All posts by Victoria Sophia

About Victoria Sophia

Victoria Sophia thinks the best title she has ever had is mom, which is a good thing because she's a mom of four. While she still awaits an app to do laundry and clean behind the sofa, she can be found wishing and hoping for a few more hours in the day -- so she can catch up with everything on her DVR.

Word Handmade and colorful yarn background

Great Etsy Finds for Preschoolers

I have an addiction… in addition to my clementine addiction that is – raise your hand if you practically devour the entire crate as soon as you bring it home from the supermarket.

I am truly addicted to shopping on Etsy.

Of course, we know Etsy as the marketplace showcasing shops of beautiful homemade decor and pretty jewelry and accessories, but moms of preschoolers should also be scouring Etsy. I have picked up many fun things for my 4-year-old while doing a little Etsy shopping for myself. (It made me feel less guilty, of course!)

Here are 6 Etsy finds I really like for preschool kids. I apologize in advance for the workout your credit card is going to have, but what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t share — or encourage exercise during the month of January.

Apron Smock

For all the times my son has wanted to help me in the kitchen. This smock is perfect for the kitchen spills and splatters he creates when he’s trying to help, and whatever other sticky messes he can get on his clothing when working with paint and Play-doh. It has pockets for paintbrushes, crayons and whatever else he wants to tote around.

Shop: Elizabeth Jane Designs

Felt Math Book

The story ideas are endless with this soft book that features pages with pictures counting up to the number 5, and various shapes. I know my son’s imagination would run wild if I asked why there are 5 fish in the water on that page.

Shop: Ema’s Decorations

Owl Preschooler Backpack

Not having to carry a diaper bag anymore means the kids can carry their own toys and treasures. This backpack is the perfect size for a preschool kid. And they’ll feel great packing and unpacking it with their favorite things to carry when away from home.

SHOP: SafiSana

Rainbow Nap Mat

When naptime at the preschool happened, I always made sure my sons’ nap mats and blankets stood out so they were easy to find in the laundry – and when it was time to take them home at the end of the week to launder. This mat is fun. Rainbow geometric shapes on one side and denim on the other.

Shop: SewnNatural 

Five Little Monkeys

Some of the best songs for preschoolers are also books that can be read at bedtime. My son has fun with this rhyme, and now even more Five Little Monkeys fun can be had with these felt characters.

Shop: Coco Loco’s Felt Design

Do you shop on Etsy?

A teacher is sitting on the floor with her preschoolers and day care students - they are playing with plastic blocks together.

How to Be a Great Playdate Guest

Playdates are a great way for your child to socialize with other children — practice sharing toys, learn to use their imagination through playtime — but they are also a great opportunity for mom to have an adult conversation.

If you are hosting the playdate, keep it simple and short (an hour or less works best for two year olds) and don’t feel bad if the playdate isn’t your idea of successful.  The point of a playdate is for a child to get familiar with playing well with other children. As long as that is happening, its a success.

If you aren’t hosting the playdate and are a guest, there are four things you should know in order to get invited back.

1. Arrive on time. It goes without saying you should call or text if you are running late. Sometimes playdates are scheduled right before nap or lunch so its a good idea to give a heads up if the schedule will be changing.

2. Bring something. If you know the child hosting the playdate doesn’t have food allergies, consider bringing a healthy snack that can be shared. If you aren’t sure, bring a craft project or toy so the children can have an activity to do.

3. Be Friendly. Role play with your child so saying “Hi”, “Bye”, “Please” and “Thank you” can easily be said while at the playdate. Good maners will go along way during a playdate. So will sharing (or at least attempting to) toys and snacks.

4. Offer to Host. When the playdate is over, thank your host and then offer to host a playdate next time at your house. This will also be a great conversation for your child to hear so they know that even though the playdate is over, it will continue on another day. Then they can look forawrd to showing off and sharing the toys in their room.

