What went viral this week: SNL understands the struggle of kids clothes + Ashley Graham's refreshing honesty

Can you believe Christmas is next week?!? If you haven't gotten everything done yet, don't worry—neither have we.

But if you've already baked the cookies, moved the elf and purchased your kids' matching pajamas, settle in for a laugh—because an SNL skit just poked fun at children's clothing in the most hilarious way. It's just one of the things that went viral in the world of motherhood this week.

Here are the viral headlines making us smile this week:

This viral video proves SNL understands the struggle of dressing kids 

Fact: Putting your kids in cute outfits is wonderful...in theory. Oh sure, you love looking at them in sweet new outfits. And the pictures those outfits produce? They're total winners.

But let's not kid ourselves: Getting kids dressed—particularly during the winter, and more specifically, the holiday season —is...well...an interesting process, to say the least.

A Saturday Night Live skit just poked fun at this and it is hilarious and so relatable. "For your little ones, Macy's has the festive fashion that'll have them saying…..'It's too hooooooooot!' 'It itches'!,'" the ad proclaims. If you're a parent who has ever tried to put your child in a sweater (or scarf or coat of bunting), you know exactly where this is going.

The fictional ad goes on to poke fun at how tough it is to get a sweater over a child's head, how kids always (like always) lose their mittens and how uncomfortable those shiny dress shoes for little girls can be.

If you haven't quite made it to the point where your children can verbally complain about how uncomfortable their outfits are, you'll probably understand this: There's a clip featuring an adorable onesie with buttons running down the front...which prove so cumbersome, parents may even leave their babies in stinky diapers just to avoid having to navigate the button situation. 😂

Viral video proves every kids is running their own race 😂

There's nothing cuter than watching children try their hardest to learn a new skill. Sometimes they discover a true talent, more often they...well, don't. Either way, it's a pretty adorable sight to behold.

Case in point: This video, which is making the rounds on Twitter. The clip shows a group of children running an obstacle course on a track—at first glance, you may not quite grasp why exactly the video is gaining so much attention. Sure, it's cute, but is it really all that entertaining? And then you read the caption, which instructs you to focus on one child each time you watch the video and you realize...yes. Yes, it is that entertaining.

Focusing on one kid at a time allows you to really see every adorable stumble, missed direction and hilarious attempt. It's SO cute, and it's such a sweet reminder that children simply have their own way of doing things, and that we can all stand to learn about being carefree and individually-minded from them.

Not surprisingly, Twitter users are loving this. "The kid on the left that jumped up instead of over and just stood there after," one user replied. "Never has there been a purer example of how people deal with obstacles in their own individual way," another added.

Ashley Graham revealed her pregnancy weight gain and mamas are applauding her for it

Ashley Graham is one of those expectant mamas who really keeps it real, from sharing close-up shots of her stretch marks to admitting she's had both good and bad days during her pregnancy. Now, the mama-to-be is sharing the amount of weight she's gained while pregnant and moms are loving her honesty.

"Throughout my pregnancy so far I've gained 50lbs," she writes in an Instagram post that features the model practicing yoga.. "And the best part is, I don't care! I have never felt better, and I am so thankful that my body and son have allowed me to be as mobile and flexible as I have been."

Fellow mamas are here for Ashley's weight gain admission. "I gained 50 too. Our bodies surrender to them. It's the most rewarding gift," one comments.

Another adds: "So happy that you've figured out what works best to make you feel best. Love that you don't care about your weight gain!! It's refreshing. Really all about what's best for you & your boy!! I can't wait to see all his cuteness!!"

Feeling your body change so rapidly during pregnancy can be tough, but we love that Ashley is able to keep things in perspective. She's healthy, so is her baby, and she's able to keep it real—gaining 50 pounds while growing a baby is a very common occurrence, and we'd bet so many other pregnant women feel less alone after seeing Ashley's post.

This hospital is dressing up babies as Baby Yoda 😍

Pittsburgh's UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital is known for dressing the newborns in adorable themed outfits, and this Christmas they are doing a very topical theme. Fans of the Disney+ show The Mandalorian will recognize those ears: These babies are dressed up as The Child, also known as Baby Yoda.

"It's a holiday tradition here at Magee, dressing up our babies in the nursery in festive attire. This year, these babies are out of this galaxy cute!" the hospital noted in its Facebook post.

