Category: Kid Gifts

Emma’s Faves (2 Years, 2 Months)

Sorry this is a little late! Here’s what Emma was loving this past month:

Ravensburger My First Puzzle (Adorable Animals) – I’m really trying to get Emma into puzzles as a I heard it’s good for brain development. She seems to struggle with jigsaw puzzles though so I thought this beginner set would be good practice. Luckily she instantly loved this and is able to do it pretty easily!! She still sometimes struggles with fitting the pieces together but it’s great practice for her fine motor skills. I highly recommend this if you are looking to introduce jigsaw puzzles to your little ones!

H&M Strawberry Jersey Dress – Can you believe these dresses are only $5? Emma loves the strawberry one so much that we bought her 2 more in different prints. These are so comfortable and easy to wear…wish they had them in my size!

Elmo Goodnight Stories Musical Lullaby – this book was a hand me down from my sister’s kids but Emma loves it! She makes me read it to her every night. Its comprised of a bunch of short stories that each include a lullaby. It also has a button you can press that plays Brahms Lullaby song that Emma loves to press while I sing.

Green Toys Tea Set – We got this set from a friend and both Emma and I love it because you can use real drinks and food with it! It also lets Emma practice pouring. So fun!

Tea party!

Little Bunny Series Seek and Finds – These seek and find coloring sheets are a big hit with Emma. She loves finding the objects and gets so excited when she finds them. The best part? It’s free!


Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – We’ve been trying to keep Emma from watching too much Caillou and this has quickly become her new favorite. I also love this show and the lessons Emma learns from it…ranging anywhere from trying new foods, going to the DR, and having a babysitter. The songs always get stuck in my head though!

Watermelon – summer means tasty and fresh watermelon! One of Emma’s favorite fruits. We also love drinking watermelon juice

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Toys That Promote Imaginary Play

Here are two toys that I bought from Amazon because I heard a lot of good things about and they were very highly rated. I remember when I first got them I was like why in world do these have such good reviews? They seem SO BORING! Boy was I wrong. These toys are some of Emma’s favorites and I’m always amazed to see what new ways she comes up with for playing with these.

50 Counting Bears With 5 Cups – I first got these because we were trying to teach Emma how to count and also her colors. I really believe these helped with both her numbers and colors. The bears make a satisfying *plunk* sound when you drop them into the cup. Emma loves sorting and these are great for that. She also uses these as pretend food and “serves” us different colored foods in cups and plates. It’s so cute! She is almost always playing with these bears in some way every day.

Skip Hop Dunks Stacking Bath Toy – I remember when I bought these they were the highest rated bath toy. These are so versatile because you can use them as a rinse cup for bath time but they also make great bath toys. It’s great that the set comes with more than 1 so I can use one and Emma can play with the other ones. She loves to scoop the water and pour it into the other cup. She loves to stack. She also loves to tell me what color each bird is and which color she wants and which one I should use. I also love to take these when we travel because I need a water scooper for bath time and it’s also the only bath toy we take when we travel and is able to keep her satisfied.

So those are two toys that I didn’t really “get” but turns out Emma loves them!

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Emma’s Faves (2 Years!)

Here’s what Emma was loving this past month:

The Bingo Song – Yes…the one about the Farmer and his dog named B-I-N-G-O! This song has replaced Emma’s favorite bedtime song of Happy Birthday. She loves to sing along with me.

Let’s Go To The Farm (Lift The Flap) book – Emma loves books with flaps and this one has tons of them! At first I wasn’t sure how much she liked the book but this past month it’s the book she has been requesting we read every night. The cool thing about this book is it teaches numbers, shapes, animal sounds, and animal names! Emma now recognizes triangles and circles and that baby dogs are named puppies! She loves to press on the doors and say “Ding Dong” and I say “Who’s there?” and she will answer with whatever is behind the door. So cute!

Sweet Potato “chips” – So happy that one of her favorite snacks is so easy to make and is actually healthy. I just slice them and toss them with olive oil and paprika and pop them in the oven at 400 for about 25 minutes. I’m trying to work on making them “crispier” but she doesn’t seem to mind that they aren’t. I may try swapping out the olive oil for coconut oil and upping the temperature.

Melissa and Doug Time To Eat Feeding Set – I got this set along with the matching doll and for awhile she loved feeding her “baby” but recently she has been using parts of this set to feed us and her stuffed animals. She is totally into pretend cooking right now and having picnics!

Endless Numbers – She was a fan of the Endless Alphabet iPhone/iPad app and we recently discovered Endless Numbers which I think she loves even more! The graphics are so cute too.

