When our children are young, so much is disposable. I have accepted that after a day, art may go in the recycling bin, after a week, I donate happy meal toys, and after a few months the stained shirts become rags.
Today I’m sharing 5 kid products that are worthwhile. My kids enjoy them, sure, but so do I. They encourage imagination, exploration, and creativity in my kids, and as a mom, they help me nurture my children. The tangible items listed here have lasted long and we’ve gotten our money’s worth, and the intangible ones are such good quality that enjoying them is time well spent.
Melissa and Doug Mess-Free Color Painting Pads
These are the most ingenious thing I have ever come across. They had me and my kids entranced. It is a booklet of white cardboard coloring pages (pictures outlined in black, like a coloring book) that you “color” on with a water filled paint-brush pen. The brush unscrews and you fill it with water. It is like 3 tablespoons of water so you are thinking to yourself, “I’m gonna be refilling this thing 200 times a day” but miraculously it lasts f-o-r-e-v-e-r. The brush works very well to only release a small amount of water at a time. It gently paints the page and “magically” reveals the full color picture. After about 5 minutes they dry and you can do it over and over again! I love that they come in so many themes. This entertained my daughter for a solid 2 hours the first time I gave it to her. [I recommend 3 and up on these, if you want them to last a long time. Two-year-olds enjoy them but are a little too rough with the pen-to-pad contact and can either tear through the wet cardboard page or fray the brush too easily.]
Now the Day Is Over, The Innocence Mission
I think every mother and grandmother has a certain lullaby in their back-pocket for whenever the need arises. This CD has one I have particular fondness for. It was sung first in my memory by Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, but this version of “Stay Awake” is sweet too. I’ve listened to it so many times that I finally have it in my memory and I never get tired of singing it. With a Prime Membership you can stream this for free.
Hand, Hand Fingers, Thumb
This is a silly little book about monkeys drumming on drums. It is very rhythmic, which is why my son loves it. He brings it to me often and begs me to read it again and again. He giggles every time he hears the refrain “Dum ditty, dum ditty, dum dum dum!”. It still hasn’t gotten old to him, and we’ve had it for two years.
This is an endearing show about a blue fox named Fig. He has all kinds of cute friends in the world of Tumble Leaf, cutest of all is his little caterpillar Stick, who stays in his pocket. Fig explores the world around him, asks lots of questions and learns how things work. Each episode focuses on a different object that Fig finds. Seasons 1, 2, and 3 are available for FREE with a Prime Membership. You can also buy the DVD of Season 1.
Re-play Divided Plates
This company is so cool! They make all sorts of kid dinner-ware and utensils out of recycled milk cartons. Their products are completely BPA, Phthalate, PVC and Melamine free. They are also dishwasher safe! They come in a TON of fun colors (even more on their website), but Amazon also has several 3-count sets. The fact that they are divided presents the fun challenge of filling each section with something yummy and nutritious for a balanced meal, and the variety and aesthetic is very pleasing to my toddler.
Investing in Prime
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime Membership, I highly recommend it. I have had one for years and feel that it is worth every penny. Free 2-day shipping is unbeatable, plus SAME DAY DELIVERY for many items. Let’s not forget the extensive library of free t.v. shows, movies and music. Also, Amazon runs so many promotions year-round: Holiday lightning sales, mp3 and video credits when you opt for no-rush shipping, and other surprises. My favorite reason to have Prime is that is often saves me from having to make a trip to the store. Their 2 hour grocery delivery is amazing: completely free for orders of at least $35. That makes it a great reason to give Prime as a gift, for Mother’s Day! Just in case you didn’t know, Amazon also offers Prime at a discounted rate if you are a student with a university/college email address.