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Reheated-coffee-reading.

Glad you found us! 

I don't ski, I don't drink craft beer and I don't have a dog, but by golly I am a real Colorado native girl.  So now you can still believe in unicorns!  Here's my ode to motherhood, you know because all of us bloggers write like we were the first, only and last mama out there.

Gift Ideas for One Year Olds

Gift Ideas for One Year Olds

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Holiday gift guide right this way>>> I love a good gift guide, guys!

This holiday gift guide is for the "Bobbler" in your life!  Not quite a toddler, yet, too advanced to be a BABY, a Bobbler!  This stage is all about steady walking, climbing, exploring, figuring out stacking, opening and closing. starting to formulate words, mastered grasping, yet not quite jumping with two feet in the air, language most understandable by mom and still gets stuck half way off the edge of the couch...Or, we call this, one of my FAVORITE ages!  12-18 months!

What I love even more is writing, editing and compiling, PRACTICAL and REALISTIC, holiday gift guides.  I always flag the gift guide posts that come up in my e-mail box around this time of year, and when I catch one on the off chance I can flip through a magazine I love to scope out what editor's are eyeing.  Yet, in the bak of my mind I am always skeptical.  Are these gift guides REALLY what they want, or are they sponsored, paid for placements and plugs?  Most likely the latter, because if you read a few, you start to see the same gifts popping up everywhere and then a select few, not necessarily awesome things, get that marketing gold label of, "Hottest Toy of the Year!"

Anyway, I truly do love giving myself these yearly "Gift Guide" assignments and really do some research in putting these together. They take a bit of time and effort, but I hope that they are helpful to some of you out there who are struggling and really don't have a lot of time to surf the net.

First, let's nix these right off the bat, because they are a given: clothes, shoes, books, a new coat, bikes, scooters, wagons...

When thinking about gift buying during the holiday season for my kiddos, I always start a process about a month and a half or so in advance.  I think that with babies and toddlers, they CHANGE SOOOO MUCH in just a matter of weeks, it's best to map out what you want to gift them the month OF, because their interests, behaviors, even skills, change drastically.  So you want your gift to be LOVED, current, and appropriate for their skill set, but also poses a bit of a challenge to them so that they can enjoy it on Christmas morning, and well into the next few winter months indoors!  I try to really pay attention to what toys they are going to the most on a weekly basis, and with Remy, now that she is highly verbal, I ask her leading questions about her interests.

While I have only done this Christmas thing with littles, only a couple of years, it is becoming increasingly magical, suspenseful and exciting!  PURE JOY!  I can't even tell you the last time I read a gift guide "For Her!"  It's all about them, and I couldn't be happier.  I looked back at my gift guides last year, here and here, and I would even edit them now after having gone through experience of raising one baby into early toddlerhood.  What you THINK they might love, or even need, actually could turn out to be a bust or go unused and ignored.  I guess it's all a crap shoot until they are old enough to really verbalize their wishes, and then old enough to understand their reasoning for why they want what they want.  So, for babies and toddlers, gift buying could really just be what YOU want them to like or have.  Also having a two and a half year old in the house, who is starting to blossom into a tiny individual with opinions of her own, I can tell you she has been much EASIER to buy for than the baby!

Another little cog in the gift-buying-game is taking birth order into consideration.  Does the child have an older sibling?  In my case, my 15 month old has an older sis, 16 months older to be exact, so there are a lot of things she has been introduced to earlier on than say another child at this age who did not have an older sibling, or one so close in age for that matter.  This helps me tremendously in seeing what her interests are because I already have a corral of toys and objects that she plays with.  This leads me to two major points, taking inventory of things you already have.  Really take notice and pay attention to what sorts of things THEY are drawn to, genre-wise.   Secondly, this is a GREAT time to clean out and DONATE!  Are there toys that your kiddos ignore?  Sometimes they are ignored because they are hidden away and they don't see them, some are ignored because they are still too advanced, and some are ignored because they are too remedial.  Make your piles- keep, donate, save for later.  Find a great charity you are passionate about helping and GIVE these things new life and make a child so happy.  I am starting to introduce Remy to the concept of donating and giving, but she is still young to understand.  I am hoping to find a charity this season, one in which we can hopefully had deliver items to see the impact it has.  Any recommendations readers?

Perhaps I take this gift buying a little too seriously, but maybe its because we are very thoughtful and intentional with what we want to give the girls.  Sticking to a budget and/or number of gifts keeps you from getting out of control and over spending.  Again, researching WHAT you want first, will enable you to find it at the best price because you already know exactly what you are looking for.  We aren't huge Black Friday shoppers, I think that works for people who need slippers or large screen televisions, but maybe I am wrong, I just never see anything I need or want on sale at these things.  I personally think the hype gets people scared and into a frantic that they must buy it now or it will be gone forever, but the truth is, again, if you are proactive and already have an idea of what gifts you need to buy, then you don't fall into that trap so easily.  I had a few things in mind before Black Friday and Cyber Monday and they weren't on sale anywhere.  You also need to factor in WHERE to get it, I always try to shop locally if I can, and then WHEN becomes an issue because of shipping... Oy vey!  I think I mentioned this last year, but I am one of those people you might find CRAZY, who likes to be out really close to Christmas.  I just love the spirit and feelings of shopping and gathering so close to the big day.  Such an energy!

