Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Toddler Gift Giving Guide

I always swore I'd never have a kid with a Christmas birthday (because we have so much control over these things), so naturally my little girl has a December 19th birthday. The year she was born was the best Christmas ever, but her 1st birthday honestly sort of overwhelmed me. I put everything off until the last minute and felt pretty beaten down by my expectations versus the quickly approaching less fantastical reality and the general holiday pressure (which can happen whether you're dealing with a December birthday or not). Don't let it happen to you again! I've vowed to finish 80% of my holiday shopping by the end of November, and with all these Black Friday sales I'm feeling on track. My friend Claire from and I put together a gift guide in case you need some inspiration. We focused mostly on small businesses because I know when I have to spend money it feels a little less painful putting it back into my own community, or into the pocket of mama-owned shops. Claire put together the first 2 and some of my favorite gifts follow. 
These gifts give my little lady that that girly-ness she craves, without making me want to barf. It’s all about compromise with toddlers, right?

Madeline Books:
My toddler LOVES the Madeline book series, and they were some of my favorites growing up too, so they are something we can enjoy together. Also, anything that will distract her from making me read "Cat and the Hat" 300 times a day, is a win for me. These books are available almost anywhere.

Nico Nico Long Johns:
This is one of my favorite cozy outfits of the season. A great gender neutral piece that is actually made for day, but I won't judge you if your child wears it to bed. This romper is made of super thick, sweater like organic cotton, and is perfect paired with fuzzy slippers and hot cocoa. 
Yumbox Lunch Box:
As a first time mom I learned quickly, you basically should have an entire meal in your handbag at ALL TIMES. These adorable and modern lunch boxes can hold just about anything without leaking or making a mess, even yogurt!!! My daughter loves hers so much, that she sometimes requests to eat her meals at home out of it. The insert (the part that's holding the food) even pops out, so you don't have to wash the entire thing after each use. I can't say enough about how much we love our Yumbox.
Fly Tots Cushion:
This gift is a personal favorite. I bought one for each of my kiddos and we just love them. My daughter likes to throw herself on to anything soft and this fulfills that need in a stylish way. They're the perfect size to make a comfortable seat but are easily carried around the house by the handy handle on the side. They move from our reading nook to our train table to the center of the living room floor and look good wherever they end up! 
Hanna Anderson Slippers:
These are the cutest slippers I've found this year. We definitely have a footwear power struggle in our house, and I know my girl is going to be so excited to wear these because they look like adorable animals, and i'll also love them for aesthetic reasons, as well as for practical reasons like knowing they will stay on her feet because they are boots. 
Mini Rodini Leggings:
I LOVE leggings on all toddlers. Why should boys have to wear uncomfy jeans and cargo pants. Blah! This print is great for both genders, and seriously, who doesn't like tiger stripes? These super soft pants are made of 100% organic cotton.
Quin Twizzle Lollipops:
Quin candy is handmade in Portland Oregon by some pretty special gals that I happen to know personally. These Lollipops are a reimagined version of an old classic using real ingredients like actual strawberries, blackberries and chocolate. They make such a good stocking stuffer for all family members, as long as you can keep from eating them all yourself.
Tattly Temporary Tattoos:
Tattly makes the most beautiful and artistic temporary tattoos around, that are appealing to both children and adults. I love the idea of a subscription, because your child can look forward to receiving new tats in the mail every month. 
Disney Vans:
I'm not usually a fan of character shoes, but for some reason all the new disney themed vans seem to be tugging at my heartstrings. With options like the jungle book (shown here), alice in wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, you seriously cant go wrong. 
Bright Light Labs:
These colorful lights are not just for the holidays. With options to mix and match colors, you can coordinate with any child's room and taste. I see these as a great alternative to a night light, and a fun way to help a child who is scared of the dark.
Puppet Theatre:
I’m really trying to focus this year on toys that encourage imaginative play (versus pressing a button over and over or whatever), and I LOVE that this pirate-themed puppet theatre can be hung in a doorway or outside! I find my toys get the most longevity when I can put them out of site when we’re not playing with them. Fold this up and easily store it to maintain its wow factor, then hang it up in seconds for hours of fun! 
Maps, by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinska 
Maps is loaded with intricate artwork and fun facts. This is fun to read to your kids, but also a blast for your little one to pour over at quiet time, looking at which animals and people are found where. Look for it at your favorite local bookstore!
Boy + Girl outfit, Nico Nico vest and Hansel from Basel socks 
I love to shop and gift in outfits, and this is soft and warm and easy for your little adventurer to throw on for exploring and playing.
Forest Friends Nesting Dolls: 
It’s always a pleasure to find a toy that makes your space more beautiful, whether it’s neatly put away on a shelf or strewn across the floor. These are just cool to look at. I’m overflowing with nostalgia remembering playing with the nesting dolls I had as a girl and love that this toy is in vogue right now.
Black Cat, White Cat by Sylvia Borando:
This book has so much visual interest! It’s a relatively short, sweet story about what happens when a black cat from the day time meets a white cat from the night time. It’s a great way to explore what is different about day and night and satisfy my little girl’s love for all things kitty. Available at all major online book retailers, and likely your local book store too!
Anthem of the Ants Dress, Ultra Violet Kids turban and Hansel From Basel leggings: :
It is so fun to play with color when dressing kids but in my own wardrobe I’m very partial to neutral dressing and think it looks just as sharp on kids (let’s be real, they usually look way sharper than I do). Obviously this dress is everything, and with a turban (this season’s must-have kid accessory) and footless tights it’s easy to make it play-ready. I can’t say enough good things about these footless tights, they go with everything, it takes way longer to grow out of a footless tight, they’re soft and thick, and we’re saved from the slips and falls that come with footed tights. 

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