Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at MightyMoms.club and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007. She’s a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, has been a featured parenting expert writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, Cafe Mom, and others. If it’s 2am and you’re desperate to read SOMETHING, check out her deepest darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn’t be allowed to blog.


Why we love it: Freddie's bright colours and different sounds and textures mean he's a bit of a baby magnet: so much to see, feel, hear and chew! Our tester's mum was really taken with the toy's quality and how much it stimulated and held her baby Andy's attention. A couple of months later, she's still impressed with it.  'It's a lovely toy,' she says, 'and it washes great – it's been washed a billion times!'
These multi-textured balls are designed to acclimate your baby to different textures and stimulate her sensory skills. They’re made of a BPA material so you needn’t worry when they pop them in their mouths, and they’re large enough you won’t need to worry about chocking hazards, either. The different sizes, shapes, and textures also promote baby’s tactile development.
Dr. Golinkoff likes this cleaning set because it not only promotes being active, it also encourages them to be helpful. “Kids always want to be like big people. So if they see you using something, they’re going to want to do it, too,” she says. And if they can play with another kid, even better: “[This and the other toys below] require children to be active and can spur the development of the imagination as well as increase social interaction when used with another child.”

A: In an unexpected light, these toys can help babies and toddlers gain a basic understanding of the concept of cause and effect. They experience pain and discomfort and are given a solution to solve their problem. This creates a pathway in their brain to reinforce their understanding of finding a solution. These toys help children learn very early on about problem-solving.
A play kitchen is a great addition to any home toy collection. Not only do they offer hours of imaginative play for your toddler, but they also promote learning. Parents who play alongside their children can help them identify basic foods, colors, and dishes. Your toddler will enjoy making pretend meals, washing dishes, and putting away food in their toy kitchen.
You could make your own DIY slime kit that contains all the necessary ingredients but you are going to be googling slime recipes all night. Original Stationary has done the work for us. This slime kit contains everything you need in the perfect ratios to make just about every type of slime from fluffy slime to fruit slime. You get glue, clay, glitters, shaving foam, slime activator, scents, and even containers. There’s a reason it’s called the ultimate slime kit!
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You may not think to add toys to your baby registry list, but there are a host of play items that can help babies develop some early age-appropriate skills. Developmental toys for babies also make for great baby shower gifts. When in doubt, gifting a fun and smartly designed plaything is always a winner! The trick to the best baby toys is sneaking in a little something to make their brains work hard while still keeping them engaged and happy. Here, some of the best age-appropriate toys for newborn babies up to one year old.
When it comes to playing with babies, how much your child gets out of it is directly related to how much time and effort you put into it. "Baby's development doesn't happen in a vacuum," says Rachel Coley, a pediatric occupational therapist who blogs at Can Do Kiddo. "A big part of baby hitting key milestones and gaining skills has to do with the materials, experiences and opportunities to practice that baby receives. By choosing toys and activities that match what your little one is ready to work on, you make the most of your infant's awake times and set the stage for important early learning."
Try these translucent shapes, which are far more interesting than blocks and have hundreds of possible combinations. “Kids see these and want to learn how they work, how they go together, that there’s unlimited possibilities,” she says. “You don’t want to teach your child that there’s only one right answer or one way to put the block together. That’s constraining them too much and doesn’t allow them to have a free will and imagination to create something new. When kids are playing with things like blocks, they’re learning things — like how tall can you go before it falls down? Why do these things stick together in the way that they do? They want to experiment.”
Meet the Big Boy! The Thunderhawk looks pretty long out of the box. Extend the barrel and it stretches out to 41 inches. What?! It’s the largest Nerf blaster ever! It’s spring powered and primed with a bolt handle on the side. Nerf is taking the power of the line and blending it with precision. It features the new Mega Accustrike darts, which has the Accustrike tip that makes them more accurate. It comes with an integrated 10 dart indexing clip and 10 new Mega Accustrike darts.
Baby clothes are a gift that, when practical and adorable, are always a parent pleaser. The babyGEAR Santa Fleece Footie outfit is one of those Christmas gifts for newborns and even older infants that will bring on the oohs and ahhs. Baby can comfortably sport their holiday wear so much so that you can almost guarantee yourself a “sleeping Santa” picture under the Christmas tree. Just make sure you remember to put on the matching cap! ($12; buybuybaby.com)
We recently spoke to Dr. Nick Cornett, a play therapist in northwest Arkansas — the play therapy center of the United States — to get his take on what toys he’d recommend for toddlers. According to Cornett, “the more open-ended the toy, the better.”  It’s just like how an interviewer avoids yes / no questions; they circumscribe dialogue. Cornett divides toys up by “real life” toys, “active or constructive” toys, and “creative expression” toys. Each genre offers the kid a chance to truly express himself, and therefore a therapist to observe. Here, per Cornett, are some parameters of — and our choices for — seven great toys for toddlers. 
By the time your child is 3, she'll enter the next phase of block play: "stack and row." Now she can stack the blocks vertically or lay them down and configure them horizontally. She's not building with a specific purpose yet, but she is beginning to try her hand at patterns. The first patterns are usually identical blocks placed on the floor one after another until she adds a twist, such as putting a square after a rectangle, and another square after the next rectangle, and so on. "Math is the study of patterns," says MacDonald, "and encouraging block-patterning lays the foundation for math skills." Here's where fractions come into play. When she puts down two blocks side by side, she can see that, together, they form the same size and shape as one larger block.

