I’ve been keeping crazy lists in the notes app on my phone lately – mostly Christmas lists, or just long bulleted threads of things I love. Things I’d like to have finished and ready to go before Sally decides to join our family! Every day I seem to see new posts in various Mom’s groups on the internet asking for gift ideas for various age kids with widely varying interests so I thought I’d share my lists with all of you! I hope you get some new ideas from all of these links and find a couple new things you want to add to your own gift-giving lists before the holidays get too crazy. Are you shopping ahead of time?! I sure am.
1. Melissa & Doug Shape, Model and Mold +Play Doh Mega Pack : these two items together are such a fun gift! We all know there is nothing better than brand new play dough in ALL the colors- unmixed, no dried out bits (common, who else is OCD about play dough?! I can’t be the only one.) And I absolutely love how durable and sturdy the Melissa and Doug clay tools set is for little hands. No junky plastic to break and get messed up.
2. AquaDoodle – Travel Doodle : If you have yet to discover the AquaDoodle, your life might be about to change. This is one of the most used “toys” we have in our house and I love it for so many reasons. No mess, endless ways to play, and it travels SO easily. My two year old got one for her birthday this past year but it’s equally loved by her 4 year old sister (and even me! I love this thing!).
3. Nat Geo Mini Wildlife Projector : I’m so into gifts that can be used in multiple ways. This mini flash light projector is perfect for little hands with discs that change in and out really easily. It’s something I don’t mind allowing my girls to take to bed with them and play with until they fall asleep. They tell stories and make the animal shapes dance around the walls. It would be a perfect stocking stuffer!
4. Crayola Twistable Special Effects Crayons : Maybe it’s the art teacher in me, but it drives me totally crazy when my girls break their crayons into a million tiny pieces and/or peel the wrapper off of every single one. It wouldn’t bother me if they still used those crayons, but they don’t -of course- and always want “new, sharp, crayons!” every time we’re ready to color. Gracie’s therapist brought these Twistable crayons over one day and we were instantly hooked! They don’t break (unless your child figures out how to twist the crayon part way way up…) and they can be “twisted back down” when you aren’t coloring making them ideal to throw into a purse or diaper bag. The special effects ones are particularly fun for older kids as they make filling in big shapes exciting and cool. Can’t get enough of these!
5. Plan Toys My First Camera : This little toys camera is cute and sturdy. It feels nice in a toddlers hand – a little bit of weight to it but not too big and not PLASTIC like so many “toy” cameras on the market. The viewfinder reveals a fun prism effect that my girls seem to not get sick of and the little strap is perfect for hanging on their wrists. They love copying Mommy and being little photographers too!
6. Plan Toys Cone Sorting : Another gem from Plan Toys (love everything they make, by the way!) is this wooden cone sorting and stacking toy. Great for fine motor skills, shape identification and color sorting, but just a generally fun and simple toy for little hands to figure out. Lilly wasn’t ever captivated by stacking toys in any crazy way but Gracie LOVES them and this one is a must have for her this Christmas. She’ll love it and so will other toddlers who enjoy fine motor play and careful examination of how things around them work.
7. ALEX® Toys – Active Play Monster Clompers : Ah, the Monster Clompers. I wish I had taken a video of these in-use to show you but you’ll just have to take my word for it. They’re awesome! It’s really cute to watch little ones figure out how their arm and leg movements need to connect in order to make these work. Gracie stomps around growling like a dragon with these on her feet and even when she falls it’s no big deal because they aren’t high up off the ground. They’re lightweight and easy to store too- win, win!
8. Automoblox Mini Vehicle (3-Pack) : We have some super awesome and talented family friends who gifted these cars to Gracie for Christmas last year. I’m not often THIS impressed with a toy but seeing as they were designed by a CMU grad right here in Pittsburgh, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Another awesome toy for little ones who like puzzles and putting things together/taking things apart. These cars are fun in so many ways and come apart in interesting pieces. We are working up quite a collection of them and always keep them on the back burner for great gift ideas for kids of all ages, girls and boys alike.
9. Nighttime Shadows Castle Puppets (set of 9) : Oh where to start with these shadow puppets… amazing, right? We are big, big, big, into story telling in this family and have endless amounts of fun with puppets. Shadow puppets invite a new, almost spooky element to story telling and make bed time really fun 😉 Definitely only get these if you are sure you (or the Mom’s/Dad’s of the children you are gifting) are totally on board with using them WITH the kids. They aren’t flimsy but they certainly won’t take a beating and do require a bit of interactive guidance during play.
10. 8 Piece Tegu Pocket Pouch Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Tints : I’m really excited to see if my girls love these as much as I think they will. I love the pocket pouch option so we can try them before we commit to buying more – but I am already guess we’ll never have enough. I love the pretty colors they come in and the fact that they are magnetic will make block tower/castle/farm/house building that much better – I am sure. There is no doubt that these will be used and played with in the midst of our duplo collection and with the plethora of mini people and animals we’ve accumulated over the past few years. I can’t wait!
Did you get some ideas?! I’d love to hear what you’re most excited about gifting your own busy toddlers this year. It’s always awesome to find new ideas and be able to plan ahead for a more stress free holiday.
We can all drink to that, yes?
(Well, you can drink to that… I can’t… not yet anyway!)