Archive | March 7th, 2013

Tips For Buying Toddler Toys On A Budget

Toys are very important to children. Toys keep toddlers busy, entertained and can help in their development. However, buying toys these days have become inconvenient due to financial problems and because toys are just put to waste when toddlers outgrow them. Here are some tips to help you save money when shopping for toddler toys.

Know What Your Toddler Likes

Consider the interests of your toddler. If your toddler loves fixing things, you can buy him a tool kit or workbench set. If he loves animals, buy him stuffed toys of his favorite animals. Or if you see your toddler eyeing toy cars each time you go to the department store, do not buy toys that are not cars. The key here is to observe your toddler so you can figure out what he likes and does not like and then buy it for him.

Sign Up For E-mail Alerts

Sign up for e-mail alerts or newsletters from your favorite stores so you are notified about sales and other special promos (e.g. Black Friday sales and clearance specials). Widen your search by joining e-mail lists of smaller shops or online stores to make sure you are not missing out on a possible discount.

Collect Coupons

Coupons are heaven sent and are treasured by parents. Coupons are a great way to purchase things while still being able to save a sizeable amount of money at the same time. Search for coupons online and print them. You can check out the website of Target, Toys “R” Us and Hasbro for hot deals that will make both you and your toddler happy. Or if you are looking for a specific toy, type in the name of the toy along with the word “promo code”.

Organize A Toy Swap

Swapping is not just for clothes, the same can be done with toys. Get together with a few moms who have children about the same age as yours and hold a toy swap. Ask each mom to bring a couple of toys their toddler does not play with anymore and trade your toddler’s toys for some “new” toys he will love.

Buy Used Toys

There is nothing wrong with buying second-hand toys as long as they are clean and in excellent condition. You can score garage and yard sales, thrift stores or check online sites such as Craigslist and eBay for slightly used toys that are still of good quality.

Go Back To Basics

Rather than buying the latest electronic toy, why not go old school and introduce your little one to more basic toys. Toys you used to play as a child such as Mr. Potato Head, Etch-a-Sketch, Play-Doh and wooden play sets are still made today at affordable prices. Remember, toddlers still love the simple stuff and they do not need expensive toys to be entertained.

Toys can be expensive. But with a little research, planning and ingenuity, you can buy toys your toddler will enjoy without going bankrupt.

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How To Choose Clothes For Toddlers

Choosing clothes for toddlers can be as easy as pie as long as you are armed with appropriate knowledge and understanding. Here is a guideline to help you buy the right clothes for your toddler.

Get The Right Fit

Size is very important when buying clothes for toddlers. Avoid buying “one size fits all” or “free size” outfits just to make your task easier. Know the right size, including height and weight as well. This is important because toddlers grow very fast. You do not want to buy clothes that are either too small or too big as this will only make your toddler uncomfortable and impede his movement. You can get the correct size by observing the size of his present clothes. Getting his clothes repaired is also a good idea to ensure they fit his body.

Prioritize Comfort

There are plenty of toddler clothes available but not all of them provide comfort. Choose toddler clothes that are comfy to wear. Opt for clothes made of natural fabrics such as cotton, hemp and linen. They are lightweight, breathable and keep moisture away from the body so your active toddler can stay fresh and cool throughout the day. Avoid buying clothes made of synthetic fabrics as they tend to trap heat causing toddlers to sweat more.

Buy A Few of Each Type

Choose few pieces of clothes for each season. For everyday clothes, cotton underwear, plain, cotton t-shirts, shorts and pants with an elastic waistband and overalls with adjustable straps. Buy two-piece pajamas for sleepwear. Make sure they are flame-retardant. Sweatshirts, hooded coats and jackets that zip-up, socks, mittens and ear muffs for winter wear.

Know Your Toddler’s Preferences

Children want to exercise their freedom, especially when it comes to their clothes. Find out what your little one likes. Better yet, take him with you when you go shopping. Allow him to choose clothes featuring his favorite color or cartoon character. Not only will you be able to get the correct fit but you are also assured that your toddler will like the clothes.

Be Practical

Do not be tempted by fashion trends. Remember, trends come and go so stick to classic pieces. In addition, do not spend too much money on toddler clothes especially if you are on a tight budget. Stick to your budget. Know which clothes are okay to pay extra for good quality that will last (such as a good pair of jeans or winter jacket) and clothes you can buy cheap or in bulk (e.g. t-shirts and socks). Also, avoid buying designer clothes. Your toddler does not need it.

Look For Great Deals

Clothes are on sale during end of seasons so take advantage of that. Score the clothes department of Target, Sears or JCPenney for great deals. Collect discount coupons. Search the web for online stores that offer free shipping. Accept hand-me downs. Organize a clothing swap with moms in your neighbourhood.

Buying clothes for toddlers can be a big challenge. But, if you follow these simple tips, your toddler will have a functional wardrobe for all seasons.

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Fun Summer Activities For Children

Sunny days, fresh air and children. They go naturally together. Keep your toddler active with this list of fun summer activities for children.

Water Play

The summer heat can drain your toddler’s energy. So why not enjoy a splash and recharge. From sprinklers to pools to water tables, there are plenty of ways to keep your little one entertained with water. Summertime is also the perfect time to teach your toddler how to swim. Water play provides your toddler an opportunity to stimulate his senses, experiment and of course, provide endless laughter and fun.

Organize A Picnic

A picnic is always great for toddlers. On a bright, sunny Saturday, invite your relatives or your friends for a picnic. Ask your toddler to assist you in preparing the food. He can help you make yummy finger foods such as small sandwiches, biscuits, sliced fruits and vegetables and trail mix. Do not forget to pack some juice and water. Grab a blanket and head to the park. Once lunch is over, your toddler and his peers can play tag or hide and seek and when they are exhausted from running, they can just lie in the grass and gaze at the sky.

Start A Collection

Satiate your toddler’s thirst for adventure by going on an expedition. Go around your backyard, neighbourhood or town and let him look for interesting items he can collect - leaves, bugs, rocks, rubber stamps, etc. This activity promotes a fun way to expose your toddler to different things which helps broaden his knowledge.

Go Fishing

This classic hobby is a fun way to boost the bond between dads and toddlers. Bring fishing rods, bobbers, worms (as bait) and rubber gloves. Since the goal for your toddler’s first fishing trip is to catch a fish, pick a location where bites will be easy to come such as creeks, rivers, lakes or a small farm pond. Talk about anything under the sun to keep your toddler from feeling bored while waiting. When he catches a fish, hold it for him and show him the fins and explain how the fish uses them to swim. Teach him to catch and release. Or if you bring fish home, have him bring only what he can eat and release the rest. Do not forget to praise your toddler for a job well done.

Visit A Zoo

Children love animals. The best way to expose your toddler with different species aside from cats and dogs is to go on a day trip to a zoo near you. Stick to a petting zoo so your little one can see animals up close and interact with them. Ask him to trumpet like an elephant, name the colors of the parrot or hold the lamb.

Learn Something New

Now is the best time to enroll your toddler in a class he is interested in. Most community parks offer an array of free and inexpensive activities such as arts and crafts workshop, dance, soccer, tennis and swimming lessons.

Grow A Garden

Give your toddler gardening tools and some fruits, vegetables or herbs to plant. Ask him to water, talk or sing to his plant every day. This is a great way to keep him busy at home. Plus, he will get a kick out of seeing the fruit of his labor.

Summertime is one of the most anticipated seasons of toddlers. These activities will surely keep toddlers busy and happy while stimulating the mind at the same time.

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