Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Top 3 Safety Features on the Best Strollers of 2017

Choosing the right baby stroller is a lot like buying a car. It can be a long, difficult, and confusing process. There are so many options to choose from, each available in different models and price ranges. Furthermore, it is quite hard to tell which features really matter. Unfortunately, making the wrong choice means that you will be stuck with a bad stroller that costs much more than it is worth.
That said, most strollers will get the job done. Finding the “best” simply means finding the best option for you.  Everyone has different needs, which will mean looking for strollers with different sets of features. For example, someone who lives in a fifth-floor apartment will need something different from someone living in suburbia. Parental Guide’s 2017 Best stroller list could help you make the right choice.
However, there are some common features that should cut across the board. The top three safety features to look out for include:
1. Restraint System
When choosing a new stroller, the first thing to look out for is its restraint system. This safety feature keeps a baby or toddler from slipping out of the stroller. Therefore, get a stroller that has a sturdy, well-built crotch strap and safety belt. Most of these systems are made from a thick nylon webbing.
It is also important to keep in mind that some strollers feature a crotch strap that can be bypassed. However, this should not be the case. Industry safety standards require that the crotch strap should always be mandatory whenever the waist strap is in use.
Also, look for harness buckles that are strong and durable. They should be easy for you to operate but much harder for little hands to unfasten. The straps should be securely anchored and adjustable to ensure a proper fit.
More importantly, any restraint system should be a snug fit around your child. To this end, most strollers come with an easy-to-adjust, five-point harness that goes over the shoulders, thighs, and crotch. This kind of system effectively keeps your child from slipping or falling out if the stroller falls over.
2. Brakes
A good parking brake is a must-have feature for any stroller that you want to buy. This means that the brakes are easy to operate and convenient. They should also be able to lock two wheels because this will guarantee you an extra safety margin. Most two-wheel parking brakes can be activated in a single stroke by a bar that is built into the rear of the stroller’s frame.
However, others brakes have tabs above each rear wheel which can be operated by foot. The latter parking brakes require two actions to engage. In this case, try to avoid stroller models that can hurt your feet when you operate these brakes in lightweight shoes or bare feet.
3. Canopy
This is another non-negotiable feature that you should always look out for. Canopies are the best way to protect your child from the sun or adverse weather conditions. You can either check for simple canopies, where a simple piece of fabric is strung up between two wires; or the more sophisticated pull-down options that can cover most of the stroller.

Reversible canopies can protect your child against the elements from all sides. Others also have a clear plastic window at the top. This nifty little addition can help you keep an eye on your child as you go about your daily stroll.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Endless Creation with Strictly Briks ( Review + Giveaway)

Strickly Briks Logo
Product(s) supplied for review purposes. All opinions are may own and were in no way influenced. Thank you to Strictly Briks for sponsoring giveaway. 

For loads of open ended play this holiday season, think Strictly Briks®. The perfect gift for little ones who love to build or enjoy having their imaginations spark.
ABOUT STRICTLY BRIKS®"Creativity has its base® with award-winning Strictly Briks, a hit since 2015. With a mission to provide an affordable platform and structure for kids to build, every product encourages combining with toys already available from action figures and cars to stuffed animals. This is play in a new way. Kids’ creativity shines by building upon stackablebaseplates that grows to whatever is imagined at the moment. At the same time youngsters amass STEM knowledge from engineering to architecture as they play!"       
Strictly Briks® are made here in the USA and are compatible with other building blocks. Strictly Briks® don’t put restrictions on imagination instead you'll find base plates that allow for vertical creations, like your very own doll house, parking garage, etc.

Vertical building blocks

My 3 year old had no problems creating and enjoy every second of interaction with his Strictly Briks® Classic Big Briks set. Even his big sister got in on the action creating the "ultimate home" on more than one occasion. 

holiday toys

What makes Strictly Briks® a unique gift choice this holiday season is how many ways there are to play with Strictly Briks®, and the availability of additional sets and connectors like the 3D play sets and Silicone Briks and Straps that allow for construction of  flexible finishing touches like slides, swings and so much more.  For our first journey with Strictly Briks® we went with the Starter Pack of 119 Big Briks™.

This set includes all the necessities my little guy needed to guide his imagination, from triangles, circles, and half circle base plates to building blocks in a large array of colors that allowed him to build up or across the ground.

building toys

If you're looking to give a gift that can with over and over, added to and reaps the reward of seeing imagination come to life, Strictly Briks® should top the list. Building a creating is universally a rewarding experience for children and one that has lasted generations. Remember your first creation made with a building set? I sure do, and I remember the pride I felt in my creations.

