Encouraging Imaginative Play With Your Children

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PlayWithPlaymobil #CollectiveBias
How to Encourage Imaginative Play With Your Children | Oh Lovely DayMy mom philosophy is two parts “everything in moderation” and one part “survival, man.” So I don’t forbid screen time and I’m not above throwing on a movie when I have work I have to get done (especially since I work from home while providing full-time care to my kids with no hired help). But I also try to limit those things as much as possible and encourage imaginative play for my kids as much as I can. Imaginative play is so so important to child development. It helps to develop both cognitive and social/emotional skills. Children LEARN through PLAY. So I thought I would share a few tips for how I encourage imaginative play with my kids, especially as a mom who can’t always get down on the floor and play with them all day.

How to Encourage Imaginative Play

Schedule Free Play

We over-schedule our kids these days, even the little ones. Instead of packing their days with playdates, preschool, and other activities, leave their days free for play — or “schedule” free play. You would be amazed at how much and how well your kids play on their own when given the freedom to do so.

Provide Open-Ended Toys

Give your kids a variety of toys that encourage them to use their imaginations like building toys, dolls, dress up items, animals, cars and trains, and craft supplies all fall into this category. One of my and my kids’ favorite types of these toys are PLAYMOBIL sets. PLAYMOBIL sets are high quality with a strong attention to detail. They have sets that focus on real-life, like police and firefighter sets as well as sets that capture fantasy like dragons and dinosaurs. I like them because they often have both vehicles and people included which allows multiple facets of imaginative play. Hover over the image below to get more information about the PLAYMOBIL toys shown and to purchase at Walmart.

How to Encourage Imaginative Play With Your Children | Oh Lovely Day

How to Encourage Imaginative Play With Your Children | Oh Lovely Day

Show Them How It’s Done

If your kids are asking for you to play with them, show them how to use their imagination by getting them started and doing it yourself too. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t want to pretend to be a kitty cat all day long (and that’s ok, so exhale that mom guilt) but if we spend a few minutes at the start getting down and playing our kids will often get lost in their own imaginative play after a few minutes.

Get Outside

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to spark the imagination. Get outside to play, or pack up a few favorite imaginative toys like the PLAYMOBIL Take Along Sets or some favorite cars and head to the backyard or the park. The same toys in a new environment can make all the difference in new ideas and ways to play.

How to Encourage Imaginative Play With Your Children | Oh Lovely Day How to Encourage Imaginative Play With Your Children | Oh Lovely Day

PLAYMOBIL toys are a family classic, but they are now new to Walmart – how awesome is it to be able to find quality toys at a convenient retailer and at a great price!? You can find them at your local Walmart or Walmart.com.

With Littles, Every Outing is an Adventure

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #DASANISparkling #FlavorContest #CollectiveBias

Outings With Littles are Always an Adventure | Oh Lovely Day

Life’s adventures in my thirties (especially the second half of my thirties) look much different than the adventures than I had in my twenties or early thirties before I had children. It doesn’t mean I don’t have adventures (I mean, each day of parenthood is an adventure for better or worse) but they are less “coastal road trips or international travel” and more “getting three little boys to the pumpkin patch this weekend or walks to the playground to collect fall treasures with two toddlers.” But I think when you can appreciate the adventure in those little moments, and make them a big adventure for those little people, the motherhood adventures I experience now are just as enjoyable as the ones I had before kids. Sometimes even more so (and occasionally they are a complete fail but I’m always proud that I tried).Read More

Baby Safety Month and Keeping Your Child Safe All Year

This post is sponsored by Chicco, but the opinions are my own.

Baby safety month + carseat safety

Did you know that September is Baby Safety Month, with the week of September 23 – 28 celebrated as National Child Passenger Safety Week? It comes as a good reminder and it is the perfect time for parents to brush up on top safety tips for your child in your car, on a plane, in the stroller, and in your own home to keep your child safe.

Baby safety month + carseat safety

When You’re On The Go

When you and your child are out and about, always use a car seat to arrive safely at your destination. Baby should always be restrained in a car seat every time they’re in the car, whether it’s your car, your caregiver’s car or a taxi. If you are able, purchase a seat for baby when flying and have them restrained in their car seat on the plane as well. Never leave your baby in your vehicle. Put a critical item—your purse, cell phone, or even the shoe from your non-driving foot – next to your baby in the backseat each time baby is in the car with you to serve as a reminder as well.

Make sure to carefully follow all of the car seat manufacturer’s instructions when installing the seat in your vehicle. Get baby’s car seat installation checked at a fire or police station; they’re hard to install correctly! That is why I love the Chicco MyFit. It is designed with smart functionality that makes it the easiest to install simply, accurately, and securely. A four-position ReclineSure leveling system and RideRight bubble levels help achieve and verify proper angle in the vehicle seat. I love these features because it is basically the green light that tells you you’ve installed the seat correctly. Premium LATCH connectors with a SuperCinch tightener and a LockSure belt-tightening system with wide routing make it easy to achieve a tight and secure fit with LATCH or the vehicle seat belt. I personally use the LATCH system in my car with this seat and find it super simple and easy to use and install correctly.

Baby safety month + carseat safety Baby safety month + carseat safety

Using your stroller? Always put your stroller in the locked position when putting your baby in the stroller or when remaining stationary. Place any other items you’re carrying, like your purse, in the storage space beneath the stroller seat, and do not hang heavy items off the back of the stroller — this could cause it to tip. Make sure to buckle the safety harness in the stroller seat or, if using a travel system with your infant seat make sure to buckle your baby in safely like you would if they were riding in the car.

