Family Friday: Made 2 Play Sneaker Winter Boot

For a couple of years, I’ve been buying my son these winter boots from Northside at Amazon. They’ve been OK, but he said that snow got into them sometimes. This fall I did some looking around online and settled on these unique boots from Stride Rite. The bottom part is built like a sneaker, and there are velcro fasteners that can tighten the boots in two different places. The flexibility of the top portion makes me think that they’ll be better at keeping out snow, but we shall see. (You can also fold down the top, as pictured.) They’re machine washable, too, which is pretty nice. These boots have a 4.4/5.0 at Amazon from 400+ reviews, and they range in price from roughly $20 to $54. The sizes available are Toddler (1–4 years) and Little Kid (4–8 years), and the color options are blue/green, pink, purple, and black, as well as designs with Frozen, Spider-Man, Star Wars, My Little Pony, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Stride Rite Made 2 Play Sneaker Winter Boot

Psst: Like I’ve mentioned before, Amazon often has Black Friday deals in the days and weeks leading up to Black Friday — including some of the best deals of the year on kids toys. Today, Amazon’s deal of the day is on Kidcraft dollhouses, train tables, and play kitchens —  prices more than 50% off in some cases.

Psst 2: One more sale of note: mega sale (“Premier One Day Event”) at Pottery Barn Kids and all sister brands — prices up to 50-70% off, including on furniture.

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Edna Mazur says:

    Happy Friday all!! About time.

    So those namebubble things. My oldest is going to start school next semester and he needs to have backpack, winter coat, hats etc. labeled. I’d like to do the name bubbles but since his is the oldest of three boys, chances are his hat, coat etc. are going to go to a little brother at some point in time. Are the name bubbles super indelible never come off till you’re dead and maybe even then? Or will I be able to peel them off for younger brothers and affix a new one?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you just use the last name? We have an uncommon for our area last name so that’s what I use on my oldest’s stuff.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        A little embarrassed I didn’t think of that. We are the only family with our uncommon last name in town…

      • +1. I have a set with each kid’s name for stuff that is unique to them (like water bottles and lunch boxes and shoes) and a set with just our last name for multi-year things like coats, hats, shirts, backpacks, etc.

        They stay on really well, even the clothing labels through weekly washes. You can pick them off when needed, and I’d say the clothing ones (which I also use for shoes) last a good 30 washes or about 5-6 months inside shoes.

    • Clementine says:

      Although, in my experience they stay on very well until you want to remove them and then peel off cleanly if you are intentionally removing them.

    • They are very easy to peal off when you’re ready.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      Cool. Thanks for all the good info. They are super cute. I’m excited to order them and am glad folks here seem to like them well.

    • Blueberry says:

      We do last name only in Sharpie. Or, we did, until I stopped. IMO it makes sense for babies who often get changed at daycare, and I guess I’ll do them for jackets and backpacks when my kids start elementary school, but my preschoolers aren’t exactly losing their shirts and pants. You can really just take care of it once per season while watching TV one night.

      • Same here. Once they’re in preschool (and not having accidents), kids don’t really lose their shirts/pants/underwear. We also do last name only in Sharpie.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        Oh I’m not labeling clothes, just outerwear and backpacks is required. I can’t imagine my preschooler regularly losing or having his clothes changed at school.

    • Blueberries says:

      I just ordered stickers with both kids’ first names on the them.

  2. Yes, the peel off but general PSA: do last name only! Worst case you can sharpie on the first name. I went crazy with stickers for my oldest, only to end up passing EVERYTHING down! So half my 2nd and 3rd kids stuff says “(oldest) (lastname)” haha. Oops.

  3. I need all your child entertainment tips, ladies. I am 8 weeks pregnant with a two-year old, and we’re going to be flying solo all weekend because my husband is getting ready to turn in his dissertation. Our normal parent/kid friends are out with a stomach bug or out of town. No local family. Weather suggesting indoors-only. Definitely not opposed to tv, although lately her attention span has been brief. Trying to find some holiday stuff in town, but also don’t want to wear myself out (more).

    • grey falcon says:

      Bake banana bread: kids love mashing the bananas and “stirring” and then eating the result (bonus: add chocolate chips to guarantee it will get eaten).
      Water wows/painting/whatever art project you can do.
      “Helping” around the house– it’s a good age to get them to help with little things like putting stuff away/etc.
      Figure out something she’s interested in and fall down a youtube rabbit hole together learning about it.

