Category Archives: Toddler

Back to School Shopping Online with

Our eldest (monkey #1) turns 5 at the end of September, which means at the start of this school year he starts kindergarten! I can’t believe that he will officially start school. Deciding on where he should attend kindergarten has been a huge decision, but now that we are finally settled on where he will go, it is time to get him prepared for this exciting new time in his life.

While at preschool this year, he used to wear a uniform that we purchased in store at Cookies Kids. That was our first experience with the Kid’s Department store and we couldn’t believe just how much selection they had in the lines of kids fashion and school uniforms. So I was truly lucky to have been able to interview one of the son’s of the founders of Cookies Kids. It was easy to purchase his yellow shirt, tie and green pants. He was able to wear them everyday with free dress on Fridays. I have to admit, I really liked the whole uniform thing. No worrying what to wear in the morning, no arguments over clothes, wrinkle free uniform without the need to iron, and you have to admit, he looks pretty smart :)

So now that he is off to public school we have to deal with choosing clothes every day, no uniforms here. In between him growing like a weed and wearing a uniform for the past several months, we are in desperate need of a wardrobe update. I had a look at his clothes, and sure enough he’s outgrown most of his fall/winter clothes from last year. I bagged up his ill fitting shirts and sweaters and donated them down at the local bin.

I decided to shop online at for at least one outfit to get him excited about starting at his new school in a couple of weeks. The great part is that Cookies Kids actually has sets under each of the different age groups. Think of it as a built-in stylist for your child, with matching pants and shirt sets most for either $15 or $25. I chose the last one on the row – jeans and a matching hoodie for $14.99. If you’d like to see what others are buying for Back to School from, follow the conversation on Twitter  using #CookiesKids.

I also decided that he needs a new pair of shoes to fit his personality – fancy sneakers that he could easily dress up or down for daily wear and that should be able to withstand his fast pace. This was probably the hardest to choose, at their is truly a cool selection of name brand sneakers for boys. I narrowed it down to high tops, since he already has traditional sneakers, and then chose a darker pair of Filas.

GapKids Shine On Saturdays in New York City

This post is sponsored by GapKids. Check out all the fun Shine On activities at your nearest Gap store. For event dates and locations, visit Gap’s Facebook page and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #ShineOn.

Join GapKids for a series of special art projects by Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag. The projects were inspired by the GapKids and babyGap fall collection, including the best new 1969 denim – Jewel Box Skinnies for girls (the new skinny jean updated in bright stretchy denim) and Action Stretch Denim for boys (designed for play all day- it’s denim that’s made to move). From creating geometric masterpieces on canvas using paint and tape to colorful, custom journals to get kids ready for back-to-school, the projects help kids express their creativity and get their creative juices flowing!

Watch this video to get a feel for the Shine On experience.

Participating New York Stores

Saturday, August 18          GapKids 1511 Third Ave (at 85th and 3rd) from 10AM – 1PM

Saturday, August 25          GapKids 122 Fifth Ave (at 17th and 5th) from 10AM – 1PM

Not in New York?

You can also catch Shine On at select GapKids in these following cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, DC.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Harlem Globetrotters First Ever Game in Brooklyn!

The Barclays Center is just about to open and their are so many fantastic shows coming up that I would love to see. I love that this arena is opening right in my own backyard.

Their will be a lot of firsts over the next couple of months, and one of those is the first time EVER that the Harlem Globetrotters will play there! Check out the Globetrotters in action if you need convincing that this is a show you and your children should definitely not miss.

As part of the grand opening, the Harlem Globetrotters will bring their ridiculous basketball skills and amazing athletes to the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Sunday October 7, 2012 at 5 p.m.  As a special reader of Mama goes BAM, you can save $7 on select ticket prices! Just enter the code USFAMILY into the Promotions and Special Offers box.  Get your tickets at the Globetrotters’ Brooklyn Ticket Page.

