I’ve been totally overwhelmed by Christmas marketing this year. (Ironic, coming from a marketer, I know.) One second every toy I see seems like the perfect gift idea, then I get distracted by something else and completely forget about the must-have item. Then I think, my kids don’t really need anything anyway (which is true, but tell that to Santa).
So, even though I’m really focusing on getting caught up in the spirit of the season and not the shopping lists, I thought it would be fun to share my kids’ favorite toys (yes, they are boy-ish boys!). Of course my hope is that you’ll share yours too (in the comments), and we can inspire each other to get a few great toys/books/etc. our kids will really enjoy, rather than a bunch of stuff kiddie actors get paid to make look irresistible on TV.
As many of my friends know, my favorite place to get baby gifts is on FlyingPeas.com. It was started just in time for Big’s arrival by a fun, hip mom I’m lucky enough to know, Terra, who’s tracked down the coolest threads, accessories and toys out there. My favorite items are personalized onesies like these: name onesies, DIY onesies and movie production onesies. She also carries Sophie (who seriously has magical powers over young children) and the wonderous Elf on the Shelf (who started making sure our kids were all nice and no naughty last year…Big can’t wait for the Elf to return!).
New moms and dads shouldn’t be left out either. I know there are lots of great name necklaces out there, but the detail and styling on the one Lenny got me at FlyingPeas gets me all kinds of compliments (and who doesn’t love having a chance to brag about the kiddos?). Holding a spitting up baby is much cooler when dad’s rocking this football burp cloth.
NOTE: While you’ll want to “Like” the FlyingPeas FB page anyway, you’ll see they’re advertising 20% off your order today (Friday) using coupon code THANKS20 and 10% off your order this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) using coupon code THANKS10. Thanks Terra!
Our playroom can often look like Geoffry the Giraffe threw up in there. We have more than enough (until I can get myself to our local shelter to share the goods), but there are a few tried and true favorites in our house.
Vtech KidiJamz DJ Table– Both of my boys LOVE this and their friends do too. They can mix their own music, sing along, record it and carry it around with them on the removable player. The mom-friendly ear phones make this one of my favorite toys too!
Firehouse from Land of Nod– I love that wooden toys like this leave the work to my kids’ imaginations. No bells and whistles, but a lot of creative, quiet play. NOTE: Land of Nod is offering free shipping until Monday with coupon code FROSTY.
Bruder trucks– Santa brought the recycling truck last year, Grandma and Grandpa gave Big the tow truck for his birthday and the DHL truck is at the top of this year’s list. We got a catalog at the toy store about 6 months ago and Big sleeps with it every night just hoping that Santa will work his magic and keep ’em coming. They’re great quality and have provided hours and hours of entertainment in our house.
Leapfrog Tag– Since Big gave up naps last year, I thought the Tag would give me some afternoon quiet time. It hasn’t quite worked that way, but he does enjoy it (and Little has the Junior). It’s been great for learning sounds, sight words and creating a sense of independence/confidence when it comes to reading.
Soccer Guys– My boys can’t get enough of sports—even when it comes to downtime. Big loves setting up the field, cheering on his guys and, yes, he even sleeps with the little plastic guys.
Magna-tiles– We don’t have these, but they’re at the top of my list this year. Our preschool and our friends seem to think these are well worth the investment.
And if you find that no matter how many stores and websites you wander, you’re still coming up short (or you have a husband who’s incredibly hard to shop for), check out You + Me. I met one of the owners, Elisabeth, at BlogHer and I thought this was such a cool concept. You give them a gift-giving challenge and they’ll come back to you with creative ideas. I might be trying this out this year…
What are your kids’ favorites? (Or your biggest purchase regrets?) Fun ideas for other family members? Friends? Hostess gifts? Share any great ideas you’re willing to…I’ll be looking forward to them.