January 2021 Deals

Happy January!

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Shop kids apparel new arrivals at Walmart.com

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Get the stockings stuffed!

Stocking Stuffers

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How to Stuff a Stocking

It’s 2020, even Santa needs a break this year so help ease the load by organizing the stockings for him.

Whether you are a first-time stocking stuffer or a seasoned pro it never hurts to get some ideas!  Here is our method to a delightfully stuffed stocking.

We recommend buying in advance and making a strategic plan for how you are going to allocate the loot.  Buying small fun toys, tchotchkes, and silly items is a great way to keep the kids guessing as to what will come out of their stocking next!

Use candy as a indulgent way to build layers into the stocking, and who doesn’t love to see Candy Canes sticking out the top of their stocking!?!

Some people like to wrap small gifts and put them in the stocking which is another innovative way to make the fun last, but make sure you have garbage bags ready for all the wrapping paper, candy wrappers and packaging that inevitably ends up on the floor.

Great resources for small fun items are Amazon (Paid Link) and walmart.com,(Paid Link) just enter “stocking stuffer” into the search and you will be inundated with small items that would work perfectly.

No matter how you stuff the stockings the best part will be watching the kids enjoy the surprises!

Our recommendations for Stocking stuffers they will love!

Chocolate Santas (Paid Link)

Candy canes (Paid Link)

Coal Candy (Paid Link)…for the Naughty little girls and boys, cinnamon flavor 😛

Small coloring books (Paid Link)

Theme pencils (Paid Link)

Blow up light sabers (Paid Link)

Compass (Paid Link) for their backpack

Swiss army knife (Paid Link)…not for the little ones!

Finger puppets (Paid Link)

Card Games  (Paid Link)

Small puzzles (Paid Link)

Hair bows (Paid Link)

Mini WetBrush (Paid Link)

Matchbox cars (Paid Link)

My Little Pony Figurines (Paid Link)

Here is wishing you and your family the happiest of Holidays, stuffed stockings and all!

Stocking stuffers

December Deals!

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Happy December!

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Shop kids apparel new arrivals at Walmart.com

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Shop Toys & Games from Amazon.com!

 

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Free Coloring Pages


Shop Award-Winning, Educational Toys from Fat Brain Toys
Shop Personalized Toys at Fat Brain Toys


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Gift 1 Year of ABCmouse for $59.95!


Get 30 Days Free of RIQ!


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Columbia Holiday Gift Guide

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Gift Guide of our Gift Guides

Ultimate Gift Guide of our Gift Guides!

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Over the past year we have curated and published many gift guides to make gifting easier for parents and relatives out there.  With the holidays approaching we are making it even easier to find the right gift for the children in your life.  Here are out top gift guides.

GIFTS FOR THE ARTISTGift Ideas for your budding artist! - Keep It Delightful

GIFTS FOR THE BUILDERGifts for your little builder

GIFTS FOR THE MUSICIANgifts for your little musician

PERSONALIZED GIFTS10 Gifts you can Personalize for Kids

GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING (SUBSCRIPTION GIFTS)Gifts for kids that keep on giving!

GIFTS FOR THE PRETEND PLAYERGifts for Pretend Play

10 BEST COOPERATIVE BOARD GAMESCooperative Games to help kids learn to cooperate

10 BATHTUB TOYS THAT DON’T SQUIRT10 Best Bathtub toys

BEST ADVENT CALENDARSBest Advent Calendars

Not finding a relevant post?  Download the Keep It Delightful app, plug in your kids interests and sizes and it will recommend gifts based on the information you provide.  You can either safely share the profile with close friends and family or you can text or email gift suggestions directly from the app and it will record which gift you recommended to which family member.  Let your holidays be a breeze this year!!

Best Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars for the whole family

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Best Advent Calendars

Here is the list of our favorite 2020 Advent Calendars:

Classic Advent Calendars:

These are all candy and we love them!

Toy Filled Advent Calendars

What kid would say no to opening a new toy every day?  We break these down by theme to make it easier for you to find the best fit for your kids.

For the Artist:

For the Builder:

For Pretend Play:

For the Dino Lover:

For the Gamer:

For the Jewelry lover:

For the Reader:

For Bath time Fun:

For kids who love surprises:

For the Vehicle enthusiast:

Advent Calendars for Parents:

Why do the kids get to have all the fun?  Here are great ones for mom and dad!

 

DIY Advent Calendars:

Confession, this would not be the route I would take as it could be pretty time consuming to buy all the gifts, make sure they fit in the slots and get them in without the kids seeing but they are really pretty!

