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:
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!
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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
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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
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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!
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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!
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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.
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Find the best gifts for everyone on your list with The Mindfully Scientific Mama Holiday Gift Guide 2021!
Be sure to check out my holiday shopping tips for 2021 before you get started!
Find the best products at great prices here!
Hot toys? Check!
Early Black Friday Deals? Check!
Unique, Handmade, or American Made gifts? Check!
Check out lists by topic below:
Gift Lists For Kids
Gift Lists for Adults
Gift Lists for the Entire Family
Find reviews on and recommendations for great gift products here:
Also be sure to check out my Christmas Guide for printables, activities, inspiration, and more.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more here.
Electronics frequently top wishlists, but gadgets get PRICEY. Thankfully, deals abound, and have started early. For a limited time, you can score up to 50% off on tech the entire family will love.
Grab these amazing deals on TVs, headphones, digital camera, smart home devises, and more, before they are gone!
Disclaimer: These deals are current as of Monday 11/15. This post will be updated periodically to reflect changes in sales.
31% Off - iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550) Robot Vacuum
10% Off - GoPro HERO10 Black
Share or Save These Deals!!
Traditions and Ideas to Make Santa Even More Magical!
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 helps support my small business. If you would like to learn more, click here.
Santa is a fun part of many families' Christmas celebrations. A prime example of the magic of childhood, Santa is a great way to build excitement for the season. Many of us have Santa traditions from when we were young, but as I've learned from being a parent, there are always ways to make things even more amazing for our children.
Here is some inspiration for how to make the Santa tradition even more magical and exciting this year!
1. Use dedicated wrapping paper for gifts from Santa. Print labels or disguise handwriting on tags.
I remember wondering why Santa used the same wrapping paper as my parents when I was a child. Today, I make sure that Santa sends all gifts with special wrapping paper, and when relevant, tags. You can also use plain brown paper and decorative twine to wrap gifts, which gives a classic look. While younger children won't know the difference, the small details matter a lot in making Christmas all the more magical!
2. Bake cookies for Santa, and leave one or more by the fireplace overnight with milk (or a milk alternative). Make sure to take a bite, or eat it and leave crumbs for Christmas morning! (Bonus: leave carrots for the reindeer)
We started baking cookies for Santa with our child last year, and can't wait to do it again in 2021! Last year we made and decorated fresh gingerbread men on Christmas Eve, and made sure to leave one for Santa. This is a tradition I didn't have as a child, and it is one I've loved bringing into my home. We didn't leave milk out overnight, of course, but we did put some out while our son was awake!!
To make things even more special (remember those details that matter so much?) we have a special Santa cookie plate, and a dedicated mug to leave his milk in.
3. Never give big gifts from Santa; leave small, meaningful gifts that kids will still appreciate.
If you are getting your child the hottest toy or a big/special gift, don't let Santa take the credit. You worked hard to afford that gift!!! Your child will find magic in, and appreciation for, Santa... whatever Santa brings. That said, Santa always sends our children something they will love, not just practical gifts. We just make sure the present is something smaller. Stocking stuffers also come from Santa, which means fun trinkets, tasty (and allergy safe) treats, meaningful mementos like ornaments, and sometimes practical items, too. These gifts only arrive Christmas morning, making the surprise extra special.
4. Write letters or send cards to Santa
My little one was too young to send a letter to Santa last year, but this year he is excited to send a picture! There are tons of ways to make this tradition special, and have it be developmentally appropriate. If your children are very young, letter templates or coloring are nice ways to write to Santa. Older children may want to handwrite a note or create a card. Get creative, and have fun!
Looking for a great letter template? You can also grab your free letter to Santa template here.
5. Start reading Santa books and doing seasonal craft/activities early in the season to build excitement
We usual start with Santa and Christmas everything on Thanksgiving, with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (though this year an early arrival of a Santa book from a family member and missing out on so much last year has lead us to doing a bit of Christmas even earlier). Santa books, Santa and Christmas activities, Christmas movies, decorations..... it is all Christmas, as much as possible!!
Highly Rated Options
6. Focus on your child's heart, not good or bad behavior.
And, Santa watching us when we are sleeping? Well, that is just plain creepy. Okay, we sing the song, but in explaining it? We make sure our kids know that it is just a song. Santa won't be spying through any windows at our home!
7. Visit Santa (in person or virtually), but don't force it.
Visiting Santa can be an exciting tradition, but for some children, it feels more scary than fun. If your child doesn't respond well to strangers in character, or is very shy, consider whether visiting Santa would be less magical and more upsetting. With recent events, virtual Santa visits have become a great alternative to in person!! And, in Westchester, we also have a chance to see Santa at a distance at our local drive through light show. Many other communities offer similar events, so be sure to look and see what is available near you. These distance events are an excellent way to see Santa while not upsetting young, stranger adverse children (and while being safe if there are high case rates in your area).
8. Track Santa on Christmas Eve.
If you aren't already doing so, make sure to track Santa on Christmas Eve! NORAD has an awesome feature allowing families to see where Santa is on his epic journey, so if you haven't used it yet, definitely check it out.
Love these ideas? Be sure to check out my entire Christmas Guide!
And don't forget to make sure you are prepared for holiday shopping with my 2021 holiday shopping tips!
Be sure to save and share these ideas with other families!!
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
Find more recipes, product recommendations, activities, and more!
View my author page for Westchester County Mom here.
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