Category Archives: Hints and Tips

Find parenting tips, craft ideas, and yummy recipes to cook with your family. Have family fun with the helpful ideas from our hints and tips.

Different Ways to Shop

Picking out the ideal gift for your little ones can be tough. Step2 wants to make shopping as easy as possible so you can spend more time with your family during the holidays! Check out the different ways you can find Step2 toys that are a perfect match for the special kids in your life:

Toy Match (Powered by Lela.com):  Find the perfect toy! When you are on Step2.com, within moments a yellow box pops up that will direct you to a quiz to help you find products that match what you are looking for based your likes and preferences. You can also access the quiz by clicking the yellow bar at the top of Step2.com or by clicking the yellow box on the left hand side of each category page. ToyMatch will help you purchase the most meaningful gift!

toymatch
Pinterest: Pinterest is a great place to bookmark all of the toys you have looked at all year long. We have made it easy for you and compiled a list the most pinned toys on Step2.com. Were any of these products pinned to one of your Pinterest boards?

most pinned
Ecatalog (Powered by Catalogs.com): Flip through this digital catalog that contains all of our customers’ holiday favorites. With a variety of toys to choose from, it will give you an idea of the most popular products for the holidays.

ecatelog
Infographics: To provide our customers with as much information about our toys as possible, we have designed multiple infographics that give an in-depth guide the dimensions of our products. Check out the following graphs to find the answer you were looking for:

Happy shopping and remember, if you ever have any questions about our products, you can give us a call at 866-429-5200 (M-F, 8-5 ET). Please note, we will be closed on Christmas day to spend the holiday with our families.

Favorite Halloween Quotes

Throughout the month of October you have probably seen plenty of cute crafts, spooky treats and DIY kid’s costumes. We love searching and providing our readers with the cutest ideas for the fall, and especially for the ghoulish holiday known as Halloween. However, this year instead of providing you with those festive crafts and foods, we have decided to bring you our favorite Halloween quotes. You can use these quotes to explain Halloween to your kids or make up fun songs to recite these playful sayings.

www.pinterest.com boothachecd80672d77ac2d641f3fd7c1671fb7de

pumpkin trick or treatWhich Halloween quote is your favorite? Share your favorite Halloween quotes with us!

Healthy Family Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and the meal that many health experts consider to be the most important. However, one in ten children tends to skip breakfast, which may limit their ability to learn. When kids skip breakfast there is a chance they may feel tired and irritable. Their energy level and mood can drop as the morning progresses if they don’t eat even a small morning meal.

As parents, how do we encourage our children to eat breakfast in addition to serving food with the proper nutrients needed to start the day? First, lead by example and eat breakfast yourself. We found some excellent, healthy family breakfast ideas from Cooking Light, Little Inspiration, Simmworks Family, Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom, and Meet the Dubiens that we think you and your kids will love!

Fresh Toast Soldiers: Sweet and nutritious. French toast doesn’t need to be smothered in syrup to be delicious. A side of strawberries can satisfy their sweet tooth.


frenchtoast

Bear in a blanket: Breakfast has never looks so snuggly and cute! This adorable breakfast idea consists of rice, eggs, and cheese. This combination of foods is filled with tons of protein to help your children grow.

 

bearinablanket

Strawberry Muffins: A sweet treat for a family that is on the go. This breakfast idea is a great way to include fruits, dairy, and oats into your family’s daily regimen.

Strawberry-Muffins-with-Greek-Yogurt-001

Omelette in a mug: Ever you ever heard of simply cracking eggs into a mug and putting them in the microwave to cook? This is an amazing twist on how to make scrambled eggs. To make these scrambled eggs more wholesome add cheese and your choice of meat to make a supreme omelette!

 

omeletteinamug

Hard-boiled chicks: A very creative way to present hard boiled eggs is by making them look like little chickens! Grab some carrots and plastic Easter eggs to create a fun animal character that your whole family will look forward to eating in the morning.

hardboiledeggchicks

Breakfast will never be the same in your household with these fun and healthy food choices. Remember, breakfast is the meal that recharges your body and brain after your slumber. Making breakfast a family activity and mandatory meal will make the whole family healthier and happier in the long run. Enjoy!

Do you have any breakfast ideas that you’d like to add?

 

Play it Safe with Safety Sam

safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011, 230 of which were children under the age of 15. Educating our children about outdoor play safety and notifying drivers that there are children walking and playing on around the area are two important ways to keep them safe while playing outdoors.

To promote outdoor safety, we began making the KidAlert! V.W.S (Visual Warning Sign) in 2001. Now known as Safety Sam, he is an indication to “go slow” when driving on roads where he is placed. You may have seen him around your neighborhood, near daycares, playgrounds and schools.

