Dear Santa

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As Christmas approaches, we've been spending more and more time thinking about what to get for Nora. Our parents want to know what to get her, too, so we've had to put together a list.

It's actually a little overwhelming, which sounds ridiculous when you're talking about gifts for a 1-year-old kid. But there is just SO.MUCH out there in terms of toys, books, and necessities.

As of now, here are the things that are on Nora's Christmas list:

A kiddie-sized table and chairs set. We're still shopping around for this one. We'd ideally like to get something "nicer" looking (so, probably wooden), but it depends on size, price, and what we can get our hands on locally. Toys 'R' Us wants to charge like $25 in shipping for their sets, so... not going to happen.
This was something that I wanted to get Nora (and future children) to keep under the Christmas tree while they are young. We want to make sure to teach "the reason for the season," and we think having a set like this will encourage play--and encourage conversation about it. I remember playing with my grandmother's nativity set as I was growing up, and I want to be able to let Nora do the same--without worrying she's going to break anything nice! And FYI, if you're interested in this set, Family Christian (linked above) has it for $24.98 shipped--but only through tomorrow, Friday 12/2! This is a really good deal on this particular set, which can retail for as much as $50. There is a similar set sometimes found at Toys 'R' Us or Target (for a bit less $$), but apparently it doesn't come with as many accessories and the manger doesn't play the music. So if you're in the market for this, just be aware of the differences.
Every toddler I ever babysat back in the day always loved these things. Build things up, knock them down--they're fun all around. Nora really likes her little lego-like blocks, so we think she'd get a real kick out of these big ones.
This set is just too cute to pass up. I think she might still be kind of young for it, but seem to remember our nephew starting to "get" how to use these between 18-24 months, so we figured it wouldn't hurt to have them on hand for a few months down the line. Love pretty much everything Melissa & Doug.
This is going to be a stocking stuffer. Now that Nora strictly feeds herself, it's been a challenge when we're at restaurants. We'll wipe down the table as best we can before putting her food on it, but it's still kind of gross to have her eat off of it (not to mention, messy). I'm not a total germaphobe, but this seems like it would be good to have.
I thought that launching sippy cups on the floor was supposed to be a phase, but Nora's been doing it consistently for several months now. So.annoying. I recently found out that this little gadget existed, and we are so getting one. Even if she grows out of the "throwing" phase relatively soon, we figure we'll still be able to use this in the stroller, in the car, etc. when we don't want to deal with lost sippy cups, or "sippy cup overboard" incidents. This is one of those parent inventions where I wish *I* had thought of it. Man. I'd be rich.
Nora loves to manipulate objects and put them away. She enjoys a piggy bank toy at daycare with coins to put in the slot, so this seems like it would be right up her alley. I remember having and liking a similar toy when I was young. Plus, I think this is a toy that can grow with her, one which she will play with for a few years. And, we can perhaps even teach her about counting money... some day.
We gave the grandparents options with the Fisher-Price Little People. There are so many cute Little People sets, so you really can't go wrong. Some of the ones we provided to the grandparents as suggestions are the farm (pictured and linked above), the airplane, the school bus, and the zoo.

Will Nora get all of this stuff? Not unless the grandparents go nuts. :) We plan to Santa will get her a few things (in addition to the nativity set, which we already ordered), but we figure we'll try to keep it relatively light while we still can. In all actuality, she still has no clue what the heck is going on, so we might as well conserve our money a bit. She'll for sure be getting some clothes while she has no choice but to tolerate it. :)

What's on your child's Christmas list this year? Any "must-have" things that you think we should add to our list? (We'll be keeping additional things in mind for her next birthday!) Anything on our list that you have and found that your child doesn't play with? We're open to suggestions.


GoodnessGraces December 1, 2011 at 11:47 PM  

We have that travel mat for restaurants. I was always guilty of forgetting to wash this so it was ready when I needed it or it was washed and I'd forget it. I used it a lot from about 8 - 14 months, but after that I discovered something better.

These are earth friendly disposable placemats that stick on all 4 sides, but you can also color on them. They come with 4 triangle shaped crayons. My daughter is now 20 months old. She now requires more entertainment than just food for meal out and these have been perfect.

Elyse December 2, 2011 at 1:52 AM  

All those toys look great! In fact I think I have seen almost all of them up close and used them for various children and they are huge hits! The table mat is nice for going out! And Melissa and Doug toys just rock in general! That cutting set is totally adorable!

If you are looking for table and chair options that are reasonable, I would look at Target or Ikea (if you have them near you). I recently designed a children's room for a client and we found her table at Target. It was a great price and looked a little "nicer" then average in my opinion. We were able to find bookcases and what not that matched too. Luckily Target doesn't charge much for shipping either as far as I know.

Debbie December 2, 2011 at 8:08 AM  

The woman I babysit for told me she wanted a nice wood table for her kids, but in the end she got a plastic picnic table and is happy she did so. Her daughter is really into coloring and she has been known to draw on the table. The crayons come out from the plastic but her SIL has a nice wood pottery barn table that looks like shit due to heavy kid use. Just something to think about if you want it to last!

Anonymous,  December 2, 2011 at 9:02 AM  

I have that table in my classroom (20 five year olds) and it holds up well. I have the one with the white table and different colored chairs. It wasnt my first choice but it is in stock at most stores and now that I have it, I love the colors. Also, they use pencils, crayons, glue, etc and it all comes off. I always try to have them use washable crayons. The legs can get a little wobbly but always tighten back up.

Love all the choices for gifts :). Might steal some ideas for my nieces!

Erin December 2, 2011 at 2:30 PM  

Great gift ideas! We're limiting what we personally give Annie each year to 4 gifts with the theme "want, need, wear, read", but her family will give her a lot of stuff for sure. I've had that placemat since Annie was about 9 months old - I don't use it as much anymore, but it was great to have for a long time, when she wasn't really into keeping her food on a plate at all.

I think those toys will be perfect for her age and beyond - she'll probably get a lot of use out of them! On Annie's list is: craft supplies, a magna doodle, fake food, activities (like going to the zoo, Children's museum, etc), the big Legos, and I made a big amazon list of books for her that we don't have yet for lots of options.

PhaseThreeOfLife December 2, 2011 at 5:45 PM  

The cash register is So. Cute. I'm adding that to Mr. Ryan's wishlist. Grandma has already bought him those blocks and his Nan (my mother'-in-law) got him the little people's farm. :)

We have something similar to that placemat thing... Ours are disposable and stick to the table. They were great when he was like 6-10 months old, and then he figured out that he could yank at the edges and pull them off... so we're back to wiping down tables. Just a warning. ;)

Melissa December 3, 2011 at 10:33 AM  

Just wanted to pop in and link you the table we got for Rowan for her birthday- we really like it, and they had FREE shipping :).

I also think it's sweet that we are getting Rowan some of the same things for Christmas this year- a barn and animals is on our list too, as well as blocks.

Kimberley December 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM  

love that nativity set!! so cute for teaching kiddos the reason for the season!

Stefany December 4, 2011 at 12:05 PM  

That sippy cup leash is genius!! I am so getting one for our (1 year old) son, he also loves to launch the sippy cup over the side of his chair.

Dana December 4, 2011 at 8:30 PM  

The table and chairs is great.

Anonymous,  December 6, 2011 at 9:30 AM  

We had the table mat. It was great, but like the other poster said I was often forgetting to wash it for the next use--- then somehow we lost or misplaced it. One flaw was that the little tray, meant to catch stray food would often curl up and get in the way or distract from eating. Rather than replace the missing mat I'm going to look for these disposable mats.

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