Friday, November 27, 2009

Seattle Children's Kids Marathon

There is a great active, healthy and community centric event tomorrow at Seattle Center, the Seattle Children's Kids Marathon, bring your kids out for the fun!!!

The Seattle Children's Kids Marathon 2009 is on SATURDAY, November 28th at 10:00 AM at the Seattle Center. Kids begin their final 1.2 miles from the corner of 5th and Harrison.
The Seattle Children's Kids Marathon is structured to allow children — kindergarten through eighth grade — to complete a full 26.2 mile marathon at a rate that is fun and safe for their growing bodies “one mile at a time.” It also encourages them to read 13 books and perform 13 do rights (good deeds).

What is a Marathon?
In ancient Greece, Phidippedes ran from the plains of Marathon to Athens to report about the Persian War. That is where the marathon got its name. Thousands of years later, people still run, but now they do it for fun. About half a million people run marathons every year! People who run marathons train a lot. Your body must be in good shape to run a marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles. The Seattle Children's Kids Marathon will get you on your way to being physically fit.

The Kids Victory Recovery Area is located in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Kids will receive their space blanket and water as they cross the finish line in Memorial Stadium and will then proceed through the secured finisher chute to the Victory Recovery area where they will receive their finisher shirts and their Goody Bag containing their finisher certificate and medal, as well as refreshments and post event fun with Radio Disney.

PLEASE NOTE: Parents/Guardians, you may run with your child if you wish. For safety reasons, you will be required to wear a bib/runners number to accompany your child on the course and each child may have only one parent accompany them. Every child who enters the event will be given two bibs with the same number — one for the child and one for the accompanying adult. For lost parent/child reasons, the child and adult bibs will both contain the child's information. If you have a younger child in a stroller accompanying you, that child will have to be entered in the event and have a bib number to be on the course.

Awards: You get the following awards for finishing each of these mileposts:
13 Books: A special certificate 13 Do Rights: A special certificate 5 miles: Award token, chain and award certificate 10 miles: 10 mile award token and award certificate 15 miles: 15 mile award token 20 miles: 20 mile award token and award certificate 25 miles: 25 mile bonus award token Final 1.2 miles: Kids will receive their space blanket and water as they cross the finish line in Memorial Stadium and will then proceed through the secured finisher chute to the Victory Recovery Area where they will receive their finisher shirts and their Goody Bag containing their finisher certificate and medal. Note: Kids receive one t-shirt per entry.

Okay, Play on the Furniture!

It's not every day that we let our kids to play on the furniture and that's why we are excited about Bobles. Yes, they are chairs and tables. In fact, when designer Bolette Blædel was on maternity leave with her first son, she soon discovered the scarcity of children’s furniture that encourages play, creativity and physical exercise, while at the same time satisfying her preference for good, Danish design. With her sister, the fashion designer Louise Blædel, she therefore conceived the idea of creating a series of multifunctional furniture that children want to play with and adults want to bring into their sitting room.

So you can say, "yes!" to your youngster tumbling, rolling, balancing, seesawing, rocking, and jumping off these styling pieces. The Tumbling animals are produced in a firm foam with a soft surface, very easy to clean under the shower. The Tumbling animals are tested especially for children and is free of any toxin or phthalates.

If you want to try these out, come on into our store as we encourage kids to play on the stuff we have out. Check out our story hour with Moon Paper Tent on Thursdays at 10:30.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to Make a "Light" Saber

Any Darth Vaders missing their light saber? Here's an easy, inexpensive way to make one that will last long past Halloween. It's made of foam and tape so even a mighty dual will not hurt anyone. And, if you are looking to hone some jedi fighter skills, have Darth count how many times s/he can keep a balloon in the air using the saber. Or, practice spelling his name in the air.

Materials (most can be found at Home Depot):

1. Foam pipe insulation that is about 1" diameter
2.Colored duct or masking tape in gray, black and any third color for the "light" part.
3. Stickers in various shapes. We used foam circles, ovals and stars.

1. Cut 3 foot pieces of foam pipe insulation
2. Duct tape the handle alternating black and gray with various widths.
3. Use colored duct tape to complete "light" part. We used blue painter's tape.
4. Place small circular/star/oval foam stickers on the handle as buttons.


Monday, September 21, 2009

What to do all that artwork?

Rainbows, parkscapes, abstract scribbles, detailed diagrams of Jedi Fighters, and the list goes on... With cleaning for the fall comes a time to address the question that any parent runs into the moment their wee one places a pen (or stickers) to a page...What to do with all that artwork? It's wonderful, colorful, imaginative and a new insight into the way their minds work. But, man, there's a lot of it!

And, it's pretty tough to keep it all. So, here are a few tips (some ideas complements of

1. Pass some along to the grandparents.
Grandparents love handmade creations from the grandkids. Set aside a collection for each set of your folks, and surprise them with a book of art for their coffee table or for their cubicle at work. What grandparent doesn’t love bragging about their grandkids? Give them a tangible way to do so. You can even place a little note at the beginning and make sure you kids sign it!

