Category: For kids

The midsummer tomte and the little rabbits

The Midsummer Tomte and the Little Rabbits

You might remember around Christmas I shared one of my most favorite children’s book — Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits. It is one of those stories that touches deep into my heart and makes me feel like a little child where everything around me is magical again! And I can read over and over and over again with my boys. And now that it is summer, I wanted to share another book about the very same Tomte and little rabbits, but this time it is about Midsummer, or Summer Solstice, celebration.

Midsummer isn’t something that is celebrated in my home culture or here in America, but ever since I was a child I wished there was some special celebration during the summer when we would decorate everything with beautiful flowers, stay up late playing outside all into the night, eating special foods and listening to live music. Wouldn’t that be so beautiful?!

And then I came across this this lovely story that weaves together magical creatures, animals, traditions and seasons into a wonderful and charming story where they celebrate summer, decorate everything with flowers, sing songs and dance all night! Just like I always dreamed. πŸ™‚

So I hope you read on and fall in love with this book as much as we did!

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Best summer sandals for the little feet

pololo children leather sandals nontoxic children footwear

With the long awaited summer being upon us I wanted to do this little post about children’s sandals that are so loved in our family. One of the main reasons for this blog was to share the products for children that are non-toxic, comfortable and sustainably made. I found such items hard to find in US, unfortunately. I think it is sad that craftsmen and boutiques have hard time staying in business due to competition with big corporations that flood the market with cheap, low quality merchandise which is often toxic and was produced at great cost to our environment and people making them. So when I find yet another brand, store, maker who offers us a different choice — I’m particularly excited to get it for my children and to share it with others.

This is not a sponsored post in any way. Just sharing the good things, since they aren’t easy to find in the ocean of the internet.

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Natural rubber rain boots for children

children rain shoes review

As always, this is not a sponsored post. The reason for the post is to merely share with other mamas brands that are sustainable and make great things for our little wildlings to help them be comfortable, healthy and spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Jumping in puddles is one of the biggest joys of childhood as I remember it. πŸ™‚ Another one is being able to get really dirty or stump around in wet, slushy, dirty mud. Recently we got both boys their first pair of wellies (rain boots) so they could do exactly that — stump through mud, jump in puddles and any combination of these two beloved activities. πŸ™‚ And they have been a priceless addition to their outdoor gear both in cold and warm weather, in the forest as well as in the garden.

While there are many rain shoes on Amazon and possibly department stores I learned not all are of equal impact on the environment, some are considered toxic and of course there is quality of craftsmanship to take into account. So I wanted to share with you here the shoes we love and recommend; other brands we tried and what we didn’t like about them; some of the information on the natural rubber rain shoes vs PVC ones. Basically all that I learned and discovered so far on the topic of rain shoes to help you find the best ones for your little wild creature at home πŸ™‚

Bisgaard rain shoes review
kids natural rubber rain shoes review
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1001 Things to Spot book series

If you are looking for some fun educational books for your little willings these series are really wonderful. They are among the favorite for both of our boys since their youngest age. What makes these books so great in my option, is that they are reach in content, yet the content is presented in simple ways and easy to grasp portions. And the illustrations are fairly realistic. Each page in one of these books shows an eco-system, such as forest, garden, vegetable patch, ocean, sea shore, desert, etc. And on each page there is a list of creatures that are to be spotted on the page and a number showing how many of them there are.

It aligns with my belief of learning through play is the best way. And here they learn both about natural world and numbers in a playful way.

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Learning about Penguins:
beautiful animated film + books

children books about penguins

Hello, I wanted to share with you a few things we’ve been enjoying and learning about penguins from. It is nothing major, but it is fun, beautiful and educational and is a good introduction into the subject of Antarctica and the fascinating creatures living there.

Our boys’ love for penguins started with a beautiful Russian/Japanese animated film called “Lolo the Penguin”. To parallel their love for Lolo I found them a wonderful little book about penguins that they have been going over and over on their own or with us reading it to them. I also found some good brief videos about penguins on youtube. And lastly we have large Maps book with very beautiful map of Antartica that we reference as well to see where the penguins live and who else live there.

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Our children’s play room

kids room decor ideas toy storage kids
kids room decor ideas toy storage kids
kids room decor ideas toy storage kids

Hello friends, and Happy New Year! I thought to start the year by sharing with you some of the things from our boys’ play room (our former home office). We all want our kids room being beautiful and Pinterest and Instagram have endless feeds with inspiration. But when I searched for the room decor and organization ideas I came to notice that a lot of those pretty rooms didn’t seem to be designed truly for children, but instead designed by adults for other adults to admire :). For example, the storage is often such that children simply can’t reach many areas on their own, the wall art is abstract, the objects like maps, Earth globes and clocks are too high to be seen well should children feel curious. And then lots and lots of purely decorative little things all over the walls to give mamas extra cleaning to do.

