A Few Of Our Favorite Things

I feel so fortunate to have small children in 2012. We have disposable diapers, washing machines, televisions, microwaves, and air conditioners. Imagine what our foremothers would say about microwaveable mac & cheese (probably, “Awful stuff!”) or about Dora (probably, “Turn that off and go outside to play!”). As with most things in life, there are pros and cons for all of our modern conveniences. However, some of them are absolutely fabulous and make life with kids so much easier! I bet our foremothers would appreciate that. Here are a few of our family’s favorite things:









This juice holder has saved us many a red-stained shirt! It holds boxes and bags secure where little hands can’t squeeze them, and is easy to carry and set down. (http://tinyurl.com/cz8xzd5)










I first saw this popsicle/ice cream holder at a friend’s house when Big Sister was 1, and ordered 6 of them as soon as we got home. They’ve saved us not only many a sticky shirt, but also hands, feet, elbows, chins, floors, and everywhere else a popsicle or ice cream cone is liable to drip. Plus, kids can finally set down their popsicles to melt somewhere else besides in a parent’s hand! (http://priceproductsllc.com/Dripstik.html)










My kids all started playing computer games at age 2, but we had a hard time finding a mouse small enough for their little hands. We tried an advertised “kid-friendly” mouse that looked like a frog, but the button eyes fell off. The  kids got confused and frustrated by the two buttons anyway, so we then looked for a single-button mouse, and found this from Amazon. It’s small, simple, and has saved Mom and Dad from hearing many a cry of “Help!” after someone accidentally messed up a game with a right click. (http://tinyurl.com/82pld8h)










My toddlers like to go crazy with soap dispensers to see how many bubbles they can make. When you add up all the handwashings in a day from potty training and sandbox expeditions, it equals a lot of soap! These automatic dispensers have solved the problem for us. You control the amount of soap released with a +/- button, and only that amount is released each time a hand is put under the sensor. You do have to be careful to not put anything else under it though. I’ve accidentally flavored my coffee cup with soap when I meant to add water from the faucet! The dispensers require a thin liquid soap. So far, we’ve only used the soap made for these particular dispensers (http://tinyurl.com/7cx38yv) and found that one bag lasts a good month, even with two grownups and three kids. However, you could try any liquid soap. (http://tinyurl.com/7jhomt8)






We once had a disastrous trip to the zoo with a double stroller and three kids, because I assumed Big Sister would walk. I found out we weren’t ready for two-seat transportation, but we had outgrown the triple stroller and, anyway, I had pushed that monster around long enough! Thank goodness someone had the brilliance to create this wagon “train.” It’s a families-with-multiples dream because up to five cars can be attached and removed as needed. Of course, since we’ve had it, Big Sister has preferred to walk. (http://www.step2.com/p/Complete-Choo-Choo-Train-Combo)

Please post a comment and link for any products that have made your parenting life easier! Our foremothers might be appalled that our kids don’t know how (or why) to darn a sock, or to entertain themselves all day without electronics. But think of how lucky we are, since our modern conveniences save us time and energy that previous generations of parents didn’t have. So throw that load of laundry in your washing machine and head outside with your kids to show them how to whistle with a blade of grass while you look for shapes in the clouds.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lynda Olsen
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 13:14:38

    Love reading your interesting blogs!


  2. jcnierad
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 08:37:48

    Abby, these all sound like great recommendations. I am definitely going to check out the soap dispenser (and keep my coffee mug clear, thank you for the warning!). Also, love that wagon train — with just one child, maybe I can use a second car for our boxer, and a third car just to tote stuff!


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