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Toy Storage and Organization Ideas for the New Year

Toy Storage and Organization Ideas for the New Year

Getting organized is always on the top of my list when a new year rolls around. After the fun chaos of the holidays generally comes the need. There are so many toys to find storage spots for, new books to stash on the shelf and of course, there are toys to find new homes for!

This year, if you want to get organized, you are in the right spot! We have so many awesome storage and organization options here in the shop! Let me tell you about a few of my favorites and how they can help you get your house organized while offering the kids enough flexibility to savor play time!
Aptly named, these adorable mess eaters are the perfect way to make clean up fun and to keep the toys stashed neatly! I love their fun design and how these add a cute touch to a child's room. This style is perfect for use on a shelf, eliminating clutter and adding a smiling friend to the area!
There is no need to fear what lies under the bed now! Mess Eaters are ready to slide under the bed and contain toys!  These are perfect for storing an extra blanket or holding a treasure of toys!
I really adore this Sunny Safari Toy Chest! It is bright, friendly and perfect for keeping toys separated and orderly and offers a cheerful touch to your child's room or the play room!
Sometimes, you need to pull out the big guns when it comes to organizing your kid's toys! This organizer can hold 12 bins making storage and order completely obtainable! I love the classically simple design because as the kids grow, this will still be completely useful for storing a ton of different things!
Chillafish offers some of the coolest ways to organize and store toys, games and more. These units can connect to each other to customize your needs for storage space in the playroom or bedrooms. My kids adore these because they remind them of giant Legos!
If you are more of a toy chest kind of family, this Happy Farm Toy Chest makes picking up and storing toys a down on the farm, good time to be had by all! This is so colorful and cute that your kids are going to love having a chest to store their things in!
If your kids have a hard time putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, no sweat, we have you covered. This adorable and fun hamper practically begs the kids to tidy up with a touch of fun! Available in 7 cute animal themes, there is bound to be one that will fit right in at your house!
How do you keep toys organized and orderly at your home? I would love to hear from you in a comment to help inspire our New Year storage and organization needs.

5 Ways to Make Time to Play As a Family

5 Ways to Make Time to Play As a Family

The days of childhood are busy for parents. We have schedules to coordinate, chores to complete, meals to prepare, homework to oversee and then we need to fit in time to spend together as a family for  fun and playing! While these days might be busy, they are also fleeting and I feel it is super important to make time for family fun. I am making an effort to embrace these busy days to the fullest, and to savor them for what they are; hectic, a little messy and always beautiful.

If are wondering how I fit in working, mothering, managing a household and making time for family fun, let me share these 5 ideas for ways to make time to play as a family. These ideas are intended to help you free up a little time to focus on family fun and to multi-task like a boss and get things accomplished while the kids are smiling all the while!
 
Grocery Shopping with a Fun Twist
On grocery shopping day, I pass on my 'Mom Vacation' and I take the kids shopping with me. I give each child a few items it is their duty to find and treat the experience like a scavenger hunt. The kids have a blast selecting fruits, veggies and grocery items and I get my shopping done without sacrificing family fun. To give the trip a fun twist, if the kids are well behaved and find all of the items on their list, they are each allowed to select a special treat that wasn't on our list.
Simple Dinner
One night a week, we make dinner as fuss-free as possible. I serve sandwiches and raw veggies on paper plates. This cuts my cooking and clean up time in half and the time saved is more than enough time to throw down a game of Uno or to play a memory game together.
Put the Phone Down
My phone is an attention and time hog. I can spend a half an hour reading emails and not even realize the time has passed so quickly! From the time my oldest gets home from school until it is bed time, I put my phone down and I focus on my family.  When my phone is not a factor, it seems that we suddenly have time to take a walk, to dance to our favorite songs or to snuggle up and read a book without the distraction of my constantly chirping phone. It is hard to do, but all of those notifications and messages can wait until the kids are sleeping.
The Mess Can Wait
This one is hard for most moms to accept. We know that childhood is messy, and we know there will always be a new mess to tend to, but, if you can look at the mess for what it is; evidence of fun and playtime, it is not as unsightly as it seemed a few moments before. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but walk away from the laundry. There will be dishes to wash later as well. Let the mess ride and savor your kids. Build Legos with them or play a board game, as you see their smiles and get to engage in meaningful conversations, you won't mind spending a few extra minutes tidying up after the kids are in bed.
 
Make Chores a Family Affair
I do expect my family to get involved in the upkeep of our home. When all hands are on deck, so much more can get accomplished in a short time. Ask the kids to help you sort socks, and turn it into a new kind of matching game.  Teach the kids to fold towels and make it a contest to see who can fold the fastest or the neatest. When we complete chores together, it saves time, it promotes family effort and it gives us more time to spend together on fun when the work is done. If your kids can operate a smartphone or a tablet, they are old and smart enough to do basic household chores from sweeping and mopping, to loading the washing machine or caring for pets. Giving them responsibility now teaches them valuable skills for life.
These are just a few of the ways I make time for family fun. If you have ideas or suggestions for how to fit more fun into the day, please share them for the benefit of families!

Creating a Kid Friendly Home Gym

Creating a Kid Friendly Home Gym

With the New Year comes many resolutions to be more active and to get healthier. For me, it seems that I fail in my resolve to work out more often because it is hard to exercise when the little kids are around. They want to use the elliptical, they want to ride the stationary bike, and they want to do it the most when an adult is in the process of using that specific piece of equipment. It is cute, but it makes keeping your heart rate up a challenge!

