Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and commissions earned support my family as a small business owner! You can learn more about my participation in this program here. Please also note, deals may not last until Black Friday! Grab them while you can. The Mindfully Scientific Mama makes no guarantees that these items will remain on sale long after publication date, but all were available at time of publishing. Expiration dates for sales are stated when possible.
Why wait until Black Friday to start shopping for the holidays? With early Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, now you don't have to! Get started with Part I of my Early Deals guide.... and stay tuned for even more great deals on gifts the entire family will love!
Early Deals for Babies and Toddlers
Through November 21st at 2:29AM - Save on Baby Einstein My First Library Board Books! (36% off)
It is never too early to start reading to your baby.... and since young children who are read to by caregivers have a leg up on learning to read fluently, it is absolutely worth getting started ASAP. Board books are a great way to let little hands work on preliteracy skills such as page turning, and this pack of 12 looks like a great way to get a head start on a library your little one can start using on their own.
This Itzy Ritzy teether is perfect as a baby stocking stuffer! My family loves the Itzy Ritzy brand; their products are adorable and high quality. I've been using an Itzy Ritzy diaper bag for baby 2, and regret I didn't buy one sooner. We also love the Itzy Ritzy line of teethers. As the mom of a baby, it can be hard to find cute stocking stuffers... but this one certainly fits the bill. You can find a ton of other varieties that aren't seasonal as well.
Skip Hop is one of my favorite brands of baby products. Their toys are well designed, educational, and if you ever need customer service, I've had amazing experiences with them. There are a few Skip Hop items on sale right now, so be sure to check them out if shopping for baby!
This #1 Best Seller from Skip Hop is currently on sale for 20% off! And, unlike walkers (which are NOT recommended by doctors due to risk of injury), activity centers are okay as long as your baby's hips are aligned correctly and they do not use them for an excessive amount of time. Thank goodness, because this Skip Hop center is CUTE as can be!
Early Deals for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Easy and Affordable: Print and create a busy book for your toddler or preschooler!
This busy book download is available on sale until December 7th, 2022! Grab it before the price increases. You can learn more about how to use this download to create your busy book here. Doing so is as easy as putting the pages in a folder, but I love using my laminator, page protectors, and velcro to create a durable, reusable product. Also be sure to check out my Instagram feed and stories for even more about this printable pack!
Christmas Themed Busy Book
Celebrate the Christmas season with my holiday themed busy book! Great for ages 2-6, this printable offers nearly 50 pages of fun and educational activities, including:
Early Deals on Toys
My son is OBSESSED with Magna-Tiles, and for a limited time, this massive set is on sale for 15% off. Grab it while it lasts!
Deals for Your Home
Deals on Hamilton Beach Small Appliances
With all the cooking and baking we do in my home, small appliances are always a welcome gift. If you've been waiting to purchase new ones for your home, now might be the perfect time! There are loads of Hamilton Beach appliances on sale, including the ones pictured below.
You may also love.....
For the Evidence Based Mama: 'Science Doesn't Care What You Think' Tee
"Science Doesn't Care What You Think" Ladies' short sleeve t-shirt
$18.00 - $20.50
Show your support for fact over opinion with this Mindfully Scientific Mama tee. It is super-soft, form-fitting, and breathable, with a slightly lower neckline than a classic t-shirt.
• 50% polyester, 25% cotton, 25% rayon
• Pre-shrunk fabric
• 40 singles
• Slim fit
• Ribbed crew neck with set-in sleeves
Didn't see anything that strikes your fancy? Check back soon for Part II of my Early Black Friday Deals guide, and keep an eye out for even more gift guides for this holiday season. And don't forget to share the love by clicking save to Pinterest below!
Also check out my Christmas Guide for even more seasonal crafts, activities, gift guides, and lots of other great holiday content!
Including great holiday inspiration, such as:
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no additional cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more here.
We all want our children to be healthy and safe. But when it comes to safe sleep, we are inundated with unsafe options marketed as safe ways to help our babies sleep better and longer.... and it is easy to cave, because sleep is critical for them, and us. It is no surprise that infant sleep is associated with maternal mental health, among other health factors (for both children and parents).
