11 Puzzles To Get Your Toddlers and Little Kids Ready For #FamilyFun

Toddlers can be the worst. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cute and cuddly most of the time, roaming around discovering the world now that they can crawl or walk. But, then, there’s the other 75% of the day when those tantrums start flaring, and all you really want to do is hide in a closet until they use up all their energy crying and just collapse into a nap from exhaustion. First-graders aren’t much better. Now, the tantrums have a mouth on them, too. Thankfully, there are plenty of puzzles for toddlers and little kids to keep them entertained.

Puzzles stop them in their tracks and make them focus on something other than wrecking the house. There’s no on or off button on puzzles. No noisy sounds or music breaks like other toys. There’s no cheat to it. Spending time with puzzles can increase your child’s problem-solving skills, cognitive development, hand-eye coordination and more. It will also teach them how to be okay with asking for help. Our first-graders are little know-it-alls, so giving them puzzles offers a healthy challenge for them.

These puzzles for toddlers and little kids listed below are an assortment of fun and educational activities that your kids will enjoy. Don’t forget to charge your phone so you can take a picture of the finished product for your social, #MyKidsSoSmart.

Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Dawn Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle

Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures. For your fearless tot, try this prehistoric dinosaur puzzle. The bright puzzle pieces are big making it easy for little fingers to pick up. It’s easy to clean, too, so you can keep it looking fresh and new. Children who have a fixed interest in something, like dinosaurs, tend to have a better attention span, increased knowledge, and better information processing skills. Basically, your child’s obsession of a single character or subject can make them smarter and better learners. This intense interest can also be a confidence booster. When it comes to dinosaurs specifically, their interests in these Jurassic beings benefit their cognitive development and critical thinking. Who knew that something so fun could have such a positive impact in your child’s life? So don’t let your child’s love for dinosaurs go extinct. This puzzle is a great, fun way to keep their intense interest fueled.

$12 AT AMAZON

LiKee Wooden Pattern Blocks Animals Puzzle

The Likee pattern block set offers more than the traditional puzzle. Inside the tin container, you’ll find 36 interchangeable puzzle pieces. In addition to those pieces, you’ll find 60 different design cards. Each design can be made using a combination of the puzzle pieces. Show your child a design and watch as they search through the pieces to create a design to match the one shown on the card. This will help your child start to learn how to recognize different shapes and patterns. Once your child has figured out how to make all 60 designs, let them unleash their imagination and creativity by making their own designs. It’s great for toddlers and preschool age children. “I got these for my 4 year old son who seems to be obsessed with patterns and colors,” said Alice Carter. “I gave them to him when he was home sick from daycare one day and they were an instant hit!” Take their fun learning to the next level by using the pattern cards as sight words.

$15 AT AMAZON

iPlay, iLearn Wooden Solar System Circular Floor Puzzle

Shuttle up for a puzzle that’ll rock your world. Improve your child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination with this 48 piece solar system puzzle. This puzzle is designed for your child to work independently or with others. The precision fit of the pieces help toddlers and older kids blast off to complete this wooden space floor puzzle with ease. The finished project makes for a great visual useful when teaching your little martians about the solar system. If you want, you can prepare a few facts on each planet to launch a little education into your family activity. They’ll be over the moon with fun. “Bought this as a birthday gift for my 3 year old nephew and he loved it! Even his 1 year old sister could “help” because of the size and thickness of the pieces,” said Qino B. “Will definitely recommend to anyone that is looking for kid friendly puzzles.”

$19 AT AMAZON

Banana Panda Looong Puzzle Ocean

Tired of the traditional square puzzle? Try this giant panoramic puzzle from Banana Panda. Great for your littles (2+), this puzzle can help to promote hand-eye coordination and help to improve their manual dexterity, which means that piecing together the puzzle can help your toddler to learn how to manipulate objects with intention and precise movement. The puzzle comes in a keepsake box with a sturdy handle making it easy to transport to and from playdates. Banana Panda is a family operated company that specializes in puzzles, educational toys, and games and won the 2019 Teacher’s Choice award in the preschool category. Give your child a fun activity that can also provide them with a headstart in learning. “I bought this for my three-year-old grandson who really liked this puzzle,” said Felicia Lovett. “It is a very good size and the puzzle pieces are easy for him to handle. He quickly mastered the puzzle and has put it together many, many times.”

Bonus, it gets the wee-ones prepared to participate in family puzzle night for years to come.

$19 AT AMAZON

Mudpuppy Construction Site Jumbo Puzzle

Put on your safety gear and head to the site. Your little builders will enjoy piecing together this construction zone filled with hard-working puppies. This puzzle has nice, thick pieces, perfect for little hands. The puzzle pieces are printed with soy-based ink so you don’t have to worry about the children playing with toxic materials. The storage box features a handle making it easy to take with you when you need something to keep your little one occupied while meeting up with the crew. “My son is able to do this puzzle all by himself and he has asked to do the puzzle almost every day since we got it,” said Soccer Mom in her Amazon review. “My son loves that this puzzle has 2 of his favorite things: construction and dogs.” Get ready for your child to build and tear down this puzzle over and over. Besides, what do construction workers do? They build!

$13 AT AMAZON

Ravensburger Disney Pixar Toy Story 4 Jigsaw Puzzle

It was 1995 when the first Toy Story was released — a beautiful story about a child’s love for his toys and their love for the child. Since the initial release, Disney Pixar has produced 3 additional sequels including their latest, Toy Story 4. If you didn’t get a chance to watch Toy Story 4 as a family yet, there’s still time. Even without watching, your child will enjoy building this Toy Story 4 puzzle. Watching the movie first will make this puzzle even more fun for your kids. Of course they’ll find the classic characters, Woody and Buzz. They’ll also find new characters from the latest movie in the franchise including Duck and Bunny. While building the puzzle, your child will also be working on their concentration, fine motor skills, patience and thinking. Each puzzle piece is unique. You won’t find any duplicates. This will help keep the frustration at a low level.

$16 AT AMAZON

Mudpuppy Rainforest Search & Find Puzzle

Children love animals. Have you ever taken your child to the zoo or a wildlife preserve? Sure, the lions and bears can be a bit scary, but even when frightened, the children seem to have a curiosity about the animals. They wonder what they eat, where they sleep and of course, how far into the forest they live to make sure they won’t run into them any time soon. Your wild ones will love this rainforest themed puzzle that features some of their favorite animals. Not just animals, this puzzle also features creepy crawlers such as spiders, and reptiles such as snakes. The fun doesn’t stop there. After they’ve finished their masterpiece, they can search and find many more animals, insects, and plants that are all native to the rainforest. Those 40 objects are spread across the border of the puzzle so it’s like puzzle and hide and seek in one.

$17 AT AMAZON

Mudpuppy The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Go Puzzle

Your children have something in common with this next puzzle character. They’re hungry! This hungry caterpillar is ready to go wherever you are. It comes in this nifty travel-friendly drawstring bag that your little one can wear on their back like a backpack. Only 36 pieces, the puzzle can provide a quick break from the iPad and their YouTube videos. Whether you’re going to grandma’s house or just going from one room to the next, this to-go puzzle can make the trip. The colors are vibrant and feature the artwork of American designer, illustrator and children’s book author, Eric Carle. He’s known for his very popular book; you’ve guessed it, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Julie C said, “My 2 yo is OBSESSED with the book. We own THREE copies. We now read the book while doing the puzzle and it’s his favorite “game” to play.” Mom approved, this puzzle is a hit.

$10 AT AMAZON

The Learning Journey Self-Correcting Matching Puzzle Set

As a parent, I’m sure you’ve looked down at your little one and wondered what will become of them as they get older. What career will they choose? What will spark their interests? Get your child excited about who they’ll be when they grow up with the “Who Am I?” puzzle set. This is a self-correcting puzzle meaning that only the matching pieces will fit together. There’s no way they can get this wrong which will help decrease some of the frustration they may feel when working with traditional puzzles. This is a great puzzle to help build your child’s confidence, especially if they’re having trouble in other academic areas. “Both girls love to put together these puzzle pieces. It teaches different occupations along with some children favorites such as a clown, a ballerina, a witch, a fairy, super hero just to name a few,” said Jackie O. Although it doesn’t cover all possible career options, it can get a dialogue going about the different professions that are out there.

