Joy of Learning

Whether you’re a mom-to-be or a mom of three, our blog-savvy moms are your go-to gals for toy reviews and recommendations, play-time tips and mom secrets that they’ve learned along the way.

Join the conversation! Follow their blogs as they chronicle their own real-life play stories.

Blog Posts

Carla Five Ways You Can Train Your Children to Be Charitable

You do not have to be a millionaire for you to give. Even if you have few resources, you can still be charitable. If you need budgeting or financial advise, visit or As a parent, if you believe in philanthropy, it is important to train your children to give whole heartedly to children’s charities, disability charities and other kinds of donations. A famous quote goes ‘Teach your children values such that when they grow, they will not depart from them.’ Charitably raising your kids pays off in the end; since it helps them to fit well in the society and they can pass on the value to future generations.

Just like any other parenting skill, instilling the value of charity in kids is not easy. The strategies outlined below will be of great help while you are at it.

1. Help neighbors
Engage in service oriented projects regularly such as monthly donation initiatives. You can rake the yard of the elderly couple next door. Try baking cookies for the service people and ensure you involve your children. You can also ask them to give up a few toys as charityy gifts for the children’s home near our home.

2. Donate clothes
Periodically go through closets taking out clothes you have not worn for a while. Teach the children to do the same. You can then take these clothes to the homeless family in your neighborhood or give them to a charity organization for distribution. Avoid choosing what they should give on their behalf. Instead, allow them to decide so that they can learn the value of charity giving. You can opt to donate monthly, yearly or any other interval, so long as it is regular.

3. Deliver food
You can buy food baskets during the holiday season. Involve your children by allowing them to select foodstuffs to be put in the basket for charitable giving. While at it, you can train them on how to partake a balanced diet by guiding them on how to select the food.

4. Help the elderly
Besides children’s charities, you can also teach your kids to give to the elders. A home for the elderly would be ideal to visit, but there are also other options you can go for. For instance, ask your kids to help you mow the grass at an elderly couple’s backyard. You can also allow them to wash the car for grandma and grandpa or assist them to plant flowers.

5. Make their birthdays charitable
Include charitable giving in your children’s’ birthday parties. You can buy a book alongside their school party’s goodies and ask them to give it to a child who lacks the book in their school. Explain that one way of celebrating the happy days in our lives is by giving to the needy. You can record a video or take photos of them as they give out the donation, and revisit these memories during future birthdays. More helpful information can be found at Christian Blind Mission.

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Carla What Can You Expect At A Baby Show Exhibit?

Baby Convention


When expecting a child, you need all the help you can get. Attending The Baby Time Shows before or after the arrival of your bundle of joy is imperative as one can never be too prepared for the arrival of their newborn. The event is an exhibition geared to parents.


Interaction with manufacturers

Baby shows has different vendors who all have products and services on display that make parenting much easier. Typical exhibitors, one might find at the show are baby gear providers which could include baby carrier manufacturers offering unique gear with items that consist of slings, baby wraps, car seats and even strollers. The exhibition-goers interact with the products on display, with the opportunity to test out products, making inquiries on the price, warranty, and other important considerations. As a parent, interacting with the various brands makes decision-making more informed. Having a baby is expensive, so the opportunity to plan ahead and ensure one gets the right and the best products for mother and child is key.


Expert advice

Baby shows are not only a great time to shop for products you might need for the infant but it also offers the possibility for one to interact with seasoned practitioners in the area of child care. Health care providers from midwives to pediatricians as well as nutritionists frequent the shows providing advice on the best care for mother and child before and after the pregnancy. Some stands may even offer training on emergency response for infants. This often includes CPR, mouth to mouth resuscitation and more. There is a wealth of information available at the exhibition and extends to financial institutions giving their two cents on financial policies for families, education policies and so forth. Some events may even hold seminars with key speakers on vital issues like breastfeeding and even how to tackle postpartum depression.


Interaction with auxiliary service providers

When having a baby some aspects of the journey before and after the pregnancy are easily forgotten. Since most baby shows provide a 360 experience; baby photographers, interior decorators, and even daycare providers offer exhibition-goers information on the services on offer to attendants. As a soon-to-be- mom having all the vendors all in one show enables one to ensure everything is sorted to make for a smoother ride when the baby finally arrives.

