Monday, November 22, 2010

Holy Holiday Shopping List!

The last few weeks have found me wracking my brain as to what to get Pooka for Christmas. She will be 20 months on Christmas day and seems pretty bored with the variety of toys currently residing in her toy basket. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate her toy cache, although let's be honest...she is just as likely to go gaga over the wrapping paper and boxes as she is with the toys!

To streamline the process this year, and to be a good partner parent, I put together a spreadsheet of Pooka's Christmas list and sent it to my husband complete with links to the items and prices. This will likely create a conversation between my husband and I that will go something like this...

Him: "Is she really going to use this?"
Me: "Of course, she's going to love it."
Him: "I don't really think she needs this."
Me: "Well you're not the one home with her all day trying to keep her entertained."
Him: "Is there a cheaper version?"

Anyways, you get the idea. So without further ado, here is the list of items I hope to stash under the tree for Pooka this year:

1) Kitchen Set: I have my eye on two different kitchen sets for Pooka for Christmas. I have to warn you that they are rated for ages 3 and up so it's up to you to decide if it is appropriate for your child. Pooka has used them at other houses and absolutely loves them so I'm pretty confident she can handle having her own kitchen. My first favorite is the WH Swiss - Educo French Kitchen available at Oompa, which comes complete with pots and pans and some food for the bargain price of $99.00. I am also a big fan of the Gourmet Chef Kitchen available at Giggle, although its a bit pricier at $138.00 and you have to add cookware and food. I like this one because it is very compact and stylish!

2) Scooter: Again, most scooters are rated for children ages 3 and up, but there are a few for the younger set too. Last spring we went to a two year old's birthday party and not only was she an expert scooter rider, she was doing tricks on her scooter too! So that's my inspiration behind getting Pooka a scooter at this tender age. I should also clarify that she took her first steps at 10 months and is a pretty good mover, so if your wee one didn't walk until later they may not be ready for a scooter for a while. The two I have my eye on are the Razor Jr. Folding Kiddie Kick available for $40.00 at Giggle, and the Radio Flyer My First Scooter available tons of places like Toys R' Us and Target for $39.99. The Radio Flyer scooter is rated from age 2. And don't forget to grab a helmet while you're at it! I like the Adjustable Hula Helmet from Nutcase or the Giro Me2 Infant Bike Helmet!

3) The Rody Horse: Made in Italy by Gymnic, this inflatable horse is about a cute as it gets. Your wee one can climb aboard and bounce to their heart's content. And as they get older they can even bounce around with it (like those hopping balls we had as kids), rather than just do stationary bouncing. I love the design so much that I won't mind leaving it out in our space constrained apartment, rather than hiding it away when company comes. The good news is the Rody horse is latex and phalate free! And did I mention the Rody comes in about a dozen different color combos? I found the best selection of Rody horses at Red Wagon Toy Co, were they retail for $41.95.

4) Janod Alphabet Puzzle: Referred to as the "Take a Letter" puzzle on Land of Nod, I'm a huge fan of this alphabet puzzle by French toy-maker Janod. Pooka is really starting to get the hang of puzzles, and I love that we can practice our ABC's with it, even if she can't seem to get all the pieces on the board yet. Again, this toy is rated for ages 3 and up, but you must realize by now that we like to live on the dangerous side! The puzzle retails for $34.00.

5) Leap Frog Chat and Count Cell Phone: If your child is anything like Pooka then they are obsessed with cell phones. Up until now I have refrained from purchasing her a faux phone, as she seems to do just as well picking up a wood block, holding it to her ear, and jabbering away. But this phone from Leap Frog has me rethinking my strategy. Part of their popular Scout line for toddlers, this phone has a fun combination of songs and counting games. We've recently noticed that Pooka has been repeating the numbers 1-10 so this phone seems like a fun way to reinforce her learning. Priced at $14.99 it's a great stocking stuffer or gift for toddler friends!

6) Nuts and Bolts by Plan Toys: We love Plan Toys for their quality, non-toxic wooden products and their green manufacturing policies. The Nuts and Bolts toy is a great choice for developing fine motor skills, plus I am hoping it will keep Pooka occupied at the dinner table and out in public when she's feeling a little feisty. Available at Oompa, and retailing for $17.99 this is also a great stocking stuffer or gift for your wee one's bestie!

So I hope this list gives you a few ideas for your dear one this holiday season. To some of you this may seem like a short list, but once you add in the gifts from the fam it should be a reasonable amount for any toddler. Besides, they can only play with so many things at once! And one other little helpful hint: many of these products can also be found on Amazon (often for less money), and if you have an Amazon Prime account you can get free 2-day shipping!

Life With Pooka back in action!

I'm sure many of you have been wondering where I have been these last fews months, as it has been radio silence here at LWP. Some of you may have read in previous posts that it all started last spring with Pooka's bout with croup, then my sinus infection, and then (wait for it...) we were blessed with a brand new pregnancy. That's right, Pooka is going to be a big sister! But unfortunately that meant about 14 weeks of morning sickness, which is an ailment I suffer from in a big way. Combine that with a toddler who barely naps and the reasoning behind the extended blogging hiatus should seem pretty clear. Fast forward to now, I am 21 weeks in and have finally found that second trimester energy which will allow me to get a few posts out.

I hope you will come back and visit again regularly as I rededicate myself to creating interesting posts on the products, classes and events that shape Pooka's world! We missed you and can't wait to be cyber visiting with you again!

p.s. I just ordered Pooka some really cute sale t-shirts from Amy Tangerine on The Mini Social so hurry over and have a look!