Lego Science Experiments: Sink or Swim

If your kids are anything like mine, your house is covered in Legos. My son has been obsessed with Legos since he was a toddler and I’ve got the “agh! was that a Lego buried in the carpet?!” bruises on my feet to prove it. As much as he enjoys following the instructions on sets, he also loves going rogue and building his own Lego creations. One of his favorite things to create is Lego boats – and then test their ability to float in the sink.

So naturally, when our friends at the Legoland Discovery Center sent me this infographic about using LEGO® bricks to create float or sink experiments, I had to share it. It’s a fun, hands-on approach to get kids involved in the scientific process of trial and error using a toy they already love to play with. Brilliant.

LDC float or sink experiments infographic

Cool Baby and Kid Products

Curious as to what all the hype was about, I recently joined Pinterest. And, wow, this Pinterest thing is addictive! I’ve found myself oohing and ahhing over all the adorable baby clothes and cool kid products on there. My 6 year old has even gotten into it, peering over my shoulder, shouting “Click that one, Mommy! Ooh, now click that one!” (Thanks to Pinterest, he’s got his heart set on a bed made entirely of Legos.)

Here are some of my favorite baby clothes and kids’ products, courtesy of Pinterest:

Timely, given the recent Tooth-Fairy debacle in my house:

Source: via Carina on Pinterest

We do this craft a lot — fun and super easy to make your own rainbow crayons:


I know it’s for kids, but I kind of (okay, REALLY) want this bunk bed!

Source: via Ali on Pinterest

Much better than those hard, slippery baby tubs.


So cute.


A stylish approach to baby gates.


Love the whale art for a nursery.


Cute idea for father’s day.

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest


Angry Birds kick balls. No explanation necessary, I think.


Baby shower perfection.


Lorax costume. Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!


Inspiring Dr. Seuss Quotes — Really uplifting.



Source: via Julie on Pinterest

The Best Toys of 2011

With the holidays fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of toys for children of all ages. These aren’t your run of the mill legos or train tracks — these are gifts that will leave your kids (and you!) saying, “Wow.” Without further ado, our picks for the coolest toys of 2011:

    • Kid-Tough See Yourself Camera. My son loves my DSLR camera, but I’m not comfortable with him playing with it. Thankfully, Fisher Price has a solution that allows his curiosity and creativity to thrive — a durable toy camera that actually takes real pictures! With a 4x zoom, 1.8” TFT color screen, 256 MB memory, 1.2 Megapixel imager (with lowlight capability), SD slot and USB port, there’s nothing “kid” about this camera.
    • Triqo. Legos get an upgrade, thanks to this construction set from the Netherlands. Build a house, a hat, whatever your child’s imagination desires. Added bonus: these blocks are all made from recycled materials.

    • Baby iCan Play iPhone case. How many times has your child dropped your iPhone? With me, too many to count. Fisher Price has a new way to protect your fragile phone while still allowing your child the fun of playing with all their kid-apps. What really surprises me? Why someone didn’t come up with this sooner.
    • i-Helicopter. It’s a remote controlled helicopter, except the remote is an iPhone / iPod / iPad. I love products that mix technology with tried-and-true standbys — and this a modern twist toy helicopters looks so fun, I’m tempted to buy it for myself.
    • Doodle Track. Your child draws a track on paper using a black marker and then the doodle car follows the track. How cool is that? I have no idea how this one works, but I do know that it would keep my son entertained for hours.

    • PlaSmart Plasma Bike. Toddlers, meet the tricycle of the future. This little bike helps kids as young as 18 months ride on their own — no pedals or training wheels necessary. And, thanks to its unique design, it helps your little one learn to balance better than traditional models.

With that, I am off to Amazon to try and scoop up some of these fun new toys. Did you purchase any of them? Let us know what you thought!

Real-World Skills for Kids

Yesterday, I had the incredible honor of being a guest at TEDx New England’s inaugural event. TED (which stands for “technology, entertainment, and design”) is a series of short speeches on “ideas worth spreading.” Yesterday’s event was hosted by WGBH — in studio, no less — and MC’d by New York Times columnist David Pogue (who, by the way, happens to pretty damn funny).

The talks were nothing short of inspiring. We heard from: MIT Ph.Ds developing sustainable, safe nuclear power, an artist who builds living sculptures for urban areas, the corporate responsibility-focused Dean of Harvard Business School, to name a few. But, I’m partial to anything that helps empower children. That’s why Katie Smith Milway and John Hunter made the biggest impression on me.

Milway is a children’s author who doesn’t write about talking animals or the first day of school. Milway writes about issues like microfinance. Her book, One Hen, about a boy from rural Ghana who started his own chicken farm, teaches children about  entrepreneurship. The book grew into a nonprofit called One Hen, Inc., which “offers teacher manuals and workbooks that use stories, interactive media and hands on activities to teach social entrepreneurship in classrooms across the country and around the world.” The One Hen website even has a series of games that allow children to earn beads and then give those beads to a small business owner. (When the children donate their virtual beads, One Hen makes a real loan to someone in the developing world.)