Weeding through what is safe and unsafe can feel overwhelming. Guidance has changed periodically (meaning advice from older relatives is often not safe), product recalls occur with some regularity, and there are far too many non-evidence based sources providing unsafe guidance that appeals to our emotions as caregivers.
As an evidence based parent, I've continued to find balancing safe sleep with getting sleep a learning process.
But there are a few straight forward basic rules that I've found are easy to follow. Those apply to your crib's setup and products used within the crib itself!
Your baby may start sleeping in their crib immediately, or they may move to it after a bassinet (which is what our kids did). Whenever they start using it, here are a few ways to ensure they sleep safely AND comfortably!
(The following has been adapted from the American Academy of Pediatric's Infant Sleep Guidelines)
What's In and Around My Baby's Crib?
Notice something about the staging in the bedding set image? If you say "no blankets in the crib", you would be right! Blankets should never be left in a crib with an infant. And that mobile that is in the image (and on my infant's crib) will need to be moved as soon as she starts to show signs she will begin to sit.
Stay tuned to my blog for even more evidence based tips on how to keep baby safe while sleeping!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and commissions help support my small business. You can learn more here.
It is no secret that autumn is my favorite season! Living in the northeast, and coming from New England (not far from Salem, MA), I have been obsessed with all things fall since I was a child. It stands to reason, then, that I would have explored tons of great family friendly activities.
There are hundreds of great things to do during the autumn season... here are 50 of my favorites!!
Autumn crafts you'll love
Candle scents you'll love this season:
The Mindfully Scientific Mama now has a store!!!
Check out these fun seasonal products!
Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice Steel Tumbler [In Orange]
Enjoy hot or cold drinks on the go with this stylish stainless steel tumbler! This reusable tumbler with a metal straw is a perfect combo for hot or cold drinks at any time of the day.
• High-grade stainless steel tumbler
• 20 oz (600 ml)
• Tumbler size: 3.11″ × 8.42″ (7.9 cm × 21.4 cm)
• Straw and lid included with the tumbler
• A cylindrical shape (top to bottom) featuring 360 printable area
• Matte finish
• Protective color layer (varnish)
Framed Autumn Bucket List Post
$22.00 - $86.00
Make a statement in any room with this framed poster, printed on thick, durable, matte paper. The matte black frame that's made from wood from renewable forests adds an extra touch of class.
• Ayous wood .75″ (1.9 cm) thick frame from renewable forests
• Paper thickness: 10.3 mil (0.26 mm)
• Paper weight: 5.57 oz/y² (189 g/m²)
• Acrylite front protector
• Hanging hardware included
• Blank product components in the US sourced from Japan and the US
• Blank product components in the EU sourced from Japan and Latvia
Pumpkin spice products to check out
Find Hudson Valley hiking inspiration on Mama's Hiking the Hudson!
Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project
Find great non-candy treats for Trick or Treat or Halloween Parties
Happy Fall, the Best Season of All!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and commissions earned help support my small business. You can learn more here.
Creating the Best Indoor Obstacle Course for Your Toddler or Preschooler
My family has been stuck inside a lot recently. Between winter, getting sick, and school closures, getting out has been tough. It doesn't help that I am in my third trimester and on strict rest orders, so even on warmer days going outside to play in our yard isn't always an option. But kids need to keep their bodies moving, right?
Keeping my child active indoors is essential. He is super energetic, and if I don't find constructive ways to help him move, he will find his own. This has been the case since he was quite young, so fortunately I've accumulated a lot of practice! How have I kept my active child moving while stuck indoors?
One of our favorite ways to get him moving inside is by building obstacle courses.
These are easy to do without purchasing new equipment of course! That's right; obstacle courses are easy to build with things you already have at home. Here are a few things you'll find around your house to help you build tunnels, climbing structures, balance beams, and more:
How to create an indoor obstacle course, plus some tips to keep your child engaged:
While you may wind up setting up obstacle courses for your child, you may also find over time that your child builds them on their own (mine certainly does). If you didn't register this reading that last sentence.... you doing obstacle courses with your child provides an outlet to develop independent play skills that rely on gross motor ability, and get your child moving in a constructive way indoors. I'd say that is a major perk of doing activities like this with your little one!
