My tween wants a cell phone. Correction, she wants a cell phone that allows her to text, play games online, send emails and lastly, make phone calls. Yesterday, she told me that more and more of the girls in her class (We’re talking 4th grade folks!) are getting cell phones for their 10th birthdays. She doesn’t want to wait a year. She wants one now. The question is, is my tween ready for a cell phone?
The diaper back is often handbag, toybox and tolietry kit in one. Sleep-deprived moms often forget to replenish their bags and there is nothing worse than being left in a lurch without diapers or a change of clothes for your baby. Here’s a checklist of the essential 15 things you should pack in your diaper bag, as well as a few fun surprises.
If you are sharing living and play spaces with your children, read on for some tips and tricks to declutter play rooms and make your shared spaces more fun for kids and less stressful for parents!
It has been a rough month and our world is changing. We are focused on what matters most in our lives, and what is essential. What is most meaningful?
The American Girl Boutique opened up inside of Chapters on Robson Street last weekend, and my daughter Zara and I got the opportunity to visit it ahead of time and scope things out. Before the event invite I’d heard of American Girl but had no idea how big they are!
Zara is 7 and told me she had seen American Girl commercials on TV, but neither of us had ever seen an actual doll. We had no idea what to expect. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the store at 7am on opening day and saw there was already a very long line up to get in. Some girls brought their dolls along, others waited anxiously to get inside at 10am and see an American Girl doll for the first time. I thought to myself – this is crazy, who waits in line for a doll? Then we went inside, and it became obvious.
The dolls are beautiful. They are really well made, and have gorgeous thick hair, they are endearing; even to adults. The best part about the American Girl experience for me was the fact that they encourage little girls to pick one special doll (maybe even the one that looks most like her), and then buy accessories and items for her. Yes there is a doll of the year released annually, but I didn’t feel any pressure to build a collection of dolls. They are definitely an investment retailing at $125 each, but I would rather buy one American Girl doll than multiple plastic dolls and their houses, cars, and other accessories.
Zara checked out all the dolls before she settled on the one that she felt looked most like her. It was really refreshing to see so many different options of skin colour and hair colour – there was actually 4 or 5 dolls that looked like they could pass as Hispanic or South Asian, definitely a welcome surprise. We also loved the fact that the dolls don’t come with names or birthdays – it lets you really personalize and connect with the experience. Z named her doll Izzy (one of her own nicknames) and decided the day she got her is going to be her birthday.
Once you’ve got a doll you can buy clothing and accessories for her, and even bring her back to the American Girl Salon to have her hair styled or her ears pierced. While I know these things can add up in cost, I think it’s a great way to talk to your little girl about finances. I made a deal with Zara that we can come back in a few months and I’ll get Izzy’s ears pierced but if she wants another outfit for her, she’ll have to save some of her allowance. It’s a great ‘save up for it’ learning experience.
Now that we’ve had Izzy almost a week, I can totally understand why all those little girls were lined up to get into the store that morning. Zara and Izzy are inseparable, from morning to night they are constant companions.
I’m one of those moms who shops all year long. I buy things on sale and fun items fill the cupboards in the spare bathroom. By the time wrapping week comes around in December, the gifts have trickled into the bathtub, hidden under towels.
While this system has always worked in my house, this year things are different. The boys are 6 and 7 and have very specific HOT toys in mind. I realized yesterday in a panic that I didn’t have what they really wanted. Scouring the internet I finally found the toys in stock at one online retailer and pulled out the old Amex.
This mom has learned a few tricks and I won’t be making the same mistake in the future. Here are 7 tips for getting the toys the kids really want.
1. Write letters to Santa on December 1. If you do it too early the kids may change their mind about what they really want.
2. As soon as the letters are written, hop online and order the special present.
3. Stocking stuffers are great to collect over the course of the year, but larger bulky items are best sourced in December. Having an expensive bathroom as a storage area isn’t very practical.
4. Canada has caught on to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in a big way. Making a good list of items and finding the best deals on those days can save a fortune and eliminate the need to shop all year.
5. Pull up a few ‘hot toy’ lists and go through them with your kids to gauge interest. Mattel has a great Hot Toy List and I love Dr. Toy’s annual list as well. This will help you give Aunts and grandparents some ideas. Mattel also have a great online wishlist where you can keep track of the kids’ desires!
7. Canada’s official Free Shipping Day is happening this Thursday, Dec. 12, and eager online shoppers are gearing up for great deals. Over 230 stores have signed up to participate, with several more expected to be added to the site before offers go live at 12:01 a.m. EST. In addition to big-name participants like Indigo, Garage, Roots and SportChek, independent retailers are also offering free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.
Once you’ve eliminated the stress from your shopping, you’ll have lots of time to bake, decorate, do charity work and make beautiful memories with the kids during the holiday season.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mattel Canada. All opinions are our own.
Forget Instamatch and online gaming. This tangible Marimekko memory game will verse your child in design as well as sharpening their little brain. Putting a new spin on an old classic, this Memory Game by Marimekko is sure to become a family favorite for games night with its beautifully designed circular tile pieces.
This memory game features a selection of Marimekko’s own textile designs, from their iconic Unikot print, to playful Cars. We’re so in love with the patterns, we may just have to practice lots.
Do you ever enter the kids’ playroom and want to crawl under a rock? The tracks are always a huge issue, as the kids will be so upset if you dismantle their handiwork. There is finally a solution. Wall Tracks by Hot Wheels go on the, well, the wall. A spacial revelation, kids can use the vertical axis to create play – they will even bend around corners. The modular pieces can be assembled in hundreds of ways, and Command wall strips from 3M ensure that your precious paint isn’t damaged. Now we just need a solution to the Lego mess issue..
Recently I took my youngest son, who is nearly two, to a cafe known for it’s “kid-friendly” play area and colourful cupcakes (his big brother was at preschool). I met a friend there for coffee, and a few kids were already making use of the place’s toys and activities. Before we left the vehicle, I made a point of asking him to leave his truck in the car. “We don’t want another little boy or girl to take it home by mistake.” I said. He understood this because it is our habit – when going to a public play area we don’t take “outside toys” in with us. Why risk a problem when we can avoid one?