Math Board Games For Kids and Why You Should Start Using Them Today

Math… a word that strikes fear into the hearts of not only kids but also adults. I’ll never forget when I was learning long division I literally thought to myself, “there is nothing harder than this!” I toiled for hours over each problem, racking my brain for solutions. I thought it was difficult and I thought it was boring. Surprisingly, math doesn’t have to be boring. Making any subject into a game will catch a child’s attention and trick them into learning. Math board games for kids is the perfect place to get started!

My parents used a similar method to teach spelling.  I can remember when I was learning the word “brigadier.” I couldn’t correctly spell it to save my life.  My parents had me play a game where frogs playing instruments taught spelling.  Looking back, that game was ridiculous but it was because of that game that I learned how to spell that word, the one which mocked my command of the English language…brigadier. Continue reading

Best Remote Control Helicopters for Kids

If you could see my son’s room, you would know very quickly what his daddy does for a living. He is a news helicopter pilot in a major city. We have all types of toy helicopters that he loves to play with that he has gotten over the years. He has also received quite a few from family and friends because of his daddy’s career. We often joke that he has his own fleet of helicopters.

As he gets older, I know that this love of helicopters is only going to grow. It is so fun to see children use their imaginations with fun toys like remote control helicopters. He pretends that he is a rescue helicopter coming to save the day or he pretends that he is reporting the traffic like his daddy. Even though my husband flies real ones, he also enjoys interacting with our son with his toy helicopters. They fly them around the house and even outside. Continue reading

From Tween to Teen – Teen Boy Room Ideas

It’s probably hard to believe that your little boy has finally become a teenager. Their bedrooms need to evolve with them as they grow. After all, your son’s room isn’t reflective of the baby stage anymore. You’ve made updates to their room from baby to toddler, from toddler to school ager, and from school-ager to tween.

And, just like that, your “tween” became a “teen.” So, it’s time to update things yet again. If you are in need of teen boy room ideas, read on to gain some awesome tips and tricks for creating the perfect bedroom space for your growing young man. Continue reading

Best Indoor Climbing Toys for Toddlers

Any parent of a toddler-aged child knows that they are full of energy. They need somewhere to be able to work out all of that stored up energy. Being active is fun for your toddler and for you as the parent. Whether your little one is just pulling up, learning to walk, or running circles around you, climbing toys are beneficial for their development. Plus, they are so fun for toddlers and for parents as they see their children enjoy themselves and learning new skills. Continue reading

Best Sensory Toys for Toddlers

Your toddler is likely active, curious, and learning new things every day. Intentionally incorporating sensory play into your child’s routine will provide needed development for your little one. Sensory toys are specifically designed to change how a child’s brain reacts to the different senses like touch, sound, movement, and sight. All developing children can benefit from sensory play.  Those who develop these types of toys focus on children and their developmental stages and progress. The distinction of sensory toys to other types of toys is the way they specifically help develop, enhance, and also refine a child’s senses.

Simply, a sensory play includes any hands-on activity that stimulates your toddler’s senses. As your child explores and creates, a sensory play will support fine and gross motor skills, language development, and social interaction. Sensory development helps children use their senses to gather information and learn. Continue reading

Best Toys for 2 Year Old Girls

‘Oh no! It’s the Terrible Twos…’

 You may have heard about this phase or you may already be experiencing it with your 2 year old girl! The ‘terrible twos’ is known as a time when your previously adorable, obedient child starts acting like a rude teenager. Saying “No!” becomes their favorite word. But don’t worry that it’s something wrong that you have done, it’s just part of their normal development. In fact, if your 2 year old is not actively trying to be defiant, you should start worrying a little!

Having said that, this doesn’t mean that you should let your 2 year old girl walk all over you. This is also a time to start establishing rules and boundaries. Negotiation can be a very effective strategy. We have found something like this to be extremely effective, “If you want mommy to read you a book, you need to pick up your toys now…”

Fun 2-Year-Olds

Having a 2-year-old kid is also great fun. At 2 years of age, their physical development continues to progress and they can move around a lot quicker on two feet. They are also learning to say words and short phrases and can surprise you with new words every day.

