When I was pregnant with my fourth child, my husband and I decided to shell out for a swing set in our backyard. Why? We knew with a new baby, packing up four kids and heading to the park on a daily basis would simply not be feasible. Don't get me wrong, I love a playground. But when you've got multiple kids running in every direction and a toddler refusing to only climb up a slide that big kids are careening down—well, let's just say that the park can go from super fun to incredibly stressful real fast.

Having a play set right in our backyard means that when the baby is napping, my "big" kids can get off their screens and head outside to swing their hearts out or play pirates under the canopy. And I can be inside cooking dinner or folding laundry or answering work emails while they get allllll their energy out. The swing set was one of the best investments we've ever made… and we paid a lot for ours.

Which is why my jaw dropped when I saw that KidKraft is offering its Ainsley Wooden Swing Set right now for just $269 at Walmart today. (FYI: It's a hundred dollar more on Amazon.)

What does it comes with? Two swings, a high-rail wavy slide, a rock-climbing wall, an upper level "clubhouse" (the perfect spot for summer morning snacks or kids-only meetings), a chalkboard and a sandbox. Yup, that equates to roughly 100,000 hours of kids entertaining themselves over the next year alone. For less than $270.

If you're worried about quality, don't be. I've seen the KidKraft product in person and they're legit—big, beautiful and made of super-sturdy cedar lumber. Really I'm just here to tell ya that this is a purchase you'll never regret, regardless of how many kiddos you've got at home. Your summer (and your backyard) is about to be lit!

KidKraft Ainsley Wooden Swing Set

$269

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When it comes to holiday gifts, we know what you really want, mama. A full night's sleep. Privacy in the bathroom. The opportunity to eat your dinner while it's still hot. Time to wash—and dry!—your hair. A complete wardrobe refresh.


While we can't help with everything on your list (we're still trying to figure out how to get some extra zzz's ourselves), here are 14 gift ideas that'll make you look, if not feel, like a whole new woman. Even when you're sleep deprived.

Gap Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater

When winter hits, one of our go-to outfits will be this tunic-length sweater and a pair of leggings. Warm and everyday-friendly, we can get behind that.

$69.95

Gap Cigarette Jeans

These high-waisted straight-leg jeans have secret smoothing panels to hide any lumps and bumps (because really, we've all got 'em).

$79.95

Tiny Tags Gold Skinny Bar Necklace

Whether engraved with a child's name or date of birth, this personalized necklace will become your go-to piece of everyday jewelry.

$135.00

Gap Brushed Pointelle Crew

This wear-with-anything soft pink sweater with delicate eyelet details can be dressed up for work or dressed down for weekend time with the family. Versatility for the win!

$79.95

Gap Flannel Pajama Set

For mamas who sleep warm, this PJ set offers the best of both worlds: cozy flannel and comfy shorts. Plus, it comes with a coordinating eye mask for a blissed-out slumber.

$69.95

Spafinder Gift Card

You can't give the gift of relaxation, per say, but you can give a gift certificate for a massage or spa service, and that's close enough!

$50.00

Gap Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck

This featherweight long-sleeve tee is the perfect layering piece under hoodies, cardigans, and blazers.

$29.95

Gap Chenille Smartphone Gloves

Gone are the days of removing toasty gloves before accessing our touchscreen devices—thank goodness!

$9.95

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Make multiple trips to the microwave a thing of the past with a app-controlled smart mug that'll keep your coffee or tea at the exact temperature you prefer for up to an hour.

$79.95

Gap Flannel Shirt

Our new favorite flannel boasts an easy-to-wear drapey fit and a flattering curved shirttail hem.

$59.95

Gap Sherpa-Lined Denim Jacket

Stay warm while looking cool in this iconic jean jacket, featuring teddy bear-soft fleece lining and a trendy oversized fit.

$98.00

Gap Crazy Stripe Scarf

Practical and stylish, this cozy scarf adds a pop of color—well, colors—to any winter ensemble.