We love these festive Star Wars hats!

This viral illustration is a must-see for all new moms

So often we are told that new parenthood will be this amazing, wonderful experience and that we should love every minute of it. But it's not always that. Moments are, but motherhood in general is a complex experience and loss is part of that experience. Society doesn't talk about how when you gain a baby and a new identity you lose things, too.

That's why we love this viral post from The Postpartum Stress Center.

The caption reads, in part: "We wait; we hold our breath, we wade through the mess, accept that losses are part of this experience and proceed mindfully through this eventful life transition. Then, when we aren't looking, some of the losses on our list return to us, sometimes the way we remember them, sometimes as part of our new normal. Either way, the payoff is usually worth the wait."

It's okay to speak up about feelings of loss and admit that the trade-offs are real. Some trade-offs hurt more than others. And if you're hurting right now, mama, please know that there is help.

Viral post reminds parents to be compassionate with kids during Christmas meltdowns 

Esther Sowerby has spent decades working with kids as a teacher and day care operator and this year she took to Facebook to share some of her wisdom with parents. She wrote a beautiful Facebook post describing the challenges of the holiday season from a child's point of view, and it is helping parents practice empathy and kindness when dealing with holiday meltdowns.

"I've been following Suzanne Zeedyk, who is a professor at the University of Dundee, Scotland, who is really helping us in the U.K. see that all behavior is communication," she told Good Morning America. "Rather than talk about misbehavior, which makes us want to use punishment, she says we should be talking about distressed behavior. That language shift makes us ask why children are upset and what they need."

As adults it can be hard to see things from the point of view of our children, but Ester's post is helping parents make that shift:

"Be kind to me this Christmas... from a little person's point of view:

- You've probably let me eat more sugar than usual - I'm bound to have higher highs and lower lows.

- In the holidays I'm out of routine - I can cope better with transitions when I know exactly what's coming next so please explain our plans for the day clearly to me.

- The anticipation of Christmas can be pretty overwhelming and exhausting. Help me to rest by keeping to my normal bedtimes.

- Travelling at Christmas is stressful for all of us. When possible, be flexible about when we travel and check the traffic before we leave.

- I have no idea about the value of money - if there's no way I can have that giant lego set for Christmas, then please tell me well before Christmas morning. I'll have time to get over my disappointment and I'll learn to trust your honesty.

- Grown-ups find preparing for Christmas stressful. I know you want it to be perfect for me so I'll have memories I can cherish forever. But I see you getting stressed, sometimes even before you do. I pick up on it and reflect it like a mirror. Please slow down, notice me, talk to me, play with me. That's what I'll remember.

- When I lose it, and I probably will at some point, please don't make me ashamed of my feelings by shouting at me. I never set out to deliberately disappoint you and I didn't try to ruin your Christmas. I'm really not that calculated. I'm just a little person whose brain deals with stress in different ways to yours. Please try to understand me, from my point of view.

And when all else fails, wrap your arms around me and hold me so I feel the strength of your love.

Esther 26.11.19 x"

In a follow up to her now viral post Ester writes: "My post on seeing Christmas through children's eyes has had a crazy amount of responses! Mostly positive, but some people have felt sad and even guilty that it's not possible to parent like that all the time. Thing is no one can!"

If you've had a bad moment with your child, don't beat yourself up, mama. Being compassionate with yourself will help you be compassionate with your child.

This viral Old Navy ad features a real family with two fathers 

Sometimes ads feature families that aren't really families, but rather a group of models that just met that day. But an Old Navy ad that is going viral this week features a very real family and some very real representation.

Dustin Patrick Smith and Burton B. Buffaloe are two dads raising their two adorable kids together, and their Old Navy ad is going viral because

Smith explained his feelings in an Instagram post: "The definitions of a family today and a family in the past are far from similar. Oftentimes people will say a family includes a mother, father, and children all living under one roof. Our family consists of two fathers, a son and a daughter. Exposure to families that may not be like your own, in particular, encourages tolerance and acceptance because the fact is, everyone's family is unique. As we prep for the holidays we are celebrating uniqueness and individuality. As our kids get older they are very vocal about what they want to wear and I love that. Them finding their own self expression is exciting to watch, so mixing up our @oldnavy jingle jammies is welcomed in this household."