John Hunter has been a fourth grade teacher for over 30 years. While he was an undergraduate, he traveled throughout Asia and became fascinated by the principles on non-violence. Hunter wanted to find a way to teach his students how to embrace non-violence in an often-violent world. Out of this desire grew the World Peace Game — a multi-month, hands-on simulation where students are divided into four countries. Some countries are rich, some are poor. Some are powerful, some are weak. They face external economic, social, and environmental crises, along with the imminent threat of war. These nine and ten year old students work together to resolve conflicts, avoid war, and leave each of the four countries more prosperous than when it started. Hunter’s game (and the principles that underlie it) teach children real-world issues along with self-awareness and leave them better prepared to become citizens of the world.

I can’t wait to see all the great things to come from TEDx New England and look forward to participating in more inspiring events! If you’re interested in TEDx, checkout their website to see when the next talk near you will be.

7 Innovative Ways to Make Parenting Better!

Here at SittingAround, our goal is “to make parents’ lives better.” This goal influences everything we do, from the way we’ve designed our site to how we engage with you, our customers. In addition to making SittingAround everything you want it to be, we’re also always on the lookout for other products and services that will make your life easier, simpler, more rewarding – better.

We’re excited to present six other innovative family products that we think you will love!

  • Company: Swellr
  • Site:
  • Problem it Solves: School funding
  • Overview: Swellr is an online marketplace to fund education needs by shopping local. A PTA group can raise money for their school by creating a project on Swellr. A project could include school supplies, field trip costs, guest speakers or miscellaneous costs for an end of the year party for students. Each project organizer then asks their friends and family to buy gift certificates from participating businesses on, and a percentage of each purchase goes to the project of the consumer’s choice. It’s a great way harness local spending power to boost investment in local business and education.
  • Company: Speedbump
  • Site:
  • Problem it Solves: Teen driver safety
  • Overview: an Android app that keeps your teens safe on the road. Unlike other driving safety solutions, the Speedbump application – easily downloaded onto a teen’s Android phone –provides parents with instant alerts about both driving speed and driving patterns. Their unique SpeedSmart™ technology lets users set and detect realistic speed limits on any type of road – residential, secondary and highway. Created by a teen for teens, Speedbump encourages a dialogue between teens and parents about driving safety and protects teen privacy while providing the parents with peace of mind.
  • Company: Casa Couture
  • Site:
  • Problem it Solves: Children’s ever-changing shoe size
  • Overview: Casa Couture has developed a patented “Growth Indicator” technology that can be used in the construction of children’s shoes to alert a parent when the child has outgrown his or her shoes. Outgrown shoes are uncomfortable, unhealthy and bad for a child’s feet. This innovative technology is designed with a child’s comfort and healthy foot growth in mind. These shoes will accommodate up to three whole sizes, saving parents from having to replace their kid’s shoes every 2 to 3 months.
  • Company: Lynx
  • Site:
  • Problem it Solves: Post-baby breast support
  • Overview:: Lynx Sportswear makes sports bras for larger-breasted women that actually work! The Lynx Sports Bra was created by a large breasted woman, Cynthia Smith, who started running after her son was born as a way to get back into shape. After more than a decade of trying every sports bra on the market without success, she took matters into her own hands and made a sports bra that eliminates bounce without causing any pain or discomfort. Cynthia is passionate about helping other women feel strong and capable, no matter what their breast size!
  • Company: GoGaga
  • Site:
  • Problem it Solves: Toting heavy, uncomfortable diaper bags
  • Overview: At Go GaGa, we create diaper bags and straps that are comfortable no matter what you’re carrying. Our patent pending strap is the secret to our bags’ style and comfort – it’s a wide swath of stretch fabric spreads the weight across your back and shoulders, so there’s nothing cutting into your neck or pulling you to one side. Plus, our diaper bags feature stroller straps, insulated bottle packets, a changing pad and 10 pockets to make it easier and more enjoyable to travel with your little one, whether across town or across the country. To learn more about our products, visit
  • Company: thredUP
  • Site:
  • Problem it Solves: Children outgrowing clothing
  • Overview: Kids grow fast. By age 17 your child has outgrown 1,360 pieces of clothing. Worse yet, you’ve spent upwards of $20,000 replacing clothes that are practically new. What if you could easily trade all that outgrown clothing for sizes you actually need? thredUP is where moms swap children’s clothing, toys and books online. thredUP connects thousands of moms across America and facilitates simple trades. For the first time, parents can exchange boxes of kids’ outgrown clothing, for boxes of clothes that fit – without ever leaving the house.

And, in case you’re new to SittingAround, a little about us, too:

  • Company: SittingAround
  • Site:
  • Problem it Solves: Childcare
  • Overview: SittingAround is childcare, made better. SittingAround revives the notion that “it takes a village” in a modern way, through babysitting coops. By trading sitting with each other, families who participate in a coop provide each other with not just care but the social support parents today so often lack (yet so desperately need). SittingAround makes it easy for families to start and run their own babysitting coops and transforms the way parents think about childcare.