Obstacle Course Equipment Your Kids will Love
Just because you don't have to buy equipment for your obstacle course doesn't mean you won't want to. We have been collecting lots of great items we use regularly, and I know your child will love as much as mind does. Here are the best products for creating an indoor obstacle course!
We got this tunnel when my child was about 18 months, and he is still using it years later. It has held up very well (and that includes to my cats' claws, not that I recommend letting your kitties use the tunnel as a toy), and continues to be a staple for all kinds of indoor play.
We have the Climb and Crawl Activity Set, but ECR4Kids makes a ton of different options your child is sure to love. By the way, even though these are geared towards toddlers and preschoolers, we've had elementary school age friends' children enjoy them as well!
More ECR4Kids SoftZone block sets your kids will love!
These were a new addition to our collection, and were an instant favorite. From using them for obstacle courses to building cars and buses (using the blocks as seats) and using them to help build car tracks, my child finds new ways to play every day!
The Nugget Couch
Unless you have been living under a rock or are a new parent, you have heard of The Nugget. Is it worth the hype? Yes. But it is pricy. Thankfully there are plenty of great nugget alternatives available on the market if you don't want to buy the original! Here are some highly rated options:
Highly Rated Products that Look Promising
Share the Inspiration
Valentine's Day Guide for 2022
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and commissions help support my small business. You can learn more here.
With the popularity of my Christmas Guide the last two years, it seemed like it was time to launch a Valentine's Day Guide, too! I've been hard at work on some great seasonal content, and will be rolling tons more out over the weeks leading up the February 14th.
For now, be sure to check out the following Valentine's Day Content:
Free Valentine's Day Coloring Pages
Grab this free mini Valentine's Day Coloring book for free NOW! It is available for Instant Download below.
Valentine's Day Pinterest Board
You can find a ton of great Valentine's Day content curated from around the web on my Valentine's Day Pinterest Board!
Valentine's Day Fireplace Mantle Decorations
Full post coming soon!
Share the Love
DIY Valentine's Day Sign or Homemade Valentine's Day Cards Made Easy!
This Valentine's Day craft is fun and easy, even for toddlers and preschoolers! Get creative using simple arts and crafts materials. Make a DIY sign, or use for homemade Valentine's Day cards. Here is how to make your own XOXO craft!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Download and print! These printable stencils are free and available for instant download.
WHAT TO DO
Share the Love!
Highly Rated Valentine's Day Books for Kids
Looking to add some new seasonal books to your little library? I've put together a list of highly rated Valentine's Day themed books your kids are sure to love!!! Do you have any favorites on this list?
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and commissions earned helped support my small business. You can learn more here.
Valentine's Day Books for Babies and Toddlers
It is never too early to start reading to your children! If you are looking for ways to share Valentine's Day with your infant or younger toddler, the following book is highly rated and has Valentine's day concepts presented in a developmental appropriate manner.
Valentine's Day Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
My preschooler is obsessed with Daniel Tiger, and I'm not complaining. Emotions, social skills, and life skills are HARD, especially for little ones, and Daniel Tiger's lessons have been super helpful for my child's social emotional development and independence (really; we use the songs and concepts to manage big feelings and situations throughout the day!). We have tons of great Daniel Tiger books, so between that and the ratings, this book is sure to make your toddler or preschooler happy!
The Little Blue Truck books have been favorites in my home for awhile now, so of course The Little Blue Truck's Valentine would make an appearance on this list!
Valentine's Day Picture Books
Picture books are a fun way to share a love for literature with young children, starting as soon as their attention permits. My child has loved reading longer books since he was an infant, but by age 2-3 most children are able to sit for long enough to enjoy books like the ones below. When are kids too old to read picture books? Many younger elementary students continue to love family and teachers reading picture books, even once they can read on their own. Picture books can also be wonderful for early readers who aren't ready for chapter books. Some benefits of reading aloud for elementary students include the opportunity to model prediction, fluency, and decoding skills!
Harvey The Heart Had Too Many Farts: A Rhyming Read Aloud Story Book For Kids And Adults About Farting and Friendship
Looking for a silly Valentine's read? This book is highly rated, and while it might seem a little gross, what kid doesn't like laughing about bodily functions? Plus, the book rhymes, which is great for promoting phonological awareness.
