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10 Awesome Alphabet Toys and Alphabet Books for Your Little Learner

I love educational toys. My son thinks he’s just playing but he’s actually learning! Right now he loves the alphabet, so he owns quite a collection of alphabet toys and alphabet books. Below you’ll find 10 of our favorites.

Alphabet Toys and Alphabet Books for Little Learners |

My son is a late talker. As with crawling and walking, he is taking his absolute time to get up to speed. He just seems to be one of those kids who is extremely tentative and will only start something once he’s absolutely 100 percent okay with it. While I can’t deny that I wish he would talk more, every day now he is saying more and more words and I love hearing his little voice. What’s funny, though, is that while he’s not keen on talking, he absolutely LOVES the alphabet. He walks around the house singing the alphabet song all day long. He knows his uppercase and lowercase letters by sight and can sound out some letters. Full words, though? Apparently, that’s for the birds!

Because he loves the alphabet so much, I’ve invested in a few alphabet toys already, and have added a couple more to his wish list. I love that he loves the alphabet and want to continue building upon the knowledge and skills he has already gained. Educational toys are a great way to encourage learning without being overbearing. I’m all about it. If you’ve also got a little alphabet lover on your hands – or want to turn your child into one – here are a few of my favorite alphabet toys and alphabet books.

Awesome Alphabet Toys & Alphabet Books

Learning Resources Alphabet Acorns Activity Set

My son is absolutely obsessed with these Alphabet Acorns. For something so basic, there seems to be a never-ending assortment of ways to play with them. For instance, both the acorn base and the cap have different letters on them, so you can match up the letters. You can hide the little toys that come with the acorns inside of them. You can stack the acorns. Seriously, my son loves when I pull these out and they really are great for kids who are learning the alphabet. Word of warning, though: The little toys that come with the acorns are pretty small. This set is ONLY for kids who are past the age of putting things in their mouths.


My Awesome Alphabet Book

My son received My Awesome Alphabet Book as a gift and it quickly became his favorite book EVER. In fact, I credit this book with him learning the alphabet as quickly as he did! Each page is cut to look like a letter. While this isn’t a board book, the pages are a little thicker than traditional paper, which makes them easy to grasp for little hands. In addition to each page being the shape of a letter, the back of the page is covered with items whose names start with that particular letter. This is our favorite alphabet book and I cannot recommend it more highly!

Chalk Color It Book

The Best of the Best from the Chicago Baby Show

The Chicago Baby Show was an excellent opportunity for parents and parents-to-be to learn more about and test drive new baby items. While there were many great brands in attendance, below you’ll find the products that really caught my eye.

Chicago Baby Show

I’ve long heard great things about The Baby Show, which launched in New York City a few years ago. I’ve even considered flying to NYC for the event, but could never make it work. This year, however, I was excited to see that I didn’t have to travel to learn about the latest and greatest baby products because the baby show finally made its Chicago debut!

The Chicago Baby Show, which was sponsored by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and Family Media, was held at Navy Pier on August 26 and 27. Like most trade shows, different brands had booths were set up around the hall and attendees could test out new products and ask questions of brand reps. There was a stroller track where you could take strollers for all-terrain test drives. There were also myriad speakers, including the Baby Guy himself, Jamie Grayson.

Since I’d been wanting to go to the show for so long, I left my husband in charge of our kids and took off into the city for the day. I spent a few hours walking around the floor of the show, talking to as many different brands as I could.

Below you’ll find just a few of the brands and products that I can’t stop thinking about.

Top Picks from the Chicago Baby Show

Butterstix Chalk + Color It Books

Jaq Jaq Bird

Chalk Color It Book

I can’t tell you how many brands I talked to at the show, but one of the products I have found myself thinking about nonstop is the Butterstix chalk and chalk coloring books from Jaq Jaq Bird. Before you think I’ve lost it, this chalk is amazing. (No, I never thought I’d be raving about amazing chalk, but hear me out.)

Home Safety Tips: Keep Your Curious Toddler Safe |

Toddler Proofing: Tips to Keep Your Curious Toddler Safe

Toddler Proofing Tips: Keep Your Curious Toddler Safe |

Children face safety issues around the house every day. As your toddler continues to grow, so do their senses and natural inclination to want to meddle into everything that they can get their little hands on. You’ll find yourself running around the house after them while your toddler is grabbing, climbing, and making a toy out of anything and everything. One minute your toddler thinks they’re a mountain climber while they ascend your bookshelf and the next minute they think they’re a 5-star chef with a hand held mixer in hand while wearing a great big smile on their face. These scenarios might, or might not have, happened to me…in one day. As cute (and infuriating) as it is, toddler proofing is a must to protect them from themselves.