$12 AT AMAZON

Mudpuppy Superhero Glow in The Dark Puzzle

Are you afraid of the dark? Well, your kids might be but they’ll still enjoy this puzzle. Hit the lights for a little glow-in-the-dark activity your superheroes will enjoy. Piecing together this crime-fighting mouse will be no easy task, but your little one has the power to do so. The family who protects the world together, stays together. The Incredibles will have nothing on your and your little ones. Work together to take down this crafty puzzle. Part one, build the puzzle. Part two, flick the lights to see the image glow. You may find a few surprises in the revealed glowing image, too. You can also use the finished product as a nightlight. It might even help your child who is a little afraid of the dark. They might even ask to go to sleep just to watch it glow, but don’t hold your breath on that happening. #WishfulThinking

$12 AT AMAZON

Mudpuppy Rainbow Roar! Pouch Puzzle

This roaring puzzle is a great option for your terrific two-year-olds. Kids can keep their pride of neon lions tucked away in this pouch. It may not take long to piece together for the older kids, but they’re sure to enjoy it, too. “We currently own three of these puzzles in different themes and they are my son’s favorite. I can really tell the designer for these puzzles put a lot of thought into the small child that would be assembling them,” said Christyna Orr. She continues to say that the 12 pieces are large which work great for tiny toddler hands. The puzzle comes packed inside of a secure, reusable pouch which makes transporting simple and easy. “The bag that it comes in is a lifesaver too. It has a sturdy zipper and colored trim that identifies which puzzle goes in which bag,” said Orr. Packing it up after each build will help your puzzle stay vibrant and fresh.

$11 AT AMAZON

Don’t stop here. Take a peak at these other cool toys.

The post 11 Puzzles To Get Your Toddlers and Little Kids Ready For #FamilyFun appeared first on Scary Mommy.

10 Best Family Puzzles To Be Working On *Together* This Week

Puzzles are back with a vengeance (they never really went anywhere but now we’re super into them). In the US more people enjoy puzzles each year than any other board game. Admittedly, our younger selves thought puzzles were lame. The idea of spending hours trying to fit pieces together to create a picture of a bridge over a pond in a forest surrounded by squirrels was just not a party. But, as we all know, kids have transformed us into new people who’ll do anything to spend quiet time with the family (keeping them off of their personal screens and begging us to make more slime). And now, they have us online searching for the best family puzzles.

Let’s be real, we’re pretty much down for anything that keeps these kids occupied long enough for us to finish the last 15 minutes of Good Girls or to finally tackle that self-waxing project we’ve been needing. Not to mention the problem-solving skills your kids pick up trying to match colors and patterns on those teeny puzzle pieces. Did we mention this was all for family fun? Instead of leaving the kids to their own devices (fighting over pieces, hiding pieces, losing pieces…you get it), you’re all meant to join in on this concentrated fun.

Puzzles are a great way to incorporate self-care into your day, too. Not just a source of entertainment, putting together puzzles can help to decrease anxiety (for all of you). Plus, if you accidentally step on a few pieces that don’t make it back into their box, you won’t stop and question your entire life as you do after stepping on a Lego.

Here are a few all-hands-on-deck puzzle situations, that’ll get everyone off of their phones to *piece* together a family fun night (#sorrynotsorry).

MasterPieces National Parks Piece Puzzle

Life as a busy mama doesn’t leave much free time to enjoy the great outdoors or visit some of your favorite trails or national parks. Just because you can’t go physically, doesn’t mean you can’t visit virtually. Your junior rangers will enjoy piecing together this puzzle featuring some of their national park animals. No lions or tigers, but there are bears, raccoons, and squirrels. Mama Angie gave it a 5-star review saying, “…My kids really enjoyed this puzzle and we talked about the animals on it.” It’s a nice activity to do before a road trip to a place where you may see these animals lurking. Have your children learn a few facts about each animal — what they eat, where they like to sleep and where they hide in the forest. They can make a list of the animals, and bring it with them the next time they’re exploring the great outdoors.

$9 AT AMAZON

Mudpuppy Ocean Life Search & Find Puzzle

Take a deep-sea dive into this 2-in-one puzzle. Children will love analyzing each puzzle piece featuring bold colors and beautiful artwork filled with all kinds of sea creatures. Only 64 pieces, putting this puzzle together is only half the battle, the real fun starts after you fit together the last piece. With more than 40 things to find, sit back and watch your kids put their observation skills to the test and search for some of their favorite marine animals. Have them imagine that they’re marine biologists searching for rare species swimming in the deep blue sea. You could create a fake submarine from a box or a laundry basket to add more to this imaginary storyline. After they find each sea creature, they can spend what’s left of their screen time finding out what these ocean dwellers look like in real life. Maybe there’ll be a marine biologist in the fam!

$11 AT AMAZON

Mudpuppy Outer Space Glow-in-the-Dark Puzzle

Blast into space with a glow in the dark puzzle that is out of this world. This colorful puzzle features the artwork of planets, stars, astronauts, spaceships, and more. Field questions about the galaxy to spark your child’s curiosity about the world beyond. How many rings does Saturn have? Why do astronauts float? What else can you find in outer space? This puzzle has won the Family Choice Award and the Tillywig Best Family Fun Award so you know it’s a winner. Theme the evening with a space bedtime story or a special astronaut meal for a night time snack. The finished puzzle measures around 18”x12” so you don’t need to clear off an entire table to complete it. After building with your little aliens, let them use their finished masterpiece as a nightlight for bedtime. You might even get them to be excited about going to sleep. A mom can dream, can’t she?

$12 AT AMAZON

Ravensburger Matt Sewell British Birds Jigsaw Puzzle 500 Piece

Flock to this 500 piece puzzle for a challenging and fun activity. You’ll notice there seem to be quite a few repeating colors but don’t let that ruffle your feathers. It might take a while, but you and the rest of your family will be filled with pride once you finally complete this puzzle.

This puzzle is ideal for children 9-years-old and up to age 99, as Ravensburger likes to tout. The soft click technology helps these pieces click together seamlessly. “At only 500 pieces, it took me 3 days just when I had time to sit down, and I am so pleased with the quality of it that I am going to use a fixative and hang it on my wall,” said Carole Lombard. “It is a cheery kind of puzzle to brighten up a dreary day.”

$20 AT AMAZON

Ravensburger Disney Pixar Movies 1000 Piece Puzzle

Show me a child who isn’t head over heels for Disney Pixar movies and I’ll show you a dark and troubled soul. A larger project to tackle, even your teenagers will come back to the table to piece together this Disney Pixar puzzle that is sure to feature at least one of their favorite films. You can even split up this task by assigning each of the kids their own movie to piece together. One can be responsible for finding all the pieces for A Bug’s Life, and the other can be responsible for Monster’s Inc. After it’s finished, pick one of the movies from the puzzle for your next family movie night. For added fun, let whoever finishes piecing together their assigned movie first, pick which movie the family watches. Whoever finishes second picks the next and so on. Your puzzle-mania will turn into a movie-a-thon — more fun, more family.

$20 AT AMAZON

Ravensburger Children's World Globe 3D Puzzle

Level-up your puzzle game and blow your kid’s minds with Ravensburger’s 3-D puzzle. You didn’t think puzzles had to stay on the floor, did you? Great for your 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders, this pop-up masterpiece clicks into place with ease, that’s right, no glue required (you’re welcome). Three-dimensional puzzles can take a little more effort than the usual floor puzzles which is why 180 pieces are a pretty good amount to give your kids a challenge without getting too frustrated. The easy-click technology allows the kids to hear the click when pieces fit together. For children having a harder time, on the flip side of the puzzle pieces, there are numbers. With a little counting, your child will have an easier time and the puzzle will start to come together. After building, spend a little time cruising over the world and sneak a geography lesson into your family activity — two birds, one stone.

$25 AT AMAZON

MasterPieces Flashbacks Let the Good Times Roll Jigsaw Puzzle

Take a trip down memory lane with this massive puzzle. Give your kids a history lesson on the classic toys that were a part of your childhood — some of which can still be purchased today. Hungry Hungry Hippos, Chutes and Ladders, Twister and Tiddledy Winks — building this classic board game collage puzzle will introduce your children to a list of vintage games that you can all play together for more family fun activities. Use this puzzle as a starter conversation on the olden days which depending on how old they are, could be just ten years ago. “Bought this for a Christmas gift for my nostalgic wife. The whole family started in on it,” said Amazon reviewer, Rick. “The old games depicted in the puzzle were fun to recall and explain to the kids why they were fun.” Use #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFriday when posting a photo of the finished project on your social media platforms.

