Thursday, December 20, 2012

Are We Sick of Gift Guides Yet? {For the Wee Ones}

I've received a few inquiries as to what L requested from Santa for Christmas during their tete-a-tete yesterday.  And since there's still four shopping days left and I am otherwise without witty blog fodder, I shall oblige with yet another ohmygawd make them stop Holiday Gift Guide... this time aimed at the 12-18 mo set. 

I'll start by acknowledging upfront that this kid is making out like a mutha-truckin' bandit in the present department this year.  It's tough being the first grandchild on both sides and having overzealous parents, I tell ya.  We did try to select toys that will grow with her, though, so hopefully our commercialism will pay off and she'll still be enjoying these in some form or fashion throughout the next few years.*

We celebrated Christmas with E's family last week, so L is already enjoying...


Eric Carle Nesting Blocks
Forget the desires and preferences of my precious firstborn, I am obsessed with these. Ten sturdy coated cardboard blocks that nest into each other for storage, each is adorned with classic Eric Carle illustrations and every side bears a different "theme" - colors, shapes, numbers, letters, and animals.  My No-Knowledge-of-Early-Childhood-Education Self thinks these are pretty great for teaching simple words and concepts.  Plus they are a blast to knock down, and L likes to put other small toys in and out of them. {I searched high and low online for a better link... I believe my mother in law did purchase our set on Amazon, but when I sent her the link, they were definitely under $20.}

ETA: In stock for $19.99 here! 


Melissa & Doug Deluxe Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy
L is not quite ready to use a push toy at this stage in the game, but I think she'll love this when she gets a bit more comfortable on her feet.  She already giggles when we make the alligators chomp, and she likes to twirl the butterflies.  Like all Melissa & Doug toys, this seems super sturdy and well-made.  I was a bit concerned the wheels might tear up our hardwood floors, but there is a rubber strip that smooths things out nicely... and it also travels well over carpet. 

Our public library has a bunch of these guys, and L goes apeshit for them.  Obviously the actual putting together of a puzzle concept is over her head, but she loves taking the animals out as we name them.  She can often be found crawling around with the yellow cat or turtle in her little paw.  I think it's pretty genius that the pieces also stand up by themselves... Building zoos out of my blocks for all my animals was a favorite game of mine as a kid, and I can see these being used in similar play down the line.  L will also be opening the farmand safariversions of this puzzle on Christmas morning. 

Um, best $8 toy ever.  I completely intended to wrap this up, but we ended up busting it out the minute we got home from IKEA a few weeks ago.  The main attraction at this age is, again, knocking down towers that I so carefully and expertly craft.  Attempting to crawl in the wagon is also big fun.  I also dig that IKEA's toys all meet EU standards even though they are made in China... makes me feel a-okay about the amount of time these spend in L's mouth.  {Oh, who am I kidding, this kid sneaks bites of my tennis shoes on the regular.}


We've played with this drum at two different friends' homes, and it's a gigantic hit each time.  I've also been told it remains a favorite well into toddlerhood.  {As an aside, I'm a big fan of B Toys in general, and I've definitely found that Target has the best prices on that brand.}

This is another toy we've "test driven"... The library's is another, larger, much more expensive brand, but the concept is the same, and L can spend a good chunk of time exploring the different sides.  If you're looking to buy this particular model off Amazon, it goes on sale rather often... I know my mom purchased it for less than $50.

I mean, how stinkin' cute is this?  I fully admit I picked this up because it's going to look adorable under the tree with a ginormous bow around its neck.  Another toy she'll have to "grow into," but you really can't beat the price for a rocker.  Also, this fulfills the All Parents Must Pull Their Hair Out Assembling Something on Christmas Eve quota.  So there's that to look forward to. 

The Usborne Touchy Feely books are fan favorites around these parts... Thanks to GranJan, That's Not My Reindeer is in heavy reading rotation, and I believe we have That's Not My Snowmanto look forward to... There are tons of other seasonal versions, as well as  everyday themes. 

And that about covers it, as far as non-clothing items go.  L's stocking is shaping up to be pretty practical - snacksand some baby dental hygiene fun - but I'm a-thinkin' she won't mind too much. 

What tot gift are you most excited about giving this year?  Any other must-have items for a to-be one year old?  After all, we have a birthday to think about in two months... Geesh. 

* HA HA HA HA HA she'll probably still prefer ripping up junk mail to anything wrapped under that tree, suckers. 


  1. My mom got Henry some version of those Eric Carle blocks. I'm super excited about them because he LOVES to build and more importantly knock things down.

    If your gal likes to sort, I highly recommend this: Henry got it for his birthday and he'll play with it for a half hour at a time, which is an eon in toddler time.

  2. I bought the B. toys version of the activity cube and I can't hardly wait to give it to her! She also got a miniature red piano for her birthday last week. I think it came from land of nod, but is already a favorite!

  3. My brother gave my son the M&D alligator push toy for his first birthday. I wish we would have had it earlier because he loved it! I don't think it hurt our hardwoods, but it has certainly dinged our baseboards. Running into the wall passes as fun at our house. The only other drawback was that it had us saying "chomp chomp chomp" and as an alumni of another sec school, I find teaching my child to chomp distasteful. :) But it is so cute.

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