HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: BEST PICKS FOR KIDS

Holiday Shopping for older kids is always pretty straight forward and easy, but for children younger than 7 it can be tricky. At least that is what I thought before I had my now 3 year old twins.

I never knew what to buy a baby or toddler and dreaded going to the soul crushing sterile land of Babies R Us.
Honestly, I really knew nothing about babies, toddlers, or children of preschool age. I am an elementary school teacher, but the really little ones were always uncharted territory.

In hindsight, I gave awful gifts for this age. So, for this year’s Holiday Gift Guide I wanted to create a shopping list for those who were clueless like I was.

So, what was the criteria to make the list?
1. My kids had to love it.
2. It was easy to clean.
3. Other people’s kids loved the items.
4. Each gift could have a use for at least a year.

I split up gifts below by age to make it easier. Seriously with any of these you cannot go wrong!

INFANT

Okay each of these choices are baby all stars. These Jellycat bunnies are a favorite by all moms and kids. My twins still sleep with them every night. Sophie the Giraffe is perfect for any teething baby ages 3 months to a year. I never knew what the fuss was until it was the only thing that soothed my kids. Also, all other choices on here are colorful, multi- sensory, and will keep an infant busy. I have owned everything on this list and they all are lifesavers.

ONE YEAR OLD

Stacking, building, and piecing things together are an introduction to early toys that any one year old will love. At this age they are trying to figure out how things fit together. My favorite from this bunch is the Leapfrog puppy dog (also comes in green). It is interactive and teaches kids numbers, colors, songs, and has a lullaby setting to help little ones fall asleep. This is a toy that can grow with any child and lasts for year.s My children are listening to the lullaby feature now as they are napping.

AGES 2-7

This is the age of pretend! Starting at two you will notice a child’s imagination take off. This is a comprehensive list of make-believe toys that can grow with children for years.  My kids have all of these picks but one and they are used almost daily.

AGES 3 AND UP

I wanted to add items that focused on STEM and fine motor skills because at 3 these are when these concepts are really starting to develop. Kids this age love to build and create. Also, my favorite pick of this list and classic gift is the game Candyland.  Kids find the way it looks is fun and it is a great way to learn to take turns while incorporating counting.