We’ve all been there…Our toddler is throwing a tantrum…again. Our child is fighting his/her nap…again. He doesn’t want to eat. She doesn’t want to share. They just won’t clean up their toys! Like I said, we’ve all been there. Wouldn’t it be great if we could give our toddlers a few simple tools to help them through the many “times” and phases of their day? Honestly, where would WE be without a few tools of our own? Children need to be taught from an early age successful ways to conquer their day. They need to be given strategies, encouragement, praise, and lots of patient help in order to be successful. The Toddler Tools Series from Free Spirit Publishing offer your child (and yourself!) some simple ways to get through the day. Author Elizabeth Verdick uses the message of routine and encouragement to walk you and your child through some of the day’s hardest “times.”Verdick will offer suggestions of how to give your child a routine….small steps you can conquer together as you work towards bedtime, dinner, or time to leave.

For this review, I was graciously given “Calm-Down Time,” and “Bedtime.” I absolutely loved both of these titles! The collage like illustrations from Marieka Heinlen are adorable and calming. Both books follow a young child as they transition from one time to another. In “Calm-Down Time” a child learns how to take themselves from tantrum to calm in a few steps. The child is given several different strategies to help themselves calm down (which is great, as there isn’t one solution that fits every child!)This story helps the child to know that it is okay to feel upset or frustrated, but that it is important to calm down, and not use our hands or our words for hurting. The strategies and ideas are simple (and easy for a parent to remember for the next tantrum!) My children and I even stopped and practiced a few of them as we read the story. My older child and I talked about what would work best for her when she is upset, further empowering her to take control of her emotions and behaviors. What I REALLY loved, was the back page, written exclusively for the parent. Verdick really provides the parent with support and encouragement, and gives you a few things to remember when your child is throwing a fit and needs to calm down. I really needed a few of these reminders and was amazed at how a simple book written for a toddler could influence my parenting so much! A few of her suggestions include staying calm (an escalating parent will escalate a child), and providing a cozy space for your child to calm down. I am anxious to employ the ideas in this book the next time one of my kids needs a “calm-down time.”

While “Calm-Down Time” really stressed the importance of providing your child with tools and strategies, “Bedtime” really stresses the importance of routine! Through simple rhythmic text and again, adorable collage style illustrations, your child will be walked through a typical bedtime routine. This story truly makes bedtime look fun and inviting. The children look cozy and comfortable as they move throughout their bedtime routine. The children in the book are shown happily enjoying a snack, snuggling up after a bath, and enjoying a quiet story with mom or dad. As in “Calm-Down Time” there is another handy page for parents at the back. I love how Verdick encourages parents to have a normal (and strict) bedtime routine with their children. Even if you already have a solid routine, you may benefit from her words of wisdom. I know I so often rush to just get the kids in bed so I can have my own quiet time, that I don’t stop and help make bedtime a comfortable and loving place for them. I skip out on the stories and snuggles far too often. Again, this simple board book convicted my parenting! LOVE it!

We need all the tools we can get as parents. We do the very best we can, but having a few simple reminders, words of encouragement, and  pearls of wisdom from parenting experts can do a world of good for us (and our children!) This adorable series of books for toddlers provides the support that we as parents and our children so desperately need! I HIGHLY recommend these books to anyone who is a parent or grandparent of a small child (0-6)!!

You can check out the entire line of the Toddler Tools Series by Elizabeth Verdick here: Toddler Tools Series from Free Spirit Publishing. Both of the books I reviewed today can be found by clicking the link. There are a total of 9 books in this series. You can purchase them individually for $7.95 (a bargain!) or you can purchase the entire series for just $60.84!!

I very highly suggest checking out this wonderful series of books for toddlers and their parents!