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Best Advent Calendars

Gift of Gratitude

Gift of Gratitude tree background

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Giving the Gift of Gratitude

Raising Grateful Kids

As parents, we do our best to raise good, kind, and resilient kids.  This year it is especially important to emphasize the good that we have in our lives with our children.  We have all been under stress and anxiety as we, as adults, have worked through this tumultuous year.  Whether they talk about it or not kids pick up on the emotions of those around them.  As we enter the season of giving thanks it is a natural segue to introduce this concept in an organic way.

Gratitude Journal

Start a gratitude journal. This is something I recently started with my kids.  As I am putting them to bed, we pull out the journal and I ask them to tell me three things they are grateful for, and then I write them down in a numbered list.  Then I write down three things I am grateful for.  Since I do this with both kids, sometimes my answers are the same in each book and sometimes different but it gives us a chance to refocus on the positive at the end of the day.

The kids’ responses have surprised and humbled me a number of times. One night my son said he was grateful for the roof over his head, and my daughter almost made me cry when she said, I have a mommy who gives me hugs and kisses.  There are other nights where they are not too into it and I get…Mommy, daddy, comfy bed, but still there is something comforting about bringing the day to a close by reminding ourselves that there are always things and moments to be grateful for even…. if it is just a warm blanky.

I gave each of my children a different version of a Journal. For my daughter the journal is a fuzzy bear holding a rainbow. (Paid Link)  She especially enjoys grabbing it for me off the bed stand.  For my son I went Pokemon Journal.(Paid Link)  You can also let your child choose their own journal.  Especially if you have a child that is not as excited about this type of parent led activity it can help if they have some ownership.

Turkey on the Table (Paid Link)

Thanksgiving is coming, start your Turkey on the Table. This is a new addition to our Thanksgiving table.  The whole family, and our invited guests add words of gratitude and thanks to our Turkey, on his feathers and we read them aloud during dessert.  Tip:  Hold a few feathers in reserve for those guests who are not always around to write a few during dinner and feel included.

Build Gratitude through Giving Back

Find local food and clothing drives, get involved and expose your kids to the concept of giving. It’s a great time to go through the closet and pull out coats the kids have grown out of and non-perishable food items that will fill hungry tummies.  Explaining where these items are going and having the kids participate in collecting and delivering them can instill a sense of gratitude for how much we sometimes take for granted.

Need a new jacket for your kids this year?  Keep It Delightful is an affiliate partner of Columbia and if you click the link below you can take advantage of the great deals at Columbia.

Shop Kid’s Apparel at Columbia.com (Paid Link)

Send Snail Mail

Write letters to those you can’t be with this year. We have all been keeping our mandated 6 feet apart, but the mail can still get through.  Check out these great correspondence kits (Paid Link) that will get your kids writing letters and sending their love and gratitude via snail mail.

Teacher gifts

Whether they are in person or on-line, teachers deserve our gratitude all year long.  Get your child or your child’s class involved in letting their teachers know how much they care.  They can make a collage, donate to a charity the teacher supports, even write a song to show how much it means that our teachers are still showing up for them each and every day.

 

No matter how you bring gratitude into your child’s life it will be a positive thing.  For them as well as for you.  Our children are amazing and their minds are so malleable and nimble.  Showing that you care and recognize the good in life shows them they can too.

I close with a thank you, thank you for reading, thank you for supporting, thank you for all the things you did today that no one thanked you for, but you deserve a thank you for. 🙂

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Gift of Gratitude pin flower background

Gifts for Pretend Play

Gifts for Pretend Play

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What could be better than encouraging a creative mind?  Especially these days it is so import and to encourage our young children in their pretend play.  There is a little too much reality going on…am I alone in that opinion?

Children are amazing at creating their own worlds and being able to discover and even sort through their emotions and feelings via pretend play.

 

Costumes

We love playing dress up in our house, whether it is my daughter pretending to be Minnie Mouse (Paid Link) or my son putting on a dinosaur mask (Paid Link)that really roars it brings their pretend world to life when they can look the part.  If we are playing dinosaurs, I sometimes create a cave with blankets on the couch or even let my little girl put on some of my old lip gloss and eye shadow to play princess.  These are precious moments to me and the stories that they make up are incredible.  It does not have to be Halloween to get all dressed up and have some fun!

 

Doctor Kit

I have found that children have a natural disinclination to go to the doctor.  With this virus being a huge topic of conversation for the last six plus months that disinclination has turned in to an actual fear for my kids.  For her birthday this year I got my daughter the fisher price doctor kit (Paid Link) picture above.  Her brother actually plays with it more than she does.  He loves taking his sister’s temperature and “listening” to my heart, but he loves even more to give pretend shots.  It seems this is where his fear of the doctor was really coming from.  Lots of people have been talking about a shot to prevent the virus and he knew he was going to have to get a flu shot and a finger stick the next time he had a physical.  Having the opportunity to pretend with this toy set gave him some ownership and control over the process helped him work through his fear.  I am not saying his annual physical was the best experience, but I am convinced that it could have been worse if we did not have this pretend play outlet.

