gift guide: for a very curious 20-month-old

just like my previous gift guide for the brainy not-quite-4-year-old, today i’m sharing a very specific gift guide. it’s my christmas list for edith. she’ll be close to 20 months on christmas day. but if you could ask her, she’d tell you she’s as big as her brother and that she can do anything he can. edie is on a mission to get into everything: inside the cabinets, on top of the dining room table, up the christmas tree, into adam’s toys and clothes… there isn’t really anything she isn’t into. she’s a super curious kid, and she’s still really young, so she’d probably like just about anything we gave her. but she is forming some pretty strong interests, too! she is obsessed with babies and dolls and tiny figurines. she loves to hold them and kiss them and brush their hair. she enjoys playing in the dirt more than any kid i’ve ever seen. and would you be surprised if i told you that my own daughter is obsessed with dressing up? oh yeah. so below are some of the things that i’ve added to her list this year.

alphabet blocks – since edie is singing her alphabet (and just about every nursery rhyme she hears), i figured it’s the perfect time to get familiar with the letters. plus all of the blocks by uncle goose are adorable!

bambi hoodie hat – did i mention that my daughter loves to play dress up? she has a little collection of hats and shoes, and she’s made a little game of trying them all on. she’ll demand that i change her clothes at least once a day. i see a future with a very large collection of dress-up clothes and i think she’ll really get a kick out of this bambi hat!

the holdie house – i know she’s still a bit young for doll houses, but on a recent trip to the local toy shop, we could hardly pull her away from the display of calico critters. so while we aren’t quite ready to go all out with teeny tiny pieces, we picked up a few of the figurines and this adorable little house to go with them!

big sister mouse in a box – adam has one of these little matchbook mice and ed has all but claimed it for herself. it’s on the same tip as her early obsession with calico critters. the little boxes with their tiny pillows and blankets are hours of entertainment for this little one.

farmer’s market playtime kit – edie spends a good amount of time playing with adam’s play kitchen, so i think this little activity set would be a fun addition to our collection. and i think the little matching game with be a great primer for her because she’s about to start a toddler program in january!

animo 4-piece sand play set – digging in the dirt is a serious pleasure for my daughter. her current set of garden tools was yet another hand-me-down from adam that has seen better days. i think she’ll really enjoy these pretty colors and shapes. but really, it’s all about the dirt!

 

gift guide: the hdh x nisolo bundle (spend $35 for $250 in gift cards!)

we’re in the final stretch before the holidays and i’ve got a really awesome deal to share! whether you’re looking to treat yourself to something special, or you have a few people to check off your list, then you should definitely check out the hdh x nisolo holiday bundle this year! here’s how it works:

• you pay $35 to get $250 in gift cards
• that’s five $50 gift cards to the participating retailers (more details below)
• nisolo will donate $10 from every bundle purchase to help build a school in kenya
• treat yourself or gift to someone special
• gift card bundle offer ends 12/25/17, while supplies last. and these are going to sell out fast!

shop the women’s bundle and the men’s bundle.

and what i love about this is that not only will your dollars be going towards a good cause, but all of these brands are ethical and eco-friendly. you can buy a couple of bundles and give out the gift cards as stocking stuffers or thank yous to whoever still needs a gift. or you know, just get one for yourself and enjoy the savings. check it out below!

shop the women’s bundle! spend $35 for $250 worth of gift cards from the brands above!

