Category Archives: Products

Our Most Used Supplies

I was hoping to post this before Christmas as a helpful guide for shopping, but obviously that didn’t happen.  So instead I’ll present these as great supplies that can help you make it through the winter.   These are the activity supplies that get the most use in our home.  I think they would be worth the money in any toddler home. 

  • Play-doh (cookie cutters are a nice addition, but not necessary)
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Clear Contact Paper
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Pompom Balls
  • Dot Markers
  • Package of colorful foam paper
  • Cardstock
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Food Coloring

The Usual Suspects (There’s a reason these are considered common craft supplies!)

  • Crayons
  • Stickers
  • Glue/Glue Sticks
  • Construction Paper
  • Markers
  • Paintbrushes
  •  

Around the House

  • Empty containers with lids
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • TP and Papertowel rolls
  • Magnets (save the ones you get in the mail)
  • Ice
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Cardboard (from old boxes)

Really these items alone would allow you to create almost anything.  Each item in the list will also last you a long time.  In most cases, we are still using the packages I bought when J was around 14 months (with the only exception being stickers).  I basically roamed the craft aisles one day and fortunately came out with almost all winners.  I’m not normally that successful with my shopping!  The one thing I bought and still haven’t used much is the colorful felt.  I imagine some moms would use this up in no time, but as of now I’m still working on how to put it to good use.  I’m open to suggestions on that one!

Seeds Family Worship CD Update

Seeds of Character Pre-Order - Give the Gift of Scripture MemorizationI just realized that our Seeds Family Worship coupon is soon to expire!  You have 4 more days to get the 20% discount with our coupon code ENGAGINGTODDLERS

These are excellent cds for kids (and adults!) that put scripture to song.  They are extremely well written so that really any age group would love them. I love to hear my toddler walking around singing God’s Word.  These would be great gifts for practically any age, family or friend.  In fact, I’ve given them myself as gifts MANY times. 

Don’t forget, you also get a free cd for every one that you purchase, so really the 20% off is icing on the cake.  Great songs, divine lyrics (literally), free cd AND 20% off.  If you want to know more about their ministry or their music, check out my other posts here or visit their website.

They’re soon to release their new cd, Seeds of Character.  You can preorder the cd now and also receive 6 songs from the new cd to download now. 

Be sure to use the coupon code ENGAGINGTODDLERS at checkout for 20% off your purchase!  This code expires December 14, 2010.

Great Products: Vinyl Sticker Books

SOLD OUT! RUSH HOUR MINI PLAY SCENE               This is a GREAT travel toy.  I bought one about a year ago and have brought it on every flight we’ve taken since.  It is always a winner.  It’s light weight (a must for a travel toy IMO).  We have the Rush Hour version shown here.  There are a TON of choices out there.  Here’s a quick list, though it’s really only showing one particular brand. They are a little more expensive but we have more than gotten our money out of this toy! I’ve found other examples at Ross, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx too.  I just bought a couple new ones and am excited to show them to J.

This would also be great to take on a road trip, to the doctor’s office, and to restaurants. 

TIP:  Don’t toss the empty sticker sheets!  J spends just as much time returning the pieces to the correct spot as he does putting them on the actual board.  And it’s great matching practice since he really has to focus on the outline shape of each piece to find where they go. 

Age attempted: started between 16 and 18 months (if your little one can handle stickers, they can handle this toy), still a winner at 2.5 years

20 Month Old Busy Box

I put together these activities for a friend’s little girl.  While mommy is serving in Iraq, I thought this busy box might help to keep her little one busy and hopefully even allow her dad some much needed time off from entertaining.  Most of the activities are homemade, repurposing items from around the house as is my norm. I housed them in a simple decorative box.  J’s own “busy box”  is kept in a closet and the activities are only brought out at certain times throughout the week.  This helps keep it’s novelty.  Some of the activities are repeats from the 1 year old Busy Box I made my niece awhile back, though I tried to make them a bit more difficult for the older age.  You’ll also notice that these activities are mostly ones I’ve mentioned in previous posts.  When I make a busy box, I try to pick the most successful activities from J’s experience, many of these are motor skill activities.  Some of these activities are things Ella can enjoy now and some she will grow into in the next few months.

You’ll have to excuse my poor decorating abilities.  That is certainly not my forte.  Most of the original toys that I made for J aren’t decorated at all.  J never seemed to mind, so hopefully little Ella will look past the covers and still enjoy the meat of the activities!

