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  • Baby’s First Birthday Gift Guide

    Baby's first birthday gifts

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    Check out our list of must-have gifts for Baby’s First Birthday!
    Baby's First Birthday Gift guide

    Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Baby Toys & Gifts (here)

    Give the gift of sensory stimulation for baby’s first Christmas with this brightly colored and super durable toy! Babies will love poking and grabbing the colorful silicon bubbles while developing fine motor skills. Easy to take on the go and a fascinating attention keeper, this Dimpl is a wonderful gift for baby’s first Christmas!

    Radio Flyer 3-in-1 Wagon (here)

    You can’t go wrong with a classic! This multi-purpose radio flyer is a gift for babies and parents alike, as it is fun to ride in and easy to pull. It’s compact design folds for simple storage and it includes the UV protective canopy (for rainy days too). Plenty of room for 2, the radio flyer 3-in-1 can also be used as bench for seating. Buy it now!

    My First Library Board Books Boxset (here)

    It is never too early to instill a love for reading in a child, which makes this board book boxset the perfect gift for baby’s first Christmas. These brightly colored reads cover all the basics, including numbers, the alphabet and animals. Great for language development and an awesome introduction to the wonderful world of literature. Baby needs this set like yesterday!

    Spike the Fine-Motor Hedgehog (here)

    Just look at this adorable spike the Hedgehog in all of it’s colorful, fine motor glory! Watch as baby’s skills grow with this super cute peg-in-the-hole toy. The quills are easy to grasp and simple to store when play time is over. Spike is highly educational with it’s sorting, counting and color recognition building features. Exceptional!

    V-Tech Sit to Stand Learning Walker (here)

    What’s not to love about this interactive learning baby walker that features a removable toddler play panel and pretend telephone handset? Help babies learn to walk with this light up, musical push toy that sings songs and spouts fun phrases. Durable wheels work on carpet and hard floors. Intended for babies and toddlers from 9 months to 3 years old, it is also available in pink!  

    Growsland Baby Bath Toys (here)

    Bath time just got more fun with these awesome waterproof books and squeeze toys! This gift is not only educational but unique and guaranteed to keep baby entertained. The first page even squeaks when you press it! Tough but bendable, the books’ smooth edges are safety checked and mold resistant. Great value for everything included. Blub Blub gift these bath toys for baby’s first Christmas and enjoy some fun in the tub!

    Leapfrog My Pal Scout (here)

    Personalized learning, 40+ melodies and lullabies, and night time soothing are just a few of the incredible features to this multi-faceted, educational cuddle toy. Sync with a smartphone or tablet, and Scout will say your child’s name and favorite things. Bedtime just got a lot easier!

    Battat – Wooden Activity Cube (here)

    A beautifully crafted childhood classic, the Battat wooden activity cube is a must have for babies and toddlers. With 5 sides of fun and rounded corners, this child favorite will keep baby safely entertained. Playtime with this toy encourages hand-eye coordination, imaginative play and cause-and-effect. Winning gift right here!

    Melissa & Doug Nesting and Stacking Blocks (here)

    What can’t we say about Melissa & Doug? Their products are amazing. Get back to the basics with these stackable blocks with eye catching alphabet letters and animals.  And when baby is finished they store away seamlessly.  This toy is an incredible value under $10 and is guaranteed by Melissa & Doug. Talk about a no brainer!

    Ball Pit Play Tent (here)

    Kids have a mental, emotional and physical need to learn how to explore by investigating their physical environments. What better place to do it than in this stimulating and safe ball pit? They can learn depth perception and to differentiate colors. It folds up quick and easy and comes with a handy storage bag so you can take just about anywhere!

    We hope you found the PERFECT Baby’s First Birthday Gift!

    Need more inspiration for Baby’s first birthday? Check out our DIY Cake Smash Photo Shoot at Home!

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  • 7 Simple Practices for Boosting Mental Health – FREE Printable Included

    As someone who has experienced generalized anxiety for most of my life, I’ve always understood the importance of a solid mental health routine.

    But since becoming a mother and suffering through a severe bout of postpartum depression, I’ve prioritized self-care in an even larger effort to bolster my mood, remain energized & be the best version of myself for my kids.

    It’s amazing what a few simple practices can do for the mind, especially when organized on a weekly task list designed for the modern woman with a thousand items on the mental plate.

