Here at Bloomington Mom’s Blog, we love telling our readers about fun and unique products or local businesses we are currently loving! With the holidays quickly approaching, we wanted to share some of our favorites. These products are practical for moms, yet fun for kids! This curated list is brought to you by the businesses featured in this post. We love each and every item! Be sure to take note, you will want to add these ideas to your shopping list.
The Fresh Fork
The Fresh Fork is a local, family-owned business. Their goal is to provide healthy meals for everyone in a convenient way. With their ever-changing menu, it’s easy to have meals for your family that everyone will enjoy. Their menu provides delicious and nutritious options, perfect for busy moms on the go! You can order online for pickup or delivery based on times that fit into your busy schedule.
They offer side options such as Honey Garlic Green Beans, to protein options such as Sweet and Smokey Turkey Burgers. They have a menu exclusive to kids and even have quick bites such as a yummy Taco Turkey Bowl or Egg and Veggie Muffins. Yum!
Our team tried out the Chocolate Nutella Chia Protein Balls and the M&M Protein Balls. We were so impressed! They were quite large, filling, and yet felt indulging. Moms, make this busy holiday season easier for yourself by ordering from The Fresh Fork. Gift Certificates are also available for a practical gift option that anyone would enjoy receiving!
Why We Love It
“I’m not an oats fan but once I tried the protein balls they were sooo good! It’s like a sweet treat that filled me up until dinner as an afternoon snack!” – Anna R.
“I am usually so busy in the mornings that I don’t take the time to make myself a healthy breakfast before I run out the door. The protein balls are the perfect solution. They are healthy, filling and delicious!” – Brittany L.
The Toy Chest
The Toy Chest is one of our favorite local spots to shop and play. Not only does this large retail space in the Bloomington College Mall offer a variety of toys for all ages, interests and price points, but it is a play space for children and families to come in and enjoy! You really can’t beat the amazing customer service, either! The staff at The Toy Chest are equal parts friendly and helpful. Whether it’s providing a private space for nursing mothers, to helping you wrangle your toddler; they do it all!
The Toy Chest also offers weekly free classes for toddlers every Tuesday morning, varying the activities from crafts, stories and, of course, play time with friends! They even go as far as offering monthly free events for families to attend together. We love that our kiddos can test out toys before we add them to the holiday wishlist. Live in the Nashville or Columbus area? Stop by The Toy Chest’s Nashville location for all of your shopping needs. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Hoberman Mini Sphere. It’s fun and engaging for all ages!
Why We Love It
“My kids and I love going to the toy chest! They gave family friendly events all month long that are engaging and high quality. We have gone in there countless times on a rainy day just to play with the toys. The staff are inviting and create a personal experience every time we go in.” – Britt K.
“My boys are 10 and 12 and as I sit here typing this they are enjoying tossing the Hoberman Sphere back and forth with each other.” – Amy L.
“My boys love the Hoberman Sphere! They are constantly fidgeting with it while reading a book or watching a movie. They like exploring how it works and throwing it in the air to watch it open and close!” – Lynsey R.
beCAUSE Bloomington is one of the many local businesses that make Bloomington so unique and special, and that’s why it’s one of our favorites! Owner and artist, Brianne Harness, approaches canvas painting events in a refreshing and encouraging way. Not only will you learn something new, but it may just rekindle your creative spirit!
beCAUSE hosts many canvas painting events throughout the year, and Brianne finds beautiful spaces, like The Pourhouse Café, for participants to enjoy while painting. There are even kid-focused events where you can bring your littles and paint together! beCAUSE will also work with you to host any number of attendees for your special occasion or event.
Why We Love It
“I am not what i would consider a “crafty” person. But the directions and guidance were so simple and easy to understand! I truly enjoyed doing something new and fun and can’t wait to go back!” – Maggie M.
“Her teaching style is unique & really empowers each individual with the confidence needed to step out of ones comfort zone to create a beautiful piece!” – Allison P.
“Honestly, I was scared and didn’t think I’d enjoy it because I don’t think I am at all artistic! BUT I found myself having so much fun! I discovered I can actually create something and can’t wait to hang my painting on my baby girl’s nursery wall!” – Sarah T.
The WonderLab Museum
When you think of The WonderLab Museum, a day full of fun and learning is sure to come to mind! But, did you know that WonderLab also has an awesome gift shop right in the front of the museum? This gift shop is not only a place to purchase souvenirs, but a place you can purchase awesome toys and interesting trinkets for all of the kiddos on your holiday shopping list. WonderLab offers a large variety of items to choose from at affordable price points.
