My favorite developmental toys for kids

I’m trying to live more minimally and decrease the clutter that makes its way into our house.

So when the time came to buy Christmas gifts for my kids this year, I felt a little stressed about finding things that were in line with my desire for simplicity and purpose in our toy room.

I want toys that encourage my kids to use their brains and toys that they won’t get sick of after a few weeks (or a few days!) and that I will feel good about having in my home for a long time. That means no loud, annoying, cheap (easily breakable) or tacky toys.

I’m so excited to share my picks! I linked all of the products for you, so all you have to do is click on the images to check them out. Please share your own favorite toys in the comments!

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My favorite iPad games for kids

I’m very particular about the way my kids spend time with technology. It can quickly become time-wasting and brain-numbing. I think the biggest concern for me is that it can take away from time they could be spending imagining, interacting with others or learning in a more productive way. But our kids are growing up in a tech-savvy world, and I don’t want to shield them from it or demonize it. I want my kids to know how to take advantage of it for the positive tool it can be.

I was so excited to find a learning program that is in line with how I want technology to be used in our home. Osmo is an award-winning game system that uses the iPad and iPhone for interactive, hands-on learning.

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12 Christmas picture books for the 12 days of Christmas

I had so much fun scouring library shelves and stores for the best Christmas picture books. I went to my friend Julie Bristow, who has a knack for finding the best traditional Christmas books, to add to my list of new favorites. Here are our top 12 picks! We love the idea of wrapping these up and opening one a day with your family for the 12 days of Christmas. Merry Christmas and happy reading!

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10 picture books that cultivate gratitude

According to research, cultivating gratitude is one of the simplest but most powerful paths to a happier, more fulfilled life. Gratitude dispels entitlement and indifference, selfishness and hopelessness. That’s why it’s so important for me to teach my children to have grateful mindsets.¬†One of my favorite ways to teach the value of gratitude is to cuddle up with and read a fun book with them. I teamed up with Miranda Rosbach to share 10 picture books for cultivating grateful mindset.

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16 picture books that teach love and acceptance

There have been so many acts of violence happening close to home and across oceans, and I’ve been thinking of the people who caused those tragic events.

Where was their sense of self-love and reverence for life?

How can I teach my children to deeply love and accept themselves and others, despite our weaknesses and differences?

I started looking for picture books that displayed these messages beautifully and in a way that reaches kids’ hearts and minds.

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