    • This homemade playdough

      easy to make, fun to play with, will last 3 months or so if stored in a ziploc
      alternatively you can make ornaments with it using kiddo’s hand/foot/fingerprints — if you do that i’d suggest using a sealer when its totally dry
      this was a huge hit with kid #1 at age 2 and continues to be a favorite activity at nearly 5.

      • paint a box! we have killed so much time painting amazon boxes. making houses, spaceships, trees…a bit messy but actually relaxing for all.

        • Edna Mazur says:

          We do this with all of our delivery boxes. I use crayons. Not a cool but also less mess.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          When kiddo was smaller, I would actually sit her inside the big boxes with paints, markers, whatever and let her make a big mess. It was a favorite thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t rule out outdoors. My kids love the rain/wet. They will gladly jump in puddles or stare at worms for an hour while I drink coffee from my travel mug.

    • Turn out the lights and run around with flashlights.

      Build forts from couch cushions.

      Sit in the tub and make mud pies.

    • Anonymous says:

      paint in the tub with shaving cream (add food color if you are not paranoid about grout stains)

    • I echo the library – we kill time there almost every weekend.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        +1 to the library

        Also: as someone mentioned above, my daughter (2.5) makes playdough at school and loves it. She also likes to color on cardboard boxes, so if you have a recent package use some washable markers and go to town. Recently she’s gotten into building with legos (duplos) and magnatiles.

        My daughter also loves to go to a restaurant, so maybe find a kid-friendly lunch option and have a little date (and be fine with her just eating french fries with ketchup).

      • AwayEmily says:

        If you’re in a bigger city or suburb, you could also try going to a *different* library than usual. Last week we drove an extra 10 minutes to get to the Very Fancy suburban library (as opposed to our city library) and it blew my 19-month-old’s mind.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I’m planning to take kiddo to a local art museum this weekend – went last weekend solo and saw tons of kids kiddo’s age (3.5-ish) in a couple exhibits. We’ll see.

      Also – our local malls have indoor play areas, and we have indoor playgrounds that are amazing and have designated areas for toddlers. Do a google search and see if you have any in your area. Children’s museum, “hands on museum” or even a super exciting Trip To The Grocery Store to buy ingredients for a Super Special Cooking Project (box mix brownies, poured into mini cupcake tins to make brownie bites = lots of ways for kiddos to help).

    • We do the following:

      Library (preferably a large one with a dedicated children’s room) followed by mom and kid lunch date.
      Baking/ cooking – muffins are always a hit, although son gets antsy waiting for the muffins to come out of the oven and cool off.
      And honestly I’m not opposed to a movie afternoon – make it a special occasion! Stay in pjs, Netflix Toy Story or Moana, make some popcorn or warm some milk with cinnamon and honey, and enjoy :)

    • Jacque says:

      Glo-stick bubble bath. Crack a couple different colored glo-sticks, plop her in the tub, dim the lights. You’re guaranteed at least 20 minutes of absorbed playing. This is the perfect time for you to either A.) clean the rest of the bathroom, or B.) sit outside the door and fold laundry in peace, or C.) just chill nearby.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The library! Even if they don’t have a program like storytime on Saturday (which most do), you should be able to sit while she runs around for 30-45 mins.

  5. anyone else find “water resistant” outdoor gear frustrating? i don’t want my kid cold and wet, and its unclear how “resistant” these things are or for how long. we walk to/from school so our needs are perhaps different from the more typical house-to-car-to-school commute, but still! vent over.

  6. ElisaR says:

    Looking for recommendations on play tables for my 19 month old.

    I’m kind of “anti-stuff” but my in-laws are always wanting to buy big holiday gifts. My husband is not so “anti-stuff” so he’s not shutting it down as I’d like! Anyway, any suggestions on a play table for my little guy? Initially it was posed as a train table, but I would like it to be able to be used for more than just that. Any suggestions?

    • FTMinFL says:

      We have a (used) Melissa and Doug train table that is fantastic for all sorts of play. It is used daily for playdoh, kinetic sand, coloring/painting, legos, etc. We spray painted the top surface with chalkboard paint, so we also play with chalk there when it isn’t nice enough to do so outside. The table has two sturdy drawers at either end for stashing any kind of toys. For the use it gets, I highly recommend!

