The gift-giving season is sneaking up on us. If you’re like me, we’re swimming in toys over here. I have a love hate relationship with more gifts coming into our home. We are extremely blessed and grateful, but it’s easy for kids to take for granted all those blessings. I struggle to find a balance between giving my kids a vast amount of things to entertain them, and simplifying our playroom (and our lives). While I love the excitement on Christmas morning, I’d love for my kids to unwrap items that are educational, practical and engaging. Bonus points if it hits all three of those goals in one gift! Watch out UPS, lots of these are Amazon Prime! Winning!
Here’s a list of some of my fav gift ideas this holiday season:
- Time teacher watches– This watch comes in a variety of colors and themes. It helps teach the analog clock by providing helpful numbers and wording on the clock face.
- Telly the teaching time clock– An interactive and fun way to learn the analog clock.
- Playfoam alphabet and numbers set– Fine motor, sensory, and phonics all in one.
- Teach your child to read book-The lessons are short and to the point. Repetitive and obtainable goals for reading.
- Teaching social skills with books like Fill Your Bucket and social interaction books by Julia Cook.
- Overnight duffle bags and luggage– I’m in love with the patterns and quality of PBK. I’m also such a sucker for anything monogrammed.
- Sleeping bags
- Diapers & wipes-Let’s face it. Babies could care less what’s under the wrapping paper, and mama could also use extra supplies.
- Car seats-Consider investing in the next size car seat or an extra booster seats for friends to car pool.
- Gift cards for activities-Catch Air, Little Land Play Gym, Thinkery, Chick-fil-A, Martial Arts, Aquarium, Swim lessons
- Arts and crafts-stamps, paints, easel, brushes, play doh, clay, markers, crayons, colored pencils, kid safe scissors
- Tent or teepee-Can be store bought of DIY
- Backpack & lunchboxes-I prefer the small & large sizes. The Prek size barely fits a change of clothes. I have found the small size is perfect for preschool, and the large is great for Kinder and up. Again, love the prints and quality of PBK.
- Camelbak water bottles & replacement straws & lids-I’ve gone through a ton of kids cups and these are the least likely to leak.
- Skip hop tableware-This brand seems to hold up well. 5 years in, and the colors look as vibrant as the day I got them.
- Tot clock & tot clock treasures– My kids love their tot clock for the bedtime stories and music. It has helped our nighttime routine, and helped my kids know when it’s ok to come downstairs in the morning. The clock can be set for bedtime, wake time, nap, time out and “encouragement” (I still haven’t figured out what that means, but have used it for various timed tasks). There’s a less expensive version without the stories here.
- Puzzle step stool-Both of my older children have learned to spell their name practicing on this stool each night after brushing teeth.
- Melissa and Doug soft Activity books
- Merlin Magic Suit– This suit is indeed magic! My youngest was sleeping 12 hours by 2 months of age!
- Indestructibles– These are great books for babies that love the feel of real pages. I’ve tried ripping them, and I can’t!
- Design tiles
- Cd player
- Flashlight leap frog-My kids love the songs and shining the planets on the walls of their room. My youngest can point out planets in a book just from listening to the planet descriptions on this flashlight.
- Dress up-mask/caps, superhero, princess-also consider stopping by consignment shops after Halloween to stock up on dress up clothes.
- Cool sand or sands alive– Great for cold or rainy days. Cleans up quickly.
- Butterfly garden and book– Educational and interactive.
- Water wow-Great entertainment for restaurants and traveling.
- Floor puzzles
- Balance bike-Age 3+-tip just take the training wheels and pedals off a regular bike.
- Grow dino egg-great for stocking stuffers.
- Magic moves wand-Fun activity to keep kids active.
- Seed to plant book with a pot and seeds to grow on their own.
- Melissa and Doug see and spell wooden
- Little Tikes jump and slide bounce house-We’ve used ours for birthday parties and quick and easy for a random day in the backyard as well.
- Mini look at me books-Perfect stocking stuffers.
- Scout dog-girl and boy-Programmable puppy
- Sequence for Kids-Teaches strategy and a good way to practice taking turns.
- Play food/kitchen- Great pretend play activity.
- Train table
- Musical instruments
- National Geographic sticker books
- Knex– Bring on the creativity!
- Magnet tiles
- Dino dig
- Novels for bedtime stories
- Building toys with screwdriver-comes in cars, airplanes, dinos, etc.
- Leap Pad tablet with headphones-This tablet is great for road trips/airplane rides. Very user friendly.
- The field Guide to Ocean Animals books-Rain Forest, Dino, Safari, Insects, Polar Animals, Birds
- Terrarium + Plant to Seed Magic School Bus book