These are in NO particular order.
1. Triaminic Soothing Vapors http://www.triaminic.com/us_en/products/30043803003_relief.shtml
We just love this little unit. It runs on batteries and just puts that eucalyptus scent right in the air but it is not too overwhelming. This is so great when the little man has a cold. I am convinced it helps him go to sleep and stay asleep through the night because it allows him to breathe easier.
2. Toddler Flush-able Wipes
This is a potty training families life saver! Josh is 3 and can wipe his own bottom entirely on his own with 1 of these little numbers and then flush it right away! No getting called to the bathroom to help for me! As far as brand goes, we buy the cheapest we can find. Our version is sold at Walmart and is their "house brand", they are around $.88.
3. Crayola Washable products
Crayons, markers, Blank Color Wonder Paper with markers or finger paint. We do not use the coloring book version of the Color Wonder because I feel it stifles creativity and when we were given it as a gift Josh was really frustrated with it eventually refusing to use it.
Whenever Josh is sick, I rub this on his chest and back. He just loves this, it helps soothe his chest/breathing and is just a comforting practice! I heard you should put it on your feet and it will stop your overnight coughing but it did not work for Josh when I tried it!
5. Glo Bear
This was a gift we received a year ago for Christmas. I loved it immediately and it really has turned out to be very useful. When we leave Josh's room before bed we generally hand him his chosen book and give this little fella's paw a squeeze. It glows just enough to light his book and eventually turns off by itself so it saves on batteries. I think we have only replaced them once in a year.
6. Tom's of Maine Toothpaste
Josh can not have food coloring so this is one of our only options BUT this toothpaste is super yummy and works great! Josh was NOT happy about using a non-super hero or character toothpaste. (especially when I squeezed a bit of this pretty bland looking paste onto his brush!) But I conned him into giving it a bit of a try, now we have to keep him from trying to eat it! It really does have a fabulous flavor and I LOVE how white it gets my teeth when I use it. I use it occasionally when I still need to drink or eat something because it does not leave that annoying minty taste half the day!
7. Dr Seuss Books
A bit naughty without being too over the top. We all get a kick out of these books. We read them over and over. (Sure hope the new movie coming out turns out better than The Cat in the Hat one did!)
8. Any books on tape/CD
This is great for nap time. He will generally lay down and listen to a story until he falls asleep with out soo much fuss. Which gives both of us a much needed break!
9. They Might Be Giants music for kids
WE LOVE THESE! So fun to listen to and the ABC one is educational. TMBG is coming out with Here Come the 123's in February. Cannot wait. We are already downloading pod casts from Itunes of the new videos!
10. Foaming soap.
This is another Mommy helper! Just one squirt will do. Especially helpful if your young one does not like to use the gooey soaps. Josh was always a bit nutty about being "dirty". (We just recently have gotten him to do bit of painting that is not Color Wonder)11. Ikea stool
This is great in the kitchen or anywhere they need to reach. Josh helps me rinse dishes on ours. I like this one in particular because of the height and the price. It is a bit taller than most step stools and it was so cheap!
13. Play Dough (the concept...not the brand necessarily!)
I have made great play dough that seems to last longer than the commercial stuff! This is a great crafty play item. Really...it is an easy clean up and they will play a LOOONG time with play dough, especially if you give them a small rolling pin and some cookie cutters. Josh also loves to cut it with plastic scissors.
Here is a recipe to try http://www.theideabox.com/Playdough_1.html. I think this is the recipe I used, if not, it is similar!
Anyway...hope you enjoy this list! I may add to it later. Ya know...seems like we are always on the search for some solution to a new difficulty :)
Feel free to share your favorites by leaving a comment.