Now that my kids are a tiny bit older, and we’ve been through the whole Christmas thing more than a couple of times, I figured I’d share my take on kids gifts and toys: Less is more. Over the years, we’ve fallen into the rabbit hole with several different “collections.” Adam has baskets overflowing with Hot Wheels and Monster Jam trucks. Edie has probably every single My Little Pony. Calico Critters are super cute at first, but somehow manage to multiply before my eyes. And then there are the mountains of Legos. I’m not saying I wouldn’t give any of those things to my kids, I’m not a monster. But if I could go back and start over, I really think I would have slowed down and put a little more emphasis on choosing a few really good open-ended toys as the foundation for their play.
I read a quote recently that said, “a good toy is 10 percent toy and 90 percent child.” And from my own observations of my 3.5 and almost 6-year-old, I have to say that I 100% agree. So these are the gifts that are working for our entire family. The gifts that I am literally planning to get my kids this year, or that we already have. Then you can call me in a few years to see how we’re doing, because once I think I’ve figured it all out, these kids will throw me for a loop! But hopefully these gift ideas will help make your holiday season just a teeny bit less stressful!
above: Woodchuck Umi Play Kitchen
…and for those of you searching for a kids’ bike, a lot of people were asking me about this last year, and I highly recommend you check out Cleary Bikes. My brother builds bike frames for a living, so I asked him to rig it up with training wheels to start him out, though their official recommendation is to actually remove the pedals so they can use it as a balance bike at first. But really, it’s whatever makes the most sense for you and your kid!