$39.95

Nixplay Seed Frame

This digital picture frame is perfect for mamas who stay up late scrolling through their phone's photo album to glimpse their kiddos being adorable. By sending them to this smart frame to view throughout the day, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep at night!

$165.00

Gap Crewneck Sweater

Busy mamas will appreciate that this supersoft, super versatile Merino wool sweater is machine washable.

$59.95

This article was sponsored by GAP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and Mamas.

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If you're still shopping for the school-age kids in your life, don't sweat. We've got you, mama! Whether you're looking for toys for your nieces and nephews or searching for gifts for your own little ones, we can help. Motherly's editors have been keeping track of the products that were hits in our own households so that we can pass them on to you.

Here are 21 gifts our older kiddos are loving right now, from clothes to crafts to toys:

eeBoo Never Forget a Face memory matching game

I never forget a face game

Memory games are a favorite at any age, but especially in this age's wheelhouse. Kids will love to test their memory skills as they match the bright, smiling faces of people from across the globe.

$18.95

Slumberkins

Each animal comes with a backstory that helps deal with a difficult emotion a child might encounter, like gratitidue, self-esteem or family changes or loss—making these a gift a child will adore and one mama feels good about, too. Prices vary.

$36

Osmo genius kit

osmo kit

Osmo is seriously magic! This game system transforms your iPad into a hands-on learning tool that fosters creativity and problem-solving skills through hands-on play. We so wish this was a thing when we were kids.

$99.99

The Nightmare Before Christmas Operation skill game 

The Nightmare Before Christmas Operation skill game

If your child has trouble picking up small things, try leaving this board game at under the tree. Your little one will think they are playing operation but really they are having some occupational therapy. It's a short enough game that even young kids are able to maintain attention and focus through everyone's turn. Super fun for fans of Jack Skellington.

$43.99

Pictionary air

Mattel Games Pictionary Air

Another awesome board game, Pictionary Air combines new tech and old fashioned family game night by letting kids draw on the air instead of on a big piece of paper. Using the special pen and an app, the fam can see exactly what you are drawing, combining augmented reality with creativity in the best way. So cool.

$16.88

Insect Lore butterfly farm 

butterfly farm

If your little one is obsessed with nature, this butterfly farm will be a the gift that keeps on giving. My 4-year-old and I had the best time raising and releasing butterflies this past spring. This is an experience gift that truly lasts, with little lift needed to maintain and raise the butterflies. Basically, it's my new go-to gift for preschoolers.

$27.99

Learning Resources microscope

Learning resources microscope

This is the perfect hands-on toy perfect for little STEM lovers. This microscope is durable enough to withstand kid's rough hands, but technical enough to feel like an awesome grown up toy.

$28.82

Cubcoats

cub coats

Cubcoats are super cute as toys and as clothing—yep, you read that right. This is a hoodie that folds up into a stuffed animal you child can take anywhere. Bonus points for being machine-washable, ethically made and having tons of character and animal options to choose from.

$33.75

Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Cone play set

Melissa & Doug Ice Cream

Melissa and Doug toys never disappoint and this magnetic ice cream play set is no exception. I cannot believe how many hours of play this set inspired. My kid is running an ice cream shop 24/7. Sometimes they ask me to be the customer, other times I'm on scoop duty. The magnetic scoops provide just the right amount of magic to make this set one of the most-played items in our toy box.

$28.31

Hanna Andersson pajamas

Hanna Anderson

We love these comfy pajamas. They are perfect for Christmas morning or any day of the year. And of course Hanna Anderson had matching adult sizes so the whole family can have a PJ party (or a great photo op).

$38.40

Parkland Little Monster backpack 

Parkland Little Monster Backpack

Parkland's Little Monster Backpack is sure to be a favorite (and maybe even a little motivation to get back into the school groove when the holiday break ends). Our little tester son loved getting a present he could show off at school. The backpack's fun ears and print were a big hit and the bag is big enough to carry everything he needs, but small enough for a Kindergartener to tote around.

