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Reheated-coffee-reading.

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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.

Our Toddler Girl Holiday Gift Ideas

Our Toddler Girl Holiday Gift Ideas

I had fallen out of the whole “Gift Guide” hype, and then I sort of realized I kind of like looking at them around this time of year! Puts me in the spirit and sparks ideas. Even though I am more than DONE, like over-done, shopping for my two girlies, thought it would be fun to sort of bookmark a few holiday gift ideas here in this space,by way of a toddler gift guide for girls in the age range of three to five.

Some of these things we already own and just sharing with you what they have really been into the last couple of months and heading into the new year. Let’s just say it has been extremely EASY to spoil them at these stages, kindie and pre-k, when they are truly INTO EVERYTHING and anything, and all over the place with interests and play. I have a confession: we really haven’t let go or parted with many toys just yet, except for the TRUE baby stage rattles and toys and even then when I pull those out for a younger babe who comes over to visit it’s like Christmas morning for them all over again. I have donated a few things that were in the way, or maybe an extra stuffed animal or two, maybe duplicates, but for the most part, we still have most all of their toys that they have been gifted over the last couple of years, because they PLAY with all of it!

One of the things I LOVE as a mama is watching and listening to my children play. Just play. The way Arlo shrieks and shouts as if every scenario in her role play is a catastrophe, someone about to fall off a cliff or drown, always a crisis, or how Remy comes home from school, lines up every single stuffed animal she owns and plays teacher to them and explains how to say things and shares the weather. I just LIVE for this part of parenting.

I was always into playing with toys myself growing up, and even still have so many of my Barbie things and dolls, but alot of my toy stash was sadly just LOST after I moved away as a young adult. I scour Ebay just looking and day dreaming about my childhood, and sometimes, I click BID or BUY now if it happens that it might be something that my girls might be into. Last year it was the vintage Belle doll and an Animal Loving Barbie, but I don’t think they were as big of a HIT as I had thought they would be. I was sure of it! They BEGGED to play with my old Barbies, these same two, and I tracked down identical copies of them, but it turns out, they were more interested in playing with MINE.

I am very lucky to have TWO kiddos who love to PLAY. In fact, if they don’t get enough time at home to play and be in their own worlds with their things, it shows in their moods. They CRAVE that home time to just act out scenarios, play, learn. When we get home on a typical day, they come in, wash hands, and retire to their own rooms and they don’t come out most days until lunch. They play remarkably well independently, and together. If things get testy between the two over play I usually tell them to take a break from each other. They drift in and out of solo and partner play pretty well.

Another thing I want to mention is how having ALL the toys still and having them all OUT and accessible, in different rooms and areas, encourages them to do and play with what they want. For a while I had tucked away the dress-up up gowns, reserving them for Halloween, fearing they would be the type to want to wear them in public or to school, but then around October of this year I left them out on a low rolling rack their height in their play room. Is it annoying to hang them up, every day? YES, but have they worn them, a couple times. More importantly they are there and available if they WANT to, and you know what, when I made them visible, they stopped asking me about them! Also, if you have bins for blocks, and cubbies with puzzles, and baskets with snap-on-dress-up dolls, and trays of magnetic dolls, and just have it all there, it is fun to see the creativity and how they MIX and interact with different things all at once. Not being strict and tidy, overly organized gives room for their mind to go wild. In our experience.

Here’s a thoughtful gift guide I out together, with my girls in mind. Maybe it might be helpful to some of you! I just finished wrapping everything I have for them and it’s all under the tree, of course it was SO FUN rounding up NEW and fresh ideas and now I have a cart full of ideas… for birthdays or next big celebrations and events for future.

Of course, Santa Clause hasn’t even made his grand appearance yet, so there’s all of that magic and anticipation building around here! Today Remy drew a picture of a large candy cane, presents, the moon and Santa and Rudolph! SO CUTE! And yesterday, before I headed out to the grocery store, the two girls both saw me wrapping a cousin’s gift and they were felt compelled, caught the gifting bug, and dashed off to their rooms to pick out something of their own to wrap and gift the other. MELT! Arlo asked for pieces of tape, and more tape, and some more, oh, wait, two more pieces….while Remy used Kleenex and hair clips to conceal her gift. I have INCREDIBLE memories of this time of year and wanting to GIFT someone something so badly. As a child, the best way to fill yourself up with those feelings of being generous is to walk around your house and wrap up things that you know your family members will love, like things that already belong to them! THIS is making me so happy when I see my girls naturally running around the house as I wrap, doing just this.

Another thing making ALL OF US happy, well, maybe not Baba as much, is watching the 1993 version of The Nutcracker with the New York City Ballet and Macaulay Culkin. We found it on Netflix last week and have watched it possibly everyday, parts of it certainly, since. I watch them dance in front of the television, acting out Clara, and it is SUCH A WONDERFUL THING!

