That special season is coming - you can sense the change in the air, right? As adults, the holiday season may contain obligations, to-do lists, and more - but seeing it through the eyes of our kiddos, the sense of magic all comes back.
If this is baby's first Christmas (or another holiday your family observes), you may be wondering what to put in the stocking or under the tree. One strategy I use when crafting a gift wish-list for my littles (a list that grandparents/aunties/uncles often ask for well in advance) is to think through what presents will bring us joy not just in the coming winter months, but for years to come.
With that in mind, I share below some gift ideas that have had true longevity in our house.
Wooden Unit Blocks
Their large size means these blocks are safe for little ones to grab, but their open-ended play possibilities mean years of fun (we're at 6.5 years and counting here!). We've found that starting with a basic set has allowed us to add blocks with color, mirrors, or other materials to add some layers of sensory engagement to block play.
Tegu Magnetic Blocks
While I enjoy these blocks as an adult, they are particularly great for little ones who are in that stage of wanting to build but often frustrated when the pieces don't stack like they want. And, the addition of magnets adds for a different twist on this fine motor activity. Packing just 4 blocks in my purse provided great entertainment on the go for my kiddos.
Wooden Train Set
If your little one is close to his or her first birthday, now may be a great time to add a simple train set to your list. Your participation may be required to help build a track for awhile, but eventually your child will delight in that part, too. Like the open ended wooden blocks, we've had toddlers as well as 12 year-old cousins get a kick out of our train set.
If you don't have the perfect year to get outside in colder temps, now is a perfect time to add that to your list. If you are set for winter but not the warmer rainy temps, adding a coverall and some rainboots will make it possible for you to enjoy spring weather, too.
Holidays mean roadtrips for our family and having good tunes is key to everyone's happiness. Check out the link above for some of our favorites and add a CD or digital download to your little one's Christmas list.
The more holiday seasons I journey through with my children, the more I value experience gifts. Instead of taking up space in our house, these gifts allow us to find joy together. Locally a music class at Preucil or West Music, a membership to the Iowa Children's Museum, or parent and baby classes like yoga or music
Stainless Steel Dinnerware
While it may seem impossible now, little one will be joining you at the table soon (if not already). Investing in some quality stainless steel dinnerware means you can feel confident that these dishes will last a long time.
This tray comes with a cover, perfect for storing in the fridge or taking on a picnic.
Stainless steel cups with silicone lids will last you from the sippy cup stage and well beyond. My 6 year old still drinks out of this size stainless steel cup, so we've gotten years out of our similar set, instead of buying new cups for each new stage.
Did I miss one of your favorite ideas for baby's first Christmas? Share in the comments below!
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Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.