Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Kiddos

Starting with the little ones and moving up to the older ones...


Burp cloths ($3.50 + $2 shipping or $0.50 when shipped with another item from Dodge Boys Mom Etsy shop): I know I've said it before and I'll say it again - I but these for every baby that is born. It's just what I do. These flannel cloths fit perfectly over your shoulder and the fabric doesn't slip off and it absorbs the grossness that always comes out of babies' mouths.

Wooden rattles: There is going to be a theme here.  I don't like plastic toys very much and I rarely buy them.   These amazing rattles are super velvety and fun.  They come in a variety of shapes and again, every baby who I know has one of these!  ($14 from Smiling Tree Toys plus $2.95 shipping, but shipping is waived if you buy something else OR you can get three for $39 or four for $51 and stock up on them for future babies.)

Bath books:  I like babies to have books, but even sturdy board books can be destroyed by a teething baby.  Cloth books or bath books are definitely the way to go.  I like The Rainbow Fish and it looks like you can still get copies from Amazon around $13, although Sandra Boynton's Bath Time! and Julie Clough's Seaside Bath Books also are some of my favorites to give babies.

New Walkers

Walking toys for toddlers: Last Christmas, we bought the Melissa and Doug Chomp and Clack Alligator Push Toy  ($38.99) for our almost one-year old nephew. He loved it and so did all the other kids. Every time we'd go over to their house, the kids would fight over it, even the older ones who are perfectly capable of walking on their own.  Just this weekend, I gave the Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug (hedgehog, $82.18) to another nephew who just turned one and he, too, loved it, and all the older kids were fighting him for it. These Wheely Bug toys just went up in price and now I can't find one under $50, although you can find a lady bug one for $52.87.  Damn it. Just get the alligator toy. 

Board books:  Now is the time to get board books. I got the newly turned one-year old Alphaprints ($8.99) and he was totally on board with the big, sturdy pages, each with a textured fingerprint making an animal.  Rocket's Mighty Words ($7.91), My Favorite Shoes ($11.10), and Dig In! ($7.15) are also fun board books to consider.

Toddlers (2-4ish)

Construction paper ($3.29 for a pack of 50),  crayons ($6), and punches ($5.99 for a set of 2)
Craft supplies: I am not above giving kids some nice paper, stamps, a stamp pad, and letting them go at it. Or just some crayons and construction paper.  Or some punches and paper and string.  (At the birthday party this weekend, my brilliant sister-in-law let each kid choose a bag or box after the presents were unwrapped and sent them out in the garage with some craft supplies to turn them into cars, rockets, or ships.)  Just give them something to do, a small bit of direction, and you have occupied kiddos for a long time.

Wooden wheeled toys:  Boys in this age range love construction equipment, cars, trucks, and boats.  Don't even get them started on emergency vehicles like ambulances and firetrucks. Before you run to the store to get them the newest plastic noise making machine from Disney, consider supporting a craftsperson.  That giraffe is a bargain at $40 plus $7.95 shipping at Giggle Tree Toys and you can get all sorts of personalized wooden toys at Manzanita Kids, including this train puzzle for $36 plus $5.95 shipping.

Books, books, books: I don't think I need to say anything else.  You know the drill - encourage reading early and you'll develop happy readers. I'm putting up some of the kids' favorites here - these  are some that my nieces and nephews love. Little Blue Truck ($4.99), A Mud Pie for Mother ($11.50), the Sandra Boyton collection, especially Horns to Toes and in Between ($5.39), the Dr. Seuss world, which is horribly boring for adults to read, but One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish ($3.99) and Green Eggs and Ham ($7.35) are classics for a reason, I guess, Class Three All at Sea ($14.63), and Life-Size Zoo ($13.84) are all big hits in my family.

Older kids (5 and up)

Goldie Blox for the young engineers in your family: There are lots of sets out there. This one will run you $32.64. 
Wooden blocks ($45 for this set from Bannor Toys): Oh, you don't want to give them plastic crap?  I get it. They might like these instead.

Personalized superhero cape and mask set ($32 plus $4.75 shipping): Dr. BB thinks that the kids might be disappointed because it's not Superman or Batman, but I actually think that's part of the charm of it all.

Stomp rocket ($19.95): I love these things. They're so much fun to play with for boys and girls of all ages.
Cooperative Board Games:  I think Hoot Owl Hoot! ($15.95) looks like a lot of fun and my four-year old nephew is crazy obsessed with Harvest Time ($12.83), although my sister-in-law likes it less because there are lots of pieces...

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  1. Thank you for the Little Blue Truck plug! There is a special Costco edition on sale now, both board books plus an age-appropriate two-sided puzzle. Also, Jill loves doing dedications, so get your orders in early

  2. Anonymous12/04/2013

    You're gifts for kids are actually right on-- I wish I'd gotten burp cloths as gifts when I had the little-- we needed them!! And you're right about the books- the little destroyed about a million books while teething-- we just learned about these indestructible books and I'm totally buying them for my nephew.
    I have enjoyed your gift lists- and between you, me, and the whole of the internet, I just ordered some of that awesome beard oil for the hubs.

  3. Anonymous12/04/2013



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