In the same vein as yesterday, today’s gift guide is a bit more personal and I’m talking about what I’m either thinking about getting my own kids (and would love your suggestions/feedback/reviews) or HIGHLY recommend because my kids LOVE LOVE LOVE. My kids are just entering the “ask for plastic garbage” stage of childhood, which is an expected bummer. We are definitey trying to steer them in different directions without being total grinches. For instance, Birdie saw this massive purple plastic Frozen 2 themed makeup vanity/stool in a catalog and wants it SO BADLY, so I’m trying to figure out what about it she loves so we can get something that is less plastic/cheap/disposable/huge/eyesore and yet let her do her imagination play. But other than those randoms that they accidentally see, most of these ideas are to A. keep them busy and active, B. they are fun to do with them/more family-oriented, or C. educational or stimulating their interests.
1. New Bounce Pogo Stick, $39: If any of you have pogo stick recommendations or advice, PLEASE let me know. They each want one and I’m certainly into getting that energy out, but want one that they can do.
2. Kids Bean Bag Toss Game, $39: For rainy/snowy mountain days. I wanted this last year and didn’t get it so I think I’ll do it this year.
3. Sno Stompers, $20: For fun bear footprints stomping around in the snow. How cute is that?
4. Foldable Pop Up Soccer Goals, $32: Charlie and Brian have been playing with plastic pots in the backyard, so an upgrade is necessary.
5. Wild Kratts Adventure Kit, $30: I could kiss these two men. The entire family watches Wild Kratts because it’s so educational and has great messaging. So last year, we bought them their own creative power kit and while they were full of branded plastic parts, they still LOVE the kit, take it into the backyard and pretend to be animal rescuers. If they don’t love the show, put together your own adventure kit with binoculars, a fanny pack, compass, and walkie talkie.
6. Indoor Snowball Fight, $40: A must-have for rainy days inside. Incredibly fun snowball fights all throughout the house.
7. Flybar My First Foam Pogo Jumper, $17: Birdie wants the unicorn one, of course, but at $17, I’m worried it’s just so cheap and will break instantly—anyone?
8. Adventure Slackers NinjaLine 36 Ft. Pro & Intro Combo Kit, $139: Okay, our kids are too young but in 1-2 years, this will be on our list (or we’ll make our own version). I love an obstacle course so much.
9. Animal Croquet, $40: I’m hoping another indoor family game. Does anyone use this?
10. Bump N Bounce Body Bumpers, $15: I can’t wait. I’m hoping that there are versions for grownups somewhere.
11. Bike Chalk Trail Kit, $20: They have bikes but this will encourage them to ride even more (they are extremely excited about this).
1. Kid Made Modern Ultimate Jewelry Kit, $20: We have this and the kids LOVE IT and make us/grandparents/friends bracelets and necklaces all the time. Highly recommend.
2. Twee Rainbow Unicorn Sidewalk Chalk, $15: Birdie wants anything that can draw and that has to do with unicorns.
3. Yarn Unicorn Kit, $20: We are at the beginning of the crafting/DIY age and it’s so fun.
4. MindWare Playful Chef, $17: The kids love to chop (Birdie loves standing on her stool and making soup with me). Time to get her some safe knives.
5. Osmo Creative Starter Kit for iPad, $70: I’d LOVE any advice on this. Is this one of those marketing manipulations where you feel like you are buying them something creative when really it ends up being another device?
6. Fairy Doors Set, $18: Originally I had a whole “fairy kit” picked out, but then it occurred to me that you can’t really give them that…you just have to set it up because like Santa, they have to believe that fairies live there.
7. Oh Joy! Plus-Plus, $18: These are great stocking stuffers for on-the-go restaurant trips. Our kids love them.
8. Janod Doctor’s Suitcase, $30: Never not fun to get a medical examination from a 4-year-old.
9. Lego Chain Reactions Science & Building Kit, $17: This seems very smart because it’s just taking all the pieces you have and by adding in some new pieces (with instructions) you get all new challenges. A better gift would be to buy a time machine, jump in it and invent/buy stock in Legos because BOY ARE OUR KIDS OBSESSED AND THEY ARE SO EXPENSIVE. They are genius, fun and so great for their brains, but can add up (and we’ve tried the subscription services and are a nightmare for parents). But typically our kids will spend hours putting together their own Legos with barely our help.
10. Brain Bricks Machines Motorized Machines, $22: Legos but motorized. I’m curious.
11. Build Your Own Robot Kit, $15: So fun, has anyone tried?
13. Electric Light Blocks, from $30: I know my kids will love, but not sure they need more blocks, though I can picture them playing a lot at night up in their room.
