are the good version: live bacteria and yeasts fundamentally necessary for a healthy gut. Pasteurization and refrigeration trends over the last 50 years have practically eliminated probiotics from the typical American diet and, in some cases, even added antibiotics, which kill off the good bacteria.
Probiotic-rich food sources such as yogurt and kombucha can help restore our healthy bacteria count and lead to a stronger immune system, improved digestion, increased energy, healthier skin, and weight loss. Love Bug Probiotics takes your family’s gut health to a whole new level.
This company has developed a robust line of products containing only the best probiotic strains. Their scientifically backed expertise has crafted supplements targeting specialized needs and health concerns, including products aimed at prenatal health, urinary health, tiny tummies, symptoms of IBS, and cold and flu.
Protect and nurture the health of your whole family with Love Bug Probiotics.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

Kizingo Kids spoons for kids to feed themselves

Kizingo Kids

Check ’em out
Kids who can successfully self-feed are less likely to become choosy eaters and are more adventurous in their eating, trying a greater variety of foods. They’re also less likely to overeat.
U.S. obesity rates have tripled over the last 30 years, so it’s more important than ever to create positive eating behaviors at a young age. Research has shown that the crucial period for establishing good eating and food habits begins when kids are learning to self-feed. Patterns created during this period influence eating behaviors into adulthood.
Traditional kid-sized utensils are a poor match for little hands, so Kizingo Kids has developed an innovative tool that helps children learn to self-feed successfully. Curved by design, these spoons promote independence and encourage mealtime success.
Kizingo Kids spoons are beautiful, affordable, and they come in both right and left hand models.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

OneBerrie bath blanket

Oneberrie

Check ’em out
Bathtime is a fun, special way to connect with your baby. But when you’ve both had enough and are ready to dry off and head to bed, your infant’s slippery little body can make for a treacherous and oftentimes very wet experience.
Instead of pinning a towel between your chin and chest or even between your teeth, Oneberrie has an innovative new solution: a towel that buttons around mama or papa’s neck, freeing both hands and keeping everyone dry and happy.
The towel adapts to grow with your baby as well. For newborns, wear the towel vertically to wrap him from underneath. For infants, wear the towel horizontally to wrap baby up like a burrito. And you’ll win the day with your toddler by letting her wear the playfully designed towels like a superhero cape!
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]
Swipensnape diaper cream dispenser

Swipensnap

Check ’em out
Diaper rash ointment is a necessity when faced with 8,000-plus diaper changes before your little one is potty trained. The process seems simple enough, but it takes two hands, and some ointments and creams are oily or sticky, requiring you to wipe your hands clean before touching anything or getting your baby dressed.
Swipensnap has created an affordable applicator that attaches to most tubes of ointment. It’s soft and flexible, allowing for even distribution on your baby’s bottom. The suction cup lid acts as a dock that can be snapped in and out of the applicator, so you can apply the ointment using just one hand and keep you, your clothes, and the changing table, clean!
Perhaps most importantly, this means your free hand can protect your baby from rolling off the changing table.
[su_spacer size=”60″][/su_spacer]

CocoonCam baby camera and appCocoon Cam

Check ’em out
Imagine you’ve just returned home from the hospital with your new baby, the most precious creature in your parent universe. Newborns spend most of their early hours at home sleeping, and you spend many of those same hours just staring in awe at the newest member of your family, watching every tiny breath.
For those moments when you need to step away, and as your child continues to grow, baby monitors can help keep tabs. Some monitors deliver sound and video to you in another room, while others are baby-wearable devices that track vital signs. But how would you sleep with a device attached to your ankle? And what happens to the expensive onesie with built in vital sign technology when the inevitable diaper blowout occurs?
Enter the surprisingly affordable Cocoon Cam. Created by engineers from Tesla and Apple, Cocoon Cam uses computer vision technology (much like that used in a self-parking car) to create a real-time visualization of your baby’s breathing activity. The breathing graph is sent to your smartphone along with instant alerts, so you’re always aware if anything needs your attention.
You will get a good night’s sleep, knowing your little one is safe, sound, and protected.