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t like train table because they limit what can be built space wise. Our kids always had more fun on the floor. Alex Toys has a couple nice wooden activity tables which are perfect for a 19month old and you can sell/donate it in a year when she outgrows it. A nice wooden play kitchen is another option that will get a lot of use. I like the Ikea one because it isn’t huge.

      • Our train table was used to store bins, and trains and tracks and everything else went on the floor.

    • anne-on says:

      We have this – with the bins and the leg sets. It has been working GREAT for 3+ years now. It was also our grandparent ‘big’ Xmas gift when kiddo was 2 and suddenly needed/wanted a play table.

    • mascot says:

      We have this one. It has different leg heights and nice color options. Plus, the train play mat is super nice.

    • Blueberries says:

      Lakeshore Learning has great tables of the kind that are bought by preschools. Useful for activities and eating and super sturdy.

  7. avocado says:

    Our PB Kids play table still looks great after 9 years of use. I would avoid anything made of pine or another soft wood befit will get beat up very quickly. A relatively shiny finish will make it easier to clean off marker, paint, crayon, etc.

    I considered getting a play table with multiple sets of legs to convert into a desk and now I am glad we didn’t spend the extra money. Later on we ended up buying a real desk that had drawers and had a smaller footprint so it fits into her bedroom better. The play table wouldn’t have worked well as a desk.

  8. We have a small kid Kraft table (I think) that is used all the time for coloring. We cover the top of it with white butcher block paper and LO goes crazy on it. Also gets used for play dough, in which case I love being able to have the rule that play dough stays on the table. We do not have much living space and I have no regrets about the table. It is smaller than a train table and all duplos are built on the floor.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Really random question. Moms/dads of toddlers: how old were your kids when they watched Star Wars?

    My 3 and a half year old has become obsessed with Star Wars. We have never let him watch the actual movies, but my mom bought him some Star Wars clothes from the Gap (because they were on sale) and we bought him a little golden book on Star Wars from Costco that is now his favorite book in the world and he reads like 4 times a day. He doesn’t have any Star Wars toys but now plays with the book like it is an action figurine.

    Any thoughts on letting him watch the movies? I like to encourage his interests, but I’m afraid it is too advanced. He LOVES movies and generally doesn’t get scared during scary scenes.

    • Three seems to be the absolute best age for it, according to one of my favorite you tube videos of all time:

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Kiddo watched one of the episodes (maybe the first?) at age 3, with her dad. He apparently took a very active “fast forward” role in getting through scary parts. She loves “Torm Stoopers” now….

    • Dad let me watch them with him when I was 7, and I was a little young (but I was a sensitive kid).

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Ours was about 3 when he saw Star Wars for the first time. He saw all of the movies by age 6.
      He says he doesn’t like Empire as much, because “there’s too much talking,” which I find heretical. :)

    • Edna Mazur says:

      That is so funny. My three year old also has Darth Vader and Storm Trooper (Storm Darth Vader) PJs as well as the book “Goodnight Darth Vader” and is obsessed with both.

      That being said, my kid in particular is too young for both. He hit the age where he gets the death and violence and is pretty sensitive, much like I was at his age.

      Encourage the love, but I’d wait on the movies.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. I would wait. I’m a bit surprised at the other answers. My 6 year old has seen Frozen but found it too scary, her BFF in kindergarten was the same. Never would have occurred to me to show her anything more grown up. But we don’t do a lot of television so maybe it doesn’t seem as ‘real’ if kids are more used to it?

        • PregLawyer says:

          I think this is one of the age-old parenting clashes. My husband’s parents only let him watch G-rated movies for a long time, and nothing beyond PG until he was 10+. My parents, on the other hand, had me watch whatever, probably because I was the youngest of three kids. I remember watching Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves at home when it came out (I was only 5 or 6) and being pretty scared, but it was my favorite movie, weirdly. I think it just depends on the kid and the parents.

          Another anecdote – my sister desperately wanted to watch Silver Bullet when she was pretty young, so my dad eventually caved. She was terrified and had nightmares that night, and my dad felt terrible. But, on the flip side, we got over those fears pretty quickly, had a good sense of reality vs. imagination, and my parents were able to drag us to movies they wanted to see pretty early on. I’m pretty sure (but not 100%) that we haven’t been permanently damaged because of it. :)

          • Blueberry says:

            My dad showed my sister Mad Max when she was 7 years old. What was he thinking?! He still has not heard the end of it from my mom, 20 years later.

