As part of a sponsored post for Socialstars, Playskool is helping me work smarter, not harder. #PLAYSKOOLCREW

Do you ever have one of those days where you can’t find a place to sit in the family room? A day where the toys begin creeping out of the toy compound- also known as the place feet go to die?

It seems that we, as parents, are required to have massive toys for both toddlers and babies because the general population tends to frown upon letting babies play with anything not covered in bubble wrap. I’d give Maverick a cardboard box but he turns into a dang billy goat the moment he sees a filet of cardboard.

Playing with his Pop Up Shape Sorter while mommy gets some work done at her portable office

The things is, in order to survive the summer with two kids under five, you need to provide them with some sort of entertainment. The black box works well as long as you don’t tell the world what a … gasp … lazy parent you are. You can go with my go to option of packing up your play, stow, and go toys and go to the park every day, or you can let the neighbors’ grandkids help you work smarter, not harder.

Grandkids who happen to be the same age as your oldest. Grandkids who love nothing more than playing on your treehouse jungle gym.

Well, okay … I’m sure they love something more than playing with Michael, but you know what I mean.

Once he figured out that they were staying a while, ‘can we go to the park’ was replaced with ‘can I go outside and play with my friends’?

And I have yet to remind him about the park. I’m such a homebody.

The other munchkin in my equation? He is satisfied with his new Pop Up Shape Sorter. You know, one of those simple and still engaging toys that don’t require their own ZIP code to store?

I plop him down on his blanket, give him a toy, and supervise from my portable office.

Dad is happy with our backyard activities because the family room is clean(er). Maverick is happy because he has his very own toy to help him develop his fine motor skills. Michael is happy with the lack of slobber covered ‘big kid’ toys. And mom? I’m thrilled to sit at my new desk with a handful of chocolate covered peanuts all to myself.

It’s a beautiful thing.

The Pop Up Shape Sorter helps parents work smarter, not harder by breaking down to a compact size

Until it’s time to take a nap. Once the phrase ‘it’s time to take a nap’ leaves my mouth, Michael rages like a man who just lost his cat, and Maverick tries to figure out where the rest of his cat went.

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