Shhh… don’t tell my daughter

Photo by albastrica mititica via flickr


This year we are keeping Christmas simple. We have always tried to keep the toys to a minimum and focus on the more simple toys. That’s not to say there aren’t a few things here and there that require a battery, but for the most part we try and focus on just having a few toys that Audrey can really use her imagination with. And also, I feel like I am constantly stepping on toys and books strewn all over the floor, so I would prefer not to add to much to her basket.

I thought I would share some of her favourite current toys are and the things that are going under the tree. Audrey will be 2 in March (Oh my!), but I think a lot of these toys are great for many ages.

Current Toy favourites:

  • simple musical instruments- a trumpet, tambourine, little toddler piano, egg shaker
  • set of small silicone bowls- ones you would get for the kitchen. She loves to stack and unstack them and also drop them from various places
  • simple wooden puzzles- I watched her remove and replace all the pieces in one of her two puzzles at least 4 times in a row the other day
  • books- really, who could go wrong with books
  • old fisher price play house- ours is from 26 years ago or so. It was a gift for my brother and my Mom gave it to us when Audrey was little. But I have seen some ‘retro’ toys come back.. some of the really simple ones from 25 years ago are great and sans-batteries
  • Deck of cards- yeah, apparently 52 pick up is a great game, not just an annoying joke

And now for part idea sharing and part shopping advice seeking. These are the things that, between the grandparents and us, will be wrapped up under the tree for Audrey. Some of them I am still on the hunt for and any tips would be appreciated!

1) Books

Replacements for some of the books she has eaten like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Peter Rabbit and a few new ones.. mostly variations on Peter Rabbit. Audrey loves her some Beatrix Potter.

2) Lego

Audrey absolutely loves playing with Lego. Duplo (Lego’s bigger cousin) actually. She talks all the time about building towers and it is often something she asks to do. She has a small set, but the pieces always go missing. In fact we aren’t hiding Easter eggs this spring, we will go looking for Lego instead. Anyway, we can always use more Lego.

3) A Box of Crayons

Because her current box has suffered one of two fates. Half the box she has broken and the other half a box has been eaten by the dog. Time for replacement. P.S.- didn’t they use to sell those BIG GIGANTIC toddler crayons? Like Jumbo ones? Now I can only find the bigger triangle ones or those weird creepy wobbly people ones that Audrey doesn’t seem to understand how to work. Seriously, what was wrong with the jumbo ones? They were hard to break! Anyway, if anyone knows where to find them in Calgary, please comment below! I digress.

4) Playdough

Yes, I could make my own. But I didn’t. There were tubs of it for $1 eat at Superstore. So I just got those.

5) Buckles

Audrey has an unnatural obsession with buckles. One of her favourite things to do it to climb up into her chair (which we recently converted from an infant high chair to the ‘toddler’ version which is pretty much a small and tall chair so she can sit at the table but get in and out of herself) and buckle herself in. Not because she likes to be trapped, it turns out. Which kinda defeats the purpose of converting it to a toddler chair because currently she enjoys buckling herself in and then asks to get down 2 minute later just for fun. Anyway, the point is that she just likes buckles. A lot. She also will buckle up any rogue stroller straps she encounters… you’ve been warned.

So we are going to go try and find some big buckles that she can just play with. And while we are at it we will probably also try and find her some giant buttons. I could see her liking that too. She likes buttons. That being said I am not sure where to find either. I tried a GIANT craft store to no avail. But there must be somewhere where people buy these things. Maybe I need a fabric store.

6) Doll clothing

Audrey has this lovely, simple baby doll that friends of ours gave her on our last visit to the West Coast. She loves that baby doll. It came with a diaper, slippers and a towel, along with a pretend bottle of shampoo which Audrey calls ‘clean.’ Audrey loves to sit on the floor and try to clean the baby with the bottle of shampoo and then open the bottle, pretend to pour the soup out and then say “all gone?” But the baby? Baby goes mostly naked as keeping the diaper or the towel on the baby is a challenge. So I am going to look for some simple baby doll clothing.