They start to show much more interest in other kids and because of this, you may find it more enjoyable to bring them to museums and plays because they interact a lot more.

This is also the time where you may start doing research for a suitable preschool (*gasp*) and attend crazy amounts of Open Homes until you can’t stand the sight of another preschool.

2-Year-Old Milestones

In this article, we are going to cover some common 2-year-old milestones and then examine some toys which we believe 2-year-old girls will not only absolutely love but will also benefit from in terms of their development.

Here are some milestones to look out for if you have a 2-year-old:

  • Independently climb up and down from furniture

When our child was 2 years old, she could climb not only couches but also ladders. That’s right, the things you used to place on tables to keep them out of reach are no longer safe.

  • Carry several toys in their arms

This can be super useful if you are training them to clear up after themselves.

  • Run

This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. In general, if your 2 year old is running towards you, it’s good. If he or she is running away from you, that’s bad.

  • Pick up and throw things

This is great if you want a child who can play ball with you. Not so great if your 2 year old throws a stone through a window.

  • Playground fun

Your 2 year old may enjoy playing with playground structures such as climbing steps and shooting down slides. Your taxes to pay for these community things are finally being put to some good use, huh?

  • Do simple puzzles

Finally! You have been wondering when your 2-year-old will finally work out that the square pieces don’t fit the triangle hole.

  • Hold pencils and crayons with fingers

This is great because you can introduce your child to coloring activities which usually means that he or she will leave you alone for a while. The caveat: you need to keep an eye out to make sure your child is not coloring on furniture and walls. We have a solution for you for this later on in this article. Keep reading.

  • Longer term memory

You can’t hide objects from them now and hope that they will forget all about it. This means that if they see you eating a yummy piece of chocolate cake, you won’t be able to hide it and assume that they will forget that it exists.

  • Develop strong food preferences

Ice cream? Your 2-year-old is going to beg for it. Vegetables? Your 2-year-old is going to hate it. Welcome to food struggles.

  • Say words and short phrases

Your 2 year old’s vocabulary should continue to expand beyond “No!”. They should be able to say words with several syllables in it and can even manage 2 to 4-word phrases.

  • Identify objects

Your 2-year-old can point out objects, body parts and people, especially if you have spent time patiently repeating them for the 10th

  • Can sing along to tunes

Your 2 year old might surprise you by belting out a tune when he or she hears their favorite song.

  • Understand a lot of what you say, even if they can’t speak it

This means that when you say “Don’t touch” and your 2-year-old touches the item anyway, this doesn’t demonstrate a lack of understanding. It just means that they are choosing to disobey you.

  • Display tantrums when frustrated

Your 2-year-old will start to display tantrums as he or she starts to experience frustrations and wrestle with your rules.

  • Sense of humor is displayed more often

You may also find that your 2-year-old’s sense of humor continues to expand. Sometimes at your expense.

  • Recognize familiar faces in pictures

Your 2 year old should be able to recognize familiar faces in pictures and even point them out if you call them by name. A great time to start introducing extended family members to your 2-year-old if you haven’t started already. Grandma will love that your 2-year-old can call her ‘nana’.

  • Enjoy playing with other kids more

Your 2-year-old will start noticing other children more and more. They may even acquire ‘older child admiration syndrome’ which is when your 2-year-old wants to copy and bug other older kids.

  • Separation anxiety decreases

For some of you lucky parents, your child may not have experienced much separation anxiety at all. For some of you other less lucky ones, hopefully, the separation anxiety will start to lessen around this time.

  • Make-believe play

Your 2-year-old girl may start enjoying make-believe play such as dressing up and puppet play

Now that you have an idea about the developmental milestones of a 2-year-old girl, it’s time to examine some of the best toys that 2-year-old girls normally love.

Best Toys for Physical & Fine Motor Skills for 2-Year-Old Girls

NiceGiftProduct Water Drawing Mat

This is a drawing mat that uses a water pen. You fill the pen with water before you draw with it. The mat is divided into 4 quadrants that produce different colors when water is used on it. When the water dries, the markings disappear. It can be folded for easy storage which makes it a great traveling toy.

Why is this a great toy?

