10 Outdoor Toys for Little Ones

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Outdoor Toys for Little Ones

Outdoor Toys for Little Ones

The benefits to playing outside are endless – what kid doesn’t want a little fresh air? (What adult, for that matter?!) Below are great outdoor toys for little ones, to help keep them occupied playing out doors.  Some are classic, some are new and innovative – all will keep your kids moving, grooving, and playing for hours to come!  Also, take a look at this list of outdoor toys for kids of all ages.

ECR4Kids Happy Caterpillar Climbing Structure

 

Outdoor Toys for Little Ones

Climb in, on, or around the Happy Caterpillar! Kids’ ages 2-4 will love to play on this colorful climber for hours of educational fun. The brightly colored body segments can be assembled in different ways with large “feet” holding the unit in place for safe play. The Happy Caterpillar can be used for indoor or outdoor fun.

Little Tikes First Slide

[Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Fun & Frugal Ways to Keep Your Kids Cool This Summer

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Frugal Ways to Keep Your Kids CoolWelcome to summertime in the A-T-L, known specifically for its stifling hot, humid temps – and we’re already getting a good dose of this just within the past few days, with highs in the mid-to-upper 90s.  Sheesh.  For me, that means, I’ve got to get a bit creative in how I not only keep my 5- and 2-year-old entertained this summer, but also keep my fair-skinned gingers cool and protected from the sun.

Here’s a handful of fun and frugal ways to keep YOUR kids cool this summer – all kid-tested, and mother (mostly) approved.  Just don’t be afraid to get a little messy in the process.  😉 [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Mother’s Day Gifts for Under $50

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Mother’s Day Gifts Under $50

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50

Mother’s Day is but a few days away, and I know there’s still plenty of y’all out there scrambling to find the perfect gift, right?  Here’s a list of Mother’s Day gifts that certainly won’t break the bank, aren’t a vacuum, and will show your mom (or wife/mother-of-your-children!) how much you love her.  And if you’ve got a mom with a green thumb in your life, check out this Mother’s Day gift guide for the Gardening Mom.

Also, make sure you check out all the great Mother’s Day deals and freebies happening this weekend.

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50


Good Day – Bad Day – Don’t Even Ask Wine Glass $13.95I”m not a wine drinker, personally, but I know quite a few of y’all are, and could likely get plenty of use out of this one, right?

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50
2-pack Chevron Infinity Scarves $7.99 – How.  Cute.  Are.  These?!  And did’ja check out the price?!?  Seriously, you can’t lose with these scarves!

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50

Anne Klein Perfect Medium Tote $47.19 Again super-cute.  Do I need to say much more about this?!?

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50

Sterling Silver Diamond Heart Pendant Necklace $49.00 – A beautiful keepsake pendant is a fantastic way to show a mother how much you love her, especially if part two of her mother’s day gift is a nice dining experience!

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50

ViewSonic 8-Inch Digital Photo Frame $42.00If you’re like me, you absolutely STINK at printing pictures these days.  Seriously, I think I have about a dozen printed pictures of my two year old son, in spite of snapping probably a hundred a week.  That’s why a digital picture frame is a perfect gift: it lessens the guilt of not printing, while still allowing you to display your beautiful babes. 

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50

Coffee Lovers Care Package Snacks and Treats Gift Box Set with Mug $45.25 – What mother couldn’t use coffee and treats?!?

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50

Estee Lauder 7 Pieces Gift Set + Cosmetic Bag $35.55 – This.  Deal.  Rocks.  I can only speak for myself, but I’m wretchedly awful about using make-up, let alone purchasing it.  It’s definitely one of those things I’ll use if it’s given as a gift, but I won’t likely buy for myself.  (Did I mention I still have blush from college?!  Probably need to toss it, huh?)

 

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50
Travelrest Travel Blanket $29.95 – For the mom on the go (or at home!), how comfy does this look?!  If you’ve ever tried to get comfortable on a long flight with those skimpy airline blankets, then you’ll truly appreciate this.

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50
Sterling Silver Turquoise Multi-Stone Ring $40 – Stunning.  Just stunning.

Mother's Day Gifts for Under $50
Craft Mates Lockables Ultrasuede Organizer Case $27.71 – For the OCD mom, who likes compartments and organization (ME!), this organizer case has it all!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Explaining Death to Young Children

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Explaining Death to Young Children

Explaining death to young children is never a particularly desirable subject, I find, as we wish to preserve their innocence and shield them from anything that may burst their fragile bubble, believing all is always well in their world.  However, death is inevitable.  Some folks lose loved ones later in life, while others experience death of a loved one at a tender, young age.  Following is my story, explaining death to my five-year-old daughter, Carol.

