10 Ways to Boost your Toddler's Vocabulary with Books

Monday, January 21, 2019
This post was written in collaboration with Mrs. Wordsmith, however, all opinions are my own.

Did you know that every state has learning standards for even our tiniest of learners to help educators as well as us as parents to know what it is that they should be learning and able to do at a given age?

The standards share everything from fine and gross motor skills to math concepts to early literacy development and beyond and what these areas may look like at different stages. For instance, one particular area that is highlighted for our little learners is that of vocabulary. Most state standards share that as they grow, children should begin using increasingly more complex vocabulary and language, using more descriptive words like adjectives and adverbs and forming more structurally sound and complex sentences. That being said, I thought I'd take a moment today to share in 10 simple ways you can seek to boost these skills with your toddler at home through the simple act of sharing in time reading together.

1. Read a multitude of texts. Research shows that voracious readers have a wider vocabulary, and this is no different for toddlers. One strategy we try and utilize in our home to ensure this takes place is to read one new book, one familiar book and one favorite throughout the day. It encourages children to explore new books and vocabulary, while reviewing and revisiting those they know and love as well.

15 Teaching Opportunities for Toddlers at the Grocery Store

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
I'll admit, while the actual act of getting groceries still doesn't top my list of favorite things to do each week, I have learned to actually enjoy it a bit more now that I have a little one. Don't get me wrong, I love the solo trip to the store as much as the next mom, and it certainly makes the process go much more quickly, but I've also found that our weekly grocery store trips together provide me with a space for a vast array of teaching opportunities with my child that go beyond the basics of buying food to fill our bellies for the week.

Below is a list of 15 different (and incredibly simple) teaching opportunities for you to try out with your toddler on your next grocery shopping adventure:

New Years Activities for Toddlers

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
This New Year's Eve was by far the best I can remember. It involved no fancy outfits or drinks, no parties or gatherings, and it didn't even involve me actually staying awake until midnight. What it did involve, however, was a whole day chalked full of fun with my family.

To help us get into the spirit the day of, I spent the evening prior whipping up this little balloon garland. Inside each balloon (which my husband so graciously donated his lungs to fill), I placed a rolled up piece of paper highlighting activities we would do throughout the day. We hung and filled 12 balloons to represent 12 o'clock and popped them in their numbered order as the day progressed. Not only did my little one light up when he walked into the living room New Year's Eve morning, but he continued to do so as we popped each balloon one-by-one and participated in all of the festive fun.

A Full Day of Festive Toddler Food

Thursday, December 13, 2018
This post was written in collaboration with Kiddobloom, however, all opinions are my own.

You all know I love being creative. If you've been following along with our family for any length of time, you also know I love me a good nutrient dense meal or snack. So when the holidays come around, and I have a festive reason to combine these two passions of mine - you better believe I'm all in. While I've included a full day's worth of ideas here, you could certainly do them across a variety of days throughout the season. Feel free to pair your favorite holiday songs, activities and books alongside them as well!

Breath a Sigh of Relief with Smartbeat Video Baby Monitor

Saturday, December 8, 2018
This post was written in collaboration with Smartbeat, however, all opinions are my own.

As a mama to a preemie, I entered the world of parenthood to the tune of monitors. For the first few weeks of my little one's life, we had constant access to his heart rate, oxygen levels and more while he was both awake and sleeping giving us peace of mind that all was well in that tiny body of his. When we finally brought Asher home, I will admit, I had a difficult time being away from all of those reassuring beeps and buzzes from the hospital. The hardest for me was the nighttime when I needed to be getting much needed rest myself, but struggled with worries like "Is my baby breathing?" or "Is he okay?" throughout many of those first few weeks home together.

My Favorite Subscription Boxes for the Whole Family + A Giveaway!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
This post was written in collaboration with Incredibundles, however, all opinions are my own.

I don't know about you, but I love a good gift that keeps on giving. Whether it be a membership to the zoo or a local museum, a subscription to a favorite site or magazine or even a set of new cleaning or baking tools that I can use for years, I truly value receiving something that can be enjoyed time and again.

Enter subscription boxes. This year I've had the pleasure of experiencing quite a few with my family, and I have to say, the joy of receiving a monthly box at your door, be it full of themed surprises or full of daily necessities, can be well worth the investment. Below I've compiled a list of some of my favorites (that I've either tried or I'm hoping to) for this holiday season that could certainly serve as long-lasting gift ideas for the whole family.

All Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

Friday, November 2, 2018
October has come to a close and while the season of turkeys and holiday carols is drawing near, so too is another less festive one - cold and flu season.

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to attend a workshop on natural ways to prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms with a few local experts in the field. I learned so many great tips and tricks, that I felt it only fitting to come back and share them with all of you. The following are a variety of highlights from the session as well as some things we intend to do and have on hand this season to help us combat the "bugs" ahead.