7-year-old boy living in shelter writes viral letter to Santa

When a 7-year-old Texas boy living in a domestic violence shelter wrote a letter to Santa his mom was touched and so were the staff at the shelter, SafeHaven of Tarrant County.

According to CNN, SafeHaven staff posted letter on Facebook this week, (after changing the boy's name for his safety).

The letter reads:

Dear Santa,

We had to leave our house. Dad was mad. We had to do all the chores. Dad got everything he wanted. Mom said it was time to leave and she would take us to a safer place where we don't have to be scared.

I'm still nervous. I don't want to talk to the other kids. Are you going to come this Christmas? We don't have any of our stuff here. Can you bring some chapter books, a dictionary, and a compass and a watch? I also want a very very very good dad. Can you do that too?

Love, Blake

Since the post went viral many people reached out asking how they could help Blake and his family, and the good news is that many donations have come in to help him and the other kids living at the shelter.

The now-viral post reminds us that this is the reality for many families this holiday season, and that domestic violence can impact lives no matter the season.

If you are experiencing domestic violence and need help now you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Mom goes viral for using cardboard cut-outs of herself to keep toddler happy 

Fuki Sato lives in Japan with her 1-year-old son but this week she became world-famous for a hot second thanks to her husband's genius idea.

Their son freaks out when he can't see mama, so she replaced herself with a cardboard cut-out so that she could have a few minutes to herself.

As first reported by Romper. Sato's husband came up with the idea and posted a video of the results on Twitter.

In the video, Sato replaces herself with the cardboard version while her son is playing. For 20 minutes he plays happily, glancing over every so often to make sure mama is still there.

It's probably not a strategy that would work long term, but it sure is funny.

How one company is making a huge difference for LGBTQ youth

Take notes, all you other brands, this is how it's done

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

This article is sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

We spoke to Chris Bright (he/she/they), Director of Public Training at The Trevor Project, who works closely with H&M. Chris shared with us the Trevor Project's important mission, and what all brands should do to best support LGBTQ youth today.

1. For those that do not know, what is The Trevor Project's mission? What is it all about and its impact on society?

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. Our mission is to end suicide among the estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 in the U.S. who seriously consider suicide each year.

Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project launched TrevorLifeline, the first 24/7 national lifeline supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis alongside HBO's broadcast of the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor. The first calls were answered that night. Since then, we have grown from reaching several thousand LGBTQ youth per year to becoming the preeminent resource for LGBTQ young people in crisis, directly serving over 200K LGBTQ young people in the last fiscal year alone. We work tirelessly to save young lives by providing support through our free and confidential crisis programs on platforms where young people spend their time — online and on the phone. In addition to TrevorLifeline, we offer 24/7 digital crisis services including TrevorText and TrevorChat, as well as TrevorSpace, the world's largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth.


H&M + The Trevor Project

2. Can you describe the nature of the relationship/partnership the Trevor Project has with H&M?

Our collaboration with H&M has been remarkably successful, with H&M driving awareness of The Trevor Project and our services among its audience while also demonstrating its strong support of LGBTQ young people. H&M first partnered with us in December 2020 during our "Every Single One" holiday campaign, where they donated $250K in matching funds for Giving Tuesday. This helped The Trevor Project have our best-ever Giving Tuesday moment.

Our work together has had extensive impact, allowing H&M to engage employees, customers, and community members in conversations about LGBTQ Allyship through Trevor's resources and mission. We're thankful for H&M's support, which helps us continue to operate and improve our 24/7 life-saving crisis services so we can serve more LGBTQ young people.

3. Why was H&M the right company to partner with?

H&M is an established yet relevant brand that has the attention of young people, and we're always so thankful to partner with youth-facing brands that can not only spread messages of love and support, but also can increase the awareness of our crisis services and resources. We know that H&M genuinely cares about creating a better future for LGBTQ young people.

4. What do you see as the biggest challenge or struggle for LGBTQ kids today?

LGBTQ youth are incredibly diverse, with so many intersecting identities and unique experiences — making it difficult for me to pinpoint what might be the single biggest challenge or struggle for all LGBTQ youth today.

What I can say, however, is our research reveals numerous challenges or struggles that may be more prevalent across the board for LGBTQ youth. According to our 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which captures the experiences of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 across the U.S., nearly 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Over 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health and more than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful.