New Research Says Gamers Learn Better Than Non-Gamers

Your kids may be right: playing video games may not be a waste of time but may help learning and memory function.

Your kids may be right: playing video games may not be a waste of time but may help learning and memory function.

A new study out of Germany says that gaming helps cognitive learning and problem solving. In order to investigate memory formation and sensory processing, researchers at Ruhr University Bochum’s Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience pitted video gamers against non-gamers in a learning competition. “The video gamers performed significantly better and showed an increased brain activity in the brain areas that are relevant for learning,” according to the study.  Sabrina Schenk and Dr. Boris Suchan led the team, who used 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to examine 34 subjects’ brains as they performed a weather predication task using cue cards.

Schenk and Suchan explained, “The participants were shown a combination of three cue cards with different symbols. They should estimate whether the card combination predicted sun or rain and got a feedback if their choice was right or wrong right away. The volunteers gradually learned, on the basis of the feedback, which card combination stands for which weather prediction. The combinations were thereby linked to higher or lower probabilities for sun and rain. After completing the task, the study participants filled out a questionnaire to sample their acquired knowledge about the cue card combinations.”

The MRI imaging showed brain activation in the hippocampus (the area connected to memory and learning), the occipital visual areas, and in areas related to attentional processes. “Our study shows that gamers are better in analyzing a situation quickly, to generate new knowledge and to categorize facts – especially in situations with high uncertainties,” said Schenk. (And the researchers questioned if video game playing couldn’t help older adults who need memory improvement.)

Before you and your kids celebrate the benefits of video games too much, you should take note of another study, published in August in Nature and Molecular Psychiatry, that states that action video game players may actually reduce grey matter in the hippocampus (which would negatively affect memory). Gregory West, of the University of Montreal and lead researcher on this study, said in an interview with Parent.co, “There are many different types of video games that we now know can have a differential impact on the brain. Our research specifically examined only two types of video games: first person shooting/action RPG shooting games and 3D-platform games….We showed a causal relationship between playing these games and changes in grey matter within the hippocampal memory system.”

West and his colleagues have studied video games for a number of years. He said originally he was interested in the positive cognitive affects of action video games, particularly on visual attention, motor control, and the brain’s reward system. Then, starting in 2015, they found evidence that linked action video game consumption to negative effects on memory (because of hippocampus grey matter reduction), so they started analyzing what types of video games caused what types of effects.

“3D-platform games, such as Super Mario 64, promote the hippocampal memory system,” West said. Logic and puzzle games do, too. West recommends parents limit young children’s game playing to these types of games because he says there is no research examining how action video games impact developing hippocampus. (The University of California, San Diego Cognitive Science Department says the hippocampus continues its physical development into the first two and a half years of life.)

One of the questions West has about the German study and its results is that the researchers seem to “lump together games that ask players to perform very different tasks into one category of ‘action video games’.” he said, “For example, StarCraft is highlighted as an example of a type of video game their participants often played. However, StarCraft is, in fact, a real-time strategy game that has very different content compared to a first person shooting game. Because of this, it is difficult to determine what type of gameplay experience is responsible for their observed results.” (Dr. Suchan did not respond to our inquiry about this.)

One thing that all researchers and gamers can agree on is that playing video games affects our lives, our abilities, and our brains in a variety of ways. Therefore, with some parental oversight, let the games begin.

How to Know You’ve Turned Into a Country Bumpkin

When you first move to the country, after living in the city your whole life, you stick out like a perfectly manicured thumb.