2. Use it as gift wrap or as cards.
Save money and declutter by using some art as gift wrap. Your kids will beam with pride, and you’ll pass along original art as part of the gift. You can also make cards with art and get the same results.

3. Rotate the best artwork in frames.
Assign a few frames throughout the house to displaying recent works of art. Have your kids pick out their favorite, and hang those in their bedroom or playroom. Select your favorites, and display them where you’ll enjoy them. Rotate the collection every few months. If you don't have frames, try hanging a string and use clothespins to hang them on the string. It's easy to rotate and makes a nice display

4. Keep clutter boundaries with a designated bulletin board.
If there’s still a ton of art you or your kids love after framing the best, designate a bulletin board in their room just for their art. They can hang as many well-loved pieces as can fit on the board, which keeps tangible boundaries on the quantity.

5. Keep storage boundaries with a designated box.
Many times, the real problem isn’t displaying the art, it’s storing the art. You want to save your kids’ art so they can look back as they grow, and so you can walk nostalgically down memory lane in a few years. That’s completely reasonable, in theory. The problem lies when you keep every. single. piece. of. art. created.

That’s just not possible. You can’t save it all, because mostly likely you’ll run out of room; if you don’t, then your head will spin with trying to organize and catalog it all so that it’s enjoyable. When you keep too much, it lessens the value of the artwork you truly do love. Your collection is watered down.

Assign a sturdy, acid-free art box for each child. Try this acid-free storage box because it’s inexpensive, sturdy, large, and has a space to label the contents. If you want to keep your child’s recent painting, write down the date or their age on the back (you think you’ll remember, but you won’t), and toss it into their box. At the end of each year, go through and select three or four of your favorites to keep for posterity. Get rid of the rest.

6. Take photos of the art.
If it breaks your heart at the thought of tossing the art and somehow losing its memory, take a digital photo of the piece before getting rid of it. It’s still clutter, for sure, but at least it’s not physical clutter. You can digitally store their work on a CD, and one day, you can look back at it via computer. Or, include it in an end-of-the year photo book using a photo site like

7. Toss it. Teach kids the value of decluttering.
When push comes to shove, a lot of your kids’ art is more for the process of creating than for the result. It’s okay to throw away some of their art. In fact, it’s fine to toss most of their art. When you save only the artwork you love, you’re increasing its value. And when you get your children involved in deciding which ones to keep and which ones to save, you’re teaching them the value of giving loved items a specific place of honor, and that it’s really good to not hoard. If you don’t want your kids riddled with a cluttered life as adults, start teaching the principle of living with boundaries now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What is the big deal with blocks, really?

Ever wondered why blocks remain a staple of any kid's playtime? I mean, they're just blocks...right? How great can a cube (or cylinder, or cone) be?

Truth is, early childhood educators have known for a long time that block play (PDF) is a simple, effective, and therefore indispensable, tool in the development of our kids. Playing with blocks starts kids learning basic math and science concepts (abstract) -- sorting, counting, size, shape, weight, spatial relationships -- and the imaginative story-telling that it stimulates improves language and reading skills. When you add in other kids and parents into the equation, your child develops social skills like cooperation, negotiation, and responsibility.

Worried about having to pick up the blocks after your little one is done? Make that part of the process and putting toys away can be a sorting game all on it's own.

Here's some good guidelines used in play-based classrooms:
  • We build with blocks, not throw them.
  • You may knock down only the tower you build.
  • You may build as tall as you are.
  • We keep the blocks on the carpet.
  • We build away from shelves and other people and furniture.
  • We take out only what we will use.
We've got a great selection of blocks here at Urban Kids Play, too. Stop by to say hi and check them out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't wait til it rains...

Add Image

It may not seem like rain with this extra splash of beautiful weather, but with the fall comes rain and cold. And, digging holes in a muddy back yard may not be the most appealing activity on your list. So, why not try a garden inside. Made with recycled milk cartons, the Indoor Gardening Set by Green Toys, gets our giant green thumps up!

Your wee plant lovers can watch nature at work by growing a beautiful flower garden and fresh herbs, while helping the earth with the world’s most earth-happy gardening.

And, if you want to try a little experiment, pick out some plants that grow at different speeds and track their progress.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Little knit wits!

Knitting is big with the urban set these days, so who can blame it when our daughters and sons want to get into the action? Did you know that knitting is excellent for developing hand/eye coordination, math skills, and spacial and geometric senses? It can also be used to calm anxious children (and parents!) and is taught worldwide in Waldorf Schools. And, since it helps the right (intuitive, emotional) and left (cognitive, analytical) sides of our brain communicate, it can actually help your kids become better readers.