I haven't even STARTED shopping for Arlo yet, except one of these cuties, but we have a pretty good idea of exactly what we will end up getting her.  One thing is for sure, something Minnie Mouse!  Casualties of being a little sister, exposure earlier to cartoons, hence the recognition of who that famous mouse even is, at just 15 months.  She is also really into STACKING toys!  Interesting, because Remy didn't really get into them at this age, and still isn't really into it.  Arlo LOVES pushing strollers, so does Remy, and she LOVED these walker toys before, and AFTER, she started walking (right around 12 months).  She is really into pushing toys around the floor too.  She is really into books, like her big sister, and fresh board books and flap books are already bought!

With that little intro on what MY 15 month is into these days, here are a few things I dug up around the internet that I think she would really like, and I think her 2.5 year old sister would like some of these too!  Toy sharing is one HUGE plus in having them so close together!

As you can see, a box of Playtex tampons, a plastic basket from the Dollar Store, or a giant pine cone (free if you can find one in a park), would make great gifts as well!  Add momma's glass candle holders, plastic grocery bags in a drawer, stickers, hairspray bottles, and momma's magazines to that list.

Here you go!

...Glo

P.S. You can also see the birthday gift guides to get more ideas for one year olds and two year olds.

12-18 Christmas Gift Guide
12-18 Christmas Gift Guide

From left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Boppin' Activity Bugs- $15- I have been wanting to get Arlo one of these activity toys for a couple months.  I saw an older version at the thrift store a couple months back, but it was a little beat up.  Great for teaching gross motor skills of turning a key, pulling a lever, pushing a button, etc.  Surprisingly Remy never had one.
  2. Dress Up Minne Mouse Plush- $25- So sweet! Here's our Minnie Doll perhaps!  I like this one because it has the element of teaching how to button, zip and buckle.  We bought Remy this Dress Up Kitty by Alex toys her first Christmas in New York at FAO Schwartz, and it is one of her favorite toys to this day.
  3. Froggy Bulldozer Toy by Melissa & Doug- $15- A truck to scoop sand on warm days or blocks on chilly days, AND it has the push bar feature so it is good for little chubby hands.  I really love Melissa & Doug toys!  You can find them at Kohl's and even consignment shops like Kid to Kid, brand new in packaging.
  4. Tobbles Neo at Fat Brain Toys- $27- I JUST discovered this website for toys and games and I am HOOKED!  I did a search on stimulating games and toys for intelligent toddlers and it brought me here.  Weird search, but I am convinced Remy is BORED and needs more engaging and stimulating play objects like puzzles and beginner games.  Anyway, this fits Arlo's stacking fix, but they are a little different and challenging.  Bonus, they would look cool out in your living room.
  5. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Crawl Around Car- $40- Brilliant!  See that photo of Arlo in that famous red car for the yard, well, with all this cold, and snow, and cold, we can't be outside like we used to, but this little play car seems fun and perfect for indoors!  I think Remy would love it too!  A door to go in and out and a steering wheel?!  I might have to put two in my cart!
  6. Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone-$27- YES!  Gotta love the durable, quality brand, Hape.  This fits our need for something instrumental AND, able to bang on!  Arlo is showing signs of being our budding dancer, she LOVES this dance mat she got from her first birthday, so music and dance are definitely making the list.
  7. Grimm's Elements of Nature Nesting Blocks "Earth" on Oompa- $35- LOVE all of the Grimm's nesting block toys.  They are beautiful, AND educational, again, they'd look gorgeous out on your shelves.  I am all about incorporating the toys into my decor rather than hiding them all away.  We are in this incredible  time of our life together, why hide it?  Anyway, I had seen the Rainbow version many times before, on Instagram and in magazines, but I came across this cool site called Oompa- really a beautiful curated shop.
  8. Crayola- My First Crayons- Palm Grip Crayons- $6- Coloring!  YUP!  She is already grabbing crayons!  Before they were all in the mouth, but within the last few weeks she is making them onto the paper and scribbling already!  She is finally trying to catch up to Remy in the art department.  Makes my life a little easier now that they can BOTH handle crayons, well, most of the time!  This would make a great stocking stuffer!
  9. Little Tikes Bath Drums- $10- Hip, hip HOORAY for a bath toy that HOPEFULLY won't be used as a drinking mechanism for the bath water.   Bath squirties?!  Cups?!  I have a love/hate relationship with bath toys...I go through spurts of taking them all away, and then giving them all back.  I am hoping to collect and find a few that don't promote drinking the water.  And they can make noise! Win, win!
  10. Wigglefants Wooden Stacking Game by Haba- $30- Incredible!  Last, you just can't have a baby/toddler gift guide without Haba!  I LOVE this one because it adds the element of "game," to stacking.  A little bit advanced for her now, but something she AND her sister can do together.

Editor's note: I have all of these linked to a site where you can purchase the item, but the sites I have linked are not affiliated in anyway or paid for.  Also, these items may be found on other sites for a lesser value than listed.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Frosty Thanksgiving & Family Photos

Frosty Thanksgiving & Family Photos