Category Archives: Infancy

Party Like a 3-Year Old! 10 Must-Have Games for Your 3-Year Old’s Birthday Party

It’s time to party like a 3-year old for your little one’s upcoming birthday. You’ll want to keep your energetic kiddo and their friends fully entertained with some fun games. Toddlers don’t have the longest attention span, so games with simple rules are ideal. Read on for our top picks.

  1. Pin the Tail on the Donkey (or Another Animal)

Pin the tail on the donkey is a classic and can be reworked to fit your party’s theme or child’s favorite animal. You could do pin the tiara on the princess or pin the nose on the clown. Hang up a large poster or DIY drawing of the character on a wall, then outline the target. Make objects with tape on the back for kids to stick on the poster. Blindfold kids one at a time and let them each have a go at pinning the object closest to the target.

Party Like a 3-Year Old! 10 Must-Have Games for Your 3-Year Old's Birthday Party

Pin the tail on the bunny

  1. Ring Toss

Buy a pre-made ring toss set or DIY your own according to a theme. The rules of the game are self-explanatory. Give kids a certain number of rings and have them take turns. Maybe give a prize to the child who gets the most rings in place. You could opt for a bean bag toss instead.

Party Like a 3-Year Old! 10 Must-Have Games for Your 3-Year Old's Birthday Party

This “Triceratoss” was made using a foam board and party hats.

  1. Cupcake Walk

This is the same idea as a cake walk, but with cupcakes or other prizes. If using cupcakes, wait till the end of the party to play this game, so that kids can eat some healthier food first. Print out small pictures relating to the theme of the party i.e. different Disney characters. Tape them to floor in a circle. Play music while kids walk around the circle. Then, stop the music and call out a character. The kid standing on that character gets a cupcake. Keep going until everyone has a cupcake.

  1. Musical Chairs

This is similar to the cupcake walk. Set up a circle of chairs with one less than the number of kids who are playing. When the music stops, kids have to find a chair. Continue removing one chair each turn.

  1. Craft Time

Choose any easy craft that just requires painting something that’s already made. Or, print off some free coloring sheets and provide plenty of crayons for simple clean up.

  1. Gumball Guess Game

Fill a jar with gumballs or any other candy and have kids guess how many are in the jar. Parents may have to write their child’s name and guess on the paper. Wait till near the end of the party to go through the guesses and announce or count out how many gumballs are in the jar. Whoever had the closest guess wins a prize.

Party Like a 3-Year Old! 10 Must-Have Games for Your 3-Year Old's Birthday Party

Gumball Guess Game

  1. Hopscotch

This is great for an outdoor party. Use chalk to draw a Hopscotch and leave out chalk for kids to play with during the party.

  1. Water Balloon Toss

Here’s another great outdoor game for the summer. Fill up tons of water balloons ahead of time. Draw a line in chalk, with colorful tape, or use pool noodles on grass. Pair kids up with eachother or an adult. Have everyone take a few steps back from the line then toss a balloon to their partner. Continue taking steps back, then throwing until all of the balloons are popped.

  1. Treasure Hunt

Before the party starts, hide items around the backyard or just one room of your home. Make sure there are enough so that every kid can find one even if some aren’t found. Choose small items related to your theme that can be traded in for prizes after being found. These could be small stuffed animals, rubber ducks, or anything else you can think of.

  1. Cupcake or Cookie Decorating

Set up a cupcake decorating station. Cover the table with a disposable tablecloth for easy cleanup. Have a few colors of frosting and bowls filled with candy and sprinkles to decorate.

Party Like a 3-Year Old! 10 Must-Have Games for Your 3-Year Old's Birthday Party

This set-up is so cute for an artist themed party.

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How to Savor the Funny Things Kids Say

Kids say the darndest things! We’re sure you want to remember them all so you can have another laugh with friends. Here are some ways to capture and savor those moments.

Pinterest Board

Create a Pinterest Board to have all of those funny moments in one place. You can use a free tool like Canva to create cool images with quotes (see example below). Or, you could simply upload photos of your kiddo and put the story in the caption. Similarly, you could create an album on Facebook.

How to Savor the Funny Things Kids Say

Journal or Calendar

When the “I need to write this down” moment occurs, record the moment in a cute keepsake journal. Purchase a ready-to-go one (below) or easily DIY your own. Choose a blank journal where you choose how to organize the memories. Or, find one that has a calendar layout.

