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Posted on Jun 26, 2013 in Babies, Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

Choosing Baby Toys that Encourage Sibling Bonding

Choosing Baby Toys that Encourage Sibling Bonding

I have a few baby toys that are reserved for my youngest child to primarily play with on her own, but with four children aged seven and under I am always on the lookout for high quality baby toys that will also engage her older siblings. Toys that kids can play with alongside a younger sibling allow children to bond with the baby, while entertaining the youngest child! A toy that engages older siblings is more likely to grow with the baby – entertaining them for years instead of a few weeks or months. If you have an only child, these toys also tend to share more easily when friends come... Read Post

Posted on Jun 21, 2013 in Babies, Developmental Skills, Featured, Parenting | 1 comment

Tummy Time Tips

Tummy Time Tips

Tummy time is an activity pediatricians encourage parents to do with their newborns and infants. Over the years, I’ve found that parents don’t always understand why the activity is so important. This combined with the fact that babies initially resist being laid on their stomachs often results in parents spending little time encouraging the position or foregoing it altogether. Working through the initial difficulties is important to help babies: 1. Develop head and trunk control 2. Strengthen arms and shoulders 3. Develop weight shifting and reaching skills 4. Develop ocular... Read Post

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 in Featured, Holiday Crafts, Printables | 0 comments

Printable: Make a Flag!

Printable: Make a Flag!

Make a Flag is a fun toddler craft for the Fourth of July! Simply download the printable pages, cut and paste.  Add posts to your flags and they make great party decorations, or favors for the kids! For an even more festive July 4th celebration, download and make our Fourth of July Lantern printable craft too! ALEX printables are designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers and inspired by our Little Hands line of products. You can also find new printables each month to download and color on our Facebook page! Make a Flag Instructions What You Need: 1. Safety Scissors 2. Glue 3. Two... Read Post

Posted on Jun 19, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Holiday Crafts | 2 comments

July Fourth Glitter Tattoos

July Fourth Glitter Tattoos

Kids love temporary tattoos. Add a little glitter to the mix and they are super excited! Glitter tattoos are all the rage, and the perfect extra touch of fun for summer carnivals, birthday parties and holiday celebrations. The girls and I experimented recently and created some really cute July Fourth glitter tattoos! For our tattoos, the girls and I used ALEX’s Sparkle Tattoo Parlor – Cool Glam kit. It includes stencils, glue, brushes and four colors of glitter; we choose the star stencil and the red, silver and blue glitter to use for our July Fourth theme. First step is to clean the... Read Post

Posted on Jun 18, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Fun Summer Activity: Face Painting

Fun Summer Activity: Face Painting

Warm days, picnics, frozen treats, and fun in the water…these are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of summer. Summer is here in full swing, and if you’re like me, you’re looking for fun and entertaining ways to keep the kiddos busy during their days off from school. Face painting is a fun and easy way to add some excitement to any day! Why save face painting for those once a year carnivals, Halloween, or special events? With ALEX Toys’ face painting kit and face painting sticks, face painting is fun, quick to do, and easy to clean up! The other day, after a... Read Post

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Holiday Crafts | 0 comments

Father’s Day Gift: Silk Screen Tie

Father’s Day Gift: Silk Screen Tie

The kids and I love to make handmade gifts for my husband for Father’s Day. He always enjoys them so much more than he would a store-bought gift. Handmade gifts are super meaningful, and are always sentimental for years to come for the recipient. This year we tackled a quick and easy necktie project that can be customized for any dad! Silk screening is a fun way to create a clean, flat design on a fabric surface rather than a raised effect you get with bottled fabric paints. Using the fabric dyes and a silk screening kit like the Silkscreen Factory, you can create a wide variety of projects... Read Post

Posted on Jun 12, 2013 in Featured, Sweepstakes & Giveaways | 24 comments

Happy Birthday, July!

Happy Birthday, July!

