Christmas Day and New Years Presents

Christmas has come and gone. I’ve been resting from such a long month and my children this week have happily been playing with their new gifts this week. And though of course we don’t celebrate Christmas for the gifts but to celebrate the birth of our savior it’s always nice to share with others in what was given and received.

Our Christmas day was stress free, calm, and very restful. The children slept in till almost 10am being extremely worn out from Christmas Eve church service and visiting family the day before.  They are usually up out of bed around 6-7am. So this means I got to sleep in for as long as my body would let me ( a very welcome gift).

What toys did my kids receive from us that they loved and have been playing with daily since they were received?

Owen’s Loot

A Green Toys Recycling Truck. This truck is the second in his Green Toys truck collection as we also have the Dump Truck! He loves this truck so very much and I do too! It’s made in the USA, durable, educational, engaging, interactive, and lots of fun! Not to forget to mention that these toys  as they contain no BPA, PVC, phthalates, or external coatings keeping my little guy safe ( A huge deal to me in the toys my children have. ) I’ve taken video that I plan to share along with a short little review soon!

My Big Animal Bookby Roger Priddy. Owen loves books and the more eye catching like this book, the better. It’s the perfect book as it’s durable, bright, bold, and very engaging! I like the photographs of all the different animals from exotic, zoo, farm, and more. It’s a great book for picture, sound, and word association. I’m hoping to collect more books by Roger Priddy.  Owen’s obviously a fan and has been quacking every time he sees a picture of the duck in the book. Other  titles include books about cars & trucks, abcs, 123s, and much more!

Schylling Ambi One Man Band
(New Years Gift to ring in the New Year)- The One Man Band by Ambi Toys incorporates many musical novelties into one sweet and goofy character. Kids can use the Ambi Toys One Man Band to play a song with drumming, whistles, shakers and bells. The One Man Band features a swinging tie and head that turns, as well as a whistle that plays two sounds and a ringing bell hat. It’s a great toy that encourages  musical expression. This toy is of high-quality and it’s made with brightly colored recyclable PVC-free plastic. Owen likes this toy, especially the whistle part!

Melissa & Doug First Shapes Jumbo Puzzle– Owen’s first puzzle and it’s perfect for him with it’s extra-large knobs make it easy for small hands to remove each brightly colored piece. He was quite taken with these sorts of puzzles at our local science museum so that’s what prompting me to get one. His sister’s puzzles are really worn out and the pieces aren’t as durable as this one. This will be a great way to teach Owen his shapes and colors! I love the super sized pieces and the fact it’s made out of solid wood. It’s a a fun educational toy that’s built to last!

I’m happy that he’s interested in everything we gifted him and no worries from me about products are potentially unsafe or could be on recall list in the future.  Toys that are all battery free, imagination friendly, and to be well played with and loved for years to come!

Melody’s  Loot…

Melissa & Doug Alphabet Puzzle Book– Since Melody has taken quite an interest in learning to read. I prompted to find a fun gift that would help give her a boost in that area. This is a fun little puzzle book. It features both upper and lower case letters followed by a corresponding word picture such as Aa is for Apple and underneath the apple piece is the word Apple spelled out. It’s a great little puzzle book as it’s colorful and has great educational benefits. I do wish that the magnets in the book were a bit stronger. They sometime tend to fall out when turning the pages. I’m thinking about knitting a little bag to put this in so as to keep everything together when it isn’t being played.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magnetic Calendar (New Years Gift)This calendar reminded me of one I shared with my sisters as a kid. We homeschooled so we always got really cool things for our classroom. Well Melody has taken an intrest in wanting to know how calendars work. I figured this would be a great gift and learning tool! There’s nothing I don’t like about this product…in fact, I highly recommend it! It’s very colorful, includes 134 magnets depicting most holidays and childhood activities and  the board it self can be used with dry erase markers. It’s currently hanging up in our kitchen. And we’ve every morning gone in and had a discussion about what day it is and what’s coming up soon like New Years and Baby Brothers  1st Birthday! A great learning tool for children ages three and up!

Schleich Figurines My daughter loves her Schleich collectable figurines!  She plays with them almost daily and loves them so much that occasionally whenever people come over she brings them out and shows them every single one. We could be collecting these till she goes to college and far beyond on that. These awesome hand painted one of a kind creations are durable, life like, great for learning, and nice to even just display.  Melody’s recent additions include the Emperor Penguin, Zebra Foal, and a Panda Cub. I know she’s hoping for some dragons, unicorns, and even some of the fairies for her birthday and even before that. I’m the kind of mom that doesn’t put off giving gifts for specific celebration. It is okay to give something any other day of the year too. Life is short, so why wait?

And last but not least, Melody received a Casio SA-76 44 Key Mini Keyboard. She had been asking about one for several months now. And was thrilled when she received it! I know a little bit about playing but I’m basically a guitar player so I’m not as much help there as I’d like to be. We are thinking of signing her to take piano lessons next fall. I am so happy that she’s shown such interest in a musical instrument.

There’s a trend in the gifts I pick out for my kids… something musical, books, puzzles,  and something they particulary enjoy like the truck and the figurines. Also I purposefully did my best to  pick items that are eco-friendly, made in the USA, and are built to last.

Where there any presents that you or your kids got that you didn’t like? Any favorites? I’d love to know.