I was pretty sure I was done talking birthdays for a while (well, seven months or so), but Ashlynn got some really great gifts. I'm always looking for unique gifts that will be loved by the child... and by the parents!
Books are always a go to for me. I usually try to include a book in every gift I give since I know first hand it's nice to have a growing library and building one yourself isn't cheap! My only problem is trying to find a great book that isn't a standard classic. I always assume most kids have their copies of Dr. Seuss and other favorites, so it's nice find new winners that are occasionally overlooked.
Ashlynn finally enjoys longer storybooks at night and is slowly ignoring her 10 page board books. While she's always loved all her "mouse" books, she really loves the hardback "If You Give A" books. Actually, dad loves reading them too! And the Tickle Monster book (and monster gloves) is awesome. Ashlynn loves being chased when we put the gloves on and loves getting them herself and "tickling" us. The story is adorable and it's just one of those "why didn't I think of this" toys.
Outdoor Toys are where we lacked. I actually told our parents or any one who asked what we needed, that we could some outdoor toys. This Fubbles Bubble Recorder was a hit with all the moms at play group. While it is obnoxiously loud, I think it gets a pass since it's for outdoor play. The best is that it's easy for toddlers to blow the bubbles without actually getting the bubble solution in their mouth. And it's fun. Our friends had left the wrapped ATV by the door when they arrived at her party. She ran up and unwrapped it immediately, demanded we remove it from it's box, and then proceeded to ride around the house for almost the whole party. She was totally on 'party patrol'! And you can't mess up with a play lawn mower. Ashlynn loves gassing it up and pulling the cord to make it go. And of course, being just like dad.
Girl Toys. Naturally we got some girl toys and since Ashlynn is loving her dolls and Frozen, they were huge hits. Baby Anna has been coming everywhere with us and has been my secret weapon at getting Ashlynn to go to bed lately. She's back to resisting bedtime and I tell her Baby Anna wants to sleep with her, but she needs to be quiet so she doesn't wake her. It's really been that simple.
Mimi got Ashlynn her Bitty Baby, and while getting a Bitty Baby for a friend might be out of budget, some of the accessories are super cute! She also loves the book and Daddy reads it before bed each night and we lay Bitty down to sleep after. And the Frozen dress up trunk I found at Target has been getting daily use. We officially entered the Princess Dress Up phase and I'm sure any dress up clothes would be appreciated by little girls (and super heros for little boys) everywhere.
Not pictured in the collage, but my girlfriend made Ashlynn the CUTEST girlie gift. When unwrapping her gifts the next morning, she pulled out a make up bag from a gift bag and when she opened it there were a bunch of real compacts. I thought for a second my friend left her make up behind, but when we opened the eye shadow and blush compacts I realized they were for play! She also included a set of brushes. So creative and thoughtful! (similar tutorial)
Smart Kid Toys. Nothing more loved by a parent than a toy that teaches. This set of Mega Bloks has been the first set of blocks Ashlynn has shown real interest in playing with. She builds houses and castles and uses her imagination and well as fine motor skills. And the Leap Frog Lap Top is helping her identify her letters, which makes me happy since that's the one area I we still need some work on. I love that this lap top is bit more "mature" from her baby Fisher Price one and she hysterically pulls it out when I'm working on my MacBook. Like Mother, Like Daughter.
What are some of your favorite toddler gifts??