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shop the men’s bundle. $35 for $250 worth of gift cards from the brands above!

gift guide: for a brainy almost 4-year-old

i’m gonna cut to the chase: this is my christmas list for adam. i know that gift guides are usually a bit more broad and general, but i know my own kids better than any others, so i thought i’d get really specific and just show you what we are literally buying for adam. he’ll be 4-years-old in january, so he’s already got a pretty good collection of classic toys like legos, magnatiles, thomas the tank engine, and about a million hot wheels. we’ve got art supplies up to our armpits. he’s still really into those things, so when i ask him what he wants, he basically just asks for more of the same. so i had to get a little more creative in thinking about what might spark his imagination.

and what i know about adam, is that he loves school. he’s in a primary program at an associate montessori internationale school. and while my primary concern at this age isn’t academics, i know that the curriculum there has really captured his interest. every day after school, he tells me about his lessons on the solar system and geography. he loves drawing maps of the world and identifying the planets. they start broad, and then focus in on tiny details like the lifecycle of a butterfly or the cross-section of a pumpkin. he gets to dig into the earth and plant flowers, fruits, and veggies to watch them grow. it’s such a beautiful, fascinating world. so i decided to compliment what he’s learning with some fun toys. no pressure to be academic at home, just free play with a focus on the subjects that i know he really loves.

1. areaware blockitecture parkland and areaware blockitecture deco – when i asked adam what he wanted for christmas this year, the only thing he asked for that he didn’t already have was “a city.” it took me a while to figure out what he meant, but after doing some sleuthing, we settled on this set of blocks. he already has one set of buildings by the same brand, and he plays with magnatiles and legos almost every day. these fun geographical features like pastures, rivers, trees, and bushes will help to round out his collection quite well.

2. all kinds of cars – since day one, adam has been obsessed with vehicles. i know it’s a phase that will eventually pass, but he’s still on that kick. this illustrated guide is a dream come true for a child that loves reference books like adam. oftentimes, when he sees something remarkable, he asks if we can “look it up” in a book so he can read about it or draw comparisons. i’m not kidding. but what’s fun about this book is that it has a sense of humor. i just know that adam will be cracking up at the carrot car and the igloo car.

3. atlas of adventures – i don’t know anyone who loves maps quite as much as adam does. he loves when we pull out regular city maps, but i know that what he really wants is an atlas of his own. he likes being able to point out the different continents and countries, so this illustrated guide is going to be hours of enjoyment for this kid.

4. tegu magnetic building blocks – with the cars again, i know. adam already has more hot wheels than i can count, so i think these tegu magnetic blocks will be great fuel for his imaginaion. he can dream up some new cars of his own!

5. seedling galaxy rocket adventure cape set – what’s really great about this set is that it will make for hours of imaginative play, but it starts out as an activity so that you can customize it however you’d like. double duty!

6. professor astro cat – i know this book is recommended for kid’s a little bit older, but i think it’s fun to start exploring things a bit out of reach with the help of mom and dad. some of the picture books can get monotonous, reading them over and over again. a reference book like this is fun because we can be a bit more open ended about the subject matter and spark conversations instead of just reciting words from a book. we have the first book from this series and adam loves it, so this will be fun to add to our rotation.

gift guide: earthtiles (and a giveaway!)

christmas came a little early for adam this year… we let him open up one extra special present the other day because we couldn’t wait to share what was inside: earthtiles. as a parent, i’m always looking for ways to reduce our use of plastic, particularly when it comes to toys. i’m not a purist about these things, adam has tons of duplo, he’s moving onto legos as we speak, he owns about a million hot wheels, the list goes on. but whenever we can find a more eco-friendly alternative, we definitely look into it. and it really has paid off because all of the wooden toys that adam played with when he was little have been lovingly handed down to edith as she gets old enough to play with them, and will still have plenty of life left to pack up and store for their own kids one day.

but back to the point here! magnetic tiles are one of those special toys that have provided hours of entertainment for adam, so we were so excited when big future toys met their kickstarter goal earlier this year and started putting this awesome toy into production. and the timing is perfect because they are now available just in time for christmas! these were on the top of my list for adam, so you can imagine my excitement when the brand got in touch and asked us if we’d like to give them a try ahead of the big release! and judging by adam’s reaction, i think our only complaint is that now we need more of them!

and we’re giving away a set of earthtiles to one lucky winner. to enter, simply visit this post on my instagram!