$16 AT AMAZON

White Mountain Candy Wrappers Jigsaw Puzzle

Be warned, completing this puzzle might give you and the kids a sweet tooth. Pop Rocks, Jujubes, Mike and Ikes, and more, this puzzle is a sweet time for young and older candy lovers. You might want to pull the grandparents in on this one as it has some truly vintage candy pieces that they may remember eating when they were children. You can even discuss the price difference of candy then and now. The size of the completed puzzle should be around 24 x 30 inches. The pieces are thick making them easy to pick up and put down into place. Staring at these pieces won’t help you fight your cravings or keep your kids from begging for something sweet even though you’ve already given them everything they could possibly want including a piece of your soul. All in all, this puzzle should still be a fun and tasty time.

$14 AT AMAZON

Ravensburger Disney Castle 3D Jigsaw Puzzle

Is your child Disney-obsessed or just you? Either way, this 3D puzzle is a magical option for you and your children. Take your puzzle building off of the floor and have your loyal subjects help you to construct this fairytale castle for a royal addition to your kingdom aka your living room. Discover more than 100 characters from Disney films that you’ll find lurking around the palace. Naturally you’ll find Rapunzel throwing her hair out of the tower window waiting for someone to climb it. You can find Prince Eric dancing with Ariel while she tries out her new legs. Watch out, there may be some evil villains wandering the palace grounds, too. After it’s clicked, check your movie library to make sure you aren’t missing any of these Disney classics or add them to your watchlist on Disney+. If your child has any princess dresses or Disney costumes, you can also pretend to be a part of the kingdom.

$35 AT AMAZON

Galison Full Bloom World Map Puzzle

This isn’t just your ordinary world puzzle, this map is covered with beautiful, colorful flowers and butterflies. “The colors are vibrant and it presents enough challenge without being too difficult,” said the Puzzle Professor. The images of the butterflies and flowers display a vintage look as they hover over a map of the world. This bestselling puzzle comes with an insert where you can learn more about the artist Wendy Gold and her collage artwork featured on the puzzle. Life of Becky says, “Overall, this puzzle was super fun and definitely didn’t cause any boredom. I have now purchased several Galison puzzles and they have not disappointed – I recommend them to any other puzzle addicts out there like me!” Once it’s finished, you may want to keep it together or glue it and put it in a frame as added decor for your home.

$15 AT AMAZON

Still looking for things to keep your kids occupied long enough to wash off yesterday’s makeup? Check out these other toys.

The post 10 Best Family Puzzles To Be Working On *Together* This Week appeared first on Scary Mommy.

11 Best Push Cars For Babies And Toddlers To Cruise ‘Round The Block

It’s no secret that babies and toddlers LOVE to go on walks. And it’s actually a good activity for mamas to get the f*ck out of the house and clear their heads, too. If you’re looking to take those daily walks up a notch (and be hands free), push cars are the answer. They’re a fun option for baby and will grow with your LO for years to come. Plus- you can use them on your patio or even inside when the weather is stormy.

We’ve rounded up the cream of the crop here, with everything from an adorable MINI Cooper to a “luxury” sports car for zipping around. Seriously though, these might just outdo your actual car. Only the best for our babes, amiright?

Step2 McLaren 570S Push Car

Meet the luxury push car that will make all the kiddos on the block jealous. With whisper quiet wheels and an interactive steering wheel, this Step2 push car has everything your BB needs to cruise around in style. A folding handle for storage and multiple drink holders make it great for mama, too.

$76 AT AMAZON

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike

This classic is not technically a car but it’s one staple that’s been around for a while (and for good reason). Lasting from 4 months to 5 years, it features 4 different ride options, a removable footrest and tray, a 3-point harness, a UV-blocking canopy, and rear bucket storage. Plus it has an adjustable seat for kiddos and a handle for parents to steer around easily.

$79 AT AMAZON

Step2 Ford F150 Raptor 2-in-1 Push Car

Vroom, vroom. This monster truck-like ride will definitely put a smile on your LO’s face. The honking horn and electronic sound effects add to the fun. An easy-to-steer handle, added storage compartment, and cup holders are super convenient as well!

$99 AT buybuy BABY

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe

How cute is this little buggy? It has a footrest to protect little one’s feet, and you can take it out when they are ready for a foot-to-floor ride. Baby will love the open-and-close door and honking horn. It’s a great option for using indoors too.

$55 AT buybuy BABY

Little Tikes Deluxe 2-in-1 Cozy Roadster

This little roadster provides shade for baby and a seatbelt to keep them safe. Cup holders and storage will keep you prepared. And the sturdy yet quiet tires make for a smooth ride.

$50 AT AMAZON

Best Ride On Cars 4-in-1 Mercedes Push Car

Since you can’t afford the real thing, why not get one for you kiddo? We love the ample storage space and the safe seat. It also grows with your baby (up to 30 pounds!).

$85 AT AMAZON

Step2 Push Around Buggy

Sleek. Stylish. Safe. This push-around buggy has cool decals that make it look like a real sports car and under-the-hood storage for snacks. A seatbelt and horn make it like a real-life ride.

$50 AT AMAZON

Huffy MINI Cooper Ride On Push Car For Toddlers

A mini for your mini me! This one is meant for older kiddos (aka toddlers) but it will last them for years. Working doors and car sounds bring extra engagement for your LO.

$99 AT AMAZON

Step2 Easy Steer Sportster

This classic option packs a punch with a special steering feature: The castor wheel under the hood can be turned on for a 360-degree turning radius. It also has multiple cup holders and a horn.

$60 AT AMAZON

HABA Walk & Roll Wooden Walker Wagon

Part walker, part push car, this wooden wonder lets your baby push the car while learning to walk. While it’s not designed for parents, it is a good option for siblings to play with baby or for baby to start taking those first steps.

$100 AT AMAZON

Costway 3-in-1 Kids Ride On Push Car Stroller

This multi-functional push car can also be used as a scooter or dining car (with a removable tray to boot!). It has music and a honking horn for added fun. And the seat storage is great for snacks.

$43 AT WALMART

Looking for more baby toys? Check out Scary Mommy’s toy recs for all your BB needs!

The post 11 Best Push Cars For Babies And Toddlers To Cruise ‘Round The Block appeared first on Scary Mommy.

The Best LEGO Technic Sets For Your Tiny (And Not-So-Tiny) Engineers

Confession: putting our kids’ LEGOs together is something we find to be super therapeutic. Even if you’re not one for those adult coloring books, this pile of little plastic bricks (and uh, a glass of wine) really gets us focused and in the zone. There’s something about the meditative building aspect that’s just soooo soothing.

If you, too, regularly steal your kiddo’s LEGO kits after they go to bed (while you’re “cleaning up”), or you simply want to encourage more STEM development in your elementary/middle schooler, we’ve got you. Whether it’s a hyper-realistic model of a Porsche 911, a remote-control stunt car or a forklift with working pistons, the LEGO Technic sets are unique to the LEGO line-up in that they have mechanical and power functions that really engage young builders. In a word, they’re just plain cool.

Here are our favorite LEGO Technic sets to gift to your young inventor…or keep for yourself.

LEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Building Kit 42093

Eager to get your kiddo to take a break from Fortnite? Swap the tablet for something a little more hands-on with this collectible dual option building kit. They’ll construct a replica of an iconic Chevy Corvette or a vintage hot rod, complete with pistons and steering. Guaranteed at least six hours of non-screentime, we promise.

$46 AT AMAZON

Klutz LEGO Gadgets

A boxing robot? A ball-launching catapult? These are just two of the 11 options available to build in the Klutz LEGO Gadgets book. The Parents’ Choice-Recommended kit comes with an instruction manual and all the LEGO bricks they need to get constructing—and terrorizing the family cat with that catapult.

$15 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender 42110 Building Kit

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…we love LEGO Technic models because they actually *do cool stuff*. This lifelike representation of a Land Rover Defender has a working steering wheel, gear shift, All-Wheel-Drive and a functioning winch. It’s on the spendy side, but would make a very fun gift for a Land-Rover lover.

$200 AT AMAZON

E-Blox Power Blox Builder Starter Kit

Our favorite thing about this set? It works with your existing blocks so the build options are literally endless. The light-up starter kit from E-Blox incorporates a small circuit board connected to one 9-volt battery—no wires necessary— to really shed light on your creations.

