Sunday, May 13, 2012

Favorite Things for Parents of One Year Olds

Gift Ideas for PARENTS of One Year Olds

In my last post, I gave gift ideas for one year olds.  The below items are good gifts to give parents of a one year old.  If you've ever been to a one-year old birthday party, you know that the child is bombarded with gifts. Why not give something to the parents instead? There are so many useful products for parents out there. Here are some of my favorite.
*Please note that the links aren't the only place to find these products.

Bed/Sleep Stuff
Breathable Baby Crib Liner Once babies become more mobile, these breathable "bumper pads" help to keep limbs from sticking through the crib slates (I took mine down once my baby was starting to stand up in the crib, however.)
Leachco Easy Teether Crib Rail Cover and CribWrap Side Rail Covers I bought various other contraptions to cover the crib rails, but these were most successful. (The first link is for the front of the crib; the second link is for the two sides.)
Halo SleepSacks SleepSacks are great since little ones kick off blankets.  
Safety Gripper Door Stop My son loves to play with his bedroom door.  At first I bought a typical door stop, but he was quick to figure out how to pull it out.  This one is a little trickier for him since it slides under the door.

Food Stuff
Bumkin Bibs  My favorite meal time bibs come from Bumpkin.  They're thin, so not too stiff.  They can easily be cleaned—either by hand or in the washing machine.  Lots of fun designs, too.  
Gerber Sip and Smile Sippy Cups  These are my absolute favorite sippy cups.  They really don't leak and come either with handles or without.
Ikea Long-sleeved Bib One thing I hate about winter is how both of my babies had to learn to feed themselves while wearing long sleeved shirts.  Not matter how much you try to roll them up, they get filthy.  Ikea has a bib with long sleeves.  It totally helps to protect those winter shirts. 

Out & About
Boppy Shopping Cart Cover This one was especially good for both high chairs and shopping carts.   
Eddie Bauer Shopping Cart Cover This one was nice because it already has a seat belt built in, which is good since we all know about one in every five carts has a working seat belt. 
One Step Ahead's Wrap Strap Shopping Cart Safety Strap  This was handy once my baby was getting too big for the shopping cart's seat belt and, like the Eddie Bauer one, is nice since you don't need to search around for a shopping cart that has a good lap strap.
California Baby Sunblock Stick  I found this to be the easiest sunblock to apply to a squirming baby. 
Chicco Capri Lightweight (Umbrella) Stroller I couldn’t find the one I have online (it’s a pretty lime green one) but I believe this is very similar.  Mine rolls well, has high handles, is lightweight, and folds up slim.  It also came with a bag to store it in, which worked great at the airport.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gift Ideas for One Year Olds

Gift Ideas for One Year Olds
My Favorite Things

Are you trying to find a gift for a one year old?  It can be frustrating because most toys are for ages 3 and up.  I thought I'd put together a list of items my one year olds enjoyed.

  • Fisher Price stroller—great for learning to walk.  It's very sturdy, so Baby Bear can pull himself up and then push it along.
  • Feel & Roll Bumpy Balls-comes in a set of four balls with fun bumps on them for throwing and rolling.
  • My Barnyard Friends Baby Talk Playset by Aurora World—this soft barn comes with four soft farm animals that make their own sound.  The barn also has a handle for Baby Bear to tote around like a little briefcase.
  • Fisher Price Corn Popper--this toy has been around since I was a baby and is still popular.  This is better for walkers.
  • Fisher Price Puzzle--this plastic puzzle is great because the pieces are chunky and can be "teethed" on.  They also make noises.
  • My First Crayola products--my second born loves to be able to join in with my older one on coloring.  These triangular crayons are good because they're fatter then regular crayons and their shape helps them from rolling away.

  • Doggies by Sandra Boynton  Although all of her books are fun, my kids like this one because it's just doggies barking.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle   A classic.  Kids love to put their fingers on the holes where the caterpillar munched.
  • Knitty Kitty by David Elliot  Both my kids loved this book.  And it’s a simple read.
  • My First Words:Let's Get Talking and  My First Colors: Let’s Learn Them All  by DK Publishing.  This series has excellent photos of common items grouped by category or color.  Great for learning words.
  • Peekaboo books  by DK Publishing  More books with baby faces or animals and fun flaps.
  • Baby Touch and Feel books by DK Publishing  Can you tell I like DK Publishing books?  Tractor is a favorite at our house.
  • Baby Giggles  by Rachael Hale.  My son loves to look at pictures of babies.  This one is cute and is short.

See my next post for helpful items for parents of one year olds.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Birds--Last Post

Although it seems my daughter could continue on with creating birds for the next 25 days or so left of winter, I will be moving on with my blog.  I’d love to know what others are doing to learn about winter or birds, so please share!

