The Best 36 Things I Bought As Mom of a Preschooler

Everything Clever

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I’m Nicole, a stay-at-home mom to a sweet little girl and wife to a wonderful educator. I’m also an avid Barbie collector (I have over four hundred!), and I love to read fiction, memoirs, and books on decluttering and organization. It’s important to me to eat together as a family every night, where we make sure to express gratitude for three things everyday. I spend most of my time with our daughter reading books, going on walks and doing Legos. I do probably 95 percent of our shopping online. I try to make it a priority to carve out 20-40 minutes a day to get some me-time by exercising, whether running, dancing or yoga.

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These Tiny Pods Bring The Coffee Shop to My House

Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Double Espresso Scuro, Dark Roast Espresso Coffee, 30 Count Coffee Pods, Brews 2.7 Ounce

I live on coffee and can’t always get to the coffee shop for my daily latte. On those days, these tiny pods are a lifesaver! I just pop one into my Nespresso machine and 30 seconds later I’ve got the necessary fuel to “try” and wake up as fast as my little one. She’s a morning person and I am not.

Clever Alternative: These tiny Nespresso machines take up almost no counterspace.

These Fun Compression Socks Have Saved Me So Much Pain

CHARMKING Compression Socks for Women & Men Circulation 15-20 mmHg is Best Graduated Athletic for Running, Flight Travel, Support, Pregnant, Cycling - Boost Performance, Durability (S/M, Multi 06)

If you haven’t tried compression socks yet, you’re missing out! I love these in particular, since they come in a variety of actually fun patterns (compression socks don’t have to be boring). I’ll wear them while running, or even just overnight, and they help a lot with calf pain.

Clever Alternative: These ankle-length compression socks help with plantar fasciitis, while providing tons of support.

This Gorgeous Gratitude Planner Keeps Me Mindful and Productive

Goals & Gratitude Planner with Pens, Stickers, and Sticker Tabs (Undated) - Busy Bee Planners

I have always loved planners even if I don’t always keep up with them. I particularly love this one because it focuses on gratitude and the dates and pages are blank – so it never ‘expires’. And it comes with stickers! Who doesn’t love stickers.

Clever Alternative: These brilliant divider sticky notes are perfect for note-taking in anything with pages!

This Fitbit Versa is the Perfect (Cheaper) Apple Watch Alternative

Fitbit Versa 2 Health and Fitness Smartwatch with Heart Rate, Music, Alexa Built-In, Sleep and Swim Tracking, Petal/Copper Rose, One Size (S and L Bands Included)

I love this smart watch because it tracks my steps, exercise and sleep! It’s also cheaper than and Apple Watch and still links to my phone for texts so I can be hands-free for running around with our kid.

Clever Alternative: I’d love to pair this six-pack of sports bands with my watch!

This Leave-in Conditioner Keeps My Little One’s Curls Perfect

SoCozy, Curl Spray LeaveIn Conditioner For Kids Hair Detangles and Restores Curls No Parabens Sulfates Synthetic Colors or Dyes, Jojoba Oil,Olive Oil & Vitamin B5, Sweet-Pea, 8 Fl Oz

If you’ve ever tried to comb a curly-headed toddler’s hair, you can probably understand why I love this stuff. You just spray it in, and it makes it SO much easier to comb out tangles. Best of all, you just leave it in the hair, so it keeps our little one’s mane nicely conditioned too.

Clever Alternative: This cult-favorite detangling brush with an insane number of reviews.

I Finally Found The Best Hand Sanitizer

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Variety Pack, Naturals and Refreshing Gel, 1 Fl Oz Travel Size Flip-Cap Bottle with Jelly Wrap Carrier (Pack of 8) - 3900-09-ECSC

This year we all have been using a lot of hand sanitizer! I love this sanitizer in particular for two reasons: it’s not too harsh on the skin, and it comes in perfect, portable packaging. We just leave these next to the back door, and grab one whenever we head out.

Clever Alternative: This no-touch door opener is an incredible, hygienic value.

This Lovely Book Has The Best Message for Girls of All Ages

Dear Girl,: A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You!

I buy a copy of Dear Girl for all of my friends with little girls. It’s such a beautiful – and important – message for all little girls to love and celebrate themselves the way they are.

Clever Alternative: This book by the same author, for boys.

Mixed Is a Cute and Colorful Book With a Great Message

Mixed: A Colorful Story

A lot of books try to tackle tough topics for kids with (no pun intended) mixed results. But we love “Mixed: A Colorful Story” because it is simple, and does great job of showing that hurtful labels can go away when we take the time to get to know each other.

Clever Alternative: “C is for Consent” is another short story for kids with a simple message about physical boundaries.

This “Bodega Cat” Book Is a Keeper

Bodega Cat

“Bodega Cat” by Louie Chin is a fun story of a cat who lives at the bodega! We originally checked this out from the library and had to return it, but we knew it was a keeper.

