Our Basement Renovation

Fall of 2020 we realized that our new normal would be mainly spent indoors over the winter season. We live in Canada and we basically have half of our year in a snowy cold winter wonderland. I had an active 2.5 year old that I was nervous to spend the majority of our days indoors with. We utilize the bedrooms and main floor areas, and are privileged to have a home with a designated playroom that we designed with a lot of storage, but I was envisioning big things for our basement!

Our list of wants:

  • Separated office/ gaming room for my partner with a door and some sort of sound proofing
  • Work space for my business that I was launching, it needed to have counter space for packing orders and lots of storage
  • Full bathroom since we already paid extra for the rough ins
  • Open area that I can design a gross motor area, dramatic play area, shelving for toys and space for table top activities

My partner spent most of his off season working on finishing the basement and we contracted out the pluming, electrical, custom cabinetry and finishing coat of paint. Thomas moved the rough in to another area of the basement to create the open concept basement we were hoping for, the strapping, drywall, flooring, molding and even made his office desk out of steel and concrete.

Since finishing our basement and sharing little moments in my stories many have asked how I put Amadeo’s space together and how I set up each area for intentional play. So I thought I would throw this blog post together to share the finished product and how we use the space on a day to day basis. As we find ourselves as parents evaluating and pivoting how we utilize the spaces in our home to accommodate spending more time inside this can provide some ideas for our own projects.

When you enter our basement you come into the gross motor area of play. We have beautiful local handmade items from Wood By JL,they have always been fabulous to work with and they’re the sweetest parents who live just outside of ottawa. The pikler triangle with the rock climbing wall and slide has been a favourite of Amadeo’s for a few years now and still finds so many ways to play with it aside from gross motor play! He uses them to make forts, turns it into a bridge to avoid falling into a lava pit when pared with the large wooden rocker, the possibilities are endless with his imagination.

https://woodbyjl.com/

You can see I added coloured silk scarves to the wooden rocker from Wood By JL and turned it upside down to have a fun play space for Azzura to explore who is just over two months old.

You can see the entire open concept play space for Amadeo and Azzura from this side and the bathroom is directly behind me and out of the way. Creating opportunity to fit all gross motor items in the basement was done by grouping everything in an L shape and it creates opportunity to present it like an obstacle course . Starting with the mini trampoline then the pikler triangle , rocker and the carpet with the beautiful wooden balance beam ( also made locally by Wood By JL) a farm hopper and our wobble board which I put Azzura on in her snuggle me organic and rock her on.

Putting the Ikea kitchen and table on a side wall in this configuration allows for a visual separation for them even though its still apart of this open space. Amadeo is huge into dramatic play and even asked for this bakery/tea shop set up. Other favourites are an Italian restaurant, ice cream shop, farmers market/grocery store, breakfast/ brunch spot and we theme this area to celebrate many holidays like Christmas, Valentines day and Chinese New Year. We often use this kitchen area to create other places like a veterinary clinic, doctors office, space station etc.

When thinking about what we were going to do for my counter and shelving for the space I put out a request for local wood workers and recommend recommendations and went with Summer Gates, they’re talented local couple who are growing their custom wood working business and all of their pieces looked beautiful. Justin and Jessie were amazing to work with, professional and the craftsman ship on the pieces we commissioned are perfect. With months of these pieces being in this space we are so happy with them! I highly recommend visiting their website and contacting them to order their staple pieces and or custom work https://www.summersgates.com this piece is perfect for packing and prepping my orders for exploration by invitation and if I want more space they can be folded down!

These are the other beautiful pieces commissioned by Summer Gates, I wanted the shelving unit to have two shelves for bigger trucks and larger toys as well as a place for baskets and loose parts. I wanted the shelving unit its self to be at a hight that when Amadeo and Azzura would be playing they can interact with the invitations on top on their knees or standing. The custom floating shelves are a perfect edition to display our beautiful bright wooden toys and loose parts as well as they are easy access for me to bring down and set up for play! Justin found beautiful brass brackets to match the brass handles on my storage unit and they look AMAZING!

We are very fortunate to have been able to create a space in the basement that accommodated all of our needs and its a great space to play, create and burn off some energy for the littles!

Have you renovated any of your spaces since spending more time at home?

Azurra’s Nursery In partnership with BuyBuyBaby Canada

This Blog post is sponsored by BuyBuyBaby Canada, All recommendations of products are my truest opinion and advice for folx putting together their dream nursery.

When we started looking at creating a registry when pregnant with my son Amadeo we were recommended to set it up in store with our local BuyBuyBaby.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/category/baby-kids/22904?babyCA=true&icid=l1_babykids_header_buybuybabycanada_12633

They were incredibly helpful in store and when I needed guidance over the phone about what I needed as a first time parent and as well as a second time parent welcoming our baby girl this past October, so much so that many of the products that are in Azzura’s Nursery are duplicates to what we purchased, used and LOVED from three years past. Another added bonus is being able to use the 20% off coupon in store or online on almost all products. They have amazing sales on products that are excluded from the coupon often as well!

This was my inspiration for Azzura’s nursery. The emerald green crib, beiges, whites, blush pink and mustard yellow. Keeping it modern but a cozy feminine feel was my goal.

I recommend when planning out your child’s nursery to first pick which furniture you’d in the room. BuyBuyBaby was amazing and pulling multiple furniture options that fit my wants and needs. We purchased the Sweet Pea Baby 4-1 convertible crib it was the perfect colour and we loved Amadeo’s crib which was also a 4-1 convertible crib. He is currently three and using the toddler bed with bed rail and its been an amazing transition. This crib in particular comes also in white so can fit any colour scheme and or theme you’re hoping for within your child’s nursery. You can find it linked below for easy shopping and I highly recommend looking at all their furniture options, We ordered and a few weeks later it arrived right at our door ready to be assembled. The crib mattress we have for Azzura is also from BuyBuyBaby, Monarch II Deluxe Innerspring Crib Mattress by Colgate Mattress® it feels more comfy than our mattress, and most important is that it’s safe for sleep.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/sweetpea-baby-by-evolur-ultra-modern-4-in-1-convertible-crib/5497843?keyword=green-crib&skuId=69550468

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/monarch-ii-deluxe-innerspring-crib-mattress-by-colgate-mattress-reg/1046745552?keyword=baby+matress+

We brought in Amadeo’s Nursery chair that we purchased with gift cards from our shower from BuyBuyBaby three years ago. Its comfortable, modern and does the job, this time around I’m nursing and the chair has been a wonderful support in those late night feeds. It’s the Davinci Olive glider. At this time it doesn’t come up for link searching. I do recommend if possible to purchase this piece in person, you will be spending a lot of time in this chair you want it to be comfortable!

The Dresser was something I wanted to be neutral most likely white and BuyBuyBaby had the exact one that I wanted, which also comes in other colours. It’s solid wood and great quality my partner wanted me to make sure to include this did take some time to put together. Again there are so many options to choose from online and in store when it comes to nursery furniture or furniture that Bed Bath and Beyond sells that its worth it to check out no matter the budget.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/forest-gate-diana-6-drawer-solid-wood-dresser/5311738?keyword=white-dresser&skuId=69236365

The next items are practical items needed for your babies nursery and we re purchased mostly duplicates from products that we purchased for Amadeo three years prior. The only item we purchased new was our baby monitor because we wanted a reliable monitor with two cameras. We chose the Motorola® VM855-2 Connect 5-Inch WiFi Video Baby Monitor with 2 Cameras, I’m able to choose to not turn on the wifi, the range, picture quality, sound, microphone communication is great and we have been using it now for four months no issues. We spent a lot of time getting advise from the inshore employees on what they recommended for our wants and needs and we settled on this.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/motorola-vm855-2-connect-5-inch-wifi-video-baby-monitor-with-2-cameras-om-white/5603354?keyword=motorola-baby-monitor

Hands down my favourite practical baby product us the Bubble Diaper Pail! Previous to getting pregnant and starting our registry I hadn’t realized that there were any other options besides the diaper genie’s for diaper pails. The Bubble is a great size, is great at keeping odours inside the pail, easy to clean and disinfect and the best part, you don’t have to purchase specific bags to go inside. We use our Costco kitchen bags and they work perfectly! Amadeo still uses diapers and pull ups so we needed a second for Azzura’s Nursery.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/bubula-diaper-pail/3335684?keyword=diaper+pail+

Sound machine was another product we knew that we wanted the same as Amadeo, we purchased Amadeo’s from a local business which is no longer exists but I was happy to see that BuyBuyBaby carried it so it was again a one stop shop for us. Yogasleep Whish™ 16-Sounds White Noise Machine has great options and it just works so well for Amadeo that we were happy to repurchase. Amadeo sleeps to Ocean and we are hoping Azzura will as well when she starts to sleep overnight in her nursery!

