the bufflogals’ holiday gift guide

Thanksgiving is upon us and the holiday season is officially underway. I thought I’d share what Etta and Claire are getting/wishing for/into this holiday season to help out any of you who might be shopping for toddlers/preschoolers this time of year. Last year their toys mostly focused on kitchen and food play, baby dolls, and bath toys, and you can check out that gift guide if you’re shopping for younger toddlers in the one to two year old range. Much of it is stuff they still love, and would make excellent gifts for any toddlers in your life. This guide is probably most suitable for ages 2 and up.

One category of play they are really starting to be into is dress-up and pretend play. We have bought and stashed some clearance Halloween costumes, and they have received some wings and hand me down hats, and capes and tutus remain very popular. Their big gift this year will likely be a small wardrobe to hold all the dress up items for easy kid access.

Dress Up Play

 

Etta remains really into wooden puzzles and blocks, and both girls seem to enjoy tool benches when we go to the Wonder Place or homes that have them. I’m considering a tool bench as another big gift option. Toys that encourage fine motor skills, like lacing, latching, zipping, and buckling are all really fun for this age group, as are color matching and shape sorting. These gifts fit that bill:

Learning Toys

 

We go to a weekly music and movement class that basically consists of playing kids’ CDs while introducing various props. It’s an experience that’s pretty easy to recreate at home, and our girls love to play with their various musical instruments. I’m thinking of attempting to DIY some ribbon sticks or wristbands, as they are always a favorite part of the class, and I think some juggling silks would also be pretty fun:

Music and Movement toys

 

Other categories of toys to consider when shopping for toddlers: books, bath toys, and art/craft supplies. A pack of washable crayons and a jumbo coloring book will definitely appear in both girls’ Christmas stockings, and I’m thinking maybe some bath tub paints or something will be fun too and solve my problem of hating to paint with them because it’s such a giant mess.

Note: this post is not sponsored and these are not affiliate links. Everything in this post is something I either have bought or am considering buying for my kids.

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Preface: I love Valentine’s Day. I don’t love Hallmark Valentine’s Day, where you have to buy schmoopy cards and DeBeers Diamonds and Victoria’s Secret lingerie and 1-800-Flowers red roses by the dozen with a box of Godiva chocolates to boot. What I love is red and pink (two of my favorite colors), construction paper garlands, hearts of all sorts, and general proclamations of affection. Sure, you can do all of this all the other days of the year, and you should, but it’s extra fun in February. In fact, I jumped the gun and rocked a pink sweater, a heart necklace, and red lipstick yesterday. All month, you’ll catch me looking like a living Valentine.

It’s been a while since I did an Etsy roundup, and I thought Valentine’s Day was the appropriate time–might as well put to good use the hours I spend finding beauties on Etsy and adding them to my ever-growing favorites list.

Now, I’m usually of the opinion that the best Valentine is a handmade one. The best Valentine Jon ever gave me, he made of markers and glitter. It was a Simpson’s joke and featured a train and said “I Choo Choo Choose You.” (Get a replica here.) Another time, he decorated a card with a poem from one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson. If you’ve got a Valentine, I highly recommend you go the handmade card route.

But if you don’t want to make a card yourself, buy one handmade by someone else! I took the liberty of making you a cool Valentine card shopping guide. Some of these cards are so cool, you could give your sweetheart a frame to go along with it, and he or she could hang it on the wall and enjoy it long after Valentine’s Day. (Click any image to be taken to the seller’s Etsy shop.)

OK, so this one's not frameable, but if you have a ninja wannabe in your life, this card from seller Cookie Bits is a sure hit.
This photo Valentine from seller NomadicNotebook is frame-able for sure.

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