In arranging the boys play room we wanted to make sure that it was most importantly designed for them. That it was organized in a way where they could easily reach what they needed and easily put things in order afterwards. And lastly so that it’d be fairly easy for me to dust, mop, etc. It took few trials to find the furniture and storage we felt worked really well for us, but I think it finally came together really lovely. It is airy, cozy and beautiful. It has lots of storage as well as plenty of play space, reading area and beautiful educational art and objects.

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Our little indoor Monkey Wall

kids room decor ideas toy storage kids

Monkey walls like this with much more fun parts to climb on are very common in Russia, and as you might know from my previous post on this topic called “A space for little monkeys to be monkeys” I’ve been really wanting to have one for the boys room. Surprisingly these seem to be nearly impossible to find here in America. And after searching high and low the ones I did find are actually from Russia/Ukraine anyway. πŸ™‚ Ordering one from Russia with all the cool things as I wanted was really expensive due to all the freight charges, but fortunately few months ago I cam across this product and it was very reasonably priced. (This is not a sponsored post.)

While our monkey wall is very basic it nonetheless given our boys a lot of opportunities to try themselves at new physical challenges, experience a bit of risk and acquire new skills. All of which are so good for their development both physical and mental. In this post I cover some more details about it, where you can buy it if you are interested and share a very cool video of a 3 year old girl doing all sorts of amazing fits of acrobatics on a similar equipment at her home. Hoper you enjoy πŸ™‚

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The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits

children Christmas story winter books Yuletide story

Here is a post on one of my personal favorite Christmas-themed books of all times! To be perfectly honest, the story is still a bit long for my boys who are 3.5 and 1.5 years old. I tired reading it with Alexandros by breaking it down into parts, but somehow couldn’t quite get him into the story. Part of the thing, he is really into snakes, dinosaurs and maps right now. Currently on his Charismas gift list is a cobra. He understand Santa can’t bring him a real one from India as a cobra just wouldn’t like it, so he says he is OK with that, just wants a toy cobra that is very realistic! Earlier our Christmas list had a live tarantula and an anaconda. πŸ™‚ So…. the cute bunnies aren’t quite cutting it for him as far as the story goes πŸ™‚

But in any case, this story is so good and the illustrations are so wonderful that I think this book is one of those classic ones you can read over and over again throughout your entire childhood and later. I re-read it every winter. So here it is.

children Christmas story winter books Yuletide story
children Christmas story winter books Yuletide story
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Bisgaard — real winter shoes for kids

Bisgaard winter shoes for kids in America

Hello, friends! It’s been long time since I got a chance to get to my blog to share with you some of our latest finds for the little ones and our ways to make our home and lifestyle more sustainable and healthy. We have new and very exciting project in the making here that has been taking all of our free time for the past couple months. I’m looking forward to share it with you very soon, but if you follow me on Instagram you probably already know what it is πŸ˜‰

So, here is a very short post to share with you my latest find that I’m very excited about — the real winter shoes for children. Having warm and comfortable winter shoes for the winter is so essential to getting the kids out no matter the weather, but strangely finding shoes that are really warm (like, actually warm!), flexible and comfortable has been a real challenge here in America, at least in my experience. Last winter I found these shoes from Bogs which are great and this year we bought another pair of those shoes. We still use those shoes most of the days as it hasn’t been that cold here in Colorado yet and we had very little snow. So I still highly recommend the Bogs shoes for not very cold weather. But when the temperature drops to -10C/14F and below these are the shoes to keep little feet warm — the Bisgaard Tex boot.

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Children’s snow suits:
non-toxic + made from recycled plastic bottles

non-toxic children snowsuits design fashion slow fashion children brands

I wanted to share with you a quick post about these beautiful snow suits I got for both boys from our beloved Lea and Jojo. You might have seen this blog post on a rain jacket we have that is made from recycled plastic bottles. And just like their wonderful rain jackets the snowsuits are also made from 100% recycled plastic bottles as well as being certified non-tofus, thus free of formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals.

I highly recommend their products, and here few reasons what makes them so special.

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Room on the Broom this Halloween!

