Tag Archives: toddler

Best Phrases/Words for a Toddler – Teaching Patience Early On

2 May

Our toddler is not one to mince words – it is just that she doesn’t have many words to mince with 😉  In the course of raising two precocious daughters there are a couple of phrases/words that I have to admit came in really handy (although I seem to end up loudly saying some of them over and over again – still useful nonetheless).  The earlier they understand these words or phrases and follow-through, the earlier your life gets a little easier.

  1. Stop, instead of NO – I usually use this in heart-attack situations – I find this useful when I need her to freeze (i.e. almost touching something hot, picking up something on the floor and en route to mouth etc.)  I find that having them freeze for even a couple of seconds gives me time to rectify the situation.
  2. Only One – Used to express a limit – when snacking it sometimes helps to not have our kids try to ram a whole fistful of goldfish into their mouths, or when someone offers something in a bowl/tray – it makes us look less like neanderthals when our kids are able to only grab one piece rather than the usual fistful with the inevitable piece or two falling on the floor.
  3. Wait – This is a great exercise for patience and delayed gratification  – especially with all these research and articles coming out about the benefits of teaching patience and delayed gratification (like this article from the New Yorker ) almost everyone is familiar with the ‘marshmallow test‘ – well for us it is also a sanity saver – I don’t need to live with children that whine to get something NOW NOW NOW!  Our older daughter is a little more adept at waiting, while our younger one is a little more challenging.  What we’ve done is teach our toddler the right ‘posture’ for waiting – so she holds her hands together and sits – it’s really quite cute 🙂 and it also works.
  4. Gentle – LOTS of places to use – when playing with smaller children, when in highly fragile places or stores, when playing with someone else’s toys or touching a pet animal.  I find that when they learn this word they immediately know that they need to slow down or change how they handle things.
  5. Clean-up! – I know… hahahahaha but for the really younger ones this still holds some cache – especially when sung like Barney 😉  Another version for older toddlers is to ask “Where does this go?”  This works for us when our 28 month-old is done with her snack and give us the wrapper.  We ask here where the wrapper goes if she’s done with her snack and she knows to put it in the trash can – longer, but better method than telling her to put it in the trash or always doing it for her!  Makes her think rather than mom or dad barking orders!

Here is a caveat — the fact that your kids know and understand these words/phrases doesn’t mean that you can yell it across a room and hope for the best (as I’ve seen other parents do) at the same time something said a thousand times also loses its effectiveness pretty fast (like the word ‘STOP’)  I find that standing by them and calmly saying the phrase is what makes it work better.


Building a Child’s Independence Part 3 – In the Bathroom

17 Apr

Let me state the obvious – a lot of things happen in the bathroom.  Washing hands, pooping, peeing, brushing teeth, bathing, etc.  The way we began with the bathroom was all on an as-needed basis.  It was tough in the beginning – a toddler is not going to stop playing with water voluntarily, but eventually things do get better 🙂

Here are some of our tips and tools:

– Prevent hot water accidents (this only works with faucets with a separate hot and cold knob) by using a wide red/orange/bright-colored rubber band (repurpose one from broccoli or asparagus) and placing it around the handle or neck of the hot water knob.  My kids have learned to avoid the knob with the rubber band on it.

The Looster Booster in action

Looster booster for the toilet.  We’re potty training our toddler, and trying to avoid  using those little potty training units (I know an almost impossible task).  What is helping is a combination of the looster step stool that hugs the bottom of the toilet, coupled with a toilet seat add-on.  Best thing is our 5 year-old likes using the looster as well since her feet still can’t reach the floor when on the toilet.

– Stools to reach the sink.  We like our wooden two-step stool with a hidden storage compartment in the second step that we use to store wipes.  We also use the stool to sit on – while potty training, it sometimes helps to read to our toddler for her to stay on the potty (ugh).

– Keep supplies in an easily accessible location. We have a small cabinet unit we use to keep hand  towels and toilet paper.  This way the kids can access new towels and replace toilet paper rolls as needed.

– Don’t forget the ‘little’ stuff — making the bathroom their own is also important.  Easy to reach soap pump or bar soap, a little basket of reading material, easy to reach towel – all contribute to the general kid-friendliness of the bathroom.

Sometimes people think building independence means throwing the child into a situation and making them ‘live’ with things the way they are. Most of the time that method does work, but it takes struggle on both sides for an extended amount of time before reaching a point where things work.  I always prefer finding a mid-point, and enabling independence while ensuring that the child has the tools and training necessary to do things on their own.