We are so very blessed and fortunate in a million ways, and able to do so much for our children. These are ALL great ideas for donations and families in need with kiddos in this age group. Hoping to continue our little tradition of picking a name off the Macy’s tree this year and fulfilling a couple wishes with my girls. Also, feel free to share any ideas you have or things your kiddos love in the comments - always interested in discovering new ideas and interests!

Oh and it was really fun for me to revisit some of these past Gift Guides I made for the girls, and they still apply! So if you need ideas for Baby’s First Christmas, gotcha, or, Gift Ideas for One Year Olds, here you are! Right this way if you are like me and feel that when they are under three, every six months feels TOTALLY different, I have a Christmas Gift Guide for Eighteen Months! Also found our Gift Guide for Two Year Olds! Realizing now that, hey, I STILL want some of these things or wished we had!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

…Glo

From left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Feed the Kitty Game by Gamewright- My girls love this game! So do I! Easy, short, and simple to figure out! Great for age 3-5 as an intro game.

  2. L.O.L Surprise Doll- Am I going to regret this one? They both asked for one. I don’t really want to get into another collection miniatures set, but they have pretty much decided their favorites thus far, so I thought why not gift them one for fun. They didn’t really latch onto Hatchimals or some other things. Just fun! I am curious too. Hoping the ONE is good to settle the curiosity of it all.

  3. Illuminated Globe- This one is GORGEOUS and way out of reach for us, but a GLOBE, is something needed that I really want to invest and find for our home.

  4. Crayola Pastels- The girls were gifted an art set around May and then over the summer and then Remy has used them in school and they have become an art medium of choice lately. MESSY, but, sigh, they love them. This Crayola set has a ton of colors, AND a paper wrapper at least.

  5. White Elfa Kids’ Mesh Coloring Table- LOVE this! Anyone else keep getting this as a sponsored ad on Insta? Just me? Well, I finally looked it up tonight- holy cow it is pricey- but seems functional and just what we are in the market for. Maybe I can find a HACK online.

  6. Calico Critter Country Tree School- Remy LOVES her critters, and she LOVES playing school! This combines BOTH!

  7. Emoji Days of the Week Undies- Remy just grew out of this set and I think she is secretly devastated. I suggested letting them go and she said she was going to hang onto them. Maybe I can find her the size up! Arlo LOVES these too!

  8. Magnetic Alphabet- The girls have MANY letters, and I have drifted in and out of having them out. A whole lot of alphabet soup was going on and a ton of confetti action with them, more than actually USING them- UNTIL NOW! I just pulled them out again to work with Remy and I think they are new again, and she is interacting with them differently. I like this set by Melissa and Doug because they are soft, won’t scratch a refrigerator, and easy to pick up for little hands, and they don’t hurt if you step on them! Get a set that has UPPER and LWER case letters, and NUMBERS.

  9. Splish Splash by Gamewright Game- SO FUN! I saw this at Target about a month ago, but this looks like a fun one! GREAT for their ages/stages.

  10. Liberty Imports Ice Cream Store- HOW fun does this look?! My girls LOVE their cash register AND playing ice cream shop, so this little set has BOTH! You could also look for the items separately if you wanted a certain cash register design or ice cream set based on aesthetics, but this one was a good combo at an affordable price.

  11. Sprogs Felt Storyboards- Arlo is REALLY into these lately! One of those things I just had out…We had received them as a birthday gift- THANK YOU- and they are just now getting into these. She actually has another brand of these fairy tales and she really wants the Peter Pan story, but they only come in sets of FOUR, and I guess we were only gifted two sets. HELP!

  12. Melissa & Doug Wooden Brew & Serve Coffee Set- We LOVE this! The girls know how much coffee I drink around here! Arlo will occasionally run upstairs while I am getting ready and have a cup for me! Haha! I keep it on the kitchen counter and the other night at dinner, Arlo hopped up and said, “Hold on!” She ran around the table, grabbed the two cups and brought one for Remy and herself. SO. CUTE.

  13. DreamWorks Trolls Holiday Caterbus- DARLING! I saw this at Ross over Thanksgiving break and I should have got it! They are mini trolls with holiday sparkles and accents and I KNOW Arlo would SQUEAL over these! She STILL plays with her trolls and loves them….

  14. LEGO Duplo My Town Family House Set- My girls really do love building with these! We have a few smaller LEGOS as well, but these chunkier ones are just better, imo. They have one mat, and that’s all they need to go wild. They love to design and build me parks or neighborhoods and then they race upstairs to surprise me. We were always gifted these sets when they were really young, and they STILL enjoy these,

  15. Barbie The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Doll- Just discovered these dolls! Would love to see the film! Arlo requested a Barbie, and she is currently VERY into Nutcracker, so this hits on both! Maybe I can find a vintage one on eBay.

  16. Bunk Bed Set with Dolls- Lo saw this at Home Goods the other day and she LOVED this little things o much I HAD to get it. It’s about the size of the Barbie Kelly dolls, so it can go in the Barbie house if she wants. What is with little kids and bunk beds?! Cute set and it was like $10.

Gingerbread Cookie Girls

Gingerbread Cookie Girls

Tree Time!

Tree Time!