    Let’s dive right in to these 7 Simple Practices for Boosting Mental Health. Don’t forget to download the free printable below!

    Picture of 7 Simple Practices for Boosting Mental Health

    Motivation

    For my Monday focus (because seriously, Mondays are the pits) I like to think motivation, and nothing gets me motivated like setting a goal for myself. Setting goals gives you longterm vision.

    It offers purpose, direction and something to achieve and work towards. I’m a huge believer in striving for more and continuous improvement.

    To put it plainly, achievement equals confidence. The goal doesn’t have to be anything monumental, but it has to be measurable and attainable. Once you set your goal and visualize it in your mind, write it down. Make it real. Begin planning first steps towards achievement, and use your Mondays to apply yourself towards it.

    Self-Care

    To be honest, I could go for self-care any day of the week. If you choose just one of these practices to implement in your weekly routine, let it be self-care.

    Treat yourself to a pedicure, exfoliate, set aside 20 minutes to meditate. Self-care looks different for everyone, so do what works for you. It’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself in order to boost positive feelings and self-esteem.

    Digital Detox

    This one is probably the most straight forward yet hardest to accomplish, but I promise its worth it. Turn off that phone/television/computer for an evening and go screen free. Read a book, play a game, listen to a podcast.

    Picture of Rockitmama Free Mental Health Task List Printable

    See below!

    Organize/Purge

    Free your mind of clutter, quite literally! When the environment around us is chaos, it can be difficult to feel in control.

    Pick one item in your house/office/room that needs a good cleanse. Tackle that overflowing junk drawer or delete excess emails in your inbox.

    This could also apply to a toxic individual in your life that doesn’t contribute to your happiness and should be kindly removed. Release them. Talk about a mental refresh!

    Energize

    Everyone energizes in different ways. Maybe its socializing with friends or grabbing some fresh air. Perhaps it’s binge watching the latest Netflix series after a long week at work or catching up on sleep.

    Find the best way for you to re-energize for the weekend and make that your focus for Friday.

    Health

    Saturdays are focused on physical health which we all know, deeply impacts us mentally. I use Saturdays to get my long runs in for exercise, but again it doesn’t have to be that daunting.

    Make a healthy meal, meal plan for the week or take a yoga class at the gym.

    Focus on yourself physically, and the benefits to the mind will follow.

    Gratitude

    On long, exhausting, frustrating days with my boys (lets be honest we all have them) there is one thing I lean on to pull me through: Gratitude.

    I started practicing intentional gratitude after my first was born in an attempt to ease my anxiety.

    Quickly I learned that when I regularly took time to give thanks and share a sense of abundance around me, I attracted a goodness that elevated my mood and carried me through the day.

    I encourage journaling these feelings of gratitude to really drill down on the good in your life & to help make it a habit.

    For more on the importance of mental health: Check out these Positive Ways to Support your Child’s Mental health.

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  • 20 Unique Amazon Finds to Get Kids Through Quarantine

    School closures and stay home orders have us running out of ideas to keep kids entertained while stuck at home. Some days it is downright difficult to keep everyone occupied without resorting to screen time (and yes we’re doing our fair share of that!).

    We know we’re all in the same boat, so we did a little digging. After some deep amazon browsing, we found 20 unique products and activities for kids of all ages that we want to share with our readers, in the hopes that we can lighten the load. We’re fairly confident that these fun finds will occupy kids in an enriching way, and can provide parents the time to accomplish tasks. Win-Win!

    Check out these 20 unique Amazon finds to get kids through Quarantine with quick links provided below!

     

    Terrarium Kit

    Have kids grow their own habitat and experience the wonder of nature with this Grow N’ Glow Terrarium kit! Comes with everything you need for two full plant life cycles including the plastic mason-style jar, decorative lid, potting mix, organic chia and wheat grass seeds, garden figurines, decorative sand, river stones and a plant mister to keep your terrarium watered. Additionally, add dimension to your terrarium with translucent glow-in-the-dark stickers that light up your terrarium at night! The perfect STEAM activity that mixes science and art. Recommended for ages 6+

     

    Butterfly Kit

    Witness one of nature’s most spectacular transformations up close with this amazing butterfly garden! This STEM treat comes with everything you need and a full set of instructions to watch caterpillars change to butterflies via metamorphosis. Incredible!