In The Nursery

Your baby’s nursery should be a secure environment for your baby to learn, grow, and sleep safely. Keep furniture away from windows to prevent babies from falling through the screen or becoming tangled in blind cords. Never leave your baby on the changing table unattended or unsecured. In the crib, always use a sheet that fits securely on the mattress. Make sure the mattress fits snugly within the crib to prevent your baby from slipping between the mattress and the side of the crib. Never use blankets or pillows in the crib with your baby. A swaddle or wearable blanket like a sleep sack is safest. And remember that back is best when placing your baby in their crib.

In The Rest of Your Home

Kitchens are full of potential safety hazards, so it’s important to take extra care in this area of your home. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to prevent hot foods and liquids from being tipped over. Keep knives, heavy pots and breakable dishes out of reach. Secure heavy furniture to the wall to prevent tipping, as well as securing your television to the wall or other secured furniture. Use outlet covers to keep little fingers out of the electrical outlets and hide or secure cords, wires, and plugs.

Baby safety month + carseat safety

A bit more about Chicco, since I love our MyFit seat so much. Chicco’s car seat line is designed to help parents keep their children as safe as possible on the road at every stage. The MyFit is designed to keep little big kids comfortable and content with the security of a five-point harness. A nine-position extended headrest and easy transition to a belt-positioning booster accommodate years of growing. The MyFit can be comfortably installed three across in your vehicle, maximizing space for you and your children. And that means all three of my boys (who are in either convertible 5 point harness seats or a booster) can all fit in any car if necessary.

I chatted with Chicco’s car seat safety advocate Courtney Barry and she shared some really helpful tips for parents who aren’t familiar with harness boosters like the MyFit, check them out below:

  1. Maturity plays a critical role in the type of booster seat you should be using with your child.

Before transitioning your child from a forward-facing convertible car seat to a belt-positioning booster seat, you must feel confident that they are mature enough to sit upright, without playing with their seat belt and accidentally shifting it into an unsafe position, for the duration of your trip. For children that are not quite there yet, manufacturers like Chicco have created transitional seats that are designed to not only keep children safer longer, but also prioritizes their comfort, like the MyFit Harness + Booster.


  1. Harness boosters, like the MyFit, offer the safety benefits that come with having a 5-point harness.

Harness boosters, like the Chicco MyFit, offer added protection and security for little big kids that have outgrown their forward-facing convertible car seat but aren’t quite mature enough for a belt-positioning booster. This is because they utilize a 5-point harness, much like an infant or convertible car seat. The 5-point harness on harness boosters are designed with higher shoulder strap slots that allow taller children protection and security for longer, in a more comfortable position, until they are ready for the next step.

  1. Know your options and what to look for when it comes to selecting a car seat.

The best car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your car and that you’ll be able to use correctly every time. Do your research to learn what your options are, as there can be several different car seat paths to take depending on the size of your child. Car seats like the Chicco MyFit can be a great option when a child is too tall for their forward-facing convertible car seat, but are not fully ready to use a booster seat. There are also many car seats that grow with your child, which can help save money without compromising safety. The MyFit does just that, as it easily converts to a belt-positioning booster to accommodate years of growing.

Go here to learn more about the right Chicco car seat for you.

Parenthood is hard. We’re sleep deprived and just doing the best we can, so keeping these safety tips in mind and preparing ahead of time with babyproofing tools can help keep your baby safe, even when life gets chaotic or overwhelming.

What’s your best baby safety tip?



Tips for Decorating Your Walls

This post was done in partnership with Minted by the opinions are my own.

Sharing how I finally got our family photos of my devices and onto our walls + tips for creating your own gallery walls with Artifact Uprising | ohlovelyday.com

I often get asked on Instagram or via email how I decide what to hang on my walls, where to hang it, and where I find it. So I thought today I would share some of my favorite ways to decorate and style our walls, the cardinal rule I follow, and where I source some of my favorite things to include on our walls.Read More

Getting to the Root of My Autoimmune Symptoms + A Warning Against the Paraguard Copper IUD

Getting to the root of my autoimmune symptoms

Sometimes I feel like my whole life is ruled by my autoimmune disease. I can wake up and tell if I’m going to have a good or bad day as far as symptoms go. Sometimes that wakeup happens at 4:30 am, because my joint pain and insomnia are major struggles. Sometimes I can wake up feeling ok but then my reaction to a daily stressor is not “normal” and can send me into an anxiety spiral and even an anxiety attack. I haven’t felt like myself or like a healthy late-30’s person for 2 1/2+ years. I’ve been to doctors (“depression” “age” “stress”…). I’ve had my thyroid tested (“within normal range”). I’ve changed my diet. I’ve taken medications and supplements and made lifestyle changes. And while some of those things have been been like a bandage, giving me temporary relief, it has never truly gone away. So I’ve been trying and trying and trying to get to the root of my autoimmune symptoms. And I wanted to share what I’ve learned and some suspicions that I have regarding their root cause.

Read More

Ways To Incorporate Organic Living Into Your Everyday

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #MyHonestTea #CollectiveBias


As a health-conscious mom, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate organic living into our everyday. But I’m also a practical mom who is busy, has lots of things on my plate, and is on a budget. So I’ve gotten creative when finding ways to do clean living in our daily lives without making my job harder or busting our budget. And it is easier than you would think! Since September is National Organic Month I’ve teamed up with Honest® Tea and Kroger to share some ways that we incorporate organic living into our everyday that work for me.Read More