Yes. Little Mama‘s five years old. And she’s the only child (ish). So it’s no surprise that the littlest being in our home gets the VIP treatment. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not all about spoiling her (ish). And we try our darnedest not to be the helicopter parents we work so hard to avoid. However, there are some things that I have brought into her life that isn’t typical of a 5 year old, simply because she’s MY 5 year old.
Here’s the reality: Little Mama has never taken much interest in riding bikes or learning how to read until the last 6 months (though she’s been obsessed with books since birth). She is also a little on the young side as far as her ability to stay put in a booster seat. In addition, she’s not quite 40 lbs, which is the requirement for her to graduate to a booster seat. She loves to cook with mommy, but we’ve had more than a handful (more like, 30 handfuls) of kitchen disasters that could have been prevented if we just utilized the right tools. She’s creative, she likes to make things and she is dying to bring something to completion on her own.
Does this sound like your 5 year old? Maybe it sounds more like your 3 year old. Or your 7 year old. Either way, these little kidlets are on their own schedule, and I am okay with that. More than okay. So much so, that I am shamelessly promoting all the things that I am investing in NOW whether it would be something you would typically get for your two year old toddler, or something you wouldn’t even consider getting until they’re well into their school years.
Here are my 5 absolute fave things I NEVER THOUGHT I would buy for my 5 year old (and am thrilled that I did):
1:: COMBINATION HARNESS-2-BOOSTER CARSEAT
Call me crazy, call me paranoid – but in my very strong opinion, Little Mama, at the tender age of 5, is definitely not ready to graduate to a booster seat. And we are more than fine with it. Pretty much all of her little playmates are already in high back boosters, even backless ones. No judgement here, I would love it if my little one was ready for a booster. But she just isn’t.
She’s a leaner.
She’s less than 40lbs.
She’s just not mature enough….
And once again, that’s okay. So, as we approach the end stages of her current carseat, which has definitely given us 4 amazing years, we have been keeping our eyes and ears open for a new combination car seat, that emulates a booster (and eventually becomes a booster seat), but protects securely with a 5 point harness.This isn’t your everyday search, mind you. Of course, safety and function are key – but I would be lying to you if we didn’t take into consideration overall presentation. I mean, who says, something safe can’t be easy on the eyes. Little Mama is at the age where she is really starting to see the world around her, especially her friends and peers. If most of her little buddies are already in boosters, then we have to use another angle as our selling point for the little princess’ new car throne.
It’s gotta look good…
- Britax Frontier ClickTightBritax has always been our go-to car seat since the day we first brought Little Mama home from the hospital. We trust the brand implicitly as far as safety, comfort, and convenience, and it’s no surprise that this was top of our must check out list. The Frontier is exceptional as it grows with our little ones from age 2 and older. The 9-position harness is easily adjustable with a quick release and no need for re-threading, as Little Mama continues to grow. Since these seats are exclusively forward-facing, it is positioned upright compared to convertibles and therefore, fits conveniently into the smallest of backseats. The ClickTight installation system is revolutionary, yet beyond simple (all you have to do is buckle the seat belt and click in place), that even the anti-carseat-installing mama, such as myself, can do it within seconds. It’s every school carpooling mommy’s dream. A little on the heavy side – but we like that they are reinforced with an impact stabilizing steel frame, complete side impact protection, and the overall safe cell impact protection that goes above and beyond federal safety standards. Need I say more?Harness Limit: 25-90 lbs, 30-58″, with 20.5″ top harness slots
High Back Booster: 40-120 lbs, 45-62″, with 23″ top guide
Expiration: 9 years
- Diono Pacifica
First… Look at this thing of beauty. How vibrant and sleek is this model? We love the deep side walls, lined with energy-absorbing foam, giving the extra side impact protection. But something that is really great about this model is that it can seat both rear-facing and forward-facing children with the 5-point harness. Once Little Mama is ready to graduate to booster, it converts to a booster. It is definitely a car seat that will grow with your growing little monkey.
Like the Britax Frontier ClickTight, the Diono‘s SuperLATCH system is a breeze for installation. Win win for the car poolers and jet setting mini travelistas. In addition, it folds flat for air travel. Do I hear a resounding “Whaaaat??”
Its narrow design (base width of 17″) is perfect for our sedan (and we could fit in two more seats if we upgrade to a midsize – fingers crossed this will actually be something we’d need to consider in the near future), while still providing amazing space for the little car seat occupant. Little Mama likes her wiggle room. We love the angled cup holder for easy access, and the days she misses the mark (which is pretty much daily), the cover is machine washable.
