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This is my third Christmas Gift Guide and unlike a lot of other bloggers my motivation for creating these lists comes from my own desire to brainstorm gift ideas for Rigel, along the way I stumble on other cool items that I would love to buy but Rigel probably wouldn’t go for them. Instead of letting those ideas disappear into the ether, I share them with you all because well this Santa Claus gig is hard. Rigel did provide some input into a few of the selections on the list this year and I’ll try to convey his reasoning as best I can for each of those.
The following toys are best suited for 2 to 3 year-olds (Rigel will be 2.5 in January), a few may require a little extra supervision for those tykes newly turned 2, I’ll try to indicate as best I can which I think require a co-play over independent play.
furReal Sweet Jammiecorn Unicorn Interactive Plush Light-Up Toy ($24.96) – At some point, thankfully, toddlers get very cuddly. They want soft blankets and to snuggle up. They suddenly want to give Mom hugs all the time. Maybe it’s just me with Rigel but he wasn’t a snuggly baby but in the last month or so he’s really become a hugger. While Rigel’s got dinosaurs and superhero plushies I saw this interactive unicorn and I thought how cool would this guy be for a little girl who’s into whimsy!
Squeakee the Balloon Dino Interactive Dinosaur ($69.00) – When I saw this cute dinosaur dancing I was sold, Rigel has to have it this Christmas. It does over 70 moves and sounds, including responding to roars and since Rigel is currently going through a very intense dinosaur phase I think he’s going to get a real quick out of this one.
Wowwee Kids Indoor Slide – Pop2Play ($29.99) – With Winter here who wants to go outside with the kids to get their energy out. Instead, you can get them this indoor slide. It’s made of super durable cardboard that you can fold down to put away when you’re done. You can even pop it in the car and take it to Grandma’s house to keep the kids entertained during the holiday festivities.
Leapfrog Musical Rainbow Teaparty ($21.99) – Do you have a kid who’s into whimsy and afternoon tea? Then get them this tea set. I like it because it has some learning features and also doesn’t have too many pieces that Mom and Dad will have to inevitably pick up.
Play-doh Magical Oven ($29.99) – Rigel has gotten pretty obsessed with Play-doh recently. We now own two Play-doh sets including one with a Space theme, complete with rocket. So this one he would totally be into as he’s getting curious about cooking and the kitchen again. Those of you who remember the knife incident from last fall know I’m still a little nervous about letting him assist in the real kitchen, so this could be a fun way for him to be occupied while I cook. If your toddler is newly turned 2 this is definitely an item that requires your supervision but they’ll still think it’s super fun.
STEAM Life Toy Doctor Kit ($25.97) – Recently, Rigel has been getting into more pretend play and one of the things he likes to pretend to be is a doctor. He personally chose this set over other sets, probably because of all the tools in it. But I think something like this would be a lot fun for a toddler and thankfully it comes with a box so you can put it all away.
Fisher-Price Disney’s Frozen Elsa’s Enchanted Lights Palace ($34.97) – If your toddler hasn’t discovered Frozen yet, trust me they will, even if they’re super tough little boys, no one escapes the allure of Frozen. Rigel is so into this movie and he is completely in love with Princess Anna to the point that if I am looking pretty (by some miracle) Rigel will tell me I look like Princess Anna. This is a compact way to bring Frozen into your home to encourage imaginative play for your favorite Frozen fan.
Fisher-Price Bouncesational Bouncer with Built-in Pump ($69.00) – When your father is a neurologist getting a trampoline is completely out of the question. So what’s a toddler that really wants to bounce supposed to do? They get this small enough to fit in the living room bounce house and bounce to their hearts content (without ruining the furniture). It comes with a built-in pump so inflating it and deflating is a breeze. LIke the indoor slide earlier this will also come in handy during the winter when you can’t really get the kids outside to play.
