I catch a lot of grief from others when I ask them not to by my girls more toys, I voice my particularities about the clothing they wear and really any object that is introduced into my girls lives. I’ve been accused of not being fun, being too uptight and even ruining Christmas. I’m not going to say that those comments don’t sting, however we have a way that we’ve chosen to raise our children, to protect their innocence and childhood, to keep them little as long as possible and let their imaginations run free. I don’t believe you need battery operated toys to learn. I don’t think you need bright flashy plastic colors to keep their interest. And I don’t believe their toy boxes need to be overflowing, refreshing the clutter each holiday season. It’s okay to live a simple life full of creativity.
As I type this, girls are playing with blocks on the floor. They’ve sitting there for the last hour or more, building vacuums, towers and counting. Just counting. Before that, they found enjoyment from a brown paper bag. So simple.
I was trying to put into exact words my philosophy when it comes to spoiling my children, how I choose toys and treats and have really been struggling. I try to share the message of appreciating what they have, wanting them to learn to take care of what they’re given because I’m not going to just by them something new if they don’t take care of the previous item. But when they’re gifted cheap plastic toys and items that aren’t really built to last, it’s somewhat hard to get that message across. And then my anxiety arises about the mess and the clutter and storage issues and I can’t help but wonder if in the long run any of these items are actually bringing any joy or just feeding our greedy consumer habits?
Someone summed it up for me, how I feel about it all, and unfortunately I cannot remember who I saw post this so I’m unable to give them credit – but the quote was this “Maybe if I give them heirloom quality toys I won’t mind the mess so much.” Kindred spirits right there. I seek classic items and simplicity, I don’t need frills I just was innocent toys that are meant to last. Do you think anyone will find today’s toys in an antique shop 50 years from how? I think the landfill is more likely. I know it sounds dramatic but there is a sweetness and something that soothes me by thinking this way. I’ve heard stories of how girls were given dolls just to practice being a mom, learning how to care for her little one, sewing clothes, etc. Yes, that’s old fashioned but it was purposeful play and created healthy habits. If you agree with all of those above who would rather give me grief and think I’m a little off my rocker, so be it. Regardless of your view, we’re all just trying to do the best for each of our families.
Never the less, here are a few of my favorite things I’ve either seen this holiday season or have purchased in years past to keep them little, let their imagination thrive and have fun being a girl (or boy – there’s fun on this list for them too!).
There’s nothing better in the summertime than soaking up the sunshine and discovering nature. Skinned knees, tan lines and big bites are the sign of a summer well spent.
1 Radio Flyer Tri-Cycle. Santa brought this pastel pink treasure to use a few years back and now it’s been passed down to daughter number 2. It’s a classic and still fits my almost 4 year old great. But if you’re looking for something slightly more mature, I heard that Santa might be upgrading to this classic little cruiser this year.
2 & 3 Winter Wagon & Tandam Pull Sled. Of course I love a classic wooden number over the more modern plastic ones. These are both from LL Bean and I wish I would have seen them before I finished my Christmas shopping. I was just thinking how nice it would have been when we were out doing our holiday open houses downtown with the girls.
4 Retro Scooter. I think this little number is a little pricy but so cute. I love the classic clean look and the sweetness that I picture with a little girl perched on top.
5 Moulin Roty Botanist Kit. Let your little once be a scientist! While we don’t have this kit, we have a couple other Moulin Roty pieces and I love them. They’re so classic and fun. This one screams “get outside & explore!”
Do you remember getting clothing as a kid? There were some people I dreaded opening presents from because I just knew it was going to be clothes. Gradually I outgrew that, I remember the year I got my first pair of stirrup pants from my grandma. I think that was the turning point for it all.
Jammies I feel like are the exception. My girls love pajamas. By 5:00pm on school nights they’re both asking if they can change into their pa’namas (as my 3 year old calls them).
6 7 & 8 Plaid Nightgown, Fair Isle Pajamas & Clara Christmas Gown. I love these three options because they’re classic Christmas that extends into the entire winter season. I don’t like to gift things that will be out of season by the time you gift them. The plaid nightgown also has a long pant option as well as a matching boys set, which is super cute if you like the matching jammie look. The Fair Isle ones are gender neutral which makes them perfect for mix and match or hand me downs from cousins and big sisters. Sizes are limited and selling fast, so multiple options are necessary.
9 Cozy Critter Robe. We have one of these and just purchased a second. It’s a fun way to let your kids’ personality shine while still keeping them subtle. Options are kitties, unicorn or a shark hood.
10-13 If you don’t live in a freezing climate or are just wanting to get ready for spring, I love these options. I’m always a fan of floral patterns and my girls are too. Big Dreams Navy Floral PJ Set. Ruffle Floral PJ Dress. Ruffle Short PJ Set. Blue Gingham PJ Set.
14 Moulin Roty Doctor Kit. This kit is ridiculously cute. Wooden instruments and a picturesque carrying case. My girls love this case but it would be perfect for a boy as well.
15 Oskar & Ellen Tea Set. Willa received this quilted set a couple years ago for Christmas and it was the first thing she opened, I secretly wished it would be her last. She immediately love it and 2 years later it is still so loved. We have a couple other pieces from this line as well and each one is as cute as the last.
16 Lincoln Logs. The most timeless gift. I usually hate gifts that have a million little pieces but I feel like these would change my tune.
17 Kitchen Utensils. Nothing screams imaginative play like kitchenware. My girls love having pieces that look like mommy’s. There are so many fun options out there, Pottery Barn, Kidkraft, adorable aprons and more.
18 Maileg Mice. Have you seen these matchbox mice? I think they’re adorable. My girls have so much, so I’ve resisted purchasing but with all the option, I’m not sure how long I can resist. Look at this little ballerina one!
19 Kids Concept Cash Register. My girls wanted a cash register last year and so I bought a really cute wooden one from Crate & Kids. However, this year I stumbled across this one which is even cuter – look at that little card reader! Kids Concept has some adorable little wooden toys.
20 Elsa Inspired Dress. Disclaimer, I have not actually ever ordered anything from this website but I’m sure that will change soon. My girls are obsessed with Elsa and Ana. The amount of dress up clothes they have is getting a little out of hand but that doesn’t seem to stop one little 6 year old from dreaming. And she dreams of being Elsa. I on the other hand, am having an issue with all the customs and their faux sequins looking like they belong on something other than a 6 year old. This one, however, may change my mind. Elsa dreams while still looking like my sweet baby girl and this Rapunzal one is the cutest ever.
I hope this helps you holiday shopping but remember – its not about the present but more imporantly, your presence (so cliche, but so true). Also, these are not affiliate links, just items that I’ve stumbled across in my shopping or pieces that we have and love.
As far as holiday shipping, just a reminder that Christmas Eve is one week from today! So hurry up and finish your shopping! Alex and Alexa (the Kids Concept toys) says today is the last day to order for guarenteed Christmas delivery. Maisonette (the Moulin Roty Botanist Kit) will no longer guarentee delivery before Christmas (but that doesn’t mean it won’t arrive). You have a couple days left on the other items but make haste, items sell out fast.2