Building a Child’s Independence Part 1 – In the Bedroom

3 Apr

I have to admit, in my non-parenting years, I never thought independence was something that had to be ‘taught’ as in–  ‘Don’t kids just WANT to do things on their own naturally?’ – ok – I know I was clueless.  Independence is a multi-faceted big glob of interconnected details – as we soon found out!  What I mean is – independence (at least in our experience) is a mix of physical capability, environment, interest and knowledge.  For example – if we wanted our toddler to dress herself she would need to —

  1. Be able to put the shirt on her head and pull down (physical capability)
  2. Be able to access her shirts (environment)
  3. Does she even WANT to?  If she doesn’t how do we get her to want to? (interest)
  4. Does she know how to get about putting her shirt/pants/skirt on? (knowledge)

<sigh> Nothing is simple in parenting.

What we’ve found is the interest part does come natural especially if you start early.  The way you have your ‘environment’ set up is pretty important in terms of completing the whole independence spectrum.

Recently we’ve been having some difficulty with getting our 5 year-old to get ready in the morning or before bedtime – and on top of that – dealing with the mountain of laundry that needs to get done every few days.  So I figured it sure would be nifty if with ‘independence’ everyone wins 🙂


We’ve figured out that  her closet was organized more for us rather than for her.  As the ‘before’ picture shows – her shirts were hung high, her pjs were also on a high drawer – this configuration has her able to reach her dresses but not her shirts.  Her pj’s were out of reach and worse – when she tries to do it herself the drawer would sometimes almost tip on her.

BEFORE - Although the closet looks fairly organized - unfortunately, certain parts of her wardrobe were out of reach for our 5 year old


Well – we reconfigured her closet around – party clothes, off-season items, larger sized clothing on the top rung (in short – stuff she doesn’t really need access to). Moved her shirts to the lower rung and moved her PJ drawers to the floor. I have to say – our closet isn’t fancy but I’m glad we were able to easily reconfigure it.  We also added an Ikea step stool that stays in the closet for her to access her dresses.  As well as a box on the floor for unused hangers (the box fits under her shirts).

We were surprised (I guess we should have seen it coming) how much happier she was with the new set-up.  She immediately got to work pulling things out to wear for school the next day! : -)

AFTER - Our little munchkin happily picking clothes for the next day.

On a side note – We have been having trouble encouraging our potty training toddler to grab her own underwear after ‘accidents’.  I realized the pile of underpants – although within arms reach was still a little too high for her – we simply moved it to another lower area and voila!  She’s been grabbing her own underpants without us having to remind her (hallelujah)!

OK it’s not all roses – the downside (if you want to call it a downside) for independence are parents relinquishing control – yes – she or he will wear THOSE pair of pants with THAT shirt.  Little sacrifices for big rewards.

Now, for our 5 year-old, we fold her clothes and place it in her bedroom and she puts them where they belong in her closet after school.  Saving us a step 🙂  Win-win — of course I know it’s not always going to be this smooth – but she also knows that all her stuff will start piling up on her table if she doesn’t put things away.  On our end it does take self-control not to do it for her because we do it ‘quicker’ – in the long run we know it’s better to control ourselves and let things run its course. Next step – sorting and folding (fingers crossed).

Here are a couple other things we also did to her Bedroom —

  1. Toys are all accessible – she knows where they belong – little items have little plastic containers (we use empty salad/spinach containers).
  2. Separate book area with a little basket on the floor for books she is currently reading.
  3. Hamper for laundry – easier for her to have a hamper in her room rather than in the laundry room.
  4. We do let her plan how to decorate her room – independence is easier when she is proud of how her room looks.

Independence takes a lot of patience on our part and work on our kid’s part.  Our  jobs as independence enablers don’t end when they ‘know’ how to do things – it is also our responsibility to follow through with our own actions – I aim to not be a nag… it’s surprisingly hard but at the same time so much more rewarding to see our kids happy with what they are able to do on their own!

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Independence in the Kitchen and Part 3 – Independence in the Bathroom!

Related articles

20 Commandments of Toddler Discipline

2 May

With an active toddler who’s more aggressive and physically active than her older sister was at the same age, raising Stella is much different from Julia.  So this list of 20 Commandments from Parents.Com served as a great list of reminders and tips for my wife and me.  Therefore I wanted to share it in my blog.