What's clear is that while there is no single biggest challenge or struggle for our LGBTQ youth today, it's critical that we find ways to uplift and support each and every LGBTQ young person that we can.

5. Since it's back to school time, are there stressors or situations that are uniquely heightened for LGBTQ youth, other than the standard new school year jitters, that people don't necessarily know about?

Our research has found that LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one LGBTQ-affirming space had 35% reduced odds of attempting suicide in the past year, with LGBTQ-affirming school environments having the strongest association with reduced suicide attempts. Since the onset of COVID-19, the volume of youth reaching out to us has significantly increased, at times nearly double our pre-COVID volume. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety have been heightened as a result of the pandemic, further emphasizing the need for LGBTQ youth to have access to spaces that affirm their identities, such as gender-neutral bathrooms, trans-inclusive sports, and positive extracurricular activities such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).

LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one accepting adult — whether it be teachers, coaches, or counselors — were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. The Trevor Project created the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention, which includes requirements for teacher training, mental health instruction for students, and policies and procedures for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that as in-person learning returns, schools provide LGBTQ students with safe learning environments where they can feel empowered, supported, and accepted by their peers and educators.

H&M + the Trevor Project

6. In what way is the support that The Trevor Project provides crucial to LGBTQ youth, especially as it pertains to suicide prevention?

The support that The Trevor Project provides is so crucial because suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people — and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. LGBTQ youth reach out to Trevor because we are LGBTQ-affirming and a trusted provider of crisis services. All of our volunteers are highly-trained to answer calls, chats, and text from LGBTQ youth 24/7 when they are feeling suicidal or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk.

Almost three-quarters of youth stated that they either would not or were unsure if they would have another service if The Trevor Project did not exist. We aim to be there for every young LGBTQ person in crisis with a clear message: you are loved, your life has value, and you are never alone.

7. What do you think the responsibility is for brands to be involved in pro-social, activism-related work?

Everyone can play a role in creating change and building progress in our society. Brands — especially those with large platforms and influence — have a responsibility to fulfill that role as well. We recognize H&M and our other brand partners for helping spur progress on important issues, and we encourage others to follow suit. Beyond the essential financial support that brands can provide to nonprofits like The Trevor Project, there's also a direct benefit for the community when brands are loud about their support of Pride; we've found that more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community positively impact how they feel about being LGBTQ. Finally, it's important to remember that Pride doesn't begin and end in June — the opportunity to support Pride is 365 days a year. We are thrilled to have H&M as a year-round partner for The Trevor Project, demonstrating their authentic support for our work.

8. What is one of the biggest impacts or positive results you have seen come from the partnership between The Trevor Project and H&M?

We wouldn't be able to do the work we do and make the progress we've made without our brand partners like H&M. The Trevor Project has experienced significant growth in the last few years with the implementation of our five key program areas: crisis services, peer support, research, education and public awareness, and advocacy. Since 2019, we've been working to scale our volunteer training to increase the number of crisis services counselors on a yearly basis. In addition to original, intersectional monthly research briefs, our research team launched the world's largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health in 2019, and has released a total of three national, annual reports. We've ramped up Trevor's advocacy work on the local, state, and federal levels to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, including bills to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy that have been in introduced in 40 states. H&M's partnership helps us advance this work by raising significant funds and awareness for our mission. During June 2021, when H&M served as one of our key Pride Partners, our crisis counselors served over 19,500 crisis contacts with free, confidential support via phone, chat, and text.

9. How important is it for LGBTQ+ youth to see allies in popular culture, be it a celebrity or high profile person, mainstream brand, etc.?

LGBTQ representation in the mainstream media is extremely important as it makes LGBTQ youth feel seen, validated, and confident that they are not alone. Over 80% of youth said that celebrities who are LGBTQ positively influence how they feel about being LGBTQ, and more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community have a positive impact on their LGBTQ identity. As we continue to see increased visibility for marginalized communities in popular culture, diverse images will become normalized, which in turn creates a safer, more accepting world for all of us.

10. For people who want to get involved with a cause like The Trevor Project, what is the best way to make a difference?

There are a number of ways to get involved with The Trevor Project – from making a donation (TheTrevorProject.org/Donate) to applying to be a volunteer (TheTrevorProject.org/Volunteer) to spreading the word about our resources.

