Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dune Buggy Beds for Kids

School is officially out in my neck of the woods. That means it's time for lots of niece and nephew babysitting for me! We tend to invite everyone over and have large sleepover parties every other weekend.

I thought a really cool idea for a spare bedroom for the kids would be to get these Dune Buggy beds and pretend we're racing through the desert. Come check it out!

The canopy is a really cool feature on this Dune Buggy car bed. Too bad we couldn't get actual Dune Buggys that you could turn into a bed for camping.

I personally would need something larger like this Dune Buggy bunk bed. If I don't have enough of these for all the boys they will definitely fight over who gets to sleep in the Dune Buggy bed! I think it would be fun to paint the walls like it looks like there are hills of sand. It would enhance the experience!

For girls, here's a Dune Buggy bed in purple. (Looks like hot pink to me!)

I love these beds, because they are so fun for the kids and even myself. I don't know of a kid who doesn't want to sleep in a big car bed. Check out some more Dune Buggy beds on Amazon and tell me which one is your favorite. Maybe there are other creative beds that you prefer over Dune Buggies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Colored Bath Water for Enticing Reluctant Smelly Nephews to Bathe

A couple of nephews spent the night last Friday night. We played in the backyard, went out to dinner, saw "Finding Dory," and wrestled with my dogs. Such fun!

The next morning, I wanted them to bathe or shower before we went out to breakfast on our way to drop them back home. One nephew obediently hopped in the shower, changing into clean clothes when he was done. But when it was the ten year old's turn, he balked and argued and tried to negotiate. I rummaged around in my guest bathroom cupboard, hoping I had something fun left over from when they used to visit more frequently.

Luckily I had one tub of Crayola Color Dropz left over! I dropped two or three into the running bathtub, showing my nephew how their colors took over the bathtub so quickly. He gleefully dropped THE ENTIRE CONTAINER in (sigh) but at least it worked to get him into the bathtub. (Next time I'll be sure to dole out a small handful of the color tablets and hide the container!)

The tablets are blue, yellow, and red. Kids can use the tablets in combination to create green, orange, purple, etc. They're fragrance free, which isn't a priority to me but might be to you.

I was relieved that the color drops didn't stain his skin, and my porcelain bathtub washed clean right away. No staining!

I'm definitely stocking up on another container or two of these for next time I have a reluctant bather!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fun Paper Playsets for Impromptu Playtimes

I am piling up a list of things I can do all summer with the kiddos. I know that these paper play sets would be handy on random play dates! They're easy to put together and store (I'm all about storage!) There are a few really fun looking sets that I know the kids will enjoy!

I think everyone at least once in their lives wants to go to space. The best we can do right now is at least imagine and encourage the kids to shoot for the stars! This vibrant space flight paper board kit looks super fun. This set comes with astronauts and aliens, so we could even have an intergalactic battle!

Unfortunately the figurines for the Castle of Wonders play set come separately. I really love the color choices they picked for the castle. To me, it looks like it's from Candy Land- the tops of the towers remind me of cupcakes! I know my nieces would love to play fairy princesses with me.

I would love to combine the Castle of Wonders play set and this Medieval Castle play set together. Then both the nieces and nephews can all play at the same time with their knights and fairies. We could have the knights saving the fairy princess, or even the fairy army saving the king.

I think the pirate flag is particularly interesting on this Pirate Boat play set I'm not entirely sure why they decided to use a sugar skull on the mast of the boat! It definitely brightens the ship up. We can have all sorts of adventures using this pirate ship.

Prepare for random baby sitting occasions with these paper play sets on Amazon. This is great for all year long or even as a gift! Take a look at more and tell me what you think in the comments section down below.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Cute and Soft Disney Beans Toys for Baby Nieces and Nephews

Who doesn't love a nice cuddly plush toy to hug? I know lots of my older nieces and nephews still have their favorite character as a stuffed animal. One of my oldest nieces, in her twenties now, has her Simba plush from when she was really young! I know it's hard to admit, but everyone has a little soft spot for Disney. You can get some adorable Disney beans toys from Japan on Ebay. They're cute, soft, and cuddly!

We can't have Disney without Mickey Mouse! This Mickey Mouse plush looks so happy and fluffy. I wish he featured in more cartoons, but the kids still know who he is!

One of the most adored Disney characters is Stitch. It would be so cute to see some of my little ones snuggle this stuffed Stitch plush. Stitch is loved by both boys and girls and is known to be a great companion. He has the most loving face and is ready for hugs!