 

Kitchen set

Cooking with the kids is fun and we bake a lot in my house, but the kids are very aware that the stove, and oven are off limits because they are hot.  Knowing this does not always mean they abide by those rules.  To give her an outlet to explore cooking on her own I bought my daughter a kitchen set.  She enjoys making pretend meals for her brother and I, I can not tell you how many “coffee’s” she has made me…I guess she knows the key to my heart. 😛  She feels like a big girl when she can push the buttons on the pretend microwave, open the pretend oven, and put away the leftovers in her fridge.  Don’t have enough room to add a large kitchen set to your home, consider a smaller kitchen accessories set. (Paid Link) that will not eat up as much space.  (Sorry for the bad pun!)

 

Figurines and Dolls

I grew up with older brothers and so have always been a bit of a tomboy.  As a child when my parents tried to give me Barbies (Paid Link)and baby dolls (Paid Link) I usually threw them in the closet and tried to steal my brothers GI Joes (Paid Link) and He-Man figurines. (Paid Link)  There are so many stories that you can create when you have a figurine in your hands, whether it is gender specific or not, kids use their imaginations to bring these characters to life!

However you choose to encourage your child in pretend play it will bring them a lot of joy to see you getting into their world with them.  If Mommy pretends she is a puppy or Dad is a baby, the kids will see it is okay to imagine and enjoy their pretend play.  Build delightful moment with your children by encouraging pretend play!

Pretend Play gifts to inspire their imagination


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Top Prime Day Picks for Kids!

Logo with background

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Top Prime Day Picks for Kids are in:

Check out these top picks for kids and feel good about getting a great deal and supporting a great charity.  Keep It Delightful is proud to donate 20% of our Amazon Prime Day commissions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

STEM Toys

Osmo – Little Genius Starter Kit for iPad + Early Math Adventure – 6 Hands-On Educational Games – Ages 3-5 – Counting, Shapes, Phonics & Creativity iPad Base Included (Amazon Exclusive) (30% off)

 


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Mega Fossil and Gemstone Dig Kits – Excavate 10 Real Fossils and 10 Real Gems, Great STEM Science Gift for Mineralogy and Geology Enthusiasts of Any Age (20% off)

Games

Connect 4 Strategy Board Game for Ages 6 and Up (Amazon Exclusive) (30% off)

Hasbro Games Trivial Pursuit Family Edition (Amazon Exclusive) (30% off)

Activities

Play-Doh Modeling Compound 24-Pack Case of Colors, Non-Toxic, Multi-Color, 3-Ounce Cans, Ages 2 and up, Multicolor (Amazon Exclusive) (30% off)

Easy Playhouse Haunted Castle – Kids Art & Craft for Indoor & Outdoor Fun, Color, Draw, Doodle on Halloween Friends– Decorate & Personalize a Cardboard Fort, 32″ X 32″ X 43. 5″ – Made in USA, Age 2+(30% off)

 

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Thanksgiving with Kids Hacks

Thanksgiving Hacks

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Thanksgiving Traditions

Did you have a kids table at your Thanksgiving meal?  Were there certain things you associate only with that once a year Thanksgiving meal?  Did you find it hard to integrate your Thanksgiving Holiday traditions with your spouses?  For me, growing up Thanksgiving was always a fun time where the house was filled with amazing smells, fun group activities and lots of cousins!  Now, I am trying to continue this legacy of traditions, integrate my husbands and add a few new ones for my kids.  Here are my hacks to make the day run smoothly!

Thanksgiving Guest List

My go-to line during the Holidays is “the more the merrier” and while this does apply to Thanksgiving it can also make the day and the meal quite an undertaking!  Last year we had 27 people on the guest list, some of these were kids but that is a huge amount of people to cook for and keep happy!  Especially when everyone has their own “must haves” when it comes to the food on the table.  We will get to food in a minute but to manage the guest lists and RSVPs I recommend keeping track using a make shift seating chart.  I use an excel spreadsheet and add all the invited guests, I use a separate column for each table.  If there are any cancelations you can just delete from the sheet and still have the meal mapped out!  This makes it easy to see how many chairs and place settings you will need at each table as well.