In order to alleviate some of the heart attacks and headaches that your dear toddler will inevitably give you, here are a few of my top tips for baby proofing, er, I mean toddler proofing, your home.

Tips for Toddler Proofing Your Home

Secure Furniture To Your Wall

This might not be the very first thing on your to do for the home, but take it from my personal experience: Secure your furniture to the wall! You can easily purchase furniture anchor kits online or in the store. Your toddler is going to want to climb on everything and anything, which could be disastrous.

Pay close attention to the following types of furniture:
• Book shelves
• Dressers
• Curio cabinets
• Baker racks
• Wine cabinets
• Really, anything you see your toddler eyeballing


Try Chemical-Free Cleaning

Before my son was born, I never really paid attention to the chemicals we used to clean our house. In fact, I’ll admit that I kind of liked the chemical smell because it (perhaps erroneously) signaled to me that things were clean. Now that we have kids, however, I research household cleaners like a hawk. In some instances, we don’t use harsh cleansers at all and have instead invested in an e-cloth Home Cleaning Set, which is a set of specially-formulated cloth that allows you to clean many household surfaces using nothing more than water. (And yes – they actually work!)

10 Geography Gifts For Kids |

10 Educational (and Fun!) Geography Gifts for Kids

10 Geography Gifts for Kids |

My husband thinks I’m crazy.

Long before the election, I was going on and on and on about how the situation in North Korea was scaring the bejeezus out of me. I would read news article after news article and ask him, “have you seen this?” He would try to talk me off the ledge by telling me that we probably had more pressing concerns to think about. He was right, but now North Korea is back in the news and I find myself terrified again and wondering how the people in charge in Washington are handling all of this.

There’s not much I can do to make a difference in situations like this as I have no interest in running for public office. I choose to believe the government will make the right decisions for all of us citizens. In my house, however, I’ve already begun placing a big emphasis on the importance of learning about other cultures and other areas of the world. I strongly believe that the more we know about one another (in any context) and the more sane dialogue that takes place, the better we all will be.

My children are obviously a little too young for these life lessons right now, though, so, for the time being, I’m focusing on simple things like geography toys, which will help them start to build an understanding that there’s a whole lot of world outside of our little bubble.

Geography Gifts for Kids

Puzzle Globe

My son is very into puzzles right now, and while he hasn’t quite grasped this Puzzle Globe, he sure has a lot of fun trying! The puzzle has 14 pieces and allows kids to start to build an understanding of how all of the continents fit together. I love that this isn’t your typical flat puzzle and, let’s be honest, it’s a great decorative piece when it’s not in use!


Little Passports Subscription

Little Passports

Little Passports is a subscription box that takes kids on a new adventure around the globe each month. Each month a new kit will arrive that will contain letters from their fictional tour guides, souvenirs, activity sheets, stickers, photos, and more. Kids will love getting new mail each month and learning about a new place in the world!


Little Citizen Tee

Little Citizens Tee from Tea Collection

I’ve made no secret of my love for Tea Collection, and one of the main reasons I love them is because they have a goal of making sure all of our “little citizens” learn about the rest of the world. While I love their country-focused collections, this Little Citizens Tee is perhaps my favorite item of all because 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of this tee are donated to the Global Fund for Children.

10 Best Bath Toys For Toddlers In 2017 |

10 Best Bath Toys for Toddlers in 2017

10 Best Bath Toys for Toddlers in 2017 |


We love bath time at our house! It wasn’t always this way, though. My son used to scream whenever he heard the bath water running. Now that my son is old enough to sit in the bath for awhile and play with his toys, he loves it. He used to be all about getting in and out as quickly as possible, but that all changed when we took the time to find some bath time toys that he would enjoy. Now, good luck getting him out of there! If you’re looking to increase bath time at your house, or just make it a more fun experience, here’s a quick round-up of 10 of the best bath toys for toddlers and babies. These toys are interactive and fun and are sure to make bathtime more fun for you and your little one.

