Monday, November 21, 2016

Gifts for Kids to Inspire Creativity and Play



As the years go by, I am more and more inclined to shut the TV off, put away the video games and encourage my kids to dress up and play make believe. Some of our best memories have come from creative play and this year, I have complied our absolute favorite items for our kids that inspire that kind of play. So if you are looking for something different and fun this year, this is your guide. 

Little Adventures Dress Ups


Finally a dress up designed with actual kids in mind. Unlike the Halloween costumes you buy at the store, these don't come unraveled at the seams. They are sturdy with no exposed edges so they don't rub and itch. They are comfortable, soft and the best part? Machine washable. We love their line of dress ups and have many for each of our girls They also make accessories like soft crowns that actually stay on and long gloves.


Pebble Stuffed Animals, Dolls and More



These fair trade stuffed animals and dolls are amazing. They are high quality with vibrant colors. My daughter has the little tiger to go with her Jasmine Little Adventures costume and they are a match made in heaven. This little tiger is affectionately known as Tigee  and goes just about everywhere with us. I have been impressed on how well it takes abuse from a toddler and just how cute it is.




I love supporting companies that are fair trade and that is what first drew me to Pebble.
Pebble,part of Kahiniwalla, sells Fair Trade products designed by Samantha Morshed, a social entrepreneur based in Bangladesh. Samantha's vision for Pebble of providing a place close to rural homes in Dhaka where women could work flexible hours was just what over 12,000 rural women were looking for. These rural workplaces provide a welcome alternative to women moving to a large city to work in the garment industry leaving their families behind and making themselves vulnerable to unsafe, unjust and sometimes violent situations.

I absolutely love our little tiger and I hope to add more Pebble items to our home in the future. I love the cars, their Once Upon a Time doll line and their ornaments! 



 Little Partners Tri-Side Easel 

 The Little Partners Tri-Side Easel is one of my very favorite things we own for our children. It fosters creativity and imagination. One side is the felt board that we made the tree for, one side is chalkboard and one side has a magnetic dry erase board. The coolest thing? It has a place for a roll of paper on top so the kids can pull paper down to draw or paint. There are four no-spill paint container too to make it less stressful for your kids to paint.  The storage shelf underneath holds all sorts of art supplies, making it easy to keep things picked up. My kids love how many different ways they can create with this easel. I love that it is sturdy, made from real wood and has places to put everything you need to create on the easel itself to minimize clutter.


 Little Partners The Original Learning Tower


The Original Learning Tower is built to allow toddlers to climb in and out of it easily. The adjustable height on it makes it perfect for kids as young as 18 months and all the way up to six years old.

My absolute favorite thing about this piece beside the safety it provides for my daughter at the counter? It is pretty! I feel like so many children companies don't take into account that their furniture is going to be in my kitchen where I am going to see it every day. Little Partners makes so many different finishes so you can match it to your kitchen. It looks like an extension of my kitchen instead of an eyesore. My daughter's favorite part of the tower besides being able to see at the counter? Throw a blanket over it and it makes the world's easiest fort! She place castle all day long in her learning tower. I can honestly say that we use The Original Learning Tower every single day. I only wish that I had one when my older daughter was a toddler.


 Hide-a-boo Hideouts




Hide-a-boo Hideouts are here to encourage play for all kids. Hideouts are forts that slip over a card table for easy set-up and are a home base for adventure. Created with a puppet backdrop on one side and on top, an aerial view map that's also a play mat. Hideouts are incredibly versatile, giving kids endless opportunities for creative and imagination inspired play.

 with Hide-a-boo my kids are astronauts, knights, submarine divers and two sisters out on a camp out, all without leaving the room. I have always wanted to make my a card table play house but these hideouts go above and beyond anything that I have ever dreamed. The designs and printing are absolutely gorgeous. My little girls are going to find a couple of these under the tree.


