* Our 2014 Holiday Toy List is here! *
Please deliver all those sparkly, neon-flashing toys with piercing chirps and elevator jingles to some other chimney this year.
Santa, please bring us smart toys that inspire our kids to build and make super cool things just because it’s really, really fun. It can be our little secret that they’re learning math, engineering, and science.
If it’s not too much trouble, can you bring us the best crayons for my budding artists? How about some quirky books that make us all laugh or remind me why Dr. Seuss still rules?
For all of you new mothers…a big round of applause for all the modern baby toys that promote fine motor skills and look stylish in your living room (I wish I knew about you sooner).
And one last thing — don’t take it personally when your kid picks shiny wrapping paper on the box it came in as their favorite new toy Christmas morning or Hanukkah night. We’ve all been there.
Remember to keep it simple and within your budget. Don’t set the bar too high. Think quality over quantity.
Here are our favorite gifts this year that are sure to delight your little elf.
~ For Babies ~
1. Lamaze Cloth Book ~ $14
I love Lamaze’s entertaining “chew-friendly” books in soft, crinkly material with large font and bright colors. They’re a little larger than most fabric books — great for clumsy baby hands and developing eyes. Machine washable too (oh yes!).
2. IKEA Mula Crane with Blocks ~ $14
A cheap thrill from IKEA: Wheels, magnets, and a construction truck — this cute wooden toy is almost as exciting as garbage day.
3. Ziggles ~ $18
From The Land of Nod, Ziggles brings hours of play and stimulation without overwhelming lights and noises. Perfect for 4+ month-olds…
4. IKEA MULA Toddle Wagon/Walker ~ $24
For your weeble who wobbles, this wagon helps develop motor skills and balance. Just enough room to store blocks and little toys too.
5. Lamaze Pippin’ the Push Along Pup ~ $24
This pup’s bone and ball are accessories that rattle and squeak, and baby will enjoy placing them in the storage bag for easy put in/take out play. This widdle puppy also has brightly colored crinkly ears and multiple textures to explore. For ages: 6 months+.
6. I See Me Personalized Books ~ $29
Give a gift that’s as unique as your little one. Beautiful stories and adorable gifts they’ll treasure for a lifetime. TRY not to cry when you read these books to your babe — it’s harrrrd (those darn onions keep burning my eyes!).
7. Otteroo Baby Floatie ~ $35
Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, people. Long used in Asia, this infant floatie is tremendous fun for babes – ask anyone who’s actually used it. Use in the tub or pool under close supervision (no, we are not encouraging parents to cast their baby off into the tub and walk away (so PLEASE don’t email me about it to protest, LOL)).
The Otteroo encourages water familiarity and promotes physical development and coordination. See it in action here. <– Is it safe?? Yes.
8. New Baby Chalkboard Wall Art ~ $39
Just one example of the many cool things you’ll find at PersonalCreations.com. This is one of my favorites and shows all the special details of your baby’s birth on this keepsake wall art.
*Personal Creations also offers customized books, dolls, chairs, bibs — you name it! You can add a name, date, message, etc.
9. Graco Doorway Jumper ~ $31
This is bouncy baby fun that won’t take up all your precious floor space. Bonus: It packs up easily for road trips to grandma’s.
10. Mamas & Papas Baby Bud Booster Seat – $79
Keep them entertained so you can cook dinner (a dream come true, no? LOL). This 3-stage seat grows with your baby and includes an interactive tray with interchangeable toy attachments. For ages 6 Months – 3 Years.
~ 12 Months +
High-quality, creative musical toy which increases dexterity, motor skills, and love of rhythm. Best of all, no batteries required.
2. Kushies Bath Mat Set ~ $19
Bath time just got more fun (and comfortable!) with these BPA-free bath toys and mat (the mat is for baby to use in the tub, just to be clear).
3. Peekawhoo Monogrammed Jellycat Dog ~ $29
Apparently, puppies are the new bunnies this year. This Jellycat dog features your child’s monogrammed initials on his cute little ear. For more adorable lovies and such, check out these ladies’ store, Peekawhoo.com.
