Cubby Archive - 2024
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6 Tricks Home Stagers Use to Make Your Kids’ Rooms Look Way Cleaner
So your child’s room is a bit of a disaster zone. Hey, no judgement here. Messiness is a part of life, but unfortunately, it’s not part of the process for successfully selling a home. That’s where home stagers come in—they unleash a few simple tricks to make a house seem appealing to buyers of all kinds.
Jan 14, 2021
What’s a Great Baby Shower Gift That Will Last?
I have a number of colleagues at work who are all having babies in the next few months and taking leave. I’d really like to send them off with a present and want it to be something long lasting and memorable. Help!LauraDear Laura, Coming off the holidays, I’m primed with gift advice and I really like this question, particularly because we’re talking about NEW parents.
Jan 14, 2021
I’m Obsessed with These Fun, Affordable Indoor Exercise Kits (My Kids Are Too!)
While 2021 has quite a bit of hope on the horizon (vaccines! reopenings!) the present reality for my family is still the cautious lockdown and quarantine we observed for most of 2020. That plus the extra-gray Ohio weather is tough for my kids’ exercise and energy. They get outside as much as possible, but I also entered 2021 determined to create more active play opportunities for them indoors.
Jan 8, 2021
Ideas For a Beautiful Birthday Present?
As my son gets older I’d like to give him a birthday present that’s also a keepsake and marks this special time that’s moving so fast. Any good ideas? YasminDear Yasmin,I remember when my daughter was smaller, I’d bump into other dads and they’d all say the same thing, “They grow up so quick, don’t they? I just don’t know where the time has gone.
Jan 7, 2021
Can You Help Me Find a Great Nursing Chair That I Will Actually Want to Keep?
I’m putting together my first nursery and need a nursing chair. I want something really comfortable, but also that I won’t mind keeping for a long time. They are expensive! EmmaDear Emma,Nursery furniture is a big challenge. I will come back to all of it in the future as it can be a big first expense and not something that’s very useful for the rest of your child’s life, but I want to give a great recommendation for THE chair we found.
Dec 31, 2020
Our 10 Favorite Stories from Cubby (So Far)
Hi there, Cubby friends! We started Cubby on the spur of the moment this fall (although the idea has been in our heads for a long time). We felt cooped up with our families, but we had a hunch that, while this year has mostly been a flaming dumpster fire of things we hope never happen again in our lifetimes, we might be left with a teeny-weeny bit of nostalgia for all this extra time with our cubs.
Dec 30, 2020
There’s a Tidying-Themed Board Game for Kids Featuring a House of Cluttered Mice
Sooner or later, we all have to learn how to tidy, at least if we want to be able to find our keys each morning and get along with a roommate or partner. But how do you teach kids to tidy—and maybe even enjoy it? As it turns out, there’s a cute board game that can help.Simply called “Tidy Up: Sort Around the House,” the game features a family of mice who live in a four-room house.
Dec 30, 2020
Fun, Clever, and Cathartic Ways Kids and Parents Can Celebrate the End of 2020
Hey! 2020 is almost over! We are so ready. I don’t usually go big for New Year’s Eve, but this year feels different. Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering (and the mother of two young children), has advice that I have been clinging to. She urges us to plan holidays and occasions around a question: “What is it that I need most?” This New Year’s Eve, here’s what I think we need: catharsis.
Dec 22, 2020
This Cozy Home (in One of the Coolest Suburbs) Embraces a ‘Poetic vs Perfect’ Design Philosophy
Don’t dismiss the value of a child’s input. Their wildly imaginative and sometimes brilliantly simplistic ideas are key to the design plan.
Dec 17, 2020
Grocery Shopping Used to Be My Alone Time … Not Anymore
What Cara Shultz misses most about her pre-pandemic routine isn’t the bars or parties: It’s the grocery shopping. After dropping off her 4-year-old son, Jack, at preschool, the New Jersey mom and YA author would often head to Trader Joe’s for a few essentials — and a sliver of peace. “They would play ‘80s Madonna and I would leisurely stroll the aisles, checking out the seasonal muffins,” Shultz says. “It was my ‘me time.