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/yogasleep-whish-16-sounds-white-noise-machine/5049909?keyword=sound-machine

Last but not least my breast pump! With Amadeo we purchased the sonata medela breast pump from BuyBuyBaby, it worked great for the three months I used it, its hospital grade, amazing suction, I would definitely recommend to a person who wishes to exclusively pumps. This time around I’m nursery and offering the occasional bottle and my needs as a mom of two three and under changed. I wanted something that could truly be portable, convenient, have great battery life, good suction and easy to use and clean. With the recommendation of my stores employee who helped me we went with the Medela® Freestyle Flex™ Portable Double Electric Breast Pump with Bag and honestly its my favourite parenthood purchase yet! If you follow my instagram stories you know how much I love and show off this amazing pump! I highly recommend it!

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca/store/product/medela-freestyle-flex-portable-double-electric-breast-pump-with-bag/5442814

Azzuras Nursery is one of my favourite rooms in our home, it’s warm and inviting and I truly can’t wait to make so many loving memories in there with her as she grows. I’m thankful for the resources and expertise that BuyBuyBaby Canada brings into our home surrounding parenthood. Happy Shopping and feel free to share your littles nurseries with me on Insatgram at @vanessaravalico interior design is my favourite pastime to pin on pintrest!

Fab Baby Gear – Diono Car Seat Review

This Blog post is sponsored by Fab Baby Gear for the purpose of a honest review of the Diono 3RXT Car seat and accessories. All opinions shared are honest and truthful.

****** Please consult a certified Car Seat Installer to make sure this car seat will be safely installed in your vehicle. *******

Ever since we moved Amadeo from his bucket seat to a car seat all hell would break loose. From start to finish he would just scream and cry. I can see the nodding of the head as you read this, because this isnt abnormal but it is honestly awful!

I would hate going for drives, he would never fall asleep in the car seat ( sometimes that would be for the best) but the overall experience gave me MAJOR anxiety!

We were ready to switch him to front facing when I contacted Fab Baby Gear to see if they have any car seats they would want reviewed because I no longer wanted to keep the car seat we had because Amadeo hated it so much. ( Full disclosure we previously had the Graco 4Ever care seat, again didn’t change because of safety concerns more for sanity of the family.)

When they shared that Diono would love a review I jumped at finding out more information. I met with the manager and buyer at Fab Baby Gear as well as had the senior sales rep Laura ( she’s just my favourite and SO knowledgeable) to go over the safety features, how it will work in my car model and the longevity of the car seat.

We installed the Diono 3RXT the beginning of September with the seat protector and mirror (which we have since removed because he is now forward facing) and since day one Amadeo has not only been happy and content but is always thrilled to go into his “new car seat”. He likes it so much we got a second one for our truck! This was also extremely easy to install and afterwards had it checked out by Safety Mavens in Ottawa.

Diono 3RXT :

THE ORIGINAL 3-ACROSS CAR SEAT

The Diono radian® 3RXT is the original 3 across All-in-One convertible car seat, trusted by over a million parents to protect their child from birth to booster (5-120 lbs / 2.3-54 kg). Lovingly engineered with the famous Diono steel core and now rear-facing for even longer. Expect 10 years of safety from just one car seat!

Click the link to shop or head into the store and check it out in person! Currently you are able to book private shopping experiences due to the pandemic to make it as safe as possible, contact Fab Baby Gear Directly to book (613) 729-8838 .

BLACK FRIDAY SALES (until supplies last) https://fabbabygear.com/products/diono-radian-3rxt-latch?_pos=13&_sid=5a6e82f0e&_ss=r From November 25th -30th 2020

Diono 3RXT 20% off

Regularly $439.99

Sale $351.99

My Rating and Recommendation for this car seat is 1000/10 I’m in love, and anytime I’ve shared on my socials many who have the same seat also have raved and recommend!

CHECK OUT MORE BLACK FRIDAY DIONO SALES AT FAB BABY GEAR BELOW

3RXT Bundle 20% off

Regular $539.99

Sale $431.99

3RX Bundle 20% off

Regular $429.99

Sale $343.99

Everett Booster Seat 20% off

Regular $189.99

Sale $151.99

I just want to say another BIG THANK YOU to Fab Baby Gear for always being so helpful, knowledgeable about the products they carry and they love and care that goes into helping Families we are SO happy with these Diono Car Seats!

OPEN ENDED TOY RECOMMENDATIONS 1-12 YEARS OLD

What are Open Ended Toys?

Open-ended Toys are toys that allow children to make choices, support their
independence, express their creativity and imagination.


Open-ended Toys by definition do not have a pre-determined use.
For example: A block can be an airplane, remote control, phone, a doll’s
chair, their favourite treat. There are no limits to what they can use the
materials for in their play.


The way that your child will play with these toys will be heavily
influenced by their age, developmental stage, their interests and lived
experiences.


It is through these play experiences that children are able to make
concrete connection in their brain that are stored in their memory for
future reference.

I’m happy to finally provide this recommendation guide that you as a parent can reference, that you can send family and friends for birthday and holiday gift ideas and it will explain the why, which developmental benefits it will have, the type of play it will promote within your child and the longevity of engagement it will have.

Each months recommendations are not a suggestion of owning all toys but a proper description or how and how long your child will most likely be interested in engaging with these toys for years to come.

When you go through https://modernrascals.ca/ and start filling up your carts try to calculate the price for years of engagement.

For Example I recommend in most months in the first year Folkmanis Finger Puppets, most are around $13 but will be played with and enjoyed with until 12 , We have these in my kinder and school- ager programs and the habitats, block play etc are incredible. They are perfect editions to literacy baskets and pairing with songs and stories and so much more!

Add these toy recommendations with a balanced mixture of household items, items found in nature and Recyclables.

These are again open-ended toy suggestions and guidelines of toys that I own, My Daycare programs own and I have over a decade of environmental exposure to gage how long your child will enjoy playing with them or have used them in my workshops.

This post is sponsored by Modern Rascals, my favorite Canadian sustainable & ethical clothing and toy e-commerce store. They have the best variety of my absolute favourite brands and the best quality out there! These are my honest toy recommendations for each age!

As you start to make your Modern Rascals wish list before checking out you can use VANESSA10 to save 10% off your entire toy order ( code can only be used once & not affiliated ) and there are also flexible payment plans to look into on the site as you invest into your child/children’s open ended toy collections.

One Year

This months recommendations are factoring in that your family members and friends will be looking for present options, you might looking to purchase some bigger investment toys that will grow with your child all the way to the next year and beyond. During Amadeo’s first year is when I started adding these items or these types of toys into his toy collection. He is currently two and still gravitates to them all almost daily or when I bring them out into rotation. The wobble Board and Large Stepped Pyramid are hands down the two most used toys within our household.

Developmental benefits: There’s a lot going this month not only for your little one but for you as a parent! You all survived and thrived in your first year, standing ovation all around! During this month you’re going to see your almost one year old start to strive to complete those gross motor developmental milestones. They’re developing sharper finger control with wider range of motion, as well as learning the use of several more objects once modeled by a care giver. Keep in mind we are heading into the destructive play early years so breaking down towers and dumping bins out are helping aid in their brain connections and development.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your one year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: All of these First Year Birthday recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys!

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Bamboo Wobble Boardhttps://modernrascals.ca/products/bamboo-wobbel-board?_pos=1&_sid=14ce15c67&_ss=r

2. Grimms Large Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-element-large-rainbow

3.Holztiger Lion: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/lion-1

4. Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/stepped-pyramid-4-cm-thick-building-sets

5. Colour Street Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/colour-street-45-pieces

6.Wooden Tweezers: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-tweezers

7. Grimms threading game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/thread-game-in-a-wooden-frame

Second Year

Developmental benefits: During the second year (terrible twos, the stage were I am currently with Amadeo) your children are really starting to figure out the world around them, their emotional brain is developing, their interested in learning and growing in ways that lead them to becoming more independent. They start to be able to follow simple requests, are starting to recognize colour and shape and become interested in sorting by categories. If provided with open ended resources they will start to tap into their creativity and imagination. Most of their focus, interest and preference for play with done parallel to their siblings or primary caregivers.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your two year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Rough and Tumble Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms threading game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/thread-game-in-a-wooden-frame

2. Grimms Rainbow Balls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-balls-rainbow

3. Grimms Large Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-element-large-rainbow

4. Bamboo Wobble Boardhttps://modernrascals.ca/products/bamboo-wobbel-board?_pos=1&_sid=14ce15c67&_ss=r

5.Grapat Nins Carla: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-carla

6.Grimms Semi Circles : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-rainbow-semicircle

7.Grimms Stacking bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/natural-stacking-bowls

Third Year

Developmental benefits: During your children’s third year their imagination and language skills are developing very quickly . They’re vocabulary is getting stronger and more complex, making up stories and play activities, and focusing on learning to build relationships. Mixed in with all this fun, they’re also trying to learn right from wrong and how to manage their feelings, which can sometimes overwhelm them, three is alot for your child’s emotional regulation.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your three year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Rough and Tumble Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development. You know your child best and where their skill set is but I’m going to guess that the cutter will last for this year and then with practice and mastery they will be able to move onto a sharper knife.