When you first move to the country, after living in the city your whole life, you stick out like a perfectly manicured thumb. You don’t know the rules, the customs, or the subtle societal mores dictating behavior. You have misgivings about fitting in: Why doesn’t anyone else wear bangs? Am I supposed to dry clean this Carhartt coat? Will I lose my chopstick dexterity without a Korean barbeque within walking distance? To your rural neighbors – most of whom belong to one of three familial factions – you are an outsider, an interloper, a passing transient who won’t last through the harvest.
But you do.
You make it through that harvest and the next, and before you know it, 10 years have passed since you moved to the sticks. Your initial reservations dried up long ago like the spring mud that evaporates into filthy summer dust and covers everything. Now, you feel like Linda Hamilton in “Terminator 2” with a chiseled resilience to endure any hardship thrown your way: 15 snow days in one month due to impassable roads? Meh. Local grocery store doesn’t carry Sriracha sauce? Whatever.
But be honest, City Girl, you are still a socially-driven creature with a hardwired need for acceptance. A fleeting doubt escapes: Do I pass? Am I one of them? If you’re still not sure whether your transition from City Slick to Country Hick is complete, here are 18 ways to tell:
1| You’ve conceded that it takes 30 minutes to drive anywhere, but you have zero tolerance for traffic. If you can’t go 65 mph the whole way without stopping, you fly into road rage – UNLESS you spot a turtle moseying across the highway, in which case you slam on the brakes and help the little feller to safety.
2 | When your friend’s baby registry includes a camouflage crib set, not only do you not snicker, you buy it for her.
3 | You’ve synched your kids’ vaccination schedule to match your septic tank evacuations so you don’t fall too far behind on either. Let’s see, the last time we had the septic tank pumped, little Janey got her MMRI … and now the toilets are overflowing, so she must be due for her booster shot!
4 | When you say “My hood has some rough places” you literally mean “The triangular amenity attached to my coat that covers my head in a storm has some places where the material is not smooth.”
5 | You’ve witnessed at least one squirrel/possum/rabbit giving birth, then Googled: “What do I feed newborn squirrels/possums/rabbits?” Followed by: “How to raise baby squirrels/possums/rabbits?” And finally: “How to dispose of dead, possibly diseased, baby squirrels/possums/rabbits?”
6 | The Lands End catalog makes you feel frumpy and out of style.
7 | What you find most offensive about the show “Naked and Afraid” isn’t its derogatory depiction of women, its cheesy dialogue, or the ridiculous premise; no, you’re most offended by the phony way they split firewood. An axe? Please.
8 | You’ve attended a donkey basketball game and knew most of the players.
9 | You don’t object to your husband’s decision to mow giant crop circles in the yard with the tractor in order to “add a little mystery to summer.”
10 | In the winter, you don’t drive anywhere without chains, a winch, blankets, boots, road flares, and a dish to pass, because country folk are known for their flash-mob-stuck-in-a-ditch potlucks.
11 | Your kids have spent more time in hunting blinds than in a shopping mall.
12 | You are proficient in vehicle mud spatter. By the subtle variation in color and texture of the muck dried onto someone’s car, you can tell the exact road they live on.
13 | Homegrown tomatoes have absolutely ruined you for the pale, mealy ones in the grocery store, and even though you spend a small fortune growing your own, every spring you feel compelled to plant a vegetable garden.
14 | You schedule your kids’ dentist appointments on the opening day of rifle season because you know there won’t be any school.
15 | You couldn’t care less about wearing white after Labor Day, but you wouldn’t be caught dead without the snowplow on your tractor after Halloween.
16 | When your husband gives you a diamond bracelet for your birthday, you smile politely and thank him, but deep down you’re disappointed because what you really wanted was that set of Waterhog floor mats.
17 | You’ve become a venison snob; if it’s not a bow kill, you want no part of it.
18 | You learn the secret to a happy marriage isn’t spending time together; it’s letting your husband have a pole barn.
Obviously, “You can take the girl out of the city, but you’ll never take the city out of the girl,” is just a meaningless adage intended to keep the blood lines pure. Rest easy, sister. You’re killing it in the country.
This article was originally published on Sammiches and Psych Meds.

What Story Does Your Closet Tell?

MoMA’s new exhibit, “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” got me thinking. What story does the contents of my thirty year old closet tell?

The Museum of Modern Art has a new exhibit. “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” pieces together 111 articles of clothing from low end to high, from basic to extravagant, from eastern to western culture. Each garment must have had “a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries – and continue to hold currency today.” 111 items to tell the story of the world.

You can walk past a plain white t-shirt and study a row of little black dresses. A pair of flip-flops earns a spot, as does the iconic pearl necklace, a pair of Levis, and a sari. A 1980s red Champion hoodie and the very first teeny tiny string bikini redefine function and style.