Think your kids are too young? Maybe not. When I was too small to handle needles, I learned how to finger knit, which is easy, fun, and a great introduction to the addictive world of fiber arts. Later on, my mother taught me to knit "continental-style" and crochet like my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother, and now my sister and I both carry on our family's warm tradition this way.

Try out these great online knitting resources:, easily the best known (and best!) free online knitting magazine, offering cool reviews, articles (like the one above on finger knitting), and patterns ranging from easy to super-duper hard., an online knit and crochet community, has more fun patterns and excellent message boards, plus an online stash* organizer. has videos and step-by-step instructions.

Of course, you can always come in to UKP for one of our knit sets, knitting books, or run over to our neighbor Hilltop Yarn for supplies!

*That's knit slang for "big pile of yarn".

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rainy day? Start a band!

Looking for something to do with the kids on a rainy afternoon? Try a musical interlude with this kazoo you can make out of stuff you can find at home!

What you will need:
cardboard paper towel or TP tubes
waxed paper
rubber bands

Step 1:
Have the kids decorate the tubes with markers. Remember, you'll be covering one end and cutting into the tubes.

Step 2:
Wrap a piece of waxed paper over one end of the tube. and secure it with a rubber band.

Step 3:
Carefully cut two parallel holes lengthwise in the tubes. They should be positioned as if on a flute, but mostly equal distance from each other and the ends.

That's it! Now they (and you!) can play their favorite songs on homemade kazoos by humming into the open end. You can experiment with different lengths, diameters, thicknesses and hole placements to see what kinds of sounds can be made!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Veggies for the ultra-picky crowd -- and a recipe to get you started!

Are you having a hard time getting your kid to eat anything grown on a tree or a vine? Try sneaking nutritious veggies into their favorite foods!

  • Got a little pasta lover? Puree broccoli or peppers (a great source of vitamin C) and carrots and spinach (full of vitamin A) and add it to a tomato-based pasta sauce for some surprise nutrients. It won’t change the flavor, and you can even use it as pizza sauce! If all they eat is mac’n’cheese, try some steamed cauliflower mushed up into the cheese sauce.
  • That cauliflower trick works for mashed potatoes, too: just substitute steamed cauliflower for part or all of the potatoes! Add a little garlic and cheese, and they’ll never notice.
  • Mmm…smoothies! Enjoy the rest of summer with fresh (or frozen, in winter) fruit like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, papaya, and bananas blended into a milk- or yogurt-based smoothie. It’s a perfect way to get them to eat their A, C, potassium, calcium, and folate! Experiment with different combinations of fruit (and maybe a spoonful of peanut or almond butter?) to find your kid’s favorites.
  • Chili and meatloaf are already chock full of protein, and there’s no reason why you can’t shred or chop some carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, or onions to add to those or other meat or casserole dishes. We bet they’ll never even notice the change!
This recipe for Crispy Kale has the crunch and salty tang of french fries, but less fat and way more vitamins. It's a good side dish or movie-watching snack.

Prep Time: 25 minutes


* 6-8 cups chopped fresh kale, hard stems removed
* 2 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt


1. Place a rack on the lowest shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Spread kale out on a sturdy baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Toss to coat completely.

3. Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and stir so that kale can get crispy all over.

5. Bake another 8 to 12 minutes or until kale is crispy. It should be just lightly browned and crispy to the touch. If kale still bends, rather than crackles, when you touch it, it isn't done yet. Return it to the oven. Turn down the heat if it is getting too brown. Continue cooking until crispy.

6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve immediately.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Free fun around Seattle!

Looking for inexpensive ways to have a little fun with the kidlings? Here's a few local suggestions...and best of all, they're completely free!

First Thursdays: Did you know that the Seattle Art Museum and Seattle Asian Art Museum are free for everyone on the first Thursday of every month? Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum are also free from 5pm-8pm on First Thursdays.

Game Night: Blue Highway Games on Queen Anne Avenue offers a free, all-ages game night on Saturdays from 7pm-11pm. Check out their website for other fun events!

Books, books, books: in addition to our great Thursday mornings with Moonpaper Tent and Fridays with Polly-Glot Tots, you can catch storytime at Queen Anne Books every third Sunday.

Sail away...: The Center for Wooden Boats has a free public sail and canoe carving every Sunday and their museum is free all the time!

Do The Write Thing: For kids 8 and up, local nonprofit 826Seattle offers free writing workshops. Encourage your little novelist, poet, or playwright -- and maybe get some writing time for yourself.

Hunt for Buried Treasure: If you have a GPS unit, give Geocaching a shot! Pretend to be pirates or explorers on the hunt for cursed treasure...see what you can find!

So Hot it's Cool: Down on 5th Avenue, Seattle Glassblowing Studio is open to the public every day. Bring your kids and watch glass artists create spectacular works of art with this beautiful (and super cool-looking!) technique.

Have (cheap) fun, and don't forget the next free Urban Kids event: Moon Paper Tent magical storytime which is Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Just in: Eight3One

We are always happy to see local designers with fun items to sell in our store. The t-shirts from Eight3One are just that!