Most 2-year-olds start to display interest in drawing and coloring around this age. This is a great time to start introducing useful skills for school in the future such as the holding of a pencil, drawing lines and other shapes, coloring and increasing attention spans.

However, most parents worry about the destructive potential of paint, coloring pencils and crayons. You probably have seen the horrified look on parents faces when they discover that their little one has drawn their masterpiece on the wallpaper of their bedroom.

This water drawing mat takes away the need for you to watch your 2-year-old like a hawk. The worse that could happen is that your 2-year-old spills the water. But this is nothing compared to paint on walls, right?

This water drawing mat is also very affordable at its price for the hours of use. Great buy!

Step2 Whisper Ride II Ride-On Push Car, Pink

This is a more fun way for both you and your toddler to go out for walks.

This ride on/push car is in typical girl colors- hot pink and purple. The front of the car has space for two drinks; one for your 2-year-old girl and one for you (can’t forget the mama!) The bonnet comes with extra storage space for other essential items such as toys, snacks, wipes or your keys.

This takes a maximum weight of 50 pounds or 22.7 kg.

Why is this a great toy?

A great way to encourage your 2-year-old girl to get outdoors and get some fresh air. Every girl also dreams of getting her own car someday and at her 16th birthday party, you can display a photo of her in her cute ride on push car to earn some brownie points.

Skoolzy Peg Board Set

There are 30 large pegs in 6 colors that can be stacked to create interesting structures, towers, and blocks.

Why is this a great toy?

If you want your girl to develop visual-spatial, patience, focus and STEM-related skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), this is a good toy option. It’s also great for building fine motor skills such as stacking, balancing and color matching. Don’t let the boys alone dominate STEM, we need more girls in it!

LEGO DUPLO l Disney Sofia the First Magical Carriage

This LEGO DUPLO set comes with Disney Junior’s Sofia the First and a horse and carriage as well as a revolving tree that looks like a castle.

Why is this a great toy?

If your 2-year-old girl is a fan of princesses and you are a fan of LEGO, this is a good combo of both. LEGO is well-known for its great quality toys and for helping kids acquire creativity, learn building and engineering concepts as well as develop fine motor skills.

Personalized My Quiet Book, Fabric Activity Book for Toddlers By Pockets of Learning

This book is no ordinary book. This is a cloth book with different activities on every page that teaches different life skills that your 2-year-old will need to eventually learn such as doing up buttons, lacing shoelaces, reading a clock face, working with a zip and lacing through a buckle. This is a Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Products award winner. It’s also great for flights or car rides.

Why is this a great toy?

It can be personalized with your 2-year-old girl’s name on the cover and she will love the new skills she acquires.

Best Toys for Mental/Cognitive & Language Development for 2 Year Old Girls

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe

This VTech toy is another fun, yet also an educational toy for 2-year-old girls. It looks like a normal desk and comes with a stool. But it is much more than that. It is actually an interactive activity center that comes with 5 activity pages. These activity pages come with more than 100 teaching words, numbers, shapes and at least 20 musical sounds and songs. The best part is that when you flip the desk cover over, there is a chalkboard underneath and also a clip that can be used as an easel. There is also a toy telephone for pretend play.

Why is this a great toy?

2-year-olds love having their own mini furniture created for their height level. The desk and stool will help your 2-year-old feel grown up.

The activities are all great for a 2-year-old; learning words, shapes, objects, musical instrument names etc. We love that this activity center basically caters to all the different art mediums that your 2-year-old may want to use including paper, color pencils, paint and chalk.

Getting your 2-year-old to sit and play at this desk is also good for training your 2-year-old to get used to a future classroom environment.

LeapFrog Number Lovin’ Oven

This toy features an interactive oven with delicious looking food including pizza slices, bread, fried egg and cupcakes. The food has numbers printed on them so that you can use them to teach about counting. The interactive oven plays words, catchy songs and phrases.

Why is this a great toy?

If you have a 2-year-old girl who refuses to eat much food, this could be used as a tool to get your 2-year-old interested in food.

This is also useful for teaching mathematical concepts like addition, subtraction and parts.