Toddler girl giving happy hiding look from the bathtub, perhaps she does not want to take a bath

7 Ways to Childproof Your Bathroom

When your child is able to walk around from room to room in your home, you start realizing the child proofing you did back when they were an newborn or infant needs some updating. And fast.

Whether your home has one bathroom or more, the bathroom is one room in the house that needs to be thoroughly childproofed.

Here’s a checklist of the things you need to do when you childproof your bathroom –

1. Cover the tub faucet with a rubber or plastic cover to prevent injury while in the tub. Many companies make the covers in fun characters and shapes.

2. Install a toilet seat lock so little hands don’t get hurt lifting and closing the lid while they are trying to use the toilet during potty time.

3. Only use nonslip rugs or mats in the walk areas of the bathroom. This will prevent slips and falls while in there.

4. Keep all medication and vitamins on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet. Even if they have childproof lids, its better to be safe.

5. Place outlet covers in all outlets. And when you are done using an outlet remember to place the outlet cover back in the outlet.

6. Put a lock on the under the sink cabinet so cleaning supplies can be kept away from children.

7. Buy a scald protector or temperature gauge to reduce the chance of serious burns.

pile of various toys and figurines

Girls Toys vs Boys Toys

We all have our different parenting styles. No one is right or wrong. We all do what fits for our family. But on some days it’s hard to not question your decisions.

That’s exactly how I feel today. I wonder if I am helping or hindering my daughter when it comes to playtime.

My daughter has three younger brothers, which means our home is filled with three times the normal amount of planes, train tracks and racing cars. But instead of getting upset when she steps on a stray piece for the Buzzlight Year Lego set, my daughter plays with them.

Sure, I have bought her friendship bracelet kits, American Girl dolls and Hello Kitty puzzles, but without fail she’s all about the toys her brothers play with. And since that makes her happy, I have decided I am not going to fight with her to have a tea party with me and her dolls.Last Spring we drove to the Midwest to visit family and spent many meals during that 10-hour road trip ordering at drive-through windows. Every time we were asked “boy’s toy or girl’s toy?” she asked to have the same toy as her brothers.

Was I wrong in not telling her she had to get the Polly Pocket toy instead of the Spongebob Square-pants toy? I don’t think so. One thing I do know is she was pretty happy playing with that alien toy for the rest of the car ride.

What do you do when your preschooler girl asks for a toy made for boys – or vice versa? How about if your little boy only wants to play with dolls?  Leave me a comment. And check out the Preschool blog community topic set up about Boy’s Toys and Girl’s Toys. I can’t wait to read your thoughts!

Toddler girl watching cartoons on her tablet computer

5 Kid Friendly Apps to Save Your Sanity

Kids today have it good.

I feel like mine don’t have to wait anywhere without having some sort of entertainment. More and more of the restaurants we go to have TVs for the kids to watch while they eat. And it’s hard to not find a place for my son to get a haircut without the option of watching the latest Scooby Doo DVD.

My 4-year-old often asks to play on my cell phone when we are in a waiting room, crosstown traffic is taking long or the line at the grocery store check out isn’t moving fast enough.

I pretty much get a request for my phone any time he considers himself bored – which can happen at any time!

For my sanity and the sake of getting thing done during the day, I find it helpful to hand him my cell phone. I have downloaded dozens of free apps to help me minimize the “WHY?” and “How long until” questions.

Here are five educational apps that have helped keep my preschooler occupied the most:

1. My Coloring Book – kids color hand drawn pictures while developing hide-eye coordination. Available at:

iTunes

2. Baby Flash Cards + – flash cards showing everything from food to household items, animals to instruments. Available at:

iTunes

Google Play

Amazon

3. ABC Letter Tracing – trace uppercase and lowercase letters and hear a voice over that sounds out the letter. Available at:

iTunes

4. iTouchiLearn Words – fun way for kids to learn how to spell, pronounce and see what words look like. Available at:

iTunes

5. Shapes Toddler Preschool – customizable quizzes, flashcards and toy box games with voice overs. Available at:

iTunes

Google Play

Do you and your preschooler have any favorite apps?