This is one of my favorite Disney stories. It's a little dark, but I think the fact that it's so surreal it distracts the kids. I know that this Cheshire cat plush and Alice plush will encourage the young ones to use their imaginations.

Another favorite of mine is Monsters Inc. I love the world that was built and I know that a lot of the kids cherish that movie. Our little munchkins can enjoy this great movie with a Mike plushie or a Boo dressed as a monster plush. I love the expression on Boo's face! She looks so satisfied and adorable.

Of course we can't forget some of the best Disney princesses! You can have a Cinderella plush, Aurora plush, Belle plush,and Ariel plush! They look like great cuddle partners.

There are so many adorable Disney beans toys from Japan on Ebay! These are long lasting toys that keep good memories for all nieces and nephews. Start them early by showing them your favorite character and Disney movie! Comment below and tell me your favorite character!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Finding Dory Board Games

I don't know about you, but I'm very excited for the new Finding Dory movie. I'm going to do what I did for Kung Fu Panda and make a day out of it. My nieces and nephews have been so excited for this movie to come out since they saw the first trailer. The kids are going to love watching Finding Nemo again (to prepare ourselves!) and playing Finding Dory games.

Take a look at some of the activities you guys can do before going to the theater!

I don't know about you, but fishing games were oddly one of my favorite games as a kid. The Finding Dory Fishing Game is awesome because you're really "gathering shells." Which is nicer than fishing for them, because we love Dory and Nemo and our other fishy friends. Sadly for the older kids, it's easy to get bored of it once you really figure it out. I'm just hoping it'll take a while for the kids, shh!

I like the idea of playing the Guess Who Finding Dory board game right before heading to the theater. Mostly so that the kids get familiar with the characters! You could also play this while you're watching Finding Nemo, preparing for the big day! Some friendly competition never hurt either.

I almost freaked out when I saw the Operation Finding Dory board game. I'm glad they showed us what the inside of the game looks like (no pun intended...) because I honestly thought it was about dissecting a fish. It actually looks like a treasure hunt instead, which would clearly be better for the kids!

Are you planning on taking your kids to go see the new Finding Dory movie? I am actually really excited about it myself! Finding Nemo was such a great movie for both kids and adults, so I'm sure this one will be a hit too! Share your comments below.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

MiniLou's Pocket Paper Pals for Un-Boring Your Nieces on a Rainy Day or Car Trip

I know that in my neck of the woods the weather can be all over the place. Also, I tend to be very available for babysitting. You have no idea how much of a lifesaver paper dolls are during the summertime. They're so easy to bring along on long road trips, camping, or just for rainy days at home.

I think these pocket paper dolls from Mini Lou are very cute. You can buy them individually on MiniLou's website or in sets on Amazon!

Look at how cute this Little Friends Kitty and Bunny Pocket Paper Pal Sets is! I have a niece that loves to hang out with cats, so this is just perfect. I noticed that animal themed toys are more approachable. If you look closely, their outfits are from all kinds of places. They have baseball uniforms, medieval dresses, under the sea, and more! I really like the variety, because it honestly keeps their imagination going and going.

I don't care what they say, even tomboys can enjoy dolls. This Les Petite and Zombie Apocalypse Pocket Paper Pal Sets is a great alternative to the traditional paper dolls. I think that both of them are actually very adorable. Even the zombie set looks really fun! I laughed a little because they have so many outfits for the zombie kids. The artistic style for the Les Petite book is precious. I think it might be my favorite that is offered!

This Whimsical Woodland and Family Farm Pocket Paper Pal Sets is so amazing for camping trips. Both of them have very natural elements that will prepare your little ones for the great outdoors! I know that I would have played with the Family Farm set while I was at my grandparents.

I think it's pretty adorable that everyone looks the same age in this Hansel and Gretel Pocket Paper Pal Set. I wish that we could see what other outfits are provided in this set! I definitely know that my nieces love the fairy tale paper dolls.

Out of the fairy tale paper dolls the FairyTale Little Red Riding Hood Pocket Paper Pal Set is my favorite. I can't get enough of the Big Bad Wolf, it's just so awesome. Even though they aren't featured on the front, the huntsman and grandma are also in this set. I can definitely see my nieces having a bunch of fun with this one.

This FairyTale Alice in Wonderland Pocket Paper Pal Set is bound to bring the whimsical world to life. The characters included are Alice, the Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter, Rabbit, etc. I have a vision of using this on a rainy day and playing the Disney movie at the same time. I think the kids would really enjoy it.

