We are in the thick of gifting season right now- halfway through Chanukah and pretty much all set with our Christmas gifting. While I can’t speak to all age groups, when it comes to my kids’ ages (almost 2 and 3.5) I have recommendations for you for gifts you can buy them that will keep them entertained and help them developmentally. These are all items that we currently own and love or ones that I’ve purchased for the boys after researching and plan to give to them this holiday season!
I cant express to you how much joy my children and Mike and I got out of this magical piece of furniture. You may look at it and wonder, why would that benefit myself or my family? Why the high pricetag? I’m here to tell you why. It’s because it is essentially a giant cage that keeps your child safe and occupied at counter-level while you go about preparing your food or handling other kitchen tasks. They are happy to be high up like you are and not begging to be picked up, and you are FREE. Plus there’s a cute easel thingy on the side.
I held out on this one for years. Mike and I love a decluttered aesthetic and we really didn’t want a play kitchen in the main space of our home. I wasn’t willing to pay Pottery Barn prices (but my GOD, is that thing beautiful?) so we held off. I finally caved because we got them a teeny tiny toy kitchen and they loved it and played so independently with it. The only issue was that it was so small, it was hard for them to share and enjoy it together (kinda like Mike and I in our old kitchen before we renovated to an open concept)! Santa’s bringing this after someone wonderful and handy and SO handsome (hint, hint) assembles it- reviews say it’s 2.5-3 hours of assembly work. Sidenote- I always think toy assembly could be a great side business- if anyone wants to come by and put this puppy together, we’ll be your first customer! 😉
I never thought something so simple could keep them so busy, but my kids have not stopped playing with this wooden food set since it arrived. They love placing the fruit back together with it’s velcro insides and cutting it open as well as transporting it in the little wooden box throughout the house. I usually set out cutting boards for them and an extra toddler knife and they have a great time developing their motor skills and being creative.
My parents bought these for the boys and as soon as we opened them up I knew they’d be a hit. The boys create little obstacle courses with them and hop around pretending that they’re stone-hopping to avoid falling in the water. The design helps them learn balance and coordination, and it encourages creative play between the two kids. They stay put on hardwood floors, making them safe, and they can be stacked inside one another for easy cleanup.
My kids are obsessed with ice pops all year long, and I love that I can choose what ingredients go in them when I make them at home. But this quick pop maker is incredible because the pops go from liquid to frozen right in front of your eyes! In about seven minutes (we set the timer and the boys literally stare the entire time excitedly) these puppies are ready to eat! We have the duo which I recommend because it’s cheaper and takes up less freezer space. If you have three kids this would obviously cause issues, but for my two it works out.
When I tell you that my children have accumulated probably 15 board games in the last year, I’m not exaggerating. But it seems like all of them have just one component too many and aren’t able to keep my kids attention span for long- they end up making up their own games with the pieces and ultimately abandoning the game entirely. Enter this game. It’s literally just rolling the two die and moving the snails across the board depending on which color was face-up on the die, after each player chooses the snail that they think is going to win. Whichever snail gets to the finish line first wins, and then you continue to play and root for the other snails. They love it and are totally engaged!
This claims to be for ages 5+, but you know your own kids and what they’ll be able to appreciate and use safely. I think watching the actual “underground” view of the growth will be fascinating to them and let their minds conceptualize the growth process more clearly.
Grayson’s been fascinated by patterns lately, whether he’s building them with LEGOS or magnatiles or out of his current meal that he’s avoiding. I knew this would be a great gift for him in that it would enhance his building skills as well as challenge his mind to develop new patterns and shapes. I also read that it’s a great game for a family to play with together and that adults enjoy it too.
This mama does not always have all the relevant snowman accessories such as carrots and coal at hand, and so I thought this made an adorable, useful gift. This would be a cute niece/nephew gift in a basket with snow paint and hot cocoa mix!
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