Sunday, December 22, 2013

Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Holidays

So, I'm terrible at choosing presents. Just awful. I usually get something I like and its usually completely incompatible with the receiver's interests. BUT, through trial and error, I've found some no-fail toys that delight (and keep entertained) all the little guys in my family.

Pet Vet by B. Toys
All of the Age 5 and Under crowd LOVE this toy. My sister owns this play set as well - the larger version with 6 doors. The ring of keys that fit with the color-coded corresponding doors are perfect for small, busy hands. The older and the younger guys like to put the stuffed puppy and cat in the kennel rooms before bed - only allowing them out in the morning. I like the unisex colors on this one also. We have a few of these and they haven't gone out of style so far!

Large container of dinosaurs + little boy = hours of independent play. This is always a treat when we bring these as birthday presents.

Woofer by B. Toys

I always tread lightly with noise-emitting toys but this one has pretty cool music. It also has a self shut off - super important for the little ones who wander off to other things after a while. They strum the strings and change between the different music modes so they never get bored.

Giant Tee Pee Tent by Pacific Play
This is the fancy equivalent of the always popular large appliance cardboard box. They open it, bring in toys, close it. Fight, giggle and nearly destroy it. We liked this one. Grandma even has one at her house.

Anywhere Chair by Pottery Barn
Yes, the price point is high but our children adore these chairs and we love how cute they look sitting in them to read, play or (gasp!) watch a show on TV. These are also great for siblings who don't like to share (do they ever?) - each can have their own color customized with their name. They work well in our house.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

All of the Other Reindeers...

In preparation for his holiday show, Baby D is learning all about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. They had me thinking about poor old Rudolph. for many children, he's their first experience with the concept of bullying. I know, I know, we hear the term about fifty times a day in the news.

Those plain-nosed reindeer tormented Rudolph because he was different and he only became special because Santa saw the utility in having that illuminating nose. As our firstborn, Baby D usually has no issue telling potential bullies to take a hike but I wonder how he (and his younger brother) will handle troublemakers in public school.

He has already asked us if he should hit his schoolmate back should the offender attempt to strike him again in school. Based on the fact that the little fella never hit him again, I'm pretty sure he resolved the issue to his satisfaction. And no, I won't tell you how we advised his strategy. That's privileged information.
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