Can you believe how quickly the year has flown by? I can’t! With shipping delays happening nationwide, I’ve been doing our Christmas shopping a little earlier this year to hopefully combat any delayed arrivals and I wanted to get these gift guides into your hands as soon as possible in case you’re worried too.
Shopping for my children is always really fun for me because I try to hone into what they’re currently loving plus think ahead to what they might want or need in the future when selecting stuff for them. Milly is almost crawling and Emie is really into music at the moment, so you’ll see items for those stages of life represented in the gift guides below.
And if you know me, you know that I hate almost all toys that require batteries – the noise makers and flashing light kinda toys drive me crazy – so most everything that I choose to gift my children don’t require any batteries and facilitate imagination and open-ended play which is more my speed.
FOR THE BABES
- BALL PIT // we had a ball pit when Emie was older but this one is much more aesthetically pleasing and one I wouldn’t mind looking at! There are 14 different color variations to choose from.
- DOLL // I love the idea of Milly having a doll that resembles her so this will definitely be under the tree on Christmas morning. Each doll (they have boy + girl versions) comes with a little companion, are fully washable, and the clothing is removable too – great for developing those fine motor skills.
- SNACK STACK // we’re just entering into the world of solids so I know we’ll be toting tons of snacks soon enough.
- STACKING RINGS // a great STEM learning toy for little minds that helps to develop hand-eye coordination.
- SENSORY RATTLE // this rattle + teether combo is made for little hands and has 25k five star reviews!
- CLEAR TEETHER // this is currently Milly’s favorite teether at the moment. I love how skinny the middle bar is – easy for little kids to grasp and hold onto.
- PLAY GYM // we use this every day during tummy time and I love that this play gym was designed to grow with baby. The 5 Montessori-inspired flaps on the outer edge of the play mat engages all of baby’s senses while encouraging sensory exploration. Converts to a fort as they get older too!
- CRAWLING TOY // a 3-stage crawling toy challenges and encourages little ones to crawl.
- BLOCKS // these soft silicone blocks are multi-functional and aren’t just blocks for stacking (and knocking over). The teach animals, shapes, fruit, numbers, and have a mathematical component too.
- SOPHIE THE GIRAFFE // the worlds famous and most recognizable teether
- ACTIVITY WALKER** // this is Milly’s big Santa gift. I love that it’s an activity board (played with while sitting), a walker (played with while standing/walking), but doubles (triples?) as a cart too.
**This must be a popular item because it keeps selling out so if you can’t find it via the first link, I’ve found it here, here, and here. Amazon sells it too but it’s more expensive than I’ve seen anywhere else.
FOR THE BOYS
- RUBBER ROAD // flexible and durable interlocking road pieces that gives you 100+ inches of playable space for your vehicle loving kiddos.
- SOCCER GOAL // I thought this was SO cute and small enough to be practical while not taking up huge amounts of space. Doubles as ball storage when not in use. I’m continually amazed by Ikea toys and the genius behind them.
- TOOL BUSY BOARD // teaches practical life skills while teaching hand-eye coordination
- SWING // can be used indoors or out. The raindrop shape gives kids a cozy spot to read, relax, and is a great place to tuck away for a moment if you have a kiddo with sensory needs.
- CAR CARRIER // made by one of my favorite toy brands from recycled plastic. Comes with 3 vehicles to load/offload.
- CRANE // made from durable wood and comes with magnetic blocks to transport via the overhead crane.
- FLYBAR // can be used indoors or out. Promotes physical activity, balance, and makes a fun squeak with every jump. Has 33k four and a half star reviews!
- WALKIE-TALKIES // perfect for your adventure loving kiddos. Comes in a variety of colors.
- AIR FORT // all you need is a box fan and you have an instant fort. Comes in a variety of colors and designs and gives your kids a fun place to be imaginative and is big enough for multiple kids and when you’re all done, the whole thing deflates and can be stored away easily.
- LEGO SET // this nearly 800 pc set is perfect for building your own Lego creations
- CAR ADVENTURE TOY // this car adventure toy has 6 different mechanisms to manipulate the vehicles through a series of obstacles and 8 different challenges that kids can navigate while learning about cause and effect. NO BATTERIES REQUIRED!!
- CAR RACER // watch the cars race down the ramp, go back n forth, flip over, while inviting focus and curiosity.
FOR THE GIRLS
- UNICORNS // 6 shimmery unicorns that comes in a wooden stable.
- BLOCK SET // 70 pc block set in bright colors. Block set is designed with 20+ fun and creative learning activities in mind such as: shape sorting, rolling ramp, bead threader, and box converts into a pull car. It’s more than just a box of blocks!
- CAMERA // Emie is very into taking photos lately, so she’ll be getting a cheapie camera of her own and I can’t wait to see the world from her POV.