American Goldfinch
Good photo and facts:  American Goldfinch and American Goldfinch
Activity: This is one of my favorite art projects—and it’s easy!  I traced the outline of a goldfinch in permanent marker on a sheet of overhead paper (the dull side).  Then my daughter colored it in with washable markers (also on the dull side).  I did help her color since all areas need to be colored.  Then we took a sheet of aluminum foil, crumpled it into a ball, and flattened it back out.  Last, I stapled the foil to the dull side of the overhead paper and cut around them.  Here are formal instructions for the “stained glass” project: Instructions 1 or Instructions 2   And here is the coloring page I traced: Coloring Page

Woodpeckers (downy, red-bellied, hairy)
Good photo and factsDowny Woodpecker
Activity: This is a magazine collage.  I had my daughter search old magazines for things that are red, black, and white to tear out (you can also use old newspapers.  We then tore the images into small pieces and glued them onto a picture of a woodpecker (Coloring Page) to make a paper collage.

Here are other winter birds we have not “studied”: Junco (spend their summers up north), tufted titmouse, house finch, sparrows, mourning doves, crows

And here are various bird coloring pages Click Here and Click Here.

I hope you can enjoy winter birds as much as we have!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Winter Birds III

In addition to creating paper birds for our mural, we have found some good bird books:
Bird Songs by Betsy Franco
Riki’s Birdhouse  by Monica Wellington
Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert
If anyone has another favorite bird book, let me know!

I also downloaded a bird call app on my phone: Bird Caller + (get the 99 cent one vs the free one)

Here are some more of the birds we’ve done.

Blue Jay
Good photo and facts: Blue Jay I and Blue Jay II 

Activity: We first looked at photos of blue jays.  Then I used the template I found at Blue Jay Coloring Page (I enlarged it a little bit) and had the kids glue blue, black, and white feathers onto it.

Canada Goose
Good photo and facts: Canada Goose I  and Canada Goose II
Activity: This was a cute activity and good for following directions.  I added the pieces onto a goose, step by step and had my daughter create hers.  Heart Goose Activity
Coloring page: Click Here

Good photo and facts: Carolina Chickadee
There is also a good illustration in Bird Songs by Betsy Franco.

Activity: Using this Coloring Page, I created a similar image on watercolor paper.  I then showed my kids a picture of a chickadee and had them use black and beige paint to create a similar bird.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter Birds Continued

In my last post, I shared how my children and I are learning about winter birds.  

Through online research, I found ways to create paper birds using various supplies and skills. On craft paper, I drew a simple tree top, and we tape the birds on.

The mural is a huge hit with my kids. Even my one-year old likes to point out their birds to guests.

Here are some of the birds we created.


Good photo: I really like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds website. Here is the page for the cardinal: Northern Cardinal. It includes a picture of the female, too, who isn’t as colorful as the male.

Activity: This is the activity we did at Ryerson Forest Preserve. The body is made by tracing your child’s foot and the wings are the child’s hands. The other pieces were pre-cut for us, so my 2 ½ year old just had to glue them in the proper places.

If you just want a coloring page, here’s a good one: Coloring Page

Good photo and facts: The types of owls around IL in the winter include the Great Horned Owl I (also try) Great Horned Owl II and Screech Owl

Activity: This owl was fun to do.  My 2 1/2 year old got practice using scissors, cutting strips of paper into squares: Owl Activity (There is also an Owl Template )

If you want an owl coloring page, I suggest you google “owl coloring page.” The variety of coloring pages is quite interesting—from very detailed anatomically correct ones all the way to an owl wearing overalls. I liked this realistic one: Coloring Page

And as for our new bird feeder, we had lots of chickadees today at lunch, as well as a cardinal.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Winter Birds Fun

Earlier this month, my two children and I attended a workshop for toddlers on Winter Birds. We learned which birds are around in the winter time, read stories, did simple activities, made a paper cardinal, and even went on a bird watching hike. Once we got home, we were very inspired and wanted to do more with winter birds.

Our first task was to create a homemade feeder to attract winter birds to our dining room window (the heart in the picture). We made one by spreading peanut butter on a piece of cardboard and sprinkling bird seed on top. We then hung it by a ribbon on a nearby tree. By the next morning, we had attracted many chickadees!

I’m not sure if birds were eating from the feeder, or waiting for squirrels to knock the seeds to the ground where they scavenged, but soon the feeder was seedless.

We decided to invest in a real bird feeder. We just installed this one last night. Unfortunately, it snowed horribly overnight, and, this morning, we didn’t have any visitors. We’re keeping our eyes out for them though.
We can’t get enough of winter birds.  I’m going to share the journey we’re been taking, and, hopefully, it will inspire others to learn about our feathery friends.