14. Mini Doodle Kit, $13: Stocking stuffer, great for restaurants and travel.
1. LilGadgets Untangled Pro Kids Wireless Bluetooth headphones with SharePort, $50: Can anyone recommend new headphones for kids that are good, comfortable and have a cord option?
2. Metal Detector, $37: Oh yes. I would have LOVED to have had one of these when I was little. I’m thinking about planting treasures in the woods behind our house and letting them go at it like a treasure hunt.
3. Unicorn Glitter Crossbody Purse, $13: This purse instigated a 30-minute tantrum at Target that made us have to leave. The terms were clear going in: to choose their special ornament and look at things that they can put on their wishlist. Sorry for all you moms trying to have a quiet Pasadena Target Sunday morning trip… needless to say, Birdie wants this badly and I’m tempted to NOT give it to her (but Santa can?).
4. Relay Screenless Phone/Walkie Talkie & GPS Tracker, $50: We have walkie talkies, but when I saw these I got so excited. For our forest hikes to let them roam (together) even further than we do now.
5. Toddler Girls’ Unicorn Sneakers, $22: Oh right. That was the other meltdown. Girlfriend LOVES UNICORNS. Like she dreams about playing with them, literally; in the morning she’ll report another unicorn dream.
6. Toddler Girls’ Fiala Bootie Slippers, $10: Little monster feet as slippers and super soft faux fur. Enough said.
7. Lovebox Messenger, $100: I think this is such a sweet gift between grandparents, or even parents if they are separated from their kid. Digital love notes. Mine are still learning to read, but it’s a cute idea.
8. Mini ATM Electronic Coin Bank, $27: Charlie is DYING for this. Hoping it’s not total garbage but it does seem like a pretty fun “piggy bank” for a kid.
9. Kids Waterproof Removable Cover 6lb Weighted Blanket, $40: To encourage sleep and less tossing and turning.
10. Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller, $68: I’m VERY excited about this. It comes recommended to me, but essentially your kid chooses the character or location or something like that, and it tells them long stories. Great for car rides, or in place of screens during the week.
11. Personalized Holiday Sweater Ornaments, $22: I ordered them. I only want personalized ornaments on my tree as soon as I collect enough. You know what to get me from now on.
1. National Parks of the USA, $30: Sounds dull but it looks pretty, and maybe will help them fall asleep. 🙂
2. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, $14: My hands-down favorite series of kids books that I enjoy as much as they do. They are so clever, with fun rhyming, great illustration and messaging. I know that there are a lot of books with good messages out there, but guys, a lot of them can be boring to actually read over and over. My kids request them, I request them, they are just VERY GOOD KIDS BOOKS. Seriously going on 3 years with this series.
3. Rosie Revere, Engineer $8: Another in the same series, but I love them all.
4. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson, $6: The only other series (besides the one above) that I love as much as my kids. Any book by Julia Donaldson (Australian author) is so entertaining to read. Another series that you can read for years and years and not get sick of.
5. What Can A Citizen Do?, $18: Getting this one for them this year.
6. The Ultimate Book of Space, $22: This (and others in same series) are insanely detailed popup books that are interactive and we all learn so much (not for kids under 3, they’ll destroy them).
7. Wooden Toy Cash Register, $30: The kids won’t care how cute it looks, they’ll play with the IKEA one just as much, but it sure does look good.
8. Small Cash Box with Lock and Slot, $10: My kids are very into treasures, treasure hunting, hoarding, etc. If there are better versions out there, let me know but I strangely know that they’ll love hoarding their treasures in here and maybe, just maybe it’s a good lesson about keeping track of keys. Shoot. I should probably look for a combination lock one…
9. Ooly Chunkies Paint Sticks, $14: All the fun of painting but without all the non-fun mess. (Plus the “chunky” factor makes them easy for little hands to hold.)
10. Magbot Magnetic Block Set, $30: This seems expensive for how many configurations you can do, but I know my kids will like – has anybody tried?
11. Plan Toys Hair Dresser Set, $30: If you haven’t played salon/barber with your kids yet, you are missing out on the hilarity. Get a ton of barrettes, hair ties, etc. and ask them to do your hair. You don’t need this to do that, but it is pretty cute.
OH GEEZ. I’m promising myself that I don’t do what I always do: buy them very, very little because they are too privileged as it is and I don’t want to spoil them, then I panic fearing that they are going to be so disappointed so two days before Christmas, I order random stuff. Then as we are wrapping them (and the grandparents bring their insane loot) I realize that they have WAY too much and we end up hiding or returning a few.
If there are any recommendations, advice, reviews of what is above, please leave in comments. It’s not like I have time to find the BEST pogo stick on the market, so if you have…do tell. xx