Baby and Toddler Gift Ideas from Kidz District!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… good quality toys for kids is really hard to find. I was super lucky to discover some of my favourite brands when Zane was younger so I know which ones to stick to the second time around! If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that I’ve been getting toys from Kidz District since Zane was only a few months old! His first toy was the Dolce Musical Giraffe (read my full review here) and it’s made it through 2 years of love from Zane and will be passed along to baby #2 :).

I got my hands on a few more of their toys and think that these need to be on all of your holiday shopping lists if you don’t already own them!!!

VERTIPLAY WALL TOYS

You can say “bye!” to clutter on the floor thanks to this GENIUS line of Vertiplay Wall Toys that stick to your walls (without damaging the paint!). We tried out the Tree Top Adventure and the Musical Rail Track but there are many others! Appropriate for ages 2+, these toys will keep them busy and occupied while leaving your floors clear of toys! They’re stimulating, educational and fit in with any decor! Click here to see the entire collection.

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ORIBEL PORTAPLAY - WONDERLAND ADVENTURES

If you’re looking for an activity centre that can REALLY grow with your child, this is it! This PortaPlay is good for ages 5 months - 5 years! It easily converts from an activity centre with a ton of educational and stimulating toys, to a flat top table for colouring and other activities! Don’t forget to add on the matching stools (they come 2 in a pack!). A bonus? The activity centre and table have easily folding/collapsible legs so it can be transported and folded away. Check out the activity centre here. 

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Dolce - Pull Along Elephant

If you’re looking for a cuddly new entertaining bestie for your little one, look no further! The Pull Along Elephant from Dolce will help your mini develop relationship skills while walking and having a blast with their new best friend. The elephant has a squeaker in his tummy and crinkly ears that your toddler with love, along with a teether and wheels so that he zooms across the floor! Thankfully, the wheels easily come off, so your toddler can bring their best friend with them for nap time! Click here to learn more or click here to see the entire Dolce Collection.

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I only covered a few of my favourites from Kidz District! Click here to visit their website to see everything else they offer!

Gifts That Give Back All Year Round

With the holidays around the corner, I think it’s more important than ever to try to give back this holiday season and it can start with what’s on your shopping list! This year I’m making an effort to be very selective with the companies that I choose to buy gifts from and My B Toys is one that made the cut. For starters, they care about our earth (which is an initiative that I haven’t seen from any other toy company). They scrutinize every piece to ensure its impact on our children’s world is as light as possible - they use recyclable materials and their boxes and packaging are designed to be reused and some can even be reversed to become gift wrap! Even the ink on their packaging is soy-based and their varnishes are water-based. They then go a step farther and give a portion of every sale to Free The Children which has built over 650 schools in communities around the world, providing education to 50,000 children every day. If you still need another reason to support them, their toys are just THE CUTEST. Below are the items that we chose for Zane and for our newest addition that’s due in April! Their toys are available at Target and Amazon.

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Ribbit-tat-tat

Recommended for children 2 years +. it’s won multiple awards and is a frog inspired drum! There are beats from around the world, Ribbit-tat-tat from B toys is a frog-inspired toddler drum set and the winner of multiple awards! With its sturdy, toddler-proof construction, this frog toy drum is the perfect way to introduce music to babies and toddlers. There’s a retractable microphone where you can sing along, a voice changer and other games programmed in it! It will keep you and your mini entertained for hours :). Click here for more info!

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Fire Flyer

This isn’t your ordinary fire truck! It lights up, vibrates and moves on it’s own! It has an extendable fire hose and even a ladder that goes up and down! Zane looooves trucks and cars so this was a no brainer win for us! Click here for more info!

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Wonders Above

This is an acitivity that I am SO excited for. Whenever you shop for a new baby, there are always a few things you find that you can’t believe you lived without before. This is one of them! We had an activity for Zane but it was hard and often I felt he was uncomfortable on the floor when he was on it. This one is SO quilted and soft that your mini could even take a nap on it! It has 5 sensory toys hanging from the arc and it’s machine washable! Click here to learn more!

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Magical Mellow-Zzzs

This is mobile any expecting mom NEEDS this season. It’s a musical mobile with a magical light show that will have your baby soothed and calm. The light show covers every hue of the rainbow with the sweetest melodies. You can take it along and hang it from a car seat, an activity mat or a crib! The bonus? It’s SAFE! This baby musical mobile toy is BPA and phthalates free. Made of a Super soft and safe fabric! packaging is recyclable and recycled, with soy-based inks. Click here to learn more!

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Chewy Chews peace

This is the perfect firth teether for your little one! It has an adorable peace sign shape, is a beautiful color and will easily be held by your mini! It’s only available in stores!

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Start Your Holiday Shopping With Funrise Toys!

With the holiday season just around the corner… I’ve decided to help you all out by rounding up some awesome gifts well before the madness of shopping begins so you can get a head start on your shopping!