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Gift Ideas From The New Baby To An Older Sibling

With the impending arrival of baby #2, we’ve been talking a lot about how Emma will deal with having to share our attention. She has always been a very clingy kid especially to me so I’m not sure how she will deal with not having all of my attention like she currently does! One of the more popular ideas people have for helping the older child adjust to their new sibling is to present them with a gift that is supposedly from the baby. Here are some ideas for gifts that we’ve heard other people have gifted or that we are considering for Emma. I know it will be especially hard for Emma to see the new baby breastfeeding and how much time that will take me away from her so I am hoping the gift will be long-lasting and fun enough for her that she will play with it independently of me.

1. A play kitchen – This seems to be extremely popular on those lists of toys kids will play with for years. I always see people recommending kitchens as one of those toys that kids just love! I know Emma enjoys opening and closing cupboards especially. This one is the highest rated one on Amazon but it is quite pricy. There are of course cheaper ones including Ikea’s play kitchen which I love for its simplicty.

2. Train Set – Whenever we go to Toys R Us, Emma always spends the longest time playing on their Thomas the Train trainset table. She also LOVES trains.

3. A basket of small gifts that she can only play with at certain times when we need her to be playing independently. It would include:

books – I have a bunch of books on Emma’s wishlist including The Day the Crayons Quit, Elmo’s World First Flap-Book Library, I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, The Complete Adventures of Curious George, Press Here, and Llama Llama Time to Share

Sticker pads

Puzzles & Activity Boards

4. A dollhouse – I’m not sure how interested she is in something like this but I think she is getting to the age where this might engage her more. Or maybe I’m just fulfilling my childhood dream of owning a dollhouse!! hehe

5. iPad Mini – I know I know…talk about spoiled!!! But we are really considering this option because I know she will absolutely LOVE it. We already let her play with our iPad and it’s sometimes too bulky for her. Plus it’s a really old version so it would be great to have a new version with the retina screen!

Do you guys have any other suggestions?

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Emma’s Faves (Month 23)

Here’s what Emma was loving this past month:

Ikea Circus Tent ($20) – What a steal! Emma is at an age where she loves going into play houses and under covers. It’s also pretty easy to set up or put away.

Kirkland’s Real Sliced Fruit ($17.64 for 20 bags) – These come in 3 flavors: apple, apple cinnamon, and banana and strawberries. Emma especially loves the apple ones. Recently these were recalled from Costco though so that kind of turns me off of them!

Appu Series on Youtube – Emma LOVES nursery rhymes and music in general. She really likes these youtube videos and can watch them all day long!

I’m A Big Sister – We were given this book from a friend to help Emma adjust to the idea of being a big sister. She LOVES this book and will almost always ask us to read it multiple times to her before bed.

Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD – This 5 star DVD teaches kids letters and the sounds they make. I wasn’t sure if Emma would enjoy this but so far she loves it. I was hoping to find something educational that she can watch and this seems to fit the bill!

Thumper Stuffed Doll – We went to Disnelyand with Emma for the first time this past month and before we left we let her pick out one souvenir. Surprisingly she picked out a stuffed animal (she’s never been super into stuffed animals) but for some reason she LOVES Thumper! She’s never even seen Bambi! I can’t seem to find the exact one we bought but he’s not particularly cute like the usual Thumper. He’s looking off to the side in a weird way. We actually tried to convince her to pick something “cuter” but she was stuck on Thumper ha ha.

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Emma’s Favorite Books At 17 Months

So sorry it’s been awhile since I last posted…My husband and I got addicted to Breaking Bad and were binge watching the show whenever we had any free time!

Anyways, back to the topic of this post: Emma’s favorite books! It’s really important to me that Emma loves reading. I love it when we are able to find a book that she enjoys and wants me to read again and again. When she says “again?” it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. I have noticed she is picky about which books she likes and I’m not even sure why she will like one book and not another book. I do notice she likes books that rhyme or have pictures of things she can name. She doesn’t like super wordy books or “artsy” looking books. Here’s a sampling of her favorites right now (you can click on the picture to go to the Amazon page to read more about it):

1. Dr Seuss’s ABC – This has been the only Dr Seuss book she has any interest in but she loves this one. I do notice she loves the alphabet and she particularly likes the pages where she can name the items. Sometimes she gets too bored before we make it to the end though since this is a more wordy book than she usually enjoys. But whenever she sees it she says “ABC ABC” to get me to read it.