Here is the trick- everything I have seen so far is some crazy set with a glitter pink dress, purse and locket for the baby doll. Baby doll is not going to the club. Baby doll is hanging out at home and going for occasional car trips when Audrey refuses to leave the baby at home. If Audrey doesn’t need clothing fit for glamming it up, then her doll certainly doesn’t. Where do I find more simple, reasonable doll clothing? Anyone?

7) A pair of P.J.’s

My favourite Christmas eve tradition is a new pair of PJ’s. I don’t think we did this every year, but I know as we got older I requested it. And I still do. I LOVE putting on a new pair of PJ’s to go to bed in on Christmas eve. As it is I have an unnatural obsession with comfortable PJ’s. And I plan to pass that obsession on to Audrey. So, if I can find some I like that don’t cost a fortune, I am going to get her a new pair of PJ’s for Christmas eve.

Okay, now I am excited.


11 responses to “Shhh… don’t tell my daughter

  1. Alexis December 10, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Melissa and Doug make a buckle/latches puzzle board thing…my kids love it, might fill a few of those niches. Amen to a simpler holiday, we have set out a similar premise so lets see if it works!

    • amoment2think December 12, 2010 at 7:48 am

      I looked that puzzle up- so cool! Thanks for the idea. I havent been able to find it in a store yet.. But I will order it for her birthday if I don’t spot it between now and then.

  2. TheZomBlog December 10, 2010 at 9:07 am

    My 3-year-old sister LOVES Madeline, the French redheaded orphan. Maybe see if your daughter likes her? I’d try a library book first and then purchasing if she likes it.

    This is a really great list. I can’t stand all the plastic, glittery, loud toys that need batteries. You can never go wrong with Lego. And, if you don’t mind doing a little online shopping, Amazon has several large crayon options. An 8-count box can be found here:
    Crayola 8ct Large Washable Crayons

  3. Jen December 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I saw big buckles in, of all places, Canadian Tire. Was in the lock section. Kale is getting a push bike, some clothes, Duplos as well, and do you remember those comb blocks? Some of those.

  4. janetlansbury December 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Sounds perfect. Merry Christmas Kathleen, Audrey and Daddy!

  5. Ginger December 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Have you seen some of the recycled crayons you can get on Etsy? They’re often in big chunky shapes (I saw little stars, robots, a whole bunch of things) that look like they would fit better in a toddler’s hands than regular crayons. Maybe Audrey would like those?

  6. Perpetua December 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I’m thinking your best bet for doll clothes is etsy. I’ve seen people selling some elaborate stuff there, but you could probably also find simple dresses.

  7. clara December 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    For the doll clothes, try preemie baby clothes? Maybe at thrift shops? (depending on how much time you have) (and how big the doll is)

    I’m actually getting my *mom* Lego this year because she has a slew of it at her house and always complains that she can’t build anything properly with the boys because she doesn’t have enough. So “the boys” got her a big tub.

    Great list. Audrey will be delighted.

  8. ChrIs December 10, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I found the crayons you are looking for at Walmart, but in the big kid’s toy section in the craft aisle.

  9. Megan December 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Charlotte is obsessed with buckles, too! She calls them “snap.”

    We scored a play kitchen for twenty bucks from a friend of a friend. My grandma is getting her plastic food to go with it.

    We’re getting her a baby doll (a very simple, inexpensive one,) a stroller, a dump truck, and a set of Melissa and Doug stamps.

    We are on the same wavelength when it comes to the kids of toys we want her to have. I spread the word that we want to get her simple toys that will help foster her imagination. I know she has some additions to her wooden puzzles coming her way from my mom. We also want to get her some pretend tools because she loves fixing stuff with Daddy and some musical instruments like the ones you mentioned, but we have to be done spending for her, so if she doesn’t get them from someone else we’ll wait till her birthday.

    Can you believe they’ll be TWO in a few months? It seems like yesterday that we were talking about their first birthdays!

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