- TUMBLING MAT // there’s always lots of cartwheels, backbends, and forward rolls going on in our house, so I figured giving Emie a soft place to practice her skills was probably a good idea.
- PLAYHOUSE // the quality on this thing for the price is insane. What I love most is that it can be taken down and stored away when not in use.
- DOLLHOUSE // we play with this multi-level dollhouse several times a week. I love that it promotes creativity and imaginative play. Comes with furniture too.
- MICROPHONE // bluetooth microphone that you can sync your phone up to and play your kids favorite songs.
- BEAD SET // jewelry making is big hit around here – pair with these easy-to-use necklace/bracelet cords for hours of fun and creativity.
- GYMNASTICS BAR // a great way to let off some energy – if we had more space, we’d have one of these for sure. Pair with the tumbling mat linked above for the perfect gift!
- MUSIC PLAYER // Emie has been very into music lately and I figured this would be the perfect personal personal speaker just for her. Comes with pre-loaded cards (or ones you can customize) that allow you to listen to music, podcasts, stories, play games, and more. Also is an alarm clock and a night light too.
- NESTING SUITCASES // I don’t know why but Emie and her cousin both love the act of packing things up and pretending to go places so each of the girls will be getting a set of these nesting suitcases so they can pretend to take a vacation, go camping, pack the babies up for the babysitter, whatever they can think up, they’ll have the bags ready to pack!
FOR THE GROUP
In case you have multiple kids and are needing one big group gift, here’s a few larger ticket items that caught my eye that the whole family would love and enjoy:
- SWING SET // a compact swing set big enough for every one but doesn’t take up a huge footprint in your backyard! Plus it’s not a distracting color that you have to stare at from the kitchen window.
- SENSORY TABLE // my kids love anything with water and this sand/water table would bring hours of outdoor fun.
- BUMPER CARS // how fun are these?! Spins 360 degrees and is operated by dual joysticks. Comes in 10 different colors.
- BOUNCE HOUSE // quite possibly the prettiest bounce house. The bounce house comes in handy especially during the colder/wetter months when getting outside is harder. I just wish these had been out when we bought ours years ago! Comes in blue too.
- EASEL // chalkboard, whiteboard (it’s magnetic), and painting easel in one. Plus there’s an area for your paint cups, paper roll, a drying area for your artwork, and a huge tray to hold art supplies. It’s got wheels too!
My personal favorite is shopping for stocking stuffers and stuffing each stocking with items specific to each child. I find it oddly satisfying to find gifts that come with multiple items and break them up amongst siblings. Smart gifting is my kinda gifting!
- BABY SPOONS // we’re currently using these for Baby Led Weaning & we love them!
- TAG SOOTHER // getting this for Milly – she loves playing and chewing on tags especially when we’re in the car.
- LINKING RINGS // these are great too for hanging and/or attaching toys to things
- TOY TETHER // Milly recently started throwing things so we’ll be stocking up on these.
- STACKING CUPS // a great hand-eye coordination toy that’s compact enough to fit in a stocking
- BABY TOOTHBRUSH // Milly brushes (chews) her teeth every night with a similar toothbrush
- YOGURT MELTS// Emie loved these and I’m sure Milly will too
- HIGH CONTRAST CARDS // great for tummy time
- COLLAPSIBLE SNACK CUP // for snacking on the go!
- PACIFIER CLIP // can never have too many of these
- BATH TOYS // always a good idea to replace bath toys every couple months to avoid mold and these are one of our favorites
- RIP PROOF BOOK // genius!
- BACK SCRATCHER // for all those before bed back scratch requests – comes in a set of 4 – one for everyone in the family
- WIKKI STIX // a fun manipulative that can be used in the car
- SCARVE SCRUNCHIES // jazz up a boring ponytail
- SNEAKER BALLS // because stinky kids shoes (especially sports related) are the worst
- TWISTABLE CRAYONS // the only kind of crayon you need
- CHAPSTICK // but make it cute
- NAIL CLIPPERS // one for big sis and one for little sis
- CHOPSTICKS // for kiddos who need a little help learning how to use chopsticks
- SLINKY // if you have stairs you need one of these
- BATH CRAYONS // bath-time fun
- POP-ITS // great for in the car – comes in a 3 pk
- HIGHLIGHTS HIDDEN PICTURE BOOKS // Emie is currently obsessed with these style books
- DINO COMB // do all kids hate getting their hair brushed like mine? Maybe this cool comb will help with that! They have a shark comb too.
- TECH DECK // a toy from my younger days
- CATS CRADLE // this one too
- PAPER AIRPLANES // these are always a hit with Emie – she loves making the different types and seeing which one flies the farthest
- POCKET VOLCANO // how cool is this?