$30 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic Remote Controlled Stunt Racer Building Kit 42095

What if you could combine your kid’s two true loves—LEGOs and remote-controlled cars—in one? Get ready to be crowned favorite parent, because the fun doesn’t stop after the build is over with this kit. Simply hit the switch and transform this stunt car into a remote-powered racer that can do wheelies, turns and spins.

$90 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic WHACK! Stunt Car Building Kit 42072

Accessible for kids ages 7 to 14, the WHACK! Stunt Car is a scaled-down build that’s still big on action. With a pull-back motor that races forward and finishes with a big crash, little ones will get a hoot out of watching the engine pop out upon collision.

$19 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic Racing Yacht Building Kit 42074

Dreaming about that yacht life? This kit is truly a work of art—and you might want to consider displaying this cool catamaran long after you place the last brick. Buy it for the sailing aficionado in your fam—they’ll be super impressed by the working rudder (and your sheer brilliance at gifting).

$40 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic Police Pursuit Building Kit 42091

This kit clocks in at just 120 pieces, making it more suitable for youngsters than some of the other options we found. A pull-back motor serves as a great intro into engineering for young minds, and reviewers say the model is sturdy enough even for little hands. For added value, combine this kit with the Getaway Truck kit and build a super machine that looks straight out of Blade Runner.

$20 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic Porsche 911 Building Kit 42096

It’s almost mindboggling how realistic this Porsche 911 LEGO model is. At 1,580 pieces, this is a pretty large and intensive undertaking, and one intended for kids 10+. It’d make for a perfect rainy weekend project—just don’t blame us if you get so wrapped up in the build you blow past bedtime!

$150 AT TARGET

LEGO Technic Heavy Duty Forklift Building Kit 42079

The LEGO Technic line really focuses on engineering principles—having you build simple machines first, then fitting them together—and the forklift kit really takes things to the next level. With a raising and lowering system, steering, and forklift tilting mechanism, there’s no shortage of tricks to capture your child’s attention long after the initial build is complete.

$56 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic Getaway Truck Building Kit 42090

This kit had us at “flame stickers.” The rugged monster truck has a pull-back action that’s perfect for all your little one’s car chases—especially when paired with the Police Pursuit vehicle above. It’s a light build at just 128 pieces and is good for kids age 7 and up, but we’re betting you’ll want to get in on the action, too.

$18 AT AMAZON

LEGO Technic Rescue Helicopter Building Kit 42092

We were pretty impressed by the price on this two-in-one kit. First construct a realistic rescue helicopter, complete with working rotors and a rescue stretcher, then rebuild into a futuristic concept plane—all for just $32. “Works great and holds up to toddlers,” says Sue on Amazon. Your kiddos (of all ages) won’t be able to keep their paws off this kit, and your wallet won’t whimper too much over the price, either.

$32 AT AMAZON

We’ve got more toy guides for kids of all ages right this way.

The post The Best LEGO Technic Sets For Your Tiny (And Not-So-Tiny) Engineers appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Attention #TiredMomsClub: These Are the 13 Best Outdoor Playsets For Your High-Energy Toddler

Toddlers, am I right?! They have this pent-up energy that like, never goes away. No matter how many times you replay Frozen, no matter how many times they sprint around the kitchen table, and no matter how many games of hide-and-seek you play with them, it’s like toddlers have a fully-charged battery pack ready to go at all times.

You know what could help with that, exhausted mamas? F***ing outdoor playtime.

Hear me out, okay? Kids — especially toddlers — want to play, want to run, want to get messy, dirty, muddy. And with one of these top-rated, toddler-tested, and mom-approved outdoor playsets, you can give them the mess and play they want, plus the naptime you want post-playtime.

Revert back to the “good ol’ days,” mamas, when kids were sent outside for playtime. They need to burn off that energy — heck, they want to burn it off. So, give the toddlers what they want! From the best climbing toys for toddlers and best outdoor toys for toddlers to the best swing sets for toddlers, these fully equipped outdoor toddler toys will give your tots what they want and ultimately, what you need.

Give ’em a few hours in the sandbox or 30 minutes on the swings… They’ll be snoozing in no time. And you know what that means: Time for your well-deserved nap-time wine-time!

Step2 Clubhouse Climber

This Step2 playset is the real deal. With a skylight and rotating steering wheel, your little one will feel like they’re right in the thick of imaginary play. Only to them, it won’t be imaginary.

$650 AT AMAZON

Outing Swing Set with Wide Climbing Wall

I know — $1,500 for a playset? But hear me out, moms, this swing set-slash-slide-slash-sandbox-slash-climbing-wall-slash-treehouse grows with your toddler and satisfies all your kids, no matter their ages. Kids up to 11 years old will enjoy the f**k out of climbing, swinging, and sliding down this playset. Perfect for honing kids’ imaginations and for getting a breath of fresh air, you won’t see your kids for at least two hours if you plant this baby in your backyard. Hence the price— and worth the spend.

$1500 AT AMAZON

Step2 Skyward Summit Climber

If you’re a ’90s baby, you know this Skyward Summit Climber is straight out of Nickelodeon Guts — AKA your childhood dream. Give your kid the dream-come-true you never had and cheer them on as they climb up the Crag.

$425 AT TARGET

Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship

An outdoor playset doesn’t mean just swings and a slide. Your little tikes will have a blast pretending to be Jack Sparrow as they work the deck of this pirate ship-themed outdoor water table. The anchor raises and lowers, the water cannon can aim and squirt, and by pouring water into the crow’s nest, the water pumps throughout.

$80 AT AMAZON

Step2 Game Time Sports Climber and Slide

Got a little Lebron in the making? Give him (or her!) the gift of playtime practice. After all, practice makes perfect. And having a child in the NBA makes for a pretty comfortable lifestyle, ya feel? It’s like WAGS but MADS — Moms and Dads of Sports Stars. All because you bought this Game Time Sports Climber Playset when they were three.

$93 AT AMAZON

Costzon Kids Playhouse With Sandbox

Have you ever seen such a bougie sandbox? Your child will play, dig, bury, build, and explore as they cut through sand even on the sunniest of days. The canopy on this retractable playhouse gives toddlers a safe space to work in, away from the sun’s brightest moments, as well as more surface area to cover with toys.

$170 AT AMAZON

Sandbox With Canopy

Sandboxes just aren’t what they used to be back when we spent our days making sandcastles and mud pies. This sandbox features a canopy to protect the sand from rain and to protect your little one from sunburn. The canopy also tilts to adjust to the sun’s rays, that way you don’t have to go through like, four bottles of sunscreen per week. That sh*t’s expensive!

$80 AT SAM'S CLUB

Step2 Naturally Playful Play Center

Prefer a sandbox made of plastic? We get it. Wood can be splinter-y and if you’ve ever attempted to extract a splinter from a toddler’s finger, then you know a howling like no other. Anyway, this picnic-slash-sandbox will entertain kids for hours, plus it gives them their own place to sit during summer BBQ’s with the fam. “The Kid’s Table” never seemed so cool.

$200 AT TARGET

Backyard Discovery Sweetwater Wooden Playhouse

It may not be as absolutely massive as Stormi’s playhouse that Kris Jenner gifted her for Christmas, but hey, your toddlers will love this playhouse just the same. (After all, we’re not all billionaire makeup moguls.) Inside, your little one will find a sink, cordless phone, and a stove. Plus, there’s a working doorbell in case you ever want to visit, Mom. But we don’t fault you if you don’t visit. After all, kids need their space to play and mama needs her space to chill out and binge-watch The Circle.

$199 AT AMAZON

KidKraft McKinley Wooden Swing Set

Got neighborhood children that show up in your yard? Or maybe you’re part of a mommy and me group that likes to congregate at your house. Never fear — the KidKraft McKinley Wooden Playset is the perfect solution for the whole gang. This luxe, two-level playhouse can hold up to nine kids and also features a kitchenette with stove, sink, utensil shelf, and accessories. Who knows? Maybe they’ll pick up a trick or two and be able to cook you dinner!

$1040 AT TARGET

Lifetime Adventure Tower

If this clubhouse doesn’t look like the tower Shrek saved Fiona from, IDK what does. Featuring trapeze bars, two swings, an arched climber, and 3D climbing wall — so that you really get your money’s worth! put this Lifetime Adventure Tower in your backyard and it may look like you stole it from the nearest playground. It’s that intense! Most importantly, your toddler will grow with this playset and be able to use it for years after graduating from preschool. Now that’s a fairytale come true.

