kinda genius: aqueduck faucet extender

Aqueduck faucet extender

Even without children of my own, I can instantly identify with the need for a contraption like the Aqueduck. Definitely one for the Why-Didn’t-I-Think-of-That file, the gadget extends almost any faucet so toddlers can reach the water with ease and avoid the old hoist-and-balance routine. Though an initial glance at the simplistic design might elicit some doubt in its value at $12.99, the five-star rating on Amazon.com seems to banish the notion, as many reviewers write that being able to reach the water (with the help of a step stool in most cases) not only eases the strain on little tummies and weary adult muscles, but also encourages hand-washing for the little ones. Another great find for my list of unexpected, but highly-functional gifts for parents. — Sarah C.

more help for picky eaters: construction plate

constructive eating plate

Much akin to my feelings on the Food Face Plate, the kid in me squeals with delight at the sight of the Construction Plate, $14.95 at UncommonGoods. Paired with the specialized set of utensils ($17.49, sold separately), this duo has the potential to make food fun, even for the pickiest of eaters. Would it have kept me at the dinner table for nine hours as a kid? Absolutely. But if you can’t play with your food then, what good is childhood? Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, this might be the perfect gift for a night when the babysitter’s on. — Sarah C.

etsy find: dogs playing pirate

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Seriously, what’s not to love about this print? The colors are fun, the dogs are great and the penguin? Come on. If I hadn’t just purchased a vintage bird illustration from Etsy seller SurrenderDororthy, this puppy would be mine. $23.89 for the 7″x9″ print dated 1927. The good news if you miss out on this one? SurrenderDorothy has 280 other children’s storybook prints to look through. — Sarah L.

birdhouses in a snap from tweet tweet home

tweettweethome

Our yard has exploded into spring: the magnolia tree is blooming, the grass is out of control, and currently, the avian philharmonic has taken up an artist in residence position. I love those cute critters — but to discourage them from nesting in the rafters, I think a few well-placed birdhouses would be a smart addition to our yard. Enter Tweet Tweet Home; flatpack, easily assembled birdhouses crafted from recycled plastic. These birdie bungalows snap together without glue or nails, and are available in two shapes and a wide array of colorful designs here for $8.95 each, at Click to Shop. — Megan B.
Via Better Homes and Gardens

mother’s day idea: kids’ art becomes modern art

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Your child’s art may already be suitable for framing, but The Great Remember makes it official. They arrange for a photographer to shoot your child’s work, then the company will turn it into a surprisingly attractive mosaic. Of course, it’s not free: mosaics start at around $150 and go up to $380, with the option of having the final work printed on canvas for an additional fee. For even more nostalgia, send in special or outgrown clothes and The Great Remember will turn them into an appliqued piece (starting at $200). There’s also a selection of Mother’s Day gifts. And if you place an order now through 4/25, you can use coupon code MD15 to save 15%.