Melissa and Doug have done it again. We already love their puzzles and toys and stickers, so I am not at all surprised. But DUDE have you checked out their toddler art sets!? I am particularly referring to the Water Wow! painting books ($4.99). Babystar LOVES this thing. She calls it her ‘art show’. She can paint the pad with water and it will color in the picture plus add a few surprises like birds in the sky or starfish in the sea or whatever. They are marketed as on-the-go activities, and I did not realize until writing this post that the ‘paintbrush’ actually unscrews so you can add water to it and you do not actually need a cup of water for the tiny artist. I did wonder why the brushes were so chunky, but I just thought it was because they were made so perfectly for toddler hands. (I am clearly a genius.) Plus the cup of water is a sensory activity. Right?
Protip: dab the pages with a paper towel when your child finishes to avoid them sticking together. And lay the books on their side with the pages fanned out to dry. They will dry clear and are actually totally reusable. We are on about six times now (in only a few days) and the Water Wow! book is still as good as new.
I also bought a Melissa and Doug stamp pad ($5.99) and a Color Blast marker coloring book ($4.99) at the same time. I’m saving the stamp pad and marker book for later, though.
I like to dole out new toys a bit at a time. Once I show her the stamp pad, THERE IS NO TURNING BACK. I know this. I almost feel like a bad mommy because she got a ton of little stamps in her easter basket but she has no stamp pad. But right now, she still likes naming the animals on the stamps and has not even asked for a stamp pad. She knows that stamp pads exist. She loves to play with them at Nook. So I know that once they are available at home, THAT WILL BECOME MY WHOLE LIFE AND I AM NOT READY FOR THAT JELLY.
The stamp pad totally says washable and I have high hopes. But. I believed Crayola once too, so we’ll see. Washable = it will totally come off but be prepared to scrub really hard, mama.
I also recently purchased a Magic Ink Moana coloring book from Amazon as a fun new toy for her sister to give her when she babysat her recently. It was $6.50 at the time but I see now that the price has gone up. Babystar was underwhelmed, but I think it was just a bit too old for her. The marker tip was a bit too small to hold a toddler’s attention for revealing the colors. Though she did play with it for about an hour, I’m told. Mostly, though, it isn’t just a coloring book but more of an activity book. It would be great for older Moana-lovers on a road trip or something; it has games and mazes and such. I’m hoping the Melissa and Doug marker book will be more toddler-focused.
MAYDAY MAYDAY: Has anyone found any truly washable markers? Do tell! Pretty please.
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Babystar likes tools.
Since it’s kinda dangerous and pretty dirty and maybe illegal to let her play with the tools on my workbench, we got her a set of toy tools. (Yes, I said MY workbench. I 100% guarantee that my husband would agree.)
They are cute and sturdy and BPACDEFG-free and made of recycled materials in the USA. This is my first Green Toys purchase, but I totally dig them. I bought them at Home Goods so they were less expensive than usual. Which I also totally dig. ($16.99 instead of $27.99.)
Babystar digs them too. She took the pliers on the airplane to Florida earlier this month, and ‘fixed’ the airplane window. Whew. Those other travelers don’t know how close we came to a possible broken window. Babystar to the rescue.
(Note: I had to go to their website to look up the actual retail price since I bought them at Home Goods. They have a pink set. Gross. GIRLS LIKE BLUE TOO. At least the tea set comes in both pink and blue too. BUT STILL.)
And while we are on the topic of fixing things, the living room ball pit has been getting some serious
abuse aggressive love by visiting older kids. It’s totally to be expected, and a large part of me wants it to break completely and be out of my life, but alas. Babystar loves it too much. So we bought some Duck tape (yes, Duck, that’s the brand) and fixed the broken loops. $3.77. She picked yellow, so they don’t match the other loops at all but whatever. Also, we took the ball pit downstairs so it maybe gets less abuse and so I maybe don’t have to look at it as much. Win-win.
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Once upon a time my little brother brought a slide into my living room for Babystar. Last month, he added a ball pit. It is her favorite thing ever. She plays in the ball pit every day. Her snowman plays in the ball pit. Her dinosaur plays in the ball pit. Her babies play in the ball pit. Errybody plays in the ball pit.
It used to belong to her cousin V, and some of the balls were crushed in the past two years. Babystar has upped her stunt game to include diving head first into the ball pit, so we decided to Amazon Prime a few more balls for some extra cushioning. $38.16 for two packs of 250 Fisher Price balls.
Guess who stopped by when there happened to be a giant Amazon box on the front porch? Yes, the awesome uncle who makes ball pits appear in the living room as if by magic brought the box in with him. Of course I had to let him dump all the new balls in the ball pit for Babystar. She stared up at him with so much joy. I think she likes him better than me now. I think she likes him better than PENGUINS now.
Babystar looks like a little turtle swimming in all those balls with just her head popping up. The new balls were smaller than the original ones, which actually makes for a nice mix. After two days of picking up ballsballsballs and putting them back in the ball pit, I took some out and hid them in a closet downstairs. She didn’t even notice, and now we have backup for when some of these get squished or lost or whatever happens to small plastic balls in this big scary world.
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Toddlers be like, Oh Hey Ma, you just cleaned the kitchen. I’ll fix it while you take 43 seconds to pee and speed wash your hands nbd.
Cool, now please make me an egg. (With the sign language please and everything so I just die and do it and clean it all over again someone help I think I have Stockholm Syndrome.)
RAISING BABYSTAR: $13,235.18