Dec 17, 2020
My Kids Can’t Stop Eating Their Vegetables, Thanks to This Freezer Trick
I could write a whole ode to the humble cream cheese sandwich. Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches got me through a particularly picky time when my daughter was in a nut-free preschool. And veggie cream cheese has become one the most reliable ways for me to get vegetables into my two kiddos. In fact, so much veggie cream cheese has been coming out of my kitchen that I make it in bulk and freeze it for future use.
Dec 17, 2020
5 Ingenious, Family-Friendly Dinners from Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo
When it comes to feeding her family of four, Joanna Goddard — the voice and founder of the much-loved lifestyle site Cup of Jo — is all about keeping it simple and ultra-comforting with weeknight dinners that she, her husband, and her small boys can love. Like us, she’s a big fan of Trader Joe’s and happily takes advantage of smart store-bought shortcuts to minimize time in the kitchen, as well as maximize time with her husband and adorable boys.
Dec 17, 2020
I Let My 4-Year-Old Rearrange Our Living Room—and It Was Surprisingly Fun
I’ve always loved rearranging furniture. It’s a great opportunity to deep clean and it just feels good to look at everything from a different perspective. My family is a few weeks out from beginning a living room makeover, and the state of the space is currently a jumble of pieces for the redesign mixed with pieces that have found their way in from other rooms—and a little bit o’ Christmas sprinkled in there because at this point, why not?
Dec 17, 2020
The Best Ways to Clean Slime from Your Carpet, Sofa, Clothes, and More
To this day, my mother has a mark on her ceiling from when my younger sister threw a glob of slime on the ceiling and it stuck for a while. I guess the oils or whatever was in that abominable stuff seeped into the paint as the slime slowly dripped and squelched away from the ceiling and fell onto the carpet where, thank goodness, it didn’t stick.
Dec 17, 2020
How To Make Rolled Ice Cream at Home (No Fancy Equipment Required)
Whether you know this frozen dessert as Thai rolled ice cream, stir-fried ice cream, or even marble-top ice cream, its signature look and flavor are the same: Rolled tubes of sweet, milky, almost-chewy ice cream presented in a small cup with plenty of whipped cream and garnishes. Places that sell rolled ice cream make it on super-chilled flat tops or marble slabs specifically designed for rapidly chilling an ice cream base.
Dec 17, 2020
75+ Easy, Wholesome Food Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers
Toddler parents know this one thing to be true: A hungry toddler is a cranky toddler. And while we’re often in a rush to feed our littlest eaters before they melt down, we also want to make sure they are regularly trying new foods and getting balanced nutrition, too. Need fresh ideas? We got you. Some of my fellow editors (all parents!) and I brainstormed a massive list of our favorite easy and wholesome toddler food ideas — and below, you’ll find all of them.
Dec 17, 2020
Kids’ Weirdest Christmas Wishes, as Shared by Mall Santas
If you have kids or have spent a lot of time with them, you know they have an outsized ability to say things that catch you off-guard. Apart from parents and preschool teachers, there’s another group of people who get to hear kids at their most candid: mall Santas.Because mall Santas hear the deepest wishes of hundreds of kids per day, they’re bound to hear some interesting things. In a recent Reddit thread, mall Santas (and elves and Mrs.
Dec 17, 2020
Martha Stewart’s Secret for the Best-Ever Baked Potato Ever
Last year, thanks to my colleague Sheela Prakash, I fell madly in love with jacket potatoes. As Sheela explains in her ode to the British take on the classic baked potato, a longer baking time at a lower temperature makes Russet potatoes incredibly crisp on the outside and super fluffy on the inside. So when Martha Stewart shared a method for something similar using Yukon gold potatoes on her Instagram page, I knew I had to try it.
Dec 17, 2020
These Air Fryer Donuts Are Magically Easy to Make
Love donuts, hate deep-frying? Same. Luckily, there’s a way to get around that. In fact, this method is so easy, and it uses an appliance we’ve come to love (and know that many parents love too). If you aren’t currently the proud owner of an air fryer, let this be the recipe that convinces you to buy one. (Here’s a list of our favorites at a range of price points.
Dec 17, 2020
7 Ideas for Easy Origami Ornaments To Make This Weekend
This year won’t be the one I finally get to see the Natural History Museum’s origami tree, but I was still eager to read about this year’s theme. The museum is calling the 2020 tree ‘Cranes and Colors,” and it features 1,000 paper cranes as a symbol of peace and good wishes as the city continues to face the COVID-19 crisis.When I reached out to the museum to request photos of this year’s tree, I learned a little more about the origami tree tradition.