$29.99

Pluffle

Pluffle

We love how many hours of play we can get out of one tube of Pluffle. It's the perfect tabletop activity and way less messy than slime. Kids can make anything with it and have fun watching it morph into different shapes without asking to wash their hands all the time. Win-win!

$31.41

Mr. Potato Head Mixable Mashable heroes

Mr. Potato Head Mixable Mashables

We love these Marvel potato heads because they allow kids to create their dream superhero however they choose. Our occupational therapist recommended these and when you combine this classic toy with the Marvel franchise, you have a winner for any superhero-obsessed child.

$47.65

Nugget couch 

Nugget couch

It's a couch. It's a fort. It's the perfect piece of furniture for the playroom. The Nugget is a convertible couch made of four foam pieces and it is the only piece of furniture the kids are allowed to jump on. Need we say more?

$229

Play Doh

Play Doh

You can do wrong with this classic that encourages your little one to create anything their imagination wants to. There is something super exciting about opening a giant box of rainbow Play-Doh.

$24.99

A kids book about...

We love how this book series tackles topics our kids are interested in (or that we want them to be interested in) in an age-appropriate way. Whether you're trying to teach your kids about creativity, money, or harder topics like racism, 'A kids book about' series can help. Bonus: the books are absolutely beautiful.

$25

BRIO classic deluxe railway set

This minimalist toy is a classic for a reason. It allows for independent play but also encourages cooperation and imagination, two things we value in our household.

$46.79

iTouch PlayZoom smartwatch for kids

This is a cute gift for a child who might be obsessed with their parent's smart watch. It lets them take pictures, videos, play games and tell time. It also comes in a bunch of super adorable prints (cats! camo!) and helps any big kid feel like they got something extra special

$29.99

VertiPlay STEM marble run

If you're looking for a new toy but short on floor space, may we recommend this awesome version of marble run that lives on your wall? It's a totally modular STEM toy that will have any little excited to see the marble zoom, bounce and slide down its ramps and curves. We've seen both 4-year-olds and 10-year-olds be super into this, so we love that it can grow with your child.

$89

PAW Patrol deluxe kids art table

​This is as multifunctional as a toy can get. It's part dry erase board, part bookshelf and part toy bin. Plus your ​Paw Patrol​ lovin' kid is going to adore seeing all their favorite pups daily in their playroom. It's a great piece for encouraging your kiddo's creativity and independent play.

$59.99

Wooden toy treehouse

This one is an investment gift for sure, but we can see it being the perfect group gift for a set of kids or a super special present if you're aiming to choose only one thing for your kiddo. Joanna Gaines can design anything, even treehouses apparently. Now our only question is—can she design one of these for our backyard?

$119.99

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Gift giving is relatively easy when little ones are 3 years old—the name of the game is to be thoughtful and practical. But, let's be honest, how can you possibly give a gift to someone who has a new interest by the second? Pair that with your desires to get something fun, functional (we know you're tired of seeing toys around the house they played with for two minutes) and even educational, and the stress will make us wish we were dealing with a tantrum. Okay, not really. But, if you're the parent of a threenager, the last thing you need is any more drama in your life.

We hear you, mama. That's why we selected 18 picks that are sure to make any preschooler smile this holiday season as they develop their independence and growing personality.

Tabletop easel 

alex easel

We 💜 this wide base easel that's sure to inspire hours of imaginative play. Gift it solo or pair it with Farm Finger Crayons, another one of our faves.

$49.99

North Face toddler moondoggy down jacket

North Face Down Jacket

This is one of our tried-and-true kid favorites for both style and quality. Warm without being bulky and available in tons of great colors. Pro tip: Buy a size up so you can use it for next year, too.

$110

OmieBox

OmieBox

We are all for anything that inspires our preschooler want to finish a meal. The chic design makes this lunch box one of our go-to's. It's easy to clean and the separate temperature zones means you can store ANYTHING in it.

$39.50

Mr. Tail dress up tails for kids

Mr. Tail Dress Up Tail

Bring a cool tail on your little one's next adventure! These adorable handmade tails—we're partial to the gold and red one, we have to say—are comfortable, lightweight and sure to become a regular travel buddy.