Valentine's Day Books for Elementary Students
Just because many seasonal and holiday books are geared towards younger children doesn't mean you can't find great options for slightly older kids, too. Junie B. Jones and Amelia Bedelia are both beloved series for elementary school students, and both offer Valentine's Day texts!
Valentine's Day Activity Books
More Great Valentine's Day Content
Share the Love!!!
How is 2021 already coming to an end?! In celebration of the New Year, I'm looking back at your favorite content from 2021. This past year you loved my kids activities, food allergy content, and gift guides the most.... at least after my top rated post!
With masks remaining an essential tool for staying healthy in 2021, it is no surprise readers continued to love this post (originally published in 2020)! If you haven't checked it out, be sure to do so! The organization system is great for a ton of essentials, not just masks, so it is worth having even once our current crisis has passed.
You can find the entire post here.
Top 10 Posts Published in 2021
The following are your favorite posts published in the past year:
Topics: Product recommendations, toddlers, preschoolers
Some of my preschooler's favorite toys from earlier this year. He loves him, and your 2 or 3 year old will, too!
Topics: Spring, kids crafts, Easter crafts, activities for preschoolers
With spring around the corner, you'll definitely want to check out this easy craft!
Topics: Food allergies, Easter, holidays, health, spring
My tried and true tips for staying healthy and safe with food allergies this Easter.
Topics: Christmas, holidays, winter, Christmas crafts, Christmas activities
This is one of my more recent posts, but quickly became a fan favorite. Be sure to bookmark it for next Christmas!
Topics: Easter, spring crafts, preschool activities, sensory activities, toddler activities
These plastic Easter egg crafts are simple and fun; perfect for spring, or any time of the year!
Topics: Halloween, free printables, busy books, free worksheets, preschool activities, literacy activities
Even if you aren't a Halloween 365 days a year person, you still need to check out my 10 Timid Ghosts posts. BE sure to bookmark it for next Halloween season.
Topics: holidays, gift guides, Father's Day
Father's Day will be here before we know it, so be sure to bookmark these great ideas. They are also perfect for birthdays or other special occasions.
Topics: food allergies, evidence based parenting, health
There are loads of myths out there about food allergies. Learn more about the facts here.
Topics: food, recipes, family
This family favorite is perfect for a cold winter day! Plus, it is healthy and an easy way to get your little ones to eat veggies!
Topics: holidays, gift guides, Mother's Day
These gifts for mom are great for Mother's Day, birthdays, and beyond.
Other Top Posts
Some of your favorite posts weren't published in 2021. Here are the remaining top 5 posts from 2021.... all published in 2020! They ranked as some of the most popular on my page, despite being a little older.
#2 The Big One (Birthday Theme)
Topics: birthdays, celebrations, kids activities, free printables
This birthday theme was meant for 1st birthdays, but can be used for any age. Plus, many of the activities are perfect for everyday use. You can find this fan favorite here.
#3 Salt Dough
Topics: recipes, sensory activities, toddlers, preschoolers, homemade gifts
My salt dough post is another perennial favorite (originally published right after my blog was launched, almost 2 years ago!) to make the list this year. Check out my recipe, tips for using salt dough in educational activities, and how to use salt dough for ornaments or keepsakes.
Topics: recipes, celebrations, summer, kids activities, cooking with kids, baking
This fun take on the traditional dirt cup is perfect for celebrations, rainy day fun, preschool classrooms, and more. Check it out here.
#5 Body Tracing
Topics: preschool activities, toddler activities, literacy, homeschooling
Body tracing is a common classroom activity, but it is also great to do at home. Get my tips for how to make it an educational activity here.
What was your favorite post of 2021? Be sure to comment below to let me know!
Share the Love!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any commissions earned help support my small business, and my participation in this program comes at no added cost to you. You can learn more here.
We are excitedly preparing for Christmas in our home, and part of that is doing tons of Christmas themed activities. As was the case last year, I put together our seasonal busy book and other printables for my little one to use, and he is still thoroughly enjoying them.
My newly released Christmas printable busy book pack [download] has almost 50 pages of fun and learning!
