This episode is all about the products I purchased when my girls were toddlers that I STILL use today now that they are six and seven years old. I’ve been using most of these products for over three years, so I feel like those are some great purchase decisions!
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SHOW NOTES This post contains affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra, and I earn a small commission. I’d also like to call attention if prices I mentioned in this episode were prices I paid at the current time and may not reflect the prices you would pay at the time of reading or listening to this.
Ok, I’ve broken these into categories. Starting with:
I wanted to lead with this one……The VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix. I suggested that the girls get these for christmas when they were 3 and 2 years old. Literally the best product of my entire parenthood so far. Ellie got the pink. Hannah got a blue one. When they were super young, they couldn’t do much except learn how to take a picture. But, surprisingly much quicker than I expected, they could play the games on there. They started to make animation videos and add fun graphics to their photos. They were making movies. It’s crazy.
The real reason why I wanted them to have them was I was tired of them asking for my phone to take a picture. Plus, I’d have them bring the cameras when we went shopping. So, if they saw something they really liked, I’d say we aren’t going to buy that now, but take a picture of it so we don’t forget to think about it. I can’t recall one time where they actually later asked to go buy it. It helped tremendously. It also helped that I’d either delete the pictures of their desired wants, so they couldn’t be reminded of it. I don’t feel bad about that….at all.
Now that the girls are 6 and 7…they are still actively using them but in more intricate ways. If we go on a trip, they take them. I’ve caught them creating their own cooking show with it, exercise videos, and recording their musical performances in the playroom. At some point I know the end is coming with them, but until they specifically ask for a more grown up camera, they’re staying with that one right now.
Next product,the Vizari Toddler Soccer Ball…..this was a great starter ball for my girls. No, we aren’t a soccer family. We tried that when Ellie was three years old and I swear I’m still suffering from the effects of that experience, so we aren’t pursuing soccer in our life at this moment…BUUUTT…the girls still love their soccer balls. And, these are the soccer balls that I referenced in Episode 7 relaying my raccoon turmoil experience….with the dreaded “mama raccoon”……dun dun dun….if you haven’t listened to that one…seriously, go add that to your play list!
Caveman Cups– specifically called “Cub Cups”: It comes with a pack of four stainless steel little cups. These things are indestructable. Perfect size for little hands. Bc they’re not plastic, there’s no worry about them melting in the dishwasher or nasty chemical stuff. I ordered these in December of 2015……they still look the same. Have been used everyday…washed in the dishwasher all the time…i don’t like washing dishes! and we still use them now. Almost four years later!!!
As I was reading through the reviews, someone stated that they use Blossom Mason and Canning Jar Sipping and Drinking Lid Caps to create a no-spill option. I wish I would have known that instead of going through so many sippy cups that were useless!
Bentgo Bento Children’s Lunch Boxes– The second year I stayed home with my girls, I enrolled them in a two day preschool, which required them to bring a lunch. My oldest is an insanely picky eater, so there are challenges there for sure, but these bento boxes enabled me to put a mix of food she liked and some stretch foods in the container without them touching. Actually, this purchase stemmed from the recommendation of her speech therapist who we were seeing for food therapy. I’m glad I sucked it up and paid the price for it, bc at the time, that was a significant amount to spend on a lunch box…over $25…are you kidding me??…and of course, I had to buy one for Hannah too. All in all though, I bought a high quality lunch box years ago and they’re still going to be used going into 2nd and 1st grade.
They come in amazing colors….we have a blue and purple. They are dishwasher safe…I wash them all the time in there. You can tell the lettering on the box is a little worn from it over the years, but the lunch box itself is in fantastic condition. Highly recommend!!
Next product, goes with the bento lunch boxes……
Most cases, I felt like I needed a cooling element to go with the girls lunch boxes. The Bentgo Ice Ultra Thin Lunch Chillers are perfect….they’re thin and remain cool throughout their lunch time. They’re non-toxic & BPA free. I just place one ice pack below their bentgo lunch box and zip up whatever outer lunch box they’re carrying those days. One ice pack is usually is fine. I have used one on the bottom and one on the top before, but honestly, it just added a lot of unnecessary weight. It stays cool with just one.
