From the category archives:

Preschooler

Goldieblox: Does it work?

March 5, 2014

Aimed to attract girls to play patterns that encourage building and problem solving, the stuff engineering is made of, new toy brand Goldiebox came to market about a year ago. I watched the Kickstarter video in 2012 and loved the idea. CEO Debbie Sterling is a young engineer from Stanford who wants to disrupt the […]

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Yes, I love to play fetch with my crazy active children

January 30, 2014

There’s a scene in the movie Knocked Up in which the parents mock the “clueless bachelor” for playing fetch with the kids (around min 1:45 in this preview for those with no patience). Well, screw that; there’s no shame in inventing games that get children to chase things that are tossed for them. Little people […]

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What I keep learning from Too Small to Fail

January 8, 2014

Over the past few months I worked with Go Mighty as part of the Too Small to Fail initiative. Along with a whole bunch of smart people, we’re working to close The Word Gap that affects far too many young children by taking little steps that have a big impact. So what did I do to help close the Word […]

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Personalized paper doll set

December 10, 2013

My stepmom, whose creative gifts have been documented here before, made this adorable paper doll set for Scarlett’s birthday. She had Scarlett pose for a photo in her bathing suit against a wall. She printed the results on photo paper and cut mini-Scarlett out to create the “doll”. Then, she hand drew clothes on white […]

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Project Night Night, a kid-friendly charity

December 9, 2013

On our Bay Area website, 510families.com, we recently featured a family that did Project Night Night. But this sweet charity is available nationwide so we wanted to share the message more broadly. Our guest blogger is Rebecca from ThisFineDay. Project Night Night has become an organization close to my heart. A reader tipped me off […]

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5 activities to make long bad-weather days bearable

December 2, 2013

Oh, the weather outside is frightful… For parents of stir-crazy kids, I think the atmosphere inside the house is more frightful. Sure we could sit on the couch and watch six movies, getting up only to refill our water bottles, but that would not burn off any energy the kids need to use up, and […]

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Activity #120: Try Potching

November 27, 2013

My stepmom (aka Grandma Leslie) introduced Julian to the kitchen counter at her house, way before it would have occurred to me. Bring a stool to your empty kitchen sink and let your toddler climb up. Fill the sink with warm soapy water, plastic cups, utensils, etc. Let your toddler pretend to make something or […]

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Build your toddler a play kitchen for less than $50

November 21, 2013

Wanna just buy one outright? I don’t blame you, I got tired just writing about all these awesome projects. Two super cute (gender-neutral) play kitchens on amazon are Melissa & Doug’s corner kitchen (more compact) and Kid Craft red retro (more deluxe). I also encourage you to be on the hunt in your local Craig’s […]

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Create the best chocolate-free advent calendar

November 19, 2013

My friend, the very creative Wendy Copley, created a clever advent calendar for her children that has two big benefits over all other holiday countdown traditions: It focuses on experiences over stuff. She can change it according to her mood and available time. Allow me to explain. She purchased a wooden advent calendar kinda like […]

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Gender-neutral alternatives to a pink, plastic dollhouse

November 15, 2013

The dollhouse above, aka Mrs. Goodbee, is pretty great. It has two sides so more kids can play at once; it features audio effects (my daughter loves the toilet flushing sound); and, it was designed to teach manners. After the toilet flushes, a voice calls out, “Wash your hands!” But my kids don’t play with […]

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#pinterestFAIL Crafting with my niece

October 4, 2013

Have you seen all those cool DIY kids’ craft projects on Pinterest? Homemade flubber, moon dough, foam dough, glow fairies, glitter balloons, and the like? Well I have, and I’ve been dying to try some. I enlisted my 10-year-old niece Mitra to help me test some of them, and here are our (highly scientific) results. FOAM DOUGH The […]

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5 science projects for preschoolers

October 2, 2013

These fun do-at-home experiments that encourage our girls and boys to LOVE science were suggested by our local friend, Cara, and we can’t wait to try them! I was never much of a science person growing up. Our four-year old daughter, on the other hand, has long loved it. We are doing all we can […]

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