If you have a similar situation, or if you are simply looking for a way to get the family up and moving, you stopped at the right place! We have so many awesome options for kid-friendly exercise equipment! These are functional and adorable additions to any home gym!

Having a buddy on the treadmill makes time fly, and who is a better buddy than your preschooler? With this nonmotorized treadmill, your little one can get moving safely. The treadmill features a no-tip design and an electronic monitor, to make the experience as much like Mom and Dad's treadmill as possible. The unit offers 3-6-year-olds a safe and low impact workout.

This kid-sized stationary bike is brightly colored, has that same awesome no tip design to keep kids safe while inspiring them to live an active lifestyle.  Ideal for preschoolers and kindergarteners, this is one of the best ways I can think of to get the kids moving on a rainy day!

Jumping Rope is a great way to get the wiggles out while getting active. This kit comes with a sturdy jump rope and an instructional dvd, so that kids can learn new ways to jump. From a beginners level to someone skilled enough to compete, this kit will appeal to the kids while teaching them new ways to play and exercise!

My kids can not resist this Air Walker. They are drawn to the colors and the design and they want to use it every day. That is worth buying one! On those days I lack the motivation to get busy, the kids can talk me right into working out with them from their enthusiasm for the Air Walker!

If you want to build muscle, lifting weights is a great way to do that! When you can lift safely with the kids it is even better! This Weight Bench for Kids provides kids a safe way to lift. The design is colorful and cute and the bench has that great no tip design, to encourage kids to get active and to have fun while they are working out.

If working out more is on your list of 2017 goals, these options make it easy to get the little ones involved on your journey to better health and more activity. If you have a favorite piece of exercise equipment for kids, tell me about it so we can keep building our home gym!

The Gift of the Brick: 5 Ideas Lego Fans Will Love

The Gift of the Brick: 5 Ideas Lego Fans Will Love

Year after year, Legos continue to be a hot gift option for kids of all ages. Not only are they fun to play with; but they also are a great tool for learning that all kids should have access to. You can't go wrong with a gift of bricks, but the challenge is deciding exactly what Lego themed things to purchase. Lucky for you, I have ideas, straight from the Blue Digger shop. From personalized trays to tables to build on, we have the gifts your Lego fanatics are going to love!

This personalized tray is perfect for on the go building or it can act as a display case for mini-figs and awesome creations. The trays are handmade for a one of a kind gift option that any lego fan will adore!

With this kit, you can keep the legos off the floor, to the relief of your feet and create a lego building area on virtually any surface! This is a fun idea for a DIY kind of kid that would have fun building their own lego table!

Sometimes a kid just needs their own space for lego building sessions! This 2 in 1 activity table is the perfect place for kids to create in an area designed exclusively for their Lego needs. For an added bonus the table flips over to accommodate the included train set.

Sometimes, a kid needs a chance to build on the go! This set is designed for on the go playtime and will keep your kids building with the beloved bricks no matter where they are headed. I like the option of contained building in the car or even on a plane ride. These sets are  great for because Lego play is a great way to guarantee your kids have fun while learning no matter how busy your lifestyle is!

BrickStix are the most fun idea to visit the brick yet! Bring the fun of  removable and reusable decals to a Lego collection! Available in multiple themes from the wildly popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sponge-bob to name a new, these are an affordable way to bring Lego fun to the holidays!

Have you ever given Legos or Lego accessories as a gift? I would love to hear any ideas you have for giving the gift of educational fun to the holidays!

4 Fun Ways to Count Down to Christmas

4 Fun Ways to Count Down to Christmas

It started on Thanksgiving day; my kindergartner asked me what number the day was, which is his way of asking for the date. With a cocked brow he listened to my reply of "November 24th," and he informed me that, "I happen to know Christmas Eve is on December 24th..."  With that, our countdown to Christmas began.

Several times a day, the kids ask me if it is almost Christmas, how many more days they have to wait and in the words of my 3-year-old, "When are we going to Christmas Mommy?" To make the countdown and subsequent wait a little easier on them, I found 4 ways to Countdown to Christmas. If your kids are as excited as mine are, you too might want to turn to one of these ideas.

This printable advent wreath is a colorful way to count down the days. This makes for a lovely decorative addition to your house and it doesn't have any bells of whistles of gadgets, trinkets or candy. In my book that is a winning combination for building anticipation!

Counting down the days until Christmas is fun for the kids, but this idea takes it to a new level and introduces the idea of spreading holiday cheer by completing random acts of kindness for others. These ideas are as simple as paying for someone;s drink in line at a shop or singing a carol for your neighbors, but it gets kids excited not only for Santa, and for serving others.

My favorite idea for counting down the days until Christmas is a reverse advent calendar. Every day in the month of December collect an item to donate to a food pantry or shelter and place them in a box. Toothbrushes, toilet paper, non-perishable goods and personal care items are ideal, and this will help your kids understand the concept of taking care of those less fortunate. Be sure to donate the box of goodies in time to get them to needy families before Christmas!

I love this idea because it adds a lovely touch to your tree. Place special ornaments in numbered boxes, each day you add an ornament to your tree for a one of a kind advent calendar.

How does your family count down the days til Christmas? Leave a comment to share your ideas!