Toys from Top Left to Right

  1. American Sign Language Blocks: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/sign-language-blocks

2. King Of The Road Way To Play Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/king-of-the-road?_pos=5&_sid=718f000d3&_ss=r

3.Orange Candy Lab Car: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rio-grande-orange-mule-candycar

4.Raduga Grez Tea Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/raduga-grez-tea-set-natural

5. Holtztiger Elephant: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/elephant-with-raised-trunk

6. Ocamora Kids Cutter: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/maple-childrens-cutter

7. Acorn babies: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rainbow-acorn-babies

Fourth Year

Developmental benefits: During your child’s 4 year they will learn comparisons, like big and small, and long and short, become very interested in sorting, patterns creating schemas. Most children will be starting to transition to kindergarten in this year so there are big changes they will need to adjust to, learning through play will help work out all these new experineces.They will also be learning their full name, age, address, and phone number — very important in case a child is lost or gets separated from you. The toys recommended above will help fulfill your child’s desire to sort, match, and create patterns. We have most of these products and Amadeo LOVES them! The dragon is the next holztiger figure on our list!

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your four year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grapat mandala pieces: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/mandala-mini-honeycombs-36-pieces-in-yellows

2. Grimms Rainbow Forest: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-rainbow-forest

3.Grimms Sorting Mushrooms: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-sorting-game-rainbow-mushrooms

4. Grapat Lola Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/lola-set-72-pieces

5.Holztiger Dragon: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/green-dragon

6. Grapat Tomtens: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/tomtens

7. Translucent Cubes: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/translucent-cubes-100-pieces

Fifth Year

Developmental benefits: Year five is a BIG one! Your child is gaining more responsibility at home and school preparing for the next years to come. Around this age they will start to recognize most letters of the alphabet, count more then ten objects at a time, know the names of at least four colours and understand the basic concepts of time. They will want to please and be liked by their friends, though they may sometimes be mean to others. Agree to the rules and instructions most of the time, display and follow through most daily tasks independently.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your five year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development. The sets you purchase like the Grimms weather set can be used to learn and recognize the weather but also be added to imaginative and creative play for years to come.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Rainbow Houses: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/building-set-small-houses

2. Grimms Weather Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/weather-set?_pos=1&_sid=5e9001a80&_ss=r

3.Grapat Insects: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/insects-18-pieces

4. Grimms Building Block Set of 5: https://modernrascals.ca/products/building-set-shapes-and-colours-part-1-70-piece?_pos=105&_sid=a5f527609&_ss=r

5.King Of The Road Way To Play Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/king-of-the-road?_pos=5&_sid=718f000d3&_ss=r

6. Grimms Rainbow Threading Buttons: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/thread-game-large-rainbow-buttons

7.Grapat Mandala Rain Drops: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/mandala-mini-rainbdrops-36-pieces-in-blues

Sixth Year

Developmental benefits: In this next year your child will be working on becoming more independent, extending their attention span, understand the concept of number and be able to tell time. Understand day from night , left to right and gravity. To help your six year old strengthen their attention span and amount of time they can play and engage with their toys independently these open ended selections will help build upon their creativity and imagination.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your six year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of the items selected in this month will be love, engaged with and appreciated until their at least 12.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Moon Phase Blocks: https://modernrascals.ca/products/moon-phase-blocks?_pos=14&_sid=d2ba6ce74&_ss=r

2.Raduga Grez Veggie Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/raduga-grez-veggies-set

3.Nins with Wizard Hats: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-with-wizard-hats-12-pieces

4.Grimms Perpetual Calendar : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/perpetual-calendar-english

5.Grapat counting coins: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-counting-coins-60-pieces

6.Rainbow Bosque Trees: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/bosque-trees

7.Fairyland Building Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/fairytale-building-set-75-pieces?_pos=97&_sid=a5f527609&_ss=r

Seventh Year

Developmental benefits: During this year most seven year olds display an interest for knowledge and will have an innate curiosity and excitement about things in the world around them. They are natural explorers, scientists, and analysts, and often ask questions about everything from why the sky is blue to where babies come etc. At this age, they also take great pride in sharing their knowledge about things and often enjoy showing younger children skills that they themselves have mastered.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your seven year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: These are some of my FAVOURITE school-ager toy and educational options. Great for skill building and cooperative play.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Concave Blocks : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/blocks-concave-finds-convex-24-pieces

2.Grapat Small Rainbow Marbles: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wood-marbles-in-rainbow-colours-36-pieces

3.Castle Building Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/castle-building-set

4.Grimms Spiral Building Steps: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/counter-rotating-stepped-spiral

5.Grapat Acorn & Rainbow Sorting Bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-bowls-and-acorns-with-tongs

6.Grimms Casa Luna: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/casa-luna

7.Tangram Battle Game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/tangram-battle

EighthYear

Developmental benefits: Your eight year old will tend to become very social during this year, want to spend the majority of their time interacting with their peers instead of adults and the opinions of their friends will become increasingly important. At this age they are more likely to follow rules and boundaries that they are involved with helping create. Have rapidly changing emotions. Angry outbursts are common. Many children are critical of others, especially of their parents. They may seem dramatic and sometimes rude.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your eight year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These block sets by grimms are just to die for and are great add on sets for your child around this age as they tend to create more intricate and complex structures.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Cedar Hollow Knitting Spool: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/large-knitting-spool-4-pegs

2.Biodiversity Kaleidoscope: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/biodiversity-kaleidoscope

3.Bird caller: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/mallard-duck-bird-call

4.Grapat Nins Of The Forest: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-of-the-forest-with-wool-felt

5.Grimms Counting Rainbow Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys?page=12

6.Grimms Romanesque Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/romanesque-4x4cm-building-set

7.Bird Eggs in a Basket: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/a-dozen-bird-eggs-in-a-basket

Ninth Year

Developmental benefits: Your child is in their ninth year will begin to master recognizing basic social norms that they’re exposed to and appropriate behaviour. Will be able to foster caring solid friendships and should have a strong sense of empathy. This is when children can tend to experience more anxiety from common stressful situations like socializing with people they aren’t familiar with and preforming in school etc. They’re often much more interested to draw, paint, make jewelry, build models, or do other activities that use their fine motor skills, creativity and imagination. The Grapat Mandala Pieces would be amazing for this age and up as loose parts.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your nine year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: This element block set by grimms is beautiful and would be great to add on sets for your child around this age as they tend to create more intricate and complex structures. introducing independent opportunities to gain math and science concepts will be helpful and engaging as well.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Erzi Building Log Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/building-logs-150-pieces

2.Ocamora Blue Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nesting-arch-blue-9pcs

3.Erzi Number Game :  https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/educational-game-numbers

4.Grimms element puzzle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/large-four-elements-building-set

5.Erzi Balance Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/balance-set

6.Grimms Large Octagon Puzzle : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/octagon-mandala-puzzle-large

7.Grimms colourful Mats: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/colourful-mats-game

Tenth Year

Developmental benefits: Working with a group of children in grade 5 has really shown me that this is a BIG year for change. Your child will either be ready to act like a teenager or more on the adolescents side of things because this can be a overwhelming time for hormones and emotions. They Admire and imitate older youth, are beginning to question authority and if it aligns with their wants, needs and beliefs and are very interested in group games and play. These next couple years before we leave the early developmental years are a bit trickier to get your children to want to play and be creative with toys, that’s why open ended toys and building materials will be great to try to take their attention away from electronics.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your ten year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These recommendations are meant to spark a love for nature, expand on your Childs imagination and creativity and allow for group play to take place.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Leonardo Building Sticks: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/leonardo-building-sticks-in-rainbow

2.Insect Hotel : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/le-jardin-insect-hotel

