Top Kids Christmas Gifts by Age for 2017

It can be tough keeping up with what kids are interested in playing with from year to year - especially in the younger years from age 3-7 when they change so drastically from one year to the next! Here are a few gift ideas for Christmas 2017 to give you a little head start on the season. 

1. Age 3

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  • LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
    Age range (2-5 years)
    Price $39.99
    A whimsical ice cream cart that is fun for "make believe" role-play, as well as learning flavors, colors, and numbers. 
  • The "Land of Nod's" Wild Animal Sleeping Bags
    Age Range (3+) 
    Price $99
    These are the sweetest little sleeping bags that your 3-year-old can use and grow into for several years. You can choose from a zebra, fox, dinosaur, penguin, or puppy. Perfect for overnights at the grandparents, or camping out in the living room. 
  • Kardboard Kingdom
    Age Range (3+)
    Price $40
    From Box Creations, the Kardboard Kingdom is an easy to assemble playhouse made of cardboard. Complete with tunnels, a courtyard, and interior play space, this is the perfect gift for a wild imagination. 

2. Age 4

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  • Skip Hop Zoo Pack
    Age Range (3+)
    Price $20
    These little backpacks are not only totally adorable, but are a great way to allow your kids to express their individuality. There are dozens of different ones to choose from, and will make packing up for school and car trips a little bit more fun. 
  • Eco Dough
    Age Range (4+)
    Price $20
    We all love a good playdough session, and Eco Dough brings all of the fun with less of the chemicals. Made from natural ingredients, which are better for the environment, and better for the kids to be handling!  
  • Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkey
    Age Range (3+)
    Price $17.99 or $90 for all six
    These little monkeys help teach young kids how to care for a pet and be a good friend. They are interactive, and respond to being rocked to sleep, hung upside down, talked to, and pet! Good for little animal lovers. 

3. Age 5

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  • Temporary Animal Hand Tattoos
    Price $12
    Including a variety of different animals and monsters, these hand tattoos are a fun twist on the traditional temporary tattoo. Perfect for a sleepover or kid's party. Easy to apply and non-toxic. 
  • Build-A-Bear Stuffing Station
    Age Range (4+)
    Price $30
    Bring the fun of Build-A-Bear Workshop home! The kit includes materials for 2 "furry friends" with accessories, t-shirts, birth certificates, and easy instructions. 
  • FurReal Friends
    Age Range (4+)
    Price $30-$130
    FurReal pets are one of the biggest trends in kid's toys in 2017! The pets are interactive, and have different sounds as well as sound-motion combinations. These toys are perfect for teaching children how to care for and take care of a pet. 

4. Age 6

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  • Hatchimals
    Age Range (3+)
    Price $3-$30
    Hatchimals are "collEGGtible" little critters that hatch from an egg! So it is a fun surprise finding out which hatchimal you get each time. The hatchimal "world" has a lot of additional activities, including coloring book downloads, activity books, and videos and games online. 
  • Kiwi Crate
    Age Range (5-8)
    Price - Monthly box subscription ($19 a month, or cheaper if you pay for 3, 6, 12 months) 
    We've heard of subscription boxes for adults (Stitch Fix, Birchbox, Le Tote, etc.) but this is a uniquely crafted box for kids! The Kiwi Crate is for ages 5-8 and encourages STEAM (Science, Engineering, Art, Math) learning, creativity, and exploration. Each box comes with a "Maker Project," Creative Learning Materials, an "explore!" Magazine, and Online DIY Ideas. 
  • Root Vue Farm
    Age Range (4+)
    Price $40
    This visual garden, let's your little gardner plant root vegetables and watch them grow. Fun and educational, they'll learn how to plant, water, and pick the vegetables!