Clever Alternative: The author also illustrated this other fun birthday book for dinosaur-obsessed kids.

This Cute Yoga Mat Comes in Every Color Imaginable

Gaiam Premium Reversible Print Yoga Mat, Extra Thick Non Slip Exercise & Fitness Mat for All Types of Yoga, Pilates & Floor Exercises, Inner Peace Lotus, 5/6mm

I love this yoga mat because I can roll it up and put it in the closet after I’m done with it. The purple is pretty too!

Clever Alternative: This extra thick yoga mat needs a strap to stay rolled up, but is perfect for pilates.

A Child-Size Yoga Mat? Yes Please!

Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat Exercise Mat, Yoga for Kids with Fun Prints - Playtime for Babies, Active & Calm Toddlers and Young Children, Birdsong, 3mm

For those of us who know the struggle of doing yoga while you compete with your little one for space on your mat, this child-size yoga mat is for you. Your child can finally do child’s pose on their OWN mat. They might even be convinced not to use you as a human jungle gym while you attempt a downward dog.

Clever Alternative: And this adorable Yoga Bear book is a great starter manual for little budding yogis!

This Tangle Angel Brush is Perfect for Thick Hair

Tangle Angel 2.0 Hair Brush for Thick Curly Thin Long Short Wet or Dry Hair,Detangler Brush,Good Massage Detangling Brush for Women,Girls & Kids(190mm,Gloss Turquoise)

Everyone has their perfect brush. For me, this Tangle Angel brush has been a blessing. I use it for our daughter’s curls and my own thick hair.

Clever Alternative: My friend swears by this Bass palm brush .

Finally a Barbie For Star Wars Fans

Barbie Collector Star Wars Darth Vader x Barbie Doll, 11.5-inch Wearing Black Peplum Top, Cape and Skirt, with Doll Stand and Certificate of Authenticity

Did you know that this Darth Vader Barbie existed? Yes, finally there is a Barbie that even Star Wars fans can get behind. If you’re a collector like me, then this needs to be on you shelf.

Clever Alternative: And only a Barbie Stormtrooper could have hair this great.

Dust Off Can Get the Dust Off of Anything

Falcon Dust Off Compressed Gas Duster 10 oz (1 Can)

Yes, I use this Dust-Off spray for keyboards. But it’s also great for dusting the crud out of Legos!

Clever Alternative: Lego management is definitely a thing. Keeping them off the floor with this play mat storage basket might be a good first step in keeping them clean.

Practical Meets Sparkle in These Kids Sneakers

These Dr. Scholl’s Adiren sneakers are the cutest, most practical and sparkly shoes. As our little one has grown, we’ve replaced these twice already. Love them.

Clever Alternative: My friend’s daughter wears these Keen kids sandals almost exclusively every summer!

These Blackout Curtains Daylight Saved Me!

Amazon Basics Portable Baby-Kids Travel Window Blackout Curtain Shade with Suction Cups - 50

Kids love waking up at the crack of dawn. During daylight savings time, I keep dawn from cracking too early with these cute black out curtains .

Clever Alternative: These portable blackout curtains could be a lifesaver while traveling with little ones.

Tupac Sweatsuit Need I Say More?

I love Tupac! I saw this Tupac sweatsuit online and thought it was ridiculous and had to have it.

Clever Alternative: In case you were wondering, there are Tupac pillows too.

There So Many Reasons to Love This Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream !

Ben & Jerry's - Vermont's Finest Ice Cream, Non-GMO - Fairtrade - Cage-Free Eggs - Caring Dairy - Responsibly Sourced Packaging, Phish Food, Pint (4 Count)

I like what Ben & Jerry’s stands for as a company. I also love the gooey marshmallows in this Phish Food ice cream !

Clever Alternative: Since it’s substantially cheaper to get Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on Amazon, you might as well get The Tonight Dough flavor, too!

A Kid-Friendly Sprayable Sunscreen is a Playground Must

Babyganics SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen Spray UVA UVB Protection | Water Resistant |Non Allergenic, 2 Pack (6 Ounce)

I like this Babyganics sunscreen because it has zinc in it instead of scary stuff that is hard to pronounce.

Clever Alternative: This Thinkbaby sunscreen is also a popular one among folks who are particular about their kids sunscreen.

Cheap and Durable – This Shower Curtain Liner Gets it Done

Amazon Basics Water Resistant Vinyl Shower Curtain Liner with Metal Grommets and Plastic Hooks - 72" x 72

It’s a great basic shower curtain liner. It’s also super easy to take down and clean.

Clever Alternative: This machine-washable shower curtain liner is another good choice!

Chewable Vitamins Aren’t Just for Kids!

OLLY Women's Multivitamin Gummy, Vitamins A, D, C, E, Biotin, Folic Acid, Chewable Supplement, Berry Flavor, 45-Day Supply - 90 Count

I absolutely can’t swallow pills. I love that these OLLY multivitamins come in gummy form so I can chew them instead of having to swallow one of those other vitamins. Bleh!

