65 Reward Ideas for Kids (And brain-science explained)

Parenting isn’t all that hard.

(Sarcasm incoming!)

There’s really nothing to it except:

  • Keeping your child alive
  • Making sure they’re properly fed
  • Getting them enough sleep
  • Helping them do well in school
  • Teaching them to be good, moral people

You know. Just those couple of little things.

And when it comes to getting your child to do, or not do, the things you need them to on their way to becoming fully-functioning and healthy adults, you often need a two-pronged approach.

You can use rewards, and you can use punishments or consequences.

Read more65 Reward Ideas for Kids (And brain-science explained)

I tried Artkive to organize my toddler’s art (Honest Review)

Artkive box review

Any parent of a toddler who goes to school knows this problem well:

The absolutely endless influx of artwork that enters your house on a daily basis.

Yes, it’s cute! It’s adorable! It’s a piece of history!

It’s also incredibly annoying when the pile starts to take over entire rooms in your house.

I’ve written before about some different storage solutions for this particular problem, but there was one, in particular, I really wanted to try first hand:

The Artkive box — It’s a box you fill up with your kid’s art and send off in the mail. A few weeks later, you’ll get a professionally bound book filled with photos of the art. Much easier to store!

Read moreI tried Artkive to organize my toddler’s art (Honest Review)

35 Fun Activities to Do with Your Toddler At Home

Toddler activities for home

You’re not really a parent to a toddler until you’ve thought:

“What the heck am I supposed to do with my kid all day?”

The easiest ways to keep a toddler busy and wear them out usually involve going outside. Going to parks, riding bikes, playing in the yard, etc.

But what if you’re stuck inside with a toddler? What are the best toddler activities you can do at home?

Read more35 Fun Activities to Do with Your Toddler At Home

9+ Ways to Be a Better Dad According to Science

Dads matter.

You probably already knew that, and so did I.

But don’t take it from me. Because the science on the subject is clear as day.

Children with good, loving, actively involved fathers have better outcomes in life.

They:

  • Have healthier relationships
  • Make more money & have more career success
  • Have less psychological problems
  • And often have higher IQs than their peers

That’s not to denigrate single mothers! Or lesbian couples! And it doesn’t doom kids who grow up without a father for one reason or another.

But if you’re alive and well, you owe it to your kids to be the best possible father you can be.

The question is: How exactly can you be a better dad?

Read more9+ Ways to Be a Better Dad According to Science

13 Things Every Dad Needs in His Hospital Survival Kit (What to Pack in the Go-Bag)

Newborn baby crying

Oh boy… (or girl).

The baby’s coming any day now. You can’t stop it or delay it.

So you better be ready!

At some point between 32-35 weeks pregnant, you should pack your hospital go-bag so you’re ready to run out the door should baby decide to make his or her grand entrance.

(It’s always at least somewhat unexpected, so it pays to be prepared ahead of time.)

But what should actually be in daddy’s hospital survival kit? What should dad pack in the hospital go-bag?

Read more13 Things Every Dad Needs in His Hospital Survival Kit (What to Pack in the Go-Bag)

High Chair vs Booster Seat: Differences, When to Switch, Pros & Cons

High chair vs booster seat

It must be tough to be a baby or a toddler and not be able to reach the dinner table!

Luckily, there are plenty of nifty devices they can sit down in and enjoy a meal as part of the family.

If you’re a new parent, or maybe just a rusty one, you might be wondering about the two most common options (outside of stacking phone books on a chair):

What’s the difference between a high chair vs a booster seat?

Read moreHigh Chair vs Booster Seat: Differences, When to Switch, Pros & Cons

The 45 Best Middle Names for Ellie

Baby girl named Ellie

So you’re having a baby.

Congrats!

Since you’re on this page, I can guess a couple of things right off the bat:

You’re having a girl and you’ve decided to name her Ellie.

Unfortunately, you have absolutely no idea what middle name to choose.

Don’t fret! I’m creating guides to the best middle names for every first name for just this kind of scenario.

I won’t waste any more time, let’s get right into the best middle names for a girl named Ellie.