5. Age 7

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  • VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
    Age Range (4-9)
    Price $40
    Kids love taking photos - we know this from our maxed out storage on our iPhones! - and this vtech camera is made for kids, allowing them to take videos and photos and get creative. It comes with a USB cord, so you can upload and share with family and friends. 
  • Rory's Story Cubes
    Age Range 6+
    Price $12-25
    This game will bring out your kids' wildest imagination and creativity - and it's fun for adults too, so it's the perfect game to play during family night. You roll the rice, which have different icons on them, and create imaginative stories based on the characters and things you roll. 
  • Selfie Mic Music Set
    Age Range (7+)
    Price $20
    We're in the age of "Selfie's" and we might as well embrace it! This app/music set combo allows the kids to connect a microphone and selfie stick to a phone, and record themselves singing and rocking out! Perfect for the musically-inclined to explore their talents and break out of their shell. 

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great tips, hints, and quick reads on all things parenting in Charleston SC!


 
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NannyPod provides babysitters, nannies, and night nurse infant care on demand, at an affordable price. Our service is convenient, safe and secure for families and our staff. Parents can request childcare instantly online or by using the MindBody Connect app. Get started with NannyPod today and find babysitters or nannies for your childcare needs!

Top Fall Events for the Family

While we may still have a few 90-degree days here and there, that doesn't mean we have to miss out on all of the fall fun. Not only are there loads of events happening in Charleston this season, but most of them are appropriate and enjoyable for all ages. So swap out the beach towels for a pumpkin-carving kit, and get ready to enjoy the season!

1. Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch 

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This Charleston favorite is so much more than just a pumpkin patch. Boone Hall is completely transformed during the month of October with a corn maze, jump pillow, giant slide tower, hayride, spider web "rope" attraction, rock climbing wall, corn hole toss, a goat walk, and a rabbit enclosure. Spend the day enjoying all of the attractions, and then take your pumpkins home for painting or carving!

Tickets are $10 (free for 3 and under). 


2. Halloween Night at the SC Aquarium 

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This is the perfect evening for any little ocean-lovers, and a fun option for doing something a bit different this year. On October 23 and 31st the aquarium gets a SpOoKy makeover! Guests are encouraged to wear costumes, and there will be music, games, and festive exhibits. To top it off, there is an "Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest" where guests get to judge which diver has the best carved pumpkin in the Great Ocean Tank. 


3. Fall Festivals 

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We sure do love our festivals here in Charleston - and what's not to love? Food trucks, live music, arts and crafts. Add some crisp autumn weather and a light sweater and we are good to go.  

Check out any of these kid-friendly festivals going on this fall!
Nov. 4 - Harvest Fest (John's Island)
Nov. 4 - Charleston Mac Off (Mt. Pleasant) 
Nov. 10 - 30 - Holiday Festival of Lights (James Island) 
Nov. 11 - Park Day on Daniel Island (Daniel Island) 


4. West Farm Corn Maze (Monks Corner)

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Not only is the West Farm corn maze a blast for the whole family, each year they raise money and awareness for a different cause. This year they are celebrating Pet Adoption Agencies and will host adoption events and raise funds for different organizations throughout the season. The farm is home to a 2.8 mile corn maze (a .3 mile maze for the younger kids), a pumpkin barn, a hay-bale maze, tire climb, farm zoo, hay ride, apple slingshot, and snack bar/picnic area with different food vendors and trucks. 


5. Family Fright Night (Magnolia Plantation)

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If you are looking for something festive and spooky without being too scary for young kids, this is the perfect event. With a "haunted" hayride, hay-bale maze, pony rides, face-painting, crafts, children's games, and a family photo booth - you'll find plenty to do. 

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20, 21, 27 and 28. Tickets are $10, and free for children 6 and under!

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great tips, hints, and quick reads on all things parenting in Charleston SC!


 
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NannyPod provides babysitters, nannies, and night nurse infant care on demand, at an affordable price. Our service is convenient, safe and secure for families and our staff. Parents can request childcare instantly online or by using the MindBody Connect app. Get started with NannyPod today and find babysitters or nannies for your childcare needs!