Their Urban Pop features the hip side of the street. The idea of combining old school ideas with contemporary fabrics promises to raise your infant's cool factor.
And, Tot Couture, is organic and fresh. Elegant clean lines decorated with whimsical designs and colors. It's as if the creatures your baby might be daydreaming about appear right on their outfit!

Sven & Aimee proudly design and produce all of their baby/toddler apparel creations locally in Seattle, Washington. Come on in and check out the collection!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Local Color: More Parks

Since we are tiring of our routine parks and parks that we love, I thought I'd share some additional parks that we've broken our routine to visit:

  • There are water fountains thatshoot up from the ground across the streetfrom the Ballard library on NW 20th Street, oneblock north of Market Street.
  • The squirting frogs in the main square of Uvillage, just across from Trophy cupcakes.
  • Salmon Bay Park (Ballard, 19th and 68th) has shade and a great zip line!
  • Discovery playground, just past the visitor center has shade and a nice play structure.
  • Meridian park has a water/sand box along with a dry sand box and tons of flat, grassy ground to run around.

How about you? How are you breaking your summer routine?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stay Cool!

With the record-breaking heat, we are living in our basement (the only cool spot). How are you staying cool? Here are some random ideas from various sources:

Things we've tried
  • Sprinkler in the shade
  • Downtown library
  • Bookstores
  • Frozen grapes (and any other fruit)
Restaurants with A/C:
  • Top Pot donuts
  • Buca de Beppos
  • Tutta Bella
  • Whole Foods food court
  • Spagetti Factory
  • McMenamins
  • Any big chain

Fun places to hang out

  • Today's Farmer's Market (has gelato)
  • Blue Highway Games
  • Science Center or Children's museum
  • The squirting frogs/turtle fountain at Uvillage
  • The Seattle Center fountain
  • Wading pool
  • Salmon Bay park is mostly shaded (and has a zipline!)
Any other ideas?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Top 5 Birthday Gifts for 1 Year Olds

It's Top Five Friday so here are our take on (kid powered) birthday presents for that big 1 year old milestone:

  • Pull along zebra: Made from natural rubberwood recycled from rubber trees no longer able to produce latex. Non-toxic, water based dyes to add accent colors to products. But the cutest part will be watching the your toddler waddle along with her new friend.

  • Jumping Rody horse: Made of super strong, latex-free vinyl, this jumping horse inflates to a saddle height of up to 12 inches with a hand or foot pump. Not only a great friend, this horse will help learn balance and coordination while having a grand ole time

  • See Kai Run Shoes: These are just cute, cute, cute!

  • Dress up clothes by Sarah Silks: If you've ever been to our story time with Moon Paper Tent, you know that the first thing the kids go for are the dress up clothes. You can get these for only a few bucks at thrift stores, too.

  • Oval Xylophone by Plan Toys: An enjoyable way to exercise eye-hand coordination. To reinforce your children natural sense of harmony and rhrthm.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ideas to Calm Your Crying Baby

We all know that tantrums represent real emotions and should be taken seriously. We previously posted some tips for car seat crying. Now, here are some ideas for those tantrums we all know and (try) to embrace:
  • Identify the trigger and keep a diary. What set your child off? Was she hungry, tired, over-stimulated, sick, bored?
  • Stay cool. It’s hard not to panic, especially when in public. So when your child is out of control it’s very important that you stay in control. Carry them away and let them blow off some steam in the car or a private area.
  • Plan ahead. Well-rested and well-fed children make activities and errands easier to accomplish. The morning is the best time for outings, during the afternoon one can become tired and cranky.
  • Create a list within your diary. “my child behaves best when…” “my child behaves worst when…”

Anything we've missed? We'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Activity: Make Some Music with the Gathering Drum

Most kids seem to be music fanatics (or at leasting banging fanatics) and that is why our activity suggestion for today is the Kids Gathering Drum. No instructions needed. No music to read. Just bang away. These drums can be played by one, two, three, or more players at a time with hands, mallets, or sticks. If you have more than one, you can create a drum circle. And it's a great activity for big and little kids to be involved in together.
You can even join in the fun. You'll love to see your kids inventing cool rhythm patterns all on their own. Add one of these basic beat egg shakers to the mix.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Product Review: Automoblox

We had fun dressing up and hanging out with the neighborhood an the annual Community Center festival and Helpline Kid's parade. Unfortunately, it is raining today so I thought I'd share a great product for adventure imagination play. Mix the fun of zooming around a wooden car with the fun of putting together car models and you get Automoblox.
Automoblox was designed to inspire creativity in children by allowing them to visualize and assemble cars of their own design. The Automoblox X9-X Sport Utility is a perfect mix of style and utility. It has running boards, front and rear skid plates, a roof rack and spare tire and is equipped to tackle the craggy mountain trails and stark canyon floors at the far edge of imaginations landscape.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Whale of a Sale and Other Activities

It's a whale of a sale on the sidewalks of Queen Anne on Saturday July 11th. We will have great deals on many items including shoes, toys, clothing and gift items! We will also be having some great giveaways, so come on by and join in the fun!