This, of course, got me thinking about my own clothes and the story they tell. So I stepped into my closet, a time capsule in itself, and took a look.

All heels higher than two inches sit on a shelf so high I cannot reach them without a step stool. They are covered in a fine layer of dust. These are what I call my “wedding” shoes. They only come down for events requiring RSVPs where three courses of food will be served.

Below the heels are the shirts, arranged by color, because I treat clothes like mood rings. Greens and yellows are good luck charms and charcoals are for dark days. Even as I run my hands over them, under the fluorescent light that is supremely energy efficient but also gives everything an antiseptic look, I see that two-thirds of my wardrobe is moot.

Silks and beaded things and sheer blouses from Anthropologie hang lonely on their padded hangers. Anything that requires a camisole has been abandoned. I spy the pants from before pregnancy, two sizes ago, still hanging in there underneath it all. Their presence is not a goal, but a respectful memorial, perhaps something to pass down to my daughter when fashion circles around again. Will people ever fall back in love with boot-cut? Acid wash came back, so maybe.

None of these speak to my current life as a mom of a five-year-old with special needs and three-year-old twins. Dry-clean only doesn’t hold up well when you’re refereeing Spaghetti-O food fights. And who has time for a camisole? I know other women can do it – the glam mom thing – but I’m lucky if I remember to put on a bra.

If I’m honest, the most highly trafficked area isn’t the hanging items at all, but the two narrow shelves of t-shirts, stretching all the way back to an 80s relic from a trip to Lake Tahoe and all the way forward to last Saturday’s impulse buy at Target that reads: “Sunday is my Funday.” These are my go-tos for the life I lead now as a work-from-home mom. However, the fact that I’m still holding on to all my old work clothes that used to carry me out of the house smelling like rose lotion instead of bacon and sweat says something. The old life is still there, staring at me in that six-by-four-foot space that I also share with my husband and his decades of apparel.

I suppose it means I’m not ready to give up on the pin-tucks and off-the-shoulder numbers that require a strapless bra. I think they’ll come around again when the kids are older and, fingers crossed, more self-sufficient. The heels won’t have to wait for a printed invitation.

Even in this future picture, I’ll still hold on to the 80s tee and the yoga pants and the Chacos and my favorite cowboy boots that are currently competing for space with eight pairs of toddler shoes because nothing is sacred in this house. My closet tells the story of all the living I’ve done. The dry-cleaned things might be shoved into corners, but it’s for a good cause – to make way for all the people tramping in with their own messy lives.

What I can’t makes sense of, though, is how MoMa managed to cover two centuries in 111 pieces when I’ve got that much on my floor just from yesterday.

What It's Like Parenting With Hearing Aids

The worry didn’t stem from passing my hearing loss along, it stemmed from the idea that I wouldn’t hear my kid.

“Mommy!” called my son from his car seat as we drove. He wanted something, but I couldn’t hear him.

I turned the music off, rolled up the windows, and repeated “What’s that?” for the third time.

“Unintelligible something or another,” he called again out to me.

Finally, after a bit more of this incoherent exchange that caused us both frustration, I yelled back, “Mommy can’t hear you!”

Just like that, I was brought face-to-face with one of my greatest fears and disappointment: I can’t hear my kid.

I’ve worn hearing aids since I was about eight years old. My hearing loss isn’t anything biological, rather I suffered from nerve damage with no known cause. I wear these tiny machines in my ears because, otherwise, everyone around me sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher. I’ve always been pretty good about the fact that I have to wear hearing aids because with them, I get to hear.

However, this disability concerned me when we started talking about having kids. Granted, the concern was minimal, but it was there, lurking like the annoying reality that it was. The worry didn’t stem from passing my hearing loss along, it stemmed from the idea that I wouldn’t hear my kid.

I tried to stay as positive as I could with the support from my family but, after my son was born, the fear and anxiety completely took over. I needed to hear every cry, every scream, every holler. Every. Single. Noise. I couldn’t miss anything. If my husband could hear it, I wanted to hear it too.

