If you love planning birthday parties, check out the Birthday Express website. In addition to all the standard types of party decorations, Birthday Express offers unique party decorations personalized with your child’s name and/or photo.
The Little Golden Books theme shown in the photo accompanying this post is my personal favorite, but some of the other themes they offer include:
Personalized birthday items start at $8 for personalized invitations or thank you notes. Everything is purchased individually, so you can choose what fits in your budget and fill out the rest of the decorations with cheaper plain items. Some themes have more options for personalized goodies than others, so check a few listings for your favorites to see what fits your needs.
Although I love the idea of decorations personalized with photos, I don’t think my budget could accommodate this. The invitations are the most affordable, but my family lives so close that we don’t normally even send formal invites for my son’s birthday. The plates are cute, but it would bother me to spend good money on stuff that would just get thrown away.
For me, the most realistic option would be splurging on a banner and using it to decorate my child’s room once the party was done.
What do you think of this idea?
Photo credit: Birthday Express
Why settle for ordinary party decorations when you can have a customized birthday banner featuring your favorite photos? Walmart lets you order personalized photo banners for several different occasions.
The birthday bunting banner in the photo accompanying this post is my favorite. I think this would be a great way to celebrate a special birthday, like a child’s first birthday or Sweet 16.
It would also make a cute keepsake for the birthday boy or birthday girl to enjoy after the event. If you purchased it for a young child, I could see them wanting to use it year after year to celebrate their birthday.
The banner comes in 2′ x 6′ and 2′ x 8′ sizes. The banner is printed on 36 lb. bond paper with vibrant fade-resistant inks. It comes packaged in a sturdy mailing tube to protect it from damage.
Prices start at $24.96.
Visit the Walmart website to design your banner. There are designs for both one photo and multiple photos.
Shipping to your home is 97 cents, but you can get same day pick up in store if you’ve waited until the last minute and need it for your party right away.
I wish that the banner was laminated or had ribbon hangers to make it a little sturdier, but I really like the idea of a photo banner for a special birthday party.
What do you think of this idea?
Photo credit: Walmart
I’m not a big believer in spending a lot of money on furniture for a child’s room until they are old enough to take care of their things properly. However, these giant googly eyes are cool because you can stick them on inexpensive secondhand furniture and still give it a fun look that will appeal to your child.
The googly eyes are made of plastic and have a self adhesive backing. I’m assuming they are a one-time use product, although it doesn’t specifically say that in the product description. They measure seven inches in diameter.
You can purchase the giant googly eyes on the Urban Outfitters website for $10. There are just two eyes in a package, so you can’t decorate more than one thing unless you buy multiple sets.
My son loves sticking googly eyes on his craft projects. A chair decorated with googly eyes would definitely be something he’d like, although I’m thinking they might stick better to a bookcase, toy box, or dresser. Also, if you put them on something made of wood, you could paint a mouth and nose on the piece to make it look really unique.
What do you think? Would your child like furniture decorated with giant googly eyes?
Photo credit: Urban Outfitters
Even if your child has a large bedroom, you’ve probably noticed that a fair amount of toys end up in your living room and in the common areas of the house. I know my son has always wanted to be wherever my husband and I are. Instead of constantly yelling at him to pick up his toys, I’ve just purchased a basket or toy storage bin for each room so we can keep the clutter under control.
If you need stylish toy storage that blends with your home decor, this KidKraft espresso toy storage bin is an excellent option. The see through panels make it easy for kids to see what they’re looking for at a glance. Hopefully, this prevents your child from dumping everything out in search of that one special item.
The box has three divided compartments to help keep toys sorted. I don’t believe the dividers are removable. The product measures 32″ x 16″ x 15″ H. It has casters on the base for easy mobility.
You can purchase the KidKraft espresso toy storage bin for $79.95 on the EZ Buy Furniture website. There is no added charge for shipping, which is a real bargain for a furniture purchase. When I’ve purchased furniture online in the past, I’ve found that many places charge almost as much for shipping as they do for the product itself.
When your child is past the age of needing this for toy storage, it could easily be used for corralling blankets, magazines, board games, or whatever else needs a special spot in your living room.
What do you think of this toy storage option?
Photo credit: EZ Buy Furniture
If you’re thinking about getting a laptop for your child, but don’t want to invest in anything super expensive, I highly recommend the Acer C720 Chromebook.
I actually like this machine so much that I went out and purchased a second one for myself after buying my nine-year-old son one for Christmas. For $200, it’s a wonderful child’s computer or a supplement to your desktop.
Here’s what I love:
The Acer C720 Chromebook gets 4.5 stars on Amazon, with reviewers praising it as a low maintenance yet powerful alternative to a traditional laptop.
Photo credit: Amazon
The Kidswitch is a product I wish I had known about when my son was a toddler. This innovative gadget attaches to your light switch and provides an extension that your child can use to turn the lights on and off by himself. So, this makes nighttime trips to the bathroom much easier and promotes independence during the day.