The museum’s gift shop is open to anyone during business hours, and you can shop without paying for the cost of admission! WonderLab also offers a personalized shopping experience. If you would like the help of trained professionals, then call and schedule an appointment with the friendly staff at the museum. They would love to help you find the perfect gift for any child on your list. Of course, a membership to the museum is a great way to treat an entire family to a special gift they can continue to use all year long!
We love the Oball line of toys. Many of their products can be purchased at WonderLab. The Oball Go Grippers toys are fun and stimulating for both babies and toddlers. They are so colorful, and with their signature large holes in the design, they are very easy for babies to grip onto. Many of the toys also have wheels which are wonderful for toddler play. Go Grippers are the perfect toy that will grow with your child.
Some of our other favorite products include the Heebie Jeebies Test Tubes that feature Polymer Snow, Make Your Own Slime, and Hydrophobic Sand. They provide hands on fun, great for any age, and would make the perfect stocking stuffer!
The Heebie Jeebies Make Your Own Slime Kit comes with easy to follow instructions, and is a fun, simple science experiment that any child would love. By mixing the powder from the test tube with water, you will create slime in a flash!
The Heebie Jeebies Polymer Snow is made of tiny white polymers. When you add water to the test tube contents, they will absorb water molecules by osmosis and increase to 100x their original size. In no time flat, you can create a large bowl full of snow that is sure to get your child in the holiday spirit without bundling up to play outside. The best part is that the polymer snow is reusable!
The Hydrophobic Sand is magic sand that has been dyed and coated to repel water, so it’s always dry. When submerged in water, it can be molded with touch. You can even use multiple test tubes in a variety of colors to create various sculptures. The best part is that the sand is also reusable!
Why We Love It
“I love meeting up with friends in the toddler space at the WonderLab. Our little ones never seem to get tired of all of the different things to explore. We also like watching the animals upstairs!” – Allison M.
“We never get bored of the WonderLab and we go weekly. I’ve also noticed that their gift shop has lots of really great gifts that are “different” than mass produced toys like at big box stores. My nieces and nephews have really enjoyed their unique gifts from there!” – Anna R.
Bloomington United Gymnastics and Soccer (BUGS)
While Bloomington United Gymnastics and Soccer may not be the first place to come to mind when you think of holiday shopping, we think otherwise! BUGS is a great place to shop locally for the kiddos in your life! BUGS offers gift certificates for all of their full term classes, as well as passes to open gym times. When you purchase multiple open gym time passes, you receive a discount. What better way to treat the child in your life than the gift of classes that keeps them healthy and strong while having fun and learning a new skill!
Did you know that BUGS offers birthday party packages, preschool, camps, adult fitness and open gym times just for toddlers most days of the week? BUGS also offers open gym time for ages 7-16 once a week. There is truly something for everyone. What better gift than something fun and active for your child to enjoy?
Why We Love It
“We love going to Tumble Tots through the week! My son loves the ball pit and getting the chance to climb, run and jump with other children his age! The staff is always so friendly and the cost is so affordable!”– Brittany L.
“Our children have truly enjoyed attending birthday parties at BUGS throughout the years! It’s something new and different, and it’s such a great way for them to play with friends and burn up all of their extra energy.” – Lynsey R.
Kwik Stix Tempera Paint
Kwik Stix is one of our favorite new finds! It drys in under 90 seconds and there is no need for water or an art smock. The colors are thick and vibrant!
Kids of all ages love using Kwik Stix on a variety of materials such as paper, wood, canvas or posters. We love Kwik Stix for keeping the mess at bay, while still being just as fun!
Why We Love It
“ALL of my children (ages 6, 10, 13) love the Kwik Stix paint sticks! No mess and glides on various surfaces smoothly! I’ve already ordered more colors/styles!” – April S.
“The Kwik Stix are a major hit at my house. I absolutely love how fast they dry and how easy it is to wipe off the counter when we have overflow.” – Alycia C.
Skiddies are 100% cotton underwear liners that are thin enough that kids won’t notice them, yet stay in place all day to get the job done. If your child is out of diapers, yet hasn’t quite mastered wiping, Skiddies is the perfect product for your them. One size fits all, and once the liner is soiled they can be easily peeled off and thrown away.
Skiddies is a unique product that would pair perfectly with a new potty chair, big kid undies and a potty training book for the holidays! Skiddies are useful, practical, and help keep those big kid character undies nice and clean!
Why We Love It
“My preschooler has not yet mastered wiping on her own. Skiddies have helped save her underwear while at school!” – Amanda H.