My husband pleaded with me to just trust him and leave my hearing aids out so that I could sleep, but I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. It didn’t matter that my son was sleeping in a basinet right beside my bed, there was nothing anyone could say or do that would make me change my mind. I just could not trust anyone but myself, even though I couldn’t trust my ears. (Make no mistake, my husband’s hearing, to me, is impeccable. I believe he’s got super-sonic hearing, but then again, I believe most people have this amazing superpower. They just call it hearing.)

When we moved our son to his crib in his room down the hall, he transitioned like a superstar. I, however, did not. I became more intense. I continued sleeping with one hearing aid in at a time and introduced the video and sound monitor to the madness that was already brewing. It was bright and it was loud and it made sleep harder for both of us. It made a high frequency noise that I am deaf to but that my husband can hear.

Finally, after six months of being neurotic, I gave up control out of sheer exhaustion combined with the realization that I needed to trust my husband and let him hear for me. I know that my husband wants the best for our son and believes in his ability to hear the child if he cries.

Our son is now three and is becoming more and more curious about my hearing aids. We talk about them. I ask him to not touch or splash my special machinery. I explain to him that it’s actually quite painful when he shoves these electronics into my ears. We explain how Mommy can’t hear and that these are magical little devices help me hear what he hears.

Now that we’ve switched to the conversation-style-dialogue stage with our three-year-old, the stakes are higher and the challenges are greater. Not being able to hear him when he has something to say causes an uncomfortable mix of emotions. It’s frustrating and that makes me angry, which then takes the shape of sadness and finally morphs into fear.

Fear. I’m afraid to miss something important.

No matter. This is my life; this is our life. I make the best of my situation and do my best to keep the dialogue open with my son about my hearing or lack thereof. I lip read, and I’m teaching the boy to look at me when he speaks to me. The added bonus to him facing me is that I get to have a child yell in my face while spit goes flying every time he has something exciting to tell me.

Having a hearing impairment does not impair my ability to parent or to listen. It doesn’t impair my ability to be the mother I need to be for my child. Yes, there are setbacks and there are times the frustration can erupt like a volcano, but that’s all stuff we can handle.

No, I can’t hear everything my son tells me, but I will never stop trying. I’m determined to be the mom my son needs, with or without a disability.

Who Decides What Makes a Toy "Safe"?

Last spring, Target recalled over a half-million water-absorbing toys, including Hatch and Grow Easter Eggs.

The story was one of those rare political unifiers. Commenters on Fox News’ coverage were indistinguishable from CNN’s, with the majority of respondents chiding kids without the “common sense” to avoid eating toys or blaming parents for not watching their young children closely enough. Many noted that the recall was overkill because no children had been harmed.

The egg case reflects a surprising problem facing today’s parents: toys are now so safe that we tend not to take safety warnings seriously. By many metrics, kids’ products are safer than ever. However, parents need to remain vigilant, especially in light of a current vacancy at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The “Year of the Recall”

Just 10 years ago, toy safety was consistently making headlines. Consumer Reports dubbed 2007 the “Year of the Recall” after news coverage demonstrated the various barriers to toy safety.

In May of that year, the Chicago Tribune ran a pair of stories about the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s failure to act upon warnings about Magnetix toys, specifically, the super-strong magnets that, when swallowed, tended to rip through children’s intestines. The first part of that series focused on the gutting of the CPSC over the previous two decades. Its budget at the time was so small that one congressional aide interviewed for the piece called it a “rounding error.”

The second part of the series emphasized problems resulting from the Toy Industry Association’s role in setting voluntary safety testing standards. The Tribune’s coverage later received a Pulitzer Prize.

In June, the New York Times focused on China, which was implicated in many many of 2007’s product recalls, including a recall of 1.5 million Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys due to lead in the surface paint. According to that reporting, the CPSC’s staff had recently been cut by 10 percent, making it more difficult for the agency to inspect imported toys.

In August, an article published in the journal Injury Prevention revealed that many recalled items were still being sold online. The researchers randomly selected 141 items recalled by the CPSC and searched auctions for those items. During a 30-day period, the researchers identified 190 auctions with a recalled or “probably recalled” item. (“Probably recalled” referred to items with a matching product description and/or image, but without the additional confirmation of a model number.) 69 percent of the auctions resulted in a sale.

