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My goal this holiday season was – NO (or little to no) Junk! After stepping on countless mistreated and broken toys (which essentially add no value to my children’s play or imagination) these past few months (cough years). I had had enough! NO MORE JUNK!!! We purged, we cleaned out and are now attempting to put some sort of concious thought into the toys we would hold on to and take care of in our home.
Having another baby 10 years after my first, I find myself trying things in different ways. My two older children are wonderful kids, Im their mum I can say this, but there is sometimes things I wish they would naturally do more. I look back to their early childhood and wish I had allowed their brains to explore and delve more into open ended play. I was surviving at that point, with two littles under 3, I did the best I could. My husband and I also spoiled them with every flashy new toy under the sun to keep them happy and distracted. TV was a regualrly used babysitter. These all became growing and evolving bad habits as I tried to clean, cook dinner, get through life even through till today and I didn’t think much of it until I started noticing that their imaginative play was always structured by what they had seen on tv or online that day, week, month.
With Saoirse I am scratching the surface of open ended play, and toys that will enhance that. I am not full Waldorf or Montessorri – simply because I havent done enough research into it all yet. However, from what I have read, I do love these philosphies of play and It is what my focus has been for her first ever Christmas list.
So I guess we are a blend of past things that have worked for us as parents and new ideas to try. Im not sure which way I will go from here, whether I will delve further into Waldorf and/or Montessorri theories, will fall back into habit and commercialism or will sit some place in the middle with a balance of the two. But one thing is for sure, I will be making a concious consideration into all toys I give my big and littles from now on.
Please enjoy out Santa List for Saoirse, perhaps it will give you some ideas for your littles.
- I keep seeing these rainbows everywhere and not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they can offer many varieties of imaginative play to your babies. From the stacking rainbow to turning them into archways and boats for their dolls, there are many ways to play with this toy. These can vary in price from $20 – $90. You can find some more neutral, organic and handpainted versions of them, to the more generic such as here. We had already gone a little too far in present buying for the little so I wasn’t prepared to make the $70 investment but found this reasonably priced Rainbow stacker here.
2. We LOVE Sarah’s Play Silks, Saoirse loved the mini ones from a month old and Sienna and Savannah love the large ones at 7 & 10 years old. The world is your oyster when it comes to play silks they could become a fort, a cape, a comforter, great for peek-a-boo, a flag, a playscape such as the ocean or an outerspace planet… honestly the uses are endless for these silks and it is always incredible to see where your children will go with them.
3. We Love Alexa in our house and use her for many different things. It was inevitable that we were going to want one for the baby’s room. When I saw this latest edition for kids I jumped at the sale price. I am excited to use this in Saoirse-Skye’s room. For lullabies, as a sound machine then as she grows she can use all of the cool kid apps on it too.
4. This one was to appease my husband and pull him out of the shiny plastic toy aisle. I love this natural wood shape sorter will be great for her development and it is once again pretty neutral and aesthetically pleasing.
5. Dolls are something that I want to be very concious about when I bring them into all three of my children’s lives. I fell in love with these dolls which encourage social emotional play, imaginative play and pull away from the boundaries of labels as they allow children to grow, develop and explore through diversity, love and the ability to use their own minds. I just know Saoirse is going to fall in love with all of these and I cant wait to see her take care of them all.
6. We have many musical instruments in our house, but the one thing we didnt have was a drum. My babies always loved banging on pots and pans and are happy enough with that. However I love these remo drums and just thought it was a great addition to Saoirse’s Christmas Wish list. Musical instruments are always a great gift idea – Saoirse LOVES her shakey eggs and maracas!
7. Again my husband wanted some sorting toys for Saoirse, so I found these really cute ones that are Montessorri inspired. Natural and great for their small developing hands and minds.
8. Ok this one may be for me, I just thought it was lovely. I chose custom colors to match her room and thought it was an adorable, personalized first puzzle for Saoirse, as she would eventually learn to spell her quite difficult name.https://www.etsy.com/listing/850685732/name-puzzle-personalized-name-custom?ref=yr_purchases
9. I love these hand ribbons and again thought these personalized gifts were adorable. Perfect for a stocking stuffer and will work great in our movement and dance classes, as well as being a great teether.https://www.etsy.com/listing/685965660/personalised-engraved-montessori-hand?ref=yr_purchases
10. Saoirse Loves hitting her big sister’s keyboard so we decided to get her, her own mini piano. I again love it in wood and think she will have a blast hitting the keys and making her own music. We are always a fan of Little Einstein products and I love that this one was more geared towards the naturalistic theme.
11. This one is similar to what were would have purchased for our other children when they were younger. Its not within the Montesorri/Waldorf style of open play but I feel in order to keep baby safe and away from her big sister’s toys, which are definately choking hazzards, this is something we needed for our family. And that’s ok! This will be Saoirse’s safe space to explore and engage with her toys and I can have piece of mind knowing she is in a safe zone and not getting into the things she shouldn’t.
12. I love stacking cups and these are great for water, bath and regular floor play. This will enhance Saoirse’s fine motor skills as she builds, stacks and plays with these cups in whichever way she pleases. oeq
13. I just fell in love with these aesthetically pleasing, natural wooden toys from www.poppyseedplay.com They will be great for Saoirse to play with and maneuver and are all natural so she can even pop them in her mouth with no worries at all. This site has gorgeous items for babies and play, I highly recommend you check them out.Wooden Dog Toy
14. Another adorable toy from www.poppyseedplay.com I thought this little horse would make the perfect stocking stuffer for our littlest one.Wooden Horse Toy
15. Now again, this one is really a gift for Mummy. I had been seeing these about all summer and they looked so great for outdoor trips to the beach or the park. I put this on Saoirse’s list, but really it was something I wanted for her.
16. This is also a parents dream gift for littles, great for the zoo, family walks the park, trick or treating. This little wagon is just a great thing for parents of littles to have.
17. I think I am going to hold off till the spring to get Saoirse this adorable sandbox, its just about to get too cold here and I would rather purchase it post-snow. However, with being a lockdown baby, I want her more than ever to get those microbes in her system so come the spring she will be sitting this and eating sand till her heart is content. LOL I WOULD HAVE NEVER SAID THIS 10 YEARS AGO!!!
18. Saoirse will turn one in May, So I think a sensory bin is going to be on her birthday list, but I wanted to add it in here, incase your little one is a little bit older, because from working in a pre-school, I just know how wonderful and the many benefits that sensory play can bring to your little ones from a young age.
19. This is another item I am holding off on, until toddlerdom but just a great gift to encourage those gross motor skills. I love this triangle and ramp, definately on our future wish lists.
20. BOOKS!!!! Books, Books, Books, Books, Books…. You cant go wrong with books. Did you know that reading to even your very young baby for 15 minutes a day can help with their verbal, social-emotional deveolopment?! We LOVE these “That’s Not My….” books from Usborne… they are touch and feel but really any baby book and the gift of time through reading is always a wonderful present for you darling little one.
Just some great items that still allow you to spoil your little cherub while encouraging their play in new, conciously selected and imaginative ways!
I hope this gives you some gift ideas for baby this year, what would you add to this list?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,