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Helping  your 10-month-old thrive: Tips and activities

This month, your tot may be crawling, pulling up, or even walking. 

Helping  your 10-month-old thrive: Tips and activities

This month, your tot may be crawling, pulling up, or even walking. That means the person who’s really on her toes is you. According to Dr. Tovah Klein, head of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of How Toddlers Thrive all babies walk at different times, some as early as 9 months, others as late as 18 months.


This new freedom to explore means babies are seeing the world differently and getting into more things. So definitely give that first round of baby-proofing a second look. Keep toilet seats closed and medicine and cleaning products out of reach.

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Since everything in your house is new an adventure for your curious kiddo, Klein recommends these safe, hands-on activities.

  • Draw with crayons: tape newspaper to your kitchen floor, then let your little one crawl around with a crayon and scribble on it. She will try to eat the crayon. Just take it from her mouth gently and show her how to scribble.
  • Put things in and out of containers: this is another way that babies learn about coming and going (which means mommy leaves and comes back). Your baby can play with empty bowls or pots. Put a toy in the bowl for her to play with or give her a wooden spoon and pot for music-making.
  • Create a play zone from a kitchen cabinet: put containers, pots, and pans in a low cabinet that she can play with while you make a meal. Yogurt containers and egg cartons are also perfect.

For more great learning experiences, check out these week-by-week tips from child development psychologist, Dr. Holly Ruhl.

Week 1

Baby is becoming a pro at noshing on solids and may be developing an attachment to a stuffed lovey. This week, combine two of baby’s beloved pastimes with a “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”! Pack a few of baby’s favorite on-the-go foods, a blanket, and a basket of baby’s stuffed pals and head to the park. Invite a few of baby’s besties and make it a day to remember.

Week 2

Baby is close to that momentous first birthday. Look for a study at a local university in which baby can participate. This is baby’s first chance to give back to the community. Studies are usually designed to make sure your babe has fun while participating. You may even gain insight into your one-year-old’s development and find new ideas for games at home.

Week 3

Engage in imaginary play. Baby loves imitating and will begin engaging in symbolic play soon! Jumpstart baby’s imagination by playing “make-believe.” Pretend to chat on the telephone (TV remotes and bananas make fab phones, too!). Feed pretend veggies to your tot’s teddy bear. For the grand finale, pretend to be an airplane zooming through the air or a train chugging along the tracks.

Week 4

Now that baby is standing independently, a sand or water table may be perfect for entertaining (and educating) your non-stop tot! Fill with water and use a few empty cups to introduce the concepts of volume, weight, and space. Hide toys in sand and let baby explore new textures while scavenging. If you are creative, have a go at making a custom-built (aka cheap) DIY table.

Splish, Splash: Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay

This table does double duty, featuring compartments for sand and water. Lots of fun water toys are included, too.    

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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