I was going to put the decorations up on the porch this past weekend, but with the temperatures warm enough for sweaters without coats in the sunshine, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There’s no denying it, though – lovely unseasonal November sunshine or not, the holiday season is upon us.
I’m pleased to have good ideas for gifts for just about everyone on my list this year. The more I can get out of the way now, the less stressed I’ll be when December zips by in a blur of tree decorating and holiday gatherings. Gone are the days when I managed to do all my shopping in a single marathon trip to the mall – those were the days before kids, when I had four or six hours in a row to get everything done in one shot. In fact, I think I’ve got nearly half of my shopping done and most of that has been online. Long live the Interwebs!
Each year, I’m tasked with buying the gifts for the grown-ups in our family but it’s Beloved who buys most of the gifts for the kids. I think a big part of that is the “takes one to know one” factor. Just today Simon told me he loves the books I choose for them each year, and I always try to get them something special that’s just from me. Last year for Tristan it was “smencils”, for Simon a journal and for Lucas a hexbug.
If you have trouble coming up with ideas for gifts for kids, check out Fisher-Price’s Joy of Learning Playtime Guide. You know I have close ties with Fisher-Price, but I can honestly say that I was impressed when I took a few minutes to play with this interactive guide. You have to click on a child’s age, from one month to 5+ years, and the playtime guide will open with a few tabs specific to that age.
One tab shows, not surprisingly, some suggestions for appropriate Fisher-Price toys for that age. Remember when I blogged about the 12 elements of enrichment and the three pillars of development? Underneath each toy suggestion you’ll see the icons for the relevant element of enrichment for that toy, be it sensory or fine motor skills, listening and communication, sharing and cooperation, or any of the 12 elements.
The playtime guide doesn’t stop there, though. This is the part that I really wish I had when Tristan was wee. Click on the PlayTips and Toys tab and you’ll see a whole list of ways your child plays at this age, and another long list of ways to help your baby or child learn more as he plays. I bought entire books full of ideas on exactly this back in the day. (Which seems like about a million years ago now!)
Under the Play and Learn Activities tab and you’ll see dozens of suggestions for games and activities with detailed instructions and materials lists. And finally, under the Helpful Info tab, you’ll see links to articles and questions related to that particular age, just like you’d find in many magazines or online parenting sites.
As I said, you know I’m already biased in my affection for Fisher-Price, but I really am impressed with the wealth of information available in the Playtime Guide. And there’s even a whole separate Grandparents’ Guide!
Don’t forget, the Celebrate and Save program has great Fisher-Price printable coupons that are useable through December 31 — but you can only download the coupons until November 30. I see there’s one right now for the Eagle Talon Imaginext Castle, which I kid you not, Lucas plays with just about every day, and the fun Wheelies Loops and Swoops Amusement Park, a terrific toy for toddler siblings.
And speaking of the Wheelies Loops and Swoops Amusement Park, guess who’s review of that toy appeared in the special Fisher-Price fold out ad in the latest issue of Today’s Parent magazine?
So tell me, what have your kids put at the top of their wishlists this year?
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Play Ambassador and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are always my own.
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