Monday, November 26, 2012

"Wish List"

As I mentioned in my last toy post, The Bean's play has become a lot more imaginative/creative over the course of the past year and I can only assume that trend will continue.  This year we are trying to focus a lot of our gift-buying and wish-listing on toys that encourage this.  I feel that these types of toys tend to grow with the child. They can be used in a wider variety of situations and offer a variety of possibilities for play.

The "big" gift from us this year will be a train/block table.  He already has a tupperware of duplo, so we probably won't add to that, but a few new engines or some tracks might make it under the tree. 

Since he's very into vehicles right now, he'll also be getting a ramp/garage thing for his Matchbox cars and Wheelies.

In addition to that, there will be quite a few musical (percussion) instruments.  The Bean LOVES music, and almost every kid I know loves banging on blocks with a mallet, so we picked out a variety.  A harmonica might have snuck it's way in there too.  We'll see how long that lasts before Mama and Mommy have to hide it away. 

In line with the muscial theme, there will be a pack of movement scarves.  The Bean's little cousin will be getting some of these too.  They're great for dancing with, but also peek-a-boo, dress up and creating landscapes for pretend play with figures. 
My sister was also saying how much her little guy enjoys textures, so some textured bean bags will make it under the tree for The Bean as well as his cousin. 

Some early games as well as two-piece puzzles are on the list, though it may be a while before The Bean shows an interest in these.  That's okay, with the majority of the gift-giving (Christmas and birthday) happening all around the same time, it's nice to have some things tucked away in the closet for a few months down the road. 

We're hoping that The Bean's art supplies will also get beefed up a little bit.  Some rolling pins for play dough.  Finger paints and water colours.  Maybe some stamps with a washable ink pad. 

There will also be a few puppets, some animal figures, and potentially some dress-up clothes for pretend play. 

Oh, and I almost forgot, a kid's digital camera.  It seems pretty fun and hopefully will keep his focus off of grabbing ours. ;)

If money and space were not considerations, I'd be inclined to put a nice wooden barn or dollhouse on his Christmas list, but I think we'll hold back on those ones until Sprout is bigger and we're able to unload some of the baby toys.  We did put a curvy board (from Etsy) on his wishlist, but it's a pretty big-ticket item, so I don't know whether he'll get it or not.   

...and, of course, some new books.

What will be under the tree for your little one(s) this year?

Also, for those that celebrate Christmas, does Santa bring ALL the gifts?  If not, how do you decide what comes from you and what comes from him?


  1. At our house Santa brings 3 or 4 things plus their stockings. He brings one big gift and a few smaller ones. (Example, this year Ian is getting a "real" drum set plus a few action figures, a costume, and toy guitar from Santa.) He brings the gifts they want the most, and we give a few more. We're cutting back on what we're giving this year as we've really gone overboard the last couple of years. (It's way too much fun buying stuff for them!)

    Your gifts sound great. Things like train tables, musical instruments and dollhouses do last for years, especially when you have another little one coming along. Erik will still play with things like the car ramps sometimes.

    From Santa, Erik is getting two Lego sets (one big and one small; third year in a row for Lego - another toy that holds their interest for a long time), a specific Beyblade he really wants, and a game for his DS.

  2. I posted on my blog the list of items. The big kids are easy. With Quinn who is just a bit younger than the Bean, we have an American Girl Itty Bitty Twin who looks like him, a Mater shake 'n go truck, a little monster truck (he loves cars/trucks), a fisher-price little people garbage truck and 4 First Nations children's books. We tried to limit the amount for him as we have a ton of toddler related toys already. Our kids' birthdays are not too far from Christmas either so we'll be overloaded with stuff after Christmas too. :P

    The older kids have a mix of items. For instance...

    Jackson: Hulk mask, Darth Vadar mask, a Transformer, Hot Wheels track for the wall, crazy carpet sled, Hexbug nano inch worm, remote control dragon, Captain Underpants collection of stories, PlayMobil pirates

    Riley: Hexbug nano inch worm, remote control spider, Monster High doll, Novi Star doll, some princess Polly Pocket dolls, Rainbow Fairy books (early novel style), First Nations history book for kids, clothes for her American Girl dolls (including a cool Pow Wow dress), Jack-in-the-Box, stuffed penguin

    As you can see...a lot of stuff.

    My wife grew up with all gifts from Santa and I grew up with a mix of some from Santa and some from my parents. This makes it easy when they might know of something you purchased (i.e. the big kids know we bought Quinn the doll) and if you are giving the exact same thign to a cousin. We usually let the awesome gifts be from Santa--the things they REALLY wanted. He brings the most. All practical gifts like clothing would be us. It just depends. When they're older and they ask for specific things from Santa, he'll bring them not us.

  3. We are trying not to get Juju too much but you know how that goes! She is getting a learning tower from my parents and a fold out sofa sleeper (p'kolino, holy moly is that thing cute) from C's parents. We got her a big floor pillow shaped like a cat. It's hideous but I know she'll love it. Her room has laminate floors and no rug so it can live in there. We also got her a pound and roll ball toy, a couple of puzzles, and some animal magnets. Hopefully that will be it! She is pretty spoiled.

    I love the idea of the train table, especially if it can serve other purposes for you too. Our house is short of space also (not that you'd know it from the humungo gifts Juju is getting!) so I get trying to keep things minimal. I am sure the Bean will love love Christmas, and may be able to understand and anticipate some too!

  4. Around here Santa brings ONE gift and we try and make it the gift we "think" Little Monster will be the most excited about. This is the first year that he has really grasped the asking Santa for something process and when we visit Santa this weekend I am almost certain he is going to ask for a bike, only because when he sees one in the store he tells us "Bike! From Santa!" I guess we will find out if he remembers that bike when actually sitting on the big guy's lap. We decided early on that we did not want to encourage the idea that he can ask Santa for numerous things and expect them because, I mean it is Santa and he has lots of children in the world to give to ;)

    All on your list looks great. The Bean is a lucky little guy! I am of course happy to see some trains might be making their way under the tree :) LM is getting a Thomas table for his birthday...but shhhhh it is a surprise!

  5. As you already know, the girls are getting a play kitchen. They head straight to it whenever we go to various play centres in the area. Given that our house also has limited space, there won't be a ton of other toys. I did find Teagan a fantastic piece of art on Etsy recently so I'll have that framed for her. We will probably also get them some small things - books, clothing. They still won't "get" Christmas and will most likely be far more interested in their play kitchen, which will already be set up :)