things we love: toddler edition

Do you have a toddler in your life that you need to get a little somethin' somethin' for this Christmas? Here are Blythe [and Kels] approved ideas:

1. Hands down, every toddler needs a doctor kit. This is the one we got Blythe for her second birthday:

toys r us

It was like $14. And you can get a little more gender neutral version too. There is no way a toddler can cram all that stuff back in that little container, and the clasp is hard for Blythe to do, but we just keep all the stuff in a basket and it is her favorite toy and I would even say it is the only toy that for sure gets played with every single day. I also think it's great to teach imaginative play like this, and who knows, maybe it's because she practices giving so many shots that she barely flinched when she got her flu shot? [seriously, what two year old doesn't cry when they get a shot?] 

My parents still have the doctor kit my sister and I played with growing up, also a Fisher Price. And Blythe loves playing with this at their house as well. 


2. A "Marble Racer" set. Brent's mom saved his, and this is a hit for kids of all ages that come to our house. I found a similar one on Toys R Us:
toys r us

Obviously if you have another little one crawling around, shoving things in their mouth, keep the marbles in a safe place!

3. A rotary phone. I kid you not, when other children are over playing THIS is what they fight over the most. I am sure you can find one at a thrift store…or in your closet!

4. STICKERS! Every toddler loves stickers and this would be a great stocking stuffer.

5. Tub blocks. I always had these growing up and I found a set on craigslist. They are the best! Somethings Blythe even wants to take them out of the tub and play with them in the living room.

6. BOOKS! BOOKS! BOOKS! I think this is the best gift to get if you don't know what else to get. Some favorites of Blythe this past year have been: Jamberry, Little Owl's Night, Plant a Kiss, Are You My Mother?, The Foot Book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and Where the Wild Things Are. She also likes any book with flaps.

7. Songs! Right now we cannot get in the van without listening to Wee Sing Bible Songs [I had this CD tape growing up, as well as Wee Sing Silly Songs]. Toddlers pick up on music like crazy, so I think it is a great time to get them some music they will love to sing.

A friend suggested "Slugs and Bugs: Sing the Bible" so Blythe is getting that for Christmas! Shhh.

I think the key with toddlers is to keep it simple. They typically play with the same toys over and over again, and a friend of mine [with her masters in early childhood] told me that kids that have fewer toys can actually show mastery sooner as repetition is key, especially at an early age. So don't feel like you need to buy a bunch of stuff for your kiddo-- get a few things they will really love and play with over and over.

I know I've mentioned it before, but we do four gifts: something you WANT, something you NEED, something to PLAY WITH, and something to READ. Plus a few goodies in the stockings [and we are starting a "new panties!" tradition this year in the stocking ;). I love how not overwhelmed I feel by doing it this way, and I hope in the future to teach my daughters the difference betweens their wants and their needs.

What about you? How do you do gifts for Christmas? Any traditions? Any suggestions for toddlers?

post signature


Hannah said...

There are so many things I love about this post:
1. the doctor's kit. I don't know how I forgot about those things. We had one nearly identical to the one like you did growing up [ours came in a black plastic type bag/case]. We already have Emerson's Christmas gifts, but he does have a birthday not too far away [crazy!] and that would be the perfect thing for him.

2. Most of what Emerson "plays" with are books. He reads/looks at them all day long. It makes me happy.

3. The songs. There was a tape we always loved listening to when we were little, he has one right now, but some Bible songs would be a good add in :) I've looked for the one I had when I was little, but have had no luck finding it [yet].

4. I like what your friend said about having too many toys. Most of his toys have been gifted to him, which is very sweet of people ... it only makes me a little worried about Christmas.... I don't want a house full of toys! Plus, it would make too much for him to chose from and what not.

Anyhow, I'll just stop there for now :)

Jillian said...

great ideas! and i love the keeping it simple format of your gift giving!