In the spirit of the shopping season, we are excited to share with you some of our favorite things! Our hope is by sharing our tested and approved ideas, it may help buy for some of the people on your list and come up with a wish list of your own. Every Monday for four weeks we will be featuring some of our favorite things and will even be giving away a couple of them! All of these are things we genuinely love and think you might love too.
In case you missed it:
A bit about my kids:
They are very boy-like. Dirty, loud, often smelly, adventurous, daring, reckless, noisy, adorable and sweet. Man, are they sweet. Most of the time. I just know in my heart that I was meant to be the mother of these boys. The outrageous joy they bring to my life every day can’t be put into words.
A few of their favorites that aren’t on this list: Eating, eating dirt, eating things off the floor, eating food off each other’s plates, trading their fruits and vegetables with each other, cars, trains, trucks, dump trucks, chasing each other with trucks, anything with wheels, blowing raspberries at each other and eating some more.
Leapfrog Tag Junior or Magnetic Fridge Toys – We love just about anything made by Leapfrog in our house, but these are the two things that have been the most well-loved. We gave the Tag Junior to our oldest son when he was about 21 months old, on the day our youngest was born. He loved to read anyway, but this put the power in his hands. Plus, it was fantastic to have on hand during long car trips. We have since passed it down to our youngest and our oldest son is getting the Tag Reading System for Christmas.
The fridge toys are just amazing. I have no idea why our kids love them so much, but both of them are enthralled. We have both the farm fridge toy and the alphabet fridge toy. I can barely see the front of our fridge, but it’s worth it. These have been great to keep them entertained while I’m making dinner. My oldest son spells out magnificently long words using every letter in the alphabet with the magnets. Combine these boys with the Letter Factory DVD and my kids are going to be running the world pretty soon.
Highlights High Five magazine – I’ve posted before about this magazine and how much my kids love it. We received a subscription as a gift last Christmas and it has been one of the most amazing gifts we’ve ever received. The minute it comes in the mail, our oldest son sits down and devours it cover to cover. He loves to read it with Dad before bed and thinks the “Find the Silly Things” activity is just about the funniest thing that has ever been invented. This would make such a fun gift idea for your kids, grandkids or somebody else’s kids. Especially for those people who have toys taking over their house, this makes a wonderful (and educational) change.
Strider Balance Bike -I can not tell you enough how much my son loves this bike. We got it for him last Christmas and he really started riding it around March or April, which would have put him just a few months shy of 3. We tried and tried to find a tricycle or Big Wheel that he could reach the pedals on to no avail. It took him a few months to really feel comfortable on his Strider, but he is now constantly terrifying me on a daily basis with his no-fear approach to barreling 100 mph down our driveway. His balance is amazing and I truly feel like this will make his transition to a traditional 2-wheeler super easy. Either way, he just loves this darn thing. It was the best purchase we made last year!
Sandra Boynton books - If you have never read one of these, you are definitely missing out. We received several for baby shower gifts when I was pregnant with our oldest son and they are fantastic. We have bought quite a few to add to the collection. The words are hilarious and so catchy. They are short enough to hold the interest of a rambunctious toddler, especially when you act out the parts and use crazy voices like the animals in the books. The stories are just very witty and the illustrations are so fun. Our favorites are Barnyard Dance and Moo Baa La La La.
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blaze Flashlight – I bought this on a whim when I was redeeming one of my various vouchers for Melissa & Doug toys. I think I needed a filler item to get over a certain amount. I swear, we have gotten every penny’s worth out of this thing. Every bedtime and every naptime, we use it to read stories in my son’s bedroom. We make shadow puppets on the wall with it. I’m pretty sure the batteries have lasted for 1,072 hours as it often gets left on overnight and NEVER gets hot. When my son is not quite ready to go to bed, we let him sit in bed with it and read stories to himself. Again, one of the best purchases of 2011.
Swaddle Designs Lovie blanket – I don’t think I can possibly say enough about these blankets. Both of my kids have had one since birth and they have been through the ringer. We bought our oldest a second blanket, just in case, and he now sleeps with both. I’m not even sure how he found the second one. He just sniffed it out. They are amazingly soft with two different textures, super soft and fuzzy on one side and satin on the other. My kids don’t sleep well without them. They are fairly small, perfect for little hands and just so soft. Disclaimer: They do lose a little softness after 3,278 washes.
We are so lucky to be partnering with Swaddle Designs to give you the chance to win the Swaddle Duo receiving/swaddling blankets!
Thanks for letting me share some of my favorite things! I’d love to hear what your favorites are or if you have tried any of mine.
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