VTech Little Apps Tablet, Pink

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents should limit 2-year-olds screen media time to 1 hour a day only. Even then, you may still feel uncomfortable about letting your little one start using an actual tablet.

If that is the case, the VTech Tablet is a good compromise for your 2-year-old girl. This is a cute tablet lookalike but instead of an LCD screen, it uses a color-changing LED screen.

Your 2-year-old can use this tablet to learn letters, numbers, piano sounds, matching and counting. There is also a pretend camera.

Why is this a great toy?

Every child nowadays wants their own screen device. Enough said.

Best Toys for Emotional & Social Skills for 2-Year-Old Girls

Melissa & Doug Zoo Friends Hand Puppets (Set of 4) – Elephant, Giraffe, Tiger, and Monkey

Puppets are fun and a great way to introduce social and emotional concepts to your 2-year-old. You can use it to teach about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, how to react in different settings etc. This set comes with an elephant, giraffe, tiger and monkey puppets.

Why is this a great toy?

2-year-olds love playing make-believe and puppets are also very good for social play with other kids.

VTech Care for Me Learning Carrier

This toy is great for little girls who really, really want a pet but you are not ready to get them a real one. This VTech Care Carrier lets your 2-year-old practice looking after a fake pet before you decide that they (or you) are ready for a real one.

This toy consists of a cute huggable puppy who has a fancy carrier/cage. The carrier is interactive and plays over 100 songs and phrases, lights up and also has sliding alphabet beads.

There are pet care accessories including a comb, bowl, ball and bottle (for feeding the puppy).

Why is this a great toy?

Which 2-year-old girl doesn’t love puppies? The puppy can double up as a comfort attachment toy and can also be used for pretend-play.

This toy also teaches early responsibility for caring for others as well as the usual alphabets, shapes, opposites and sounds.

Depending on what skills you want your 2-year-old to build, you could choose a toy most appropriate for your child. We hope you found our recommendations useful in helping you to find the best toy for your 2-year-old girl.

Best Scooter for Toddlers

I could not have imagined my toddler on a scooter.

I consider myself the parent of a ‘still-developing-good-gross-motor-skills’ child. Yes, she is great with using a spoon, opening cupboards that she is not allowed into and finding ways to reach things that are not meant for her on tables. But jumping, rolling around, riding on a scooter? Nah, I would have told you. She’s not that kind of child…or she’s just not ready yet.

But the fact that you are reading this article probably indicates that you have a toddler with considerably better gross motor skills than mine.

But the thing is, there are some scooters that are designed to make it easier for toddlers than others. Continue reading

The Safest Convertible Car Seat For Toddlers

We are sure that you already know that the car crash stats are grim. According to the CDC, 35% of kids 12 years and below who died in a crash in 2015 were not buckled up.

However, there are some positive stats too. For example, by using car seats, the mortality rates of infants are reduced by a whopping 71%, and 54% for toddlers.

If you are ever in doubt, the middle back seat of the car is the safest position to place a car seat. Car seats placed on either side of the car next to the windows tend to take greater impact in a collision.

If you have more than one child and need to position two car seats in your vehicle, place the car seat of the most physically vulnerable child in the middle section and the other, next to the window.

The 4 Phases of Car Seat Safety

There are 4 different phases to transition your child through to ensure maximum car travel safety:

  1. Rear-facing
  2. Forward-facing
  3. Booster
  4. Belt

To work out if your child should be rear-facing or forward-facing, you can use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website supported by the United States Department of Transportation. Look for the relevant section to enter in your child’s birthday, weight and height information. The website will then provide you with a guideline of what kind of car seat you should be using and how much longer you have until you should consider switching car seats.

Car Seats According to Age

0-12 months

 Infant seats allow your child to be rear-facing until they reach 1 year old. However, you also have the choice of using convertible car seats or all-in-one car seats. In fact, Consumer Reports recommends that you transition your child to a convertible car seat earlier.

1-3 years

According to the American Academy of Pediatric’s latest updated guideline, your child should be in a rear-facing car seat from birth to 2-year-olds or until he or she reaches the maximum height and weight recommended for the seat, normally around 36 inches and 30 to 40 pounds. Statistics show that the safest position for a child is rear-facing as there is more protection for your child’s neck and spinal cord. In other words, the longer that you can keep your child sitting rear-facing in your infant seat, the better.