3.Folkmani Lady Bug Lifecyle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/ladybug-life-cycle

4.Grimms Geometrical Shape Game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/geometrical-domino-shapes-game

5.Grimms Disc Beads: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rainbow-20mm-discs-240-pieces

6.Folkmanis Racoon Garbage Can Hand Puppet: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/raccoon-in-a-trash-can-hand-puppet

7.Marble Run : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/marble-circuit-67-pieces

Eleventh Year

Developmental benefits: This year puberty is making many changes to your child’s young adult body and mind. Thought patterns are adjusting to adulthood and the brain is allowing them to start thinking about intangible ideas such as love, faith and the meaning of life. A positive outlook  on adulthood can help to make this transition an exciting one and less of a scary one. Their brain is becoming quite advanced now and are coping with more abstract thinking.  An 11 year old will be developing an understanding of hypothetical situations and will be showing a more adult way of thinking and expressing themselves.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your eleven year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These recommendations are meant to spark a love for nature, expand on your Childs imagination and creativity and allow for group play to take place.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Holztiger Mystery Box: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/holztiger/products/holztiger-mystery-box

2.Bamboo Dominos : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/bamboo-dominoes

3.Dragons Lair: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/bauspiel/products/dragons-lair

4.Knights Castle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/bauspiel/products/knights-castle-10-pieces

5.GraPat Baby nins: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grapat/products/6-baby-nins-in-a-coconut-shell

6.Grapat Rhythm Of Life Beads: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grapat/products/the-rhythm-of-life-wood-coloured-chain

7.Papoose Earth Trees: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/papoose/products/earth-trees-spring

Twelfth Year

Developmental benefits: This is the last year that’s considered Early Developmental years. They are getting ready to leave elementary and off to secondary school which may create fears and anxiety within your child and they may require additional support or a confidence boost to help with their concerns. Playing lots of sport or having active interests can help to burn off energy and help with the stresses.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your twelve year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These recommendations are meant to spark a love for nature, expand on your Childs imagination and creativity and allow for group play to take place.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Leonardo Building Sticks: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/leonardo-building-sticks-in-rainbow

2.Bird Eggs in a Basket: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/a-dozen-bird-eggs-in-a-basket

3.Grimms element puzzle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/large-four-elements-building-set

4.Grimms Large Assembly Run: https://modernrascals.ca/products/ball-run-assembly-set-things-in-motion?_pos=1&_sid=488078eec&_ss=r

5.Insect Hotel : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/le-jardin-insect-hotel

6.Mushrooms in a Basket: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/forest-mushroom-basket

7.Grimms Romanesque Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/romanesque-4x4cm-building-set

Open-Ended Toy Recommendations ( 0- 12 months)

This is BY FAR , the most common request I receive, parents wanting to know which open-ended toys I would recommend from one -12 months old. Which toys are suitable for multiple ages, which toys will grow with your child, which toys you should invest in and when to introduce them etc.

I’m happy to finally provide this recommendation guide that you as a parent can reference, that you can send family and friends for birthday and holiday gift ideas and it will explain the why, which developmental benefits it will have, the type of play it will promote within your child and the longevity of engagement it will have.

Each months recommendations are not a suggestion of owning all toys but a proper description or how and how long your child will most likely be interested in engaging with these toys for years to come. When you go through https://modernrascals.ca/ and start filling up your carts try to calculate the price for years of engagement. For Example I recommend in most months in the first year Folkmanis Finger Puppets, most are around $13 but will be played with and enjoyed with until 12 , We have these in my kinder and school- ager programs and the habitats, block play etc are incredible. They are perfect editions to literacy baskets and pairing with songs and stories and so much more!

Add these toy recommendation with a balanced mixture of household items, items found in nature and Recyclables.

These are again open-ended toy suggestions and guidelines of toys that I own, My Daycare programs own and I have over a decade of environmental exposure to gage how long your child will enjoy playing with them or have used them in my workshops.

This post is sponsored by Modern Rascals, my favorite Canadian sustainable & ethical clothing and toy e-commerce store. They have the best variety of my absolute favourite brands and the best quality out there! These are my honest toy recommendations for each age!

As you start to make your Modern Rascals wish list before checking out you can use VANESSA10 to save 10% off your entire toy order ( code can only be used once & not affiliated ) and there are also flexible payment plans to look into on the site as you invest into your child/children’s open ended toy collections.

One Month

Developmental benefits: During the first month your child will be working on tracking objects from mid-line to the side with their sight, they can lock an object that is placed in the hand, grips objects but cannot yet hold them in hand, working on lifting head a bit during tummy time, and will stop crying to look in the direction of sound or voice. The open-ended toys that I have recommended above will help support this growth and development, with sight, sound and easy grasping items.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your one month old will be developing and working on at lighting fast speeds in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

All of these items are non toxic and safe to be mouthed under adult supervision.

The longevity of engagement: The Rattle, Grasping Grimms Toy and The Small Grimms Rainbow will probably be engaged with for up words of 6-9 months of age. The rest of the toys recommended can be modified and added to different invitations to play for years to come.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Wooden Baby Rattle : https://modernrascals.ca/products/wooden-baby-rattle-ontario-maple?_pos=1&_sid=53f20154a&_ss=r

2. Grimms Grasping Toy: https://modernrascals.ca/products/grasping-toy-rainbow?_pos=1&_sid=c4d463a01&_ss=r

3.Folkmanis Finger Puppets: https://modernrascals.ca/products/mini-cardinal-finger-puppet?_pos=11&_sid=587d020c5&_ss=r

4. Grapat Natural Nins, Rings & Coins (these items will need to be supervised at all times but perfect for tings hands and fingers to develop those muscles): https://modernrascals.ca/products/nins-rings-and-coins-set-natural?_pos=44&_sid=7d98e30b4&_ss=r

5.Small Grimms Rainbow ( This is an awesome starter rainbow that can also in future be used for small world and imaginative play, its about the size of an adult palm.): https://modernrascals.ca/products/element-small-rainbow?_pos=1&_sid=fb4b34b6a&_ss=r

6.Small Dena Silicon Rainbow ( This rainbow has been a household favourite for two years now, it is perfect for adding to all types of elements and environments.) : https://modernrascals.ca/products/neon-rainbow?_pos=3&_sid=f4abbc581&_ss=r

7. Wood Stacking Animal Teethers ( You know I love a good mutli purpose and versitle toy, this will be great for grasping and then down the road be used for stacking, in sensory play, tracing etc.) https://modernrascals.ca/products/wooden-stacking-animal-teethers?_pos=1&_sid=77520cc7f&_ss=r

Two Months

Developmental benefits: During the second months your baby will be working on tracking moving objects from side to side, will attempt to swipe and hit objects within reach, will hold objects for a brief period, they will begin to notice their hands and legs, can lift head by 45º during tummy time, will gradually learn that hands and legs are an extension of the body.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Two month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

All of these items are non toxic and safe to be mouthed under adult supervision smaller pieces excluded.

The longevity of engagement: The Rattle, Grasping Grimms Toy and will again probably be engaged with for up words of 6-9 months of age and during this month and the next few will get a lot of love and discovery . The rest of the toys recommended can be modified and added to different invitations to play for years to come. The Grimms lacing string is great quality that I recommend tying to the rings for an opportunity to hit and swipe those objects, like a play gym. These can also help support longer tummy time opportunities.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Wooden Baby Rattle : https://modernrascals.ca/products/wooden-baby-rattle-ontario-maple?_pos=1&_sid=53f20154a&_ss=r

2. Grapat Wooden Nest Rings (the smallest pieces will have to be withheld until an older age, this set should be enjoyed for over a decade of play and discovery): https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/wood-nest-rings-6-rainbow-colours-24-pieces

3.Grimms Rainbow Threading Cords: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/rainbow-cords-for-threading

4. Grimms Grasping Toy: https://modernrascals.ca/products/grasping-toy-rainbow?_pos=1&_sid=c4d463a01&_ss=r

5. Papoose Felt Earth Stacking Set (this is the perfect size and weight to grasp and hold and the different material will offer a new censorial exploration and discovery for your baby.): https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/copy-of-rainbow-stacking-set

6. Grapat Natural 8cm Wooden Rings: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/wood-natural-hoops-8cm-3-pieces

7. Wooden Natural Treasure Basket: ( this is a perfect starter set for building exposure and a foundation to loose parts play) : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/wood-natural-treasure-basket-with-10-elements

Three Months

Developmental benefits: During the third month of your babies life they’re learning very rapidly new important developmental skills. Strengthening many muscles in their back and neck so to assist doing more tummy time during this month is important. Providing toys with different sizes, textures, movements and sounds will be ideal during this month. The rattle is great for that cause and effect as they are in the stages of shaking and moving their arms with purpose. and the strings are still a great way to provide opportunities to feel a different texture and grasp easily. The gra pat bowls would be awesome to introduce during this month during tummy time and will be loved and engaged with up until those school-age years.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Three month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: The Rattle, Grasping Grimms Toy , will again probably be engaged with for up words of 6-9 months of age and during this month and the next few will get a lot of love and discovery . The rest of the toys recommended can be modified and added to different invitations to play for years to come. The Grimms lacing string is great quality that I recommend tying to different house hold objects of different sizes, colours and textures for an opportunity to hit and swipe those objects, like a play gym. These can also help support longer tummy time opportunities.