The 20 Commandments of Toddler Discipline

It’s a sin to let your child off the hook just because you think she’s too young to understand rules and consequences.

By Ari Brown, MD, and Denise Fields


First 10 Commandments

Children aren’t born with social skills — it’s human nature for them to start out with a survival-of-the-fittest mentality. That’s why you need to teach your toddler how to act appropriately and safely — when you’re around and when you’re not. In a nutshell, your job is to implant a “good citizen” memory chip in her brain (Freud called this the superego) that will remind her how she’s supposed to behave. It’s a bit like breaking a wild horse, but you won’t break your child’s spirit if you do it correctly. The seeds of discipline that you plant now will blossom later, and you’ll be very thankful for the fruits of your labor. (Just don’t expect a tree to grow overnight.) Here are the commandments you should commit to memory.

  1. Expect rough spots. Certain situations and times of the day tend to trigger bad behavior. Prime suspect number 1: transitions from one activity to the next (waking up, going to bed, stopping play to eat dinner). Give your child a heads-up so he’s more prepared to switch gears (“After you build one more block tower, we will be having dinner”).
  2. Pick your battles. If you say no 20 times a day, it will lose its effectiveness. Prioritize behaviors into large, medium, and those too insignificant to bother with. In Starbucks terms, there are Venti, Grande, and Tall toddler screwups. If you ignore a minor infraction — your toddler screams whenever you check your e-mail — she’ll eventually stop doing it because she’ll see that it doesn’t get a rise out of you.
  3. Use a prevent defense. Sorry for the football cliche, but this one is easy. Make your house kid-friendly, and have reasonable expectations. If you clear your Swarovski crystal collection off the end table, your child won’t be tempted to fling it at the TV set. If you’re taking your family out to dinner, go early so you won’t have to wait for a table.
  4. Make your statements short and sweet. Speak in brief sentences, such as “No hitting.” This is much more effective than “Chaz, you know it’s not nice to hit the dog.” You’ll lose Chaz right after “you know.”
  5. Distract and redirect. Obviously, you do this all day. But when you try to get your child interested in a different activity, she’ll invariably go back to what she was doing — just to see whether she can get away with it. Don’t give up. Even if your child unrolls the entire toilet-paper roll for the 10th time today, calmly remove her from the bathroom and close the door.
  6. Introduce consequences. Your child should learn the natural outcomes of his behavior — otherwise known as cause and effect. For example, if he loudly insists on selecting his pajamas (which takes an eternity), then he’s also choosing not to read books before bed. Cause: Prolonged pj-picking = Effect: No time to read. Next time, he may choose his pj’s more quickly or let you pick them out.
  7. Don’t back down to avoid conflict. We all hate to be the party pooper, but you shouldn’t give in just to escape a showdown at the grocery store. If you decide that your child can’t have the cereal that she saw on TV, stick to your guns. Later, you’ll be happy you did.
  8. Anticipate bids for attention. Yes, your little angel will act up when your attention is diverted (making dinner, talking on the phone). That’s why it’s essential to provide some entertainment (a favorite toy, a quick snack). True story: My son once ate dog food while I was on the phone with a patient. Take-home lesson: If you don’t provide something for your toddler to do when you’re busy, she’ll find something — and the results may not be pretty.
  9. Focus on the behavior, not the child. Always say that a particular behavior is bad. Never tell your child that he is bad. You want him to know that you love him, but you don’t love the way he’s acting right now.
  10. Give your child choices. This will make her feel as if she’s got a vote. Just make sure you don’t offer too many options and that they’re all things that you want to accomplish, such as, “It’s your choice: You can put your shoes on first, or your coat.” 

11. Don’t yell. But change your voice. It’s not the volume, but your tone that gets your point across. Remember The Godfather? Don Corleone never needed to yell.

12. Catch your child being good. If you praise your child when he behaves well, he’ll do it more often — and he’ll be less likely to behave badly just to get your attention. Positive reinforcement is fertilizer for that superego.

13. Act immediately. Don’t wait to discipline your toddler. She won’t remember why she’s in trouble more than five minutes after she did the dirty deed.

14. Be a good role model. If you’re calm under pressure, your child will take the cue. And if you have a temper tantrum when you’re upset, expect that he’ll do the same. He’s watching you, always watching.

