Tag Archives | Dilly Dally Kids

Baby It’s Cold Outside Contest

We’ve welcomed back some old friends with our new ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ contest and are excited to work with Dilly Dally Kids, Pip and Pin, and Simply Merino on this amazing contest! Imagine the snow is falling outside, you’ve are snuggling your child in their chemical free wool PJs, you are wearing a beautiful hand-knit cowl, and the kids bring out some family favourite games to play. Now you’ve got the concept for ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’.

We are excited to introduce our new friend Simply Merino clothing company. If you are looking for chemical free sleep wear made without synthetic materials or flame retardants, you’ve got a friend in Simply Merino. These clothes are made in New Zealand from 100% Merino wool and are a wonderful barrier for children between their skin and athletic gear, to wear as sleep wear, or use as layering pieces. I know in our house, my sons are so limited with PJs this year because I’ve had a tough time finding sleep wear that isn’t made from polyester. The thought of them sleeping in a synthetic blend just isn’t how I want them spending 10+ hours. This holiday season, parents & family love to give the gift of cozy jammies. Let them know that Simply Merino is offering a 10% discount code to Mommy Footprint readers  – just enter  mommy10 at checkout after ordering.

simplymerino

Next to join the winter party is our friends Pip and Pin. We fell in love with these talented West Coast sisters two years ago after discovering their craft for making beautiful hand knit items. They are also adorable, kind, and the type of small business owners you want to support. My favourite signature Pip and Pin design are their cowls and the lucky contest winner of this contest can select a cowl with or without buttons and work with Megan and Katie with colours. Make sure to check them out at Make It Vancouver this weekend if you’re attending.

cowl

If you live in Greater Vancouver, chances are you’ve been to Commercial Drive and fallen in love with Dilly Dally Kids toy store that offers a wide variety of heirloom quality toys. I love the wooden selection at Dilly Dally Kids and they’ve done a great job with supporting local artists, sustainable toy options, along with classic favourites. They have generously allowed Mommy Footprint to select three fun family games to anchor our ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ contest. My family has spent hours enjoying these three games and I’m excited that another family will get to enjoy them too: Sleeping Queens Card Game, Rush Hour, and Zingo (pictured below). Visit Dilly Dally Kids in-store and enjoy the unique experience of finding holiday gifts in wide assortment and age ranges. Enter the below contest and your shopping will already be off to a great start if you win this prize basket.

dilly dally

Our ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ contest will run for one week November 26th – December 3rd at midnight. This contest is open to North American residents and I’m thankful to Simply Merino, Pip and Pin, and Dilly Dally Kids for working together for this amazing contest. Now close your eyes, imagine the snow falling outside, and think of how lucky you’d be to win a wool pair of kid’s PJs, cozy cowl, and family games package.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Eco Easter Ideas

It seems like most things these days, making something yourself is the best way to avoid toxic nasties. Easter is no different and so I’m excited to share some DIY projects inspired by the Dilly Dally Kids display window (for DIY Easter decorating), egg dying, and Easter egg hunt ideas that minimize waste and traditional Easter junk.

Let’s start with the display window ideas that got me excited to write this article. When it comes to the wonderful world of Pinterest and DIY I try hard not to take on projects that just aren’t obtainable. So when I saw pictures of this feather garland made by Dilly Dally Kids – I knew I wanted to photograph it, write about it and try it. Owners Tyler and Claire hung feathers to twine with clothespins – don’t you love the effect? I even collected a  few feathers from the beach with the kids so that a memory and real feathers could be included in this decoration.

Also displayed by DDK (Dilly Dally Kids) store owners are beautiful paper mache eggs. And for parents looking to minimize or eliminate purchasing more plastic eggs this year to hold treasures, paper mache eggs would be a great addition to an egg hunt. I found an easy DIY tutorial for this using hodgepodge & tissue paper via Pinterest. Here is the inspiration from DDK’s window and look how beautiful the paper mache eggs look nestled in gorgeous nests made from willow branches and a sprinkle of feathers. Imagine a forest walk to collect all of these treasures?  This is so inspiring to discover and decorate with pieces of nature gathered to create unique Easter decor!