Clever Alternative: These OLLY sleep gummies might be another reason to celebrate.

Just Reliably Good Spinach

I eat this Organic Girl Spinach in my eggs, in salads and just plain. It’s a good source of iron for vegetarians and luckily, our little one will eat it plain.

Clever Alternative: A bit of this Mary Ruth’s Liquid Iron supplement in a smoothie could be another way to sneak iron into the diet.

I Found an Ice Cream I Don’t Have to Share

Sometimes I end my day with coffee ice cream. And I never have to share because no one else loves coffee as much as me!

Clever Alternative: This Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball looks like a fun way to make ice cream!

Cost-Effective Construction Paper for Every Craft

Crayola Construction Paper, School Supplies, 96 ct Assorted Colors, 9" x 12

It’s always good to have construction paper handy for little ones. From last-minute homemade cards to kindergarten crafts, a little construction paper goes a long way!

Clever Alternative: These kids scissors have a plastic blade that cuts paper (instead of hair and little fingers)!

This Extra Barbie is Extra Cool!

I ended up buying an extra of these “Extra” Barbie dolls, one for me to keep in the box and one for our daughter to play with. What child doesn’t love any animal dressed as a unicorn? It’s a pig-a-corn! The clothes on these dolls are also “Extra” cool!

Clever Alternative: These color reveal Barbie dolls are equal parts strange and fun. You dip the purple and white Barbie in warm water to reveal what kind of doll she is.

Zoe and Sassafras: A Buy-Worthy Book Series With a Girl Hero

We started reading the first Zoe and Sassafras book through a library app and decided we should buy the series. We began reading chapter books for bedtime stories this year and the chapters were short. Zooey helps magical animals that only she and her mom can see. I like finding books with female role models because it’s so important for girls to see themselves as the heroes of the story. These books also made me laugh out loud a few times!

Clever Alternative: The Little Dreamers book is a great one about real-life female heroes!

I Conquer Allergy Season With These Cough Drops

I get seasonal allergies and these Zarbee’s cough drops help with the sore throat and cough that comes with it! They are the best.

Clever Alternative: Zarbee’s also has a cough relieving tea!

Never Underestimate the Power of a Santa Suit!

We couldn’t go into see Santa this year, but we were lucky enough to have a dear friend wear this Santa suit to be Santa for our daughter. She was terrified but now we have the suit!

Clever Alternative: Did someone say Easter bunny?

Adorable Hair Ties That Won’t Get Stuck

These kids hair ties are adorable! It makes me glad to see the little bunny ears and they don’t pull the hair the same way as other elastics.

Clever Alternative: My friend’s daughter wears these cute little bows, but I’m not sure how long they last.

This Lazy Susan Is a Kitchen Workhorse!

I was tired of shuffling around the contents of my cabinet every time I needed to reach the soy sauce. So I bought this cabinet-sized lazy susan, and now I can reach everything with ease!

Clever Alternative: This cabinet spice rack has two levels and two spinners.

This Snack: Perfect for Preschoolers and Astronauts

This freeze dried mango is our daughter’s favorite snack. It’s healthy, tastes kind of like astronaut food, and she loves it!

Clever Alternative: They have a strawberry version, too!

A Plain V-Neck T-Shirt That Does it All!

I originally bought this cheap t-shirt when our daughter wanted us to be Pete the Cat and Grumpy Toad for Halloween. But I and ended up buying a few more colors. It’s a great basic top for exercising too!

Clever Alternative: Pete The Cat would never wear this pocket t-shirt, but I might!

This Sink Water Filter Delivers Bottled Water Taste Without The Bottle

I’ve been trying to drink more water while using fewer plastic water bottles. This screw-on sink filter does a great job filtering the water from our tap.

Clever Alternative: This Nalgene water bottle filters the water in the bottle itself!

Amelia Bedelia Has Still Got It!

I loved Amelia Bedelia as a kid, so when I found these books I was so excited. This particular book was also about voting. We spent a lot of this election year doing at-home canvassing and writing cards to voters.

Clever Alternative: And while not as politically pertinent, Where’s Waldo is another great throwback kids book.

These Lego Friends Sets Are So Much Fun!

I’m so stoked that they have Legos that look like this now! The fun colors and all the Lego Friends sets are awesome. Our daughter is always so excited to get new Legos!

Clever Alternative: Of course the creative possibilities are endless with the Lego brick kit .

Little Dreamers Inspires Big Dreams in Little Women!

I love reading this “Little Dreamers” book with my daughter as we learn about inspirational women together. And I think it’s working because she told me, “women can do anything, but men can’t.” Lol!

Clever Alternative: The Little Feminist book series is a fun board book pick for the toddler crowd.

featured image with various favorite buys

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