Baby shows provide all the necessary information to ensure mother and child are well catered for. From pre-natal nutrition advice to the ability to identify the best stroller and even find out more about early learning centers for your child. The exhibition helps parents get better prepared for their bundle of joy. Get more family advice at

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Carla 5 Developmental Benefits Of Using Child Care

Child Care

Parents who have at least one children are often faced with the decision on if they’re going to use child care. Many working parents don’t have a choice on placing their kids in daycare while others want to decide if they’ll return back to work. When considering child care for an infant or toddler, there are a few benefits to the service.

Social Interaction

Children who spend time at home with their parents often don’t have interaction with other kids during the day. This can make them extremely needy and reliant on the parents when they want to be entertained. A licensed home daycare can allow kids to make friends in a fun setting, which can encourage children to become confident and learn how to get along with other individuals who are their age.

Less Stress for Parents

Studies show that parents who stay home with their children during the day are more likely to experience emotional problems and stress over the years. Placing children in daycare can offer an outlet for parents who may be struggling to stay home during the day, which can negatively affect the children. This can increase the level of care for the child and allow them to thrive by having parents who are emotionally stable.

Better Behavior

One of the many benefits of placing a child in daycare is that their behavior can improve as they develop. They’ll have to learn how to solve problems, share, and work in teams. This will allow them to become more flexible in different settings instead of becoming accustomed to an environment where they’re alone. Many child care providers also have strong educational backgrounds, which can help them steward the attitudes of the child and help them develop mentally. This can allow children to learn how to obey authority both in and outside of the home, which will make it easier for parents to raise their children. To get more advice like this, visit

A Higher Level of Intellect

Studies show that children who are placed in daycare have higher levels of intellect because they’re in an environment where they can observe their surroundings on a consistent basis. They’re also able to participate in parallel play instead of playing alone. This can improve how well they get along with others and allows them to learn from their peers in a group setting.

A Stronger Immune System

Although children are more prone to get sick in the first years of their life as they’re placed in daycare, they can still benefit from the illnesses over time. Being exposed to germs and colds early on can allow kids to develop a stronger immune system, which can help them combat various types of sickness as they grow and develop.

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Carla 5 Ways To Make The Trip To The Family Dentist Easier For Your Kids

family dentist Oshawa

Regular dental checkups are important for the entire family. But often, children are frightened by a visit to the dentist. However, there are many things that parents can do to make the experience pleasant or even fun.  Oshawa dentist shares insight on five things you can do to help make it the best dental experience possible:

Set a Good Example

Children can pick up on their parents’ attitudes. Make sure that you and your spouse are always upbeat and happy when planning a trip to the dentist. If a parent is afraid, the children will also be afraid. Be sure to act excited for the visit, and tell your children how important dentists are.

Offer a Reward

Most family dentists give children stickers or small toys after a visit, but you can plan your own rewards as well. Schedule a fun outing right after your dental examination so that children will see the dentist as a prelude to some fun. Focus on activities, like going to the zoo, instead of food or other treats. Remember that when children receive fluoride treatments, they must go half an hour without eating or drinking.

Bring Toys and Games

Sometimes the waiting room is the hardest part of a visit to the dentist. Smaller children do not like to sit still and wait, and children who are already nervous will likely become more agitated with a long wait. Bring a set of favorite books and toys to keep children calm, distracted and happy before the appointment starts. Avoid candy and other treats, though, or your child may need more extensive cleaning.

Find a Good Dentist

Not all dentists focus their practice on families and children. However, good family dentists are easy to find. Ask friends and neighbors, or check out social media sites where people leave reviews of businesses. Look for a dentist who works with children and is noted as having a pleasant demeanor. A dentist who specializes with families and children is also more likely to have an office and staff who are more welcoming and friendly to children. Family dentists may also be more able to accommodate appointments for the whole family on the same day so that you won’t have to make multiple trips. Visit if you are interested in dentistry or careers.

Foster Good Dental Hygiene

A trip to the dentist can be painless, but only if a child has taken good care of their teeth. Teach your children to brush and floss daily, and make sure that they know the proper techniques. Healthy teeth and gums will be less sensitive and less likely to bleed at a dental checkup, which will help make children more comfortable with the trip. A child with clean teeth will also receive praise from their family dentist, something they can be proud of.

Going to the dentist doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Maintaining a healthy mouth and building hygiene habits can prevent many health problems later in life. Do the research to find a good family dentist at Your Smile Dental Care, and then make sure that your child is prepared for t

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Carla Making Birthday Parties Fun With Party Rentals

Birthday Party Rentals


Are you having a party for a child? If so, you will need party rentals for the party. Children of all ages love to have their birthday parties with their close family members and friends from school and other extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, we all know how difficult arranging a big children’s party can be. To help you do it, this article will help you decide on party rentals and other essentials for the big day. Read on to learn more.


