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Celebrity Baby Blog

Reviews Roundup: Some of Catie’s favorite things at two-years-old

07/22/2007 at 09:00 AM ET

by CBB Reviews Editor Teba

The love of my life turns two-years-old today and though Iam up to my ears in Elmo-themed party supplies, I thought it would be a greatopportunity to do a roundup of some of her favorite things.

Colors, Counting, Shapes & Animals Stacking Blocks
312bqhps8wl_ss500__2These days (and for quite some time now) we are huge fans ofblocks in our house. My husband and I wake in the morning to one command:Blocks! When I get home from the office, I barely have time to take my jacketoff before I am ordered to sit on the floor and stack blocks. Whenever we have company over, they are givena kiss hello and hustled over to the playroom floor so they too can get a goodlook at Catie’s blocks.

Indeed, when my husband’s godmother gave her the Colors,Counting, Shapes & Animals Stacking Blocks as a Christmas gift lastyear, I am not sure she quite expected her gift to be received with this muchadmiration. As it turns out, however,stacking blocks are The Best Thing in the Entire World (next to Mommy, ofcourse) especially because after stacking them they can be knocked down. What ablast!

These blocks not only entertain her (on her own – quite thefeat) for the better part of the day, but they’re also quite educational (theseparticular ones teach colors, numbers, farm animals and shapes) and help withhand to eye coordination. I also likethe fact that they nest and come with a storage box for easy cleanup. 

There are a bunch to choose from, but I found this great seton amazon that will only cost you $6!


Signing Time DVDs

Dvd01I learned about how well babies respond to sign languageeven before a baby was even a thought in my head. When my little cousin startedshowing signs of speech delays, his mom started aggressively teaching him howto sign and I watched as he went from a frustrated toddler who could notverbalize his wants to a content little boy who could easily ask for what hewanted with his hands and expressions.  

We started signing with Catie almost from the instant shewas born and by 10-months she knew her basic signs (milk, eat, water and, muchto my husband’s delight, daddy). Just around her first we bought thefirst three Signing Time DVDs and experienced a sign language explosion. Now attwo-years-old, she knows nearly 200 signs. ASL is so prominent in our household that I often find myself saying and signing words to kids whose parents never taught them ASL at all.

Catie loves her Signing Time DVDs and so do my husband andI. The stars of the series include Rachel, her daughter Leah and her nephewAlex. Each DVD has a “theme” of sorts(right now we are working on DVD 9, which is Zoo Animals) and teaches you basicsigns. All three of us learn our signs withina few viewings of the DVDs.

Signing has not only helped us abate the tantrums that stemfrom a toddler not being able to verbalize his or her wants (Can’t say grapes?Don’t get frustrated; just sign “Mama/Want/Grapes.” It works – I swear it!) butit has also helped tune her fine motor skills in a big way. Aside from allthese benefits, it has also brought another beautiful language into our alreadymulti-lingual household. I have been completelyamazed by Catie’s ability to not only learn all these languages (she hearsthree languages, as well as ASL on a daily basis) but to also register whospeaks what (she no longer signs with her grandparents, for example, becauseshe knows they only speak Spanish…though she will often teach them signs)!

I could go on and on about how great these DVDs are but youshould really check out the Signing Time site. I always buy mine from ChildSigning.com because I find their prices aregreat and the shipping is free.

Doll Stroller
Ek1202_lAfter seeing all the kids fight over who would get to push Anya’sdoll stroller I decided to buy Catie her own. I ended up “splurging” for a $7 stroller at Target.  Let’s just say it was the best $7 I’ve spentin a long time! Catie loves this stroller and wants to take it everywhere,including parking it in front of the potty when she has to go. Her baby doll sometimes gets to come alongfor the ride but more often than not you’ll find me and Catie walking down thestreet while she pushes her empty baby stroller. It’s just that much fun!

In hindsight I do wish I had spent the $20something that Anya’sMaclaren doll stroller costs but I had no way of knowing we would get this muchuse out of it. I’ll also point out here that this is a great gift for littleboys too. I feel like people don’t ever buy little boys strollers for whateverreason (they’ll want to grow up to be mommy??) but I find that all kids lovedoll strollers regardless of gender.

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Nicole on

Where did you purchase the Maclaren stroller for 20$. I have been looking for the double stroller and have yet to find anyone that carries it online and ships it. If you have any information on where to purchase or who to call….PLEASE let me know. I am in desperate need of one.

JoLynda on

I couldn’t agree more. My daughter turned 2 last week (and along with an elmo themed party)what you have listed are her TOP fav’s.

We love signing times, as an asl educator I like that they use real asl as opposed to baby signs.

Mom101 on

Good point Danielle! Anyone who’s ever been to a toddler playground knows boys love pushing doll strollers too.

And anyone who thinks that pushing strollers is just for females…well, she needs to get herself a new husband, stat.

Sarah’s note: This post is by Teba from our reviews site — Danielle just posted it for her. :)

Ashley on

What a great list! Thanks so much for posting it.
My little boy will be 1 in two months. I am having such a hard time thinking of something to get him. He is the youngest of 4 boys, so he already has a lot of stuff. Is there a list you have for 1 year olds as well?
Thanks so much!

Megan on

Nicole, she’s referring to a doll stroller, not a real Maclaren.

We love the Signing Time videos here too! My twins go nuts for them.

Stacey on

My “little” family of 5 children love Signing Time! too. Did you know that there are 3 more DVD’s coming out in Signing Time! series 2? Check out a sneak peek of one of the new songs at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLytj7PNj44 You’re gonna love it.

lynja_the_ninja on

I’m so glad to see that you are a multi-lingual family and that it is working for you. We are a signing family. I sign to my children from birth and they start watching Signing Time at about 4 months. We think the Signing Time videos are the best. Thanks for shareing what works for you.

Janel on

Signing Time has helped my family too. Besides learning new signs our family just loves hearing the cool and catchy tunes. And Rachel’s voice is just so beautiful. Hey they’ve got one of the new songs on their website
http://www.signingtime.com/article_info.php?articles_id=25&osCsid=b5f0ff900530c01ee3de909f22c100bc

thanks so much for sharing this with others!

Gina Tucker on

You’re right in line with Signing Time! It is a favorite and a must in our family…both of my kids have learned to sign with ST and it has been the greatest blessing and biggest lifesaver for our family. Everyone needs some ST! in their home!

Jennifer Ackerson on

We love signing time too. It has helped my kids so much and it is fun. They will be releasing new volumes in september. You can also check it out on many PBS stations accross the country.

Vickie Wood on

I am so excited to see the good reviews of Signing Time on your website! My grandchildren have learned so much from watching Rachel, Alex and Leah and the kids in my class LOVE learning to read as well as sign from watching the videos. Your daughter has good taste!

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