My Favourite Things
"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings; These are a few of my favourite things!"
Are you singing along to this wonderful Rogers and Hammerstein classic? When you check out this page, and all the items mentioned, just think of me twirling around my office with a big smile on my face as I think of all the Stuff! Toys, Books, Services and People to Follow that I am so eager to share with you.
Just in case you're wondering, I do not get any financial reward for sharing these links; I just absolutely love them and think you will too! Where possible, I have communicated directly with the incredible people behind these products and services, and they have given me express permission to include them here on My Favourite Things list.
Click on the tabs below to be taken directly to each category, then click on each image to find a brief review by yours truly, plus a link that will take you directly to their website.
If you have a project or service that you would like me to review and include, please send me the details here.
Do you know all that stuff that the ads tell you to buy to "aid your child's development"? It's often plastic (and horrible for the environment), very brightly coloured and either very expensive or so cheap that it lasts two days (if that). Oh! And your child is usually more intrigued by the box than the stuff inside! The truth is, you don't need all that stuff at all. What a child needs most for healthy development can be found in your home, your relationship, and in nature. But of course, we all love to buy nice stuff (myself included!), so here is a list of all of my favourite stuff that you and your children can enjoy, comforted by the fact that it is also beneficial for their development!
Just like the Stuff! that we are told we 'should' have to aid our child's development, we, and our children, are bombarded with advertisements for toys that they 'must have'. Quite often, the toys are plastic, brightly coloured and leave little room for imagination. Open-ended toys can be used for more than one purpose, giving children the opportunity to be creative, engage in problem-solving, develop their cognitive skills, and so much more. Other items can promote social connections, teach essential life skills and offer children more opportunities to learn and grow through more tangible experiences.
Books are my (not so) guilty pleasure, so I have many favourites to share. However, the downside of reading too many books is you end up with so many options and even more questions. Listening to others' views, whether research-based or anecdotal, can confuse and cause a disconnect from your valuable intuition. Remember, one size does not fit all, so take what works and leave what doesn't; you'll know which. Also, where possible, discuss what you read with other caregivers; this will help you form and reflect on your opinions and beliefs and put them into practice with more confidence.
The UK has a National Health Service that is envied worldwide and offers a lot of support and assistance to children, parents and caregivers. However, caregivers are often so frustrated by the waiting times that they need to look to the private sector for guidance, which can be costly and finding the right one time-consuming. Here are some of my favourite small businesses that offer valuable services for parents through the seasons.
I love science! And I am always looking for the latest research-based information on human development to share with anyone who will listen! However, sometimes the most comforting feeling is simply finding others who have experienced what we are going through. Realising that we are not alone on this parenting journey helps us feel less isolated and inspires us to keep doing the incredible job of raising and educating our children. It does take a village, after all.