            My 5-year-old also found Frozen too scary — I’m glad to know he’s not the only one. He really wants to watch Star Wars though, which is a big no.

            On that note, does anyone have good movie recs for kids who find Frozen too scary? We enjoyed Fantasia, but that’s all I’ve been able to think of so far.

          • Late to this, but I find the Pixar movies to be less scary than the movies from Disney Studios (even though both studios are owned by Disney). My 2-year-old is obsessed with Cars, and while some of the humor might be for grown-ups, it’s definitely not scary.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          It’s interesting – kiddo has just started getting scared of minorly scary things now, at age 3.5. She saw Frozen for the first time before she turned 3, when she was fearless, and it didn’t phase her. But the Halloween episode of Arthur was too scary last month. Fear seems to be something kiddo has evolved into.

    • Mine is only 2, but based on some recent friend experiences, 3 is a little young unless you’re okay fast-forwarding a bunch.

      For a younger suggestion, when I was 5 my very favorite movie was The Battle for Endor, one of the two Ewok Adventures. Less scary, similar vibe, but I know many people hate Ewoks.

    • EB0220 says:

      My kids (3 and 5) have watched selected scenes from the original Star Wars movies, but we skipped the scarier parts.

    • PregLawyer says:

      My 2.5 year old is obsessed with star wars. It’s because it’s marketed everywhere. He doesn’t yet have the attention span to sit through a whole movie, but he’s seen scenes from Star Wars on “Ootube” and he likes to watch “Jabba’s Palace,” “Sarlacc Pit,” and he weirdly loves the scene when Lando double-crosses Han in Cloud City. He also likes to watch a mash-up of lightsaber duels. But, we finally hit the point when his imagination kicked in and now things scare him – he doesn’t like “Scary Emperor Face” — so we have to avoid those scenes. But, for some reason he thinks the rancor is cute. Go figure.

      Our solution has been to watch the Lego Droid Tales series – you can buy it on Amazon Instant Video. It is a lego version of the first 6 movies. Very amusing, tracks the stories in the books, and is more lighthearted than the movies.

      Also – get the book called Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. My kid flips through this so much that the book is falling apart. Now he knows the names of the most obscure characters (Admiral Piett? Really?).

      • PregLawyer says:

        Tracks the stories in the movies, not the books. Sigh.

      • Original Anon says:

        Thanks all. This is all great advice and I’m going to think about it more. Maybe a middle ground is some Lego Star Wars episodes which I had no clue existed.

    • My 5 year old knows a lot about it because his preschool teachers were into it and used to paraphrase Star Wars movies for the kids to entertain themselves. So my son knows, for example, that “Dark Vader” makes a lot of “not okay choices” like “zapping people with his life saver.” But there is no way I would show him the movies because he is just not ready – he scares really easily. (Certain episodes of Dora the Explorer sent him cowering in terror, and he recently burst into tears telling me about a song they sang in music class – “it had ghosts and gobblins!”). I’m sure other kids might be able to handle watching them younger.

  10. How have you explained Christmas to your kids? DH grew up Catholic and I grew up Hindu, but as adults, we are a non-religious household. I like to observe holidays from both traditions as a cultural (not religious) practice. One concern of mine is that the culturally Hindu traditions become totally overshadowed by Christmas, because it’s everywhere. Santa! Jingle bells! Presents! Kiddo is three, so we have some time, but i’d like to learn from others about how you have introduced religion to kids and how you have balanced two or more faith traditions.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I grew up Catholic, but remember going to Diwali and Passover events with friends. And we generally had a small cadre of my Jewish friends over to decorate the tree each year. In college I attended Eid meals.

      Thinking through all of that – I think the common thread for me has been that those holidays are social and that the people I’ve spent them with love to tell stories about both their history with the holiday and about the story of the holiday.

      Side note: I’d be super interested in kids’ books about both the cultural stories of non-Christian holidays and individual kids’ experiences with those holidays, if anyone has suggestions….

