Thursday, January 3, 2013

Welcome to Toddler Approved in 2013!

To kick off 2013 I want to take a moment to get to know each other a little better. 

I'm going to introduce you to me and my family and then I would LOVE for you to share a little bit about yourself, your family, and your goals for 2013 in the comments. Hopefully we can work together to accomplish a few of them this year!

I'm Kristina, the founder of Toddler Approved. 


(our little family in San Francisco over the holidays)

I am the mom of three kids. I have a newborn boy, a 2 year-old girl, and an almost 5 year-old boy. I am married to the most awesome and handsome guy ever too. :)

In my free time I love to create, eat chocolatey things, spend time with friends, be outdoors, take photos of my kids, read books, blog, make new friends, and run.

In 2013 I want to prioritize. I shared a post last year called Super Mom Debunked. After several weeks of trying to decide what I want to focus on this year... I realized I already have some pretty great personal goals in that post that I want to explore more. It is going to be tough, but wonderful.


My Toddler Approved kid helpers are Andrew (almost 5) and Catie (2). Hopefully Ryan (my newborn) will get more involved this year too!

Andrew loves volcanoes, rockets, space shuttles, reading books, building with Legos, drawing, riding his bike, and attending his kinderprep school program. He starts kindergarten in the Fall.



Catie loves trains, reading books, collecting stuffed animals, putting together puzzles, drawing, painting, baking with mom, and doing anything her big brother likes to do.


Ryan loves sleeping, eating, smiling, cooing, and sticking out his tongue.


Toddler Approved is a site where I love to share activities we do together and things we create. As a parent I am constantly learning new things too, so this is a space where I share tidbits of insight I glean from reading cool books, attending workshops, or talking to other awesome parents like you. Occasionally I also share about products or resources that I enjoy that I hope you will find useful.

In 2013 I am looking forward to getting to know more of the wonderful people that make up our Toddler Approved community. I love interacting with you on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Pinterest, and here on the blog. I am in awe of all of the extraordinary parents, teachers, caregivers, grandparents, counselors, SLPs, etc. that I have met since I started this site almost three years ago.

I appreciate those of you that take a second to leave a comment, shoot me an email to tell me you tried an activity, or even just click "like" when I share an idea on Facebook. You rock.

I am really looking forward to an incredible new year.

Thanks so much for subscribing to Toddler Approved.

If you are new to Toddler Approved, here are a few of my favorite posts that you might want to check out:

Now it is your turn. Who are you and what are you hoping to accomplish in 2013? 

26 comments:

  1. Kristina it's been a delight getting to know your family this year through Toddler Approved. It's funny that I didn't realize until recently how close our 2 year olds are. I blog at The Educators' Spin On It with my best friend Amanda. I have 3 children too that are 2, 6 and almost 20. I'm hoping to simplify things this year at our home. I feel like my kids are growing so very fast and I don't want to miss it. Looking forward to our adventures in 2013 with the Virtual Book Club with you!

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    1. Kim- the feeling is mutual and I agree that the kiddos are growing too fast! 2013 is going to be a great year!! :)

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  2. I'm hoping that can get back to doing more daily schooling and reading with my girls. I'm hoping that I can work towards more peaceful parenting instead of fire fighting parenting style that I've had lately. I also want to grow my blog more and work on things that I love to do with my girls. Plus I want to do monthly challenges with my girls.

    I'm also so glad that you do the book club My girls have loved being a part of it!

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    1. I love the goal of peaceful parenting Cassie. That is one that I have too. I'd love to hear ore about your monthly challenges!

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  3. Hi Kristina. This is a great post. I love getting to "know" your family. My oldest son is 4 1/2 and in prek also. My second son will be 3 next week. I love your goals for 2013 because I have several of the same! I want so speak with more positive words with my family. I feel like lately, I just tell my children "no" all the time... with two rough boys it's easier to just shout "no" over the constant loud running and wrestling! I love toddler approved because the activities help me channel my boys energy into something more productive! Like the volcano. I'm definitely trying out a volcano... think how much shouting could get out while they watch a volcano errupt!! ;) Thanks for all you are doing here.I'll catch you in the VBC this year.

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    1. Thanks Jackie :) i completely relate to just yelling over the craziness. I am hoping to find more ways to channel our energy this year too/ A volcano project would definitely be a good one for your boys :)

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  4. I'm Becky from This Reading Mama. Your little boy is PRECIOUS and growing so fast!! I have 4 kiddos: 2 boys and 2 girls and we're DONE! :) I look forward to watching the kids grow and finding a better balance in homeschooling, blogging, and time with my Lord. Looking forward to 2013! :)

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    1. Thanks Becky!! He IS growing too fast! Balancing everything is so tricky. Your goals sound fabulous for thew new year!

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  5. I've been thinking a lot about the new year and I would love to focus on really living...dare to live as Rachel @Finding Joy put it. Being present, slowing down with my family, and trying new things that we may be a bit hesitant of. Looking forward to following along with you and your family this year!

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    1. Such a perfect goal. Being present is a goal I have too!

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  6. Happy New Year, Kristina! I always enjoy reading your posts. Looking forward to this year's batch!

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  7. I love this post- thank you for sharing with us. My goals for 2013 are also similar to make an effort to be present in each moment, rather than always be thinking ahead to what's next, what we have to do, what we should do when the kids want to move on to the next activity.