However, you do have the option of purchasing an adaptable infant seat which can be used as rear-facing for children until age 2 or approximately 40 to 45 pounds and then, used as front-facing until your child outgrows the maximum height and weight recommendations of the adjustable car seat which is normally around 65 to 70 pounds.

There is also a third option of purchasing an all-in-one child seat which does everything; rear-facing, front-facing and booster. It is normally great value but depending on what’s important to you, the all-in-one car seat also can have disadvantages.

4-7 years

Your child should continue to be in a forward-facing car seat until he or she outgrows the height and weight restrictions of the child seat (could be around 40 to 80 pounds). At that point, you could move your child to a booster seat but he or she should continue to ride in the back seat of the car, not the front. It is always safer to keep your child in the back seat for as long as possible.

8-12 years

Your child should stay in the back seat of the car in his or her booster seat until your child reaches a height of about 4 feet 9 inches. It is also better to stay in the booster seat until your child’s knees can bend comfortably at the edge of the seat. When your child is tall enough so that the car seat belt can be positioned across your child’s thighs (not stomach) and the shoulder belt can be placed across your child’s shoulder (not face or chest), your child may be ready to transition to the adult’s safety belt.

13+ years

The back seat with the safety belt is still the safest place for your child This is because the impact of airbags in the front seat inflating in an accident is powerful and can cause injuries to children.

So What Exactly Is A Convertible Car Seat?

A convertible car seat is a car seat that can be used as a rear-facing car seat for infants and then, converted into a front-facing car seat with a harness and tether when your child turns 2.

Some of these seats can also be used as booster seats which makes them similar to All-in-One car seats. Unfortunately, manufacturers have created a bit of confusion for the average consumer as they use the names interchangeably. This means that some adjustable infant seats can do everything that an All-In-One car seat can, which is rear-facing to booster.

The safest way to know what you are buying is to read the descriptions provided by the manufacturers.

Pros

These are a few advantages of buying a convertible car seat:

  • Better value than buying an infant car seat that you can only use for a maximum of 2 years before you have to upgrade to a bigger seat.
  • Your child can remain rear-facing for a longer period of time compared to an infant car seat as the convertible child seat is designed for a variety of sizes and weight.
  • You can avoid spending an inordinate amount of time researching car seats. Finding one that you love that you can use for a longer period of time is going to be less stressful than having to repeat the research process all over again in a few years.
  • Your child may have grown accustomed to the seat and there is no need to transition your child from one seat to another.
  • You (not just your child) may have grown accustomed to the infant seat and getting a new one means that you will have to get used to using this new one.
  • Not having to change your child seat will result in less going to the landfill and is more environmental-friendly.
  • You may wish to get a new seat anyway as new models are being manufactured every year and these seats do get dirty and tired-looking after a few years.
  • These tend to be less bulky and heavy compared to all-in-one car seats.

Cons

  • Compared to an infant car seat, some of the these seats try to do too much and end up being less comfortable and arguably, also less safe.
  • Although less heavy than some all-in-ones, convertibles are much heavier car seats than infant car seats.
  • Convertibles are not designed to be carried out of the car on a regular basis. They tend not to have a base click-in system and the car seat is meant to be left in the car. This means that you will have to physically carry your infant out of the car and if he or she is asleep in it, you will have to wake him or her up. Not something to be taken lightly!
  • Some do not recline so it is less comfortable for your infant to sleep in.
  • You will need to purchase a separate travel system such as a stroller.