Read moreThe 45 Best Middle Names for Ellie

Artkive vs Plum Print: Competitors Compared on Cost, Service & Quality

Pile of kids art for Plum Print vs Artkive

One of my favorite ways to organize your child’s artwork is to turn some of it into an amazing keepsake.

Sure, you can take one of the best pieces and frame it.

Or you could take 20-30 at a time and turn them into a beautiful, hardbound photo book.

The two best done-for-you services to accomplish this are easily Artkive and Plum Print.

They’re similar in a lot of ways, and both are great, but there are a few key differences to consider if you’re trying to choose between Artkive vs Plum Print.

Read moreArtkive vs Plum Print: Competitors Compared on Cost, Service & Quality

Mini-Crib vs. Bassinet: What Are the Differences, Pros and Cons?

Mini crib vs bassinet explained

Woohoo! Congrats! You’re having a baby!

You’re understandably super excited, and possibly super overwhelmed by all of the choices that you suddenly have available to you. There are just so many decisions, like:

  • Glass bottles or plastic?
  • Formula or breastmilk?
  • What the heck is an umbrella stroller?
  • How will you decorate the nursery?
  • And, what will your baby sleep in?

That last question seems to have an especially large number of options, so let’s take a look at two of the most common sleeping options for newborns: Mini-cribs and bassinets.

They can both be great options if you are looking for a smaller alternative. Perhaps you’re limited on space, or you plan to have your baby sleep in your room and need something that will fit near your bed.

In this article, I want to break down the differences between a mini-crib vs. a bassinet and help you decide which one is right for you; and it might be both!

Read moreMini-Crib vs. Bassinet: What Are the Differences, Pros and Cons?

Mini-Crib vs. Cradle: What Are the Differences, Pros, and Cons?

Mini crib vs cradle explained

Congratulations! You have a new baby on the way!

This is an exciting time, and it’s also a time for a lot of planning and decisions, like:

  • What should be the theme of the nursery?
  • Should we use cloth or disposable diapers?
  • What car seat should I use?
  • Where will the baby sleep?
  • And, what will he sleep in?!

Today, there seem to be so many options of where your new baby can sleep.

If you plan to have your baby sleep in your room at first, have a small nursery, or your new baby will be sharing his room with a sibling, then you may have already considered some options for small spaces, like the cradle and the mini-crib.

In this article, I want to break down the differences between a mini-crib vs. cradle and help you decide which one is right for you; and it might be both! So…what is the difference between a mini-crib vs. cradle?

Read moreMini-Crib vs. Cradle: What Are the Differences, Pros, and Cons?

Complete List of Chores for Dads (And Helpful Tips for Each)

List of chores for dads
Photo by Attila Malarik/Flickr

It’s time for dads to do more.

Don’t get me wrong; this generation of dads is the most involved and engaged we’ve ever seen (here are some cool dad statistics to prove it).

But the numbers don’t lie, and the truth is that the division of labor in most households still falls mostly on women — even working moms.

The benefits of dads doing more chores around the house are proven and undeniable. The example you set for your kids is overwhelmingly positive and has a big impact on the way they view relationships when they grow up.

Besides, pitching in more often is the right thing to do, and it makes you a better man and a better dad.

Here’s a list of typical chores dads do or can help out with. Man chores, you might call them!

Read moreComplete List of Chores for Dads (And Helpful Tips for Each)

3 Easy Ways to Baby Proof Your Oven or Stove Drawer

Arrow pointing to oven or stove drawer

The kitchen might be the room if your home that’s full of the MOST dangerous stuff for a baby.

We’re talking:

  • Knives
  • Hot burners
  • Breakable glasses & plates
  • Heavy pots & pans

And the list goes on!

For that reason, the kitchen should be high on your list when it comes to baby proofing.

But how do you baby proof the oven drawer? (Also known as the stove drawer or broiler drawer, it’s the little metal compartment that slides out from the bottom of your oven.)

Read more3 Easy Ways to Baby Proof Your Oven or Stove Drawer