$1538 AT AMAZON

iPlay, iLearn 2-in-1 Pitching Machine

Got a pro athlete in training? This pitch machine is perfect for helping tennis and baseball players in the making practice. You simply press the red button on the bat to trigger a pitch, then swing, batter batter, swing!

$35 AT AMAZON

Check out the best toys of 2020 so far — from L.OL. Surprise! Dolls and best building toys for kids of all ages, to Disney princess dolls.

The post Attention #TiredMomsClub: These Are the 13 Best Outdoor Playsets For Your High-Energy Toddler appeared first on Scary Mommy.

An Activity Cube Is The Doctor’s Office Essential You *Need* In Your Own Toy Stash

Looking for the best activity cube? You should be — because you know your kid loves these things. (And you know this because you always watch in horror as Junior gleefully goes crazy on what must *surely* be a disgusting, germ-covered cube every time you’re stuck in a doctor’s waiting room.)

Well mama, there’s a reason that docs and dentists stock up on baby activity cubes: Kids love ’em, and the developmental benefits are major. They improve hand-eye coordination, demonstrate cause and effect, teach fine motor skills and improve critical thinking skills — all while exposing kids to extra educational elements like shapes, colors and animals that will help you teach them by recognition.

Real mamas everywhere swear that the right activity cube can keep their kid endlessly entertained. And, possibly best of all, it somehow happens without obnoxious lights or loud, annoying sounds. (You’re welcome.)

We found the best activity cubes that’ll fit flawlessly into your life — whether you’re seeking something small and travel-friendly or so massive it can actually double as a toy chest. (Yes, really.) Scroll down to shop!

Friendship Activity Cube by Hape

Stylish, eco-conscious mamas will appreciate the clean lines and bold, graphic designs found on this Hape activity cube. Made with sustainable and eco-friendly materials, you can feel good about the brand’s quality and safety standards while your kiddo goes crazy on the ball maze, shape puzzles and gear explorations.

$60 AT MAISONETTE

Country Critters Play Cube by Hape

The gorgeous design and quality that you’ll find in the Hape activity cube above — but in a larger, more interactive version featuring mazes, shapes, levers, and lots of flying, swimming, and croaking creatures. Especially adorable is the cutie honeycomb your kid will turn to move the bitty bees. Bzzzz!

$150 AT MAISONETTE

World of Eric Carle Very Busy Activity Cube by KidKraft

This colorful cutie gets five stars for the nostalgia factor alone: If you’re a fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug, you’ll appreciate the familiar faces and unmistakable illustrations from the world of Eric Carle. Highlights of this KidKraft deluxe activity cube include a full alphabet for language development, plus a rollercoaster bead maze and turnable gears for coordination skills.

$60 AT TARGET

5-in-1 Wooden Activity Play Cube by Gleeporte

Wondering what $15 can get you when it comes to wooden activity cubes? SO GLAD YOU ASKED — because a lot, actually. This pretty pastel number has it all: beads, blocks, mazes, gears and gliders galore. (All made with 100% non-toxic wood, icyww.) Another fab feature is that maze top, which can be removed for a friend or sibling to play with *or* turned upside down and tucked away inside for storage.

$15 AT AMAZON

Wooden Kids Activity Cube by Toyventive

This cube sets itself apart with a few unique features: You’ll find a colorful abacus for counting, plus a friendly clock face for learning time. Bonus features include a set of stacking cups and essential words board book — making it an excellent gift for any curious kiddo in your life. Love a bargain buy.

$27 AT AMAZON

Wooden Discover Farm Animals Activity Center by Battat

Your future farmer or aspiring veterinarian will adore this wooden activity cube covered with barnyard animals. Manufactured by a family company that’s been around since 1897, the cube’s sturdy wood construction and thoughtful touches (like rounded corners, a mom’s dream!) give it instant heirloom appeal.

$51 AT AMAZON

Wooden Activity Cube by Top Bright

Looking for an extra large activity cube? This big boy turns into a toddler stool — awesome for when your L.O. needs a little independence reaching the sink or seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen. It even has storage space inside for stashing other toys — helping you cut down on the clutter. And it boasts not five, not six, but seven (!) sides of fun, with features like peek-a-boo doors, a clock with moveable hands, spinning gears, digital animal flip board, spinning wheel, sliding animals and, ofc, a bead maze up top.

$80 AT AMAZON

9-in-1 Play Cube Activity Center by Lavievert

This wooden activity cube packs a lot of playtime into a relatively small space, making it a great option for travel (meaning you can actually bring it on trips or easily haul back-and-forth to Grandmom’s house). Expect all the classics (abacus, gears, clocks, etc.) plus *three* super stand-out fun factors: 1) A tree with creatures invites kids to move circular blocks to match the corresponding place on the background. 2) The pond-themed feature allows kids to play fishing games with the enclosed rods and magnetic wooden marine creatures. 3) The bottom features a flight chess board that two to four people can play. Bottom line? This baby will keep your baby busy.

$36 AT WALMART

Elephant Educational Activity Cube by Top Bright

Increase the cuteness factor with a circus-themed elephant cube featuring 5 sides of spinning gears, turning wheels, counting beads and a detachable bead maze. But quite possibly the most entertaining element of them all? “I bought this for my great nephew’s first birthday,” writes one reviewer on Amazon. “It was a huge hit! He only wanted to play with *that* toy once he opened it. He loved all the different activities on it, but especially pulling the ball to make the elephant ‘blow bubbles.’ Highly recommend!” Aw.

$33 AT AMAZON

Garden Activity Cube by EverEarth

This precious cube is easy on the eyes: It combines a soft natural wood with a mix of primary colors *and* pretty pastel hues like pink, purple and aqua (using non-toxic and environmentally friendly water-based paints, ofc). It’s got six sides complete with counting beads, spinning gears, a magnetic shape sorter, peg maze, sliding pegs and spinning shapes — plus that must-have wire maze up top. Add in floral-themed gears and cute critters, and you’ve got yourself a relatively adorable cube happening here. (Your living room decor says thanks, btw.)

$90 AT WALMART

K’s Kids Musical Farmyard Cube by Melissa & Doug

Think of this as an introductory cube for the truly bitty baby who isn’t quite ready for gears and clocks quite yet. This super soft cube with a handy handle features colorful animals that play songs when their noses are pressed, a durable teether, padded handles, crinkly flower petals and a sturdy plastic mirror.

$20 AT BUY BUY BABY

Youniversity Deluxe Wooden Activity Cube by B. Toys

This extra large activity cube from Target offers an extremely sturdy spot for your kids to play. The six sides feature zigzag paths, fun loops, an animal alphabet, a number tree and different shapes — but possibly best of all, you’ll find lots of friendly and diverse faces mixed throughout the fun. Smooth wood and rounded corners keep your kiddo safe, and the packaging is made of 100% recyclable materials that you can feel good about.

$150 AT TARGET

Because playing is *literally* one of the most important things your kid can do right now — shop our picks for the best and brightest in baby and toddler toys.

The post An Activity Cube Is The Doctor’s Office Essential You *Need* In Your Own Toy Stash appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Nothing Runs Like These 18 Best John Deere Toys For Kids

When you’re looking for farm games and toys for babies to toddlers to grade school kids, the first place you’re sure to look is the iconic green and yellow of the John Deere brand. Nothing quite speaks to farm life like John Deere, and the brand loyalty among Deere fans is impressive.

When buying John Deere toys on Amazon or elsewhere for your kids to play with, it’ll almost feel like you’re living the relaxing country life.

If you’ve never previously shopped for John Deere toys for toddlers, you’re going to be amazed at the variety. There are toys that spark the imagination, toys that let kids pretend they’re running an actual farm, and toys that mom, dad, and older siblings will want to steal and play with when the younger child isn’t looking.

When it comes to the best John Deere toys, nothing runs like a Deere … except, of course, your 2-year-old after you remove his diaper, and he escapes to terrorize the neighborhood. For the slogan to be truly accurate, it should say: Nothing runs like your naked toddler. (Then again, if you lived in the country, there would only be livestock for your toddler to frighten.)