Can we talk about Easter morning and one easy, Eco way to reduce plastic crap? Get your kids moving and working for their Easter treasures! The hunt my kids have loved over the last few years didn’t include little trinkets in each egg for the kids; rather a clue to where the next egg could be found. And at the end of the hunt my kids would find one sustainable gift from the Easter Bunny. Last year the kids found fishing rods and I think this year it will be tennis rackets. Anything that promotes keeping them active and playing outdoors I’m all in favour for. For the younger crowd that still delight in discovering toys – check out these adorable wooden bunnies & chicks from DDK. This line of wooden toys is from Europe, each one handmade and painted. You could create a nest similar to the one featured above (in mini form) and arrange these little friends for your sweeties to find.

Now that my sons are a little older (ages 9 and 10) the Easter Bunny sends them all over the neighborhood Easter morning. Pictures taken from a camera or handwritten clues leading kids from egg to egg to a figure in a neighbor’s garden, traffic sign, unique fence/door/garden decoration in the neighborhood is really fun and awesome for the kids. They go running from clue to clue – not thinking about chocolate or candy. They are on the hunt and using their mind, body, and energy to uncover each clue. This is the part of Easter my kids talk about every year and I love it. For my younger kids, the Easter Bunny sets up their hunt in a forest trail. It keeps them safe from traffic and the eggs are scattered along the forest floor and they also lead the kids to a more sustainable Easter gift rather than lots of little trinkets.

My last Easter tip is for parents that have the traditional egg dying craft with kids. With my new found love of using beets to dye icing, play dough, and to eat – I find it easy to dye using vegetables from my fridge. But one drawback to organic colours is sometimes they are not as bright or exciting as artificial. If you are looking for a kit to give you more of a colour spectrum, but still keep the process natural – check out these great egg dying kits! Lucky locals to Vancouver still have lots of time to stop by Dilly Dally Kids on Commercial Drive to pickup thoughtful selections of chocolate, toys, egg dye kits and totally adorable Easter books!

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Rink Rats Unplugged!

Have you heard the term ‘rink rat’ before? At our local hockey rink it refers to the younger siblings that are always scurrying around the bleachers, outer rink, and concession stands while waiting for older brothers and sisters to finish hockey games. Since my daughters have two older brothers that play hockey, they are probably at the rink more than they want to be. Learning to exert patience with waiting for siblings to finish activities can be difficult but after observing the behavior of my own little ‘rink rats’ over the years, I have insight to share on avoiding the electronics trap to keep kids entertained.

My girls are naturally shy. They do not have the personalities to introduce themselves when other children are already playing. I watch them gaze wistfully at groups of children that are playing and my natural reaction is to distract them from the possible discomfort they feel watching from the outside. But lately, they have started to inch towards the kids and will leave the bleachers to interact and I’m so glad I didn’t give them electronics to distract them from boredom. I see it time and time again…you’ve got the child sitting alone, probably shy, getting bored and they reach for mom or dad’s iphone to keep themselves entertained. It’s easy and sometimes we as parents, don’t stop and think why we shouldn’t just hand over the electronics. As a mom of many kids that would love my iphone – here are the reasons they don’t get it:

Shy or quiet kids sometimes need some encouragement with socializing. I am completely happy with having my girls sit on my lap to watch the game but I’ll keep asking them “are you sure you don’t want to go play with the kids?” And it’s almost taken the entire hockey season, but they are starting to join the group of girls and I can tell they are thrilled to be close to the action. But like most things with my daughters, it’s on their own terms and they just need time to feel comfortable.

I really think not letting kids sit idle occasionally is a mistake. My kids are all very busy…some might call it over scheduled but with four we are constantly on the go. And most children these days are busy with sports, music, or art after school, so play dates are non-existent. If kids are left to their own devices while older siblings or parents are busy, they re-discover the fine art of playing. And without toys or ‘stuff’ surrounding them, sometimes they get back to the purest form of play like hide-and-go-seek or climbing to escape burning hot lava or sharks on the floor.

My personal biggie with removing my iphone from the kids is not knowing radiation levels. It’s something I haven’t researched so I’m not comfortable handing it over without knowing acceptable levels. Green Child Magazine wrote a great article about radiation –  the link is here. Another trigger for me with telling my kids they would no longer be allowed to touch or hold my phone was after reading the article about phones being used as ‘shut up toys’. I wrote about this topic and still think a lot of times we are rolling over with excessive electronics just to keep our kids quiet or babysat.

If you want to keep kids close to you and entertained without electronics there are 3 great tools to have in your purse: notepad, deck of cards, all natural nail polish. I realize the nail polish might not work for all boys, but I use it when I’m desperate to keep my girls happy. They only get to apply Piggy Paint occasionally so it’s a treat and they can apply it perfectly by the age of 6. Using the nail polish is a great way for the girls to make friends because usually if another child sees the nail polish appear, they come over and ask if they can use it too. And since the ingredient list is pretty clean on this brand, parents always seem happy with it.

