The Real Post-Holiday Must Haves for Toddler Moms

must-have tools for momsWe all know to stock up on batteries of various sizes and to buy an extra roll of tape before the holidays. But this is not all a toddler mom needs in her post-holiday arsenal. Some time in the next few weeks your kids will be playing with their newly unwrapped presents, and one of their favorite toys will break. It’s inevitable! Over the last few years I’ve gathered a few must-have tools that are super handy this time of year.

A hot glue gun

I know you’re thinking, “Wait, what?!” But yes, a hot glue gun can fix arms, legs, broken ceramics, and just about anything your children can think to break. It’s a pretty incredible salve, and if your toddlers are anything like mine, they’ll love watching you fix their Batman like the surgeon-mom you are.

Athletic tape

Yes, the tape you used in high school track still has a purpose! I switch over to giving my kids athletic tape after the first Band-Aid (unless an actual bandage is still needed, of course). Athletic tape is cheaper than Band-Aids, it sticks better, and your child will likely ask you to take it off instead of it it falling off at the most inopportune time. It can also be used to make any disfigured toy a mummy, which has made my boys think I’m really cool any time I suggest we do that instead of use hot glue. 

Vinyl or latex gloves

For every paint project. For every Christmas activity that came with glitter. For the unexpected accident. For the expected accident your new puppy makes. For every post-holiday germ. You can even create fun hand art with the gloves. As a mom, I’m all about multi-purpose use, and a box of vinyl gloves is a staple. 

Masking tape

Masking tape is basically painters tape for kids! We cover our tables and floors in it (carpets or hardwood) and let the kids go to town with washable markers or non-toxic paint. Then we peel the tape off and toss it or put pieces of it on construction paper as art when we’re done! It’s been a really fun and easy way to create art with the various supplies we got for Christmas — even regular old crayons! 

Now that our boys will be 4 and 2, these items come in handier by the year! I’m sure we’ll add to our physical parenting toolbox as the kids grow and the requested gifts change from toys to VR games, but I know a hot glue gun, athletic tape, gloves, and masking tape will be on our shelves for many years to come.

Dashanna Hanlon grew up living in Michigan and Virginia and feels like her smile gives her away as a Midwestern-Southerner, even after a decade in Massachusetts. After earning a degree in English and Gender Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, she got a job at a local medical journal as an editorial assistant. After 3 years she thought she was done with New England and had made up her mind to start some new adventure. Before she could make the move - like in some weird romantic comedy - she met her husband Tom a Boston electrician, at Ned Devine's in Fanueil Hall. They were married on Chatham Beach, a year and a half later. Traveling between the city and New Hampshire for work, they settled on living in Merrimack Valley. She tried out a few different career paths before having her first son and was introduced to birth work. She became a doula in 2018 and runs Caring for Mamas while staying home with her sons Lucas (2) and Isaiah (7 months)! Dashanna loves her family, her friends, fresh-squeezed lemonade, singing jazz music, eating macarons made by her husband, going to New England beaches, and any good story. She could live without traffic, any technological problem, and rice cakes.

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