Fun Scouting: Top 5 Charleston Playgrounds You Might Not Know About

If there's one thing Charleston does really well for kids, its playgrounds. Whatever you're looking for - new equipment, shaded picnic tables, or just a change of scenery to shake things up - you're going to want to check out some of these top NannyPod spots. 

1. "Big Toy" Playground at Palmetto Islands County Park (Mount Pleasant)

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This playground is nestled in Palmetto Islands County Park, giving it a fun and natural feel. The play area is HUGE with new equipment and a separate area for younger and older kids. Additionally, this park offers picnic tables, public bathrooms - and best of all... SHADE, which makes this playground one of our favorites. 


2. Smythe Park - Pirate Cove (Daniel Island)

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Smythe Park is situated around a beautiful lake with scenic bike paths and picnic tables. There are swings, climbing structures, monkey bars, and soft sandy areas. Oh, and the whole playground structure is shaped like a Pirate Ship. Need we say more? 


3. Plymouth Park (James Island)

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This quaint playground is all about location. Plymouth Park Playground is right on the water, so it's the perfect place if you're bringing a picnic or your pet. To top it off, it's right next to a fire station - so you're sure to delight your little ones when the big red trucks roll by.


4. Wannamaker Park (North Charleston)

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There are 2 playgrounds in Wannamaker County Park (Tot-Lot and Fun-Lot), a seasonal water park, picnic tables, a snack bar, dog park, bathrooms, and hiking trails. Our favorite part - there's a big hill that's a ton of fun for kids and a great pre-nap option for parents.


5. Pirate Cove Playground (Folly Beach)

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There's something about pirates and big ships that really bring the magic. We love that this playground is in downtown Folly, right near the beach - so you can make it a part of your beach day, or grab some ice cream as a special treat. This playground is fun for older kids but also has some toddler-friendly equipment (smaller slides, toddler swings, and seahorse bouncies). 

 

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great tips, hints, and quick reads on all things parenting in Charleston SC!


 
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NannyPod provides babysitters, nannies, and night nurse infant care on demand, at an affordable price. Our service is convenient, safe and secure for families and our staff. Parents can request childcare instantly online or by using the MindBody Connect app. Get started with NannyPod today and find babysitters or nannies for your childcare needs!

Our Top 5 Kid-Friendly Ways to Beat the Charleston Heat

Charleston is HOT...and hot kids get cranky! Here's a few of our favorite nearby activities that your kids will love, and won't leave you or your little ones begging for air conditioning.

1. Fire Museum (North Charleston)

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Free for kids 12 and under, the Fire Museum is the perfect "something new" your family-time schedule needs. The museum is educational, with an extensive collection of firetrucks dating back to 1780! Its also a relaxing and fun environment, with an indoor playground and interactive exhibits. Afterwards, swing by Mellow Mushroom next door for lunch and you've got yourself a cool afternoon with the family. 


2. Sky Zone (Mount Pleasant)

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If you've never been to Sky Zone, say hello to your child's new favorite place. Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park with a foam pit and wall-to-wall trampolines for bouncing and playing. Toddler Hour is Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9-10:00am, so your little ones can jump around with parental supervision without "big kid interference." Sky Zone is fun for ALL ages... and while the kids get hot playing, you'll stay nice and cool. 


3. WonderWorks (Mount Pleasant)

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Escape the heat for an hour with a trip to WonderWorks. More than just a toy store, this interactive, magical place features a train set, kitchen play area, jumping station, and loads of toys out of the package for "testing." There's always plenty of other kids exploring for your little ones to interact with and the staff are always friendly and welcoming. 


4. Splash Zone (James Island County Park)

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James Island County Park will quickly become one of your family's favorite stay-cool spots. The park has a 200-foot tube slide, open slide, lazy river with water-walls and sprays, a leisure pool, and a "Jake and the Neverland Pirates"-like play structure. There are showers, restrooms, concessions, and picnic space as well. Kids under 2 are free, and over 2 it is only $9.99 - so you can enjoy the adventure without breaking the bank. 