Thanksgiving meal

As the guest list grew I found that not only was I contending with special requests for food items I was also out of space in my oven to cook all the different side dishes.  My hack for this is to ask guests to bring their favorite sides to share.  I request that they make something that will feed 8-10 people.  It’s a new tradition that we get to sample all the different traditional foods from all sides of the family and it saves my having to cook all the food!  This also helps with picky eaters as there are more options, so more of a chance they will find something they will enjoy.  Pro tip: get a few single serving mac & cheeses, our go to is Velveeta Shells and Cheese, (Paid Link) in case you have a meltdown, it’s an easy go to that even most picky eaters will be happy with and it only takes three and a half minutes to microwave.

Roasted Turkey Hack: If you are roasting a turkey this year, we recommend cooking it upside-down.  We did this by accident one year and it was the juiciest turkey we had ever had, so that is our new normal!

Thanksgiving activities for Kids

While the cooking is happening there will be a need for entertainment for the kids.  I cannot stress this enough, Plan Ahead!  Buy a few crafts, a bit of snack food and last year we had a lot of fun with Thanksgiving themed, temporary tattoos. (Paid Link) Assign an adult, or better yet if there is one, a young adult to be “in charge” of the activities for the younger ones.  Keeping the kids entertained while the cooking is going on is essential and if you can build in some structure your day is more likely to go as planned.

Crafts we loved: Coloring cups, sticker turkeys, coloring placemats.

Coloring cups (Paid Link) – not only will this keep the kids entertained for a while it also helps with seating chart as everyone gets a customized cup.

Sticker turkeys  (Paid Link)– my kids and their cousins loved creating silly faces on these turkeys.  We still have a few displayed on the playroom wall!

Coloring placemats (Paid Link) – we know that sitting at a thanksgiving meal for kids can be so “boring” but if you have a few items at the table to color on, talk about or fiddle with during dinner it can keep them busy!

Post – Thanksgiving to do list

Once the day is over its time for clean-up and looking forward to the Big December Holidays, and don’t forget traditionally Elf on the shelf (Paid Link) comes back on Thanksgiving night!

 

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Thanksgiving Hacks kids activities and more

Gifts for your Little Musician

kids musical instruments

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  If you click and make a purchase Keep It Delightful may earn a small commission.  Thanks in advance for helping my small business!

Growing up I loved everything about music, I used to beg my parents for a Karaoke machine so I could sing my favorite songs along to the music.  I am not even sure kids out there know what a karaoke machine is anymore…but I do know that there are still kids who love to sing, listen to, and play music.  No matter how they like to express themselves musically we have the gift that will be sure to bring a smile to their face!

Here is a list of our top Musical gifts for Kids.

Gifts for the Singer:

Lyrics book – find the lyrics to help them perfect their favorite Disney song.

Microphone – let them belt it out.

Subscription to Amazon Music, no matter what genre they are into, with 60 million to choose from, they will be able to find a song they love! (click on the banner below to sign up)

Gifts for the Percussionist:

We know Drums may not be high on the list for parents but learning to keep the beat and developing a sense of rhythm is important to growing minds, and you can support this development with more than just a set of snare drums and cymbals.

Tambourine – better than a drum, they can carry it so you can send them outside to play it!

Bongos – Okay these are drums but a little more sedate than the traditional set.

Gifts for learning chords:

Chords are the building blocks of music and learning them can be difficult but it can also open up a world of music where children will learn how to play the mainstays of their favorite songs.  Two instruments that are mostly chord based are the piano and the guitar.  These two instruments also help with fine motor skills as kids strengthen their hands as they practice.

Piano/Keyboard – we recommend starting with a keyboard, it takes up less space and there are some great features that will entertain kids as well as enhance their musical repertoire.

Guitar – Kids have small hands so we recommend a kid sized guitar, but be picky as you find the right one for your child.  I bought a very inexpensive guitar for my son one Christmas and we ended up not being able to keep it in tune  for even one song because it was so cheaply made…lesson learned!  Our recommendation below comes with a tuner which is also very good to have on hand!

Gifts for the beginner:

We all have to start somewhere, and I am sure a few of you out there are like me and started their musical journey at school on the Recorder learning hot-cross-buns!  Get them one to play at home..

Recorder – Careful this one can be a little shrill at first!

Harmonica – Throwback to the cowboy days.

Musical Set for Toddlers – get them started early with shakers, a triangle, xylophone and more!

Ukulele – before they learn the chords on the guitar get them comfortable holding a string instrument and picking out a tune.

Extra musical resources:

Support all of their musical endeavors with some education, here are our favorite books on how to read music, and getting started with their instruments.

As a whole I feel like the arts take a back seat to traditional curriculum these days, that is why I feel it is important for parents to take the lead role in supporting our kids and ensuring they have a well rounded and delightful education, which, in my opinion, includes music.

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gifts for your little musician