my kids tested, I approved

Nov 8, 2016

As much as I encourage outdoor play, and let me tell you I strongly encourage outdoor play for my children. I need a mary poppins like supply of indoor things to keep them happy and less combative when I need to get things done. I'm cool with the iPad here and there, but if I am being honest I try and save their screen time to when I need to help one or the other with homework. It's like I deprive them of technology all day and them swoop in saying, hey hey hey who wants to play with the iPad and give me 30 minutes of peace to get these spelling words practiced? It works every time. 

But, there are many many hours in the day and lately I have been turning to this handful of child approved toys.  
Kid Approved Toys
ONE: Constructive eating. I have seen these on pinterest so many times, and the idea is pretty genius. Meals in this house are pretty strict, and sometimes my children think they can complain about what is on their plates, to which I cackle loudly from my witches broom. These plates make their meal time a little more enjoyable. Have I ever told you how much Pierce hates beets? He hates them, but he knows he will sit and stare at them all night on his plate if they don't disappear. So he bulldozes them, or pushes them around until eventually they get in his mouth. Odette is so funny to watch with these, but they keep the kids happy and occupied for awhile. 

TWO: I cannot tell you how many times Ace and I play this game a week! Chris and I have even gone at it with one another. It is a game of balance, and skill, and a little problem solving. Pierce likes to play too, but he gets a little frustrated when they all fall down. But I love it, and I love that Ace comes to me with this and wants to play. 

THREE: This game is more Avalon and Pierce's speed, but Ace loved it when he was their age too. It is simple color matching, but really is fun. And I love that Pierce and Avalon can play without me if need be. Only frustrating part is when Odette runs through the middle of the game. 

FOUR: Now this is something Odette actually can play with. I bought this set for Avalon last year when I was homeschooling Pierce, just so she had something to do as well. I would spread all the food out on the floor and she would put them in their correct baskets. Or she would organize them in a line by color. She loved it! Now Odette is the same way. Avalon usually throws them all over the floor and then instructs Odette where to put them. But it keeps them happy long enough for math homework to be completed, or dinner to get started. 

FIVE: Okay, this isn't exactly a toy but if your child likes to read as much as Ace does then these are so good. My friend in Alaska actually told me about these books, and I got the beginner readers for Ace and he devoured them. They are just short stories, but they really help in those beginning stages of reading. Because Ace is extremely shy and gets nervous at school when he has to read, these books give him more confidence. All he wants to do is read, not be read to, so these are great for him. Pierce has even started on the very beginning books, with my help of course. But I highly recommend these! 

Any of these would also make great Christmas gifts if you are one of those plan ahead kind of people. I am not, but if I was....these toys are proven to be winners in my house. Bonus is none of them break easily either! 


  1. Number 3 looks like a really cute game! It's penguins, so how could it be bad?! :)

  2. I love the fruit baskets! Ikea has a great set of soft fruit and veggie baskets that my daughter absolutely loves. I love the learning component of these baskets though, so I will definitely be looking into them further! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Avalon had fun learning her colors with these, and now Odette pretty much has no choice because Avalon bosses her around ;)

  3. I have never seen any of these! Excuse me while I go back to the rock I live under.

  4. I love that Avalon is such a task master with Odette. Like come here woman and sort these fruit baskets!



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