Wooden Toy Boxes - Storing your Childs Toys in Style

Published on Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

When buying a toy box there are several different options. Plastic toy boxes are popular and inexpensive but when compared to the sturdy wood construction of wooden toy boxes there seems to be no comparison. Wooden toy boxes have been around for hundreds of years and are still widely popular today. Wooden toy boxes can last for generations and are an attractive addition to any child’s room. Wooden toy boxes come in a variety of different types of wood. The most common types of wood used in wooden toy boxes are cedar, oak, birch and pine. Most wooden toy boxes are rectangular in shape with a lid on a hinge and some wooden toy boxes even have a bench seat built onto the lid. 

When purchasing a wooden toy box, make sure that it has a child safe hinge. A child safe hinge keeps the lid in the open position until you are ready to close it, and the safety hinge closes the lid slowly to keep it from slamming down on little baby hands.  Also, another important safety feature is to make sure the lid can be opened easily from the inside as children have a tendency to climb in small spaces.

Many of today’s wooden toy boxes are purchased already assembled and painted in many different themes and colors. You can also have your wooden toy boxes personalized with your child’s name and have it painted to match your child’s room and decor. Another option is to buy raw wood wooden toy boxes and paint or stain them to suit your needs. 

Encourage Your Budding Chefs Imagination with Kidkraft Play Kitchens

Published on Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Child psychologists know that playing is an important part of childhood development.  By simulating activities that they observe around them, kids learn about the world and how they can participate in it.  Many children observe their parents cooking and want to pretend to cook as well.  Since using real kitchen implements is out of the question, play kitchen sets are a must have for the child who displays an interest in all things culinary.  Kidkraft play kitchens are well known for their reliability, safety, durability, and general high quality construction.

Younger children will really enjoy the smaller Kidkraft kitchens that are accessible yet packed with features.  Island Kidkraft kitchens come in both pastel and primary color schemes and feature an overhead toy microwave, chalkboard, enclosed shelves, a realistic oven and range top, a functional paper towel roller, a sink, and a mini-refrigerator, just to name a few.  Larger Kidkraft kitchens feature everything that the island Kidkraft kitchens have, but also come with a freezer, a telephone complete with caller ID, additional counter space, a notepad instead of a chalkboard for taking recipe notes, as well as a host of other features.

You can make you Kidkraft kitchens complete by purchasing Kidkraft kitchens accessory kits.  Kidkraft kitchens accessory kits allow your child to enhance his or her Kidkraft kitchens experience with such common kitchen fare as toasters, blenders, pots and pans, and the other necessities of kitchen life.

Kidkraft kitchens are excellent toys that encourage imaginative play.  Kidkraft kitchens are made of high quality materials and are very reliable and safe. 

Toddler Rocking Chairs - Finding the Perfect Style for Your Little One

Published on Monday, June 19th, 2006

Toddler rocking chairs imitate the lap motion of a mother to calm a crying child and are a great comfort to all kids. They come in many different styles, shapes, and colors.

The most common style is the traditional wooden rocking chair with a straight ladder back. You need to decide whether you want your wooden toddler rocking chair to be painted, stained, or natural. Painted rocking chairs can be painted solid colors or have a design painted on them that can be personalized. Make sure that the wooden toddler rocking chairs have only smooth and circular edges and have no splinters to prevent injury with everyday use. With a painted rocking chair it is important that the paint used be non-toxic and should not chip, peel, or rip off easily. The wood used should be stain-resistant as well.  When purchasing a toddler rocking chair, the most important thing is to make sure the chair is sturdy and not easily tipped somce toddlers have a tendency to climb and not sit still.

Some other popular styles are the adirondack wooden rocking chair and upholstered rocking chairs. The adirondack rocking chairs have a somewhat tilted back and recline slightly when sitting.  They are a perfect touch to a patio or porch. Upholstered toddler rocking chairs can be used in any room of the house, with numerous fabric options including denim, tapestry, vinyl, plaids, prints, and even leather.  Some of the upholstered toddler rocking chairs can be personalized with embroidery and can be upholstered to match the decor of any house.

Personalized Growth Charts -Watching your Child Grow an Inch at a Time

Published on Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Personalized growth charts have become a popular way of keeping track of your child’s growth and development.  Most of us remember our growth charts as being made to stand against the wall while our parents marked a line and date with a marker, and then losing all of the progress if we had to move. These days personalized growth charts are usually made of vinyl, heavy paper, and even light weight wood that are tacked or taped to the wall and are much easier to move. 

Personalized growth charts now come in a vast variety of themes, colors and styles to fit in any nursery and decor or you can have it custom designed to your specific requirements. Personalized growth charts include the child’s name and usually go up to five feet and have spaces to write the date and age.  Some offer that option of adding your child’s photo to the personalized growth charts and adding a space for weight and milestones accomplished.