I mentioned keeping cards in my basket. If I know there will be longer periods of boredom I try to keep a deck of Gamewright cards on me. I’ve written about this brand of cards before and can’t say enough about our favourites Sleeping Queens, Too Many Monkey, Rat-A-Tat-Cat, and Zip Zap. Any of these will keep my girls happy for long stretches of time! If you are local to Vancouver, Dilly Dally Kids carries this line of card games or they are available online via Gamewright.

 

And isn’t there just magic with a new pad of paper and pen? My kids all love a new sketchpad or writing journal and look so cute sitting concentrated with their pen to paper. Kids can doodle, draw, play XOs, or Hangman. It sounds so simple but veteran parents know it’s the basics that kids love – and a notepad is no exception. All of the pictures in this post have been taken on different days at the hockey rink and you can see in the below picture, one of my girls was practicing her ‘handwriting’.

We’ve been lucky this year that most of the siblings that bounce around the rink have left electronics at home. All it takes is one kid to pull out an ipod and you’ve got 10 kids all hanging over their shoulder trying to get a peek at the app they are playing. We’ve seen this before and it makes the free play aspect more challenging.  But they are mimicking adults and if you look around, you’ll find people of all ages no longer able to just sit. If they have a quiet moment (and I’m guilty of this) the phone comes out and we get plugged in. We are building a society that just can’t be or focus. This isn’t to sound preachy because with using my phone for a camera I have it with me constantly and I know the kids see that. But limiting their technology is important because although parents swear by learning apps on ipads/ipods,  face-to-face social skills are also important for children’s self confidence and growth.

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Dilly Dally Kids – Wooden Wonders

I rarely get the treat of walking into a business to write a review – normally we focus on online stores. So while this article is more directed at Vancouver consumers, the rest of North America will meet an online Dilly Dally Kids later this year when they launch their online store. So bookmark them on Facebook and stay up to date on their beautiful sourcing. The wooden selection at this toy store caught my eye last Christmas where I picked up many wooden characters for stockings and rainbow stackers for gifts. This year at Dilly Dally Kids is no different and the wooden selections are hands down unique. Why? I’m convinced you could replace or never be tempted to purchase the plastic characters we buy purely for the detail and durability. Want to see an example? All kids of any age like staples and dinosaurs are one of these toys. Check out the below design of these hand painted wooden dinosaurs available at Dilly Dally – so bright and fun that a child won’t feel ‘forced’ into sustainable play. All of the wooden play figures ranging from woodland, farm, dinosaur, fairy tale, forest creatures have such great detail. The pictures below were all taken from my visit. . .I had a little too much fun setting up the toys!

Continuing on the wooden journey at Dilly Dally Kids – more wooden wonders kept jumping off the shelf. I think wooden toys are my favourite because at the end of their play life – they can be composted. Especially now with wooden toys covered in beeswax or orange oil, then painted with veggie based paints. Do we not all wish we could do away with the hoards of small plastic toys our children collect over the span of their childhood? There is nothing to do with these toys except continue to pass them down until someone finally puts them in the garbage. Knowing these toys will then outlive our grandchildren at the landfill is not a good feeling. It hurts to give plastic toy characters and receive them! So I’m just a huge fan of wood and a classic toy that all children love – BLOCKS. Normally I would give blocks an age rating of 5 and under but I was reminded by my 6 year old daughter and 8 year old son recently how awesome blocks are. Especially the spheres and different shaped blocks – kids will build and discover with a good quality set of blocks for a long time. Invest in a great set early and watch their play evolve over the years. I love the back wall of block at Dilly Dally Kids – it’s just a solid display of all the different classic block options.

There was more magic to discover and I urge you to checkout Dilly Dally on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. They have classic games, work books, stories, stocking stuffers, Waldorf inspired, and traditional toys. I’ll be sharing more of their selections via Facebook, but the last picture I want to share is the fleet of wooden bath toys that are water safe. I also love wood in a child’s bathtub – although it’s trickier to ensure the toy dries properly; tip the boat over and you shouldn’t have any problems. You’ll find less mold on wood toys than plastic ones with holes in the bottom and you don’t need to worry about anything leaching from the plastic. With many of the wooden toys made in Europe at Dilly Dally Kids – these boats are made in Canada. Great sourcing Dilly Dally and check out their holiday gift guide to view more of their amazing toys!

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