Tuesday, 2 April 2013

gifts for toddlers... some ideas

we're celebrating a lot of special little toddlers around here ♥

two of lucy's best friends had their second birthdays this past weekend... lucy has hers in april... and then there's all of our 'prenatal friends' (i still call them my 'prenatal friends' as six of us couples met for the first time while taking prenatal classes through our midwives' clinic... we've kept contact and it's pretty amazing that our kids are growing up together ♥)

gift-giving is very important to me as i see it as a 'love language'... have you read 'the five love languages'? it's a great read about how to express love in different ways... have you thought of that before: you and your spouse may have different perspectives of how to show love to one another... (i'm also reading 'the 5 love languages of children' but really, it's very similar to the original version.) so far lucy and i share a love language of 'receiving gifts': she loves to give gifts as well as receive them... she understand what 'happy birthdays' are and delights in shopping for or making gifts for others. she has a very giving little heart and is so excited to present her gifts and watch as others open them ♥ she also gets excited to see beautifully wrapped gifts and always exclaims 'woah!' when they are for her. that's why it is really important to me to give lucy some really special gifts (such as these) and to allow her to love on her friends by giving them something special as well ♥

before having lucy, i had some good ideas of what to give toddlers as gifts... a sled (for a winter baby)... a handmade child-sized apron... a fancy water bottle... things that i figured would be practical and appreciated.

but occasionally i still get stumped. what do you get someone who has a big brother or sister and therefore they already have all the necessities and many of the 'wants' (i don't like the term 'must haves'... because really, we have so much more than we need... the rest are just 'wants')...

here's some my favourite gift ideas for toddlers... some can be given as early as their first birthday, others are recommended for older toddlers. these can all be purchased for both boys and girls... 

as someone who loves to give gifts, at the bottom of the post i've written a few tips for gift-giving.

simple shapes puzzles... 'janod' chunky puzzles... 'hape' chunky alphabet puzzle

'hape' doll stroller... wooden shopping cart... 'radio flyer' kids' wheelbarrow

wooden food... 100% wool felt food (or felt for someone to make the food!)... fruits and vegetables to 'cut'

costumes... wooden doctor's kit (or collect some real supplies in a case)... puppets

tips for buying gifts...

-try to plan your gifts ahead: don't wait until the morning-of to run into a store and grab something off the shelf... if you know the birthday or special holiday is coming up, start thinking about a gift well ahead of time.... do this for a few reasons: 
1) you may need to order it online or have something shipped to you... which we all know can take a while 
2) it may be sold out or out of stock if you wait until the last minute
3) if you look well ahead of time, you might find something really great on sale for a fraction of the regular price

-get together with others to purchase 'big-ticket' items such as furniture, bikes or wagons or even something really unique, custom made, or hand-made that just might be out of your price range for buying alone.

-ask the parents of the toddler for gift ideas: they know their children best and they get to decide how to raise their kids and what to expose them to. they also know:
1) what their child's interests are
2) their abilities and developmental levels
3) the size their child wears
4) what the child or family already has in their house (to avoid doubles... or triples...)
5) if they have space for bigger items
6) what could be useful or stimulating to the child

... in the end, it's the parents that will decide what 'stays' and what 'goes'... so really, it's nice to ask them what they would appreciate getting for their child.
(as a kid, i never understood why my grandparents always sent us money for outdoor clothing... now i get it. and so the tradition continues: my parents have bought lucy her winter clothes for her first two winters... and we really appreciate it ♥)

lucy is so excited to give another gift to another friend this coming weekend ♥

what have been some of your child's favourite gifts? 
has there been anything 'over-rated' that your child didn't end up using?

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