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!