$32.51

Petit Pehr alphabet sheet set

Petit Pehr Alphabet Sheet Set

Keep your kiddos comfy in their new big kid bed and work on those numbers and letters! These soft cotton sheets make the perfect addition to any preschooler's bedroom.

$79

Spark. Create. Imagine. pop-up play tunnel

Pop-Up Play Tunnel

Few things in life are cuter than watching kiddos laugh and play through tunnels. We love that this one is super lightweight and portable so you can take the fun whereever you go.

$12.88

Reebok Classics shoes 

Reebok Classics Classic Leather

It's all about being sturdy and stylish when it comes to toddler shoes. Your little one will feel comfy while the durable rubber sole gives them traction to run the playground. And no worries, if white isn't your thing, there are several other cool colors.

$37.97

Odette Williams kids apron

Odette Williams Kids' Apron

This beautiful linen apron will inspire your little one to get cooking this holiday season. (You can add on wooden cooking utensils and even a monogram) Great for pretend play, too!

$40

Barbie Dreamplane play set

barbie dream plane

Barbie is a classic and we especially love this one Instill in your little one because it helps Imaginations take flight. The plane doubles as a vehicle, too.

$59

Literati book subscription box

Literati Book Subscription Box

Books are one of our favorite gifts to give—so why not give a whole box? Literati expertly curates the best of the best personalized for your kiddo each month, then offers a great discount on anything you decide to keep. Genius!

$9.95

PlanToys preschool alphabet A-Z

PlanToys Preschool Alphabet A-Z

This deceptively simple set hits so many important skill sets—learning the alphabet, matching and writing letters. Your preschooler will love the bright colors and adorable animals, and you'll love the eco-friendly materials and mess-reducing carry bag.

$35.99

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World

This Is How We Do It

Give your little one a peek into the daily lives of seven kids from around the world. This thoughtful, beautifully illustrated picture book will spark your preschooler's curiosity about the world around them.

$15.29

Magna-Tiles

Magna-Tiles

We realize this isn't the most inspired gift pick, but if we had to pick the one toy our preschooler goes back to again and again, this would be it. They are truly a must-have!

$49.98

PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Super PAWs lookout tower play set

PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Playset

Standing at an impressive nearly 3-feet tall, this action-packed tower is the ultimate PAW Patrol headquarters. Any 3-year-old will love sending pups up to the top of the tower and back down on the mighty zip line.

$78

Play-Doh slime variety 6-pack

Play-Doh

Play-doh got a major upgrade this holiday (even we like playing with the foam!). Preschoolers will keep hands busy with multi-colored krackle, stretch and fluffy slimes, as well as a blue foam.

$14.99

Clover Baby & Kids pajamas

Clover Baby & Kids

We're obsessed with these jammies that offer softness with the right amount of stretch. And, the hassle-free shoulder snaps make it easy for mamas to put on and off.

$36.00

OMG Accessories Unicorn crossbody bag

Your unicorn-loving fashionista will love everything about this crossbody bag. It has just the right amount of sparkle and and an adorable rainbow zipper. Parents will appreciate the adjustable straps and the fact that their toddler can carry their own snacks around in their purse!

$24

Build a snowman kit

This sweet little kit comes with everything your toddler needs to build the best snowperson in the neighborhood. We love that it comes in a convenient bag to grab on the next snow day and those wooden buttons are just too cute.

$19.99

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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Finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be a tough task, but if you have a beauty buff on your holiday shopping list, then Pinterest has you covered. The leading destination for inspiration just released their Pinterest 2019 Holiday Shopping report, where they curated the best of the best gift ideas. Digging into their data, they pulled some of the top-shopped and most-searched products of the entire year to curate the must-have list beauty lovers will want to open up this year.

Here's what's we're adding to our carts (okay, fine, buying for our best friends):

Boy Brow grooming pomade

boy brow grooming pomade

Think of this as a mini mascara. The brush-able, creamy wax thickens and shapes your brows, giving them a fuller appearance. If you're not ready to commit to a color, the clear works wonders for daily grooming.