15. Don’t treat your child as if she’s an adult. She really doesn’t want to hear a lecture from you — and won’t be able to understand it. The next time she throws her spaghetti, don’t break into the “You Can’t Throw Your Food” lecture. Calmly evict her from the kitchen for the night.

16. Use time-outs — even at this age. Call it the naughty chair or whatever you like, but take your child away from playing and don’t pay attention to him for one minute for each year of age. Depriving him of your attention is the most effective way to get your message across. Realistically, kids under 2 won’t sit in a corner or on a chair — and it’s fine for them to be on the floor kicking and screaming. (Just make sure the time-out location is a safe one.) Reserve time-outs for particularly inappropriate behaviors — if your child bites his friend’s arm, for example — and use a time-out every time the offense occurs.

17. Don’t negotiate with your child or make promises. This isn’t Capitol Hill. Try to avoid saying anything like, “If you behave, I’ll buy you that doll you want.” Otherwise, you’ll create a 3-year-old whose good behavior will always come with a price tag. (Think Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

18. Shift your strategies over time. What worked beautifully when your child was 15 months probably isn’t going to work when he’s 2. He’ll have read your playbooks and watched the films.

19. Don’t spank. Although you may be tempted at times, remember that you are the grown-up. Don’t resort to acting like a child. There are many more effective ways of getting your message across. Spanking your child for hitting or kicking you, for example, just shows him that it’s okay to use force. Finally, if your toddler is pushing your buttons for the umpteenth time and you think you’re about to lose it, try to take a step back. You’ll get a better idea of which manipulative behaviors your child is using and you’ll get a fresh perspective on how to change your approach.

20. Remind your child that you love her. It’s always good to end a discipline discussion with a positive comment. This shows your child that you’re ready to move on and not dwell on the problem. It also reinforces the reason you’re setting limits — because you love her.

From Toddler 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice For Your Toddler, by Ari Brown, MD, and Denise Fields © 2006 Ari Brown, MD, and Denise Fields (Windsor Peak Press). For more information, go to toddler411.com.

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http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Just-Right Discipline…

11 Mar

Do you and your spouse have different parenting styles or discipline techniques/beliefs?  My wife and I strongly feel a united front is always best – even if we don’t agree with what the other already said to or daughter(s), we discuss it later – not in front of the kids.

Do you find each stage of your child’s life offers new challenges and issues to address?  We sure do!  And our two daughters are rather different from each other, so what we dealt with when Julia was a young toddler is much different then the things we are going through now with Stella…

At any rate, when I came across this on-line article from Parents.Com, I found it very helpful and insightful as I am guilty of some of the Too Harsh and Too Whimpy replies, but at the same time I can say we did some of the “Just Right” answers as well.  Whew, to live is to learn and in my household there’s a lot of living and learning always going on!

Just-Right Discipline

Kids sure know how to push your buttons. But the way you respond when they act up determines whether you’ll get better behavior next time.

By KJ Dell’Antonia


You’ve said no — it’s too close to dinnertime for a sweet. In fact, you’ve said no more than once. But when you come back into the kitchen, you find your preschooler hanging precariously off the freezer door with a box of Popsicles clutched in her hand.

Do you explode? Or give in and let her have the pop? Either reaction would be normal because your brain tends to operate on autopilot in stressful situations. “But if you respond in an overly harsh or wimpy way, you miss the opportunity to teach your child the skills she needs to do the right thing in the future,” says Becky Bailey, Ph.D., author of Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline. It’s tough to keep your cool, but it’ll be easier to discipline thoughtfully if you’ve already considered smart responses like the ones for the following situations.

When crossing the street, your 4-year-old won’t hold your hand.
  • Too Harsh “If you can’t hold on, I’ll pick you up and carry you!”
  • Too Wimpy “Fine. But please stay really close to me, okay?”
  • Just Right “When we get to the light, we will hold hands.”

Holding hands when you cross the street is one of those non-negotiable safety issues. “This shouldn’t be a debate. If she refuses, just take her hand,” says Lynne Reeves Griffin, author of Negotiation Generation. Even when you threaten to carry her, you still make it sound like she has a choice.


When she won’t share

Your 2-year-old snatches a toy train away from his friend who came over to play.
  • Too Harsh “Bad boy! Give that back!”
  • Too Wimpy “Come on… please say that you’re sorry.”
  • Just Right “You really want a turn, and you’re going to get a turn. You and Mommy can play with blocks together, and after we stack up ten blocks, it will be your turn to have the train.”