Also, take the family and get a move-on in the 24th Annual Crown of Queen Anne Fun Run/Walk or join in the children's parade (make sure you decorate your bike) sponsored by Queen Anne Helpline.

And, don't forget that today is Thursday and that means Moon Paper Tent story time at 10:30 in our store. The kids love to dress up and imagine they are in a magical place.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Baby has arrived!

On July 4th my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our third child and first boy, Jax Goodrich Kingrey. Like our other two children, he was late in his arrival, born on a weekend, and right at about 7 lbs and 10 oz's, the consistencies are amazing! As I reflected on the past five years with my two girls while waiting for the delivery, I also was thinking forward about what life will be like with not only a third child but a boy as well. He will definitely be taken care of by his big sisters, as evidenced by the fact that Macy, my 5 year old, has held him twice as much as I have since his birth. She demands holding him constantly, and does a wonderful and safe job of it I might say. Elly, my 2 year old, has been super sweet and always wants to get into the mix.
Everyone keeps telling us how different boys are than girls. I like to look at it like how different each child is regardless of gender. My girls are very different in many ways, and very alike in others.It is interesting how much more relaxed I was for this birth, before and after. Knowing what to expect is such an advantage for any parent. I think about the uncertainties and anxieties before and after the birth of our first child and how much more protective and worried I felt. I still feel protective, but with much more serenity and clarity.

As our family expands and the trivial things change like the number of car seats, sleep times, getting out of the house, etc... our focus remains the same, which is raising healthy, compassionate, happy and responsible children.
Queen Anne Sidewalk Sale Saturday July 11th

It's a whale of a sale on the sidewalks of Queen Anne on Saturday July 11th. Take the family and get a move on in the 24th Annual Crown of Queen Anne Fun Run/Walk or join in the children's parade (don't forget to decorate your bike). Urban Kids Play will have great deals on many items including shoes from our great summer selection, toys, clothing and gift items up to 75% off! We will also be having some great giveaways, so come on by and join in the fun!

Healthy kids recipe: Disappearing Zucchini Muffins

Are you looking for something healthy that the kids can grab on the way out the door? Try these tasty muffins. And, you don't have to peel the zucchini before shredding it for this recipe. It won't affect the taste and the peel will provide some extra fiber. I've noticed that when my kids help prepare it, it automatically "tastes great" and they get a little math lesson to go along with it!

Prep time: 30 minutes


1½ cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
2 cups whole-grain pancake or biscuit mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice powdered sugar (enough to dust the muffins)

Equipment and supplies
bowls — one large, one medium
grater — a plastic grater is safest for kids
measuring cups and spoons muffin tin and paper liners


Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Wash zucchini and remove ends. Shred zucchini using largest holes on grater. Place grated zucchini on paper towels and squeeze to remove water. Measure 1½ cups of squeezed-dry zucchini.

In a large bowl, mix whole-grain pancake mix (or biscuit mix) with spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, and lemon juice. Fold the egg-sugar mixture and shredded zucchini into the pancake-spice mixture; do not overmix.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake 10–15 minutes or until golden. Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle muffins with a dusting of powdered sugar.

How much does this recipe make?About a dozen muffins.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Top 5 Baby Shower Gifts

It's Top 5 Friday and time for our list of baby shower favorites:

  • When it comes to swaddling a baby in comfort and supreme softness, it doesn't get any better than the Original Muslin . Swaddle your baby in natural softness and breathability. Reduces the risk of SIDS, colic and fussiness. 4-packs are available in a variety of colors and patterns.
  • Pronto Mini Changer : Change your baby on the go with this sleek portable kit that holds everything moms and dads need to keep their baby clean, dry and happy.
  • Feed your baby safely in style with the melamine striped plate by They come in four different colors and are BPA-free.
  • Candela : These fun LED lights provide 8 hours of soothing light, plenty of time to make sure that even the most restless of little ones are off to dreamland. Lights automatically when lifted from the charging base or if there is a loss of electricity. Simply place on the "Safe-Charge" base and lights recharge for the next use.
  • An expensive-but-worth-every-penny option is the Ergo Baby Carrier : This special ergonomic design supports a correct sitting position for the baby's hip, pelvis and spine growth. It disperses most of the baby's weight between the hips and thighs, which helps to eliminate compression of the spine when hanging by the crotch which most other designs require. The ERGO also balances the baby's weight to parents' hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Get Active: Homegrown Obstacle Course