Which set would your nieces or kids like? I think there's everything for any kid. If you have little fashionistas or tomboys, there's something there they would like! My only problem is picking one or two to get, I want them all!

Check out MiniLou's website or the sets on Amazon!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

4 Illustrated Biographies Perfect for Preteen Nieces

I know I've have been a little obsessive with baby stuff, but that's because one of my nieces just turned one and she's so cute! I need to turn my attention to the older kids for just a little bit.

Some of my nieces have to do summer reading for school. As their aunt who loves reading, I think it would be fun if we all got together and read books - our own little book club!

Even though some of these biographies by Library of Luminaries might not be on their school reading list, they are still great stories to share together. For the nieces that are far away, it would be fun to read together via Skype or Facetime since these are visual novels. Come check it out!

One of my all time favorite authors is Jane Austen. I think out of most of the biographies, we will have the most fun with Jane's. This is because we can then read "Pride and Prejudice," "Emma", and "Sense and Sensibility" which are all great book club reads! Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if any of those were on their list of books to read for school in the future.

Another inspiring woman is Frida Kahlo. I had a moment yesterday where I was thinking what would happen if I couldn't write. Sometimes we are fated to do something different than we planned and we still need to fight for it! I only discovered Frida when I was well into my twenties, so it would be cool to share this woman's story with my nieces at an earlier age. Maybe they will impress their teachers.

I don't want to say, sadly, but a lot of the girls know who Coco Chanel is. Except, they really only know her brand. I think they would find her story all that more fascinating if we read this biography together. Coco Chanel is quite the genius, but we often forget that because we're so into her products!

To be honest, this biography of Virginia Woolf would benefit me. I never went out of my way to learn about her and I really should have. It's a bit embarrassing that I don't know a lot of information on one of the most influential female authors of the 20th century. It would be interesting to come together with the nieces to discuss topics like feminism.

I hope more of these Library of Luminaries biographies come out soon. They are a great beginning to learning about some of the most important women in history. Since the books are visual, it would keep the attention of a preteen easily. What do you think of getting together and creating a book club with your nieces (even nephews)? Even for the relatives all around the world, technology makes it easy to have Skype dates! What other ideas do you have? Please share!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Darling Star Wars Little Golden Books

I went to see Alice Through the Looking Glass yesterday and as the new Star Wars: Rogue One came up I realized I failed the kids! They always rely on Auntie to have all the newest and latest Golden Books. I just found out that I do not have any of the new Star Wars Golden Books! I definitely failed as an aunt, so I really need to get my butt in gear! Here they are...

My nieces and nephews love the Force Awakens movie. I know that they are eager to read the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Golden Book. The art style is really fun and vibrant! I think that in itself will keep their attention.

Now the I Am a Droid Little Golden Book is definitely one I need to have in my house. All the kids can't get enough of the droids from all of the movies. Admittedly I would have a lot of fun reading this too.

Not only will the I Am a Pilot Little Golden Book be a favorite, it'll also inspire the little ones. Even though the kids may not be able to fly through space in Star Wars yet, the book could still motivate them to become pilots. That would be an amazing future career, don't you think?

I have a lot of hope for this I Am a Princess Star Wars Little Golden Book. In a world where girls are taught to be like princesses, I feel like Leia is the most superior! I know I want my nieces to be independent and fight for what they believe in!

What is better than trying to inspire your children to be an evil warlord? I think this I Am a Sith Little Golden Book needs to be in the whole collection. You have to know about evil in order to know about good! Plus, I can't help but love Darth Vader.

These Star Wars Golden Books are colorful, bright, and entertaining! Now I can make up for my negligence and just buy all of them! That should satisfy the kiddos' Golden Book needs. Which one would you get? Tell me about it in the comments down below!

Disney's Little Mermaid Little Kingdom

I remember when my young cousins were really, really little they would come with me to the lake. I would take them from their mom for a weekend and have a blast! While we were there we would use paint to color our own Ariel, take mermaid figures into the pool, and fall asleep with mermaid plush dolls. Ever since, I've slowly accumulated Little Mermaid toys. Now my nieces find these little toys and play with them, but they are pretty dated! I think I need an update... my cousins are well in their twenties. Do your nieces or daughters love Ariel? Take a look at these Little Mermaid Little Kingdom sets on Amazon!

Isn't Ariel's Sea Castle fantastic? This looks like a whole lot of fun. There are a variety of different activities in this particular set. It definitely reminds me of the doll sets my cousins and I would play with on the pool deck. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the Sebastian figure. He looks a little strange.