10 Best Bath Toys for Toddlers


Marcus & Marcus Mold Free Silicone Squirting Submarine Bath Toy

Do you know what’s really gross? Attempting to clean mold out of a bath toy (or, really, any silicone toddler toy).Over time, the hot water and grime that builds up in those toys is likely to mold. In fact, Sophie the Giraffe, an incredibly popular baby toy, is having an issue with mold. It can be darn near next to impossible to clean some toys because there’s just no way to get inside of them.

Luckily that’s not an issue for the  Marcus & Marcus Mold Free Silicone Squirting Submarine Bath Toy or another of our favorites, the Mold Free Rocket Ship Bath Toy because you can completely open up these toys to clean them as necessary. While these toys are budget-friendly, they’re also super high quality. In terms of toddler bath toys, Marcus & Marcus toys are as good as it gets. Kids will love playing with them, and especially squirting water out of them, and you’ll love that you have the option to clean them as necessary!


Playgro Baby Bath Duckie Family

No matter how old your child gets, and regardless of how cool bath toys may get, rubber duckies will ALWAYS be a bath time staple. My son and I both love this Playgro Baby Bath Duckie Family. It’s adorable, and it’s also a 4-in-1 toy. My son loves attempting to line the ducks up in the tub, which is always followed by stacking the ducks. In addition to the fun he’s having, I like to think this bath toy is helping him work on his fine motor skills.


Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars


If you’ve got a little one who is really into cars, they’re going to love the Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars Bathtub Toy. The boat floats in the water, but then kids can drive the cars off the ramp. This toy is basically hours of fun packed into one small package. Also cool? These tub toys are made from 100% recycled plastic!


Yookidoo Submarine Spray Station Bath Toy

There are a lot of cool bath toys for toddlers, but I guarantee that your kid is going to love Yookidoo Bath Toys! Yookidoo bath toys are interactive and kids can spray water, stack the cups, create fountains and so much more. These toys will truly help kids foster their imaginations, but be warned: Kids will have so much fun that you’ll have to pry them out of their baths!

Koala Pocket Romper From Tea Collection

Tea Collection: Global Designs for Little Citizens

Tea Collection: Globally-Inspired Fashions for the World's Littlest Citizens - Ethical Clothing for Children

I am by no means perfect, but ever since having my son, I have tried to be a little bit more intentional about the items I purchase, especially for him. I would never have imagined that ethical clothing for children would be an interest of mine, but here we are.

There are many things I would like for my children to understand as they grow up, but chief among them are an understanding and compassion for the world at large. My husband and I enjoy traveling because we love learning about new cultures, meeting new people, and seeing how things are done in other parts of the world. We hope to instill that same sense of curiosity in our children, and for that reason, I have become a huge fan of Tea Collection.

I couldn’t agree more with Tea Collection’s mission:

“Tea Collection inspires global connection and curiosity for little citizens of the world.

We want to give kids the world, to help them discover that no matter where we live or what language we speak, there is so much we all have in common.”

Twice each year, Tea Collection’s designers create a new collection encapsulating a new part of the world. All of the clothes are designed in San Francisco but they have Fair Trade Acts in place with their manufacturing partners around the globe. The Fair Trade Act guarantees that the manufacturers follow responsible labor laws, have good working conditions, and do not use child or slave labor.

Most recently, Tea Collection’s designers created an Australia-inspired collection. My husband and I visited Australia on our honeymoon, so everything in this collection spoke to me… and I may have gone a little overboard. I actually don’t do much shopping for my son, but when I do I buy ALL the things. But with clothes this cute, this comfortable, that are ethically made and that perfectly align with my values, how could I resist?!

If you’ve got your own little one (or two or three) at home, here are a few of my favorite pieces from the Australia Collection.

Tea Collection Australia Collection for Boys

Koala Graphic Tee – originally $22.50, now $18.95 (available in sizes 2-12) // Logan Beach Pajamas – $39.50 (available in sizes 2-12)


Tea Collection for Girls

Melba Gully Twirl Top – $26.50 (available in sizes 2-12) // Oz Ombre Tulle Skirt – $45.50 (available in sizes 2-12)


Koala Pocket Romper from Tea Collection

Koala Pocket Romper – originally $29.50, now $21.95 (available in sizes 0-3 months to 18-24 months)

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