Are you planning a July birthday party for your son or daughter? Not sure what to do with the 20 little ones who will be running circles through your house? Let us help! We’re excited for another month of our Birthday Party giveaway! Each month ALEX will select (1) lucky winner to receive either an activity or party favors for up to 20 kids that will help make their child’s birthday party even more fun! The birthday boy or girl will also receive a birthday present from ALEX, chosen just for them! If your little one is lucky enough to celebrate a July birthday? Enter through the entry form... Read Post

Posted on Jun 10, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Learning from Paper Airplanes

Learning from Paper Airplanes

Aviation is a big deal in my husband’s family. His grandfather was a flight instructor, his dad ran a flight school, and he got his pilot’s license at 17. He hasn’t had the opportunity to fly for a few years now, but he uses his flight knowledge for his job every single day. Flying is in my son’s blood, so it’s no surprise that he’s in love with the Fold N Fly Paper Airplanes kit. At age five, my son Johnny is a little young for learning the complex theories that explain aerodynamics and aviation, but this craft kit was the perfect opportunity for him to experiment with gliding! First... Read Post

Posted on Jun 4, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

My eight-year-old son is really into spy, detective, undercover agent type stuff. He thinks it’s pretty cool to look for clues, and solve mysteries.  So recently, with some help from ALEX Toys and their Super Sleuth Kit, I put together an exciting mystery scavenger hunt for him. His mission was to explore the crime scene, gather his subjects, decipher the clues, and catch the culprit! The kit includes items for fingerprinting, super cool rear view mirror glasses, a magnifying glass, and flashlight, as well as information on a variety of codes. Beforehand, I created the crime scene, and the... Read Post

Posted on Jun 3, 2013 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

How to Survive a Road Trip with Kids!

How to Survive a Road Trip with Kids!

This Memorial Day, our family decided to take a long road trip! I was a bit nervous about traveling with the two girls (Lori, 4 years and Julie, 18 months). We don’t have a mini-van or fancy backseat DVD players; we just have our trusty sedan. But with some advance planning, clever packing, and a few tricks up my sleeve, we happily made it to our destination. You can too! Sometimes if Julie is feeling restless in the car, Lori sings to her to cheer her up. It is so sweet! This time, Lori and I sat down the day before our trip and made a “play list” of songs that she could sing to Julie. We... Read Post

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Put on a Puppet Show!

Put on a Puppet Show!

Pretend play is important for kids. It encourages creativity and imagination, as well as critical developmental skills. At our house, I try to do my best to encourage creativity and imagination at every turn. We have a designated area for art and crafting with plenty of art supplies available to the kids at all times. I also try to incorporate creativity exercises into our home school lessons having the children write stories or put on plays. One of their favorite activities is creating a puppet show, a hit for children from preschool age to middle school. My oldest has gotten quite good at... Read Post
Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

We recently traded our large plastic play kitchen in for this adorable wooden play kitchen. We paired it with a play cooking set and baking set for lots of pretend play.  My husband is thrilled with the smaller footprint, and my kids adore it! They actually use it a lot more than the larger one. My three-year-old sits at it for hours, baking to her heart’s content, and my seven-year-old uses it with her eighteen-inch dolls – it is the perfect size for them, too! Here are a few ways we love playing with this kitchen: Imaginary Baking. Putting pots on the stove, pans in the oven, and stirring.... Read Post

Posted on May 20, 2013 in Featured, Outdoor Play | 0 comments

Make Your Own Carnvial at Home

Make Your Own Carnvial at Home

What better way to entertain your kids for the day than a carnival?  But instead of spending tons of money, we decided to get creative and make our own carnival at home. To get started, we made a costume for daddy to wear as he ran all of our carnival games, which included a hat and a cane.  All you need to make your own is black construction paper or card stock, scissors, and staples or tape. For your hat, cut out a top hat shape, then cut several 1-2 inch strips of paper.  Tape or staple the paper together, measure the person’s head, and connect the two ends together.  Tape or staple the... Read Post
Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