I'm glad we can add more to the huge castle above! With this Ariel's Little Treasure Chest you can add more activities! This comes with a new outfit for Ariel and Flounder. I do like the fact you can change Ariel's outfit to wear a dress or have fancy fins.

This may be my favorite Little Mermaid Little Kingdom set. The Ariel's Floating Dreams Boat is so whimsical and adorable. This is a pinnacle point in the movie, so I know my nieces would love it. I really like how the fish are decorating the boat. Ariel's outfit is perfect!

I think out of all the Little Princesses I am enjoying Ariel's outfits the most. You can get a variety of dresses and headpieces for Ariel in this Fashion Change set. I think the girls would really love the little sea creatures that you can attach to her outfit. It's what makes Ariel, Ariel!

I am loving the Little Kingdom sets for all the Disney princesses. They are very precious and interactive! Which is your favorite? I would love to see more Merida or even the huge library from Beauty and the Beast. Comment down below!

Fun House-Shaped 3D Jigsaw Puzzles

I don't know about you, but I honestly think puzzles are a great way to pass the time. I think a lot of people assume that kids won't like to work on a puzzle and that they would rather play games on their iPads or Androids. But actually, my nieces and nephews really do love puzzles. It's a great way to promote working as a team, critical thinking, and organizing, but it's also super fun! Time gets lost when working on fun 3D puzzles, especially during long summer nights after playing outside all day. Check them out!

This 3D country house puzzle is great for travel. Bring your puzzle with you when you go to your summer cabin! This would even be fun to have as a decoration and the kids will love it. I really like the light post with the heart sign hanging down.

I want to have a house like this redwood romantic house 3D puzzle. The different levels would make this puzzle a little more complicated, but still very fun! I think the bay window above the front door is really cool. I like how plain it is because maybe it makes the puzzle a little more complicated!

I spoke too soon, because I think that this European villa 3D puzzle is my dream house! I have a feeling that this would take a whole afternoon to put together. It's also inspiring! I'm sure there will be plenty of questions about the style of the house when we're finished.

Why build just one when you can build a whole little village? These 4 3D little house puzzles remind me of a little town in a fairy tale. If you're babysitting a bunch of kids it'll be easier to manage with many houses. They could even split up into teams.

You can't forget this cute little 3D cottage puzzle when making your fairy tale village. I think you can even connect all the roads together from the buildings above and this one. I wonder if you could play with paper dolls using these 3D puzzle houses?

I really like the bright colors that are used on this 3D Norway house puzzle. This would probably be easier to put together since there are so many shapes and colors to organize the pieces by. The way the windows were painted almost look like real glass!

How do your kids like puzzles? I hope these 3D puzzles give you some ideas for passing time during summer break! Comment down below and let me know.

Inspirational Little People, Big Dreams Books for Girls

The best books for kids are the ones that they can relate to. My girls, most of the time, feel that they are the center of the universe. But they still have their fragile moments. Life can get anyone down and discourage you from really chasing your dreams. As adults, we are way too familiar with this feeling. I love these Little People, Big Dreams books because they really encourage girls to aspire to greatness.

I always tell my nieces to set their goals high! I was very excited to see that there was an Amelia Earhart book. This woman set her sights on the sky, against all odds. Her story is inspiring for all women who strive to battle prejudice on a daily basis. I feel like there are never too many stories to share with my nieces about great women in history!

Speaking of women who battled prejudice, the Maya Angelou book is bound to encourage all girls to fight for what they want to do. She had a tough life as an African American woman, but Maya still thrived! Having my nieces be able to read about her and how she became a famous writer would be amazing.

One of the most interesting and fabulous stories I've read about is about is that of Frida Kahlo. Her dreams were destroyed after a tragic accident, so she turned to art and found ways to paint despite being bedridden with pain. Hers is an inspiring story for anyone, and shows that you can do anything you put your mind to.

Even little fashionistas can make their dreams come true, Coco Chanel sure did! I have a niece in mind who is already quite the fashion designer. She loves drawing all sorts of outfits and loves to pick clothes for me at the store. As her aunt, I feel obliged to strengthen that passion, so I sometimes buy the outfits she picks for me. She is actually pretty good! I know she would enjoy this book and feel more motivated.

As girls, we can sometimes struggle to keep our chins held up high. We need to be taught at a young age to dream big and to fight for it! These Little People, Big Dreams books hold fantastic awe-inspiring stories! Who would you like to see in this series of books? I personally hope they will make a Jane Goodall or Marie Curie book!