a lovely living

Although this post will prove to be most helpful to parents with young children, it can also serve as a resourceful gift guide to others. I’m talking the types of gifts that parents are grateful to receive and not merely count down the days until the batteries die ;) I’ve realized lately as we’ve done a little reorganizing that there are a few things that make a big impact in our household. Some provide much needed organization, others are practical aids and the rest are toys that trigger creativity and can keep our littles entertained for hours on end.

Let’s start practical. This sign may bring a smile to the face of any adult, but my kids still need that reminder every now and then. This one just happens to be nailed to the wall! Raincoats seem to be most used in our household in the fall (followed up by spring). This brand has been our go-to for years thanks to the quality, added layer for warmth and cute styles that my girls especially have always loved. When Audrey receives Madelyn’s hand-me-downs, they appear practically brand new. When it comes to sleep there are two products that we’ve found very helpful. The first being a night light. As soon as our kids switched to toddler beds and were no longer restricted by a crib railing, we were a little un-nerved that they’d have full discretion as to their wake-up time. Thankfully we found this nightlight that glowed a cool blue for night time and a warm yellow for morning. The best part is you get to set those times! I also saw this cute new option that’s now available and looks very similar in terms of how it works. My kids have basically outgrown that one, but as I’m currently working on Audrey’s big girl room, I found this sweet nightlight to give her that same peace of mind in the pitch black. I don’t know if it’s purposeful or not, but it creates little hearts on her bedroom walls <3 Lastly, my older two both have this alarm clock by their beds. I love the simplistic look and the fact that it’s rubber and isn’t harmed if they knock it off of their nightstand. In years past, we had some rough school mornings before I took the initiative to give them their own alarms. Since then they wake up and are dressed before I make my way downstairs in the morning! My detail oriented son even travels with his anywhere we go, ha!

When it comes to organization, there’s A LOT that I could talk about and at the same time so much more that I could learn. But for the sake of today’s post, there are two very useful and practical products that we use. These small-ish storage bins are fantastic for containing all of those various toys and crafts and keeping them compartmentalized. They slide under most beds but also stack well in closets or on shelves. Then there’s this storage unit that isn’t anything new and likely something you’ve seen used in playrooms all over Pinterest. My lightbulb moment was seeing it in my girlfriend’s daughter’s closet. It’s exactly what I needed in Madelyn’s room to both help organize her closet and also create a ton of storage for all of her arts and crafts that she enjoys creating in her room. It was a total game changer and immediately gave everything a place in her room as soon as it was put in.

Finally, on to the fun! This wasn’t meant to be a toy guide by any means, but there are a few products in the toy category that are so simplistic in nature but provide a ton of entertainment that I figured I’d share. Legos may seem like such an obvious go-to, but it wasn’t until we merged them all into a bin and put them in our family room where the kids had easy access, that they really started digging into them. Jack has always loved building new sets that he receives, but he’ll now sit alongside his sisters creating any random thing on any given day. Additionally it’s something that my husband and I enjoy sitting down and joining the kids with too! Along the same lines, I bought a box of these Plus Plus blocks for Audrey a while back and I never would have guessed how much she would love them. She likes Legos, but they can still be a little difficult for her (at age 4) to maneuver perfectly, so these were a great alternative for her. They also make them in smaller sizes for older kids as another option. With all of our accessibility to music these days, it felt a little backwards when Madelyn asked us for a cd player earlier this year. But on the other hand, there was something I appreciated about being able to gift her something that I also used and loved as a child. Well, actually I was probably a teenager (because, cassette tapes!), but still ;) She takes that thing all around the house, singing and dancing with her girlfriends. She also reads the lyrics on the cd covers just as I did many years ago! And finally are these water beads. If you know them, you know them. If not, you may not get it until you try them! They start out as tiny beads and grow to marble sized jelly-like beads once submerged in water. The kids scoop and dump and pretend to cook beside me in the kitchen most times. It’s hard to comprehend why, but you’ll likely find yourself losing track of time with them as well!

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