Room on the broom book

This year Ale unexpectedly got very excited about Halloween. All the way back in August. He patiently waited till October and till the leaves would start turning color. But when first leaves turned red and yellow there was no holding him back! And it is amazing how children bring back the magic into grown up lives as all of us, even my mom who is not into any of the Halloween themed things, got excited with him and got busy crafting skeletons and witch hats, baking ghost cookies, carving pumpkins and making all sorts of things to make Ale’s Halloween dreams come true. πŸ™‚

My boys are very young, so when it came to Halloween themed books I was very fortunate to have come across this most lovely book. It is so perfect for children. The story is short and told in catchy rhymes, the characters and endearing and the story is very positive. And because it is told as a rhyme it is fun to remember and play out. And turns out there are so many beautiful online resources accompanying this book, so you could make coloring pages, puppet theater and much more.

And last, but not least, we were delighted to discover that there is actually an incredibly beautiful animated film created based on this book and is available on iTunes. Needless to say we watched it a million times over laughing and enjoying every little bit of it.

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Autumn books, part 2:
Books about seasons by Gerda Muller

Autumn books for children Gerda Muller

Welcome to my next post in the series on beautiful books about fall for children. This post features books by Gerda Muller. If you look through all my post on children’s books you’ll see that I frequently write about her books for children. They are truly are absolutely wonderful.

What we love about them

  • Incredibly beautiful, realistic and detailed illustrations giving children wealth of information about world around them
  • The stories are always about children’s interaction with nature — walking and playing in the forest, gardening and so on
  • Her numerous books on seasons beautifully present to children the seasonal changes that take place around them, what to look for and fun activities each season has to offer
  • Books also teach children about friendship and family

Children’s Age

Both of my sons were extremely interested in these books from about 5 months old onward. Eleon, who is a bit more independent, could be frequently found going through one of Gerda Muller books for the last many months. And with Ale those were our bed time stories for many months straight!

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Autumn books, part 1:
Books by the magical Elsa Beskow

Woody, Haze and Little Peep by Elsa Beskow

This weekend we are having our first cold weather here in Colorado’s Front Range. No frost yet (whew!), but rather cool nights. So the trees turned color everywhere you look to most beautiful jewel tones. As much as I miss summer already I can’t deny of how beautiful this time of year is. Simply breathtaking!

And while browsing Instagram I’ve been seeing some beautiful posts about fall books, so I got inspired to feature some of our books that are themed around autumn. And the first post in this series is about our latest new book — the stunning “Woody, Hazel and Little Pip” by the extraordinary and magical Elsa Beskow. And I also thought the “Children of the Forest” was very fitting here as well, as even though it is not strictly about fall, it is about seasons and it is another gorgeous book by my beloved Elsa Beskow.

So here are just a few pictures I took to share with you just how stunning they are! I highly recommend them as the stories are also absolutely lovely. Please note that these books come as large format books and mini books. I highly recommend to get the large ones, as you really get to appreciate the beauty of illustrations. See below the list of our favorite online stores where you can find these books in both formats.

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Learning about butterflies with children

children books about butterflies insects

I originally intended to post all of our insect books (see the Learning About Ants post) throughout the summer. But keeping things according to a plan while being a parent to two little toddlers has not been my strength πŸ™‚ . Fortunately for me, September is a great month for the butterfly study and thus this post, as Monarch butterfly migration happens around mid-September, at least here in Colorado. So instead of completely missing the right time to post this, I happened to accidentally wrap it up at a perfect time to discuss these fascinating natural aviators!

Interesting butterfly facts:

  • If a human baby grew as fast as a caterpillar, it would weigh about 8 tons when it was only two weeks old.
  • Their eyes are made of 6,000 lenses and can see ultraviolet light.
  • Many adult butterflies never excrete waste — they use up all they eat for energy.
  • Butterfly wings move in a figure β€œ8” motion.
  • Monarch butterflies journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring.
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Our favorite to-go ware for kids (and ourselves)

stainless steal to-go ware container non-toxic food container

Few years ago we got this container from To-Go Ware. I was attracted to it for being stainless steel rather than plastic, and also being an upright container. Over these few years it’s been such great and integral part of our outings with the boys, so I wanted to share it with you.

One thing that has always been a bit of an inconvinience for me with regular rectangular broad-base containers is that when placed in a bag they pretty much always end up getting on their side and the contents are at risk of leaking some liquid out into the bag. And that is if the lid doesn’t come ajar from all the shaking and rattling in the bag. And when they do stay put the way you had them they always take up more room than I wished.

This container is made in the style of Indian tiffins — Indian style lunch container. They have been around for ever in India, but are apparently a cool new thing in our cutting edge Western world πŸ˜‰

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