You can find Strictly Briks® at and on  Strictly Briks come in a variety of sets and even offer a toppling game version of blocks! 

Win It:  One lucky reader has the chance to win the Starter Pack of 119 Big Briks™ for ages 3-7 just in time for the holidays!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

5 Things Every Parent Must Do To Prepare Their Home For Winter

It is that time of year again. The weather is turning from hot to cold and this means that it is time to get your home prepared for the winter months. If you are a parent to small children, this can be particularly important as you not only have to care for yourself but also your offspring. Before the weather forecaster begins to call for blizzard-like conditions, make sure that your home is well prepped for the frigid temperatures by following these helpful tips. This article will serve as the perfect guide to preparing for winter.
  1. Insulation. Check your attic and garage to make sure that your home is properly insulated before the frigid weather arrives. The reason for this is that it can make a difference in how you heat your home and the amount of heat that is able to stay in the home decreasing your energy costs. Installing insulation in your attic and garage can keep out wind gusts that could cool down the inside of your home, causing the heater to work harder.
  2. Check your windows and make sure that they are sealed. If your windows are not sealed and caulked properly, cold air can come in to your home which will make your heater have to work harder just as we discussed above with insulation. The best thing to do to ensure that your windows are sealed properly is to check the seals and caulk any that do not look 100% intact. It is best to do this in the fall when temperatures are not hot and humid and it is not quite cold yet.
  3. Make sure that your exterior is prepped as well as the interior. Be sure to clear out your gutters, patch up roof leaks, and rid our property of twigs and other debris. If you are concerned about the condition of your roof, now is the time to have a contractor come out and take a look at it to ensure that it can withstand the heavy snow should you have a big storm. Finally, make sure that you turn off the water spigots outside so that water does not freeze and cause problems during the winter.
  4. Check your heating system. Make sure that your heating system is tuned up and the filter has been changed. It is important to keep your heater in tip top shape so that it runs efficiently throughout the winter months. If you are concerned about the condition of your heater, consider having a professional come to your home to evaluate its condition. This is best to take care of when you are not dependant on your heater. When you are dependant on your heater and you need to make decisions as to how to fix it, you can make a quick decision without weighing all of your options first which could cost you a great deal of money.
  5. Consider adding extra downspouts so that water can run off and stay far away from the foundation of your home. This can keep your home from flooding when there is excess water around the foundation.

Monday, October 23, 2017

3 Reasons that Every Kid Should Experience a Jumping Castle Party

Kids love to have fun especially if it is their special day. And what more interesting and fun thing to have a party than a jumping castle! These play inflatable toys have always been attractive items at any child’s party. While you can also add other fun activities and interesting toys in a children’s party, nothing compares to the excitement a jumping castle can provide. It also allows them to interact with other kids. It’s a great way to bring them together without too much effort.

Here are three reasons why every kid should experience a jumping castle party.

1. It encourages social interaction.

It is important for a child to have a great social interaction. It is a great learning opportunity to be able to play with other kids and gives emotional benefits to a young mind. Being able to interact with other children can develop a child’s confidence and self-esteem which they will need in the future. Even a shy kid will enjoy after playing on bouncy castles and allow them to get out of their shell. Jumping castles also allow a child to develop his or her character as little things such as not bumping to each other will matter. These seemingly little things that they learn through social interaction will accumulate and will soon become big things that they will need later on in life.

2. It is a great workout for kids.

It isn’t just the adults who need to work out regularly. Even the kids who are known to have a seemingly unlimited energy also need to work out. Having a jumping castle party for your kid will allow him or her and his peers to workout. Not only does it allow them to engage in a meaningful conversation with other kids, it also allows them to have a healthy exercise. It’s a win-win situation because it helps them both physically and mentally. And it does not have to end on children’s party. A bouncy castle for your kid that he or she can easily access every day can help them with weight loss and management. However, if you do not wish to buy one, you can also opt for kids jumping castle hire. It’s fast and convenient and you do not have to worry about setting it up as these toy companies will take care of it for you.

3. It helps them develop their communication skills.

Communication skills are important as your kid grows into adulthood. When you have it, and if you are better at it, the better your life would be. And having great communication skills starts at childhood. Developing a kid's communication skills will allow them to understand and express their thoughts, feelings, and information. Being able to play in a jumping castle will allow them to make better connections with their friends and eventually allow them to hone strong language skills. The more interactive an activity is, the more chances your kid can develop his or her communication skills.