Once Again Mother Goose

we kids too - mother goose

by Aaron

Someday I’ll have kids, not now, but until that point in my life I’ll continue enjoying the smiles on the faces of the moms and dads that come into the studio with their own kids for photo shoots. I’ve seen those smiles before, the same smile on my mom’s face the first time I flushed the toilet after going “poopie” on my own. I definitely remember the same smile when submitting art projects during grade school, but most recently I remember the smile on my mom’s face when I returned home after living in Argentina for eight-months.

Through Skype, email, and Whatsapp, it wasn’t hard to paint a picture of my experience in South America, but there’s something about a separation of 5,500 miles that I’m sure didn’t resonate well with my mom. I could have been in California and as long as we were in the same country, it would have reassured her more knowing she didn’t need a visa to visit.

But like an old friend, mom was there greeting me with open arms and an open refrigerator as I walked through the door. The once empty nester had again become mother goose. I’m sure the telling signs that I was leaving the country could be spotted through college when I made friends with the foreign exchange students from Japan, Turkey, China and Argentina. It’s one thing to talk about leaving friends and family behind, but it’s another thing to actually do it.

I could say that my eight-month experience was enlightening (it doesn’t get any more enlightening than walking Machu Picchu), I could say it was humbling (how many times has your 5-year-old sacrificed going to school for working at a food market?), but the most important realization of my trip was understanding how strong the connection I have with my mother truly is. It transcends time and distance and it’s a bond we will share forever.

So as I still remember the many smiles on my mom’s face from little accomplishments when I was a child, I look forward to seeing new ones, as our relationship grows stronger and stronger.

032_
About Aaron
we'rekidstooaaronAaron is a Product Manager at Step2 and a graduate student, studying Global Communication. While he enjoys reading anything Ken Follett, he also passes his time reading his childhood favorites, like Harry Potter, in Spanish.

6 Tips for Selecting the Best Playhouse

selecting a playhouse

Oh the joy of imaginative play! There are many toys on the market that encourage little minds to use their imaginations, but none are quite like a child’s playhouse. Playhouses promote creativity, make believe fun and teach toddlers and preschoolers practical skills that they can use as they grow. With so many playhouses to choose from, deciding on the perfect one can be difficult. We want to make the decision easier, so here are 6 tips to keep in mind when selecting the best playhouse for your kids:

  1. Location and size: Will the playhouse be indoors or outdoors? It all depends on how much space you have in your house or backyard. Whether you decide to put a playhouse inside or outside, make sure you know the dimensions of the area you want to place it and the dimensions of the playhouse you are interested in buying. On each playhouse’s product page, we list the dimensions to help you visualize the size of the toy.
  2. Material: Playhouses are made out of different types of materials depending on the manufacturer. The most common types of playhouses are wooden, fabric or plastic. Step2 carries durable plastic playhouses that won’t splinter or warp. Plastic playhouses are also able to withstand most weather conditions and they’re easy to clean.
  3. Style and design: Some playhouses resemble real houses and others are brightly colored like a rainbow. The style and design of the playhouse may depend on if you want the color scheme of the playhouse to blend with a child’s playroom or your backyard.
  4. Age appropriate: There are recommended ages for all of our products. You can find the recommended age below the description on each product’s page. Not only is it important that your children are old enough to play in a playhouse, but it’s also important that they have an opportunity to grow into it. We understand that some children may grow faster than others, which is one of the reasons we have a graph that highlights the inside dimensions of our playhouses so you can determine if a compact or larger playhouse will be the best fit for your kids.
  5. How many kids can fit in the playhouse: Kids may enjoy sharing their playhouse with their friends or siblings. If you are looking for a playhouse set to entertain more than two children, it might be a good idea to consider a larger playhouse.
  6. Features: Each playhouse has different features such as a built-in kitchen, grill, working doorbell, mail slots, etc. The interior and exterior features vary from playhouse to playhouse. It’s important to select one that has features your child will play with frequently.

Playhouses help little imaginations to grow while creating memories that will last a lifetime, which is why picking the best playhouse for your kids is essential.

Do you have any tips you would recommend to families looking for a playhouse?