I didn’t have a rocking horse as a kid. I had a rocking rooster, but whatever, this isn’t about me. Kids today have a legion of beeping blooping electronic doodads to keep them occupied. Here in Kentucky, we keep our kids entertained with beautiful handmade items, like this miniature rocking horse. Perfect for your kid’s pet squirrel to ride. Get back to basics with a range of beautiful hand-carved wooden toys and give the kids some good old-fashioned fun.
Reading to kids has been shown to increase verbal skills, strengthen problem-solving abilities, and give you a chance to bond with them. That’s science. I was read to as a kid and look at me. I wrote a whole book full of just words and I’m also writing this blog. (I should have that t-shirt that says “I’m a big deal in Kentucky.”) Until your kids are old enough to read themselves some of the great Kentucky writers, check out Goodnight Kentucky. With colorful artwork and simple language, your child can learn a little more about the Bluegrass State.
You may not know this, but Kentucky is a very kid-friendly state. I was a kid here for a while and I can attest to this as a fact. I remember going to the Patton Museum in the fifth grade and being very popular with the boys in my class when I brought in my camouflage pencil. ( #iamkindofabigdeal) If you’re looking for more fun things to do that are all within a few hours’ drive, look no further. Kids Love Kentucky is chock full of ideas for exploring the Bluegrass with your younguns. Here you’ll find tips on traveling with littles, ideas for saving money, and info on over 400 sites, spots, and stops. So pack the minivan and get out there!
Looking for the perfect baby shower gift? Yeah, I know, she’s got a registry, and you should definitely get something off there, but come on. Let’s stand out from the rest of the gift-wrapped wipes and diaper cakes, shall we? How about an adorable hand-stitched Stitch Ninja from Kentucky? Locally made with reclaimed fabric, these toys are durable, adorable, and unique. Buy a flock and give them to all the babies you know because they always need something else to drool on.
They’re taking art out of schools now. Did you know that? It’s a funding thing. I loved art class in school and I once won $50 for my pencil drawing of a duck. I don’t have time to go into this now but suffice it to say, art is good for people and communities and that’s also scientifically proven. Kentucky has a thriving and unique art culture and L is for Louisville! A Children’s Abecedary & Art Book highlights the city’s contribution to that culture. (Also, an abecedary is an ABC book, in case you didn’t know. I didn’t.) It’s full of cool trivia, beautiful art, and every letter of the alphabet. Bonus: purchase of this book supports the Art Sparks interactive kids’ gallery at the Speed Art Museum.
Sara O. Thompson’s first attempt at a book was prepared on a Remington typewriter and bore a suspicious resemblance to a famous novel whose title rhymes with ‘Gourd of the Spies.’ Since then, she’s written diaries, advertising copy, and a lot of poetry, besides short and long fiction. In her spare time, she performs improv comedy, occasionally tells stories on stage, and loves ballroom dancing. Sara lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband (who is an ICU nurse) and their twin sons. Her book Muddy Waters is available at 5-0-Lou!