TOMY John Deere Busy Driver

When you want to start your baby on the right foot and begin building a life-long love of the John Deere brand, this toy will let the baby feel like he or she is driving a big tractor. And if you have a 16-year-old who gets a couple of traffic tickets, you can use this toy to help the new driver practice a little more before getting behind the real wheel again.

$17 AT AMAZON

Oball Go Grippers John Deere Rev Up Barnhouse Playset

Sure, tractors don’t normally go in silos. But we’ll give babies a break when they’re playing with this toy, because the silo happens to have a tractor elevator in it that connects to the barn. Hey, farming doesn’t always make sense either.

$17 AT AMAZON

TOMY John Deere Deluxe Talking Tool Belt

Toy tool sets are always popular for toddlers who want to pretend to fix things or want to work alongside mom and dad during a home improvement project. These green and yellow tools fit inside a talking tool belt, which is pretty fun. Best of all, the tool belt only uses kid-appropriate language, unlike the language dad and mom use when their tools are pinching and smashing fingers instead of doing the job.

$19 AT AMAZON

John Deere Animal Sounds Hay Ride

If your kids love the animals on the farm, John Deere has you covered with this toy. This tractor doesn’t haul grain. Instead, it gives barnyard animals a joyride around the farm. (And if your kids want to believe for another few years that this is how a farm works, we’re not correcting them and stealing their childhood innocence.)

$15 AT TARGET

TOMY John Deere Vehicle Toy Set With Carry Case

We love this toy. It’s a giant carrying case shaped like a tractor with small John Deere tractors inside to play with, along with a few farm animals and a fenced pen. Heck, this tractor carrying case is so cool, the little monsters might actually put their toys away when they’re done. #MiraclesHappen

$23 AT AMAZON

John Deere Remote Control Johnny Tractor Toy

If older siblings are into remote control vehicles, the toddler almost certainly begs for a turn … which disintegrates into a screaming fit when the older kids say, “no.” So this is one of the best John Deere toys for toddlers, as it’s basic enough for an 18-month-old to operate. And when the older kids ask to try it out, the toddler can confidently say, “NO!” (We’re sure it’ll be the first time he or she has uttered that word.)

$25 AT AMAZON

TOMY John Deere Electronic Lawn Mower

As parents of older kids know, it’s never too early to start giving kids responsibility through chores … especially the ones you hate doing. Now it may be too early to give a preschooler the chore of mowing the lawn (no matter how tempting). But with this lawn mower John Deere toy, you can plant the idea of how much fun it is to use a lawn mower, so the kid is ready to do the real thing when he or she is old enough.

$20 AT AMAZON

TOMY John Deere Monster Treads Lightning Wheels Tractor

Monster trucks are irresistible to some kids. Hell, they’re irresistible to some of us adults. This is one of the cleverest John Deere toys, as it turns the iconic green and yellow tractor into a monster tractor, complete with oversized wheels, which light up. We’re not going to call this the most perfect toy in the world, but if you want to, we won’t argue.

$40 AT AMAZON

John Deere Sandbox Vehicles

The best John Deere toys aren’t limited to farm implements. These John Deere construction toys are perfect for the sandbox, consisting of a tractor with a front loader and a dump truck. At 6 inches in length, they’re sized for small hands. With the heavy duty plastic, they’re tough enough to stand up to the roughest treatment from kids … which you know they’ll regularly put to the test.

$11 AT AMAZON

John Deere 28-Inch Steel Wagon

Even though the traditional kid’s wagon is painted red, you can feel good about breaking tradition with this John Deere green and yellow wagon. It’s sturdy and consists of heavy duty steel, meaning it will last a long time, even when played with regularly. A toy that actually lasts? Crazy.

$97 AT AMAZON

John Deere 1/16 Scale Sprayer

If your kids really love the idea of farming, they may want some scale model John Deere toys. This scale toy is a sprayer, which isn’t a piece of farm equipment that you see as a toy every day. The fold-out boom arms spread to 45 inches in length. The sprayer has lights and makes sounds. It even sprays (water), just like the real sprayer in the field. Hopefully, the child only uses the spray function for good instead of evil.

$73 AT AMAZON

Ertl Collectibles Dealer Truck With 7R Tractor

Tractors have to make it to the John Deere dealership somehow. And as this Ertl John Deere toy shows, they travel on the back of a flatbed hauler truck. This is a 1/64th scale model of the straight truck and tractor, so it’s a fun collectible at a great price. It offers plenty of impressive details too. (Honestly, it almost may be too good for the kids, who are sure to just gunk it up with that ever present layer of goo they always have on their hands.)

$13 AT AMAZON

MasterPieces John Deere Checkers Game

Sure, the game of checkers usually consists of black and red discs. But when you place a John Deere twist on this classic game, the pieces are green and yellow with custom molding featuring tractor artwork. The game board even looks like a farm field. (If your 6-year-old beats you in this game of checkers, you can blame it on the crazy colors.)

$19 AT AMAZON

Meccano John Deere 9RT Series Tractor Erector Building Set

Older kids who love working models will have a great time putting together this erector set of a John Deere 9RT tractor. It’s a sturdy kit with real metal parts and treads that move. It has 278 parts, so it may not be a great choice for a kid — or a parent — who doesn’t have some patience, though.

$30 AT AMAZON

John Deere Sit N Scoot Tractor

Kids love John Deere ride on toy tractors, but if your child is a little too young for those automatic powered models, this personal powered tractor is the next best thing. The kid can sit on the tractor seat and place his or her feet on the ground to push it along. Young kids will have a lot of fun powering the tractor Fred Flintstone style.

$30 AT TARGET

John Deere Trike & Wagon Set

If your kid is ready to ride a tricycle, you could skip the traditional — and boring — red trike and give into your love of everything John Deere with this green and yellow tricycle that comes with its own towing wagon. If you plan it right, you can even convince the kid to tow some things for you while he or she is riding. (Call it a chore, and the government watchdogs regarding child labor laws can’t touch you.)

$76 AT TARGET

Rolly John Deere Ride-On Excavator Shovel & Digger

Young kids can dig to their heart’s content with this ride on John Deere construction toy excavator. It has handles to operate the bucket, letting youngsters improve their hand-eye coordination. Once kids get the hang of it, they may even give the family dog a run for his money on making big holes in the yard.

$83 AT AMAZON

Peg Perego John Deere Ground Force Tractor With Trailer

For kids who love John Deere and tractors, this John Deere ride on toy tractor is the Holy Grail. It’s an automatic power tractor with a trailer, letting young kids actually drive it around at speeds up to 4.5 mph. It even has a working FM radio. We’re not going to say it’s nicer than the car we’re currently driving, but its quality is closer than we’d like to admit.

$249 AT AMAZON

Admittedly, few things are as cool as John Deere toys. We’ve got more toy guides, but be prepared for disappointment if they don’t have John Deere toys in them.

The post Nothing Runs Like These 18 Best John Deere Toys For Kids appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Energetic Toddler On Your Hands? Try Out These Fun Toddler Slides And Climbers

Toddlers are well-known for their cute curiosity, fun personality, and INSANE amount of energy. And as most mamas have learned, burning said energy is an essential part of surviving the day with your little one. Enter: Toddler Slides.

Whether you just can’t seem to put pants on to make it to the playground or there’s some inclement weather that won’t allow for outdoor play, these toddler slides are here for all the at-home outdoor or indoor adventuring your BB needs. We’ve got deluxe outdoor activity centers with endless play opportunities, cute and simple fold-up options that work great inside, and even a dino water-themed one for the summer days ahead. Check them out and find one for your little bundle of (crazy) joy.

Little Tikes Wheels on the Bus Climber and Slide

A toddler favorite, this popular nursery rhyme-inspired activity center lets them climb, slide, and drive along to the music. An interactive musical dashboard features a horn, ignition, and gear shifter for imaginative play. The gentle slope and safe design make it great for younger toddlers but will last well through toddlerhood no problem.

$110 AT AMAZON

Step2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center

Who needs the playground when you have this 3-in-1 sports center + Step2 slide! Besides going down the slide again and again, your kiddo can shoot hoops with the basketball net, practice batting with the tethered baseball, and kick the ball around. They’ll be tuckered out before you know it.

$55 AT AMAZON

WenStorm Dolphin Slide with Basketball Hoop

Skip the primary colors and bulky design and opt for this adorable mint-colored dolphin instead. It can be used indoors or outdoors and folds up quickly for easy storage. Plus the larger weight capacity means it will last for years to come.