*Get 10% off sitewide with code: CLASSIC2016
4. Pley Toys Rental Program ~ starts at $12/month
5. Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike ~ $72
From 18 Months – 3 Years, you’ll get TONS of mileage (no pun intended) out of this trike from Radio Flyer. When your babe is younger, mom can push (and steer!) from behind. Cut him loose once he figures out how to pedal by himself. This was Alice’s favorite toy.
6. KidKraft Retro Kitchen ~ $95+
What’s for dinner? Kids love these things. 🙂
The kitchen sink is removable, the doors open and close, and there’s even a cordless phone (a land line, what’s that?); hot damn!
BUILDING & MAKING:
1. Melissa & Doug Jumbo Crayon Set ~ $18
Their unique shape makes these crayons easy to hold, and they won’t roll off the table. Great carry case makes it easy for your child to put away crayons too (this is key, believe me).
2. Melissa & Doug Building Blocks ~ $25
Blocks as big as their imagination. Awesome, durable cardboard blocks that your child can stack, topple, and walk across (but mostly karate chop).
3. Plan Toys Fairy Tale Blocks ~ $26
Even my one-year-old loved stacking and rearranging these adorable blocks; my older one loves the pretty details and imaginative ways to create castles and buildings.
Big and colorful — the wheels and the gears go round and round. I put these on my fridge and my kids are entertained and somehow dinner gets cooked (hmmm).
5. Djeco Monsters Tap Tap ~ $31
Little ones can create their own monsters using colorful pieces, templates, a hammer, and cork boards. One part construction, one part make-believe: use the templates or your kid can use his/her own creativity!
6. If I Had a Hammer Workbench ~ $99
Boys (and girls!) love to hammer, saw, and build with this cute little workbench from The Land of Nod.
7. Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set ~ $119
The highest rated toy EVARRR, Magna-Tiles are open-ended opportunities to create practically any game or structure. Rocket ships, doll houses, geometric patterns… you name it, they’ll build it. You may even catch your husband building the geodesic dome he always dreamed of (who knew he flunked out of architecture school?).
SCIENCE & NATURE:
For your little scientist’s next exploration.
If your nature kid loves bugs — s/he will love this easy-to-use bug catcher tool and box. My girls can occupy themselves for HOURS with this thing (sorry bugs!)…
This is Goodnight Moon for bigger kids.
This moon has a contoured, textured surface and shows the moon cycles through 12 different phases. Remote controlled and very cool.
4. Learning Resources Doctor Kit ~ $24
Role playing is great for little imaginations. Plus, what’s more fun than giving shots to your little sister??
1. Melissa & Doug Standing Art Easel ~ $51
The perfect easel for your budding artist. Dry erase on one side, chalk on the other. This is a favorite item in my house (don’t forget to put down a tarp!).
1. Zingo! ~ $20
Early readers will love this game. Zingo helps with spelling and adding new words to vocabulary. But more importantly — it’s really fun.
2. Hungry Hungry Hippos! ~ $12
Yes, Hungry Hippos is alive and well. It’s fun for the whole family (and by that, I mean for mom and dad…).
1. Kushies My Bag Boy ~ $70+
Sleepovers at grandma’s are special for everyone. The ultimate overnight or day care bag contains everything your child will need, including a cuddly Kushies Kritter.
1. Bunzi Bike ~ $42+
For brand new riders, this is a great balance bike at a reasonable price. Start in 3-wheel mode, then switch to 2-wheel when your kid is ready. For ages 1-3.
2. Skuut Wooden Balance Bike ~ $81+
A bit more modern looking, the Skuut is the quintessential balance bike, ideal for learning, balance, steering, coordination, and independence. Ages 2-5.
Ho ho ho – that is all for now!
Also, check out:
- 2016 Holiday Gift Guide
- 2015 Holiday Gift Guide
- Best Kids Books 2016
- Best Kids Books 2015
- Best Kids Books 2014
Meg & Team at Lucie’s List