Disclosure: These products were provided to me free for review. However, all opinions stated below are completely my own.
There are only 5 more weeks until Christmas! Time sure is flying by. That means if you haven’t already started shopping, then you better start now. You don’t want to be the mom fighting the crowds at the mall on Christmas Eve trying to buy last minute gifts. That’s a form of torture that nobody should have to endure.
Last year Christmas was pretty easy for us. We were able to sneak a lot of need items like clothing, formula, and bottles under the tree. My daughter was only 2 months old, so she had absolutely no idea what was going on. However, this year she is quite a bit more aware. It really is going to be the first Christmas we get to celebrate with her. So, Christmas shopping has been really enjoyable for me this year. I want to make it as enjoyable and stress free for you as it was for me. That’s why I rounded up my top 5 gifts for toddlers for you to shop from. These gifts include everything from clothing, to stuffed animals, to toys, and even an experience. There’s something for everyone on this list. I hope you enjoy!
I want to start my gift guide off by sharing a product that falls into the need category. I believe that it’s so important to not just put want items like toys under the tree. It’s important to find a good balance by adding in a few need items as well.
Now that your child is a toddler they are going to start walking. So, you will now need to provide them with a good quality pair of shoes. Nearly all of Olivia’s shoes come from Freshly Picked. They make shoes with a soft sole which is perfect for new walkers. This allows them to feel the ground beneath them as they explore this new skill. They also make mini soles and hard soles for when your children are a bit older. Their shoes are made with elastic at the opening. This means that they are not only easy to put on, but that they stay on too. Freshly Picked has an enormous selection of high quality shoes on their website. You are sure to find a pair that suits your style.
Are you struggling to narrow down your choices? I know I always do. There are just too many great pairs to choose from! If you are having this problem, then I have the perfect solution for you. I recommend signing up for their membership program The Fringe. This membership has a $10 monthly fee which you can use towards any of your purchases. It also can be rolled over each month. I view this $10 fee as a little savings account. I just let the money build up and then when my daughter needs a new pair of shoes the money is already there. As a member of The Fringe you will receive 20% off every product all of the time. You will also receive early access to sales and sneak peaks.
I don’t know about your kids, but my daughter absolutely loves stuffed animals. I love stuffed animals too because they are a great way to encourage open ended imaginative play. That’s why I had to include at least one in this year’s gift guide.
There are a ton of options for stuffed animals on the market. I was extremely picky when choosing which one I was going to share with you today. After a good amount of research, I chose Cuddle + Kind. Every Cuddle + Kind doll is handmade by talented artisans in Peru. They are hand-knit, hand-loomed, embroidered, and crocheted by artisans whose knowledge has been handed down from generation to generation. How cool is that? In fact, the quality of these dolls is so high that they are perfectly suited to become heirlooms. They are meant to be handed down from one baby to the next.
The quality of these dolls is a major factor in why I chose them. However, the mission of this company played an even larger part in my decision. Cuddle + Kind provides 10 meals to children in need for every doll that they sell. Their goal is to provide one million meals per year. Cuddle + Kind has partnered with several highly respected humanitarian agencies to help distribute the meals they provide. These organizations include World Food Program USA School Meals Program, Children’s Hunger Fund, Orphanages in Haiti, Breakfast Club of Canada, and WE Charity School Nutrition Program. These meals are donated to 66 countries around the world. By the end of 2017 Cuddle + Kind had donated 3,440,678 meals to children in need.
It was important to me to include an item on my gift guide that sparked imaginative open ended play. Unplugged open ended play is so important for your child’s development. It allows them to freely explore the world around them without having rules, limits, or guidelines.
Green Toys’ House Playset is the perfect toy to encourage this type of play. It includes a multi-leveled house, bright yellow convertible, two mice, moveable staircase, bed, bathtub, table, and two chairs. The back of the house is completely open so it is easy to rearrange all of the accessories. All of the pieces fit inside of the home so cleanup and storage is a breeze. The possibilities with a toy like this are truly endless which is what makes it so great. All it takes is a little bit of imagination and this play house can fit any story. They also have a great Farm Playset and Fire Station Playset to suit a variety of interests.
There are a lot of playsets on the market today. So, you may be wondering why I chose Green Toys. Green Toys is an environmentally friendly company. In fact, all of their toys are made from recycled milk jugs. Their packaging is also environmentally friendly. Green Toys prints all of their boxes with soy ink. Did you know that soy ink biodegrades 4x faster than petroleum based ink? Plus, if you recycle your green toys box you can save a gallon of water. Every day is Earth Day with Green Toys! Another benefit of Green Toys is that their toys are 100% US made. Because of this Green Toys is able to provide jobs more local jobs in their community.
The next item on my holiday gift guide is a fun twist on a classic toy. It’s every toddler’s favorite toy – a shape sorter! A shape sorter is a great toy to help foster your child’s development. That’s why I believe they are a staple in every playroom.
The shape sorter that I am going to share with you today isn’t any old ordinary shape sorter. The Snack Stack Sorting Box by Haba brings your children double the fun. It still serves the primary purpose of a shape sorter by teaching shape recognition and training those fine motor skills. However, it also teaches children about different animals and the foods they eat. Let me tell you how it works. The Snack Stack Sorting Box includes 5 different sides and each side features a different animal. The shape that you insert on each side is the food that animal eats. For example, the dog needs a bone, the mouse needs some cheese, and the horse needs an apple.
For the final item in my holiday gift guide I wanted to choose something a bit different. I didn’t want this to be another toy for Olivia to play with. I wanted to choose an activity for us to do together.
I’m adding a few Piggy Paint gifts sets to my daughter’s Christmas list and you should too. Piggy Paint is a non-toxic, premium nail polish line designed for young children. It features a water based formula that is virtually odorless. Did I mention that they were also cruelty free and vegan? Their line has a large variety of fun and vibrant colors to choose from. Some of their polishes are even scented and boy do they smell good. While you are shopping don’t forget to add a bottle of their low odor, acetone-free nail polish remover to your cart.
Using Piggy Paint is easy. First, you wash your child’s hands with soap and water. Then, apply 2-3 thin coats of polish. You’ll want to allow the polish to air dry for 60 seconds. Then, blow dry the polished nails for 1 minute with a hair dryer set on warm heat/low blower. I know first hand how hard it can be to get a toddler to sit still for 10 seconds let alone 60. Try turning this into a fun activity for them. You can sing them some of their favorite songs or have them practice telling you the different colors of each of the polishes. What I love so much about Piggy Paint is that it becomes a fun bonding experience between parents and their children. So, take your time and enjoy it!