Here are some ideas for building your own outside (or inside) obstacle course. We've tried this and the kids love it. You can even recruit those curious kids from the neighborhood who ask "what are you doing?"
  • Lay a jump rope on the ground for a balance beam element. Racers must complete the balance beam before moving to the next station.
  • Arrange shoe boxes in a pattern for either zigzagging around or jumping over.
  • Create shapes and colors out of construction paper and then lay them on the ground to hop from shape to shape.
  • Use a laundry basket or bucket and balls for the ball toss
  • Hula hoops or old bike tires can be used to either to hold for your child to crawl or jump through, or laid flat for a jumping obstacle.
  • Try a ring toss activity for a fun hand-eye coordination station.
  • Set up chairs in a pattern to zigzag through or crawl under.
  • Add a pop-up tunnel or create your own tunnel system by laying a sheet over chairs.
  • Blow up balloons and use a baseball bat to keep them in the air for 5 hits.
  • Set up a sprinker to run through.

Don't forget your stop watch and water!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Healthy Kids Recipe: Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

Are you trying to satisfy a sweet tooth in a healthy way? Try these Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars. The recipe is versatile enough to substitute different types of nuts and fruits. We make them and then use them as a snack when we are out and about. It takes about 30 minutes and makes about 12 bars.

  • 1 C quick cooking oats
  • ¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ C toasted wheat germ
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ C honey
  • 1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ C canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾ C dried chopped tart cherries (we love Chukar Cherries)
  • ½ C finely chopped walnuts
  • cooking spray
  • ¼ C “fruit only” apricot preserve

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl whisk together honey, applesauce, oil and eggs. Fold in cherries and walnuts.

Coat an 8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray and spread the dough out evenly. Bake in center of oven for 30-35 minutes. Or, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 by1 1/2 inches each.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Product We Love: Zoo Sticks

Using chopsticks isn't natural. Ask any toddler. Have no fear, help is here in the form of Zoo Sticks by Hog Wild. Zoo Sticks are a brightly colored pair of molded-plastic chopsticks connected at the top. Capped with a whimsical animal shape - rhinoceros, giraffe, lion, monkey - Zoo Sticks work like tiny tongs. Children think they are fun. We love them because they are the easiest chopsticks we've ever used and they are dishwasher safe.

Having a party? Make it an animal theme and bring out the Zoo Sticks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Top 5 Tips for Exploring the Low Tides

It's Top 5 Friday and today's list is tied into a MUST DO northwest activity: Visit a beach during the low, Low Tide. We went to Alki Beach in West Seattle.

Every time we thought, "What is that?" There was a beach naturalist (tan caps) to answer our question in detail. Here's where you check the low tide schedule. And, according to the Aquarium Naturalists page, they will be out again on July 5th (a perfect post-4th of July activity!).

And now, here are our top 5 beach combing tips:
  1. Dress for beachcombing. Even though its sunny, we found a light wind breaker and, of course, boots or old shoes to be indespensible.
  2. Bring snacks. We walked at least a mile checking out the many starfish and anemones and got hungry and thirst faster than I had anticipated. We had lunch in the car but a few well-timed snacks would've helped in the end.
  3. Wet your fingers before touching the creatures.
  4. Don't forget the hats, sun screen and a camera.
  5. Pack for walking, bending and exploring. We used a backpack which had a few essentials and left our hands free for checking things out.

Have Fun! And let us know how it goes. If you're looking for something to do today, check out our Spanish Story Time at 10:30 hosted by Polly-Glot Tots.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ideas for a Long Car Ride With Babies

The folks at Parent Map wrote a great article on road trips so we thought we’d follow their lead with our own advice for helping a baby who is crying in her car seat.
  • Entertain. Keep a special box of soft, safe car toys that you’ll use only in the car. Tape or hang toys for viewing just at arm’s reach so that your baby can bat at them from her seat.
  • Soothe. Try lullaby CDs, white noise, nature sounds, a teething toy,
    or sing. here are a few CDs that we like:
  1. Rockabye Baby Music:
  2. Putumayo Dreamland:
  3. Nicky’s Jazz Lullabies:
  • Hang a mirror. Your baby can see you (and you can see your baby) while you are driving. When in her seat, she may think that you’re not there, and just seeing your face will help her feel better.
  • Install a sunshade. Sunshine in your baby’s face may be causing discomfort.
  • Double-check your carseat for comfort. If your baby's legs are confined, or her belts are too tight, she might find her seat to be uncomfortable.
  • Practice! Bring the car seat in the house and let your baby sit and play in it. Once it becomes more familiar in the house, she may be happier to sit there in the car. Also, practice with short, pleasant trips when your baby is in a good mood.
  • Try to consolidate trips, avoiding being in the car for a long time.
    A few good experiences may help set a new pattern.

If all else fails, remember that they will eventually outgrow this phase.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Looking for something free and smart to do with your child over the summer? Join us for Spanish story time which will take place on the last Friday of the month beginning this Friday, June 26th at 10:30am. Open to all ages, no experience necessary. Audience participation encouraged!