Sharing doesn’t come naturally for toddlers — especially at their own house. Don’t let your disappointment over your child’s “selfish” behavior (or worries about what the other parent will think) interfere with your ability to reinforce the concept of taking turns, no matter how many times you feel like you’ve covered this ground before, says Parents advisor Sal Severe, Ph.D., author of How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will, Too! Remind him that his friend is only playing with the train for a little while, and use terms he can understand to explain how long he’ll have to wait. When you’re alone later, you can practice sharing, to help him appreciate the fact that taking turns doesn’t mean losing a toy forever.

You’re at the store and your 5-year-old keeps putting sugary cereals and candy in your cart.
  • Too Harsh “Pull one more thing off the shelves and we leave with nothing!”
  • Too Wimpy “Okay, we can buy that, but only this once.”
  • Just Right “These are the two cereals we can buy. You can choose which one you’d like. If you put anything else in the cart, you have to put it back.”

“It’s natural for young kids to want these foods — after all, the packaging is designed to attract their curiosity,” says Dr. Severe. Since you’re focused on your list, your child may be tossing items into the cart in order to get your attention — or to sneak in treats because you’re distracted. Keep her engaged from the start by allowing her to make choices about items on the list (yellow or red apples? chocolate or vanilla pudding?) and let her put things you’re buying into the cart for you.


When he won’t go to bed

Your preschooler is out of bed again asking for his third drink of water of the night.
  • Too Harsh “I’m going to lock this door so you can’t come out again!”
  • Too Wimpy “Daddy will lie down with you until you fall asleep.”
  • Just Right “Let’s have one final hug and get tucked in. It’s time for sleep.”

As frustrating as this is, try not to let your child see that you’re annoyed. When he pops out, calmly walk him back to bed — and don’t give him any snacks or read an extra book unless you want to be doing this every night. He probably imagines that all sorts of exciting things are happening after he goes to sleep; when you make his repeat appearances boring and repetitive, they’ll eventually stop.

Your toddler is having a tantrum because you turned off the TV, and she kicks you in the shins.
  • Too Harsh “That’s it. This time you’ve gone too far. You can forget about watching television — ever!”
  • Too Wimpy “I know you’re upset, but how would you feel if I kicked you?”
  • Just Right “You hurt Mommy. Let me know when you have calmed down, and we can talk about why you’re upset.”

“The right response is probably the opposite of what your instincts are telling you,” says Betsy Brown Braun, a child-development and behavior specialist and author of Just Tell Me What to Say. Rather than punishing her for kicking, just walk away (and take the remote with you). Separating yourself is a powerful strategy; you won’t stay with her if she hurts you, but you won’t let her distract you from the original issue. Later on, remind her that no matter what she’s feeling, it’s never okay to hurt another person. If you get mad and yell at her instead, there’s a good chance you’ll feel guilty afterward and may even turn the TV back on.

When she throws a tantrum
It’s time for you to go home from a playdate, and your 4-year-old decides to throw a fit.
  • Too Harsh “Stop that right now or we’re never coming back.”
  • Too Wimpy “We’ll stay a little longer.”
  • Just Right “We’ll leave in five minutes. Our next stop is the supermarket — do you want to ride in a shopping cart, or push a little cart on your own?”

No child likes to end a fun playdate, so give a warning and change the subject to the next activity. “Offering two choices about what to do next will give him some control over what’s going on,” says Dr. Bailey. Time is a tough concept for kids, so it’s helpful to use a visual cue: Hold your hands out far apart to indicate a five-minute warning, then move them closer when there are two minutes left, and put them together when it’s time to go.

Your kids are screaming at each other and you can’t take it.
  • Too Harsh “That’s enough! Both of you go to your room this minute!”
  • Too Wimpy “Come and tell me what’s wrong, and I’ll figure out a solution.”
  • Just Right “I don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t want to know, but if you can’t work it out quietly, you both need to leave the room.”

This is about the noise, not the arguing (at least they’re using their words). “Your goal is not to get involved and not to assign any blame,” says Braun. “You simply need to remind them to use their indoor voices or take the screaming outside.”


When he won’t listen to you

Your 18-month-old keeps standing up in his high chair while he’s eating dinner.
  • Too Harsh “That’s all — you’re done! No more supper for you.”
  • Too Wimpy “Be careful! Come on, sit down now. Look, here comes the airplane spoon flying to your mouth!”
  • Just Right “We sit when we eat. I’ll help you sit back down.”

