I guess it's no surprise that I have gifts on the brain at the moment. If you don't have kids or don't like toys, you might want to skip this post. I've gotten great ideas from some other bloggers out there, so I thought I'd also share some of the things we're getting this year. Hopefully I'll also get around to the *handmade* gifts!
Brynne is, not surprisingly, our focus this year. She's is a terrible 2 1/2, and I've decided I've had enough of all the cheap, plastic, battery-operated toys. This is not to say I have total control over what she gets from others, but at least our gifts (Santa's gifts) will be well made and probably even heirloom quality. She's already lucky enough to have a huge collection of the Brio Plan City toys (thanks to my mom!) - I love them for their modern look and the ability to expand ad nauseum - and her preschool teacher and I agreed that she would love a dollhouse. Since I'm very modern-minded and not into the really girly stuff, the Brio Contemporary Dollhouse seemed perfect. And, of course, there are all the various items to furnish and accessorize the dollhouse, not to mention the barn and gardening stuff!
We're pretty anti-candy in our house, so Brynne's stocking will be filled with toys from Kinder Surprise Eggs. Kinder-Eggs.com offers great deals on "toys only" if you just want the toys.
I've loved the Automoblox toy cars since they came out, but Brynne hasn't been old enough to play with them until this year. I'm thrilled that I waited because they came out with a new series this year, including the ultra-cool A9 which will be appearing under our tree. In case you aren't familiar with these, they come completely apart, and they can be re-assembled with parts from any of the other cars. So, once you have 2 or 3, you can start building your own crazy creations!
I've had a great time discovering some amazing online toy shops this year, and my favorite thus far is Zebra Hall. I was going to highlight some of my favorites from their catalog, but I just can't choose. Their site is definitely worth a look if you're in the market for unique and quality toys. One thing we did pick up from their catalog is the versatile Bilibo chair. It's affordable, versatile, and looks really fun; I've been having a tough time not opening the box and giving it to Brynne early!
I'm also currently a bit obsessed with all the wooden food toys out there. Like Oscar, Brynne is getting a set of wooden cutting food, and I'm already seeing tons more that I'd like to get... eggs, chocolate cake, hot dogs in a tin (!), etc. I'm also torn about this wooden tea and cake set... Brynne already has a tea set that she got for her second birthday, but it's pink plastic with stickers of the various Disney "princesses" on it - ugh - definitely not my taste. So, the quandary is whether or not I should replace it with one I like, given that there's a chance that the person will find out I have done so... hmmmmm.
Well, that's enough for this post. Consider this my guide to toddler gift giving this year!