Hosted by Polly-Glot Tots, Language Classes for Little Ones.
Other summer dates are July 24th, August 28th. More information on other story times and language classes at

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gift Ideas for Infants

For those of you hunting for the perfect gift for infants under 1, we compiled our favorite picks. They are all made of child safe materials.

  1. Made with a guarded family secret recipe for all natural rubber and food quality paint, Sophie the Giraffe has spent 41 years entertaining the hands and mouths of European babes and had finally made it to the US.

  2. Kushies Bobbles – If you’re heading to a favorite restaurant, don’t forget to load up your purse with Kushies Bobbles that encourage dexterity, tactile stimulation, auditory and visual development, security, and flexible thinking.

  3. Got a newly started walker? Try the Plan Toys Walk N Roll – made of earth friendly and replenishable rubber wood, we love the combination of painted and unpainted surfaces, contemporary design, and quality construction.

  4. There are more options for stacking cups than we could imagine. But the stand-out for us are the Spielstabil Nesting Stacking Cups. They are made from PVC free plastic and even include a bucket handle on the largest one.

  5. Shake, rattle and gnaw! Any baby with sensitive gums and a love of rhythm (that’s any baby!) will love Haba’s Kringelring. The colorful wooden pieces are threaded on a sturdy rubber band and decorated with non-toxic water based paints.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Top 5 Board Books

Anyone with a child under the age of 2 has a stash of indestructible board books within arms reach of a comfy chair.

Here are our top 5 board books:
  1. 10 Button Book
  2. And, 10 Color Book by William Accorsi. The buttons are safely attached to ribbons, and encourage little ones to count, sort, and look at colors.

  3. Using Scanimation, Rufus Butler Seder has created the illusion of movement when the pages of Gallop! & Swing! are turned.

  4. Pop Warhol’s Top and others by Appel Guglielmo are a great way to introduce famous art. Children can touch tactile additions to the artwork.

  5. Die-cut pages and vibrant collages about Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market are sure to please in A Day at the Market by Sara Anderson

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fruity Yogurt Ice Pops

We’ve broken out our favorite frozen treat recipe. This is one that can be done with kids and, eh um, teaches a bit of patience while the freezer does its magic.

2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and sliced bananas, mixed
2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup honey
8 small paper cups8 popsicle sticks

Place the mixed blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sliced bananas, yogurt, and honey into a blender. Cover, and blend until fruit is chunky or smooth, as desired. Fill paper cups 3/4 full with fruit mixture. Cover the top of each cup with a strip of aluminum foil. Poke a Popsicle stick through the center of the foil on each cup. Place the cups in the freezer for at least 5 hours. This is the part where you talk about how good it’s going to taste when they are done! To serve, remove foil and peel off the paper cup.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Local Color: Parks we Love

  • Discovery Park – A 534-acre natural area park – the largest city park in Seattle. On Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers spectacular view of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges. The secluded site includes two miles of protected tidal beaches as well as open meadow lands, dramatic sea cliffs, forest groves, active sand dunes, thickets and streams. If you have a little one and don’t feel up for a long hike, make sure you stop into the Visitor Center at the North lot where you can pick up a parking pass and park in the lot across from the beach (limited spaces). Or, park at the South lot and take the path about 300 yards to a huge sand pit for the little one with a nice view of the water for you!
  • Carkeek Park – Miles of trails, picnic tables, views of the Olympics and Puget Sound, soccer and softball fields, picnic tables and stove shelters. Your kids will love it when the big train passes by and the beach is perfect for exploring the tidal pools.
  • Gasworks Park – We love the play area with a large play barn and use the big hill for flying kites. If you have an easy flying kite for the little ones, there is plenty of easy sloping grass for a good running start. Don’t miss the sundial and you can’t miss the beautiful view of the Seattle skyline.
  • Woodland Park –The side west of Aurora is devoted to the zoo, some picnic space, formal rose garden, and an amusement park for children. East of Aurora, the park is largely an informal picnic park with pleasant grassy hills and pathways. It contains ballfields, tennis courts, walkway paths, and a dog off-leash area.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big Sale

Write a note to yourself to come to Seattle’s 2nd Children’s Boutique Sale! It’s the only day of the year when you can check out sales at 18 of the finest children’s shops in one location!

We’ll have sales on our wonderful shoe selection with all sizes and styles from our favorite hip brands such as Morgan & Milo, Geox, Naturino, Keen, Merrell, See Kai Run and many more! Also we will have great sale prices on select toys including games & puzzles, dolls, baby toys, and arts & crafts.

