Your favorite home items were all across the board and included everything from the best pens ever (ever, ever, ever!), a storage cabinet, an ice cream maker and plant pedestals to a handheld vacuum, glass soap dispensers and a handful of organizational items.
When it came to kid-friendly favorites, you guys loved melty beads, a few of our go-to outdoor play items (a kid kayak + ride-on toy), slim-fit joggers, an engaging bath toy, a couple of our favorite children’s books and more.
Keep on scrolling to see your top 10 favorite home and kid-friendly finds!
Top 10 Best Sellers of 2023: Home + Kids
These pens were the item you guys loved the most across all categories last year and with good reason. Once I discovered TUL gel pens (thank you, Ryan’s coworker for bringing them into our lives!), there was no turning back. They write like a dream and have basically ruined me from enjoying any other pen. They’re even worthy of gifting
Shop them here: TUL Gel Pens
I love that this cane storage cabinet was a favorite for so many of you guys because we have two of them in our house and, aside from being beautiful, they’ve been incredibly useful. I was concerned the color would be too orangey-yellow when I took a chance and ordered them online but I was pleasantly surprised by a finish that looked more like white oak in person. (It is also available in black.) The price point is amazing and they’ve been such a great home find for our family. My sister even ordered two of them after visiting us because she liked them so much and I copied her and began using them to store craft supplies, puzzles, melty beads, books and games for our boys to easily access.
Shop it here: Walmart Cane Storage Cabinet
I ordered these pouches last year when I was determined to organize our electronic junk drawer. It was a mess and took me forever to find simple charging cables, ear buds, portable fans, extension cords, etc. There had to be a better way! Thankfully these mesh pouches were the answer and allowed me to easily organize electronics of varying sizes. Most importantly: The drawer has remained organized ever since I tackled this project with these mesh pouches last summer. (Note: I used this label maker to easily create the labels for the pouches.)
Shop them here: Mesh Pouches
I did a lot of organizing when we moved into our new home as I was determined to have closets, cabinets and drawers that didn’t make me want to break into hives every time I opened them. These clear bins and drawers organizers were immensely helpful in creating organized spaces in many areas of our home They’ve also made staying organized a million times easier as they keep everything visible but still separated and organized.
I ordered these acacia wood pedestal plant stands right after we moved into our new house as a way to add warmth into our home decor. They’ve worked well as a place to layer in candles and photographs in addition to a mini plant in our kitchen.
Shop them here: Walmart Acacia Wood Plant Stands
I’ve been using these for years and they’re the best for everything from storing leftovers and sliced veggies to soups and sauces. We especially love the largest size for ice cream storage in our freezer!
Shop them here: Rubbermaid Brilliance Glass Storage Containers
When we moved into our new home, I was in the market for a matching set of refillable hand and dish soap dispensers but so many of the cute ones I found were crazy expensive. I wanted something in an amber bottle to break up the white cabinets and countertops in our kitchen but a lot of the options I stumbled upon were $40-50+. Leave it to Amazon to deliver! This duo was only $25 and came with stickers so I could choose what I wanted the dispensers to say (dish soap, hand soap, hand lotion, shampoo or conditioner). The reviews were fantastic (5 stars!) and they claim to be designed to resist erosion which was an issue I experienced with the dispensers I purchased in the past. Having used them for almost exactly a full year, I can echo these positive reviews. I love them so much I bought them to use at our laundry room sink and pantry sink, too. You can also choose from different color dispenser tops — I opted for the brushed gold but they also have silver, bronze and matte black.
Shop them here: Amber Glass Soap Dispensers
These are the storage bins of my dreams. They have a beautiful finish and look so high-end but Target saved the day with a decent price point. I love them so much I bought them in various sizes to use around our house. The large size is great for storing blankets and kid toys (we have 3 in the boys’ room) or even holding the pot of a large plant. The smaller size looks great on shelves (I have 3 in our office built-ins) and I love the way the color of the pins adds a perfect amount of warmth to any space.
Shop them here: Faux Leather Storage Bins
There’s something about a handheld vacuum that calls to our boys. It’s not something I want to deny them because anytime they offer to help clean I’m all about it but sometimes their “cleaning” comes along with unexpected casualties in the form of broken items. Case in point: My Bissell handheld vacuum. I missed it so much in the months I didn’t have it so when I saw this Eufy handheld vacuum come on sale during Prime Day, I nabbed it. I’m happy to report I like it even MORE than the Bissell I previously owned mostly due to the fact that it seems to have stronger suction power. I miss the stand the Bissell came with but overall have been really happy with the Eufy. I use it all the time to vacuum out car messes, for a quick clean between couch cushions, cabinets and drawer crumbs, etc. And yes, I do still let the boys use it but they fully understand it is NOT a toy.
Shop it here: Eufy Handheld Vacuum
As someone whose all-time favorite food in the entire world is ice cream, I love that this made the list! I hope it means you guys are making and enjoying lots of ice cream out there, too! We love our ice cream maker so much and use it year round to make everything from peppermint cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream and eggnog ice cream during the holiday season to cinnamon ice cream, Funfetti ice cream and more!
