Being a parent in 2013 isn't that much different than it was a century ago. We parents are all working hard to do our very best for the little people in our lives. But family life is constantly evolving, and every year we are exposed to new innovations intended to make this parenting gig a little bit easier.
From genius online artwork organization to the greatest new thing in kids' birthday bashes, we found the best in new parenting trends and innovations that Chicago area families can expect to see this year.
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"Everyone knows kids favor the boxes toys come in over the toys themselves, which is why these two new two companies have made such an impression on me," says Lindsey Gladstone, editor of DailyCandy Kids and mom to two little ones. Makedo sells kits that include tools (saw, hole puncher, connectors, hinges) to join together cardboard, plastic and fabric castoffs so kids can get seriously creative.
Toobalink adds connectors to paper towel and toilet paper tubes to allow your little architect to build towers out of items that otherwise would end up in the recycling box.