If you do purchase tickets, let me know in the comments and then make sure to say hi when you see me jumping up and down like a maniac in the stands :)

disclosure: I am receiving complimentary tickets to this performance in exchange for posting about this discount for my readers.

Wordless Wednesday: Future Olympic Gymnast?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012, New York –  The Little Gym teams up with Soles4Souls to create Big Hearts, Little Shoes, an initiative to help spread shoes and love around the globe.  (Photo by Diane Bondareff)

Our Family’s 72 Hour Summer Sport Olympics with Rookie USA #RookieUSA

As someone who used to teach physical education to children of all ages, the concept of brain drain and kids gaining weight over summer because they no longer have access to organized physical activity at school saddens me. Maybe it is because sport and being active is a fundamental part of who my husband and I are, but my little rookie is always moving.

That is why I am really looking forward to the launch of a brand new concept store exclusively for fashionable little rookies. A little birdie told me Rookie USA is launching a bricks and mortar shop in NYC in August with local sports legends joining in on the fun – check back here for more details. In the meantime, head over to the Rookie USA website and register to stay in the loop about their website and store launches – they will gift you $20 to be used on your first in-store purchase.

Don’t despair, Rookie USA has plans to launch in other cities as well, so sign up! It will take you less than 5 minutes to fill out the simple form pictured below.

We were lucky enough to have been sent a selection of Rookie USA’s clothes for my 4.5 year old little rookie. We took up the opportunity to stage 72 hours of Olympic inspired sports, celebrating his achievements big and small along the way. He’s a big fan of running, often going on short runs with my husband and I. Dressed in some of the best in kids’ activewear from Nike, Converse and Levi’s from, he had an amazing time. You can check out my little rookie running track, jumping long jump and having good old fashioned summertime fun wearing clothes in this Google + album. I urge you too to make sure that your children keep moving over summer.

Families need to smash the children’s summer weight gain statistic. Rookie USA can help with an amazing selection of clothes for your active little rookie.

I am already familiar with Nike Dri-Fit as a soft breathable fabric, so I knew the Dri-Fit tees and shorts for my little rookie would be a great addition to his wardrobe – and they are.

Brain Drain: Combat Summertime Loss of Knowledge and Have Fun

My little guy has just finished preschool and now attends summer camp at the same place. He’s also gone from 3 days a week to 5 days a week in preparation for kindergarten in September – eeek! Where do the years go? He is always on the move, singing, dancing, reciting his ABC’s and being what I thought was just a normal 4.5 year old – thriving, learning, soaking everything in. So I was super surprised when I started hearing about summer loss of knowledge and particularly how by the time kids return to school in September, their teachers will need to spend the first 4-6 weeks reteaching what they already learnt the previous year. Wow.

While we’ve had this heatwave, I can see how easy it can be to just loaf around and do nothing when there is a heat advisory to stay inside from 9AM to 9PM. Mr 4.5 was off for the week that we reached high 90s and we lay low with little Miss 8 months. I have to admit, with work to do, and heat-induced brain fog and lethargy, it was almost too easy to just plop him down in front of the TV for long stints.

Instead, I’ve made the conscious decision to search out the teachable moments in everyday life.

Even with the heat, we have managed to get out to the park, hit the sprinklers, run the track (he loves to run), swim and go for walks. The fact that there is evidence kids also gain weight in the summer is a statistic I do not want our family to be part of. We make sure to get outside everyday even if its just the walk to camp. On our recent quick trip to Montreal, we even staged a 72 hour Summer Olympics, celebrating his achievements along the way.

I’m also always working on new ways for us to keep his brain (and body) engaged even when we are inside. Here are a few of the ways we find teachable moments, but most importantly have fun…because after all, it is summer!


Mr. 4.5 actually dug this one up and besides being fun to play we also go over shapes, colors, left and right while playing. Word to the Mamas and Papas out there, you might want to stretch before playing :)

She practices crawling and attempts to walk while he also gives his brain a workout