The Kidswitch isn’t the most attractive looking addition to your home decor, but I think most parents with toddlers are willing to sacrifice style for convenience. It attaches with a screwdriver over top of your existing light switch, so it isn’t going to leave a permanent mark when you decide to remove it.
As you can see from the picture accompanying this post, the Kidswitch should work even if your light switch is located near wood moulding.
The Kidswitch is supposed to glow in the dark to make it easier for kids to see where the light switch is at night. Some reviewers say they don’t think it glows very brightly, but I’ve always found glow in the dark products to be a bit of a disappointment. But, even if the switch doesn’t glow quite as well as advertised, I still think the product is an ingenious idea.
You can purchase the Kidswitch light switch extender on Amazon for $15.06. The device is sold in a package of three, so you can easily put one in the most frequently used rooms of the house.
What do you think of the Kidswitch? If you’re the parent of a toddler, do you think this would make your daily routine a bit easier?
Photo credit: Amazon
Losing his first tooth was one of the highlights of my son’s life. I’ve been a terrible Tooth Fairy, however. It’s a struggle to remember to snag the tooth from his room and drop a few bucks in its place, especially when all I want to do is crawl into bed myself.
But, I have to admit that the Tooth Fairy Pillow Shop is adorable. This Etsy store specializes in cute customized Tooth Fairy pillows.
The Tooth Fairy pillows come in patterns for both boys and girls. Each pillow has a felt tooth decoration that provides a pocket for leaving the tooth and money from the Tooth Fairy. If desired, you can get a pillow personalized with your child’s name. The pillows are 6 1/2 inches square and stuffed with ultra soft Polyfil. They sell for $18 each.
What’s really awesome about these pillows is that they hang on your child’s doorknob, so you don’t have to worry about sticking your hand under their pillow in the middle of the night or finding the tooth on top of the dresser without waking your child up.
In addition to the Tooth Fairy pillows, this Etsy shop also sells Tooth Fairy badges, letters from the Tooth Fairy, and Tooth Fairy necklaces. If you plan ahead and get all this stuff before your child loses his first tooth, you’ll be the coolest Tooth Fairy mom in town.
Tooth Fairy Pillow Shop has been selling on Etsy since September 2010. All items are handmade by Jen in her California craft studio.
Photo credit: Tooth Fairy Pillow Shop
If you’re looking for unique handmade stuffed animals, you’re sure to love the Cotton Monster Etsy shop. Cotton Monster features an eclectic assortment of colorful monster creations, including jellyfish, pentapods, and watchful eyes like the one in the photo accompanying this post. If monsters aren’t your cup of tea, there are also a few cute stuffed cats.
Every Cotton Monster is a one-of-a-kind creation, just like your child. They are all handmade to incorporate different colors, patterns, and textures to give them a distinctive personality. Many are created from recycled clothing and fabric remnants, so they are fairly eco-friendly.
Cotton Monster toys, while totally adorable, are spot clean and hand wash only. So, I wouldn’t suggest giving them to a child who is going to be really hard on them. They’d be better suited as a cute room decorations for a monster themed bedroom than as a toy for a toddler to drag around with his favorite blanket.
Cotton Monster has been selling on Etsy since 2008 and has had over 1,200 sales. The shop’s owner, Jennifer Strunge, lives in Baltimore, so Maryland residents will be charged a 6% sales tax for their orders.
Cotton Monsters will ship orders internationally, although shipping is higher for customers outside of the United States.
Photo credit: Cotton Monster
Despite the fact that cellphones all come equipped with their own cameras, I’ve always preferred using a dedicated digital camera for my photos. If you’re in the market for a new digital camera with a budget-friendly price, I highly recommend the Samsung WB100.
I’ve always stuck with either Nikon or Canon cameras in the past, so I was a little leery about switching to brands. But, I’m impressed by the quality of this camera. For less than $150, this 16.2 megapixel camera is a great bargain.
I am by no means a professional photographer, but Samsung WB100 camera makes it easy to take really nice photos even if you just leave it in the SMART mode where it selects the appropriate setting automatically. There are a lot of novelty effects you can add as well, including split shots, picture in picture shots, panoramic photos, and various photo filters.
The Samsung WB100 takes great pictures in my living room, which has always been a problem spot for me because of poor lighting. The 26x optical zoom would also be great if you’re taking pictures at sporting events or concerts and want to get a closeup view of the action.
Here are a few examples of test shots I took the first day I purchased the camera:
I haven’t done a lot with the video features yet, but the color, clarity, and sound are better than I expected. The camera records 720p HD movies with dual image stabilization. I also like that there are different video filters you can add to your clips.
The only thing I don’t like about the Samsung WB100 is that is takes four AA batteries. Every other camera I’ve had used either two batteries or a special battery pack that could be recharged by plugging it directly into the wall. I’m not thrilled about having to invest in rechargables for the camera, but I’m happy enough with the qualify of the pictures overall that it’s an acceptable tradeoff.