How many people are coming?

Figure out how many kids and other adults will be at the party, and go from there. Once you have a rough idea about how many people will be attending, you can start renting. If the party will be outdoors, you will definitely need a party tent. This is just always a good idea, because it might rain (or snow!), or the sun might be very harsh on the day of the party, and a tent will not only be a great backup for bad weather, but it will be a place of refuge for those who do not want to participate in a specific activity or game.


Fun activities to do

Next you need to rent party activities for the children. One great activity that pretty much all kids love is the bouncy house. A bouncy house (or bouncy castle as it is sometimes called), is a giant blow up house or castle that kids can get inside and jump all around in. It is completely safe and super fun for kids of all ages. If kids are below the age of five, however, they may need to be supervised by an adult. And of course, children who are older (in their teens or more) and adults should not go in the bouncy castle and bounce as it is not designed for them.

You can rent different sizes and types of bouncy houses for parties, just make sure to do so far in advance. Another rental that kids love is a chocolate fountain. This is a great dessert for kids who love chocolate. Dip angel food cake, strawberries, or other fruits or desserts into the chocolate fountain, and have a ball.

Finally, make sure you are checking in with your child on everything you do to plan for the party. After all, this is his or her big day, so make it their own. Ask about themes, flavor of cake and ice cream, type of bouncy house, entertainment, food, music, etc. Make sure that your child is happy, and the day will go smoothly.

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Carla Reasons That Toddlers Should Try Goat Milk


Easier To Digest

Many toddlers have trouble digesting cow’s milk. The reason that cow’s milk can be difficult to digest is because it has agglutinin. This is a compound that causes fat cells to clump together. Agglutinin can cause regurgitation and other digestive issues in babies.

Goat milk does not have agglutinin. That is why it is less likely to cause digestive issues than cow’s milk. Furthermore, cow’s milk is closer to human breast milk than goat milk.

Contains Less Sugar Than Cow’s Milk

Many children today are taking in too much sugar. Excessive sugar intake can weaken the immune system. It is important to note that toddlers are already more prone to illnesses because their immune systems are still developing. Goat milk has less sugar than cow milk, which is one of the reasons it is a healthier alternative.

Does Not Cause Mucus To Form

Many children develop mucus after they drink cow’s milk. This can irritate existing conditions, such as asthma or allergies. Goat milk yogurt does not cause mucus to form. That is why it is a great choice for children who suffer from allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Less Likely To Cause Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common problem. It occurs because the body is deficient in lactose, which is a enzyme that is needed to digest lactose. Cow’s milk has lactose, which is why many toddlers who drink it experience digestive issues. Goat milk has lactose, but it does not have as much lactose as cow’s milk. That is why toddlers who drink goat milk are less likely to experience digestive problems. Furthermore, the body has an easier time digesting goat milk than cow’s milk.


Goat milk yogurt has many of the nutrients that a growing toddler needs to stay healthy. Calcium is one of the nutrients found in goat milk. This nutrient helps strengthen the bones. Vitamin D is another nutrient that can be found in goat milk. It helps absorb calcium. It is also necessary for keeping the bones healthy.

Additionally, goat milk has protein. Protein helps build and repair muscles and tissue. Riboflavin, iron and healthy fats can also be found in goat milk.

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Carla Connected Through Song…

No matter where you are in the world, when you have a baby they only need a few things.  Those things do not change depending on where you live or what culture they were born into.  Food, Love, to be kept safe and interaction with other people.  Food and safety pretty much speak for themselves, of course a baby needs nourishment, and to be kept free from harm.  Love and interaction are what I want to speak of today.

How we love our children has an impact on how they develop.  As a Mom, as soon as I had my first born something changed inside of me. And the first thing I have a memory of doing with my son was singing to him.  Singing came naturally, I didn’t think about it, I didn’t plan it out.  I didn’t have  a play list ready for him at his birth…the songs came from me.  Songs that have been around for much longer than I have.

I’m not the only mom who sings to their baby.  Likely you have sung to yours too.  In the middle of they night when they were having trouble sleeping.  While rocking in the chair feeding.  Singing is one of the first ways we have to teach our children.  It is a first form of play.

Around the world mother’s do the same thing.  Their babies need consoling, nurturing…and the first thing that happens…momma begins to sing.  Babies know the voice of their mother…they spent near ten months listening to her from inside.  So when mom speaks, reads or sings, it can have a natural calming effect on baby.  Security, safety.  Mom has me.