    I also have set a goal of getting outside every day with the kids. We spend a lot of time outside now, but I want to make sure they get outside, at least for a few minutes, each day.

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    1. Perfect. It is so funny how we are so anxious to do something new and cool and the kids are content to stick with the same activity forever. Being present and still is a great goal! I also love the "get outside" one. I need to add that to my growing list!

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  8. I have 2 children, 13 months apart. My daughter, 2 1/2, has Down Syndrome. When we found out we were pregnant with our son I was so worried that I would not be able to give my daughter the attention she needed to thrive. Boy was I wrong! Having her and our son so close in age has been so amazing. They are best buds and she is learning so much from him already! I am always looking for ways to play and teach at the same time and your blog has been wonderful for that - thank you! My goal for the coming year is to simplify. By simplifying I can be more present for my children, let go of having a 'perfectly' clean house, and stop the running running running! I want to simplify in order to enjoy my children to the fullest extent!

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    1. Your note just makes me so happy. Your kiddos are so lucky to have one another and you. Simplifying is a fabulous goal!

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  9. I have 3 children. My boys are almost 5 also and my daughter is almost 2. It is almost always crazy around here...We are up in Canada and blanketed in lots of snow right now so I am always hunting for new activities to do with my little munchkins that include all of them. Love reading these and all your great ideas. Thanks

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    1. I love trying to do activities that include all ages too. Makes things so much simpler! Thanks for taking a moment to comment! Hope to hear from you more this year if you have any great ideas for us too since our kids are the same ages!

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  10. I love meeting you and your family this way. I have 3 kids (13, 10 and 8). I blog at PragmaticMom.com. I want to read more middle grade fiction this year and do more art with a science/math spin (STEM to STEAM). I want to focus on life skills for kids as well as think to 5 years in which my oldest will be out of the house and on her own (sort of) and what she will need to succeed.

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  11. Hi Kristina! Oh, I love kids pictures! My two are older and one now hides from the camera (he's 15). My daughter (who is 9) loves the camera so I hope that continues for a while longer. Our goals are to explore some new places this year, try kayaking, and focus on life skills (as Mia said above - my oldest is gone in 2.5 years - they grow wayyy to quickly). We also have reading goals each year and are still clarifying those - we would all read forever if the world would let us :-) Happy New Year!

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  12. I love your site! We decided to "home school" my almost 3yr old son after an unsuccessful stint at preschool (he just wasn't ready yet and cried every time we dropped him off). The curriculum was also entirely too focused on academics and not enough about being a kid! We love doing the activities you post to explore and keep our minds busy! Thank you for posting and looking forward to a fun filled 2013!

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  13. Hi Kristina,

    I've really been enjoying your blog! My son is four and just started pre-school this week. He loves it! My daughter is turning three in a few weeks. My goals for this year are: 1. to have successful transition to school for my son. (Successful may mean waiting a year, trying to figure that out right now.) 2. Spend some good time learning my daughter's strengths and weaknesses, and addressing her as an individual. 3. Do something that allows me to use more of my teaching backround/interests. Maybe just blogging, maybe tutoring, we'll see. I blog about teaching stuff (mostly to my kids) at wisdomknowledgejoy.blogspot.com.

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  14. Hi there! I am Jolie, mom of 2 rambunctiously fun boys (almost 2 and 4 1/2). THis year I chose a theme word for the year. . . the first time I have actually commited to something like that. That word would be "shine". I want to shine for Jesus more in my neighborhood. I am finishing up my 3 year reign as MOPS coordinator and homeschooling my 4 year old. I guess, I am going to shine for Jesus as I live out my life as mom, wife, homemaker, friend, neighbor, etc. Now I am just rambling. I love your blog, and you bring a lot of inspiration to me as I bring down my former 3rd grade teacher self to the preschool level. Thanks! oh and my blog is outoftherightbrain.blogspot.com

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  15. Hi! I live in upstate New Yok and the mom of two boys, my oldest is 4 and my youngest will be 3 at the end of the month. My 4 year old loves Batman, dinosaurs, Legos, books, and attending preschool. My almost 2 year old is obsessed with trains (especially Thomas!), he really enjoys sensory activities, and tries to do everything his big brother does! I have really enjoyed all of the projects and activities that you post. It gives my crazy boys an outlet for their enrergy, and me a little bit of sanity when they are busy working on a craft!! Things have been hectic for the past 6 months, we built a house over the summer/fall and were living in a small rental house. Now that we are finally moved in and settled (for the most part!), I'm very excited to start getting back into our routine of daily projects, activities, play, and learning time. Thank you for all of the terrific ideas you post!!

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  16. Hi Kristina! I'm down here in Deep East Texas. I have an ants-in-your-pants 3 year old son and a I'm-my-own-princess 20 month old girl. I've started tot school with my son and my daughter is coming up the rear. I can't wait to really get into your blog and jot down the fantastic ideas that you've "toddler approved" for me to share with my little ducklings. Thanks for being the guinea pig for us! I plan on continuing to homeschool my children until my sanity will allow me and I'm always looking for ideas that peak their interests. I also head up the Mommy & Me group for our town after only living in the area for 1 month, because the original mom's kids were about 4 years older and no one else seemed to want to do it. However, it has been a huge blessing to be a part of such an amazing group by meeting women that are in the same situation as I am in.

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    1. Welcome Dena! So glad to have you here! Hope you'll share all about what you do in tot school with us!

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