Zane is almost 2 years old so he’s at an age where I buy him a cool and fun toy and he ends up being more interested in the box (parent reality). So I’m always pleasantly surprised when I find a toy that catches his attention and that becomes a favourite of his! I couldn’t wait to share with you Zane’s current obsessions (which I know your minis will LOVE too!). He lives, breathes, eats and would sleep (if I let him) with these toys!

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HERODRIVE™ DC Super Friends Collection and TONKA Power Movers.

They are sturdy (Zane-proof) toys that light up, move and have his imagination running wild. He can pretend to be Batman as he zooms around the house with his bat mobile! It features lights, engine sounds, and music that bring the action to life! The Batmobile transforms into race mode by pushing the windshield forward to make the wings pop out. Zane can push the logo on the hood for unique Batman sounds, then push it again to send the Batman Racer racing forward with its cape flying behind!

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Zane can also be the master of a construction site with his new dump truck that has lights, real engine sounds and even a realistic backup sound! The rugged Dump Truck features new Motion Drive Technology allowing for fun and intuitive play that brings the action to life!

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They’re fun to play with, they were easy for him to figure out how to use and they are big enough that they don’t fit under my couch (mom win)!!!!

You can check out the whole HERODRIVE™ DC Super Friends Collection here.

And the TONKA Power Movers here.

Make sure to tag me in the pics of your minis playing with their new toys! There’s nothing better than a smiling, happy and entertained toddler.


The Only Stroller You Need To Read About!

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I’ve been lucky enough to test out my share of light weight strollers, so I’d like to think of myself as an expert when it comes to choosing the best one! When I had the chance to test out another, I obviously jumped at the opportunity! With baby #2 due in April, I’m always looking to discover the best of the best baby products (plus it gave me an opportunity to play pretend-big brother with Zane and let him push around a stroller). I’ve been using the Bily Compact Easy-Fold Stroller for over 3 weeks - and there is not one thing I would change about it. My 6 fave features are below! If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear about yours! (scroll to the bottom of my post for outfit details - including my hat that you can use with a ponytail!)

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  1. You can fold and unfold it with only one hand

  2. It’s SUPER compact and light weight

  3. It has a HUGE storage space under the stroller that is easy to access (not the case in most compact strollers)

  4. It fully reclines so your kids can stay awake for the fun or take a nap while you shop lol.

  5. There is a handle bar that you can clip on toys to (none of the one’s I’ve tried before have had this)

  6. The lock and unlock feature for the wheels is easy to activate

This stroller is hands down my favourite. If you’re looking for a light weight stroller that you can easily carry with one hand, bring on a plane and push around for hours without getting tired, this is the one for you! Click here to learn more or to shop!

The hat I’m wearing deserves special attention too! It’s the first hat I’ve found that you can wear with a pony tail or mom bun! It has an elastic at the top so you can keep your messy mom bun in tact and still keep your ears warm (how cool?!). It’s from My Gear Online and is so practical and cute! It’s an awesome gift for the holidays for anyone in your life with gorgeous locks.

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Top Recommended Books for Toddlers - by YOU!

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I put up a poll on my Instagram a few weeks ago asking you for your top recommended books for toddlers! Who better to recommend books than fellow mamas? Take advantage of the awesome shipping promo they have going on right now: every book ships for free all summer long for plum membersfrom Indigo.ca and stock up on the adorable books below! Missed my poll? No problem! Add a comment below with any books that I missed so we can check them out!

1. THE LITTLE BLUE BOX OF BRIGHT AND EARLY BOARD BOOKS BY DR. SEUSS

Inside this adorable blue box (with a handle that your mini will love), include the 4 books:  Hop on Pop; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; Ten Apples Up On Top!; and The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. They survived 2 weeks with my son undamaged so these books will withstand any child lol. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more.

2. SING A SONG OF MOTHER GOOSE

 

All of your fave childhood nursery rhymes are in this adorable hard covered book including: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; Humpty Dumpty; Little Miss Muffet; Rockabye Baby; Sing a Song of Sixpence; Ladybird; Pussycat, Pussycat; Jack and Jill; Baa Baa Black Sheep; Hey Diddle Diddle; Rain, Rain, Go Away; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Pat A Cake and Hickory Dickory Dock. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more!

3. DR. SEUSS'S 100 FIRST WORDS

I was curious how many other words Zane could learn before saying Mama LOL. This board book has bright and bold colours that your mini will LOVE. Click here to learn more.

4. ADVENTURES WITH BAREFOOT CRITTERS

Learning the alphabet is fun with these little critters and this adorably illustrated board book. Click here to learn more!

5. DINOSAUR DANCE!

From the best selling author Sandra Boynton, this colourful and fun board book is all about.... dancing dinosaurs! What else!? Click here to learn more!

6. THE LION INSIDE

A beautiful book with a powerful message: We all have a lion and a mouse inside. Click here to learn more.

7. I LIKE MYSELF!

This book about self-esteem encourages children to love themselves! Such a great read and an important message to start teaching your children at any age. Click here to learn more.

8. ORDINARY PEOPLE CHANGE THE WORLD GIFT SET

This New York Times best selling series is all about what makes a Hero. Click here to learn more.

9. GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE

Gerald the giraffe just wants to dance! With his long legs, it's harder than you think. When he finally receives encouragement from a friend, he realizes he can do it! This book is an inspiration for kids who dream big! Click here to learn more.

10. CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM

This lively alphabet rhyme makes learning the alphabet fun! Click here to learn more.

Don't forget to take advantage of free shipping on every book all summer long for plum members at Indigo.ca!

Make a Gazillion Memories This Summer!

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With BBQ season finally here, I've found the MUST have products to keep children entertained: the Gazillion Bubbles Collection! Their bubble machines and wands will keep children of all ages busy and playing outside, instead of in front of the TV. Make a Gazillion memories this summer with Gazillion Bubbles! Their top secret bubble solution makes the brightest and most colourful bubbles that are eco-friendly, safe, non-toxic and won't stain clothing or furniture!

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The Gazillion Bubbles Tornado is a must have for any backyard or patio. You turn on this machine and there are literally hundreds of bubbles within seconds! It's light weight and affordable so I'm even going to bring mine to the park this summer! Be prepared to be the favourite parent in the neighbourhood with this machine!

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Their bubble wands are just as fun! Zane had a blast chasing the bubbles and this is definitely something I'm going to keep in our stroller all summer. Gazillion Bubbles also has Crazy Wands (scroll down for a few pics) which are for kids a bit older than Zane but I think they would also make such awesome loot bag ideas if you're planning a birthday party this summer!

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Gazillion Bubbles products are available for purchase in Canada at Walmart & TRU Canada

Ripley's Aquarium - Fun for the Whole Family

If you're in the Toronto area, Ripley's Aquarium is a MUST SEE attraction. I wasn't sure what to expect and went in just hoping that I could keep Zane entertained for a few hours. It turned out, we could have spent the entire day there!

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From the second you walk in the Ripley's Aquarium, you're surrounded by gorgeous colours, illuminated aquariums that span from floor to ceiling and EVERY type of underwater fish you can imagine. It was such a nice experience to see Zane fascinated by the lights and swimming fish. I went with a friend of mine who has 2 older children and they were just as enthralled by the breath taking views.

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The aquarium is divided into exhibits such as the Canadian Waters, Rainbow Reef, Ray Bay and Curious Creatures (to name a few) but besides the exhibits, they have so many other things to offer! They have interactive stops along the way for older kids, they have caves that kids can crawl though, educational games and puzzles, and there was even a teaching session happening where someone from the Ripley's Aquarium was giving a lesson about fish!

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We had 2 favourite parts of the aquarium. The first was the Dangerous Lagoon - which is a long and beautiful aquarium tunnel that allows you to walk under swimming fish, sharks, sea turtles and so much more! There is moving belt so you can relax and be transported on what feels like a magical underwater journey.

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Our second favourite was in the Planet Jellies exhibit. There was this HUGE wall filled with what seemed like hundreds of jelly fish. As the wall changed colours, so did the jelly fish! It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

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We had such a blast at the Aquarium and I can't wait to go back with Zane the next time we are in Toronto. It's a place we could visit over and over again and always find something else to love.

 A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

DIY Mother's Day Handprint & Footprint Gifts

We LOVE DIY crafts (well I do at least... Zane loves to play with paint - so it's a win-win) and what better time to make one than Mother's Day? All moms LOVE DIY crafts from their kids and even more so from their grandkids! Zane and I got to work and created the most adorable gifts for his Grandma and Great-Grandma this Mother's Day.

DIY NOVELTY TRAY AND PIGGY BANK

Start of with finding the pieces you want to decorate. Make sure to thoroughly clean and let them dry. Some materials are more porous and will need to dry over night. This step is SUPER important. Often ceramic and porcelain products are covered in a film or dirt and the paint won't properly stick unless it's clean. 

Choose your paint colours. We used the paint below and bought a thinner because I didn't want it to go on too thick. 

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Optional: Paint Brush - You'll need one if you decide to write something on the jar or piggy bank (such as the date, your child's name etc.). I also used a thick paint brush to paint on my son's hands and feet. You could also just mix the paint in a bowl and press their hand/foot in it.

Once your tray is clean and dry, map out the design you want. You want to know EXACTLY where you're putting your mini's hand or foot once it's covered in paint because it won't be fun trying to keep them still if they're younger. I recommend doing this project with someone else so that one of you can place the foot or hand in paint and make the print and the other can stop your baby from crawling away covered in paint. 

Follow the directions on your ceramic paint. If you used the same one as I did, let it dry overnight, then bake for 35 mins at 150 degrees. Then it's ready to package and send off!

Tips: Definitely find a place to date your artwork. It's always nice to look back and see when the art project was made. I definitely recommend doing the hand print before the decorating because it's the hardest part. I needed to wash off my son's handprint several times before getting one that was perfect and the rest of the design would have been ruined had I done it first!

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Happy Crafting! I would love to see the artwork you create so don't forget to tag me in your posts! @mrsnewmommtl

 

xox Tovah