$16

Deep condition + repair hair care

lus brands deep conditioner

If your favorite person has curly locks, this deep conditioner will be their holy grail. It nourishes dry hair with natural ingredients and doesn't weigh down bouncy curls.

$44

Subliminal platinum bronze palette

subliminal platinum bronze palette

A palette so good, it's practically sold out everywhere. The golden taupes and velvety bronzes look gorgeous on any skin tone and the pigment lasts forever.

$65

Maelove glow maker

maelove glow maker

A great vitamin C serum is a must-have in any beauty buff's cabinet, but there's a lot on the market. This one has a blend of vitamins C, E, hyaluronic acid and ferulic acid—the perfect combo for hydrated and brightened skin at a great price point.

$27.95

Pantene festival hair kit

pantene festival hair kit

Don't let 'festival' fool you when it comes to this kit—it's perfect to have on hand even if a night out isn't on your agenda. With dry shampoo, hairspray, a nourishing mask, rescue shot and frizz iron, no one will be able to tell you haven't washed it in a week.

$10.76

Balm Dotcom lip balm

balm dotcom

Aside from the cheeky name, this has an incredible formula that's made it a cult favorite for a while now. Pro tip: Grab the original and use it as a skin salve for the dryer months.

$12

ColourPop eyeshadow palette

eyeshadow palette colourpop

With rich pigment at an affordable price, you can't go wrong with one of these palettes. Use it as eyeshadow, liner or use a larger brush to add as a cheek tint or highlight.

$16

Mini MAC lipsticks

mini mac lipstick

The creamy best-selling shades in a mini version. Throw in each bag of yours so you're never without a quick swatch of color.

$10.20

L'Oreal voluminous carbon black volume building mascara

loreal carbon mascara

If there's one beauty product I can't live without, it's mascara. I've tried everything from budget-friendly drugstore buys to high-end name brand picks and this one is always on rotation in my makeup bag. Buildable color that doesn't flake.

$8.99

NYX sweet cheeks creamy powder blush matte

nyx sweet cheeks blush

Super-pigmented shades that has a creamy smooth finish. A little goes a long way, but it's buildable so start small and then add more as you need.

$7.50

CHI deep brilliance hair iron

chi hair straightener

My first hair straightener was a CHI and this brand hasn't disappointed since all those years ago. This one was created specifically for treated or textured hair, helping to maintain moisture even with the heat.

$79.95
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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When it comes to finding that *perfect* gift for your little, you want to make sure it's an item that's practical and something they'll enjoy playing with beyond Christmas morning. If you're stumped on what that is, we scoured through toys and gifts on Amazon to find the highest rated ones.

Each product has at least a 4.5 stars or above, with many featuring thousands of reviews. So, you can trust that both mama and the kids loved these.

Wooden cookie play food set

kids baking set

With more than 1,300 positive reviews, this is one of the highest-rated pretend play sets available on Amazon. Kids can bake, slice and serve cookies (all while practicing their fine-motor skills!). Our favorite part? Melissa & Doug offer a 100% happiness guarantee so if your child isn't inspired, they'll make it right.

Age:

$16.99

Interactive globe

kids interactive globe

Working with most iPad models, this globe is perfect for curious kiddos who are interested in exploring. The orboot Globe + app takes kids on an augmented reality-based journey around the world, encouraging kids to stamp their passport and add stickers along the way.

Age: 4-10 years old

$49.99

Tool set

kids tool set

Made for both indoor and outdoor play, your child will love getting to help fix things around the house. The 15 pieces encourage fine motor skills and all of the materials are dishwasher safe for those unexpected messes.

Age: 2+

$26.49

Kinetic play sand

sensory sand

This sensory sand is practically magic—it's kinetic so it only sticks to itself, not your kid's hands or your furniture. It feels so fun, perfect for squeezing or putting into molds. Bonus: It never dries out so you don't have to worry about purchasing more in a few months.