Convertible Car Seat Vs Infant Car Seats & All-In-One Car Seats

Compared to an Infant Car Seat

Convertible Car Seat Advantage

Convertible Car Seat Disadvantage

  • Better value- can use it front-facing and rear-facing (and even onto a booster for some) whereas infant car seats can only be used until 1 year old.
  • Because they are designed for use by bigger children, you can leave your child rear-facing for a longer period of time while some children will outgrow their infant car seat by 11 months or so.
  • Don't need to repeat research process looking for a new car seat after a year- especially when you might still be exhausted juggling duties as a new parent!
  • Your child may have grown accustomed to the car seat and there is no need to transition your child from one car seat to another.
  • You (not just your child) may have grown accustomed to the car seat and getting a new one means that you will have to get used to using this new one.
  • Environmentally better- not having to change the car seat will result in less landfill.
  • Not specifically designed for a newborn alone so it may not be as fitting and comfortable as an infant car seat.
  • Car seat is not designed to be carried around so you will have to wake your newborn to get him or her out of the car.
  • they don't recline as far back as infant car seats do so it's not as good for babies who want to sleep in the car seat for long periods of time.
  • You will need to purchase a separate stroller or travel system unlike some infant car seats that can be snapped into a matching stroller.
  • Some experts say that convertible car seats are not as safe for infants as infant car seats.
  • Not as good value as the weight limit for use is around 65 to 70 pounds.

Compared to an All-In-One Car seat

Convertible Car Seat Advantage

Convertible Car Seat Disadvantage

  • A car seat that purports to do everything may perform less ably compared to car seats designed for a specific age group.
  • Having to change the car seat at some point, either because it's not suitable for an infant, has no rear-facing, front-facing or booster capabilities.
  • Car seats do get dirty and look tired after a while, so maybe it's a good idea to change it after all.
  • Tend to be less bulky, heavy and easier to transport compared to an all-in-one.
  • Children need to get accustomed to a new car seat when the old one needs updating.
  • You as the parent needs to get accustomed to the new car seat when it requires changing.

Questions to Ask Yourself if You Should Get a Convertible Car Seat?

  • Is my child bigger than the average child his or her age and likely to outgrow an infant car seat early?
  • How important is it for me that my child can remain rear-facing?
  • How often will I be using this car seat?
  • Do I intend to travel outside with my child a lot?
  • How much weight can I manage, ie. do I want to be carrying this car seat around outside?
  • How likely is it that my child will fall asleep in the car and will I have to move him or her out of the car when I arrive?
  • Do I intend to stay outside for long periods of time where my child might end up sleeping?
  • Is my child extremely fussy when getting into the car seat and is familiarity important?
  • What is my current and future budget for car seats?
  • Will I most likely want to update this car seat when newer models or features come up?
  • Do I prefer using a separate stroller/travel system or do I prefer matching click-ins for the car seat and stroller?

Safety Features to Look for in a Convertible Car Seat

A great car seat should have a 5-point harness system. These points are where the straps attach to the car seat. Two points are at each shoulder, two at your child’s hips and the fifth is the buckle between your child’s legs.

LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. It is required for car seats made in the US but if you intend to purchase one outside of the US, look for similar qualities. LATCH allows car seats to be installed in the car without the need for a seatbelt. In other parts of the world, there are similar systems such as ISOFIX, UCSSS and UAS or Canfix in Canada.

Normally made of impact-absorption foam on the sides of the car seat.

This cushions your baby’s head when the car moves from side-to-side or you are on bumpy roads.

It’s a good idea if the straps are wide, don’t twist easily and come with pads to protect your child’s neck against rubbing from the straps.

There should be chest clips that clip together and are placed across the child’s chest.

Make sure that it’s not too difficult to adjust the length of the straps as you will find yourself frequently adjusting these depending on what your child is wearing.

Adjustable car seats can vary significantly in their height and weight restrictions. Make sure that you always check these details before purchase so that you are buying something that is appropriate for your child.

The longer that your child can remain rear-facing, the better.

Some adaptable car seats are larger than others. If you have more than one child who will be needing a car seat in your car, this will be an important consideration so that they can fit side-by-side. Remember that the middle back seat is the safest place for a child.

Some car seats are designed better for taller children, with a higher back or higher harness slots. Your child’s shoulders should be at or below the slots.

The car seat expiry date starts from the date of manufacture. Some car seats expire faster than others. Make sure that you choose one that lasts for the amount of time that you need it to.

Incorrect installation of car seats is a major factor to consider for safety.