1.  Pushing Puff Balls – this is a fine motor activity and has always kept J entertained; see this post for more info

2. Color Sorting Pipe Cleaners – again a fine motor activity and I added practice with colors; this is probably the favorite homemade toy for J; see this post and this post for more info

3.  Color Wheel – practice with colors and fine motor skills; you can use the wheel in other ways too. See this post and this post fore more.

4. Puzzles -These foam puzzles were one of the best buys for J. They were just $1 at our local grocery store and I picked them up on the fly one time.  When I saw them there months later, I bought a few more as gifts. I bring the color puzzle on plane trips sometimes since there are few pieces and it’s very light. 

5. Family Bag – this is similar to J’s family magnet pics.  I added each family member’s name to Ella’s pics, laminated them (with contact paper) and gave her a little purse to carry them in.  J has loved his family pics since before he was one.  I thought adding the names could encourage name recognition.

6. Seed Family Worship CD – I had previously sent one of their CDs to my friend while she’s in Iraq, but thought her daughter might like one too.  These cd’s are really great and not just for kids IMO.  They are an excellent way to help us write God’s Word on our hearts.  See this post for more.

7. Fish Counting and Matching file folder game – J has a similar matching game, I just made this one a bit more durable by adding it to a file folder for safe keeping.  The envelope holds the laminated fish cards to match as well as the fish to place on the counting page.  I found the counting template here from Tot school and have used it many times with J.

8. Sponge Jewelry – a fine motor activity and again a favorite of J’s, simply thread the sponges onto the pipe cleaners.  I found a greater variety of sponges for Ella’s jewelry.  A girl needs to match!  See this post for more info.

Read This: Because a Little Bug went Ka-Choo!

Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! by Michael K. Frith, Rosetta Stone (1975, Hardcover)“Because a Little Bug went KA-CHOO!”  is such an adorable book that I had to mention it here.  It’s probably been J’s favorite for the past 3 or 4 months.  The book is in The Cat in the Hat’s line called Beginner Books.  It was written by Rosetta Stone (gotta love that name by the way!). 

The story is adorable, all about how a little bug’s sneeze causing a chain reaction that ends with mayhem in the nearby town.  The pictures are adorable too.  J loves that he can find all the characters on basically every page.  My aunt gave J this book, saying it was her daughter’s favorite almost 20 years ago and the first book her daughter learned to read.  Well, it’s still a winner today.  J has much of the chain reaction memorized already.

Why Didn’t I Think of That? Children’s Scripture CD from Seeds Family Worship

** Edited to add:  They’ve just offered a coupon code to my readers.  Enter ENGAGINGTODDLERS at checkout and you’ll get 20% off of your cd purchase. This coupon expires  December 14, 2010.  If you would like to hear some of their songs check out this link!**

Have you ever noticed how it’s so much easier to memorize to music? 

I’m gonna assume you answered yes :) 

Somewhere in my search for activities, I discovered a BRILLIANT set of CDs from Seeds Family Worship.  They put scripture to song and they do it BEAUTIFULLY!  The songs are great for kids, but they’re also great for adults.  I listen to their CDs even when J isn’t with me.  I would have ordered them even if I did not have a child at all.  They are that good. 

I absolutely LOVE this product (can you tell?).  J absolutely LOVES this product.  It will be my new gift for family and friends.

I currently have two of their CDs, but will soon order the remaining 3 in the series.  Each CD has scripture focused on a specific topic.  We have “Seeds of Purpose” and “The Power of Encouragement”.  The other choices are “Seeds of Faith”, “Seeds of Courage”, and “Seeds of Praise”.  The lyrics are direct quotes from the NIV Bible.  Each song has the scripture reference and the text; the text is repeated (in a praise song style).  The repetition is not annoying like many of the children’s songs. 

For now, J and I just listen to the songs in the car and while playing at home.  When he’s a little older and can speak a little better, I will use these CDs to help him memorize scripture.  To me, scripture holds the greatest lessons I could ever teach J.  Anything that will help me accomplish this is something I want to promote!

**Oh and one added benefit, the company sends TWO CDs for every one that you order!  You get one to keep for yourself and one to give away to friend or family.  I have already decided who is getting my 2 extra CDs! I can’t wait to give it to them!!

Why Didn’t I Think of That? Piggies in a Blanket

Check out this link http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2010/03/prodcut-review-piggies-in-blanket.html

This Piggies in a Blanket would’ve been perfect for J!  Had I only known earlier!  I was always so annoyed with how often J’s blanket would fall off his stroller. I ended up rigging his grocery cart cover to stay on a little better, but it took so much time to set up and was never completely successful.  So long to dirty blankets and cold toes!! My next little one will be so lucky!