    • Celebrate all the holidays! says:

      I grew up “nominally” Hindu in a mixed family (mom is white/raised christian, dad is Indian/Hindu). We did both Christian and Hindu holidays. Christmas was a bigger deal then Diwali because we were in the US and Christmas was something celebrated over a few weeks by nearly everyone, whereas Diwali was a day or weekend that was family celebrations – new clothes or a toy and maybe a few fancy dinner parties. Same balance for things like Easter and Holi.

      I think it would be easier now than when I was growing up because it seems like there is a larger Indian/Hindu community in the US, but at the same time, Christmas is a bigger commercial deal than it was 30 or so years ago.

      So basically — we just celebrated both and enjoyed both. My husband is Christian, and my child is also three, and I haven’t done anything to celebrate Hindu holidays, but then I didn’t do anything really once I was out of the house anyway and we still don’t do much for Christmas and Easter. I have friends of my generation who don’t make a big deal at all out of Christmas, but they aren’t in mixed families.

    • anon for this says:

      Our family is a mixed bag. I identify as culturally Jewish, and grew up fairly secular with a Muslim mother and Jewish father, and my husband grew up in a country where religion basically wasn’t allowed. We adopted two older kids who are Christian, but not particularly into going to church on a regular basis. So we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, but not from a particularly religious sense. My husband is really into the decorations and food. I have taught all of our kids about Judaism and Islam, and we have also learned more about Christianity/Christmas together.

  11. Anonymous says:

    My 3.5 year old daughter is having a daycare friend over to play for the first time this weekend. I would love to have some sort of special activity for them to do … but also that takes minimal planning and shopping prep work. Any ideas? I’m considering maybe baking cookies or doing DIY pizzas (do picky toddlers like DIY pizzas?)

    • Honestly for the friend the most exciting thing will be getting her hands on your daughter’s toys – other kids’ toys are the best. But maybe a simple craft project would be fun – like hand print turkeys or something? Your daughter might like baking cookies BEFORE the play date too, and then they can focus on playing and eating cookies when the friend is there.

    • Find either a roll of paper or get some of those large construction papers. Add markers (most families don’t allow markers every day) and stickers. You can even get fancy and get some of those foam stickers. Let them free-form color, or you can have them try to color/ decorate a scene, like a snowman or a tree or whatever, that you pre-drew on it in black marker.

      For food, keep it really simple. I would do mac and cheese with optional hot dog on the side, as well as some cheetos or bananas or something. Made-before or purchased cookies for dessert. Just check on any allergy restrictions.

      And… the rest of the time, the novelty will be playing with new toys and a new friend. If your kid has some favorite toys that she would be DEVASTATED if they got ruined, consider putting them in your bedroom with the door closed so they “rest” during the playdate.

    • Jacque says:

      It’s thrilling for both kids (someone to play with my toys at home! new home and new toys to explore!) but you’re wise to have a backup activity in case it goes south. I wouldn’t pull it out if they are having fun and doing their own thing–but it’s great for your back pocket.

      New playdough variety pack (make sure you have brown) + your baking cooling racks + the gross cooking spatulas that you really don’t care about. Voila! The kids can “grill” burgers! They can mash the brown playdough into patties, grill them and flip them on the cooling racks, and then make pickles and cheese and buns out of the other colors. They can have a restaurant and serve their stuffed animals and dolls.

      If you don’t need the playdough, great! Put it away for a classmates birthday party gift or a rainy day treat.

      • Jacque says:

        Also–I wouldn’t bother with a baking craft. You’ll end up frustrated trying to babysit two wound-up kids AND finish up several trays of cookies. Alone.

      • Jacque says:

        If a shy friend is visiting, something calm like a water color paint book is also a winner. Not one of those awful just-brush-water-on-the-page books, but the books that come with a package of paints included. Michaels usually has a few options.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Turkey Kit? Huge hit with my 4 yo last year.

    • avocado says:

      How about giant cardboard box + crayons as suggested above? I could see a couple of 3-year-olds making a house, rocket ship, etc. and playing in it for quite a while.

      I agree with Jacque about no baking (or craft projects, for that matter) until they are old enough to do it without much help.

  12. Blueberry says:

    Any creative ideas for things young kids can make for relatives as Christmas gifts? No super craftiness required from parents, please. Last year, we did beeswax candles from a kit I got on Amazon, probably based on a recommendation here. They were a big hit with the recipients, and my kids were super proud of themselves. Any other ideas? Kids are 5 and almost 3.

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