Safety Sam is trying his best to keep neighborhoods and children safe, but we need to continue to spread the word about children pedestrian safety. Here are some of the top outdoor play tips we found from SafeKids.org:

  • Talk to your kids about how to be safe and aware while they are playing in the neighborhood
  • Educate kids on the importance of looking to the left, right and left again when crossing the street
  • Teach them to never run or dart out into the street even if their favorite ball or other toy begins to travel to the other side of the street
  • Inform kids of the reasons why they should not cross between parked cars
  • Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them
  • Teach kids to be cautious and watch out for cars that are turning or backing up
  • It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths
  • Walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible

Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10. To be safe for children under the age of 10, tell them to not cross the street until the road is completely clear of cars.

Here are some Test Drive Bloggers that are making Safety Sam a part of their pledge to promote outdoor play safety around their neighborhood.

 


newlycrunch

Newly Crunchy Mama of 3 lives on a 1-way street where kids often play. She hopes that Safety Sam will remind drivers to slow down, especially when kids are playing.

gograhamgo

Go Graham Go is playing it safe as her son rides his bicycle around the neighborhood.

real mom reviews

Real Mom Reviews practices safety tips with her children. Although Safety Sam is small, he’s a powerful reminder to drivers to be careful while they are driving.

wahm

WAHM Connect noticed that cars slow down when they saw Safety Sam on her street.

simple moms

The Simple Moms feels so strongly about children pedestrian safety that she is giving away a Safety Sam to one lucky winner! To enter, repost this image on Instagram before Labor Day weekend.

rock father

The Rock Father keeps his Safety Sam on duty, especially when his daughters are playing outside.

mommytesters

Mommy Testers plays it safe with Safety Sam as her daughter plays on her scooter.

baby dickey

Baby Dickey knows the kids will be safe with Safety Sam patrolling the neighborhood.

link fairy

The Link Fairy believes her neighborhood is a safe place to play with Safety Sam.

thirftynifty

Thrifty Nifty Mommy thinks Safety Sam will help drivers to slow down and save lives!

In addition to these bloggers displaying Safety Sam in their community, they have also given a Safety Sam to a friend, neighborhood or relative to encourage road safety. Thank you to all the bloggers that participated in spreading the word about outdoor play safety!

We encourage you to educate your family about keeping kids safe while they play outside. What safety tips for outdoor play do you have?

Helping Children Embrace Their Glasses

glasses
 

According to Eye Care Business, vision accounts for as much as 80% of the learning process for a child. It is important to known whether or not a child is having problems with their vision. If your child displays frequent eye rubbing, excessive blinking, delayed motor development, and failure to maintain eye contact, it may be time for an eye exam.

According to the American Optometric Association, infants should have their first eye exam when they are six months old. Toddlers should have an addition eye exam at age three and again before they enter the first grade.

Wearing glasses can be a big adjustment for children. To help your children get acquainted with their glasses, teach them how to embrace their glasses and new appearance. We found some tips from BabySitting.net that may help empower your children about wearing their glasses:

  • Glasses are special: Glasses give kids super powers! Let your child know that glasses will help him to see better, and seeing better is a super power.
  • Avoid teasing: There is a chance that your child might be teased for wearing glasses. However, by providing her with the confidence of liking her glasses, she might be able to disregard the negative words about her new appearance. Bullies may stop the teasing once they realize it does not faze your child.
  • Pick the perfect pair: When it comes to selecting frames, give your child some options so he feels like he is in control of the situation. If he picks out his glasses, he may like them more than they would if mom or dad picked out a pair for him.
  • Make glasses a part of the daily routine: Help your child put on her glasses every morning. This will help her to remember to wear them every day.
  • Be positive: When your child fusses about wearing his glasses, just remind him that he will not have his “super power” if he does not wear his glasses. Try to be patient with their frustration and allow him to take small breaks from his glasses during his adjustment period.
  • A lot of people wear glasses: If mom, dad, or another family member wears glasses it may make a child feel more comfortable to realize and understand she is not the only one who needs to wear them. Explain that many people wear glasses, which help each of them to see the world better.

What tips do you have when it comes to helping a child embrace their glasses?

Can-Do DIY Crafts

can crafts

 

Get crafty and eco-friendly with some family fun activities involving metal cans! Below are some of the most creative can crafts that we have found from Family Fun Magazine, PBS, Make & Takes, and Fave Crafts.

Cool Can Chimes: Take four or five empty and clean cans, ranging in size from large to small. Then grab heavyweight string, a wooden ring, and acrylic paint to design the metal cans. Your backyard will be transformed into a beautiful and musical wonderland

can chimes

Mini Tin Can Drums: Children can design their own drum set with tape, stickers, ribbons, construction paper, and balloons. Plus, these little drums help promote fine motor skills!.

can drums

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Soup Can Bowling: Bowling with soup cans is a great rainy day craft and activity for the kids. Collect as many soup cans as you desire and paint them with acrylic paint. Pick up a 5” Styrofoam ball at a craft store and paint it to resemble a bowling ball. Keep score of who can knock down the most soup cans!

soup can bowling

Tin Can Robots: Create futuristic robots with tin cans, magnets, sponges, and pipe cleaners! Kids will love putting together their own robot and watching how fast the magnets and tin cans connect to one another.

can robots

Which craft will you create with your family?