How to Savor the Funny Things Kids Say

Words to Remember

Use an App

Since we almost always have our phones on us, this is a way to capture every funny thing that your little one says when you’re not at home. You can always transfer these moments to a different medium from this list when you get home.

Here are some good apps:

Video Diary

We’re always taking photos, but often forget the value of video recordings. Take a quick video when your kiddo says something especially funny. You may have to ask them to repeat what they said to capture the moment. Store the video clips in a Facebook album or add them to a video diary app.

Using an online storage method (Pinterest board, app) allows you to easily share these moments to social media. However, there’s value to having a physical memento that you can pass around when relatives come visit your home as well. Choose the option (or two) that’s right for you.

Top 3 Tips for planning a fun and fabulous second birthday party

Top 3 Tips for Planning a Fun and Fabulous Second Birthday Party

It’s time to plan a second birthday party for your little one. This time around, your kiddo is more active and engaged, so there’s a little more planning that should be done. Keep reading for three tips that will make your party fun and fabulous for everyone in attendance.

  1. Keep the guest list small.

At age two, children are most concerned about their own needs. They aren’t yet focused on making friends and interacting with other kids (Baby Center). They will soon outgrow this, but for now, keep your guest list small. The party will be more enjoyable for your little one if they don’t have to worry about sharing toys. Invite family, plus just a couple of other toddlers and their parents.

  1. Plan a few activities.

It’s a good idea to plan a few activities so that you have options when little ones become impatient. Simple and interactive games are best. Here are some ideas:

  • Play dress-up – provide a box of clothes and costumes.
  • Dance to music.
  • Have a relative read a story.
  • Have fun with bubbles
  • Play Duck Duck Goose.
  • Coloring time – Print out coloring sheets that relate to your party’s theme. You can find free ones online.

Top 3 Tips for planning a fun and fabulous second birthday party

  1. Stick to finger foods.

By serving only finger foods, you prevent any accidents that could happen with utensils. Furthermore, foods that are easy to clean up are best. Avoid anything sticky or complicated. As a precaution, you can ask the parents of toddler guests if their children have any allergies. It’s best to just avoid nuts altogether since that’s such a common one.

Here are some toddler-friendly and adult-approved food choices:

  • Mini pizza bites
  • Pre-cut fruit like banana slices
  • Mini almond butter and jelly sandwiches, or any other kind

Top 3 Tips for planning a fun and fabulous second birthday party

Mini pizza bites

An additional tip – avoid serving a full meal if you host your party during a non-meal time such as late morning.

See our blog post on the most unusual and adorable celebrations for more themed food and party ideas.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes

Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes

We know there’s a lot to prepare before your baby comes home. The most important on your to-do list should be related to safety. This includes babyproofing your home and installing a car seat. Don’t know where to start when it comes to shopping for and installing a car seat? We’ve got you covered. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Requirements by Age

Child passenger laws vary slightly state by state, but car seat guidelines are generally the same.

  • Newborn to two years – (and weighing under 20 pounds) should be in a rear-facing car seat.  
  • Two to four year-olds – should switch to a convertible seat after they outgrow the height/weight limit of the infant one. There’s a little debate when it comes to when to switch from rear-facing to forward-facing. Parenting.com and Consumer Reports recommend staying rear-facing until age two.
  • Children under age 8 – and under 40 pounds must be secured in a car seat at all times.
  • Age 12 – Kids should sit in the back seat until age 12.

Shopping for the Safest Car Seat

A car seat is something that you definitely want to have before the baby arrives, so it’s time to get shopping!

The most important tip is to buy new. Buy a new, not used car seat to ensure that it’s up-to-date with all of the most recent technological improvements. While all car seats have been tested for safety standards, everyone still wants to know which one is the absolute safest. Baby Bargains does a great job of rating all types of car seats in different price ranges.

Infant Seat v.s. Convertible Car Seat

There are two types of car seats available to you for newborns. A rear-facing infant seat is used just in the first year. On the other hand, a convertible seat starts rear-facing, but can then be turned to the front and adjusted as your little one grows up. Choosing a convertible seat will save you money down the road, however convertible seats typically can’t be removed easily from your car like infant seats. The convenience of moving your sleeping baby in their seat usually leads most parents to purchase an infant seat for the first year (Parents.com).