When using personalized growth charts to measure your child, have your child stand up straight with his feet together and his heels and shoulders touching the wall. Place a pen or marker on the top of the child’s head to mark his height on the personalized growth charts exactly. When a child is preschool age you want to measure them about once a month or every two months, as the child gets older about once every four to six months is fine. Personalized growth charts are a wonderful keepsake of your child’s growth and development and make an excellent gift for any new or expectant parents.


How to Choose the Perfect Kids Potty Chairs

Published on Monday, June 12th, 2006

Toilet training-the very phrase is often enough to send a young parent into a state of nervous anticipation.  The experience of toilet training varies wildly by child.  Some children seem to almost toilet train themselves, whereas other children resolutely refuse to go near kids’ potty chairs.  Fortunately, there are a number of kids’ potty chairs available, so it should be possible to find something that your child will like.

The simplest kids’ potty chairs are the all in one piece design.  These basic kids’ potty chairs are the least expensive type of potty chair and are adequate for most children.  One drawback is that these colorful, small kids’ potty chairs resemble riding toys and many toddlers will assume that they are something to be ridden around on and may drive the potty around the bathroom before figuring out its intended use.  Also, one piece kids’ potty chairs are a little bit difficult to maintain, since the bowl does not detach thereby requiring the entire chair to be moved when it must be cleaned. 

A slightly more complicated class of kids’ potty chairs is the removal bowl type.  These kids’ potty chairs are typically bigger than the single piece potty chair and, therefore, are much less likely to be treated as a toy.  They are also easier to clean since the bowl can be detached.  However, they are not as portable as the one piece potty chair due to their larger size. 

The third class of kids’ potty chairs is the adult toilet seat converter.  This is an adapter that fits on top of the adult toilet.  These potty seats are typically better for older toddlers since the toilet can be hard to climb on for younger children.

Baby Nursery Themes - From the Store Bought to the Homemade

Published on Friday, June 9th, 2006

When looking for baby nursery themes and different nursery bedding collections, you want to think about the accessories that are available for the collections.  Many manufacturers create a multitude of accessories that are designed to coordinate with specific bedding collections. Other manufacturers offer a more limited selection of coordinating accessories. And to save money on the discounts of clearance bedding, you would usually have to make do with limited coordinated baby nursery theme accessories.
If you have a specific theme in mind and desire a lot of accessories, but don’t want to hunt down the different accessories, try purchasing a bedding set that comes with a lot of the wanted accessories. If you desire a nursery full of items from a certain theme, be careful not to purchase too many accessories that may overwhelm the theme of the nursery.
Most crib bedding sets have coordinated pillows, mobiles and other familiar accessories.  If you are looking for a more specific item, try to be inventive in finding, or even making, accessories that harmonize with the nursery theme and bedding set to create a truly original theme.  For a more stylish looking nursery, try using paints or wallpapers that subtly pick up the colors of your theme.  It may be more cost effective to buy a coordinating rug or curtains than buying the actual items in the manufacturer’s theme.
If you are creative and love to sew or paint, you can create the baby nursery theme that reflects your personality for less cost than buying a commercial nursery bedding collection that comes with an abundance of accessories. When designing your own nursery theme, it is important to stick with a soft color theme. Overly bright and busy colors tend make a baby restless. You can buy nursery bedding sets on clearance for sharply reduced prices, but they generally tend to have few if any coordinated accessories. By creating your own accessories you can create a truly unique nursery.

Diaper Bag Checklist - Everything You Need While on the Go

Published on Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

A diaper bag checklist is an important tool when leaving the house with a baby. When creating a diaper bag checklist, you need to figure out how long you will be away from the home, whether you are going shopping for a few hours or are going out of town for the weekend. You should start the diaper bag checklist with necessities that you know you are going to need. 

For a short day trip a diaper bag checklist can help you pack the diaper bag without forgetting essential items.  Most of the common items on a diaper bag checklist for a short outing are diapers, wipes, a changing pad, a change of clothes and a bottle of formula or if you breastfeed, breast pads.

For a long trip you should prepare your diaper bag checklist according to the nature of the outing. If you will be going out in the sun you will need sunscreen and a hat.  For winter trips, blankets and mittens should be added to your diaper bag checklist.  When traveling by air, it is important to have a bottle or pacifier on your diaper bag checklist if the baby is not breastfed to help with the pressure on the ears.  Adding a snack or a toy to the diaper bag checklist can sometimes help in calming a fussy baby during long flights. 

When making a diaper bag checklist the most important thing is to remember that each baby is different and to make sure you pack for your baby. Some babies can keep a diaper dry for several hours and some go through several in an hour or they spit up often and need extra changes of clothes. 

Baby Memory Books: Tips for Taking Great Pictures of Your Kids

Published on Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Pictures of our children are precious … one of our most valued possesions.  That’s why we take the time to arrange them carefully into scrapbooks and baby memory books.  The memories they hold become more and more treasured as time goes by.

