I have to admit that while I don’t love wading through ridiculous amounts of toys in my house (we do try to keep things contained and give away what we don’t use) I do love finding just the right thing to give as a gift for the holidays. The trick this year is that we already have a lot of good stuff – we don’t need “toy of the year” or just any old thing coming into our house this year (or any year) so when relatives start asking for Christmas/Birthday (his is February so it’s basically right around the corner) I try to get intentional about it. I always try to keep the actual “toys” in the list to a minimum, but there’s plenty out there that’s just as good as a regular ol’ toy.
I thought I’d share a few of our favorite things; a combination of our favorite things from this last year and things that are actually on his list this year. While these are items I’d welcome for our four-year-old boy, it’s a pretty gender neutral list: Plenty for Boys and Girls.
**note: my “four-year-old” is an almost five-year-old, so some of these items were chosen in mind for a kid whose birthday follows the holidays pretty quickly, so not everything might not be right for a younger four-year-old. =)
These are our favorite magazines for preschoolers. These become our cartrip books and when they’ve been used and torn to shred they’re easy to say good-bye too. I recommend keeping an eye on Zulily for their magazine deals – we get Ladybug and Click for about $19 each a year through their sales.
Board games are always good alternatives to “toy of the year”. These items really last for years.
We love getting outdoor things for gifts. They’re items that get well used, but don’t take up space in my living room.
Toys that are good for enabling play, but not limiting it. Also science kits tend to get “used up” so they don’t have lots of parts you need to keep in the end.
The most toy-like things on the list. These toys have multiple uses and endless possibilities.
Melissa and Doug takes the cake here for gender neutral dress up options – though it is the perfect time of year to hit up Goodwill and sales racks for costumes.