2. Brush, Brush, Brush! – I was desperate to get Emma brushing her teeth (she refused for the longest time!) so I thought of getting her a book about brushing her teeth. This one is read to the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low” and Emma LOVES it. She always asks me to read this one over and over again. And it worked in helping her to brush her teeth! So we really love this book in our house. My only complaint is the last line in the book is always awkward for me to sing…it never sounds right!

3. Goodnight Moon – Every kid seems to love this book. This was one of the first books I noticed Emma had an interest in and she still likes it to this day! She loves saying “shhhh” when we get to the part about the old lady.

4. Pat The Bunny – Another old favorite of Emma’s. She just loves going through the motions of each page. I wish there were more books like this!

5. Dear Zoo – Emma LOVES animals and she loves lifting the flaps in this book

6. Where Is My Bellybutton – Another flap book that Emma loves. She loves lifting her own shirt up to find her bellybutton too! This book is also great for learning body parts

7. Munchkin Traveling Flash Cards – This is not a book but I thought it was worth mentioning since Emma loves flipping through these cards and learning the names of different animals. She also loves the counting pages!

8. Lastly, I wanted to mention the book that is probably Emma’s favorite right now. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find anywhere to buy it online and I’m not sure if it’s sold in any bookstores either. I got it from Target in the $1 bin. It’s a Sesame Street book called Eyes, Nose, Fingers & Toes and it’s got the different characters telling you to do something different with your body parts like “wiggle your fingers”, “touch your nose”, “count your eyes”….which Emma enjoys because we all go through the motions together. She calls this the “nose” book!

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Emma’s Favorite Thing Right Now: Munchkin Bath Letters & Numbers

We’ve had our ups and downs with bath time. Sometimes she goes through phases where she loves it and sometimes she hates it. I think she started hating it after realizing she hates getting her hair doused with water and having it get in her eyes. Man for the longest time she was dreading it and would want to get out of the bathtub as soon as I started soaping up her hair. Recently we figured out a routine that has helped and she is loving bath time again. She has always loved bath toys. One of her favorites was this windup dolphin we bought from the aquarium. I can’t find it online but it’s tiny and swims in the water. She would always try to catch it with her hands. We played with it so much that finally one day it just up and died on us. RIP windup dolphin.

Recently, I bought these highly rated bath letters and numbers made by Munchkin. Oh my goodness….she LOVES these things! She spends the whole bath time sticking them on the wall. I have been trying to get her to sort them by colors since we are working on colors right now. While she is busy sticking them on the wall, I quickly scrub her down.

(Only $6.99 and totally worth every penny!!!)

They are AWESOME! She looks forward to bath time now. When I start running the water, she tries to climb into the tub before I even have her diaper off! hehe. As for her hair, we’ve discovered it takes a team to wash it. Husband will hold her with her head back while I douse it with water. She is starting to learn that when we do it this way the water does not get in her eyes so she just whimpers a little…but no more tears!!! Yay!

BTW, if you are looking for a true tear-free shampoo…I highly recommend California Baby

This would be a great gift for a 1 year old’s birthday. Throw in a cute animal towel and you’re all set!

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Some Lego Hot Deals

I’ve been meaning to get Emma her first Lego set. Luckily I saw this Lego Duplo set on sale for $16 (regular $25) and it’s ZOO themed!!! Emma loves animals right now AND we will be going to the Wild Animal Park in SD next month so this is perfect for her. I can’t wait for it to arrive so she can play with it. I love Amazon Prime!

I am also very tempted to get Emma these Mega Bloks….it’s only $10 at Toys R Us!!! But I’ve been wanting to get her her first baby doll to play with and I don’t want to be spoiling her with all of these new toys. What to do! I think I will hold off on these for now and just let her play with the Zoo set first.

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Animal Finger Puppets Hot Deal

Just snagged this deal for Emma because she LOVES finger puppets. We have the set at Ikea that includes a bunch of random people like a scuba diver, a ballerina, a ghost, etc. and I was thinking of also getting her the animal set. They are $5 but this set from Amazon is half the price…$2.49 (free shipping!)

The ratings are good too…4.5 stars and over 200 reviews. Emma’s favorite animal right now is the elephant so she is going to have a lot of fun with these!

PS. Just a reminder, if you are an Amazon Mom member, you have 2 days left to use code BABY0913 to get 20% off hundreds of baby items at Amazon

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Babies R Us Kid’s Apparel Hot Deal

Babies R Us via Ebay has a bunch of great deals with free shipping to boot!

I just picked up this hat for Emma for $1.79

Cute, right?

Wish they had this shortall in Emma’s size…I’ve been wanting to get her a pair but unfortunately they only have size 3 months available 🙁

Check out this link for all of the other great deals!

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