In December, NPR’s investigations showed that even when manufacturers issued a toy recall, the toys still posed danger, because very few were returned to companies. Many toy recalls were based on lead contamination. When parents responded to these recalls by throwing toys in the trash, they merely sent the hazard to a new location.

Improvements to toy safety

In response to these toy safety concerns, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act by a vote of 407-0 in December 2017. The CPSIA passed the Senate in March 2008. The bill drastically increased both funding and staffing for the CPSC.

The CPSIA restricts the amount of lead and phthalates allowable in children’s products. The law mandates third-party testing of children’s products. The law also requires permanent tracking information to be placed on all children’s products.

Since the passage of the CPSIA, there are drastically fewer recalls because toys are safer from the start. The large increases in CPSC staff have meant that more dangerous toys are discovered before they ever make it to market. In 2011, the CPSC established a Beijing office, which allows it to educate and inspect toy manufacturers. The CPSC examines 8,000 shipments each year to ensure products are safe before they make it to stores.

Due to higher standards, when toys are recalled, the health risks posed are often less serious than toy recalls from the previous decade. In 2007, the CPSC issued 172 toy recalls, 19 of which were for lead-contaminated toys. In 2016, the CPSC issued only 24 toy recalls, one of which was lead-related. The toy in question was a glockenspiel, for a recall of 150 units with one contaminated paint color.

The new regulations also mean that more recalled toys are being removed from circulation. The CPSIA applies to all sellers, from toy industry giants to online retailers to flea market vendors to garage sales.

U.S. online retailers have clear policies about recalled products. In its recalled items policy, Ebay makes clear that sellers are legally prohibited from selling recalled items. Amazon includes similar language for its third-party sellers.

Sellers who list products that had been under recall often do a thorough job explaining why the items are available for sale. A listing for the Thomas & Friends Yellow Box Car, which was included in the 2007 recall described in the above New York Times report, includes a disclaimer about the product along with its lead-free paint codes. A Fire Brigade train from that same recall indicates that the item being sold is a replacement item from that recall. However, no system is perfect. Multiple listings for the Old Slow Coach suggest that at least one of those recalled Thomas trains may still be available for purchase from Chinese sellers.

The CPSIA allowed for better consumer notification systems, including registration cards for cribs and other large products. Combined with recalls.gov, a registry for all recalled products in the U.S, these measures have improved the return rate for recalled items.

In 2007, Mattel reported that only six percent of its recalled toys were returned. In September of this year, CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle reported that the CPSC has a 65 percent return effectiveness rate. That rate applies to all of the 15,000 products overseen by the CPSC. Toy companies and toy sellers contacted for this article declined to provide data on their recall return rates.

An emerging safety concern

Parents’ current responses to toy recalls make sense because current regulation has made toys impressively safe. But while we’re not paying attention, toys – as well as the other 15,000 products monitored by the CPSC – are poised to become more dangerous.

On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which included his demand that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination.”

The EO prompted a response from the CPSC’s then-chairman Elliot Kaye. Although executive orders do not apply to independent agencies, Kaye’s practice at the CPSC was “to follow in spirit EOs that advance sound public policy and do not conflict with our critical public health and safety mission.” Kaye voiced his strong disagreement with this EO, which he claimed “would cruelly and unfairly have us pit vulnerable populations against each other when it comes to making safety decisions.”

In keeping with many political appointees at the start of the new administration, Kaye resigned his chairmanship on February 9.

President Trump has nominated Dana Biaocco to be the new CPSC chairman. Biaocco’s appointment is concerning because of her role defending companies in consumer safety lawsuits.

One notable item on Biaocco’s resume is her work with Mattel in defending itself against toy safety lawsuits. Her track record defending large corporations against safety complaints makes her a unique candidate to lead a government association designed to protect consumers from safety hazards. As the Daily News puts it, “Baiocco appears to join the list of Trump nominees who built careers doing the exact opposite of what their federal government role will entail.”

The Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the CPSC focused on how the Reagan administration paved the way for deregulation and inattention that resulted in the preventable deaths of children. Although toys seem safe to us now, parents have a responsibility to follow the CPSC’s new direction closely to ensure that 2007 does not repeat itself.