Harness Limit: Rear Facing – 5 – 50 lbs up to 44″, Forward Facing 22-65 lbs up to 57″
High Back Booster: 50-120 lbs, 57″
Product Expiration: 12 years
I’m not too worried that I’m still on the hunt for the perfect harness-to-booster carseat. I know my kiddo, and I know what’s safe for her and her wiggly self. I also know what looks good. Or at least I hope I do. If I still have questions, I’m not afraid to call in the troops for a little bit of a refresher. Here is a great post on common car seat mistakes….
2:: BALANCE BIKE
A bike, for a preschooler. Not much of a stretch, right? Well – for a 5 year old, it may very well be. We have been hemming and hawing about getting a bike with training wheels, a tricycle, or a balance bike for the last 3 years. However, like all kids – these little humans must go at their own pace. My Little Mama‘s pace was that of a snail when it came to any and all bikes – anything with wheels for that matter. That is, until she became the big 5.0. Something clicked. She actually had the desire to ride a bike, on her own terms. As we were always under the impression that balance bikes are made for the aspiring training-wheel-free bike riding toddler, we were thrilled that we found the Boot Scoot Balance Cruiser, made for the older preschooler/kindergartener ages 4 – 6 years. And don’t be fooled by the lightweight steel frame. This little guy is built to withstand the wrath of the active preschooler. And an active preschooler, she is.
3:: A KNIFE
My little one has been playing pretend chef for as long as she could fit into a micro sized chef hat. Now that she’s hit the impressive phase of the mighty, fearless 5 year old, she’s leaning away from the world of pretend and jumping right into the chaos of reality. Being in our kitchen means food everywhere, music blaring, and a whole lot of opportunity to chop ’til you drop. Little Mama has caught on to this fact, and has been very excited to learn the correct way to slice sandwiches with her own practice knife. Don’t worry, I’ve got eyes of an eagle when it comes to this often eager kitchen assistant of mine. The Curious Chef Nylon knife is designed to encourage kids to engage in culinary learning and confidence in the kitchen. Of course it’s BPA free, and fulfills all mandatory protection requirements, making it safe for the little chef. Love that the cutting edges are serrated with blunt tips for added safety.
I wish I had this when I was a little one – goodness knows it wouldn’t have taken me the latter part of 30 years to learn how to chop safely, quickly, and efficiently.
4:: A SEWING MACHINE
I know what you’re thinking. She’s 5. How can a five year old ever handle a big ol’ sewing machine? Well first – this isn’t some run of the mill sewing machine. It’s the Janome Portable Sewing Machine, Derby Line. In citrus, no less. The perfect size for careful little hands. Secondly, this is as practical a gift (given by her sewing-crazy grandma last Christmas) as they come. Okay, so she’s barely sleep trained, doesn’t recite the alphabet backwards in less than 16.3 seconds, and has just learned to ride a balance bike. But one thing is for certain – my 5 year old Little Mama can create things. Ever since she was the size of cabbage patch doll, she always loved creating things using her hands. At age three, while everyone else’s kids are colouring and speaking full sentences, mine would inconspicuously grab material (either on her body, or elsewhere), and make something out of it. She likes to make homemade stuffies, mini outfits for her polly pocket dolls, accessories for herself and her mama. Heck, she would rather help mama sew a duvet cover for her Jasmine room, than play bakery assistant in the kitchen. I suppose I’m to blame. I am more into clothing than I am into baked goods, not surprisingly. Perhaps the apple indeed, does not fall too far from the tree.Watch out world, next up… our own clothing collection.
5:: A PERSONALIZED BOOK
Now that she’s a fab 5 year old, Little Mama is at the age where she is all about writing her name: On mama’s super snazzy new Day Planner, on the fridge, on the car, on her forehead, it never ends. She is all about her name. She wasn’t so much into her name in the recent past, but now she’s all about claiming and marking her territory wherever there is open surface and a pen. So a personalized book, Lost My Name, where the entire story is built around the child’s name, is just about the coolest book she has ever owned, among her vast repertoire of literature. At this point, the only literature that appeals to her is something that sounds like, spells out, and celebrates her fabulous name. Check out the video to see how innovative and fun this personalized book is for kids of all ages, moreover… my 5 year old.
Be sure to visit our friend and co-host of #5faves at The Koala Mom for her fab list of #5faves this week!
We would love to hear some of YOUR five favorite things too. Link up below!
High Fives for your #5Faves!
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