Spyro is being remastered in full high-definition for the PS4 and Xbox One so a whole new generation of players can discover the wonderful worlds of Spyro. The first three original Spyro games will be included on one disc packed with over 100 levels. In addition to graphical enhancements, the game will also feature improved game controls for a better experience.

The Xbox One is home to solid first-party exclusives like Halo, Forza, Gears of War and more! It’s also home to one of the best online multiplayer experiences with Xbox Live. The console is a powerhouse delivering amazing HD graphics and immersive gameplay experiences. A new Netflix-like platform will allow you to play at least 100 titles from spanning many of Xbox’s top titles.

Gift the toddler on your list a playset with a paleontological twist. The Playful Dino features bead mazes, spinning gears, swirly eyes and other fiddly bits that will keep the 1-and-up set engrossed. Toddlers will develop fine-motor skills and learn about cause-and-effect as they manipulate the playset's wooden features — and exhausted parents can celebrate the lack of loud noises or strobe-light effects.

This Fisher-Price activity center features lights, sounds and music to stimulate your baby's senses and help your bundle of joy develop fine motor skills, balance and coordination. The convertible play gym is designed to "grow" with your child, meaning babies can start by lying on the machine-washable padded mat, before graduating to sitting down and playing, and finally standing at the activity center. (Recommended ages: Birth and up)


When my kids play with stacking cups, I like to think of it as good practice for emptying the dishwasher, but they're actually stockpiling math and science skills. Sometime between his first and second birthday, he'll be able to place the cups on top of one another. He's usually not stacking them in any order, but he's starting to understand size relationships. Don't pressure him to do it the "right" way. As he gets older, he'll realize, If I put the small cup inside the big one, the medium one won't fit. He's starting to understand seriation -- a fancy word for putting things in their proper order.
Featuring a Barbie chef doll, kitchen counter, appliances, cooking and dining utensils, and 5 dough colors for creating food, the Barbie Ultimate Kitchen is the feature set to look out for when it arrives this fall. This kitchen features a cutting board, stovetop, pot, pie baking sheet, and oven. What will you cook up in the Ultimate Kitchen? You can make veggies, sandwiches, fries, and even dessert. There are molds and several cool interactive features like a light-up stove, buttons, and sounds.
Did you know that Elmer’s Liquid School Glue can also be used to make slime? While many people think of glue for their arts and crafts projects, it actually is a key ingredient when making slime. It makes wonderful slime that is nice and stretchy with fantastic consistency and it’s super satisfying to play with. Now you can make all types of slime until your heart’s content!
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The LEGO Ideas Ship In A Bottle is a very classy looking set. Although it seems a bit smaller than expected, it’s actually 1:1 scale to many ships in a bottle. From a distance it looks quite realistic and what’s great is that it doesn’t occupy too much space. The cap and cork is exquisitely designed and great to look at. As for the ship, it features a nice build. It’s surprisingly sturdy and dense considering its size. Decide whether you want the boat inside or outside of the bottle beforehand, as it’s not so easy to remove once it’s inside the bottle.
It’s one of our favorite eco-friendly baby Christmas gifts. The height-adjustable frame is made of 100 percent birch and finished with nontoxic stains. The wooden teething toys are untreated Indian hardwood and buffed with vegetable seed wax. The animal rattles are hand-knit in Peru from organic cotton—and since they’re removable, they can double as stroller toys.
“There’s actually been some research looking at kids using blocks with parents and it turns out that building blocks are a really good way to promote early STEM and math skills,” says Lytle. “Think about the language you’re using when you’re building blocks: bigger, smaller, shorter, taller. If you have kids and parents building bridges with blocks together, you’ll start talking about concepts like stability. Even if you don’t actually use the word stability, you’re still talking about complex engineering concepts.” The pastel-hued wooden building blocks in this 14-piece set have built-in magnets, so they won’t fall down as easily as regular blocks. Plus, they’re made in Honduras, with the goal of creating living-wage jobs for Tegucigalpa residents.
Board books are the best. They are durable, short little stories that kids love. He are some of my faves that are tried and true but without the really popular ones like Guess How Much I Love You, Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny because most people have those. If you read this site for any amount of time you know how much I love I Am a Bunny. BEST. BOOK. EVER!
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