Safest Convertible Car Seat

After taking into account the NHTSA’s ratings, parent ratings and our own research, we came up with our list of safest convertible car seats;

Car SeatsRating Price
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1Check Price
Graco Milestone All-in-1Check Price
Britax Boulevard ClickTightCheck Price
Graco Smart Seat All-in-OneCheck Price
Diono Radian RXT All-In-OneCheck Price
Graco Extend2FitCheck Price
Evenflo Symphony DLX All-in-OneCheck Price

We then took into account the factors that we mentioned earlier in this article and narrowed down our list to our top 2. According to Consumer Reports, both these car seats received the BEST rating for crash testing safety.

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Car Seat

This Graco Car Seat is one of the safest convertible car seats around. It not only meets the US crash safety standard but also meets the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)’s standards which are 2x the car seat standard. Its frame is made of steel and this car seat has been side-impact tested for occupant retention using the 5-point harness too.

This car seat allows rear-facing starting from a mere 4 lbs which means that you can use this car seat for newborns. This seat allows your child to remain rear-facing till 40lbs and front-facing till 65lbs. After that, this car seat can be adjusted to become a high-back booster seat for up to 100lbs and finally, the booster seat can be completely removed for extended use till 120lbs. You can expect about 10 years of use from the date of manufacture of this car seat.

The head rest can be adjusted in 10-positions and there are 6 recline positions. The chest clip makes a nice click so that you can be sure that you have done it up properly. The harness strap can be adjusted relatively easily. In addition, this car seat comes with 2 cup holders for drinks and/or snacks. The seat cover can be removed for washing when it gets dirty.

A safe buy, we think!

Graco Milestone All-in-1

This Graco Milestone All-in-1 is very similar to the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1  above. However, there are a few differences. Besides being cheaper, this Graco Milestone All-in-1 only goes up to 100lbs instead of 120lbs. This is because it doesn’t come with the backless booster capability. This car seat only has 4-recline positions instead of 6. Also, although the head rest has the same energy absorbing foam technology, it doesn’t have the 10-position function that the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Car Seat has. It also comes with 1 less cup holder.

Of course, these functions may not matter to you. You could always buy a booster seat separately and you may not care about the 10-position head rest or extra cup holder. As the manufacturer may have deals at certain times of the year, we suggest that you do a price comparison and then decide if the price difference is worth the extra features.

Here is a quick comparison chart of these 2 car seats.

 Graco 4EverGraco Milestone
Maximum weight limit120 lbs100 lbs
Rear-facing weight range4-40 lbs5-40 lbs
Front-facing weight range20-65 lbs20-65 lbs
Booster weight range30-100 lbs (high back belt-positioning)30-100 lbs
 40-120 lbs (backless belt-positioning)Nil
Expiry date10 years from the date of manufacture10 years from the date of manufacture
5-point harnessYesYes
LATCHYesYes
Side impact protectionYes & energy absorbing foamYes & energy absorbing foam
Head restsYes- 10-position head restsYes
Straps with comfort padsYesYes
Chest clipsYesYes
Easy adjustment for harness strapsYes- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System without need to rethreadYes- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System without need to rethread
Ease of installationYes- Easy-to-read level indicatorYes
Recline positions64
Bonus2 cup holders1 cup holder
Price$$

We hope that you found this useful. If you can, nothing beats going into a store yourself with your little one and testing the car seat out directly.

Happy Driving!

Best Pretend Play Toys for toddlers

Have you ever watched a YouTube video  where a young child imitates the behavior of an adult? What they are doing is called pretend play. It’s not only super cute but pretend play is also an important part of their development!

Engaging in pretend play is actually great for a toddler’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. It involves imagination, make-believe, acting and creativity.

Pretend play is even more fun when you have the right kind of toys. Here are some pretend play milestones to keep in mind when figuring out what toy to buy for your child. Continue reading

Our Favorite 7 Playhouses for Toddlers

Toddlerhood is a time for exploration. This is the age when your baby graduates from being immobile to discovering the freedom that comes with movement. If you haven’t discovered this already, your previously ‘safe’ spots are no longer safe. When you are not looking, your toddler will be trying to break into your cupboards, pull books off shelves and toss things off tables.

One of the best ways to minimize the destruction of things around your house or at least, to help you retain some sanity is to find a safe alternative to engage your toddler’s attention. Continue reading