If you’re like me, you cringe every time you hear or see the latest countdown to Christmas…16 days already??….not because you’re a Scrooge, but because you’re starting to panic about the gift shopping that still needs to happen and the lack of time and inspiration to get it done.
This year, with three little ones in tow, I’ve decided to keep it simple and do 99% of my holiday shopping online. That’s right, no lines, no jockeying for prime parking spots, no temper tantrums (from the kids or me), and sometimes no sales tax. It’s a no brainer for this mama!
My husband and I have hit that practical, boring, unexciting stage of gifts. I asked for a pair of boots to replace my completely-destroyed-Goodwill-would-turn-em-down-8-year-old ones and a steam mop. Whoopdeedo! It’s okay. These things make my life easier and, for us, it’s all about the kids right now. Seeing the excitement and anticipation in their eyes is a gift in and of itself.
In case you are sweating bullets watching the last remaining shopping days vanish before your eyes, here are a few ideas that you can have delivered to your doorstep by the end of the week!
- Melissa & Doug anything. Seriously, I don’t know Melissa or Doug personally, but I have to say, they’ve got it goin’ on! If you are a grandparent or an aunt or uncle without kids and you feel a bit lost in the toy aisle, here’s a helpful hint. If you see this logo, you’re golden! Almost all wooden, no batteries needed, educational and cute!Here are a few of my top picks from this dynamic duo.
- Melissa & Doug See & Spell – These are perfect for pre-readers! These fun cards help them with letter recognition and sight words. Younger siblings will have fun playing with the letters too!
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board – My Half Pint is destined to be a mechanic, I believe. She is always trying to figure out how things work and can quickly get into most any “childproof” medicine bottle. She will love this tactile toy that will stimulate her curious nature while keeping her out of trouble…hopefully.
- Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards – I had a similar toy growing up, and I loved it! Little brains will be growing as they work to create pictures using various geometric shapes.
- Melissa & Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad – I can’t say enough about these giant reusable sticker pads. We have a few different ones and the girls will pull them out and play for hours. Every now and then, we lose a sticker here or there, but this is a present they can enjoy for years to come. I especially love the animal habitats!
- Melissa & Doug On The Go Water Wow! Connect the Dots – Best church/travel bag toy ever. These hardback spiral bound books come to life with a brush from the refillable water wand. But, unlike every other coloring book, once the water dries, the pages magically erase to be used again. They have several styles, all of which are educational and fun.
- Big boy/girl Bible and related accessories. As I mentioned in our latest installment of Random Ruffles, this year I bought Pickle Pants a monogrammed Bible case to carry her big girl Bible. Here are a few related gift ideas.
- ESV Holy Bible for Kids – This is the Bible I wish I had bought Pickle Pants last year. Hers is fine, but I love how this one gives them an unabridged version with lots of engaging illustrations to pique their interest.
- Luscombe Dry Pencil Highlighting Kit and Bible Study Pen – For elementary school aged kids, this is a great way to encourage participation in worship. Teach them a simple highlighting system (for example, highlight all references of Christ in blue), and encourage them to write important points from the sermon in the margins of their bibles.
- Post-it Recycled Super Sticky Notes – We always encourage our kids to stay quiet during worship and save any questions until after services are over. As they grow, I want to make sure they don’t forget any questions they might have about the sermon. These lined sticky notes are great for kids to jot down things they want you to discuss with you later!
- Money management tools. We’re Dave Ramsey folks and believe teaching your kids how to handle money can’t begin too early. Here are some great gifts that could benefit them for a lifetime!
- Moonjar Classic Moneybox: Save, Spend, Share – I love everything about this cute little bank! It teaches the importance of stewardship and lays the groundwork for a healthy attitude towards money in the future.
- The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense – We all love Berenstain (or Berensteen) Bears books, right? This one is adorable and would make a great tagalong gift with the Moonjar.
- Building toys. Have you noticed a theme? No batteries needed 🙂 I love toys that require nothing more than little hands and big imaginations to operate. There’s gobs of research out there that suggests that playing with building toys boosts children’s reasoning and problem solving skills. Plus, batteries are expensive! Here are my favorites.
- Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set – These are SO COOL! You will likely play with them as much as your children do. These simple wooden blocks have very strong magnets hidden within them, allowing them to stick together in gravity defying ways. They are simple enough that a baby could play with them, but fascinating enough to capture the attention of just about anyone.
- KEVA Brain Builders Game – I fell in love with KEVA planks when we visited the Discovery Park of America last year. They have a HUGE bin full of them and a large area where children and adults can build and create anything they imagine. My architect daddy would have loved this game as a child!
- VIAHART Brain Flakes 500 Piece Interlocking Plastic Disc Set – Click on the link, y’all. I think you’ll instantly get how awesome these are!
- Peaceable Kingdom games!!! – If you haven’t heard of this company yet, allow me to formerly introduce you. They make the cutest board games that encourage cooperative strategy. That means your lovely children who can be a teensy bit competitive at times will have to work together in order to win. We love Peaceable Kingdom / Race to the Treasure! and Peaceable Kingdom / Count Your Chickens.
I hope this has been helpful and I wish you all the best in your last minute holiday shopping! I think I hear my friendly UPS delivery man now… 🙂