Toys from Top Left to Right

  1. Grimms Wooden Pebbles: ( these are the number one engaged with toy for all ages during my parent and child classes, you can start collecting the different colours as the months go on and they will be played with for years.) https://modernrascals.ca/products/grimms-pebbles-moss?_pos=1&_sid=20bb81513&_ss=r

2. Small Dena Silicon Rainbow ( This rainbow has been a household favourite for two years now, it is perfect for adding to all types of elements and environments.) : https://modernrascals.ca/products/neon-rainbow?_pos=3&_sid=f4abbc581&_ss=r

3.Wooden Baby Rattle : https://modernrascals.ca/products/wooden-baby-rattle-ontario-maple?_pos=1&_sid=53f20154a&_ss=r

4. Grimms Grasping Toy: https://modernrascals.ca/products/grasping-toy-rainbow?_pos=1&_sid=c4d463a01&_ss=r

5.Grapat Rainbow Bowls Set of 12: https://modernrascals.ca/products/wood-coloured-bowls-12-pcs?_pos=3&_sid=0b80ee1d8&_ss=r

6.Grimms Rainbow Threading Cords: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/rainbow-cords-for-threading

7.Folkmanis Finger Puppet: https://modernrascals.ca/products/mini-raccoon-finger-puppet?_pos=2&_sid=90df1e756&_ss=r

Four Months

Developmental benefits: During this month your infant will be showing more personality, emotional and facial expression. Spend more time on the ground with your little one, engaging in tummy time, story telling and exploring different textures. Your child is getting better at using their hands and eyes in sync with each other so these toys recommended above will be amazing additions to help support these new developmental skills.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Four month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: The grimms grasping rainbow will still be a big hit during this month. With the bright colours, movement and sounds that the balls make they will be still engaged with by your child. All other toys that I’m recommended above will be played with in different ways by your child, depending on their age, developmental stage and interest until at least 5 or 6 years old. The beauty of open ended toys will always be that the investment will always be worth it in the end for the amount of years played with. Another added bonus with the Dena silicon set is that they are made with a cooking grade silicon so when your children are older you can bake using them as molds and they’re AMAZING for sensory play!

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Grasping Toy: https://modernrascals.ca/products/grasping-toy-rainbow?_pos=1&_sid=c4d463a01&_ss=r

2. Folkmanis Woodeland puppets: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/woodland-animals-finger-puppet-set-of-4

3. Grimms Wooden Pebbles: ( these are the number one engaged with toy for all ages during my parent and child classes, you can start collecting the different colours as the months go on and they will be played with for years.) https://modernrascals.ca/products/grimms-pebbles-river?_pos=5&_sid=3fab56b51&_ss=r

4. Papoose Earth Stacking Bowls:https://modernrascals.ca/collections/papoose/products/copy-of-gnomes-wool

5. Papoose Rainbow Felted Balls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/papoose/products/rainbow-felted-wool-balls-8-pieces

6. Dena Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/dena/products/rainbow-kid-house-and-tree-set

7. Flockmani Puppet Blue Jay: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/folkmanis/products/mini-blue-jay-finger-puppet

Five Months

Developmental benefits: This is the month that your infant is going to be preparing those important back muscles to sit on their own, this month focusing on helping your infant sit assisted for longer periods of time and rotating between tummy time is helpful. They will be working on their palmar grasp so when you put items into their hands they will now close and hold them. Five months is the start of true oral sensory intake. Information will start to be processed more often through their mouth. Making sure from here on out that we are offering our children toys that are not a hazard or chocking hazard is important. If your child will be exploring items orally we need to make sure they’re safe.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Five month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: All of these items recommended above will be enjoyed and played with for around a decade in different ways depending on your child’s developmental stage, age and interests. These are all mutli-purpose toys that are open-ended and awesome for the beginning of safe oral exploration.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Wooden balls & Tray : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/natural-wooden-balls-6-pieces

2. Grimms Wooden Pebbles: ( these are the number one engaged with toy for all ages during my parent and child classes, you can start collecting the different colours as the months go on and they will be played with for years.) : https://modernrascals.ca/products/grimms-pebbles-moss?_pos=4&_sid=e4a59e6c0&_ss=r

3. Wooden rings: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wood-natural-hoops-8cm-3-pieces

4. Grapat Nins: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-in-3-different-woods-beech-oak-sapell

5. Small Grimms Pastle Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grimms/products/element-small-pastel-rainbow

6. Dena Small Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/dena/products/neon-rainbow

7. Wooden Stacking Animal Teethers: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-stacking-animal-teethers

Six Months

Developmental benefits: I feel like I remember 6 months like it was yesterday! (my son is now 2 as I write this post) During this month there is a huge developmental leap. Now is the time your child will start to sit up unassisted, getting ready for solids, pushing and pulling while doing tummy time, they’re going to start becoming more mobile as the next couple months come. At six months your child will see colours more vibrantly and will enjoying playing, engaging, discovery and experiments with their toys for longer periods of time. Offering mostly open ended toys will help set the foundation for future independent play.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Six month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: This is now my FAVOURITE month to recommend toys for because moving forward all toys will have over ten years of engagement. You know your child best, you know which toys and items could be hazardous so please use your judgement. But actually usability, exploration, engaging etc of these toys are going to be their early years, infant-12 years old.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Papoose wooden eggs: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-eggs-6-pieces

2. Grapat nesting bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grapat/products/wood-nest-bowls-6-rainbow-colours

3. Goki Cars: https://modernrascals.ca/products/cars-natural?_pos=1&_sid=d4f988b73&_ss=r

4. Grimms Medium Rainbow:(This is the month that Amadeo was gifted the medium rainbow and he still plays with it today, my kinders and school-agers also enjoy adding it to their play) https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grimms/products/grimms-element-medium-rainbow

5. Grimms Wooden Pebbles: ( these are the number one engaged with toy for all ages during my parent and child classes, you can start collecting the different colours as the months go on and they will be played with for years.) https://modernrascals.ca/products/grimms-pebbles-river?_pos=5&_sid=3fab56b51&_ss=r

6. Papoose Rainbow nesting bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rainbow-nesting-bowls

7. Dena Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/dena/products/rainbow-kid-house-and-tree-set

As we go onto the next months and years try to use your imagination on how your child will discover, play and engage with. Will they be apart of an invitation, sensory set up, open ended play. Keep safety in mind and remember that supervised and early exposure that is guided with boundaries will help set the foundation for important imaginative and creative developmental skills that will help your child play independently. These toys will build confidence and allow your children to express themselves and their emotions through play.

Seven Months

Developmental benefits: During this month you will start to notice your little one communicating with you more often when awake with babbling, making raspberry sounds, laughing etc. They are working hard on mobility, gross and fine motor skills. During the next few months I recommend adding more colour and different textures to your child’s toy collection.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Seven month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: We own all of these items, minus the adorable hermit crab, and they’re to DIE FOR! I wish we had our papoose collection in those earlier months to start exploring those beautiful felt textures and colours. When offering the gorgeous Grapat ring set make sure small hazardous pieces are put away until your child is old enough.