My grandmother was fortunate enough to raise her five children, not only to see all eight of her grandchildren grow up, but also see her eight great-grandchildren, AND meet three great-great-grandchildren.  She lived for almost 18 years after my grandaddy passed away, and was the last of her twelve siblings to survive.  She lived through the great depression, and lost her own mother at a very young age.  She was, in every sense of the word, a good Southern woman.  She had the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen, able to revive even the limpest plant, and made the world’s best cornbread, biscuits, green beans, and fried apple pies.  Fond memories of sitting on the front porch, eating watermelon after a big Sunday lunch sit firmly in my memory, holding a very special place in my heart.

She was four days shy of her 95th birthday when she went Home. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

A Dozen Reasons to Read with Your Child

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reasons to read with your child

Do you really need reasons to read with your child???  Parents are told constantly to read to their children, or with their children – but perhaps having a little further explanation would help you understand WHY reading with your children is as essential as brushing your teeth twice a day.  This list is from the Georgia Preschool Association Newsletter.

Reasons to Read with Your Child

  1. Build a lifelong interest in reading.  “Getting children actively involved in the process of reading and having them interact with adults is key in a lifelong interest in reading,” said BeAnn Younker, principal at Battle Ground Middle School in Indiana.
  2. Children whose parents read to them tend to become better readers and perform better in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  3. Reading to children helps them with language and speech development.
  4. Reading expands vocabulary and teachers pronunciation.
  5. Reading to toddlers prepares them for school, when they will need to listen to what is being said to them, similar to what is being read to.
  6. Reading to older children helps them understand grammar and sentence structure.
  7. Children and parents can use reading time as bonding time.  It’s an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication, and it gives children the attention they crave.
  8. Being read to helps children learn how to express themselves clearly and confidently.
  9. Curiosity, creativity, and imagination are all developed while being read to.
  10. Being read to builds children’s attention spans and helps them hone their listening skills.
  11. Children learn appropriate behavior when they’re read to and are exposed to new situations, making them more prepared when they encounter these situations in real life.
  12. When read to, children are able to experience the rhythm and melody of language, even before they can understand the spoken or printed word.

Now that your motivation to continue reading with your child is renewed, check out these top 10 board books to read to your infant, as well as other  great books picks in my “Whatcha Reading” series.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Seeking Toddler Bedtime Advice

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I am in need of some toddler bedtime advice.  My 22 month old son, formerly known as “The Boy who LOVES to Sleep”, is suffering from terrible night-time separation anxiety. He’s having trouble parting with me at night, to go to sleep.

Toddler Sleeping Advice

For the last few nights, when I put him down per our normal bedtime routine, he starts whimpering immediately. If I pick him up and rock with him, an action I’d done previously with great success, he’ll fall asleep, but awaken crying the very moment I place him bak in the crib – no matter how careful I am.

Currently, we are coming in his room in intervals (right now about 20 min) to comfort him with a hug, pat on the back, and remind him it’s time to go to sleep – staying for no longer than one minute.  I’ve ensured his nap is no more than 1-2 hours, and ends no later than 3 o’clock – so that he’s tired at bedtime.

But, he is unrelenting. My husband says our daughter did the same thing -and I’m sure she did – I just don’t remember what we did to help her through this. Ah, the power of hindsight, I suppose. Oh, wait. I *do* remember. It involved laying next to her crib pretending to fall asleep until she actually did fall asleep. That plan didn’t work, because she would just stand in her crib and try to toss things on us, from her limited selection of things to toss from her crib. (This was NOT my idea, just for the record!)

Any advice? What would you do? It’s 10 o’clock, and he’s crying/calling out “I’m done, mommy. I’m done.” (meaning, he’s done sleeping and wants to get up)

I’ve scoured the books, but would love to also hear form some real parents who’ve been down this road. Thanks y’all!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Potty Training Essentials & Tips

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It’s been almost two and a half years since I potty trained my daughter in four days at 26 months.  Once we finished those four days, she never ever looked back!  With that total success, and with my son (22 mo) on the brink of being ready, I’ve devised and revised some of my favorite potty training tips for other parents.