$110 AT AMAZON

Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber

There’s definitely a reason (or 5) that this slide won a Parent’s Choice Award in 2019. Featuring an extra wide slide, 2-tiered platform, safe climbing steps, double-wall construction, and a play car hideaway space below with doors, it has lots of fun activities for your toddler and their buddies (and hours of non-hands on parenting for Y-O-U).

$220 AT AMAZON

Step2 Play Ball Fun Climber

Save on space *and* money with this water table and slide duo. The genius design has climbing stairs with a sturdy platform and slide. Plus a crawl space for hide-and-seek and a ball drop wall for some water table action.

$140 AT STEP 2

Step2 Panda Climber Outdoor Activity Set

Simple, adorable, and affordable FTW. This has a crawl-though tunnel, archway, slide, safety rail, and large platform for a fun and safe playtime. And at this price, you may want one for indoors and one for outdoors!

$115 AT AMAZON

Jupiduu Wood Toddler Slide

Fork over the extra dollars if you prefer an eco-friendly indoor wooden slide for toddlers. Your LO will love the fun ride and you’ll love how it seamlessly blends with your decor.

$300 AT AMAZON

Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center

This one’s for the warmer months and will give your busy toddler HOURS of fun outdoors. The dinosaur theme features dino hoops and volcanic ball games, not to mention a soft slide and arch with water spray to keep them cool during their jurassic adventure.

$39 AT AMAZON

Costzon 4-in-1 Toddler Slide

This multi-purpose slide will keep your LO occupied during playtime. The basketball hoop, slide, telescope, climbing ladder, and football goal give them endless fun and provide activities for their friends and/or siblings. And we love that the raised castle guardrail protects them from getting too close to the edge.

$136 AT AMAZON

Step2 Supreme Savings Toddler Outdoor Playset

The high platform and “shingled” roof give this slide some major treehouse vibes. Lucky for you, this is much safer and has a durable double-wall construction that is basically maintenance-free. Your LO will love playing explorer and peering out of the adjustable periscope.

$141 AT AMAZON

Little Tikes First Slide

With over 8,000 reviews on Amazon, this is a solid find for your toddler’s first slide. It also folds and unfolds in seconds, making it easy to store. The smaller size is perfect for storing when you actually have a grown-up get together in the yard.

$30 AT AMAZON

Radio Flyer 500 Ride-On with Ramp

Take sliding to a new level with this mini race track. The 6-foot long track features easy-fit car alignment for a super safe ride (plus the track has guardrails for added safety). The car can be used both on and off the track and has front wheel foot-rests for a comfortable ride.

$80 AT AMAZON

Little Tikes Hide-and-Seek Climber

Kiddos can climb up the rock wall, slide down the slide, and hide out in the clubhouse in this adventure center. The gradual slope makes for soft landings and the height is perfect for your growing toddler.

$80 AT KOHL'S

Looking for more gear for your toddler? Check out at our toy guides for babies and for kids!

The post Energetic Toddler On Your Hands? Try Out These Fun Toddler Slides And Climbers appeared first on Scary Mommy.

15 Of The Best Baby Toys For Your Adorable Music Lovin’ Prodigy

Hearing is one of the first senses our little BBs develop. So it makes perfect sense that music and soothing sounds are a favorite from the very beginning. Besides developing those tiny ears, music can help with creativity, language development, memory, and emotional intelligence. Plus it’s pretty cute when they start bobbing their heads or shaking their booties to the beat.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite baby music toys to help you start ‘em young. We’ve got everything from mini guitars to portable light-up music boxes and even a microphone that they can rattle and use to belt out those cute little squeals.

Hape Rotating Baby Music Box

This soothing toy will help your BB explore and experience classical music in a fun way from their newborn to their toddler days. The colorful rotating music box can easily be wound up and includes musical symbols that change colors as is spins.

$15 AT AMAZON

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Mini Piano

Let them discover the magic of music with this small but mighty portable piano. Featuring 2 modes of play, they can either play their own songs or start a series of classic melodies. The bright colors and beads (made from non-toxic materials) help develop other senses while they make their way to piano prodigy status.

$10 AT BUYBUY BABY

Skip Hop Egg Shaker Trio

Shake up playtime with these adorable forest friends. Each shaker makes its own unique sound and is easy to hold. The bright colors and playful textures will help with sensory development and keep baby’s interest.

$10 AT TARGET

Skip Hop Rock-a-Mole Baby Guitar

Get ready for them to GUAC out with this deliciously adorable baby guitar. Featuring 6 songs, 6 guitar riffs, and colorful lights, it is easy to hold and helps babies fine tune motor skills while stimulating the senses.

$13 AT AMAZON

LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table

This bad boy will give you hours of freedom while your little one gets to explore cause and effect and develop motor skills, senses, vocabulary, and more. Colorful instruments and buttons activate a variety of 70+ songs, tunes, and learning responses. They’ll get to play with a piano, drum, xylophone, trombone, and guitar…. All while practicing standing and sitting upright.

$40 At AMAZON

Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Activity Station

Hello, perfect tummy time toy! This 2-position activity station is easy to activate with light-up buttons and a spin rattle at the top. Three modes introduce them to animals, colors, and xylophone music. You can also switch between three different languages: English, French, and Spanish.

$15 AT AMAZON

Fisher-Price Linkimals Musical Moose

This little guy knows how to party. Just press his light-up belly for 25+ playful songs and sounds. His silly bobble head and soft antlers are fun for baby to explore and touch. Its travel-friendly size makes it easy to tote around, too.

$8 AT AMAZON

Hape Stay Put Suction Rattle Set

Take your little explorer under the sea (and stimulate those little ears) with these aquatic suction rattles. They’re great for tummy time and encouraging gross motor skills. Plus they are easy to pop in the diaper bag for on-the-go fun.

$13 AT WALMART

Bright Starts Rattle and Shake Barbell

Your BB will be on their way to becoming a weightlifting champ *and* musical genius with this colorful, mirrored rattle. The twisted handle is easy to grip and will have them sh-sh-shaking away.

$3 AT BUYBUY BABY

Baby Einstein Magic Touch Curiosity Tablet

Skip the screen time and opt for this durable wooden “tablet” instead. Your LO will love the 48+ melodies and sounds. It encourages development of both fine motor skills and senses.

$20 AT AMAZON

V-Tech Sit to Stand Learning Walker

While your baby might not be walking just yet, this barnyard of friends will last well beyond their first steps. The sit-to-stand walker features a removable panel with 2 colorful spinning rollers, 3 shape sorters, 3 light-up buttons, and 5 piano keys to stimulate the senses and develop motor skills.

$35 AT AMAZON

Tiny Love Musical Nature Stroll Stroller Arch

Make those countless stroller walks more engaging for baby with this musical wonder. The adjustable arch will help with hand-eye coordination and stimulate your LO’s senses with its 4 playful tunes. The non-toxic materials also stand up to teething.

$25 AT AMAZON

V-tech Babble and Rattle Microphone

Here’s another pick that will grow with your baby and last for years to come. It’s basically 2 toys in one: a rattle with animal sounds and a sing-along microphone with music. BB can shake the rattle toy, or you can turn the ring to introduce them to 12 different animals and their sounds.

$13 AT AMAZON

Infantino Hug and Tug Musical Bug

Entertain little ones at home, in the crib, or on the go with this huggable and tuggable bug. With 2 clackers rings, a peek n’ see mirror, and BPA-free materials, it also makes for a sweet (and entertaining) teething toy.

$13 AT AMAZON

Skip Hop Roll Around Hedgehog Rattle

This cute hedgehog engages baby with its flexible body, easy-to-grasp openings, and rattle beads. They’ll be rolling, shaking, and tossing it before you know it.

$8 AT AMAZON

Looking for more sensory baby toys? Check out Scary Mommy’s toy recs for all your BB needs!

The post 15 Of The Best Baby Toys For Your Adorable Music Lovin’ Prodigy appeared first on Scary Mommy.

19 Best Gifts & Toys For 11-Year Old Boys & Girls, According To Experts

At 11, kids are right in the thick of their tween years — and there’s a lot that goes along with that. They’re starting to focus more on their social identity. Their friends (and the world outside of the home) are a much larger part of their lives. They’re growing up! But with that comes its own unique set of challenges: the rigors of middle school, hormonal changes, an increased need for independence… you get the picture. “In the tween years, kids begin to set their own goals, so it is important to make them part of the decision-making process regarding their extracurricular activities,” explained Dr. Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR, and founder of Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services, LLC.