“Parents sometimes think it’s better to just distract their toddler or ignore unwanted behavior, but 1-year-olds are old enough to follow simple rules,” says Griffin. In fact, your child is probably watching to see your reaction when he demonstrates his new high-chair maneuver. Calmly let him know that sitting is always required at mealtime. If he doesn’t get a rise out of you (or a free trip onto your lap for the rest of the meal), he’ll take a seat and be less likely to stand up during the next meal.

You ask your 6-year-old to hang up her jacket and she says, “I’m busy. Hang it up yourself!”
  • Too Harsh “Don’t you talk to me that way, young lady. Go to your room right now!”
  • Too Wimpy “Okay, I’ll do it this time.”
  • Just Right “In this house, you’ll have to lose that attitude. I don’t speak to you that way, and you may not speak to me that way. I asked you to hang up your jacket, and I expect you to do it.”

There are two issues here — the back talk and the jacket. “If you respond in a tone that shows you mean it, most kids will hang up the jacket,” says Braun. “She probably heard another kid talk like this, and she’s seeing if she can get away with it.” The most important thing to do is take a deep breath, and focus on the good behavior you want to teach her.

Originally published in the June 2009 issue of Parentsmagazine.

http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Favorite iPhone Educational Apps for Preschoolers – Part 2

3 Jan

This is Part 2 of “Favorite iPhone Educational Apps for Preschoolers.”  So here’s a summary of the other educational apps that we (the parents) and Julia (our 4 1/2-year-old) enjoy:

Letter Tracer Preschool Letters Writing Practice – Cost $.99. 

Fun way to trace and paint letter and number shapes.  The app’s 3 way combination of visually seeing the letter/number, interactively tracing and hearing the spoken voice-over of the letter or number helps your child to learn and retain the alphabet and numbers.  There are 3 different modes of play  and you can select the voice of an adult male, adult female or a child.



Tozzle – Toddler’s Favorite Puzzle – Lite version is Free and Full version is $1.99. 

This app is entertaining and educational as it teaches shape recognition and motor skills via drop and drag of puzzle pieces to make the colorful picture whole.  When the puzzle is complete, there are sound effects and things your child can tap to animate.  The full version provides 35 different puzzle pictures to choose from, all including fun sound effects.


Feed Me! – FREE and available in English, Korean, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian and German! 

This free app is based on a cool purple monster who has a though bubble filled with a “food” he wants to eat (ie. capital G) and then to the right are 3 options to feed him.  Select & drag the right matching food (ie. lower case g) and he gobbles it up and you get trophies for your trophy case!  Feed him the wrong food and he gets a tummy ache!  The free version provides 26 simple ABC questions.

Giraffe’s Matching Zoo – Free and there’s a Deluxe version for $.99. 

This is an animal fun version of the classic memory card game.  Tap a card to have it flip over to see the animal and look for/find the matching card.  Full of music, cute cartoon animations and special effects make this a fun way to learn and exercise & stretch that memory!






Basic Math – Free. 

If you have a little math genius, this free app provides a good simple flash card style drill for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division.  The math problem is there with 3 answers below it, tap the answer and the app keeps score for you.  We don’t have a math genius, but find it helpful in learning to count when you are not starting from 1 (ie. 9 + 5 =?  So, Julia will start with 9 in her head, hold out 5 fingers and could 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; so 9+5=14).

What educational apps do you and your child(ren) enjoy?  Please share by leaving a comment.  Thanks!  And stay tuned for a future post on our Favorite Game Apps for Preschoolers!

Infant/Kid Aspirator (Asian Style) Rocks!

26 Dec

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Do you use the typical blue rubber suction bulb/aspirator?  Are your kids okay with it?  Our daughters found it frightening and we also were nervous on controlling it and how far the tip would go into their nostril.

We swear by this Asian style/made aspirator, made by Pigeon, which you can order on Amazon (for a pretty penny, but it is SO worth it).  Both our daughters don’t mind us using this for them and it’s cool and gross at the same time that they can see their own snot in the little clear jar!  Also, it feels less scary than a big blue rubber suction bulb coming at a baby’s little nostril and as a parent I feel I have more control with the suction.

So, I highly recommend this type of nasal aspirator.  Honestly, if I had known how much they are selling it for on Amazon, I would have bought a duffel bag full of them when we were in Japan 2 years ago and would sell them on-line for less and still make some decent cash!  LOL!