Age: 3+

$27.99

Osmo starter kit

kids stem toys

Can't seem to escape the digital world? Osmo will turn your little's iPad into a learning game—that requires no WiFi!—and bring imagination to life. Pair it with the pretend play costume pieces and silicone rings to practice letter forming, create costumes and make magic happen.

Age: 3-5+

$79.99

Be Kind book

kids be kind book

For the little reader in your life, Be Kind is a beautiful picture book that explores all aspects of kindness.

Age: 3-6 years old

$9.98

Terrarium science kit

terranium kit for kids

Kids will get to mix science and art as they grow their own habitat in this terrarium kit. We love that it glows in the dark at night and the chia and wheat grass seeds grow within a few days.

Age: 6+

$12.19

Kidizoom duo camera

kids camera

Kids will love getting to play with this digital camera, whether it's taking pictures of the family or playing a game that's pre-programmed on the device. Connect it to a computer for even more activities.

Age: 3-9 years old

$47.24

Drum set

kids drum set

With three drum pads and a cymbal, your child will work on their sensory development while having hours of fun. They can follow along to the tune by keeping up with the lights on the pads, make up their own songs or play games to work on numbers and letters.

Age: 2-5 years old

$14.49

Wooden ice cream counter

kids ice cream set

Encouraging independent play, littles can imagine endless possibilities in their own ice cream shop. Scoops fit into the cone, along with toppings on top, helping kids work on their development skills. It even comes with $1 bills.

Age: 3+

$37.46

Musical toy

baby toy on amazon

As baby is learning to recognize sounds, this toy lets them explore their love of music. We love the volume control so parents can turn it down if baby likes playing with it all day long. 😉With nearly 10K reviews, it's still a 4.5 star item.

Age: 3-36 months

$8.99

Animated plush pal

singing plush toy

Toddlers and babies will adore this animated bunny that plays peek-a-boo and sings. It's soft enough to cuddle, but durable enough to last for years to come.

Age: 0+

$32.48

Tinkertoy building set

tinkertoy building set

With 200 pieces, this building set is sure to provide endless hours of entertainment. We love that there are so many different creations to make and that it helps kids works on their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Age: 3+

$41.23

Little Tikes trampoline

kids trampoline

This trampoline is perfect for kids to burn off a little energy without having to purchase a massive one for the backyard. At 3-foot tall, it won't take up too much space, and the handle bar helps them bounce away... safely. Plus, it has nearly 4,000 top reviews.

$47.21

CamelBak sippy cup

camelbak kids cup

Gone are the days of having 20 sippy cups all over the house—this CamelBak will replace them all. You don't have to worry about spills since kids have to bite on the valve for drink to disperse, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. 🙌

Age: 3+

$8.95

 Musical bench

musical bench for kids

If your child loves music, this instrument offers so many ways to play, from the xylophone and keyboard to using the hammer. Plus, the balls can fall on the keys or slide out to make even more sounds.

Age: 1-3 years old

$25.93

 PlasmaCar

kids riding toy

With more than 4K reviews, this toy still has 4.5 stars—and for good reason. Kids can ride it indoor or out without having to worry about batteries, pedals or gears. Pro tip: It works best on flat, hard surfaces so a driveway is better than carpet or grass.

Age: 3+

$79.95

 Crayola art case

crayola art case set

This set provides just about everything your child needs to get creative, including markers, paper, crayons and more. The storage case makes it easy for travel and ensures all of the 140 pieces have a place to go once they're done playing.

Age: 5+

$24.99

 Wooden building blocks

wooden building blocks

You can never go wrong with blocks, but this wooden set has a 5 star record with more than 1,700 reviews. Each piece is smooth sanded so you don't have to worry about splinters and it comes with a wooden tray for storage.

Age: 3-8 years old

$54.88

 Ferry bath toy

ferry bath toys

Made from 100% recycled milk jugs, this bath toy isn't just fun, it's also eco-friendly. The ferry boat floats steadily, making it the perfect toy to for any bath adventure. Plus, it comes with two mini cars and is dishwasher safe.

Age: 3+

$21.45

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