The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum – Oh THE Place Your Kids Want To Go!

In case you haven’t heard, about a month ago, the Springfield Museums in Massachusetts (about 2 hours west of Boston) added a new museum, The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss,Β the first and only museum dedicated to Dr. Seuss. Alia and I had a blast there, and we’re here to share the highlights of our visit.

Oh a quick FYI, I haven’t read many Dr. Seuss books to Alia so she has very little clue of the characters or the stories. After yesterday’s visit, she only remembers the Cat in the Hat :p. But that didn’t not stop her from having SO MUCH FUN!Β 

The museum is part of the Springfield Museums, so the admission fee of $25 for adults and $13 for kids age 3-17 will allow you access to all of their 5 museums (George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield Science Museum, Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, and the Dr. Seuss Museum and Sculpture Garden). What an awesome deal?! They give you a bracelet after you purchase the admission tickets and you are free to roam around to all museums as your please. The museum parking is free, and on street parking is fairly easy to find.Β 

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I’d recommend this museum to families with kids age 2-6 based on the kinds of activities that they have. There were a good number of teenage children too. I think because the museum is very colorful and filled with memorable quotes from Dr. Seuss books, there’s much to do and most importantly it makes everyone happy, no matter the age. Β 

It is recommended that you purchase the admission tickets in advance (with no additional fee) as the Dr. Seuss Museum gets crowded. You’re expected to enter the museum at the stated time, and you can stay for as long as you like. Our tickets were for 2 P.M. so we visited the science museum and the sculpture garden first.

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Gifts for your toddler 18 mo and 2.5 year old

Thanksgiving Day is next week and this means Black Friday ads are out! Many of you have probably started making a list of β€œwhat should we get for the kids?” so I thought I’d share a list of things that may be good for your toddler, who is becoming more adventurous, independent, talkative, and imaginative – it’s fun to watch their world expand πŸ˜€

If you’re looking for gifts for children age 12-18 months old, click here

Art supplies: 

There are so many independent activities and guided projects that you can with your toddler. Stock up on art supplies. Crayola often has some great deals on Zulily and Amazon (up to 60% off). Michaels has buy one get one off sales or use their store coupons to score some great art supplies. Here are what get used the most in our house:

  • washable kids paint, washable markers (pip squeaks markers from Crayola are small enough for toddlers to open and close the lids by themselves), colored pencils, crayons (the triangular crayons are good for toddlers to practice pencil grip), water color paint
  • smock
  • no-spill cups and brushes  as seen on the pics above (they contain the mess when you do painting)
  • construction papers
  • glue (we mainly use Elmer’s glue)
  • art easel and the rolled paper (preferably an easel that is height adjustable and foldable).

Fine motor skills, sensorial work, language development:

Many of the toys used to enhance her fine motor skills, senses, and language skills were bought when she turned 1 (see this post for more details). As she gets older, we have elaborated on how we use the materials. We began focusing on names and attributes of colors, shapes, sizes, emotions, animals and their features, etc. For instance, now when Alia plays with this peg board from Haba, she makes patterns or we take turns calling out on different colored pegs to put on the board. She now uses a pair of tongs to sort the pretend fruits (sorting material from Learning Resources). And we have used stickers in a more deliberate way like matching numbers.

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Traveling halfway around the world with a toddler

It’s been a week since we landed in the States, and I can say that we’ve recovered from jet lag. No more mommy daycare at 3 am and no more serving meals at 5 am. :p In late June, my family wentΒ back to Indonesia. Many people asked how our flight was considering that it was Alia’s first long-haul flight – we’re talking about a 20-something hour flight! So I thought that I’d share some tips on how to survive (and enjoy) a plane ride with a toddler.Β img-20160912-wa0000

<– Alia and I before we left Jakarta πŸ˜€

The three of us flew together to Jakarta, but it was a mother-daughter trip back to the States because Alia’s dad came back early. Being the only adult taking care of a young child is very different than having a partner to help you. But whether you fly with your entire family or just with your baby/toddler, packing lightly and efficiently is key! Okay, I know… Most of usΒ feel that we need to bring the entire house with us heheheh, but I learned that to survive a long-haul flight and all the walking at the airport, you have to pack efficiently.Β 

What to pack when you travel with a toddler?Β 

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Traveling solo with a toddler – challenge accepted!

I wrote awhile ago that when you travel with a baby/toddler, you can no longer travel with them with only a backpack. I mean think about the number of their “favorite” toys that you have to bring on the trip… But I did it last week – well, I brought a backpack, a small tote bag, and a stroller with me. Not bad, huh? :p

Day OneΒ 

So last week, Alia and I took our first overnight trip together to Bandung. We took the morning train from Jakarta. I brought along our usual survival kit – stickers, a set of coloring kit, a notebook, and a ton of snacks.

Once we got to the station, we got picked up by Pak Tono. He’s the driver that we hired through a car rental company. He was our driver during our previous trip to Bandung with Alia’s dad, and he was great! Very knowledgeable and helpful. So this time I specifically requested him again (ask for Pak Tono if you need to rent a car and a driver in Bandung). We’re off to Lembang then.

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Learn through Play with Baby Alia 9-12 months old

Another super late post by yours truly :p I just finished going through our online photo albums to look for pictures to use in this post, and wow… We sure were busy during this time of the year (thus a very long post)! A lot of outdoor activities and “jalan-jalan” aka sightseeing to new places, plenty of (very messy) sensory play, the beginning of self feeding, more #diytoys!Β 

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Baby-led weaning (by accident): Why by accident? Well, we didn’t start off with baby-led weaning (BLW) when Alia started solids at 6 months old. But for whatever reason, around 10 months old, she refused to eat puree and took more interest in self-feeding. I did my reading homework, online and using this book, and we said goodbye to all the purees. For those of you doing BLW, you’re familiar with the process – super messy hahah! At the beginning, she mainly used her hands (she still does now) and slowly we introduced utensils. When we went out, we brought disposable placemat like these ones, a bib, and her utensils (we use the ones from OXOΒ till now).Β Β 

She only became an enthusiastic eater recently (since we stopped nursing) – YEAH!!! Before that? Continue reading

Traveling with a toddler

Traveling with a baby/toddler means you no longer can only bring one backpack and leave. Is it just me or do you also feel that you have to bring a million things for a week trip? Seriously, I had to packΒ an entire carry on bag just for our beloved lil’ Alia! :p Β 

Whenever we travel, I always pack a few toys and books. But this time, I brought more than usual to keep her engaged in the car and at the restaurants/friend’s house.Β 

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papers and a clipboard,Β crayons,Β sticker book, blocks, and several #diytoys: pom pom drop, straw drop, and button bank

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