Its the most wonderful time of the year. That time of the year where my little Target credit card meter gets close to the full side. Where my children break out the toy magazines, notebooks, and calculators. Being a parent in 2018 is extremely hard (especially with all those YouTube gift openings and surprise boxes). I’m here to help you “shut out the noise” and help you pick some truly amazing gifts. (Ryan’s World approval not needed.)
0-6 months old:
While this period in a child’s life will seem more like buying a gift for the parent to enjoy, it is important to remember that this is a crucial time period in a child’s growth. It is important to encourage brain development and to support them while they physically grow. These fun suggestions will please parents and babies.
- Chews Life
Rosary :Who says you can’t breastfeed and pray at the same time? This super cute toy will introduce your baby to an element of our faith from an early age. It will also help your little one to relieve some of their tooth-based frustrations. 10/10 the only teething toy I needed.
- Silicone Teething Toys: I collected a large amount of silicone chewing toys for my children. Some of our favorites are on the Rose and Rex website.
- Infantino Go GaGa Activity Gym & Shape Sorting Ball Pit: While there are plenty on the market to choose from, I liked that this one converted to a ball pit when they learn to sit up.
- Baby Registry: I would ask mama if there was anything that was not gotten on the baby’s registry. Sometimes mamas realize they needed an item after the baby was born.
6-12 months old:
Babies are starting to explore their world. They need to be stimulated. They love anything with a lot of color, light, or sound. Any gift that will stimulate their senses will be greatly appreciated.
- Pink Fong Baby Shark Sound Book: It is 4pm. Nap time was missed, and you have to choose between a screaming baby and loosing your phone to baby shark. Not. Any. More. This is one of the best things my one year old got on his birthday. He can now click the buttons, which has been one of my favorite, recent milestones.
- Busy Baby Deluxe Walker: While I know that there are many plastic baby walkers out there, if you are planning to have more children, or as generally environmentally conscious, I would definitely go wood. My son also had a harder time tipping over the wooden walker.
- Melissa and Doug 100 ct. Colorful Blocks: Your baby will enjoy trying to pick up, stack, and chew these lovely blocks. If you were only going to get one set of wooden blocks, these are the set to get.
12-18 months old:
Your child is learning to navigate their word. Their two little feet are probably taking them all over your house, and they are looking for more places to explore. Gifts for this age should help them burn energy and gain coordination.
PiklarTriangle: You may have seen one of these on Instagram. They are extremely worth it, especially because going outside happens a little less in the winter.
- Hape Walk-Along Snail: This is
alikea two-in-one toy. It has a basic shape sorter, and your child can pull their buggy friend along with them. The snail shell/shape sorter does come off, and the shapes make a fun rattling sound when pulled.
- Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug: These are the best indoor ride along toys. They are intended for hard floors, but they go forward, back, left, and right. The most annoying thing about
mostride on toys is that they only go forwards and back. There are several cute animals (not all are bugs) to choose from.
- Musical Instruments: I would suggest any musical instrument, but our family favorite is the Melissa and Doug sets. Toddlers love making sounds, and they love when you make them with them.
2-4 years old:
Your children now have their opinions about what they like and dislike. They can tell you to put Paw Patrol on one more time. Gifts for this age can be really fun to buy! Here are some toys that have made my four year old really happy.
- Balance Bike: Studies have shown that children learn how to ride a bike better if they practice balancing first. Parent’s are ditching training wheels and letting their toddlers learn to balance on one of these really short balance bikes. What kid wouldn’t LOVE a
Blippibike for Christmas?! (Note: Please measure your toddler’s inseam before purchasing a bike!)
- Fire 7 Kids Kindle: This tablet is perfect for little hands. I felt really good about buying it when Amazon promised to replace it if it ever broke. My son does ABCMouse on his every day, and mama doesn’t have to share her phone.
- Magna-Tiles: While they seem a little pricey (and yes, there are very obvious knock-offs when you search on Amazon), they are totally worth it to buy. My kids love building all sorts of buildings and geometric figures out of them. You can always get the smaller starter set to try them out.
- Squigz: These are fun suction cup toys that will stick to many surfaces and to each other. My toddler used to stick them to his high chair, and now he can make chains of them.
5-6 years old:
I know what you’re thinking: I want more toys to clutter my play area. (not.) Most children in this age are transitioning from wanting actual play toys to electronic devices. I think as parents that we don’t have to be either/or about electronic devices and regular toys. We can let them enjoy devices in moderation, and help them retain some of their child-like imagination.
- Osmo Genius Kit: Children can practice early school skills with this super fun, electronic toy. The Osmo comes with an iPad attachment so that the game can see what the children are making. The company recommends this to children 5-8, but I would easily give this to my four
yearold. This gaming system is compatible with most recent iPad versions and the Kindle Fire.
- Catholic Mass Play Set: The church needs more children looking forward to having a religious vocation. Let your children play pretend priest and nun to see if God calls them. This is also a fun family gift that most ages can enjoy together. This is a great gift idea for any Catholic on your holiday shopping list!
7-8 years old:
Your child probably has recognizable interests. They will probably have their favorite things to do, and it probably involves Minecraft. Most of my recommendations would be to buy things you can do as a family or to encourage STEM interests in your child.
- Squishables. Squishables come in three sizes; they are super comfortable to cuddle with, and they are super cute. They even have a massive avocado. Your child will love sitting with their Squishables while doing homework or playing video games.
- Kano Computer Kit: This fun little device teaches your child to put together a computer and to code. It will even teach your child to use their Minecraft love to learn to code. My son loves to play the coding games.
- Trampoline: There are affordable options, and all of my children love our trampoline. I think it is a great choice for a “Family” gift, especially in this age range.
9-12 years old:
I’ll be honest, these years have been the toughest, yet. I have had to get creative with my daughter over the last couple of years. Thankfully, she understands that a big man dressed in red can’t bring her an iPhone. Here are some no-stress, guaranteed to please your pre-teenager gifts.
- Slime Making Kit: There are so many to choose from, and your child will love all of them. This would also make a good “do it together” as a family kind of gift.
- Nikon Coolpix Camera: A super easy to use camera that takes both pictures and videos. A great gift for a child who likes hanging out with friends or dreams of becoming a YouTuber.
- BH Eyeshadow Palettes: While on the younger side to begin makeup, my daughter enjoyed getting several BH Cosmetic eyeshadow palettes for Christmas last year.
- Road To Bethlehem Board Game: Family game night is a great tradition to have as it helps build interpersonal relationships between family members and gets your kids off their smartphones and video games. One board game your family should own is Road To Bethlehem! Not only is it great for the Christmas season,
ithelps your whole family learn more about the Bible so it’s fun to play all year round. Best of all, you can pause the game whenever you want and it helps kids learn to work together to meet goals.
- High-Quality Activewear. Under Armour is a personal favorite in our house. My
8 year oldson literally put “I want a TON of Under Armour Clothes” on his Christmas list… So guess what this mom bought him for Christmas?
- Here are some of my favorites: