Jen's Official Holiday Gift Guide-KID Edition

Boy or Girl, makes no difference for this post. I'm all for the end of the once taboo and gender stereotypical tides of Christmas past. Here, everyone wins!

This year, Mr. B and I have some great, big plans for those boys of ours. This is the age of pretend play and dress-up and magical moments. Tis also the age of trains and cars apparently, though something tells me those fascinations will never cease.
Every year, we aim to get at least one gift in each category: Educational, Musical, Reading, Super Fun. Educational would be learning toys-things that make them think. The Music category is instruments. Reading- that's the obvious one. Finally, Super Fun. These are typically the big ticket items. Pricier, flashier, "wow" factor. The list I've compiled today is a lot of what we're getting them for the big day and what I think would be awesome for any kid, any day. Here goes!
1.) Educational
A lot of the toys on this guide are Melissa & Doug and B. brand Toys. I really love the quality and can wholeheartedly stand behind them. I've been eyeing that musical world globe for quite some time. I think it'd be a fun way to teach the boys about different countries and show them how big the world really is. The shape sorting clock would be a dual purpose toy. Landon could learn time and understand numbers better while Ryland could focus on fitting the shapes into the appropriate places. That's a win both ways! We're getting the cash register with another item that will be featured later in this list. But I think it's great to teach him about money now. He kind of gets the idea-"Mom, you have money for me?" ha! The wooden see and spell flash cards are great because we're in the midst of learning the alphabet and how things are spelled and written. Finally, that last spin and farm animal sound would be great for Ryland. He LOVES to read books about farm animals and have me make all the sounds. 
2.) Musical
We got the dog guitar last year for Christmas and it's honestly the toy that's gotten the most play over the course of the year. Both boys love to rock out on it and it's really sturdy and good quality. Not to mention, the batteries last forever. (always a good thing with kid's toys, am i right?) The band in a box is actually something I'm looking into getting the boys this time around. They're big into jamming out with pots and pans and the like, but now a lot of my spatulas and big spoons are missing and some of my smaller pots are dinged. (they really get into it!) A set like this may be just what they need to properly rock out. The last one-the step piano? Isn't it awesome?! I looked into the FAO Schwartz piano that was in the movie "Big," but it's a little over a hundred bucks! Not really what I'm looking to spend in the Music department this year.
3.) Reading
I buy the boys books throughout the year, but I always love to include a few new ones to open on Christmas day too. I think it builds the fun for reading, cherishing them as other presents are cherished. We actually have 3 out of 4 of the above books. The Velveteen Rabbit and The Giving Tree are classics, so you really should have those. The Giving Tree ALWAYS makes me cry- true story. We don't have Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, but I've head a lot of good things about it and the boys love construction sites and machines, so I think it's a shoe-in. Lastly, the Llama Llama series is a fantastic one to get your kids into. Llama Llama, Red Pajama was the first one in the series that we ever got and Landon used to have me read it to him every night for months. Then, I found Time to Share, Mad at Mama and Holiday Drama at the library and he has me switch it up when I read to him during the day and sometimes before bed still. He loves the series and I do too. Win-Win!

The boys are getting this kitchen along with the pots, pans and food accessories. Most of my links for Melissa & Doug are through Amazon, because I've found they're typically cheaper than on the M&D website or any other site for that matter.

I looked into this KidKraft kitchen below. It has a lot more to it, but I thought a simpler setup might be better for our playroom. Also, the M&D above is a little cheaper and since we also purchased a train table, it just fit our budget better. But both are super cute!


The boys love to pretend they're cowboys and construction workers, etc. The costume set pictured above is just one of many that you can put together for your little one. I have to be honest-I love the costumes and they seem to get good reviews, but they are a bit pricey per 3-pack. We're currently looking into some slightly cheaper alternatives. Can you make costumes? Email me! ;) 
Other fun ideas-tool bench, teepee and my favorite: the puppet stand! How fun is that??! I actually hadn't seen this before, so it's not in the Christmas 2013 Plan, but maybe for next year. I love that you can get all the different animal puppets too and really get into it. The RV tent is super adorable and great for the kids that love to pretend like they're camping. 
Last, but not least-behold! The Imaginarium Train Table. The boys, especially Landon, are going to LOVE it! I can't wait for him to unwrap it, so we can put it together and make the downstairs playroom an actual playroom. 
What's on your Christmas list for the kids? For yourself? Any suggestions for other parents on great toys? Let me hear it in the comments!





Jen B.

Writer of: Defining My Happy


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