Affirming spaces and support systems work to save young LGBTQ lives. People can be active in their communities to ensure that more safe, affirming spaces are available and thriving. Even making an effort to respect someone's pronouns and encouraging those around you to do the same can make a huge difference. Our research has also found that LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt. If you get the opportunity, be that one person for a young person in your life.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project's trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

Our Partners

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

You've got this.

Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

The Motherly Birth Class

pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

$79

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are 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 indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

$139

Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

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

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

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

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-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.

$19.95

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

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

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.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

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.

$79.99

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.

$24.75

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20 kids' books to read during Hispanic Heritage Month

These books highlight exemplary Latinx figures who have contributed to US history.

Although I went to school in multicultural Los Angeles, I don't remember ever reading about (much less doing a book report on) a prominent Latino during my elementary school years. When I eventually became a mother, I wanted to make sure my children grew up proud of their Mexican-American heritage, but I struggled to find children's biography books featuring Latinx leaders. Latinos make up almost 20% of the entire U.S. population, but many of our heroes are not highlighted in books.

That is why I decided to use all of the skills I learned as a journalist for over 25 years to write children's books that filled that gap, so that not only my kids, but other Latinx children can learn and read about leaders from their own community. As a result, in 2018 I created Con Todo Press, a publishing company that highlights Latinx leaders and celebrates our culture. During Hispanic Heritage month, many classrooms and families are eager to learn more about the valuable contributions Latinos have made not only to our country, but to the world.

Below I am highlighting some of the books I have written to fill that gap, as well as other books written by Latinx authors or illustrators that highlight Latinx leaders.


Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History

This non-fiction rhyming book features 11 Latinas who achieved greatness in various fields such as medicine, science, sports, and politics. Dolores Huerta, Selena, and Sonia Sotomayor are featured along with 8 additional outstanding women.

$13.96

Grandes Dreamers

Grandes Dreamers celebrates the hardships and milestones of 12 women born in the United States.

$49.95

Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos who made U.S. History

Fearless Trailblazers highlights 11 Latinos who made history in their respective fields including science, sports, the arts and politics. Cesar Chavez, Fernando Valenzuela and Jean-Michel Basquiat are among those featured.

$14.89

Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers

Latinitas features 40 powerful women who we have to come to recognize in the United States today.

$15.10

Courageous History Makers: 11 Women from Latin America Who Changed the World

This bilingual rhyming book features 11 women from Latin America who are now known throughout the world because of their contributions in their respective fields. Celia Cruz, Frida Khalo and Rigoberta Menchu are among those featured.

$13.53

Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States

This book features 30 Latinxs figures throughout history and their incredible passage to changing the cultural, social, and political character of the United States.

$16.19

Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo

This colorful book follows the story of Tito Puente, from a little boy who dreamed of having his own band one day to becoming the Mambo King.

$16.49

The Spirit of Chicano Park

The Spirit of Chicano Park follows Bettie and Bonky's discovery of a historical and magical park rooted in community struggle and transformed into a place of cultural history.

$17.23

Bravo!: Poems about Amazing Hispanics

Through poems, this book celebrates the achievements of Latinos from many different countries and from many different backgrounds.

$17.47

Turning Pages: My Life Story

Written by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, this children's book tells her own story from the perspective of her as a young girl who loved books.

$16.55

L is for LATINX

Get ready to learn the ABCs with a Latin twist! Through engaging text and colorful illustrations, you will meet 26 amazing individuals from all over Latin America.

$17.99

A Girl Named Rosita

A Girl Named Rosita follows the story of Rita Moreno, a proud Puerto Rican superstar who is known worldwide for her acting, singing, and dancing.

$17.99

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Separate Is Never Equal centers on Sylvia Mendez and her family's struggle to end segregation just seven years before the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education would take place.

$16.95

The Life of / La Vida De Dolores

The Life of/La Vida de Dolores follows Dolores Huerta, the civil rights activist's journey to becoming a leading voice in the farmworkers movement.

$9.99

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

The true story of piano prodigy Teresa Carreño who eventually played the piano for two U.S. presidents.

$17.47

Clemente!