Everything You Need to Know About Car Seats Before the Baby Comes

Installation

Each car seat comes with its own unique installation manual. In today’s technological world, some companies will even direct you to a Youtube tutorial. Make sure to read the manual before you try to install the seat. It’s also a good idea to just keep that manual in your glove box or somewhere else in your car so you know where it is.

A common mistake is forgetting to put the seatbelt in lock mode if your car doesn’t have self-locking ones. Since car seat installation is complicated and there’s so much room for mistakes, it’s not a bad idea to have a professional inspection. You can use Parents Central’s Inspection Station Locator to search for the nearest technician.

We hope that this guide has been helpful. Have you already started shopping and have an additional tip to share? Comment below!

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas

Your baby’s first birthday is a major milestone that calls for an extra special celebration. Whether you host a small or large birthday party, the day should be fun and memorable for your family and guests. Here are 10 unusual and adorable celebration and gift ideas to get your creativity flowing.

  1. “Time Flies” Airplane Birthday Party

Play off of the fact that time flies during your baby’s first year with a fun aviation-themed party. You can have a “check-in” for guests to drop off gifts and a “baggage claim” to collect party favors. Vintage luggage makes for great decor.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas

Image source – Kara’s Party Ideas

  1. Dr. Seuss “Oh the Places You’ll Go” Party

This is a great theme because it works for both genders and involves simple decorations.  Think maps, globes, and lots of color. You can have your guests write a special message for your child inside the cover of the Dr. Seuss book.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas

Image source – B Lovely Events

  1. Mermaid Birthday Party

A mermaid theme is perfect for your baby girl with a love for the beach and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Get creative and label snacks with ocean-inspired names: cheese puffs = cannon balls, jelly beans = jellyfish eggs, pretzel sticks = driftwood, and so on.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift IdeasImage source – Elevate Everyday

  1. Milk and Cookie Monster Party

A milk and cookies party makes your food straightforward and hassle-free. Guests won’t be expecting a full meal if you make the theme clear on your invite. Stick to a blue and brown color story for decor and food. Old-fashioned milk bottles are an extra detail that your guests will love! Consider gluten-free or dairy-free options for guests with dietary restrictions.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift IdeasImage source – Spaceships and Laserbeams

  1. Safari Themed First Birthday

For your baby girl or boy who loves animals and adventure, turn your home into a jungle safari. DIY a jungle cruiser and backdrop for guests to take photos. Tons of stuffed animals, animal crackers, and bananas are just a few ideas to get you started.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas
Image source – The Wise Baby

  1. Time Capsule Gift

Your one-year old probably has plenty of toys, so ask guests to instead bring one meaningful item to place in a time capsule that will be opened on your child’s 18th birthday. Suggest writing a letter with predictions or advice for the future.  

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas
Image source – Denver Metro Moms Blog

  1. Build Your Baby’s First Library

Ask guests to bring a favorite book or two to add to your baby’s library. They’ll be reading and writing before you know it! Share a Google spreadsheet via email so that guests can share the books they plan to bring and avoid duplicates.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas

Image source – Project Nursery

  1. Elephant/Circus Themed Party

An elephant themed party is a classic for a reason. The decor is cute and sweet, and can be adjusted to your preferences. Choose one or two colors to make your party cohesive. This theme also works for a girl or boy. Or, swap out elephants for your baby’s favorite animal and center your party around that.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas

Image source – The Sweetest Occasion

  1. Strawberry Party

Take a girly pink, red, and lime green color scheme one step further with an all strawberry theme. There are so many great food and drink options – strawberry lemonade, anyone? This is an especially great theme for summer parties.

  1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Party

Your little one is the little star of the party, so you might as well run with that theme. Choose neutral colors accented with plenty of gold of glitter. Cake toppers and star wands are easy to DIY. Showcase photos from your baby’s first year at the party.

10 Unusual and Adorable Celebration and Gift Ideas

Image source – Simply Real Moms

Start planning early and enlist the help of a friend to eliminate unnecessary stress. Take one more task off your plate by scheduling a first year photoshoot with Bella Baby. Our talented photographers will capture this special moment in your child’s life with high-quality, creative images. You can gift a photo as a party favor to relatives who attend the celebration.