This Gift Guide is a reader request, and I aim to please this time of year (hello… I’ve gotta get on that Nice List, y’all). I put together a list of gifts that Corey’s received that we love. Many of these were actually gifts for the Big Guy for his birthday this past weekend, and they’re already a huge hit! These are geared more towards toddlers, but it’s never too early to add things to your Amazon Wish List. I like to do that months in advance so I’m not scrambling when a big birthday or holiday comes around. PLUS – Cyber Monday is coming! So definitely watch Amazon for sales. They’ve already had some this week because of Black Friday.
Corey got this for his birthday from some sweet friends of ours. I have to be honest… I’m not sure who’s more in love with it: Jon or Corey. After Jon Boy put it together (it does take a little bit of effort), he sat and played with Corey for about 20 minutes. They looked like two kids just havin’ a good ole time. I don’t think they realize that Penny or I were in the room. This can (as the name says) go from a ‘sittin’ toy to a ‘standing’ toy with a simple adjustment of the ramp. It’s a pretty handy little gadget for kids of all walking/crawling/sitting/standing abilities.
Corey actually got his cute little kitchen as a gift from one of his Nana’s neighbors. He LOVES his kitchen, and Mama is so glad because hopefully that means he’ll be just as obsessed with cooking as she is! This is a very similar one to the one we have, and I’ve also linked up a bunch of play food that would be great to go with such a fun gift.
Big C actually got this last year for his 1st birthday from his GodMama. As with the Skyway, Jon Boy enjoys this toy just as much as Corey. We have spent countless afternoons + evenings playing BASSKKIIITTBALLL with Corey. Penny even joins in on the fun every now and then. You can easily adjust the height to match your kiddo’s skill level + height (Jon thinks Corey’s ready for the NBA by the looks of the height of ours).
This little ‘Leaptop’ is so stinkin’ cute I can’t even stand it. Corey got this from his Rara + Papa Dave for his birthday this year, and he’s already hooked to it. You can personalize this and send specific messages, etc. to it. I haven’t had a ton of time to play around with it, but the main thing I love is the alphabet feature. It says the letter, sound it makes, and gives an example of something that starts with that letter. I can’t wait to explore more with this little gizmo.
LeapFrog My Own Leaptop ($25)
Puzzles are LIFE in our house. Homeboy has slowly built up quite a great collection recently. I love puzzles because they’re great for hand + eye coordination as well as vocabulary. Corey is actually really good at cleaning them up, too, thank goodness. I got the puzzle stand that’s linked below to help maintain some level of order with these fellas. This particular stand is good for the Melissa & Doug chunky puzzles as well as the regular ones.
All right, don’t judge. But we have every single set of these little foam magnets. They’re a great vocabulary builder, too, and we have them in the kitchen on the fridge and on a magnetic board in the playroom. [I know, enough with the vocabulary talk ya weirdo librarian.. but seriously… it’s important.] I’m all about the FOAM magnets, too, because I don’t know about your toddler, but mine is really good at throwing things that ought not be thrown towards things that ought not have things thrown at them. First time we had a wooden puzzles downstairs on the wood floors… let’s just say that brown sharpie is a life saver. I’ve linked up all four styles below the image.
Foam Magnets Sets (About $15 each)
Big C got this last year from his sweet aunt + uncle + cousins, but really he just wanted to eat Baby Jesus. This year, he actually ‘slightly’ gets the concept. We sing “Jesus Loves Me” on the daily, so he’s at least understanding that Baby Jesus is a person and not a snack. This sweet nativity set is durable, adorable, and also… in case Baby Jesus does go missing… I’ve linked the replacement.
Alllllll righty. I’m gonna get Librarian on ya. My mentor librarian bought Corey a ton of Sandra Boynton books, and I’m so grateful she did. We LOVE her books. I’ve linked up her first Greatest Hits volume with some of Corey’s faves (and mine — Moo, Baa, La, La, La is my JAM). I think books always make great gifts, and board books are always getting slobbered on, thrown, and kicked by my big toe. You can never have enough. That’s what this Librarian Mama says anyways…
Sandra Boynton’s Greatest Hits (Set of 4 for less than $11)
Judge Me. I DARE you. Also, try to survive 4 hours in the car ALONE with your toddler who’s had less than half a good nap. Yeah… hence why I bought ‘Mickey Christmas’ as we call it on DVD. It’s Corey’s favorite movie right now, it gets me in the Christmas mood, and it prevents long car rides to Dallas from becoming scenes from Nightmare Before Christmas.
Mickey Saves Santa ($10)
Okay, judge again. But I’d give my left pinky finger to have Corey move on from his Moana obsession. We tried out Toy Story the other night, and homeboy LOVED it. That’s a Christmas gift to Mama + Daddy if ever I’ve seen one. I did a little browsing today and saw that the entire Blu-ray collection of Toy Story is only $25 right now! And of course, I had to get the Buzz + Woody to go with it. Corey was way too into the movie, and I’m a sucker. Also, I’m trying to get on the Nice List, remember?
I actually bought this months ago when Amazon had their Prime Day, and it was only $12! It’s still a great gift idea for that toddler in your life even at $24. Corey looooooves to play with Play-Doh, so I’m grateful to have something to extend that play time. Most of our Play-Doh shapes and toys have come from Dollar Tree though, and they’re all in perfect working condition still.
Play-Doh Factory Playset ($24)
This would be a great stocking stuffer or small gift. I’m all about educational + fun gifts. I mean, do it while you can get away with it, right? This was a simple game that seemed to be perfect for Corey since he’s obsessed with animals right now (and alllllll the sounds they make). “Mama, cow!” — aka… Mama make a cow sound. Not my favorite thing to be called randomly in the car, but it’s cute.
Matching Heads and Tails Game ($8 on sale right now)
This was Corey’s BIG birthday/Christmas gift from Mama + Daddy this year. I’ve had this sitting in my Amazon Wish List for months and months. I finally pulled the trigger and got it because a) we needed a CD player to play Nana’s songs she’s recorded for him and b) because that Bluetooth is everything. Corey will play so much more contentedly if he’s got music playing than just silence alone. The same was true when I taught; I always found kids (and adults) to be happier if there was soothing music in the background.
So, at one of my mom’s groups the other day, I mentioned that I was worried Corey was colorblind. I mean, everything to that kid is BUUUU [blue]. My friends mentioned these sorting bears that she tried with her kiddo who’s about the same age. She said once she saw that he could match blue with blue and green with green bears, she knew he wasn’t colorblind. Even if they can’t SAY the color, at least they can match them up. The whole set may seem expensive at $20, but they’re a really, really good quality.
Outdoor Playsets: I’ve put together a quick list of playsets we either have or were gifted. Corey’s loved all of these so far, and they’d make a great Santa Gift!
Step2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse ($125) – [we don’t have this one, but it’s friggin’ cute]
Dollar Tree for costumes + play outfits, balls, construction machines, and party favors that can be stocking stuffers. I love Dollar Tree!!! I find the best little presents for Corey there. They also have a ton of coloring books, stickers, markers, crayons, Play-Doh toys, etc., and they’re all the exact same as what you find anywhere else.
Target ‘Dollar’ Section for the Play Packs that come with coloring book, stickers, and crayons. We’ve used two in the past week, and it keeps Corey entertained for at least 15 minutes every time we go out to eat. They’ve got some holiday themed ones right now, too! Target also has some cheap window stickers that are great for play time (good sensory experience, too).