As a side note, we actually originally purchased these before we even knew Bentgo made bento lunch boxes. We used them to cool my husband’s big insulated lunch bag that he takes to work. We bought our first pack in 2015….four years ago at the time of this recording. Still going strong. They’re awesome!
GatorGrip NonSlip Bath Mat– Listen….this product is amazing. I installed this mat when we moved in our house four years ago. We were in the thick of toddlerhood. Bathtime was a freaking circus show.
The gator grip mat is soft and sturdy, mold and mildew resistant (we’ve never had an issue of mold!), and bonus it was invented by a mom…super cool. I’m linking directly to the company’s website, because you’ll see the best selection. I’m also linking to a past blog post I wrote about it. It’d be great for elderly parents/grandparents and dog lovers love it too. But, let me also say this…..I followed the installation directions and didn’t cut corners on the process. That’s why I think I’ve had such great success. Any negative review you read that says it didn’t stick or something like that, I guarantee they didn’t take the time to follow the process. So…as a reminder, if you’re going to spend the money on a good quality product, just trust the directions and follow them so you get the best outcome!
Check out my previous blog post on the mat….love it so much!
First one is Maxxima LED Multi-Color Red, White, and Blue LED Night Light…it comes in a pack of 2 which was perfect for my house. I purchased this almost four years ago….still going strong. It has a switch so you can go from one color to the next. We usually opt for red light at bedtime….apparently it’s supposed to be the best color for sleep…it has a dusk to dawn sensor, so it’ll automatically detect when it needs to come on. I couldn’t be happier with this.
Here’s another night light for you….I have this one in the girls hallway. It looks decorative and is motion activated. The name is GE Motion-Activated LED Night Light, Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish. The girls complained the hallway was too scary if they wanted to go to the restroom by themselves. I didn’t necessarily want the hallway always lit up with a strong night light, so this worked great. Gives off a ton of light and only comes on when someone is detected.
We still use white noise over in my house for the girls at night…the big reason is that they still have an early bedtime and our windows don’t block out any outside noise at all. You can hear anything. We have the Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine. It’s amazing. We went through a few different white noise contraptions in the first couple years of parenthood. Once we tried this one, we never went back. In fact, last year I decided to take up my local firefighter station’s offer to city residents and have them come by my house and do an inspection…one of the firefighters saw our machine and i swear he talked for five minutes about how it’s the best thing out there and works great for his daughter. Oh and by the way, I use one in my room for myself as well.
KidCO Auto Close HearthGate – this baby gate attaches to the wall and surrounds your fireplace. We bought this when we moved to this house 4 years ago. It was awesome at deterring our little toddlers at the time from getting into the fireplace. Plus, Hannah always liked to use it as her stuffed animal play pen and still does! I included a picture of those poor locked up animals. I took this picture about a year ago, but it still happens often. So, even though we’re out of the toddler stage. It’s still up. Not that we need it up, but if I take it off, I’m scared I’ll have to touch up the paint on the wall. But if you have kids with spread out ages, this gate would help last through that period. It’s a little pricey, but I felt like it was worth every penny.
The North States Supergate is probably in every single household or something very similar. ha. We actually bought some more complex expensive gates, but this one just seemed to serve our needs better without impacting the wall by not using the hardware. We now use it to block out our dog rusty, so if the girls want to have a picnic on the floor, he can’t mess with them. He’s not a fan though.
Mommy’s Helper Car Seat Sun Shade Cover– This thing is awesome! If you live somewhere like me where the summers can be outrageously hot, you need this. It definitely makes a difference. You basically cover the carseat with the shade and it keeps your toddler or in my case, almost six year old from having an absolute melt down because the seat is too hot. Get it!