    How to Draw Book

    I need this instructional guide for when my kids ask me to draw them their favorite animals! Simple step-by-step line illustrations make it easy for children (and their parents ha!) to draw with confidence. Each title contains 101 different images in all manner of shapes, sizes and poses.

     

    Floor is Lava Interactive Game

    Who doesn’t remember playing the floor is lava as a kid? Now it’s a board game! Players must imagine the floor is molten hot lava while spinning the color wheel to jump to the right foam pieces to reach safety. The Floor is Lava! is a family game that promotes physical activity, an active imagination, and engaging excitement for kids and adults.

     

    Garden Kit

    Pizza lovers rejoice: Kids can now paint and plant their own pizza herb garden! Paint the planter and plant markers, and sow the basil, oregano and Arugula herbs with vibrant colors and tasty flavors. Follow along with the included step-by-step instruction. The kit includes a tin planter, plastic liner, soil, 3 seed packets, 6-color paint strip, 2 paint brushes, paint palette, 3 wooden plant markers, shovel, watering bottle, and beautiful instruction booklet.

    Sand Art Bottle Kit

    In our world, Melissa & Doug can do no wrong. As one of our favorite toy brands, we love this sand art bottle kit made to entertain kids for hours at a time!

     

    Yoga Mat

    Why not start them early? These yoga mats for kids are ideal for children and are designed to be fun and provide a healthy outlet that teaches a healthy body image, concentration, balance and calm even in the face of too much silliness. The mats are slightly sticky with a light tack, providing a safe and secure grip. A downloadable yoga class specifically designed for kids is included with your mat purchase to help get your little one started!

    Jigsaw Puzzles

    These 12 themed wooden jigsaw puzzles feature 24 durable wooden pieces that fit together smoothly to display under the sea, farm, safari, and insects. We love that the the large size of the pieces eliminate a choking hazard!

     

    Sidewalk Chalk

    Let your kids flex their creativity with drawings and inspiring messages using sidewalk chalk!

     

    Paint by Stickers Book

    Calling all paint enthusiasts! Paint by Sticker includes everything you need to create twelve vibrant, full-color “paintings.” The images—including sunflowers, a fox, a hummingbird in mid-flight, two boats on the water are brilliantly made into a 3D effect. As in paint-by-number, each template is divided into dozens of spaces, each with a number that corresponds to a particular colored sticker. Find the sticker, peel it, and place it in the right space. Add the next, and witness it come to life!

    Scratch Art

    This is a Trace-Along title! This fun and easy art activity book allows budding artists to use the wooden drawing tool enclosed to trace the white outlines on black-coated scratch art pages.  They can also use the sketch pages in the back to draw their own pictures of favorite animal friends. Hard covered binding makes this grab-and-go activity extra resilient. 20 scratch-off, 20 illustrated, and 20 sketch pages. Recommended for ages 5 and up!

     

    Balance Stepping Stones

    Here we have a physical activity challenge and an award winning toy to boot! Kids can show off their balancing skills while jumping from stone to stone. Create a new obstacle playground everyday! These foam stepping stones are both flexible and durable, lightweight and soft to the touch. Balance Stepping Stones were awarded the 2019 TOY OF THE YEAR AWARD for excellence by Creative Child Magazine!

     

    Kite Kit

    Another absolutely great idea and huge hit with kids, DIY Kite kits! Kids can custom decorate their own kite, then fly them high.  This is easy to assemble and comes with 3 kites to decorate, 8 multi color markers, and long ribbon colorful tails. 

     

    Bubble Wands

    Bubble Wands

    Bubbles are the universal pleasure tool for kids! Bubble up with this 4 pack and let the fun ensue!

     

    Button Art for Toddlers

    All the creativity without the mess, it’s button art for toddlers! This mosaic pegboard comes equipped with 50 Buttons and 18 pictures.

    Rock Painting Kit

    Spread kindness and positivity by painting and hiding rocks throughout your community for other kids to find. Just add imagination for endless creative fun! This complete craft kit comes with 10 rocks for designing, 8 waterproof paint colors, paint brush, rock transfer designs and tracking stickers. Waterproof art supplies make it possible to hide your painted rocks outdoors! 

     

    Craft Supply Kit

    This is your one stop shop for everything craft related! Stoke your child’s imagination and develop creative skills with all the arts & crafts that you could possibly create.