Not ready to buy? You can subscribe here for access to even more free Christmas printables (long time subscribers, you may already have this pack free if you downloaded it previously, as it was made available to you free of charge in 2021).
What is available in the paid pack? Alphabet and writing activities, craft templates, fine motor/cutting practice, puzzles, color awareness activity, number and matching activities, and more!
Christmas Themed Busy Book
Celebrate the Christmas season with my holiday themed busy book! Great for ages 2-6, this printable offers nearly 50 pages of fun and educational activities, including:
Tips for Creating Your Winter Busy Book
Gather your supplies:
Create your book:
Find more great Christmas activities and content!
Grab a Letter to Santa template (available for free and as an instant download), get ideas for winter and Christmas sensory activities and crafts, and more. Find that all in my Christmas Guide!
Share the love!
The Best Christmas Books for Kids
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Commissions earned help support my small business, and my participation in this program comes at no added cost to you. You can learn more here.
One of my family's favorite ways to welcome any season is with books. My child is an avid "reader" (I write it that way because he is working on preliteracy skills and loves to read with anyone willing to share a book with him), and with all the excitement of the Christmas season, it is no surprise he has some favorite holiday books this year.
If you are looking to share the spirit of the season with a child in your life, check out these highly rated and family favorite book options!!!
Favorites from Our Home
My child is going through a serious Santa phase right now, but also is beginning to appreciate the story of Jesus' birth. With that in mind, here are his favorite reads this year!!
You can also find location specific versions, including for US cities, states, and even Canada and specific providences!! Here are a few of the ones available:
A few of the other MANY available versions include:
This classic is an obvious candidate for inclusion on any kids Christmas book list, and for good reason! The poem has been a staple in homes during this season for generations now, and the illustrations in this specific book are stunning. If you haven't added it to your Christmas list, I definitely recommend doing so!
My preschooler absolutely loves this board book. It offers an account of Jesus' birth in a simple, easy to understand format, and is short enough to easily keep a toddler's attention. It also has great sensory elements for babies and younger toddlers. If you aren't a Christian family but like to learn about other religious beliefs (maybe you are Unitarian Universalist, an interfaith family, or appreciate world religions and sharing that with your child), this book is great because it isn't too religious. However, it is religious enough to be great for Christian homes, too!
This fresh take on the classic Gingerbread Man story is paired with Jan Brett's typical gorgeous illustrations. A definite favorite for pairing with baking our Christmas cookies and making our gingerbread house each year!!
We love Jan Brett in our home, so it is no surprise that her work is appearing twice on this list. The Wild Christmas Reindeer is about one elf's journey to prepare some rowdy reindeer for their big Christmas flight.... and how she grows as a result!!!
Recommended by Other Families
Because I can't read every book, I've scoured the internet to grab a short list of recommended kids reads. Each of these books is very highly rated from other families (and some I've read myself, too!). Whether you are looking for a classic Christmas book, a secular option, or a religious option, you are sure to find a new book your child will love on this list!
Classic Christmas Books
This book is on our gift list, and we look forward to recommending it next Christmas. This perennial family favorite is a must include on any Christmas book list for its popularity!! It is actually rated #1 for kids books about trains on Amazon!!
PS: While not yet one of my child's favorite books, I do love The Polar Express and can genuinely recommend it to other families!
Like The Polar Express, this best seller isn't just a movie! Dr. Seuss' seasonal classic is a must have in any kids Christmas library.
PS: While not yet one of my child's favorite books, I do love Dr. Seuss books (including this one) and can genuinely recommend it to other families!
Popular Secular Children's Books
My child has a book from this series, and absolutely loves it. If you have a truck obsessed child, Construction Site on Christmas Night is a great inclusion for your library.
Religious Christmas Books
If you are a Christian home looking for scripture based children's books, here are a few highly rated options to consider this year.
Share or Save this Post
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
Find more recipes, product recommendations, activities, and more!
View my author page for Westchester County Mom here.
Disclaimer: Content on this website is meant for informational and educational purposes. Nothing found on The Mindfully Scientific Mama constitutes medical or psychological advice. Always consult a profession in the respect field for advice specific to your situation. Read more about this site's terms and conditions here.