As children get older, those songs they learn from mom becomes their words.  As mom sings, little ones pick up this word and that, and ads his part to the song.  They learn the important words, like ‘star’ from Twinkle Twinkle, and ‘eieio’ from Old MacDonald.  They learn when to sing them, and where to put them in.  Over time they eventually begin singing it themselves, sometimes missing a few words here and there, often adding words that don’t belong to get a reaction, a smile.

Though the songs may be different, tribal, religious or nursery rhymes, the effect is still the same.  So mama, next time you want to sing to your baby but feel embarrassed someone might hear you…don’t be.  A mother’s voice is always beautiful.

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Carla More in common than not: Kids at play around the world

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Fisher-Price’s Director of Child Research Dr Kathleen Alfano, and listen to hear speak to her experience of seeing kids play all around the world. I loved hearing her perspective, as I’ve always been fascinated by cultural similarities and differences in families. One of the points Dr Alfano made was that children around the world follow more or less the same developmental path, and that play is universal – young children play in a similar way all around the world.

Play is not just a frivolous activity, though. According to Dr Alfano, regardless of their cultural background or upbringing, kids NEED to play. Play helps children develop spacial skills, social skills, self-regulation, communication and more! “Through play,” Dr Alfano explained, “children learn about themselves and others, about how things work, and about the world around them.”

Of course, toys help to facilitate children’s play. According to Jeffrey Goldstein (“Play in Children’s Development, Health and Well-Being”), “Play contributes directly to children’s education and development. But it is toys that stimulate and prolong play. If children are to discover what they are good at, what they like, and what they are like, then they will need variety in their play, and a broad assortment of toys to make it possible.”

So the next time you feel like skipping the housework in favour of playing with your kids – give in to the impulse, and don’t underestimate the power of play. As Plato said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

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Carla Relating to Other Cultures through Play

Experiencing different cultures has always been a priority for me. When I was a teenager, I hosted in a number of exchange students and even traveled to Japan as an exchange student myself. I was always amazed how even though we spoke different primary languages with both of us knowing very little of the other person’s language, we were able to communicate, and create special bonds and memories. Even though cultures and languages vary around the world, many of the ways that we have fun are the same or very similar. As a teenager, I remember sharing special memories doing the things that we both loved like playing piano, dancing, or playing with toys (for example traditional Japanese and Canadian toys).

This was my experience as a teenager, but as I got older and have been able to observe my nieces, nephews, my own daughter and friends, I have noticed that this is their experience as well.

My husband’s family is French and we are a primarily English speaking family, although, I am teaching my daughter some French. Whenever we get together, the kids love to play with each other. Even if they don’t always understand each other verbally, play helps them to express themselves and they always end up having a great time.

In my experience language and culture has never been a barrier to learning or friendships. Instead, it has been a great opportunity to learn and grow…as both a child and adult!

To end, here is a quote that I love and that I feel shares my experience learning from other cultures perfectly! “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”Plato

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Carla Developing New Skills

Do you ever watch your child and wonder how their various skills are developing? Many parents wonder this and even worry if their children are meeting their developmental milestones in the 3 developmental domains, as well as growing their skills.

This month we had the opportunity to try out the Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Puppy. This toy offers many opportunities for your child to develop according to the 3 Pillars of Development.

Over the past month, we have seen our daughter learn and develop along with the Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Puppy, and along with many other household items. She is doing great in all areas but we noticed strong improvements in her physical development. It is great that this toy offers the option of a ride along and walker feature. I was impressed to see how easily and quickly our daughter learned to climb on and off of puppy’s back; she hadn’t done much of this before playing with Puppy.  Since using this toy, we have noticed that our daughter is now climbing on to lots of different things, including child-sized chairs (scary for me – fun for her!) and more.

Before getting this toy, our daughter was starting to enjoy using props to help guide her walking (chairs, her child-sized table, etc.). When we got the Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Puppy, she knew just what to do and started pushing puppy along while walking, whether it was in the walker position or not.  She is seeming to enjoy the new independence that comes with moving around by foot.

Over this past month, our daughter has developed so much in the physical domain. She is enjoying climbing, walking with support, and other tasks. Just today, she started standing on her own!  And she is showing all the signs that she’ll be walking on her own very soon. We are so excited and proud of the new tasks she is learning every day. It is great that she has had a chance to develop these milestones even more with Fisher-Price’s Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Puppy.

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