For almost six years, Step2 has partnered with the Saving Tiny Hearts Society (StHS) to raise money to fund research around congenital heart defects (CHD). CHD is the number one birth defect in the United States and the world, and is also the most fatal childhood disease. A child is born with CHD every 15 minutes and 100,000 of them will not survive to celebrate their first birthday. Thousands more will not make it to adulthood. Research can change those numbers and that is why we are committed to this cause and have been for such a long time.
Two and a half years ago, the Step2 family was also personally impacted by CHD. Tena the Director of Online Marketing has a son named Myles who was born with CHD. In the first seven months of Myles’ life, he underwent three heart surgeries and one heart catheterization. Myles will have one more surgery before he is ready to go off to kindergarten.
Since learning about Myles’ diagnoses during her 20 week ultrasound, StHS has offered Tena and her family hope, support, and information about the importance of CHD research. We appreciate StHS and consider them an extension of our family at Step2. Saving tiny Hearts has raised $2 million in last nine years for CHD research. They have no paid employees and $0.98 of every dollar raised is put into research efforts.
Each year, we try to find new and creative ways to raise money for StHS.. In 2014, we will be donating a portion of the sales from each Tropical Island Resort to StHS. Also, the packaging of the product features a very special guest that is near and dear to our hearts – Myles! You can check him out rocking his scar on the packaging of this product along with the StHS logo. This product is available online or in-store at Walmart.
When you decide to purchase the Tropical Island Resort you will not only be buying a splash-tastic water table for your kiddos, but you’ll also be supporting a cause to save the lives of tiny heart superheroes all over the world.
Find out more information on how you can help support this worthy cause by visiting StHS’s website.
Don’t you love when your little one gives you a hug or when they want to share a toy or food with you? Those sweet gestures can fill your heart with joy and make your day complete. Expressing emotions and understanding feelings are critical social skills for kids to develop.
It is important to encourage sharing and caring on daily basis; here are a few ways to help your child to develop these social skills:
Model generosity: Act as a role model for your children. Hold the door for others, even if they are far away. If someone drops something on the ground at the grocery store, pick it up for them. Performing good deeds can encourage children to care for others by performing similar acts of kindness.
Praise them: When children share something with another child or show some type of sweetness to you or another person, praise them for their good intention.
Sharing and caring are skills that can also be learned through play. A fun fact about Step2 is that we rarely created toys that are meant for solo play because we aim to enhance children’s social interactions and inspire their young minds. Let’s check out some toys that can help children understand what caring and sharing are all about!
Pretend Play Toys: Kids can learn what care is by nurturing a baby doll with the Deluxe Nursery Center. Children can also begin to grasp the concept of sharing responsibilities (also known as teamwork). While one child is feeding the baby doll at the feeding station, another child can pretend to do the laundry or take care of another baby doll at the changing table. Kids can also use one of our tool workshops to build a bird house together or another creation out of the pretend wood. Kids can even give their creation as a gift to their brother, sister, mom or dad.
Play Kitchens: All of our play kitchens feature tons of appliances and accessories to keep multiple children entertained for hours. Our play kitchens are great for children to learn to use together. Children can trade off playing with the accessories or they can team up to cook a pretend meal. We have been told by some of our customers that their kids have even exhibited caring by serving up a pretend pot of coffee to mom and dad with their play kitchen!
Art Desks & Easels: Children can also get crafty as a way to show they care. When children draw you pictures to put on the fridge or in a frame it is a selfless act of love and also shows that they want to share their hard work with you! Encourage your child to not only draw pictures for you with their art desk or easel, but ask them to draw pictures for their siblings, teachers and neighbors as well. Maybe your kids can even work together to make a piece of artwork to give to their grandparents.
What tips and toys do you use to teach your kids about sharing and caring?
My daughter just turned five and all she wanted for her birthday was a piano. When she first asked for this present, all I could think of was that she has no experience with playing any musical instruments and we don’t have the space for it.
Ms. Azaria (I refer to her as “princess”) gets basically everything she asks for so I began my search to find her a piano. I found a kid-size piano for on Zulily and fell in love with it. The piano looks and all most sounds like the real thing. The morning of her birthday she was overwhelmed with excitement. After a while of playing she says, “I thought this piano should be bigger.”Didn’t I tell you that she tends to act like a princess?
I told her once she masters this small one, we will get her some lessons so she can play the piano like a real musician. When that day comes that she has mastered the piano, we will buy her a larger one. Hearing this made her ecstatic and more motivated to play the piano.
After opening her present, we continued the celebrating at her favorite place to eat, Red Robins. To make the princess feel even more royal, the whole restaurant sang happy birthday with all claps and balloons. At the end of the day she thanked us for making her feel special on her day AND gave us kisses. Making her happy on her birthday is truly a priceless feeling.
If you have ever ordered over the phone or had a question about a Step2 product, you may have spoken to Felicia because she is a Customer Service Representative for Step2 Direct. Felicia is a mother of three, one daughter who is 5 and two sons, 21 and 14. In her spare time, Felicia loves cooking and singing karaoke. She even has karaoke parties at her house every once in a while because she enjoys it so much!
It’s time to get crafty with our new blog series FriDIY. The last Friday of every month we will be featuring craft tutorials that you and your little ones can make together! Your kids will be able to use many of these craft ideas with their Step2 toys.
This month, we searched the web for inspiration and stumbled upon an awesome idea from Mother’s Niche for a gas can to go along with your little one’s ride-on toys. We just had to try it out ourselves! This gas can will go perfect with Easy Turn Coupe and Toddle Tune Coupe because both cars have built-in gas caps that little racers can pretend they are filling up! Without further ado, let’s get started:
Gather the following materials: an old detergent bottle or carpet cleaning spray bottle, paper, scissors, auto fuel funnel (which you can find at your local dollar store) and tape. Soak the bottle in hot water and soap before repurposing this as a play toy. As with any craft, adult supervision is highly recommended.
The auto fuel funnel easily detaches into two parts, the funnel and the tube. You will only need the tube for this craft.
Your child can draw the label for the gas can to help develop their writing and drawing skills or you can print out the one we created by clicking here. Cut out the label so it fits on the bottle.
Tape the label onto the bottle.
When taping, we only taped the four sides of the label onto the bottle. For extra durability, you can use packaging tape and cover the entire label in tape.
Get tape or a hot glue gun for the opening of the bottle.
Line the tape or hot glue around the opening of the bottle.
Place the tube onto the opening of the bottle. Hold onto the part of the tube that is attached to the bottle for twenty seconds.
Now your kids can fuel up some fun and imaginative play with their new gas can!
Trenton and Lindsay Cochran are more than brother and sister; they are best friends.Ever since Lindsay was born, Trenton has been by her side. Lindsay was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and has been in a wheelchair since she was two years old. Trenton has done everything he can to make sure his sister is taken care of and treated just like everyone else.
At the end of last year, K-LOVE, a radio show dedicated to sharing encouraging and positive stories, selected this dynamic duo to be the recipients of their “Unsung Hero Award.” This award was rightly earned by these compassionate siblings, shown by their unconditional love for one another.
This Thoughtful Thursday is dedicated to the unbreakable bond of friendship that Trenton and Lindsay possess.