It’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing a gift for your 11-year-old. And that’s precisely why we went to the pros. In addition to Dr. Warburg, we asked child educators and development experts to weigh in on gifts ideally suited for this developmental stage. Here’s what they had to say on the subject.

For more gift inspo, check out our gift guides for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds,  7-year-olds, 8 year olds, 9 year olds, and 10 year olds

Social Toys

“This is a time where we also see a huge uptick in screen time and spending more time indoors rather than outside,” shared Dr. Syeda Amna Husain, M.D., FAAP, of Pure Direct Pediatrics. “To combat that, I recommend thinking outside the box for toys. I like activities where children get some more face-to-face time with their friends rather than staying glued to a screen. So, instead of video games, maybe a ping pong table or a basketball hoop. Card games are a great and affordable option too!”

Joola Regulation Height Ping Pong Table

From an Olympic table tennis brand trusted for 60+ years, this regulation quality multi-purpose table also perfect for crafts, playing poker, boardgames or any other casino table game. Easy set-up and compact storage.

$135.00 AT AMAZON

Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball Hoop

Get them moving with this 32″ portable basketball hoop that’s fully adjustable to grow with them through all their growth spurts.

$90.00 AT AMAZON

Trendy Board Games

“Board games provide a screen-free social outlet and facilitate problem-solving, executive functions, and visual perception. For example, Caracassan, Blokus, chess, Labyrinth, Scrabble, and Ticket to Ride. Brain-teasers, such as Rubic’s Cube, also tap into executive functions,” said Dr. Warburg.

Carcassonne Board Game

Inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France of the same name, Carcassonne is a tile-laying game in which players fill in the countryside around the fortified city.

$27.75 AT AMAZON

Blokus Game

It’s like Tetris, but IRL. Win by fitting as many of your pieces on the board as possible while strategically blocking your opponents!

$14.50 AT AMAZON

Ravenburger's Labyrinth Board Game

Find the shortest route through the labyrinth to win! What this Labyrinth lacks in David Bowie appearances, it makes up for in fun play for the whole family.

$19.98 AT AMAZON

Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride

This award-winning board game lets players connect iconic North American cities and build train routes to earn points.

$39.58 AT AMAZON

Hasbro Rubik's Cube

Yes Virginia, Rubik’s Cube IS still cool. Challenge your kids’ minds as well as their perspective on how great the 1980’s were.

$3.44 AT AMAZON

Journal

According to Kimberly Friedmutter, author of Subconscious Power: Use Your Inner Mind to Create the Life You’ve Always Wanted and member at large of UCLA Health System Board, one of the best things a child this age can do is be allowed “quiet time to zone out, daydream, literally lose themselves in thought.” Since today’s 11 year olds are growing up with more technology than ever before, it can be difficult for them to create this time and space — making a journal a great gift to encourage a period of daily “zoning out.”

Q&A A Day For Kids-A Three Year Journal

Journaling with your kids is a great way to share emotions and memories. This one poses a question each day with only a few lines provided for a response, making it the ultimate no-fuss record keeper.

$11.99 AT AMAZON

Kid Made Modern Journal Craft Kit

Create a scrapbook/journal that satisfies the inner creativity of your writer/artist. Includes: 250 page notebook, markers, pen, glitter tape, paper rolls, sticker sheets and a storage box.

$19.99 AT AMAZON

Action & Accomplishment Gifts

“Tweens are developing greater independence and self-reliance, can set goals they want to achieve and are eager to master new skills that they deem important. Encourage your tween to think about skills he would like to achieve and make a plan to develop them,” said Dr. Warburg, recommending that you look to your tween’s strengths and interests here. If your child loves to cook, try a recipe kit. Do they love flowers? Gardening supplies could be good. These sorts of action and accomplishment gifts “develop autonomy, teach self-reliance, and develop executive functions,” per Dr. Warburg.

Cooking Class 57 Fun Recipes Kid Will Love To Make

This cookbook features 50 recipes designed for the cooking abilities and tastes of children ages 6 to 12. And, it’s about time your kids started pulling their weight in the kitchen.

$10.23 AT AMAZON

Jovitec 8 Piece Kid Plastic Kitchen Knife Set

This colorful nylon knife set contains safe but effective tools for your budding chef to use in the kitchen. They’re non-toxic, can be soaked in boiling water without damage, are comfortable to use, and safe for non-stick cookware.

$10.99 AT AMAZON

Root-Vue Farm

Take them back to their roots with this planting box that features an acrylic window for students to observe plants and roots develop as they grow.

$18.71 AT AMAZON

Dan & Darci Paint & Plant Flower Growing Kit

Give your budding gardeners a fun and educational gift that lets them learn about plant growth and decorate their own planter.

$19.99 AT AMAZON

Tech & Tech Accessories

Middle-school English teacher Erica Jabali (who also has an advanced degree in cross-cultural education) says there’s a trick to finding a great gift for kids this age. “Consider leveraging what they are already interested in. For example, most of them are obsessed with technology,” said Jabali. “This generation has been born and raised with technology, so leverage it to find activities that will challenge and engage them, rather than turn them into tablet zombies. Games by Play Osmo incorporate art, coding, math, and critical thinking skills, while using the tablet you probably already have at home.”

Osmo Detective Agency Game

The game is afoot! This award-winning learning game uses both virtual and physical components to let kids solve mysteries across the world.

$33.99 AT AMAZON

Bloxels Build Your Own Video Game

Have your kiddos build their own video games with a combination of physical and digital tools.  Includes designs to help get them get started creating their first game.

$24.88 AT AMAZON

Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot

Made of 300+ parts that create one super smart, super entertaining robot, Cozmo is your kid’s new best robot friend. He can express emotions, remember your name, and recognize you – which is better than your tween can sometimes do.

$139.00 AT AMAZON

Music-Related Gifts

“My advice is one word: music. And, in particular, playing the piano. For families who want to get a head start on preparing their children for college, it has been established that playing piano not only increases child intelligence but the actual size and shape of the brain! And, on a personal level, piano can develop character, confidence, cultural understanding and pure joy,” shared Elizabeth Venturini, a recognized expert in college admissions.

RockJam Portable Electronic Keyboard

Get them rocking with this keyboard piano that features 54 full size keys. Includes record and playback functionality, 8 demo songs, 100 sound effects, and 100 rhythms. 

$59.99 AT AMAZON

Natural Wood Guitar With Case

Feeling plucky? This high-quality all-wood guitar comes with shoulder strap, carrying case spare strings, and guitar picks.

$52.99 AT AMAZON

Active Play Encouragers

According to health and fitness expert Michelle Miller of MM Fitness, this age — where a child’s body is changing and adolescent may cause insecurity — is ideal for reinforcing healthy habits. Bonus? You can do so through gifts that encourage active play. “This one simple activity greatly influences a child academically, physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, relationally, financially, and behaviorally,” said Miller. Middle-school English teacher Erica Jabali agrees, saying, “Team sports are another way to encourage pre-teens to be active, interact with other kids their age and work together towards a common goal.”

Spikeball Kit

What is Spikeball? It’s a fun, active, and competitive (if you want it to be) 2 on 2 outdoor indoor sports game you can play almost anywhere with rules kind of like volleyball.

$59.99 AT AMAZON

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
SHOP THE STORY
stroke red
Joola Regulation Height Ping Pong Table
$135.00
Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball Hoop
$90.00
Carcassonne Board Game
$27.75
Blokus Game
$14.50
Ravenburger's Labyrinth Board Game
$19.98
Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride
$39.58
Hasbro Rubik's Cube
$3.44
Q&A A Day For Kids-A Three Year Journal
$11.99
Kid Made Modern Journal Craft Kit
$19.99
Cooking Class 57 Fun Recipes Kid Will Lo...
$10.23
Jovitec 8 Piece Kid Plastic Kitchen Knif...
$10.99
Root-Vue Farm
$18.71
Dan & Darci Paint & Plant Flower Growing...
$19.99
Osmo Detective Agency Game
$33.99
Bloxels Build Your Own Video Game
$24.88
Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot
$139.00
RockJam Portable Electronic Keyboard
$59.99
Natural Wood Guitar With Case
$52.99
Spikeball Kit
$59.99

The post 19 Best Gifts & Toys For 11-Year Old Boys & Girls, According To Experts appeared first on Scary Mommy.