Dec 16, 2020
This Home Is Literally Built for the Kids to Swing from the Rafters
Name: Stefanie Archer, Chris Archer, Gabriel (12), James (8), Darcy (6)Location: Amsterdam, The NetherlandsSize: 1,872 square feet When Stefanie and Chris Archer started to think about shopping for a new house, they asked their kids if they wanted their own rooms, and they all emphatically said no. An unsurprising reaction given the fact the kids share a verifiable playground in their Amsterdam home.
Dec 16, 2020
This Buenos Aires Home Has Some of the Best Bookshelves We’ve Seen Yet
Name: Tomás, Martina, Nina, and Florián Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina Size: 1,800 square feet Tomás is an architect and Martina is a decorator, so of course the home they share in Buenos Aires with their two children, Nina, 7, and Florián, 4, is stunning. But it didn’t always look this way: When the couple first found this apartment, it had been neglected for years and it needed a full remodel, which gave the creative couple the opportunity to make it their own.
Dec 9, 2020
The Most Fun Activity Books for Kids of All Ages
This year sales of activity books have taken off like never before thanks to all the time that kids are spending at home. It makes sense: They’re a great alternative to screentime or plain old coloring books, and with most priced under $20, they’re an affordable form of entertainment too. Cubby gathered a list of our favorite picks and tapped the expertise of a couple activity book authors, Erin Jang, the author of You, Me, We!
Dec 9, 2020
A Week of Comfort-Food Dinners from Cookie Rookie’s Becky Hardin
When there’s a toddler in the house, it makes all the difference to have a handful of dinner recipes that don’t take long to pull off. Now that your kiddo is running around, you can’t turn your back for a second! And even more importantly, you need meals that will please the newly choosy palates of little eaters without boring bigger eaters to tears.
Dec 9, 2020
25 Kids’ Books That Are Pure Joy (We Want to Buy Them All!)
Books are one of our most beloved holiday gifts to give in any year, but in 2020, we’re strategically shopping for books that will crack a smile. Because isn’t giving our masked-up, perpetually hand-washing kids the gift of joyful books the least we can do? Cubby asked booksellers, librarians, teachers, authors, and parents across the country for their top recommendations of books that grab emotions, spark smiles, and leave kids with their hearts feeling full.
Dec 9, 2020
My Five Unbreakable Hanukkah Rules
Kids ruin everything. Really (not really, but you see where this is going). You can’t enjoy a great night out without worrying about a hangover the next day. Every trip you plan, you think out worst-case scenarios, pack a great quantity of medicine, and invariably freak out when the airline messes up your seats and places you far away from your toddler. They especially ruin lazy holidays.
Dec 9, 2020
Ask Maxwell: Why Is It Good to Read Before Sleep?
I have a son who is now five and has a hard time going to bed, which is my job. I’ve heard it’s good to read to children before bed, but he’s restless and I’m not good at it. Should I keep trying? SamDear Sam, Yes—and don’t stop! It will turn into one of the greatest joys you can share with your son. Starting a reading habit early helps, but five years old is a fine time to begin.
Dec 9, 2020
The 10 Best Holiday Cookies to Bake with Kids
As a kid, there were few things more exciting this time of year than the annual tradition of baking holiday cookies with my family. From pressing my fingers into dough to make thumbprint cookies and adding the chocolate kiss to the peanut butter blossoms, to decorating sugar cookies and even pouring the chocolate chips into the bowl, there was always a way for me to get involved.
Dec 7, 2020
A “Drop Zone” Can Help Your Family Stay More Organized at Home
Keeping kids organized is a herculean effort during the best of times, but trying to keep their spaces clutter-free and clean during a quarantine that involves both working from home and virtual learning presents undeniable organizational challenges for parents. Luckily, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin—the dynamic duo also known as The Home Edit, Instagram’s beloved home organizers—shared their easy, doable tip for helping to keep clutter at bay in shared spaces.