Shop it here: Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
You’d be hard-pressed to find a quiet time activity our boys did more than melty beads last year. To say they were all-in on these crafty little beads would be a serious understatement. They made so, so many little creations and turned lots of them into keychains to attach to the top of friends’ birthday gifts and ornaments to gift to friends and family this holiday season. Biggie Beads are essentially melty beads’ larger cousin and perfect for smaller hands. Rhett (age 3) and Ryder (age 5) really enjoy Biggie Beads and as a mom I love that this activity is a good one for fine motor skill development, too!
You know those mom friends you have who are a couple years ahead of you in life? One of my friends is also a mom of three boys but her youngest boy is the same age as our middle child. This makes her one of the most perfect people for me to turn to when I am looking for recommendations of any kind — local activities, gift ideas, local sports organizations, travel suggestions, etc. She is the mastermind behind our family’s introduction to the Nighthawk, aka the best thing to happen to our big kids last summer. We bought Chase and Ryder Nighthawks for their birthdays and to say they are obsessed is a huge understatement. They fly around on those things and the Nighthawks are also the first things their friends want to play with when they come over. I’m so glad so many of your kids are loving them, too!
Shop it here: Rollplay Nighthawk Ride-On Toy
As a mother to slim boys, finding pants that don’t look too baggy or sloppy on their slim frames can be a challenge, especially at an affordable price point. I’m always on the lookout for clothing that fits our boys well and have found that a lot of the pants marketed to girls have a neutral/unisex look but fit our boys in a way that’s a million times more flattering. Case in point: These Target joggers! They’re sold as girls’ pants but they are great for both sexes and are crazy soft! Both Rhett and Ryder love them and I only wish they sold the same pants for bigger kids, too!
Shop them here: Target Relaxed Fit Toddler Joggers
These kayaks are worth their weight in gold for our outdoorsy boys. They love them and Chase and Ryder (ages 8 and 5) can easily maneuver them all over the lake. They spent hours and hours on their kayaks last summer and their friends also loved using them when they came over to play, too. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone with children who like to spend a lot of time out on the water.
Shop them here: Kid Kayak
This garage playset was the hit of Christmas for Rhett back in 2022! It was recommended to me by the boys’ ISR instructor who is also an occupational therapist and it was a slam dunk. Rhett still reaches for this one all the time and loves locking and unlocking the garage doors and playing with the cars. This is also a toy I find myself buying as a gift for kids right around 2 years old because I know it will be a hit.
Shop it here: Car + Garage Playset
This kid-friendly digital camera was my go-to birthday gift for the boys’ friends this year after I gave one to Ryder for his birthday and he loved it so much. It’s a hit with boy boys and girls and felt a little more unique than your average kid toy birthday gift.
Shop it here: Kid-Friendly Digital Camera
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen
I adore The Circus Ship and love that this book made this list! It’s a book all three of our boys love and ended up being the book Chase chose for me to read aloud to his class last year for his birthday. It was a big hit among the first grade crowd and, as a parent, it’s one I enjoy reading because the story is clever, the rhymes are great and it includes a tricky page where kids have to locate a bunch of different animals at the very end of the book which always keeps them engaged. It’s an under-the-radar gem!
Shop it here: The Circus Ship
I was a little surprised to see these keychains make this list because they were a passing share on Instagram but I’m glad you guys love them as much as we do! I ordered a mega-box of pop-it keychains a while back to include on the top of birthday gifts for the boys’ friends, in goodie bags, etc. and they’ve come in so handy! I’ve used them more than I anticipated (in Valentine’s Day surprises, for class parties, etc.) and the little metal keychain is also what we use when we attach the boys’ melty bead creations to birthday gifts so these have a dual purpose in our house!
Shop them here: Pop-It Keychains
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
This is one of our family’s all-time favorite kid books because it does a fantastic job highlighting the importance of being kind to others in a way that makes sense to children. It encourages “filling the buckets” of those around you through various positive actions, words and kind gestures. (You can also be a “bucket dipper” when you do something not so nice to others.) Not only does it encourage kindness but it brings everything back to the way being kind to others makes you feel and how it only increases your personal happiness. Our family regularly references being a “bucket filler” and have found that it’s a term that seems to stick with our boys and resonate more with them than other ways we’ve found to discuss kindness.
Shop it here: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Whenever people ask for ideas for gifts for our boys, bath bombs are a go-to reply from me. They’re something our boys never seem to grow out of loving and I not-so-secretly love that they dissolve and don’t increase the number of toys we have all over our house. Bath bombs and bath toys in general get a thumbs up from me because they’re usable and somehow always feel special to our boys. The bath time gem that stole the show in our house last year was the Munchkin Color Lab bath toy set. It’s been a fun alternative to bath bombs and such a slam dunk with our boys that it quickly became a go-to gift for me to give to toddlers. (Truth be told, all three of our boys absolutely love the colorful tablets and the way they make their bathwater so vibrant but I think the packaging makes it a toy geared toward younger kids which is why it’s a gift we’ve given to toddler friends.)
Shop them here: Munchkin Color Lab Bath Toy Set