But do you ever wish that the pictures you take could be a little more creative and original?  It’s really not difficult to accomplish this. Of course any picture of your child is great, but we’ve got a few easy tips to help you capture those priceless moments in new and exciting ways.

Always have a camera on hand
Cameras are becoming so inexpensive that it really is affordable to have more than one. It’s a great idea to puchase a very small model to carry in your purse, diaper bag or car. Having a camera always nearby means you’ve got more chances to capture great moments when they happen.

Take LOTS of pictures
You can never have too many pictures. And with digital cameras, you’re not spending an arm and a leg to develop photos that you may not want. The more photos you take, the more gems you’ll capture.

Take pictures of everyday events
Don’t wait for a special occasion. Twenty years from now you’ll be so glad that you have those pictures of your child just doing everyday things. Taking a bath, eating dinner, sleeping, sitting in a carseat … all just as priceless as a birthday or holiday.

Take pictures consistently
Make it a habit and you won’t have large gaps of your child’s early years unaccounted for. It’s easy to get out of the habit, but make a conscious effort to take pictures on a regular basis.

For a unqiue look, use a different angle
Most of the time we take pictures standing up. You’ll be amazed at how things look when you change perspective. Try kneeling, laying on the floor, aiming the camera up at your child, or even standing directly over them.

Get up close and personal
Try positioning your camera so that you child takes up most of the space in the viewfinder. A close up picture can create a great artsy feel and really express the emotion of the moment.

Get on their level
Explore the world from a child’s point of view by taking pictures at your child’s eye level.

Preserve their accomplishments
Don’t forget to get pictures of drawings, block towers, snow angels and the many other masterpieces that your little one creates along the way.  When they make something just for you, get both the child and their creation on film.

Capture that mess!
Some of the most classic baby pictures involve mess. It could be a face covered in birthday cake, or a plate of spaghetti on the floor, or a muddy little toddler. Don’t wash up or clean up too quick. Snap that picture first.

Take multiple shots of the same scene a few seconds apart.
Try to keep the camera still and just snap consecutive pictures. This creates a great effect for scrapbooking. You’ll end up with pictures of the same scene but slightly different action in each photo.


10 Great Uses for a Moses Basket

Published on Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Of course the most common use for a moses basket is to hold and transport an infant.  This type of basket is designed to keep your little one snug, secure and always by your side.  They’re beautiful and practical for moms with infants who aren’t yet rolling over, which usually happens at about 3 months.

Fortunately, once a baby has outgrown a moses basket, there are almost unlimited possibilites for how you can continue to use it.  Here are just 10 great ways that you can use and enjoy that beautiful basket —

1.  Fill it with diapers and other baby supplies so they’re close at hand when needed.

2.  Use it as a decorative home for lots of small stuffed animals.

3.  Use it as an upstairs-downstairs basket.  Keep it upstairs and fill it with items that need to go downstairs.  And vice-versa.

4.  Change the liner to another fabric and you can create a great accessory to match any room in your house.

5.  Use it to collect baby clothes that are outgrown.  When full, donate the basket and the clothes to a new mom who might need it.

6.  Fill it with cloth diapers, bibs and wipes so there’s always something handy to clean up an unexpected mess.

7.  Let an older child use the basket.  When it comes time to tidy up a room, make it a tradition that they collect toys, books and clothes in their special “pick-up” basket.

8.  Use as the base for a baby shower gift basket.  Fill with goodies and decorate with ribbons and bows. 

9.  Line with plastic and use to collect and carry household or gardening supplies.

10.  Secure the handles to the inside of the basket and use as a bed for a small pet.

Visit our great selection of affordable and stylish moses baskets from top crib bedding companies like Hoohobbers and Banana Fish.

Toile Baby Bedding has Seen Other Styles Come and Go

Published on Saturday, April 1st, 2006

Just as with clothing fashions, crib bedding fashions change by the season and by the year.  Styles enjoy their heyday and then they’re relegated to discount bins and yard sales.  Tastes change, sometimes rapidly, and bedding manufacturers add new designs to their lines on a regular basis to keep up with demand.

But according to a top baby bedding manufacturer that we recently spoke with, toile has been going strong for years and shows no signs of slowing down in popularity.   

The name toile comes from the phrase ”Toile de Jouy”, which is the fabric style that originated in the village of Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris.  The classic toile design typically used one color against a solid background and featured an image that resembles the style of an etching or a hand sketched drawing.  The image was commonly a pastoral scene and was repeated at regular intervals on the fabric.

Today Toiles de Jouy is a generic term for fabric with monochromatic prints of any number of designs including floral trails, birds, or even palm trees. 

In the case of crib bedding and nursery accessories, the toile designs take on childhood themes such as scenes of children playing, classic fairytale characters or favorite childhood playthings.

With subtlety and simplicity, toile retains the charm of years gone by while offering a fresh choice for today’s lifestyle.  It’s no wonder that toile is a classic which continues to be a favorite nursery theme.