LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG DREAMS SERIES
Ages: 4+ years
About: With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world.
Mom’s two-cents: “I’ve loved giving the Little People, Big Dreams book series! Each one covers a remarkable female in history”
Other book titles worth a second glance:
“AB to Jay-Z: A Hip-Hop Inspired ABC”
When you think of the holidays and gifts for kids, I’m sure plastic toys are the first thing to come to mind! Buying a gift for a house already full of toys and clothes and baby accessories and pacifiers can sometimes cause anxiety. You don’t want to gift a piece of clutter!
Here are some tried and true kid favorites, as told by mom!
MELISSA & DOUG TOYS
Ages: Newborn to 8 years
Price Range: $10-$75
About: Melissa & Doug’s mission is simple: Provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose.
Mom’s two cents: Melissa & Doug makes a lot of our favorites!
SKIP HOP EXPLORE AND MORE – 3 STAGE ACTIVITY CENTER
Ages: 4 months to 12 months
About: Designed in collaboration with a pediatrician, our baby activity center supports a “whole body” approach to play and learning. Easy to assemble, with toys that can be positioned anywhere for baby, it features a 360-degree rotating seat that turns and stretches for bouncing. As baby grows, our activity center converts for easy cruising-ultimately becoming a clean, sturdy table for coloring, playing and more.
Mom’s two cents: This activity center is really great! I love that it has neutral colors so it doesn’t look terrible in my living room. I’m pretty sure my son started using it around 6 months and he STILL loves it at 19 months. It turns into a table so it can be used for a very long time.
SMALL WORLD TOYS IQ BABY – STACK O’ FUN CUPS
Ages: 9 months and up!
What: Young ones stack colorful transparent cups placing on the sturdy platform then drop 4 balls (1 flashes!) down the chute. The balls drop from one stacked cup to the next until hitting bottom where a silly sounds, flashing lights, and melodies surprise and delight! (batteries not included!)
Mom’s two cents: This is a favorite at the library…plan on getting it this year! Otherwise, Nora loves her play kitchen, plays with it every day and can use for years. She’s also really into her dollhouse… we have an ikea one but there are zillions! Oh, and puzzles! I love gifting name puzzles!
B. Toys Meowsic Keyboard
Ages: 2+ years
What: Get your budding musician a fun setup with the Meowsic Keyboard from B. toys. This cat-shaped keyboard has plenty of options for play so your little virtuoso can switch between piano, meow, banjo or organ sounds. If they feel like adding in some vocals, an attached microphone will amplify their voice for a complete musical play experience.
Mom’s two cents: Matt (my husband) is a huge fan of anything with less than 3 pieces for easy clean-up! ? My two boys never get tired of this dang cat piano. We’ve also gotten a lot of mileage out of a doctor’s kit, vet clinic kit, broom/mop set, oh and Magnatiles!!
Ages: 3+ years
About: Award-winning construction kit. Builds spatial skills, engineering principles (prototyping), and confidence in problem solving.
Aunt’s Two Cents: Obsessed with Goldieblox right now for my nieces. Definitely on the older end but some start at 3+. Just got the movie machine for my niece that loves to draw because she can BUILD the machine and learn the mechanisms like a little engineer, AND she can draw her own movies on an app and print them. This company has a lot of options to really get little girls’ brains going and have fun!!
Highlights Magazine: The Highlights motto is Fun with a Purpose™. In every 40-page issue, kids explore new topics, investigate fascinating subjects and find out about the world. A Highlights magazine subscription for kids will bring them 12 months filled with stories, games, puzzles, riddles, science experiments, craft projects and activities that are as entertaining as they are educational.
Ages: 5+ years
Aunt’s two cents: Go for a magazine subscription! It’s the gift that keeps giving!
Membership: Zoo memberships are usually for two adults and 2-4 kids. They come with unlimited visits, membership perks, early access to special exhibits AND MORE! These are great family gifts that are invaluable for sharing experiences together as a family! Also check out local museums, aquariums or theaters for membership options!
Ages: All ages!
Price: Ranges from $150-300 for a year membership! Usually there are great discounts and deals available year round!