Dec 2, 2020
The Top Gifts & Stocking Stuffers of 2020, According to Independent Toy Shop Owners
From new twists on blocks and puzzles to design-minded collectables, independent toy store owners have a pulse on what their young clients love. And with real humans at the helm, each store has its own specialty and point of view—meaning, find the shop that speaks to your child, and you’ve got a curated selection of items to please them. We reached out to seven independent toy shops across the country to see what they’d recommend for holiday gifts for 2020.
Dec 2, 2020
These Are the Very Best Fish Sticks You Can Get at the Grocery Store
When I was growing up, we didn’t eat meat on Fridays. Instead, in our household, the sad alternative was usually fish sticks. I don’t have particularly fond memories of them from back then — the standard ones we often bought were usually pretty bland and soggy — but nevertheless, we ate them for dinner and got on with it. I now can honestly say that frozen fish sticks don’t have to be sad. In fact, they have come a long way since the days of my youth.
Dec 2, 2020
The 12 Best Kids’ Bedroom Makeovers We’ve Ever Seen
When it comes to decorating, a child’s room is one of the most enjoyable projects to take on. There are seemingly no rules—fun themes, bold colors, and whimsical decor all tap into the playfulness of childhood, perfectly suiting the space. There’s a real satisfaction to completing these projects, too. Designing a nursery for a baby is often your first chance to “nest” and create a safe space for your child.
Nov 30, 2020
In the Ultimate Post-2020 Move, We’re Reclaiming My Office as a Family Quiet Room
We have space a few doors down from our toddler’s playroom that we call the Quiet Room. The sunlight from outside hits perfectly on the two single window panes, and moments of deep sighing are shared with tri-color leaves waving in the wind. Our interior designer recommended a soft green meditation mat and singing bowl for one corner, and all the books perched on the tower-style rack are self-help or “how-to-care” for plant titles.
Nov 24, 2020
I Do 1,800 Tuck-Ins a Year. Here’s What I Can Tell You About Bedtime Routines
I did the math. Tucking my five kids into bed every night means I do almost two thousand tuck-ins a year. As much as it’s my joy and pleasure to do them, I’m not always Patient Happy Mommy by the time it comes time to switch off the light and leave the room. Sometimes all it takes is an “I’m thirsty” while I’m kissing a forehead for Growly Mom to come onstage. And I know I’m not alone.
Nov 24, 2020
This Australian Home Mixes Natural Woods, Muted Colors, and Interesting Forms for a Calm Vibe
Name: Ellen Maire, Patrick, and JoniLocation: Melbourne, AustraliaEllen, Patrick, and their daughter Joni, age 2 1/2, live in a post-war brick house in Melbourne, Australia. Their charming home is flush with original details such as cornices, ceiling plasterwork, and lovely wooden window frames. It’s an architectural style that suits the couple’s nature and vintage aesthetic perfectly.
Nov 24, 2020
2020 Is the Year of the Hike
For my family, the Year of the Hike started on New Year’s Day. After having been cooped up for the winter break, my husband, son, and I bundled up and headed out for a walk in the woods on January 1st, despite the frigid temperatures. Up until then, longer walks had been a bit much for our son, but at almost 4 1/2 he was able to tackle two miles.They were not fast miles, but they were just the thing to cure an energetic boy of his wiggles and two weary parents of their cabin fever.
Nov 24, 2020
The Romance Novelist Wisdom That Helped Me Relax About Food This Year
In January of this year, back when we were all children, I read a tweet from author Jennifer Lynn Barnes about the prolific romance novelist Nora Roberts. Barnes recalled, “One time, I was at a Q&A with Nora Roberts, and someone asked her how to balance writing and kids, and she said that the key to juggling is to know that some of the balls you have in the air are made of plastic and some are made of glass.
Nov 24, 2020
Super-Power Morning Smoothie
Now and then, a girl needs a little magic to get through the day and fly above it all. While moving a mile a minute isn’t my preferred way to live, it’s been a reality. At times, I move so fast that I forget to eat, and I get clumsy and frantic. That’ll knock the wind right out of a lady’s magic fairy wings. To make sure I stay on top of it all, I need a nourishing and energizing breakfast. For years, the smoothie routine was yogurt, orange juice, and frozen fruit.
