The majority of my toddler list consists of “must-haves to save the soul”. I am a self diagnosed OCD maniac. I have been known to follow my children around with a dust buster and don’t you dare enter my home with your shoes on, drives me NUTSO! No really my boys love all these items, except for maybe number 10 since they are yet to figure out what it means. So here are my go-to items for my twinkie toddlers:
1. Munchie Mug- I swear by these things. Believe me I have tried them all and this one hands down does the job. By job I mean you won’t find thousands of Goldfish in your backseat but maybe a handful instead. We don’t go anywhere with out these snack cups. They are a bit pricey but worth it. Find them on Amazon.com
2.Kleen Kanteen Sippys- my boys love their Kleen Kanteen water jugs. They are super durable. Don’t get me wrong these things have been through war and can be used as weapons but they are indestructible! We send the boys off to school with these as well as to bed. Did I mention they don’t leak??!! These can be found all over the internet. We got a deal on Amazon a while back.
3. Toy Lawnmower- A mommy friend turned me onto these back when I was asking about what to get them for their 2nd birthday. These things are the shizzle! I am talking hours of fun for the kiddos, boys and girls alike. You have a big yard? Tell them to mow it. We have the Little Trikes one and I got a BOGO at Toys-R-Us back in April but they are only 20 bucks!!
4. Crocs and Keen sandals- For the love of shoes, I second the props for these loveys. They are great for outdoor play and stay on in the water. You can even get cute little snap on buttons to jazz up Crocs. Keen makes great shoes for little dudes/dudettes. If you have a wide footed little friend these work really well. They are a hot ticket item, so much so that we are waiting for Finn’s to be returned to their rightful owner from school Babycheapskate.com finds deals for these kicks all the time. I most recently fell in love with 6pm.com. Phenomenal steals and deals on all brands!
5. Sleepy Spray- I am telling you Mamateurs that this natural essential oil is a must for the bed time routine. I have always loved the smell of lavender on my pillow so I made a concoction for the boys. I simply just added a few drops of lavender essential oil to distilled water in a small metal spray bottle. You really only need 3-5 drops as it is strong but the water really dilutes it. The twinkies love their sleepy spray. Just spray a bit on their sheets or pillow and let them sink their heads into a blissful sleep. I promise if you tell a good enough story your toddlers will think you are a genius inventor! I am a fan of Aura Cacia oils and I get them online at Vitacost.com (lots of the AC oils are up to 40% cheaper than in stores). The spray bottles can be purchased at Healthy Living.
6.SugarBooger Splat Mat- When I first had the twins I was convinced that they would never make a mess. That lasted all of 6 months. I laugh at myself now over the attempt I made to keep them covered in plastic during meals. I love these mats. After realizing that the smocks were too big and one mat too small for the two of them we ordered another. Super easy to clean, fun patterns and yes toddlers throw lots of food!
7. Radio Flyer Wagon- I second and third Jaime’s nomination of the beloved Radio Wagon. These things are the best! I have debated about bringing ours food shopping on several occasions, the boys love it that much. I use it daily to grab the mail with them too. We have the double one.
8.Fruit Snacks- Fruit snacks rule the toddler brain. Meltdown? give them some fruit snacks. Won’t lay still for a diaper change? give them fruit snacks. Sonar screeching in public? give them fruit snacks. I have them hidden everywhere. They are like toddler crack. These are right up there with Tootsie roll pops (these pops take awhile to eat so savor those 15 minutes of sucking! ) Both of these have saved the little dudes tears on vaccine days too. Recently a new love for dried cherries has them swooning, they taste just like fruit roll ups but are considerably better for you. For the record my kids don’t have cavities, moderation is key but peace is a beautiful thing in this house :)
9. Books, Books and more Books- Read to them constantly. I even read them the L.L.Bean catalog. Kids love words and pictures. Books can be ripped to shreds and still be salvaged (yes, copious amounts of duct tape will do the trick) Since the boys have been able to turn the pages we have been putting a book in each of their cribs at night. It can buy you up to 20-30 minutes the next morning and it helps them learn their words. Give it a shot and listen through the monitor. One day you may just hear them recite the whole book! It is like giving them a present that they forgot they already had. It works!
10. This one is more for the parents since it takes the children a heck of a lot longer to learn this! Sorry I don’t have a link to where you can buy this much-needed strength. In fact I have no idea what ”patience” even looks like. It is learned and it takes lots of time and deep breaths. We are currently experiencing the terrible twos times two. Somedays I think I am better off in a locked mental ward and maybe even safer.
What are your must-haves? What is your saving grace in toddlerdome?