Toys from Top Left to Right

  1. Rainbow Grapat Nins: https://modernrascals.ca/products/nins-12-colour?_pos=3&_sid=d417b16ed&_ss=r

2. Papoose Rainbow Felt Balls: https://modernrascals.ca/products/rainbow-felted-wool-balls-8-pieces?_pos=1&_sid=b46e3ed79&_ss=r

3.Grimms Medium Rainbow:(This is the month that Amadeo was gifted the medium rainbow and he still plays with it today, my kinders and school-agers also enjoy adding it to their play) https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grimms/products/grimms-element-medium-rainbow

4.Papoose Felt Rainbow Stacking Pebbles: https://modernrascals.ca/products/rainbow-stacking-set?_pos=3&_sid=a4f0f3442&_ss=r

5. Folkmanis Hermit Crab Finger Puppet: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/folkmanis/products/mini-hermit-crab-finger-puppet

6. Grapat Wooden Nest Rings (the smallest pieces will have to be withheld until an older age, this set should be enjoyed for over a decade of play and discovery): https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/wood-nest-rings-6-rainbow-colours-24-pieces

7.Papoose Rainbow nesting bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rainbow-nesting-bowls

Eight Months

Developmental benefits: Eight Months your child is going to start focusing on a “task” at hand for longer periods of time. Now that might just look like an extra minute or too of focused engagement but its a lot of extra work for them. Their able to track moving objects with their sight, manipulate objects by passing them between their hands and start to develop their pincer grasp. ( The pincer grasp is the coordination of the index finger and thumb to hold an item. Each time you hold a pen or button your shirt, you’re using the pincer grasp.) They can start to understand basic repetitive instructions. This is when I started exposing Amadeo to more items that were considered to be chocking hazards, while supervised and teaching what items to mouth and which ones to explore with the other senses only.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Eight month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: We own all of these items, minus the Grimms wooden cars set, but they’re on our wish list. When offering the gorgeous Grapat ring set make sure small hazardous pieces are put away until your child is old enough. The Grapat Balls Discs and Semi Circles are always a go to for providing loose parts play opportunities to build the independent play foundation skills. This would be the month that I would say it would be great to start slowly start building a holtztiger collection. Ours is getting larger slowly but surely and Amadeo adores these beautiful animals. Bonus, when they aren’t being played with they are displayed on the shelf in the playroom as décor!

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Rainbow Stacking Bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-rainbow-stacking-bowls-blue-outside

2.Holztiger Donkey: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/donkey-small

3.Grapat Wooden rounds: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wood-coloured-rounds

4.Grimms Rainbow cars: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/6-multi-colour-cars

5.Grapat Nins: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-in-3-different-woods-beech-oak-sapell

6.Grimms Pebbles: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-pebbles-fire

7. Grapat Wooden Nest Rings (the smallest pieces will have to be withheld until an older age, this set should be enjoyed for over a decade of play and discovery): https://modernrascals.ca/collections/loose-parts/products/wood-nest-rings-6-rainbow-colours-24-pieces

Nine Months

Developmental benefits: This month your infant is going to be working on some major gross motor skills and core strength as they learn and practice going from laying on their stomach to a sitting position. Working to get a toy that is out of reach. Will now know and respond to their name and recognize and positively interact with their own reflection. Their pincer grasp will start to be able to pick up small items and food.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Nine month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: Every toy that I’ve recommended for this month above will easily grow with your child until at least 7 if not all the way to 12 years when modifying the invitations or dependent on your child’s creativity and imagination. This scoop is a perfect size and to get them exposed to the scooping and dumping motions, will also help with strengthening the muscles in his hand and motions for practicing fork and spoon skills.

Toys from Top Left to Right

  1. Grimms 7 Rainbow Friends and Bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-7-rainbow-friends-in-7-bowls

2. Wooden Scoop: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-scoop

3. Grimms Forest: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-mixed-forest-blocks

4.Dena Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/dena/products/rainbow-kid-house-and-tree-set

5. Holtztiger Dino : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/tyrannosaurus-rex

6. Large Orange Grimms Car With Friends: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/car-large-orange-convertible-with-two-friends

7. Grapat Brots: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/brots-18-pieces

Ten Months

Developmental benefits: During this month your Ten month old will be more alert, aware and willing to explore and discover the world around them first hand. With more mobility in play they are starting to work on skills like pulling themselves up from a sitting position to standing while support from an object or person. Will be able to stand while holing onto something. Will spend time seeking objects that are out of reach, enjoy interactions and games like peek-a-boo and songs and dancing. Learn some major communication skills during this month while they start to exchange back and forth sounds as if their talking with you. I highly recommend narrating everything and every interaction with your children from this point on to help build their language, vocabulary and communication skills.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Nine month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: Every toy that I’ve recommended for this month above will easily grow with your child until the last of those early developmental years of 12 years old. So many opportunities to modify and create activities and learning opportunities with toys like this as your child grows.

Toys from Top Left to Right

  1. Grapat Winter Nins : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/the-seasons-winter-nins-mates-rings-and-coins

2. Holtztiger Giraffe: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/giraffe

3. Grimms Rainbow Hearts : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/hearts-rainbow

4. Papoose wooden eggs: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-eggs-6-pieces

5. Grapat Nins With Wizard Hats: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-with-wizard-hats-12-pieces

6. Grapat nesting bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grapat/products/wood-nest-bowls-6-rainbow-colours

7. Grapat Rainbow Balls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/coloured-wooden-balls-6-pieces

Eleven Months

Developmental benefits: I would say the next few months are going to be very much focused on mostly practicing gross motor skills as well as noticing and enjoying cause and effect. like dumping toys, breaking down towers, learning how to stack, scooping etc. Starting to known the names of personal objects like toys , cars, blocks, animals etc so its again important to be vocalizing and labeling the items while your children are interacting with them so those connections are being made.    

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Nine month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: This is the month I like to encourage parents to start building their children’s block collections. Different sizes, colours, shapes, textures etc will be played with for decades and grow with your child’s age, stage of development and interests. Cars and stacking toys will start to become quick favourites within your household.

Toys from Top Left to Right

  1. Folkmanis Butterfly Finger Puppet: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/folkmanis/products/mini-monarch-finger-puppet

2. Wooden Scoop: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-scoop

3. Junior Building Arches : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/junior-building-arches

4. Grimms Rainbow Cars: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/6-multi-colour-cars

5.Holtztiger Elephant : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/elephant-with-raised-trunk

6. City Blocks By Suzy Ultman: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/tiny-city-blocks-by-suzy-ultman

7. Raduga Grez Stacker ( Amadeo has this stacker and LOVES it, the craftsman ship is beautiful and defiantly an art piece décor for the playroom.) : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/raduga-grez-pastel-natural-stacker

Happy Birthday to your One Year Old!!!!

This months recommendations are factoring in that your family members and friends will be looking for present options, you might looking to purchase some bigger investment toys that will grow with your child all the way to the next year and beyond. During Amadeo’s first year is when I started adding these items or these types of toys into his toy collection. He is currently two and still gravitates to them all almost daily or when I bring them out into rotation. The wobble Board and Large Stepped Pyramid are hands down the two most used toys within our household.

Developmental benefits: There’s a lot going this month not only for your little one but for you as a parent! You all survived and thrived in your first year, standing ovation all around! During this month you’re going to see your almost one year old start to strive to complete those gross motor developmental milestones. They’re developing sharper finger control with wider range of motion, as well as learning the use of several more objects once modeled by a care giver. Keep in mind we are heading into the destructive play early years so breaking down towers and dumping bins out are helping aid in their brain connections and development.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your Nine month old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: All of these First Year Birthday recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys!

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Bamboo Wobble Board: https://modernrascals.ca/products/bamboo-wobbel-board?_pos=1&_sid=14ce15c67&_ss=r

2. Grimms Large Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-element-large-rainbow

3.Holztiger Lion: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/lion-1

4. Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/stepped-pyramid-4-cm-thick-building-sets

5. Colour Street Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/colour-street-45-pieces

6.Wooden Tweezers: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-tweezers

7. Grimms threading game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/thread-game-in-a-wooden-frame

Chefs Plate Canada’s most affordable meal kit, why I put my stamp of approval.

This post is sponsored by Chefs Plate, I am a Chefs Plate food box subscription customer and have been for years, this review and recommendation is honest and truthful.

I LOVE to cook, its cathartic, relaxing and is apart of my self care. Cooking is a ritual that I grew to love when my partner and I purchased our first home together, however making a meal from start to finish has been influenced in my upbringing and apart of my families Italian heritage.

I was put on modified bed rest at 24 weeks pregnant and wasn’t able to spend too much time on my feet so, shopping, prepping and cooking was out of the question. During this time I started this blog, my bed rest passion project. I had a lot of down time to think, and over think, what life might be like as a new mom. What the routines would look like, day to day tasks, what physical supports I would have access too, how my mental health would fair, the list goes on and on.

I was diagnosed at 3 months postpartum with postpartum depression and Anxiety. I worked with my team of health practitioners and therapists to come up with supports that would help me work through my emotions and feelings during this time and one of those things was to practice self care.