     

    Card Games

    UNO just got even more fun with this childhood favorite, UNO EMOJI style game!

    Score big with this party-sized edition of the best-selling dice game! It’s simple to play but each decision is crucial. The more numbers that are crossed off, the more points scored. With no downtime between turns, kids have a chance to gain from each and every roll! This deluxe game includes 8 dry erase markers and boards, plus bonus Qwixx Mixx game for alternate play. Heck yes!

     

    Puppet Craft Kit

    We love this felt hand puppet craft kit that makes 12 puppets! Some of the many benefits to puppet creation include dramatic play, imagination, role play, learning, and creativity. Kit comes equipped with everything a child would need to make their own fantastical puppets.

     

    Magic Science Kit

    We saved the best for last! Let your child explore their inner wizard with this spell-making kit! This unique educational pack will teach kids the science behind the color-changing magic.  Supplies include 4 test tubes with stand, 1 clear tube wand with 2 caps, 2 measuring scoops, Purple paper, star stickers and activity guide. Definitely recommended for children 6 years of age and older with adult supervision. Viola! 

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  • 5 Powerful Things to Tell Your Kids

    As we all navigate the new normal of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to place priority on the emotional health of our youngest generation. The little ones (with big ears!) listening to conversations, watching the news alongside us, and in tune with their parents’ mood and anxiety.

    While quarantine life and social distancing are new norms for all of us, it’s important to check in on young children and assure them in positive ways. Kids need our attention and validation to feel safe and protected.

    We can help foster emotional health with comforting affirmations and an open dialogue about what’s unfolding around us. Here are 5 powerful things to tell your kids when the world seems scary and out of control.

    Powerful things to tell your kids

    I love you, you are safe.

    Safety and security are at the core of a child’s emotional health. Remind them of all the people looking out for them and protecting them. Let them know that you are taking every precaution to keep them safe. Help them recognize how strong and capable they are.

    This will pass.

    Turn this into a teachable moment. Life is full of unknowns and unpredictable changes, but tough times don’t last. Drive that point home. Teach them how to weather the storm, and to ride out ups and downs.

    When age appropriate (great breakdown of how to approach the conversation by age group here), provide facts and context to kids to eliminate rumors or exaggerations. Setting the story straight is helpful when kids hear stories from friends or let their imaginations run wild.

    Example:

    Child: “Johnny said this is the end of the world.”

    Response: “Yes, people are getting sick and unfortunately, some are dying. But this is not the end of the world, and it will pass as long as we do everything in our power to protect ourselves and others by staying home and practicing good hygiene.”

    When your kids ask questions, be honest. Denying that there is a public health emergency sends conflicting messages and creates distrust.

    I know this is hard. What do you need from me?

    Acknowledge that the situation is difficult. Your validation shows your children that you respect them and are paying attention to their fears.

    Asking what you can do to help provides the opportunity to learn what comforts them. Provide ways to cope with the anxiety that presents during times of crisis. Have an open dialogue about ways to support each other.

    Affirmations to soothe anxiety:

    1. I have the power to do hard things.
    2. This world has light, air, food, and comfort just for me because I’m loved and cherished.
    3. Happiness and gratitude come easily to me.
    4. I always see the bright side or lessons in my life.
    5. I will spread and attract good things everywhere I go.
    6. I am calm and handle all challenges with ease.
    7. I empathize with those in need and send loving thoughts their way.

    Let’s find joy in what we have.

    Teach your kids to practice gratitude. This will carry them through this time and other challenging obstacles that come up in life. Point out the simple things to be grateful for right now such as a warm home, food, toys, etc.

    Look for the helpers.

    Yes, the bright side. The antidote to any tragedy or disaster are the community helpers that rise to the occasion. Point out the humans helping humans in big and small ways.

    Help your child recognize and appreciate those that are creating solutions for the greater good. Have a conversation about the small ways they too, can make an impact (washing hands, staying home, donating to food banks, etc). Having a positive to focus on can mitigate the anxiety kids may be experiencing.

    For more parenting resources:

    Helping Children Cope with Changes as a Result of Covid-19

    How to  Talk to Kids and Teens about the Coronavirus

    Fostering Your Child’s Mental Health

    We hope your family benefits from these powerful things to tell your kids when the world seems scary. Check us out on Facebook and get involved!

