November’s Giving Campaign: You Shop, We Donate!

 

Happy November, families!

We’re continuing our Fall Giving Campaign with a special initiative this month: You shop, we donate proceeds to assist the poor and homeless in our nation’s capital.

For several years now, the Washington, DC nonprofit SOME (So Others Might Eat) has been close to our hearts. SOME works diligently to feed, clothe, and permanently improve the lives of poor and homeless DC residents, including families and children. SOME’s commitment to treating our city’s most vulnerable residents with compassion, generosity, and dignity truly inspires us.

 
FOR NOVEMBER: You shop, we donate! All this month, we’ll donate a portion of every single purchase you make on our website to SOME. From our best-selling ABCs of Washington, DC board book to nursery art and much more, we have the perfect gifts for the adventure-loving little ones on your shopping list!

Together we can help SOME ensure that all DC families have food, shelter, and the warmth of a caring community this month.

You can also directly support SOME – visit their website to donate to their food and clothing drives, or if you want to burn off that turkey, sign up for their annual Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger!

Happy Shopping and Giving,

The Baby Ventures Family

October Kicks Off Baby Ventures’ Giveaways for Giving!

At Baby Ventures, we’re big fans of giving back to those in need in our community (be it our local neighborhood or our global village), and fostering empathy in our little ones to do the same. So with fall officially kicking off the holiday season, we’re launching our Giveaways for Giving: Each month until December, we’re asking you to join us in giving to those in need in the greater DC area, and in turn you’ll receive a giveaway from us!

For October: We’ve teamed up with one of our favorite Washington, DC indie bookstores, Walls of Books, to support their spook-tacular neighborhood initiative: They’re collecting gently used children’s Halloween costumes for DC area kids through this Friday, October 13th.

How You Can Give: Just donate a costume (or a few – ask your friends and neighbors to pitch in!), take a photo of your drop-off and tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Our Giveaway to You: Once you tag us, we’ll then contact you directly and ship you your choice of a FREE Baby Ventures’ super-soft, mom-approved toddler tee (3T) or onesie (12mo)*!

Oh and while you’re at Walls of Books…be sure to check out the literary haven that is their children’s books section!

Working together as a community to ensure DC children have costumes – that’s what we call a happy Halloween! Please join us in embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season, and stay tuned for our November and December Giveaways for Giving blogposts, featuring more giving opportunities + goodies!

Happy Giving,

Golzar & Lisa
Co-founders, Baby Ventures

*While supplies last – in the happy instance that we run out of tees/onesies, we’ll gladly offer you another treat!

Guest Interview: Lily Yeh, Founder of Little Loving Hands

At Baby Ventures, we believe in fostering compassion in children early on through board books depicting our diverse world.  So we were delighted to discover Little Loving Hands, a fellow mom-inspired company whose mission is to foster empathy and kindness in little ones with another timeless childhood pastime: crafting.

Founder Lily Yeh came up with a winning formula: Crafting for a cause. Through its subscription program, Little Loving Hands sends children engaging, fun crafts to make, and they in turn gift their completed crafts to those in need. Past projects have included handmade birthday presents for children living in shelters, superhero capes for orphans around the world, and decorated notebooks and chalkboards for students who cannot afford school supplies.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Lily and discussing the role of empathy in raising children, the many benefits of giving back, and different ways in which parents can foster empathy in their children.

Continue reading Guest Interview: Lily Yeh, Founder of Little Loving Hands

How to Decorate a Safari-Themed Nursery

Cultivate a love of creatures early on in your little ones from the comfort of your own home. Create a safari-themed nursery with all the amazing animals that call East Africa home and each day can be a new adventure in learning and exploration!

Decorating Tips

  • Start with your background: paint the walls a color inspired by the picturesque African landscape, such as beige or light green
  • Add a welcoming feel to the room with natural wood furnishings, including crib, dresser and rocking chair
  • Layer with furnishings with textured accents such as bamboo shades and wicker hampers
  • Bring the whole room to life with vibrant accessories such as Baby Ventures’ Safari Party canvas art, linens, books and toys featuring their favorite East African animals

Want more inspiration? Check out Baby Ventures’ safari theme Pinterst board for more of our artwork as well as our favorite products, including wicker elephant-shaped hampers, zebra rockers and cute-as-can-be clothes hooks.

And don’t forget the best part: with the nursery décor in place, baby’s learning adventures can begin! Use the new safari nursery as a virtual sensory exploration by identifying shapes, colors and animals with your little ones and cultivate an early appreciation for these wonderful creatures.

Happy safari adventures!

*Did you know that some of the most beloved East African animals endangered or vulnerable? Visit the African Wildlife Foundation website to learn more about the animals and how to help ensure they survive for future generations.

Feb 14th: International Book Giving Day!

February 14th is Valentine’s Day – but did you know it’s also International Book Giving Day? This 100% volunteer initiative aims to increase children’s access to, and enthusiasm for, reading books. Show and share love by donating books to a neighbor in need, or to a local shelter or non-profit organization that provides books to children in the US and around the world.

Baby Ventures is proud to support this initiative by donating copies of our ABCs of Washington, DC board books. Follow us on Facebook for the latest news on how we’ll be celebrating the day!

Looking for ideas on where to donate your books? Get a list of organizations here. And be sure to connect with others celebrating International Book Giving Day by posting your photos on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #bookgivingday.

This Valentine’s Day, show your love with book giving!

The ‘ABCs’ of Practicing Compassion

At Baby Ventures, we’re big fans of inspiring little ones to explore the world around them with wonder and compassion. Opportunities for compassion pop up every day, presenting us with teachable moments that enrich both our little ones and ourselves.

As a company of animal lovers, we’ve found that fostering a sense of compassion at an early age can be easy with everyday creature friends: tots can practice gentleness with the family pet, care not to step on backyard bugs, and learn that wild animals need to stay that way (livin’ free in the wild, as our PBS Kids cartoon faves, the Wild Kratts brothers, would say).

While walking my dogs on a park trail recently, I came across my own opportunity to practice compassion: there was a dog on the path ahead, unattended and clearly frightened. A man passed me and I asked him if he could keep an eye on the stray dog, so I could come back with a leash. To my dismay, he flatly refused.

I ran to my car with my dogs, grabbed a leash, and went back on the trail to look for the pup. After searching for some time, I couldn’t find her, and hesitantly got in my car to leave. But then on the way to the park exit, there was the little dog, standing by the side of the road. I jumped out and knelt down, gently calling for her. She came right up to me and luckily had a collar with a name tag (Abby), so I was able to contact her owner.

While waiting for her owner, I sat down in the grass with sweet little Abby. She licked me profusely, obviously relieved to see a friendly face. After several minutes of wet kisses, she laid down in my lap, rolled over for a belly rub and fell asleep, exhausted from running around lost for hours.

When Abby’s owner arrived, he explained that Abby had run off after a deer earlier that day. He’d been frantically looking for her, and was overjoyed that she was found and safe. He thanked me repeatedly, but I told him that I was the one who was thankful – for Abby.

The chance to help Abby had turned my routine afternoon at the dog park into a deeply moving experience, and it stayed with me for several days. That’s the beauty of compassion: it benefits everyone, not just the recipient. And that’s what we hope for our children to come to experience, through practice of their own acts of compassion.

How do you help instill compassion in your young children? We’d love to hear your experiences – post a comment!