This year, I am having a hard time coming up with Christmas gift ideas for Bean. He’s in that in-between age where he’s too old for toddler toys, but he’s not quite old enough for preschool toys. I’m also stuck because he has strong preferences for a few different kinds of toys (mostly match box cars and little figures he can carry around) and I don’t know if I want to just buy more of things he already has because I know how much he likes them, or if I should branch out and try introducing him to new toys.
The solution I have found to these predicaments is to just shop more for Gracie.
If Bean is at an awkward age for buying toys, Gracie is at the perfect age. She’s easily entertained, infant and baby toys are widely available, and they are usually pretty inexpensive. I had a few key things I wanted to get her, though. And, so far, I’ve found just what I set out to find.
First, at Gracie’s age, she’s all about picking up things and manipulating them with her hands. She’s working on that eye/hand coordination and so she really likes picking things up, waving them around, putting them back down again, then doing it all over. She’s also really close to the age where she’ll start stacking things. For those two skills, I got her a set of brightly colored stacking blocks. I liked these because they had bold colors. And I really liked the mirrored sides of the blocks and that there were sides with things that popped out, giving her more to manipulate with her hands.
Along with her new interest in waving things around and working her hands and fingers with smaller objects, I also got Gracie a shape sorter. It will be a long time before she is able to figure out the shape part of this toy, but I think she’ll have a good time banging on the turtle and waving around those shapes until she’s ready to put the pieces in the correct place. Plus, every kid needs a shape sorter, right? It’s, like, a law of parenting.
This is Gracie’s “big gift,” though it isn’t very expensive and it doesn’t do anything really flashy or showy. I actually got this idea from (where else?) Pinterest. I ordered a set of 100 ball pit balls for her. I thought about getting her a ball pit to sit in, but they are so darn expensive for what they are and I don’t have room in my house for a big ball pit! Shoot, you can sit Gracie in a laundry basket and she’ll play happily for an hour (which she did this weekend when I sat her in a laundry basket while we cleaned out the garage…). She won’t even know where she is, so I opted out of the ball pit idea. Instead, a Pinterest user suggested using a Pack ‘n Play for a ball pit. You just fill the Pack ‘n Play with balls, set the baby in there, and – voila! – ball pit! Santa is going to set up the ball pit on Christmas Eve so that Gracie can jump right in on Christmas morning.
Gracie is also getting a few board books, some new bottles and binkies, and a really cute plastic purse with these plastic accessories that you can put in it, like money, lipstick, and sunglasses. As for Bean, I’m still at a total loss. Any ideas out there for a two and a half year old boy?????