For kids ages 6-10, this book features Roberto Clemente, the first Latin American player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

$6.12

Queen of Tejano Music: Selena

A colorful and vibrant picture book that depicts the life of iconic singer Selena Quintanilla.

$17.09

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

A picture book biography of one of the most significant and inspiring figures in library history. Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.

$15.99

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

A bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures.

$19.95

Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet

The story of Mexican American chemist Mario Molina who helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s.

$11.69


Entertainment

The important safety tip parents need to know about sleep + car seats

Why you might want to plan for more pit stops on your next road trip.

When we become parents we don't just have to learn how to take care of a baby, we also have to learn how, when and why to use all the different kinds of baby gear.


There is so much to learn and when it comes to car seats there is one rule many parents haven't heard of: infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time, and they should never nap in a car seat outside the vehicle.

According to multiple studies, babies are at risk for decreased oxygen levels while in car seats, especially when the car is not in motion or the trip lasts for an extended period of time. Although preterm babies or infants with respiratory conditions are most at-risk, there is good reason for all families to take proper precautions.

As Scottish mother-of-two Kirsti Clark recently told STV, she had no idea that infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time until her 3-week-old daughter, Harper, had a seizure following a car trip that went longer than expected. It was a situation not unfamiliar to many other families: The Clarks simply got stuck in traffic and then left Harper in the seat while they put their older daughter to bed.

When Harper's father then took her out of her car seat she seemed like she could not get comfortable on his lap, Metro reports. Her father tried to settle her on a play mat and that's when the baby suffered a seizure. The Clarks rushed to the hospital where she was treated and thankfully recovered. But, Clark says one of the biggest shocks to her was that these guidelines even exist.

"I've never once been told a child should not be in a car seat for any length of time," she told STV. "Nowhere in the instruction booklets or any guidance that we've seen online has there been anything mentioned about breathing difficulties."

This is why some hospitals do what's known as a "car seat challenge" with preterm babies before discharge, which allows professionals to monitor the baby's cardiorespiratory stability when they're in their car seat.

Make sure all care providers know to never use a car seat for naps 

Sharon Evans, a trauma injury prevention coordinator at Cook Children's Hospital, told WFAA News the idea that car seats can be used for naps outside the car is a pretty common misconception that needs to be cleared up.

"There's nothing about the car seat that's designed to sleep," she told WFAA News. "Of course, if the straps aren't tight, the child can kind of slump down."

Safety experts say parents should make sure everyone who looks after the baby, including daycare providers and babysitters, understands that they should not be placed in the car seat outside of the vehicle.

Lisa Smith tells WFAA News she did understand the risks associated with car seat naps and didn't let her baby daughter, Mia, nap in the car seat. Tragically, at nearly 18 months old Mia was left to nap in a car seat at her licensed home daycare, and lost her life to positional asphyxia, or restricted breathing. Now Smith, like Clark, is on a mission to educate other parents to make sure this doesn't happen to another child.

"I walk around town and see people using a car seat on the seats at restaurants or putting them on the floor at tables," Smith says, adding that she will tell Mia's story to parents when she sees a baby napping in a car seat, letting them know kindly, "'I just want you to be really careful.'"

What parents should do

Researchers with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society agree with Smith: The most dangerous time for a baby to be in a car seat is when they're not actually in a car. So while it may seem convenient to leave a sleeping babe in their car seat after a long trip or while you're at a restaurant, it's best to take them out right away.

The AAP recommends that when you are using the car seat as intended in the car, plan"to stop driving and give yourself and your child a break about every two hours." In the case of babies younger than one month, some car seat researchers recommend avoiding unnecessarily long road trips.

"Restrict it to say, no more than half an hour or so," Professor Peter Fleming, a noted car seat researcher, told the BBC. (If you've got to go farther than that, just plan for rest stops to get baby out of the car seat.)

All this comes with one significant note: While baby is in a moving car, safely buckled into a car seat is always the safest place to be. As noted in a study The Journal of Pediatrics, babies riding in a car seat as per the manufacturer's guidelines have a very low risk of suffocation or strangulation from the harness straps.

If we're aware of the risks and make sure to take breaks and take the baby out of the seat when the car stops, everyone can ride safely. Car seats, when used properly, are a literal lifesaver we should all be thankful for.

[Update, September 13, 2018: Added information regarding Lisa Smith's case.]

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