     

     

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  • Happy Earth Children’s PRINTABLE Earth Day Activity

    As a self-proclaimed tree hugger it’s important to me that my kids understand the importance of Earth Day and why it’s vital to the future of our planet to set aside time to care for it. This activity is a simple and effective way to have that teachable moment on what keeps Earth healthy and thus, happy. On the opposite side, it highlights the actions that impact our environment in a negative way.

    Watch as they sort & learn the small ways we can reduce and reuse to protect our precious planet. We’ve included the FREE Happy Earth Children’s Earth Day Activity printable. It’s available for download at the bottom of this post. Happy Earth Day!

    Picture of Happy Earth Printable activity for Earth Day learning and creating.

    You will need:

    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Blue or green construction paper
    • The Rock It Mama Earth Day printable (Two-page download at the bottom of post)

    Directions

    Glue the sorting chart page on either the green or blue construction paper for aesthetic purposes. Next, cut the two earths first and have your child distinguish between the happy earth vs. the sad earth. Glue both earths on the top of each side of the T chart.

    As each graphic is cut out, have a conversation about the picture and what is taking place. Explain why each picture either makes the Earth happy or sad based on what is occurring. Lastly, have them glue the graphic on the correct side of the T chart.

    Cutting Happy Earth printable for Earth Day learning activity.

    Just look at that focus! (Insert heart eyes)

    He’s well on his way to becoming a passionate environmentalist. Need more fun ideas for appreciating nature and the world around us? Add these 7 Nature and Exploration Ideas for Kids to your list!



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  • 11 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Dr. Seuss Quotes

    Today we celebrate National Read Across America Day, as well as the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, commonly known by his pen name Dr. Seuss.

    Dr. Seuss was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, screenwriter and filmmaker. His work in children’s literature included more than 60 children’s books, published in over 20 languages, making him the most beloved and iconic children’s author in households today.

    picture of boy reading Dr. Seuss Oh The Places You'll Go

    Those who have read books such as “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”, “The Cat in the Hat”, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”, and “Green Eggs and Ham,” are well aware of Dr. Seuss’s repeated patterns and rhymes, fantastically unique illustrations and important life lessons sprinkled within his books.

    Today, we are sharing 11 quotes from Dr. Seuss and the teachings we can walk away with from them. Also, be sure to download our FREE Dr. Seuss Quotes Coloring Book below!

    “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person,
    no matter how small!”

    “Today you are You. That is truer than true. There is no one alive that is You-er than You!” – Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

    You are unique and like no other. You have special talents and capabilities to give to the world! Always be yourself and don’t try to be someone else, they’re already taken.

    “The more you read, the more you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

    Reading is a powerful tool. You can educate yourself in endless subjects, and spark imagination through storytelling. Fun doesn’t have to be physical!

    “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, and some come from behind. But I’ve brought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr. Seuss

    The road of life can be challenging. But with focus and perseverance, you will be ready to face those challenges head-on.

    “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” – Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

    Don’t be sad when the day is done. Tomorrow is a blank slate and the perfect opportunity to make it just as great!

    “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go

    You know yourself more than anyone else; you are the only one who has been in your shoes. You have the power to determine your future and what paths you must take to create it.

    “You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may.” – Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham

    You may be hesitant to try something new, like a food or a scary activity, but you never know if you’ll like it if you don’t try it just once!

    “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of fun that is funny.” – Dr. Seuss, Cat in the Hat

    Not every day is going to be butterflies and rainbows. Some days and situations may seem dreary or hard. But if you change your perspective and attitude, you can still have a lot of fun!

    “Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small!” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who

     Don’t feel discouraged. Believe in yourself – you are capable and you matter!

    Picture of boy reading Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss 

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

    The world needs caring and passionate people. If there is something you feel strongly about, do something about it!

    Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh the thinks you can think up if only you try.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!

    There are no limits to the imagination. It has the power to motivate and turn desires into reality. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box or march to the beat of your own drum.

    So open your mouth, lad. For every voice counts!” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

    Each and everyone of us have feelings and opinions that matter. Your voice can make all the difference. If you have something to say – say it!

    Download our FREE Dr. Seuss Quotes Coloring Book Below!


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    If you enjoyed this post on Dr. Seuss, you will enjoy our 6 Ways to Celebrate National Reading Month with Preschoolers.

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