Nov 24, 2020
Organization Is the Secret to Fitting a Family Business and 3 Kids into 1,200 Square Feet
Name: Amber and Chris Earl, owners of EARL (@earl_home); their daughters, Giavanni, 4, and Copen, 3; and son, Guy, 1Location: North Hollywood, CaliforniaObserving a house evolve over time is a specific kind of pleasure: It’s like watching a young person grow up. You can see how a home stretches, adapts, and evolves to the lives that are being lived within. A visit to Amber and Chris Earl’s two-bedroom home in North Hollywood shows a house that has found its stride.
Nov 18, 2020
The 1-Minute Organizing Hack Every Parent Needs to Know About
My first nephew’s first word was “Grino.” This is not a variation on green; rather, it is an abbreviation of Pellegrino, the sparkling water that my parents always have stocked in their refrigerator. My other nephews (there are three) and my niece all have a penchant for fancy carbonated water. They drink a lot of it — and they can go through a lot of cups in the process.
Nov 18, 2020
An Already Gorgeous Victorian House Has Been Energized With Bold Color
Names: Angela Wator, owner/designer of BASH Party Goods, and owner of Festive Collective, and Jeramy Webb, and their daughters Penelope, age 5, and Ramona, age 2. And Bogie, the family’s 10-year-old bulldogLocation: Oak Park, Illinois Angela Wator and Jeramy Webb weren’t planning to buy a home when they stumbled across an 1896 Victorian outside of Chicago where they live. (Amazingly they each found independently while daydreaming on Zillow and emailed the listing to one another!
Nov 18, 2020
15 Super-Cool Gifts Your Little Cooks Will Love
There’s nothing cuter than a kid who likes to help in the kitchen. (Except for maybe dogs who like to help in the kitchen, but they’re usually not all that useful.) Whether it’s a toddler who wants to stand on a learning tower to watch or a tween who’s trying to master the art of at-home nachos, we love it! And we want to keep encouraging them! Hence this gift guide, which has fun food- and cooking-themed gifts for kids of all ages.
Nov 18, 2020
Here’s Your Permission to Not Have a “Real” Thanksgiving Celebration This Year
Last week I asked some fellow parents how they’re feeling about the looming holiday. Henry, a coworker, said something that got our virtual heads nodding: “Right now I would appreciate other voices saying that it’s OK to not have a real ‘celebration’ this year.” Did you nod too? Are you still struggling over whether to gather with your parents?
Nov 18, 2020
“Thankfulness Is a Responsibility”: How Parents Are Celebrating a Very Different Thanksgiving
I was raised as a Muslim. There are no celebrations in the Islamic faith that do not center reverence for Allah—but for my family, Thanksgiving was an exception. On the hour-and-a-half bus ride to my aunt’s home in South Philly, my mother would remind us to make sure that what we put on our plates did not contain any “swine,” her favorite word to use describing anything pig.
Nov 18, 2020
What Are Some Good Tips for Active Play Indoors?
Active play is one-hundred percent a need for us. Particularly in California, where we’ve had wildfires keeping us indoors, I know so many parents of young toddlers that are struggling to find the right things to do with their kids in small apartments that don’t leave everyone bored, stir-crazy, and counting the hours until bedtime by the end of day.
Nov 18, 2020
10 Small, Easy Thanksgiving Recipes That Will Delight You and the Whole Family
Thanksgiving is almost here and, if you’re like me, you’ve probably barely started on your holiday meal planning. Those of us who are parents—especially if your kids are small, like mine—are busy enough already, and it’s been a tough season. I have found it hard to get jazzed up about cooking for a holiday that will just be my immediate family. But then today I kind of shook myself and said, Why so glum?
Nov 18, 2020
What’s the Best Way To Deal with Toy Clutter?
I struggle particularly with the organization and clutter of my kids’ toys. How do you store them easily and how do you part with old toys when kids are resistant?SusanDear Susan, I’m very old school when it comes to toy storage and always feel that the easiest, open shape—BINS!—are the most practical for kids and parents. I like soft bins that can easily slide under shelves, up against the wall, in a corner or under a bed.
Nov 11, 2020
The Very Best Board Games for Families—or Anyone!
Playing games is more than just—wait for it—fun and games. That’s part of why board games and puzzles are experiencing a renaissance. They invite creative and strategic thinking, teamwork and cooperation, and of course, an opportunity to sit down and connect with other people—a welcome break from the usual Netflix/Hulu circuit. The hard part is actually picking out a game among a seemingly endless sea of options.
Nov 11, 2020