• This entry was posted in Toys on March 27, 2018

  • As kids grow, their interests and abilities change and grow. If you've ever looked at your child's toys, you've probably noticed. With springtime in full bloom, it’s a great opportunity to finally get those cleaning tasks done that have waited all winter. This is a good time to go through the indoor and outdoor toys and pick out the toys your child has outgrown or never uses.


    There are many factors to help you to decide which toys should stay and which ones should go. Remember that any toys your children are attached to – even if they don't play with them anymore – could cause a forlorn whine when you suggest that it's time for the toy to go. You'll need to decide whether to tell them it's time to clean out the toys or to do it yourself when they're not around. Either way, getting things organized is the first step. Corral the indoor toys, and track down the ones used for outdoor play. If they're scattered and disorganized, find a better way to store them in bins, shelves and boxes.


    Now comes Step Two which is deciding which ones should stay and which ones should go. Separate all of the toys into three piles: keepers, giveaways and lost causes. The keepers may need to be cleaned up for more playtime or passed on to a younger sibling. Toys that you won't be keeping for any of your children can go to charity or a friend's kids. There are some toys that aren't fit for any child of any age. Games and toys with missing or broken pieces are the best candidates for the discard pile for lost causes. Recycle what you can, and appropriately dispose of the rest.


    Here are a few key areas to consider when deciding:



    Kids naturally lose interest in toys that are geared towards a younger developmental stage. If they haven't been used in more than a year, your child has lost interest.



    Lack of interest isn't the only indicator that your child has outgrown certain toys. Ride-on toys that no longer fit your child's arm's reach or can't be adjusted to the right foot-pedal length are too small to use. Put these toys away for another child to use if they're still in good condition. If you don't have other kids or close family friends, these can be donated to charity.



    The favorite toys receive the most attention. They sometimes have that loved-worn look about them, like the teddy bear with a missing eye and a shriveled arm. If a toy is still in good condition to play with safely, put it in the keeper pile or the giveaway pile. Otherwise, it's time for it to go away. You may want to put collectibles and the top favorites into a bag in the attic for when your children are grown and will appreciate them once more.


    Outgrowing toys is part of growing up. While it's sad to see some toys go away with spring cleaning, they can sometimes go to a happier place. It's always a good idea to take time to get organized and make room for more age-appropriate toys.

  • This entry was posted in on March 06, 2018

  • St. Patrick’s Day is coming.  Whether you’re of Irish descent or not there are generally a lot of fun events for adults and even for kids to join.  So, how can you make this festive holiday a wee bit of fun for you and your family?

    Get Crafty

    There are plenty of crafts to help get your children excited for St. Patrick’s Day, and ways to include them in decorating your home for any festivities.  

    - St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow in a Jar:  You have to make your way through the rainbow of Skittles to find the Leprechaun’s gold!  This can help your child learn about the colors of the rainbow, and they can sneak a few Skittles while making this special treat.

    - Stained Glass Rainbow: All you need is some tissue paper, wax paper and glue.  Tear up colored tissue paper (colors of the rainbow), tear off a sheet of wax paper.  Spread glue on the wax paper in the shape of the rainbow and then place tissue paper on the glue. Use a second piece of wax paper covered with glue and place over the top of the rainbow and your stained glass rainbow is complete.

    Get Active

    It depends on where you live, but there are often times a lot of fun activities for families on or near St. Patrick’s Day.  There are parades that showcase Irish Step Dancing, local Irish groups play music, and lots of great Irish food.   Some of the most famous and fun activities include:

    - Dyeing the Chicago River Green: If you live in Chicago, then head on to the Chicago River to see 45 pounds of vegetable dye get poured into the river to turn it a festive green color for the day. 

    - Leprechaun Hunts: Cities like Philadelphia and Chicago host Leprechaun hunts for children, in which children and parents participate together in a scavenger hunt to find Leprechauns and win prizes!

    - Leprechaun Dash: This is a special race as part of the Shamrock Marathon series, in which children ages 6 months to 5 years old can participate in their own race.  A 26.2 yard run, as these dashers reach the finish line, they are celebrated with a finishers medal, cheers from the crowd and more.  It’s a great way for young runners to get excited about St. Patrick’s Day, or to participate with their parents.

    Get Cooking

    We’re going to stick to a few sweet treats for St. Patrick’s Day, however, there are most definitely plenty of savory recipes that you can introduce your children to.  Corned Beef and cabbage, Irish Soda Bread are two of the better known Irish dishes for St. Patrick’s Day.  But, let’s have some fun with these tasty treats:

    - St. Patrick’s Day Crispy Treats: Your typical Rice Crispy Treats get a twist, add a little bit of green food dye to the melted marshmallows and turn these into special green treats.  (Get extra creative, and use a Shamrock cookie cutter to make them in the shape of Shamrocks).

    - Green Candied Popcorn:  Add a little bit of butter, sugar, corn syrup, green food coloring and more to spice up a normal bowl of popcorn.  Surprise your kids with their very own green popcorn.

    May the luck of the Irish be on your side this St. Patrick’s Day and we hope that you’re able to enjoy a fun-filled green weekend with your family.