Introducing cooking back into my life as a new mother was important and Chefs Plate Food Subscription Box made sure I was eating properly, actually made it possible to have food in my fridge to cook, made the days that were tough better as it took the prep and time to grocery shop out of the equation. The convenience, dependability, food quality and affordability was important to me then as much as it is today.

With my now toddler he gets excited for our weekly Chefs Plate Delivery, He pushes the box all the way to the kitchen, helps me unload the recipes, bags and protein. Most nights he is excited to be apart of the cooking process, and with the easy to follow recipes and everything prepared its a joy to have him be involved. Taking the stress out of the process helps connect me to those moments of taking care of myself and teaching him amazing life skills. The days Amadeo doesn’t want to be involved I put on his favorite show and enjoy that me time, while still being a mom but so much more.

The number one question I recieve from parents is how many portions do I order for myself, my partner and toddler. Amadeo doesn’t have the biggest appetite but he is adventurous in trying new foods, so every Chefs Plate is modified for a toddler in serving size and spice level. We order the portion for 2 people and we have always felt satisfied, I also add a fruit or veggie from the fridge for Amadeo to go with some of the meals.

As Back to School approaches so does adjusting to new routines, packing lunches for your child(ren), homework and Chefs Plate wants to help make it easier to fall back into a cooking routine. They will help make dinnertime easy and stress-free by skipping the prep and shopping so all you have to worry about is cooking the healthy delicious meals either solo or time well spent with the family!

 From Start to finish Chefs Plate make your entire meal cooking experience easy and stress free. All of the healthy and fresh ingredients are at your finger tips, separated, organized and ready to cook. ( in the 15 minute meal options items are cut and prepped for you)

There are so many options to choose from each week and it gives me and my family the opportunity to learn and appreciate food from many different cultures, enjoy new flavors without the huge spice collection, and have such amazing variety from week to week. I have yet to choose the same recipe twice in two years!

To save use the affiliate link below ( I will get a small percentage at no extra cost to you) to save 50% off your first two boxes!!! On going!

https://chefs-plate.chx3kt.net/c/2222988/863318/10020

Click the link Above to save and use code : MYLAMB2X50

If you have any questions about the Chefs Plate Food Kits let me know in the comments, I’d be happy to help in any way possible!

Vanessa Ravalico

Lovevery Playkit Review

Toddler Play Kits by Lovevery

This Blog Post has affiliated links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, all opinions and recommendations are honest, truthful and my own.

I reached out to Lovevery a couple months ago after almost two years of parents asking me if I would recommend the Montessori style learning subscription box and asked if they would send me a kit to review.

I have spent the last couple years on my blog building genuine relationships with parents with the goal that when I recommend a product or service it is because A. I’m already a customer and spend my own money or B. I have reviewed a product or service and I would spend my own money on it. So in this case and review of the Lovevery Subscription boxes its B.

Lovevery sent us The Realist Play Kit (19,20,21 months) & The Companion Play Kits (22,23,24 months)

Amadeo was a year and a half when we received our Play Kits and he will be two years old in two months. He was INSTANTLY drawn to the unboxing of the items in the Play Kits and wanted to explore and test out each items before moving on to the next.

My review is going to consist of these 5 key points, mostly pulled from FAQ you ask me about the kits.

  1. Quality
  2. Usability/ Longevity of play
  3. Price Point
  4. Company Ethics
  5. Is it worth it/ Do I recommend you purchasing
Toddler Play Kits by Lovevery
  1. Quality

Hands down this is the number one question that parents want to know my opinion on, and I’d like to believe its because I’m quite the connoisseur of toys in the Early Developmental Years.

Amadeo has been playing ( roughly ) for over two months with the toys in and out of rotation and they have completely with stood my crazy toddler.

Seriously every item including the books, bags, puzzles, plastic toys and wooden toys are built PHENOMENALLY!!!!

The materials, the colours of the products all have purpose and intention behind them and as an educator and parent that is important for me when I’m considering what toys and materials will come into our home and Amadeo’s Playroom.

The Play Kits by Lovevery

2. Usability/ Longevity of play

I was getting asked questions that related to how long in my opinion would your children play and engage with the items in the subscription kits. So to start out I’m going to share what items came in The Realist and The Companion Kits.

What’s Inside
The Realist Play Kit

THE LOCKBOX

Tinkering with mechanical thinking all on his own—and perfectly portable for problem-solving with little hands

HIDEAWAY BALLS

Three little balls to hide and find in the Lockbox

COMMUNITY GARDEN PUZZLE

Practice pincer grasp with her first nature puzzle

‘LEO AND MELODY AT THE FARM’ BOARD BOOK

Explore life on a farm through touch, feel, and sensory play

QUILTED CRITTER POCKETS

Matching and tucking the organic cotton critters takes focus, dexterity, and tenacity

GROOVED PITCHER AND GLASS

A Montessori classic we’ve perfected—pouring practice helps develop hand and eye control

WOODEN STACKING PEG BOARD

Fit small objects into small spaces while building colorful towers

DRAWSTRING BAG

An organic cotton pouch for the peg board pieces

REALLY REAL FLASHLIGHT

A toddler usable flashlight

‘MANY AND FEW’ MINI BOARD BOOK

It’s not too early to build quantitative skills (subitizing, anyone?)

‘BEING SILLY’ MINI BOARD BOOK

Knowing you can make people laugh builds self‑esteem

‘BEDTIME FOR ZOE’ BOARD BOOK

Ease into bedtime—an introduction to routine, sequence, and time

PLAY GUIDE MONTHS 19, 20, 21

Ideas for how to play during months 19, 20, 21,
backed by all the
research you don’t
have time to read

Free ground shipping for orders $75+ in contiguous US and Canada at Lovevery.com!

The items in this kit that will last years in your toddlers play rotation are ; The Really Real Flash Light, The Lock Box with the Hideaway Balls , The Grooved Pitcher and Glass, the Wooden Stacking Pegboard and the Drawstring Bag.

In a toy rotation I have changed up which items I present with the Lock Box, I’ve added recycled food pouch lids, pompoms, animal figures, you name it, if it fits and Amadeo is interested in them they have gone in the lock box.

The Grooved Pitcher and Glass I have brought outside, used it in the kitchen and bathroom sinks for some sink play, the bath tub and some wet easy sensory set ups. Bringing toys that are usually played with in one environment into another will help create new motivation and curiosity to continue to explore.

The Wooden Stacking Pegboard I have set up with rainbow rice, a colour sort activity as well as encourage and model incorporating them in block play.

In my opinion the books, puzzles and a couple of the items that have the purpose of mastering certain fine motor skills will maybe last one year of intentional play. I’m predicting that after Amadeo is Three years old I don’t think items will interesting to him and wont be engaged with.

That being said I do think almost all of the items that come in these boxes can be used and presented in different ways or environments within a toy rotation and will be engaged with MUCH longer then the three months that the kits cover.

The added bonus to these kits are definitely the Play Guide as it will give you so many ideas of how to present the toys, invitation to play, as well as interact and help aid in your child’s development at that stage.

Toddler Play Kits by Lovevery

What’s Inside
The Companion Play Kit

LITTLE QUINN

Welcome Quinn!
A soft, organic companion for pretend play

MOSAIC BUTTON BOARD

Work on fine motor strength while making three-dimensional art

‘GRAHAM TURNS TWO’ BOARD BOOK

Help make sense of
the big feelings that come
with turning two

‘BEA GETS A CHECKUP’ BOARD BOOK

Going to the doctor can be fun—so long as we’re prepared!

MONTESSORI ANIMAL MATCH

A Montessori sorting game for learning about similarities and differences

DRAWSTRING BAG

An organic cotton bag for putting away the animals and wood tiles

LARGE NESTING STACKING DRIPDROP CUPS

Supersized stacking and water play cups! Do it all: nest, stack, contain, pour. Add on to your baby Drip Drop Cups for an even taller tower!

TRANSFER TWEEZERS AND FELT STARS

Pick up these felt stars—a fine motor pincer activity

THE BUCKLE BARREL

Keep busy with no-pinch buckles while building hand strength and practicing bilateral coordination on this organic pillow

CHUNKY WOODEN JIGSAW PUZZLE

A puzzle that’s easy to hold—and a challenge to solve

TWO-PIECE PUZZLES

Practice “right side up” with this set of four simple puzzles

PUZZLES TO GO BOX

Take the puzzles on the go

CARRY-ALONG KIT

Carry whatever you need to craft or play on the go

PLAY GUIDE MONTHS 22, 23, 24

Ideas for how to play during months 22, 23, 24,
backed by all the
research you don’t
have time to read

The items in the Companion Kit have been a HUGE hit with Amadeo and his interests. My favourite part of this box by FAR is the Bea gets a check up book. Amadeo and I read it over and over a couple weeks before we went into get his booster shots and I SHIT YOU NOT, even with the new Covid protocols and it just being me there not both his dad and I, he knew exactly what was going on, what to expect. He barely cried, I didn’t even need to hold him while they did the shot!