My youngest child just turned four years old, and has embarked on a new journey of independence. It’s been happening for quite some time, but I noticed an increase right around his birthday. All of a sudden, he doesn’t need my help doing all sorts of things that I normally do for him, the most notable being washing him up when he takes a bath and helping him brush his teeth. He is now convinced that as a four-year-old he is very capable of taking care of his own hygiene. There comes a time in every child’s life where they begin to take over their own hygiene responsibilities. I still... Read Post

Posted on May 8, 2013 in Featured, Tweens | 0 comments

Mommy and Me Spa Date

Mommy and Me Spa Date

If you’re a mom of multiple children like me, you know how difficult it can be to find quality time with each child. That’s why I enjoy putting together Mommy & Me Dates. It’s simply a set aside time to spend with your children doing something fun! With all the things that end up on our busy schedule, I know it’s important to schedule time to reconnect with my kiddos, and let them know just how important they are to me. Recently, my daughters and I had a Mommy & Me Spa Date, and it was so much fun! We spent time chatting, getting facials, doing our nails, creating DIY lip gloss and... Read Post

Posted on May 7, 2013 in Featured, Outdoor Play, Science for Kids | 0 comments

Recipe for Success…and Sidewalk Paint

Recipe for Success…and Sidewalk Paint

ALEX’s Kid Concoctions book titled Weird Wacky & Wild Stuff You Can Make At Home! is filled with all sorts of easy-to-make at-home concoctions. Things like slime, paints, play dough, toys and more that kids can make on their own using everyday household items. I have the book and tried out the Super Sidewalk Paint with my girls. Here is the recipe (it’s SUPER EASY): ¼ cup cornstarch ¼ cup water 6-8 drops of food coloring Since we wanted to have a few different colors for rainbows, we quadrupled the recipe (1 cup cornstarch & 1 cup water). The girls mixed the cornstarch with the... Read Post

Posted on May 4, 2013 in Big Kids, Developmental Skills, Featured | 0 comments

Monkeying Around

Monkeying Around

ALEX’s Monkey Balance Board is a therapist’s dream toy!  It’s perfect for working on your child’s gross motor skills, and, with a little creativity, it can keep the kids occupied for hours. The concept is pretty simple.  The child stands on the board with a foot on each side and tries to keep the board balanced, without letting the sides touch the ground.  The recommended ages for the Monkey Balance Board are 3 and up (you will want to be within arm’s reach for 3 year olds), but my 6 year old niece also had a blast, even deciding that she would like one for her birthday!  My 22 month old... Read Post

Posted on May 3, 2013 in Featured, Tweens | 0 comments

The Perfect Gift for a Crafty Seven Year Old

The Perfect Gift for a Crafty Seven Year Old

My oldest daughter Emma loves crafts. She gets it from me, and usually I’m happy to help her – but, with three other (younger) children, I am always looking for fun craft kits that she can do on her own. When I saw the Patch A-Peel Purse, I knew it would be hit. I set it aside for her seventh birthday, and she was thrilled when she opened it! I was impressed with how nicely the bag was made, it’s fully lined with soft pink fabric! Emma really enjoyed making this bag her own with the pre-cut sticky fabric shapes and adhesive gems that came with it. I loved that the shapes allowed plenty of... Read Post

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Science for Kids | 0 comments

A Little Science Project: Growing Crystals

A Little Science Project: Growing Crystals

My kids recently grew salt crystals using colored salt water on a sponge, and the ALEX Kid Concoctions Grow a Crystal Dino set was a great way to expand their understanding of crystals and how they form! The set comes with a small pouch of crystal liquid and two trays to hold a cardboard dinosaur and two cardboard trees. My four-year-old and six-year-old worked together to set it up. Once it was put together, it was time to hypothesize about what would happen when we added the crystal liquid. They looked at the clear liquid, and decided that nothing would happen. We added the liquid around... Read Post