I'm in the middle of Christmas shopping (online, always) for my family and I thought I'd share some cool gift ideas I've run across! A lot of these would be great for friends or family living in a small space, trying to downsize or anyone who hates giant, battery operated toys! (This post includes Amazon Affiliate links)
For Lulu (age 4):
1. Boogie Board
Lulu is really into drawing, writing and doodling right now. I love seeing her learn and try new things, but I HATE how much paper we go through! She's insistent on using a new sheet every single time (I'm the same way, I get it) but it's frustrating in a small space. I'm hoping that she'll love this board and maybe cut down on paper usage. It's an LCD screen that you can write on with the included stylus, or your finger. Then just push the button to clear the screen and start again! I think it'll be great to use in the van or at church or for her handwriting practice!
I think I might get this set for Lulu, yes, it's sure to contribute to our paper situation, but I think she'll love it! Plus she can use the stencils on the Boogie Board! I love how the whole set fits nicely into the wooden box and the stencils look nice and thick and durable.
Several weeks ago, I asked Lulu what she wanted for Christmas. She didn't hesitate and answered that she wanted a kite. I asked what else and she said she didn't really need anything else, "But, you can get whatever you think would be good, Mommy". She slays me. I got her this kite for $7, it looks pretty nice and durable, hopefully it holds up!
I'm probably going to give each kid 1-2 presents of their own and then a few things for both of them together.
Both kids have been really interested in birds lately, we have a handful of books about birds out from the library and they've been enjoying identifying the birds that come to our hanging feeder every day. I saw this neat little bird feeders on Amazon for under $10 and thought they'd enjoy them! I got one for each of them. They suction to the window and since they're made of clear plastic, we'll get a nice close up view of the birds! I think they'll love them, and I'm excited too! My favorite part is that they won't take up any indoor space!
Along with their love of birds, both kids also enjoy looking for and identifying different birds and butterflies. I posted about these on my Facebook page the other day, and it looks like this particular set is sold out now, but there are quite a few similar ones still available! A friend suggested attaching some of the butterflies to the ceiling as well as the wall, and I think that's what we'll do. Aren't they pretty? They have very high ratings too, although most suggest you get your own adhesive.
I got this game for the kids. I know Abram won't get it, but it seems like a simple toy that he can play with too, even if he doesn't play the game correctly. Lulu has started to really enjoy playing games, and I'm always on the lookout for games that are a bit more unique and complex than Memory. This is a cooperative game that we can play together, or she can do alone. I love that it's small and simple!
For Abram (age 2):
Abram loves cars and stacking, so I think this toy would be great for him! I love that it's small (notice a theme here?) and that it all stacks together for easy clean up. I get pretty sick of toys with lots of small parts that don't have an easy way to store them. I could see Abram playing with this parking garage lots of different ways!
I'm thinking of getting something like this set for Abram. He loves matching and sorting and putting simple pieces together. I could see him playing with these quite a bit, sorting, matching, pretend food, etc.
Abram's been playing with our nativity scene and the little figures in in more than anything else this past week. I think he'll really love these "everyday hero" figures! He loves anyone in uniform and I can see him being really excited about these! Lulu got a similar set (fairies) for her birthday and they've gotten tons of play!
Austin and I
Austin and I don't usually get gifts for each other, unless there's something specific we want. We always send out Christmas cards to family and friends and I consider that part of our gift, since we both love sending and receiving cards! However, if you're shopping for someone who has everything, or wants nothing, here are a couple ideas:
We use our Prime account daily. Seriously, every day. We order tons of stuff online and the free 2 day shipping paid for our account in the first month. We also love using Amazon Music (offline!) and Amazon Instant Video. It's really great!
2. Museum or Science Center membership
We have memberships to our local museum and the science center in Seattle. We've used them both multiple times and it's so fun every time! My in-laws gave us our museum membership for Christmas and it was a great present for the whole family!
3. Gift card for dinner/date
I love the gift of cold hard cash, but I'll be honest, 90% of the time when we're gifted cash, it goes towards rent, groceries or gas. It's not that we don't appreciate the gesture, but it's hard to spend any money on ourselves when things are a little tight! I love getting a gift card because it feels like a guilt-free excuse to go out with my favorite husband!
We've never spent a lot of money on Christmas gifts for our kids and we definitely won't this year either. As I mentioned above, I haven't purchased most of these gifts, but they are ideas I have on my list! I'm trying to take a bit more time to decide what they'll actually enjoy and what won't drive Austin and I crazy!