Potty Training EssentialsHere’s what I consider potty training essentials and/or what I’d recommend when undergoing the process:

  • Foam hand soap – it just makes hand washing more fun, and makes hand-washing easier.  You can always check for coupons to print before you head to purchase!  😉
  • Keep towels for drying hands on counter in reach, if your towel holder is too high; I still keep hand towels on the counter for my now 4.5 year old daughter.
  • Potty seats for the big potty, as well as little portable potty chairs, because you never know what might interest him most!  When you’re on the go, consider a foldable potty seat.
  • Step stools — for the sink, for the potty, for each bathroom he’ll be using; some portable potties double as step stools.  If your child uses the big potty, you’ll definitely want something to plant his feet on, to make going a little more comfortable.
  • LOADS of paper towels. No explanation needed.
  • Throw in a good pair of gloves, preferably disposable.
  • You’ll want to invest in at least a few packs of toddler underwear. I think I started with three packs for Carol: one with princesses, and two generic packs. On the first day, I constantly reminded her to keep the princesses dry.  Here are some girl panties and here are some cute boy undies.
  • panty liners – yep.  You read that correctly.  Place one towards the back of the undies (where the fanny lies) to help minimize -um- skid marks.  Thanks Lady Poppins for sharing this tip!
  • Lots of fresh, juicy fruits. We lived on cantaloupe, watermelon, and milk that week!  This is essential if you utilize Three Day Method.

Robbie Potty w Blankie

Not necessarily things you’ll need, but my additional two cents on potty training essentials and tips:

  • Make sure your child has the physical skills.  Well before you start potty training, begin working on, and encouraging child to pull pants up and down – when undressing and when changing diapers.  Getting them involved in the steps also helps her feel more independent and in control of the process.Potty Training Essentials - Motor Skills
  • Keep your laundry room available. You WILL be washing those cute li’l undies at least a few times during the process.  This means you may need to shuffle your laundry schedule a bit.
  • Have as much prepped ahead of time as possible. On day one with Carol, I turned my attention to preparing our (simple) lunch, and that’s when she stood on her little chair in the kitchen and peed all over the seat, because she couldn’t tell me in time, and because I didn’t pay attention to follow her cues.  (Remember what I said earlier about paper towels and gloves?)
  • If you use the Three Day Method, you’ll want fun activities, but you can’t get *too* involved in activities because they’ll forget to go potty! Pull out puzzles she hasn’t seen in a while (or new ones), introduce new library books, dolls, trucks, etc – things that could even be brought in to the bathroom while she goes potty.
  • Incentives.  Of course, it’s always best to start something like this with non-tangible rewards (verbal praise, high fives, phone calls to loved ones, “happy dance and song”, etc.), but just in case that doesn’t fully motivate your tot, have small tangible rewards  at the ready.  M&Ms are popular, as are animal crackers, stickers, and other small trinkets.  Consider creating a rewards chart.  Sometimes, the simple act of placing a sticker on a chart is rewarding enough, but pair it with an additional small prize after so many stickers, and you’re golden!  Check out these cute potty training charts here.


 

Keep your eyes on the prize: no more diapers!!  Commit to ditching the diapers, and don’t look back.  Investing in this time with your child, in taking this big step will pay off HUGE in the end!

Got any additional tips to add on potty training essentials?  I’d love to hear from other seasoned potty trainers what’s worked. Leave a comment here on the blog, so others can see.  🙂

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Free and Cheap Goods For Expecting Mothers

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When you’re expecting a baby, or if you already have a few little ones, finding free and cheap quality products is a MUST.  Here is my latest list of baby-related products I recommend you check out.  Some are completely free, some you just pay shipping.  Check each offer carefully!  Also, any of these make great baby shower gifts!

  • Get your FREE subscription to American Baby magazine.  It’s got all the information expectant moms want and need – from health and safety issues to the latest and greatest products for baby. I got my free subscription when I had each of my babies, and thoroughly enjoyed this magazine each time.  Subscribe Now – it’s FREE!

  • Pampers Rewards program – Love rewards? Then join Pampers and we’ll spoil you with 100 points!  Pampers Rewards is our popular rewards program that’s as simple as 1, 2, free.

1 – Join @ pampers.com
2 – Find codes on your Pampers products
3 – Get Rewards! You can redeem your points for fabulous free rewards including adorable toys, educational books, strollers and of course, gifts to spoil mom! So join Pampers today and receive 100 points as a bonus welcome gift.


  • FREE carseat canopy (a $49.95 value). Click “Shop Now” and select any canopy you would like. You will automatically be directed to the “shopping bag” where you can enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS”. This promo code will take off 100% of the canopy purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once – you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Due to its nature, this offer can’t last long so please hurry!

 

  • Free nursing pillow (just pay shipping) Click the link/banner below, then click on “Shop Now” and select the Nursing Pillow of your choice in any of our 9 prints! Enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS” and only pay shipping.

 

  • Get a Free Baby Carrier from Seven Slings. Just use promo code: “BABYSAVINGS” at checkout. Click “Shop Now”, select any baby carrier you would like (be sure to go to their sizing page so you can get the right size carrier for you). Once you have selected your size, you will automatically be directed to the “shopping bag” where you can enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS” This promo code will take off 100% of the baby carrier purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once – you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Shipping is $11.95.


 

  • Get a Free Breastfeeding Cover from Uddercovers. Just use promo code: “BABYSAVINGS” at checkout. Click “Shop Now”, select any breastfeeding cover you would like (be sure to go to their sizing page so you can get the right size carrier for you). Once you have made your selection, you will automatically be directed to the “shopping bag” where you can enter the promo code “BABYSAVINGS” This promo code will take off 100% of the breastfeeding cover purchase and all you are required to pay are the shipping fees. You can use the code more than once – you just have to open a new browser/window to do so. Shipping is $11.95.

  • Baby Einstein Book Club – Welcome package includes 3 board books and 1 plush book, discovery cards with an attachable ring for only $5.95.  With this membership, you’ll get:  a bonus book 50% Off: Jumbo board book, Baby’s First Words; a parent page with tips on how to introduce your baby to language, music, animals, nature and art.  Also make connections between images in the book and in the real world, create lasting memories while developing a life-long love of reading.  Shipping is FREE!  You can control your membership online.  Best of all, it’s risk free. Cancel anytime with NO purchase commitment!


  • Only new, first-time Citrus Lane subscribers who start a monthly subscription are eligible for the TAKEHALF offer. Gift subscription and multi-month packages including 3, 6 and 12 month packages do not qualify. Limit one TAKEHALF offer per household.
  • This promo only works for for ½ off your first box; however we will be credited for any package that the user signs up for.
  • Description:
  • Have the best, age-appropriate products for your child delivered to your home each month. Perfect for new parents and as a gift.Select the plan that works best for you and your little one. Plans start as low as $21 per month.Tell us your little one’s age (from newborn to 3) so we pick just the right products for your box.We deliver a special box to your door every month…and shipping is free!
  • User Flow
  • User chooses subscription, creates account, enters billing information and places an order. Conversion occurs after credit card info/order is submitted.
  • Conversion Description and Exclusions
  • A valid conversion occurs when a user signs up for a monthly subscription or purchases a 3 month, 6 month or 12 month box package.



  • Kindermint: They buy designer kids clothes. Clean out your kid’s closets and get paid for it!

1. Order a free MINT PACK from Kindermint
2. Stuff the MINT PACK full of kids clothes you wish to sell
3. Drop the Pre-Paid MINT PACK in the mail (UPS or USPS)
4. Cash in! Your choice of check or deposit to your PayPal account.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Summer Reading Program: Dig in to Reading!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



The Summer Reading Program is just the first in many for my “Whatcha Reading” series.  Promoting literacy is such an integral part of my life, as a teacher and a mother, and I wanted to extended it to all of you. Therefore, I aim to bring a series “Whatcha Reading” to AFM. Here you will find book picks for children, adults, as well as tips for promoting literacy within your home.

Summer Reading Program WhatchaReading

Among my many lofty goals to accomplish this summer, summer reading tops the list. (Specifically, working on teaching my daughter to read. But I’ll dive in to that topic on another day…) We recently hit up our Gwinnett library, and signed up for their summer reading program, called “Dig in to Reading!”

Upon signing up, our “kit” included some great tools to help us get started, including a log to help us reach our reading goals, stickers, a some bookmarks. (That it also contained a coupon for a FREE Chick-fil-a kids meal, good anywhere in Gwinnett, and a coupon for a FREE slushie at Sonic were but mere bonuses!)  Along with their program, there are events happening at each location throughout the summer, including puppet shows, story times, and more!  If you’re a resident of Gwinnett, I highly encourage you to check it out!

Similar summer reading programs for children can be found throughout the metro Atlanta area.

Check with your local library to see what they have to offer!  Here is Dekalb’s program, and here is Fulton’s.
Summer Reading Program

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Life with a Toddler {Wordless Wednesday}

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And this is precisely why we have to examine the contents within EVERY time we throw something away….

Life with a toddler
Ah, yes, life with a toddler certainly keeps you on your toes! Happy (wordless) Wednesday, y’all! 🙂

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Atlanta's Frugal Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. In other words, if you click through to Amazon from some of the books or products I recommend and make a purchase, I get a small percentage in exchange for your purchase. It's a small way you can support AFM.