13 Crafts for Little Artists That Aren’t a Pain to Clean Up

If you’re the one picking up from the latest art explosion, here are 13 crafts that will make your job easier and allow your little artist to be creative.

I think there’s still glitter on my floor. From five years ago. Arts and crafts have a way of sticking around, and while I want to encourage creativity in my kids, I hate cleaning up the aftermath.
Yes, we can make them clean up. I know. But seriously. Do they ever really clean it all up? If you’re going to be the one picking up from the latest craft session, here are 13 crafts that will make your job easier and allow your little artist to be creative.

1 | Melissa & Doug Deluxe Combo Scratch Art Set



I love this. Still. And kids are drawn to it. Scratch through the black surface to reveal amazing colors. Reveal as much or as little as you want. This favorite comes with 16 boards, two stylus tools, and three frames. Kids love the rainbow and metallic backgrounds.

2 | Boogie Board Jot LCD eWriter


A small notebook sized LCD drawing panel, the Boogie Board Jot is perfect for drawing anywhere, even in the car. No mess and endless possibility. Kids love the erase button and the ability to start fresh. Great for keeping in your purse for kids to play with on the go.

3 | Made By Me Build and Paint Your Own Wooden Cars

 

This one does involve paint, but it’s all pretty self-contained. Spread a piece of newspaper and grab a cup of water. Kids put together small wooden cars and then decorate using the stickers and paints provided. This one is great for keeping boys busy and giving them a chance to create.

4 | Fashion Angels Portfolios & American Girl Doll Fashion Design Portfolio Set

 

Kids design outfits and unique looks on the doll like outlines provided. Tons of great activity books with stencils for those who love to create fun fashion looks. Makeup, fashion and even home decorating books give kids great ways to draw and imagine as they get older.

5 | Melissa & Doug Paint with Water

 

Sometimes the little ones just want to paint. A great compromise that just involves water. Watch images and colors appear magically as your little artists swipes a wet brush across a page.

6 | Alex Toys Craft Color a House Children’s Kit

 

Cardboard box play taken to the next level, kids can easily construct a house and then decorate it with crayons. Toddlers love this and it keeps them busy for hours.

7 | Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush & Drawing Pad

 

Half the fun of this amazing toy is the magic! Kids use the special brush to paint on their paper. It lights up with each color they pick and they create a masterpiece. Plus, it doesn’t leave marks on hands, the table or clothes.

8 | Rainbow Wikki Stix


These bendy, twisty sticks quickly become a favorite of kids and adults. You can link them together, twist and create without making a mess to clean up. Another great toy for the traveling creative.

9 | Sidewalk Chalk

 

Let nature take care of the cleanup! Kids love the ability to leave their mark and draw outdoors. A bucket of sidewalk chalk fits the bill, and all you have to do is wash hands when it’s done.

10 | Creative Hands Foam Kit Beads 2 Lace

 

Fun and great for fine motor development, Beads 2 Lace give kids the chance to string chunky foam beads in different shapes and colors to create one of a kind masterpieces. While there are a lot of pieces, this one is easy to clean up. You can even make a game out of tossing the foam pieces in the bucket when you’re done.

11 | Alex Toys Little Hands Mosaics

 

Using the color coded stickers kids place them on the template and create a beautiful picture. These are great for hanging up when they’re complete. Also offers fantastic color and shape matching and fine motor development.

12 | Crayola Model Magic


Softer and airier than the traditional play-doh, Model Magic is a great way to let kids mold and shape with less mess. It also air dries solid, giving little artists the chance to create forever masterpieces.

13 | Crayola Bathtub Finger paint and Crayons


When you can’t avoid the mess, at least make it in the easiest place to clean up. Finger paints and crayons specifically designed for the tub, give kids the chance to make a mess. And cleaning up when they’re done is contained and fun.
What mess free crafts do your kids love?
We’ve selected these items because we want these great products to be on your radar! Parent Co. is an Amazon Affiliate Partner, and we will earn a small share of revenue if you decide to purchase a product using one of these links. By supporting us through this program you are helping to keep the lights on and the banner ads off.