Participating boutiques: Baby Nouveau, Birth and Beyond, Bootyland, Buggy, Bump, Georgia Blu, Izilla Toys, Lambs Ear, Mon Petit Shoe, Once Upon a Time, Plum Shoes, Pop Tots, Retro Active Kids, Spoiled by Nana, Sugar Lump, Two Owls, Tottini, and Urban Kids Play

Saturday, June 13th, 10 am -2pm

2913 e. madison street, seattle, wa 98112

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Imagination Boost

The best thing about a child’s imagination is that it needs very little to kick it into gear. When our girls visit a friends house they always want to put on a show, which is usually a random assortment of running, hopping, and dancing to music. Here’s a fun way to give your budding actors a little more to go on (from:

You'll need

  1. Large paper bags
  2. Various household items for props

Ask someone who is not playing with you to put twelve props into the large paper bag. Things like a dust pan, scissors, underwear, wig, rag, card, toy, or anything else they can find.
Each group of two or more is given a paper bag and they must make up a skit using all the props in the bag. Have fun, laugh, and over-exaggerate!

During Thursday story time at Urban Kids Play Store: checking out what's in the bag
If you’re in the neighborhood on Thursdays at 10:30, stop in for some imagination activities and dress-up with Moon Paper Tent. We also serve free coffee for the adults and snacks for the kids.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Who ever heard of this many sunny days during a Seattle spring?

Not only have we been having lots of fun outdoors walking and scooting around Greenlake, we have also seen a lot of people strolling down Queen Anne Avenue. On one of our outings, it dawned on us that we need sunscreen now! So, we thought we'd share our sunscreen information (a bit earlier than planned).

We use:
California Baby SPF 30 sunblock products. California Baby products don't contain Sulfates or DEA. Their ingredients are organic or sustainably grown, they are fragrance and Phthalate free.

This means all the good stuff and none of the bad stuff. It is a little more expensive that most products, but it goes along way. At first, we slathered our girls with it and they ended up looking like ghosts but at least we knew where they were covered. Now we know that we don’t need to use a lot for coverage. To learn more details, read California Baby ingredients.

They even have combination of sunblock and bug repellent that we use when camping and hiking. It is a good bug repellent that is DEET free.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Helping Kids Eat Healthy

We found a great aricle on about helping kids eat healthy that we wanted to share with you. We follow the same principles:

  • Have regular family meals: They’re predictable and help cement healthy eating habits. You may even hear a tid bit about your kid’s day that they didn’t want to share with you when you asked, “how was your day?”

  • Serve a variety of healthy foods; limit fast food, sugary drinks, and low-nutrient snacks.

  • Act as a role model by eating healthy ourselves– talk about feeling full, eating in moderation, and so on.

  • Avoid battles over food and don’t use food as a bribe or a bargaining chip.

  • Involve kids in the shopping and cooking process. We talk about ingredients to prepare them to make good decisions on their own about the foods they want to eat.

We believe that the mealtime habits we help create now can lead to a lifetime of healthier choices. We are always looking for tips in this area and would love to hear yours in the comments section.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get Crafty With Puzzle Pieces

During some spring cleaning, we decided to organize the puzzles and soon found ourselves moving the couch, lifting the carpet, and digging in piles of books searching out missing pieces. While the search was mostly successful, our Tiger puzzle from a recent trip to the zoo was a casualty of a few bent and peeled pieces and several MIAs. Rather than tossing it, we assembled this crafty Puzzle Piece Picture Frame from (good for ages 6 and up.)

You’ll need:

  • 4 craft sticks
  • puzzle pieces
  • photo
  • tab from a soda can (or several magnets)
  • craft glue
  • scissors
  • paint (optional)

Glue the craft sticks together at the edges to make a frame. Glue the puzzle pieces around the craft stick frame – paint the puzzle pieces first, if you’d like. Trim the photo to the same size as the frame and then glue it to the back side of the frame. Finally, glue the soda tab to the back to use as a hanger, or glue on the magnets for a great fridge decoration.

Green Toys Dump Truck

We are always in search of creative eco-friendly products and the dump truck by Green Toys, Inc. caught our attention right away. What’s creative about a dump truck, you ask? Well, the truck itself is a classic toy right down to its workable dumper. However, it is made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers and is truly the most energy efficient truck on the planet. Our girls love playing with it and we are sure it will please our baby boy expected in June!

For your eco-conscious little one, you can also check out the Green Toys Recycle Truck. Both trucks have no metal axles and are extremely durable with many movable parts. Green Toys, Inc makes a priority of keeping our planet healthy and happy and we love that!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Seattle Children's Summer Boutique Sale

Visit Urban Kids Play and 18 more of Seattle's finest children's shops, one location, one day.

Participating Boutiques include Baby Nouveau, Birth and Beyond, Bootyland, Buggy, Bump, Georgia Blu, Izilla Toys, Lambs Ear, Mon Petit Shoe, Once Upon a Time, Plum Shoes, Pop Tots, Retro Active Kids, Spoiled by Nana, Sugar Lump, Two Owls, Tottini, and Urban Kids Play

Please join us at Plum's Children's Shoes 2913 e. Madison street, Seattle, WA 98112! We Hope to see you there!

How to find us!