Browsing: Play

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Listening: Best Lullaby CD Ever
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Sure, music soothes even the most savage two-year-old human beast. But for some of us, powering through a kids music CD is a cloying act of endurance, often precipitated by an already stressful meltdown situation. Not so with Anya Jane & Friends’ Lullabies, a recent release of “old favorites and new gems,” beautifully rendered in acoustic guitar, requinto (a cute little guitar), mandolin, harmonica and piano, with amazing vocals that will leave both you and your tiny person breathing a sigh of relief.

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Reader Question: What to Get a One-Year-Old and The Secret Toy Closet
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Little Lou celebrated the big 0-1 two days ago, so I just finished the scramble for one-year-old gift ideas and it’s fresh in my head. Little Lou is my second, so I feel like I have some perspective on what kids this age will actually play with, and since S. and I both have January babes, I’ll let you in on a well-tested method we’ve both employed for combating gift-o-palooza: The Secret Toy Closet.

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DIY: An Easy but Cool Outdoor Space for Toddlers (And Portable Enough for Apartment Dwellers)
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M and I were recently interviewed by the Denver Post about how to keep the little ones entertained (but safe) at home. You can read the full article here. My contribution to the article centered on the transformation my balcony goes through each summer…I’ve spent the last two years trying to find items that look cool, and are also portable, washable and store-able. Lastly, I want to be able to quickly transform the space from a day-use play space, to a night-use dinner space. Here’s what I’ve found:

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Step Into My Office: Toddler Parsons Desk
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I want to provide a fun, child-friendly atmosphere for my kids, but I loathe, loathe, loaaathe most children’s furniture, design motifs and color schemes. For the most part, they’re just so bizarrely saccharine that they seem intentionally designed to assault adult sensibilities.

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Baby Gifts: Nambe Baby Rattle/Teether
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For some kids, teething is no biggie. “I never noticed my babies getting teeth,” many a mama has told me, as I melted her with my laser-like glare. For others, teething is a personality-altering event of head-spinning, Exorcist-esque proportions. That would be my children.

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Rainy/Sick Day Activities: Water Cups
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The easiest thing to do with a sick, fussy toddler, of course, is to pop him on the couch and let him veg out in front of the TV. That’s what I feel like doing when I’ve been barfing my brains out. But when my two-year-old, who never saw an operational television until he was over a year old, started talking about the Wonder Pets like they were friends of his a couple of weeks ago, I realized it was [way past] time to put the breaks on the boob tube consumption.

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Review: Action-Packed Eco-Friendly Sprig Toys
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My attempt at green parenting has been a precipitously slippery slope. I started out with cloth diapers, a natural rubber mattress, all organic clothing, homemade organic baby food and exclusively non-plastic toys. But what I’ve ended up with is 7th Generation disposables/part-time (like, when the mood strikes me) cloth diapering, a mix of pricey organic cotton and $2.97 Target specials (made, probably, by kids only slightly older than mine), frozen “all natural” chicken tenders & Whole Market taquitos, and more plastic toys than I can shake a stick at. So much for my lofty green ideals. . .

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Ten Minutes to Yourself: Essential Toys for Babes 0-6 months
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Ten minutes is a precious commodity in the life of a new parent. Think of all the things you can do in that very short period of time: shower (!), check your email, pay your bills online, empty the dishwasher, call your best friend, clear the drain of all that hair you’re shedding, paint your toenails, savor a cup of coffee or tea . . . But where on EARTH will you find ten minutes for all of these gloriously luxuriant activities I speak of, you ask?

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