The items that I know will grow with your children are; Little Quin, Montessori Animal Match, Drawstring Bag, Carry Along Kit, Large Nesting Stacking Cups, The Buckle Barrel, Mosaic Button Board, and Tweezers and Felt Stars.

All of these items we have used in different play invitations and they have endless opportunities to be modified as your child grows.

Free ground shipping for orders $75+ in contiguous US and Canada at Lovevery.com!

3. Price Point

When I spend money on toys and or a service that will make my life easier and add value to my child’s I expect to pay a pretty hefty price tag but these Subscription kits are only $120.00 for three months of play, that works out to $40.00 a month.

I did a little research for you guys on the world wide web because one of my favourite pass times is sourcing and price matching toys and resources. I compared the toys that are offered in the Play Kits for similar quality from other companies would cost to purchase individually. For each of the Play Kits I have for Amadeo easily it would cost over $350.00!

Here’s the most valuable aspect about these kits to me, The Play Guides that come with the Subscription boxes I would personally value at $120.00 alone!

Hands down I think this the most affordable play kits available on the market when you factor in the quality of the toys and materials and education added.

The best is they now have Toddler Playkits all the way up to 36 months old.

Shop the new 2 Year Old Kits – available now!

4.Company Ethics

I’ve found the products included in The Play Kits by Lovevery to be very inclusive and diverse in representation, however that was from an personal opinion formulated from a place of privilege. I reached out to their Social Media team and asked how they will be moving forward to continue to better the representation of Black, Indigenous and other People of Colour within their products for families. I received an immediate response expressing appreciation that I’m holding them accountable as a affiliate influencer and a parent. They have continued to share their plans moving forward within their company to grow and share their ethics through their products and provide resources to parents navigating educating their children to be anti-racist and allies to the LGBTQ+ community.

They are a company that I’m proud to work with and promote to parents, I believe their products will add value to your families lives and make a positive impact.

If you want to learn more about Lovevery’s story and the company click the link below.

https://lovevery.com/pages/about-us

Toddler Play Kits by Lovevery

5.Is it worth it/ Do I recommend you purchasing

I really do think its more then worth it and I highly recommend adding this subscription to help foster skills in your child’s early development.

Lovevery has a couple products that you can also purchase separately that you can check out below, The Block Set looks UNREAL!

Shop the NEW Block Set from Lovevery!

If you have any questions let me know in the comment box below ! Happy Shopping!

Vanessa Ravalico

Let’s get to know each other

Social media and more specifically Instagram was a platform created to form genuine connections. I know with how the app is presented we can easily get lost in the “scroll roll” or looking up information that we may need from experts, but the magic behind MY LITTLE LAMB for me has always been these amazing conversations and relationships that have formed through this community in my direct messages.

Now more then ever I try to use this platform as how it was intended. Bridging that gap between screens and filling that horrible void of feeling isolated and alone. Parenthood is hard enough, we need to build up supports. I’m hoping that you will take a little bit from me and read others submissions to see if there are commonalities. When you are going through similar struggles as someone else and have the same interests or children around the same age, we can support each other and offer solidarity.

After reading my submissions in LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER , copy and paste these to your notes, fill in the answers and post in the comments on my latest Instagram post on my feed with this picture ……

Name:

Age:

Profession:

Number of Children:

Name & Age of Child/Children:

Favourite Pastime:

Hobbies/ Interests:

Biggest struggles as a parent:

I cant wait to get to know you better! The name of the game is feeling less like we are on a deserted island, we truly are all in this together!

Basic Baby Co.

Basic Baby Co. 

basic baby co

Business Highlight 

This blog post is sponsored and I have been compensated for my time and work put into this piece, the opinions are honest and true to my beliefs.  

When I was two months postpartum with Amadeo, my first birth, I wrote a blog post, 5 Postpartum Care Must Haves for Mom. 

https://mylittlelamb.ca/2018/10/22/5-postpartum-care-musts-for-mom/

With the experience of a traumatic birth (in the sense of person vaginal injury) recovery from said birth and what my postpartum right after baby looked like, I knew what I wanted to do differently next time and the advice I would give to future mamas out there.

At the time I followed on Instagram and reviewed online Basic Baby Co. and all of the amazing products they offered for after baby comes and my FAVOURITE product and package they carry was/is their, Postpartum Bundle.

It’s embedded deep within our culture to make sure mom is okay, has everything she needs, support her physically, mentally and emotionally while pregnant, but within 24 hours of that beautiful baby being born we are now, sadly, officially an after thought. I will never stop being vocal about how absolutely wrong that is. We need to be a thought after birth not an after thought.

img_3264

A bit about how Basic Baby Co. was started from the owner Sheila,

Basic baby co. launched about three years ago and it was my lemonade at a time when I was feeling the lemons. I have a Masters in Counselling Psychology and after over a decade working with and counselling people experiencing substance use issues, involvement with the justice system, trauma, mental health, and other challenges, I was burnt out.

More than that, I arrived at a place where the experiences and traumas from my own life had caught up with me – I was exhausted and overwhelmed by anxiety to the point of it being totally crippling. I have never been good at sitting idle, but I was also forced to accept that I need to make some changes and give myself some time to heal.

I didn’t really realize it at the time, nor had this ever been part of my “life plan”, but as it turned out, part of that healing process came in the form of starting a business – a business that was completely different from my career and provided an opportunity to have something that was mine, be creative, and celebrate some of the more joyous and heartwarming parts of life. So, with the unwavering support that my Mum has always provided, I saw an opportunity, followed a feeling I had, and basic baby co. was born!

After months of building it, I actually went back to work in the healthcare system doing consulting work about the same time basic baby co. launched. It has been a busy few years, but I am so grateful for this business and the people that support it because it affords me a wonderful balance and place to be creative in my life.

Everyone loves to celebrate the arrival of babies, but often people don’t know what to get and/or cannot always be there in person or know when would be a good time to visit a new parent. So, basic baby co. is really about making it easy for people to celebrate their loved ones during this amazing and life-changing time of life!

More than that, it is about sending a gift that is not just thoughtful, but also practical! So often new parents get all sorts of gifts that they never have the chance or need to use. Personally, I don’t like getting someone a present just for the sake of getting them something… I like to give someone something that is good quality and something they will actually use and truly appreciate. So, that’s basic baby co. … carefully curated and perfectly practical!

-Sheila

Basic Baby Co. is a mother-daughter venture – a testament to the life-long relationship of unconditional love, support, and friendship between parent and child. Located in Vancouver, BC, basic baby co. is a proudly Canadian company.

Now more then ever we are hyper aware of supporting Canadian companies and supporting those we love during their pregnancy and post birth during this pandemic in any way we can while respecting social distancing and the boundaries in order to keep baby and mama healthy and safe.
A Basic Baby Co. bundle will be that perfect gift sent directly to mama and baby to show your love and support.
baby
To view and shop all bundles click the link below 
At checkout use code MYLITTLELAMB to save 10% 

Pregnancy Affirmations

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One of my biggest tools in my Mental Health Tool Belt is my constant use of affirmations and mantras to help ground me. When you’re nervous system is in high alert, you’re experiencing anxiety, maybe on your way to panic attack territory, reciting affirmations and mantras can help reprogram the subconscious mind and encourages us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it.

In a time were you are experiencing pregnancy in isolation and social distancing visualization and positive thinking practices will help you stay calm and stress free in moments that want to pull you in another direction.

Practicing affirmations and mantras when you are at a neutral energy will be important as you will be better equip to implement these during times of struggle.

When I was on the delivery bed almost two years ago about to birth my son, I got out my cell phone and started reciting my grounding mantra. As soon as the nurse said I was to start pushing and this was happening I felt my mind wander and starting to spiral and as soon as I started saying my mantra and took deep breaths it helped me find that inner strength and confidence in knowing that my body wouldn’t let me down, that I was safe and doing to do exactly what I needed to do in the next however many minutes to meet my son for the first time. It was a beautiful and magical moment of empowerment that I did for myself!

Below are some Beautiful Pregnancy Affirmations from Pinterest:

 

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Start practicing by reciting these daily or creating your present pregnancy mantras that will help manifest all that you want to achieve in regards to your pregnancy and birth.

You’ve Got This Mama.