5. Waterfront Park (The Battery)

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Beat the beach traffic and head to the Waterfront Park fountain and "swimmable" Pineapple Fountain. Bring your kid's swimsuits (they will get soaked!), towels, and sunscreen, for an afternoon splashing in the fountains along the scenic Charleston Battery. Afterwards, you're just a few steps away from swinging benches on the pier and an ice cream shop nearby. (Local hint: the Vendue Hotel has a clean bathroom and doesn't seem to discourage parents from bringing their kids in for a quick bathroom break!)

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great tips, hints, and quick reads on all things parenting in Charleston SC!


 
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NannyPod provides babysitters, nannies, and night nurse infant care on demand, at an affordable price. Our service is convenient, safe and secure for families and our staff. Parents can request childcare instantly online or by using the MindBody Connect app. Get started with NannyPod today and find babysitters or nannies for your childcare needs!

Our Top 5 Most Parent-Friendly Places to Eat in Mount Pleasant SC

We believe spending time with your kids and enjoying a nice dining experience don't have to be mutually exclusive. It’s all about location, location, location: an environment that keeps the kids occupied, safe, and happy, along with good atmosphere, food, and drinks for the grownups – that’s the perfect formula. So, just for you mom and dad, we’ve put together our Top 5 picks for parent-friendly restaurants in Mount Pleasant SC, so all you have to do is go eat!

1. Morgan Creek Grill

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It doesn't get any more “Charleston,” than this. Morgan Creek Grill is right on the water, with simple and delicious seafood, fresh air, and gorgeous views. A large sandy area downstairs provides kids with room to run around and play while still staying in view. If you’ve got some tiny dancers on your team, there's often live music – and there’s nothing like 2 hours of dancing and twirling to get the little ones nice and worn out for bedtime. Be sure to stop by on a Saturday in October when they have regular oyster roasts with s’mores for the kids.


2. Muddy's Dockside Bar (Vickery's)

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Ideal for the little adventurers, this location offers a small “beach” and a dock on the water. It’s the perfect location for playing in the sand, catching crabs, and watching the boats and fishermen cleaning their fish. The menu is extensive, super tasty, and reasonably priced – and we love that there are healthy options for the kids, like grilled chicken strips or a PB&J with fresh fruit and veggie side options.  Shem Creek is the #1 place for laid back lowcountry fun.


3. Pickled Palate

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Creative, healthy, and locally sourced food shouldn’t have to mean a stuffy or ritzy environment – and this place proves it. Pickled Palate is the best place for health-conscious parents, who want a beautiful and satisfying meal with the kids in tow. There's a large kid-friendly garden area filled with flowers, succulents and herbs, so the kids can play, wander, and learn. With surprisingly low prices and great atmosphere, you’ll leave in a better mood than when you arrived.


4. Coastal Crust

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Kids love pizza. We love pizza. Throw in a vintage truck converted into a mini playground? SOLD. There is a Coastal Crust food truck, and also a brick and mortar location – both are as cool as can be! This is your spot for incredible “upscale-feeling” food and a nice glass of wine, while still somehow managing to be a good atmosphere that the kids will enjoy. 


5. Triangle Char Bar

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Sunday Funday? This may not mean the same as it used to – but at the right location we think you can still have a family-friendly fun-day. Triangle Char Bar has fun outdoor games (Giant Jenga blocks, Cornhole, and the fishing line and hook game) along with outside couches for a comfortable and relaxed afternoon. The kids won’t feel confined or bored, and you’ll get to relax and unwind from your busy week.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great tips, hints, and quick reads on all things parenting in Charleston SC!


 
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NannyPod provides babysitters, nannies, and night nurse infant care on demand, at an affordable price. Our service is convenient, safe and secure for families and our staff. Parents can request childcare instantly online or by using the MindBody Connect app. Get started with NannyPod today and find babysitters or nannies for your childcare needs!

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