Ages and Stages: toddling along with pull toys (Plan Toys Dancing Alligator review)

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

I suppose I should admit it, even though I can hardly believe it myself:  I am the mama of a toddler now. 

Amelia has been walking since just shy of her 10 month birthday and this mama certainly wasn’t ready for it.  Truth be told, I’m having a real hard time thinking of my baby as a “toddler” despite the fact that she’s been toddling along for almost two months now. Slow down, baby girl, slow down.

Amelia’s new-found walking skills mean that she is very interested in things that she can pick up and carry, like little baskets, small soft dolls, the measuring cups with handles.  One can usually find her toddling along with an object in each hand as she makes her way around our home.

The dancing alligator

She also currently loves push and pull toys.  She’s accomplished learning how to push the doll stroller, albeit in a rather awkward fashion, and anything with a string or a leash gets dragged along on the floor behind her.

One of her favorite toys right now is a pull toy: the Plan Toys dancing alligator.

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Holiday kids’ gift craft-along July link-up

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

As we discussed last week, I am a little crazy when it comes to Christmas.  You see, I like to give each of my children at least one handmade thing every year and I also like to have all of my holiday crafting finished up before December 1st.

That means I have approximately four months to select, create, and finish up my handmade gifts this year.

Guess what?

I’m not the only crazy crafter out there.

I was so relieved last week when many of you commented that you are also starting to think about your holiday crafting and gift making.  It is nice to you know aren’t the only one, am I right?

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Parenting Preschoolers: A Starting Place for Social Graces

I decided to share with Simple Kids readers this post by Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute, which originally appeared in May 2010.  With the start of school just around the corner, I thought many of you would find it helpful or perhaps have some insights to share in the comments. I know this is one of the posts that I personally have found so helpful as a parent of preschoolers. – Kara

From the moment I got this assignment to write about supporting social skills in preschoolers, every time my own preschool-aged boys threw a fit or tackled a playmate, I had to laugh at myself. “And I’m supposed to be an expert on this?”

The truth is the task of teaching our children social skills is a huge job. It’s not something any parent does perfectly, and it’s certainly not something that can be covered in its entirety in one neat and tidy blog post.

Beyond meeting our children’s basic needs, we as parents tend to worry most about their social development. Will they be polite when they play at their friends’ houses? Will they behave appropriately at school? Will they ever stop fighting?

There are a few things to keep in mind as we consider the social development of our children. They are reminders to help us to take a deep breath and respond with a proper perspective.

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