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Learning Bot ($49.49) – This toy has 4 separate configurations and can be played with by children 6 months to 5 years of age. So this is a great toy if your toddler has younger siblings. With 3 learning levels this toy can go from teaching your baby fine motor skills to teaching your toddler their ABCs, all with a flip of a switch.
National Geographic Air Rocket Launcher ($19.99) – My space junkie is going to get a real kick out of this! I was so pleased to find a rocket kit without any propellant, it uses air to launch the rockets. Another cool feature is that these rockets light up so you can see them really well as they fly into the air. Rigel was attacking the screen when he saw these.
Barbie Space Discovery Playset ($49.00) – Little girls can dream of space too! Growing up I had a massive collection of Barbies but I wish they’d had a set like this…who knows what I would have grown up to be. This set features a space capsule, scientific tools, a puppy companion, and a Barbie space explorer. Add on this Barbie Astronaut doll as an extra crewmate and you have yourself the makings of a girl power dream.
Paw Patrol True Metal Total City Rescue Movie Track Set ($27.98) – There seem be dozens of Paw Patrol track sets out this year but after seeing how my son ripped apart his Thomas the Train train set we got him for his birthday I figure simplicity is probably better at this age. This track set is interesting enough to encourage play but doesn’t have too many pieces that can be ripped off. If you have a Paw Patrol fan that’s also into cars consider this set.
Positively Perfect Aailyah Doll ($19.99) – This doll is not only super cute but she comes from a black-owned toy manufacturer. So when you buy her you’re supporting a minority business while showing your child that all dolls are beautiful and fun to play with. The Positively Perfect line also features other dolls with varying skin tones so you can find one that resembles your little doll lover.
RaboSky Bean Bag Toss Game ($29.99) – The older Rigel gets the more energy he gets which means that I have to find more and more ways to get the energy out of him. He recently discovered bean bag toss when we were invited to a pig roast. I like this because bean bags are relatively safe, even in the house, and it helps him work on his hand eye coordination. I’m still hopeful we can raise a quarterback and he’ll put his runningback tendencies away.
Jurassic World Legacy Collection SUV & T-Rex ($49.99) – I made the mistake to let Rigel watch Jurassic Park and he’s been obsessed ever since. The highlight for him of our trip to Universal Studios Florida was going to Jurassic World. So even though this action figure set is a little on the pricey side I would get it for him just for the smile of pulling it out of the box. Plus I remember seeing Jurassic Park in the theater so I feel like this is part of my childhood.
PEYCPC Engineer Pretend Play Kit ($39.98) – There are more professions than just being a doctor or lawyer and Rigel seems more mechanically inclined than anything else. He really enjoys playing with gears and tools, trying to piece things together. He’d rather work on his car’s engine than actually drive it so he needs this set so he can pretend to be an engineer like his Grandpa.
Kids Round ABC Playmat ($29.99) – This is a black-owned brand that’s known for great baby items but they also are opening up their line to include more play time items like this playmat. I’m big into the idea that the more a child sees something the more they’ll recognize it so put those letters everywhere! Rigel was very receptive to all the drawings and letters.
Discovery Toys Kids Laptop ($24.50) – I already bought this one. I spent hours looking for the right laptop for Rigel. He’s gotten super interested in laptop which means that his little fingers wander over to my laptop whenever I have it out working. JCPenney currently has it 50% and I did store pick up to make sure I didn’t lose out on it. But definitely check out JCP this shopping season because they have great selection of gifts for all members of the family.
So those are the items for this year. This years has been less about big expensive gifts are much more about gifts that will open up Rigel’s imagination. Plus with a move to a new state next summer we didn’t want too many new big things to have to haul. If you want some more splashy choices my toddler guide from last year still available.
Let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular your toddler has been interested in or if you have any of these toys. Remember it’s not about the price of the toy it’s about the thought you put into the toy. Some of Rigel’s favorite toys were little toys I picked up for him at Dollar Tree or toys he got in Happy Meals. As long as you play with your kids they’ll have fun.
Wishing you all a great Holiday Season,