Love2Learn Elmo



The Love2Learn Elmo is the newest Elmo Toy from Hasboro- The Love2Learn Elmo is synced with an app on the parent's phone so that Elmo is completely personalized to each child. Elmo says the child's name and parents can even have Elmo praise their child for cleaning up or brushing their teeth. Elmo is programmed to know much more than just the name of their new best friend. He knows their favorite colors, animals and favorite foods.

This Elmo is much more than a toy, he can be customized to your child's learning level to help your child learn their letters, numbers, shapes, colors and animals. My daughter LOVES that he responds when you clap his hands, in fact, he has multiple sensors so he is really responsive.



LitJoy Crate


Example of a Picture Book Crate

 LitJoy Crate is a subscription box that delivers a new book to the recipient each month. There are two different options for your little ones. The Board Book box features two new board books along a similar theme and other items that fit that theme. The picture book box features a new hardcover picture book and items that go along with the theme, 

Example of a Board Book Crate

 LitJoy Crate is my FAVORITE subscription box, it is full of fun things for my kids and books to read together. The two wonderful ladies behind LitJoy are fun, trendy, well read girls. They always pick fantastic items to go in each box, some of my kids favorite toys, stickers and art supplies come from these boxes. We have loved every single board book or picture book we have received.  We adore this subscription box and personally subscribe to it out of our own pocket. Order a subscription for your child here. 

 iClever headphones



 iClever headphones- These cute and colorful headphones are the perfect gift for your tween. They feature an over the ears design, with soft and comfortable ear pads. They are lightweight to make wearing them more comfortable and they have an adjustable band to make them fit perfectly every time. They are also complete with volume limiting technology, so your kids can wear them and love them and you can rest assured that the volume isn't too high.

These iClever Headphones come in a bat inspired version, and a Christmas reindeer version.


Lava Lamp



 Lava Lamp- I actually didn't know that Lava Lamp's still existed until this Christmas season. My daughter came home begging for a Lava Lamp and so we checked out what they have on the market. WOW! They have so many different styles and varieties. We settled on a Glitter Chalboard Lava Lamp and my girls use it as a light in their room every single night.  It is a really cute piece of decor as well as a functional light and what parent doesn't love glitter that can't get all over? Find the lamp we have here and check out all of the other fantastic styles here.



Watchitude




Watchitude- These darling, water resistant slap bracelet watches are perfect for your tween. This watches are completely non-toxic and brilliantly printed. The slap band is a comfortable material and the watches come in so many different designs. From donuts to owls to bugs, there are more than 100 designs. 


Sissybugs Cosplay Dresses- When I was looking around for fun clothes for my daughters, I came across Sissybugs on Etsy. The second I saw her designs I knew that I wanted dresses for my girls. She made a darling BB8 dress for my little daughter and a Rey dress for my older daughter. She is a professional seamstress and her products were of the highest quality and fit my girls perfectly! From Harley Quinn to Buzz Lightyear she has so many different possibilities!

Pedro 'N' Pip Book


Pedro 'N" Pip is a fun and uplifting rock 'n' roll odyssey about ten-year-old Pip who goes scuba diving under an oil spill in the gulf and meets ‘rockoctopus’, Pedro. Together the work to unite the creatures in the sea and the humans on the land to clean up the spill.

The best part of the book is the accompanying score. Pedro 'N' Pip has an embedded musical score of more than a dozen original songs performed by a cast of award-winning musicians, including the legendary GE Smith, Robbie Wyckoff, (voice on Phineas and Ferb) Ella Moffly, Christine Ohlman, The Persuasions, David Broza and Jillette Johnson. The music compliments and enhances the reading experience.

As a parent I love the extra added sensory addition of the music. In a day and age where kids want to spend their day with a device in front of their face, I find it harder and harder to get them to engage in fun and creative play. I love Pedro 'N' Pip because it is learning and experiencing reading and music without feeling like a chore. The pages are kind of long for my younger daughter to sit through but she loves to listen to it.

Blurb Scrapbooks

My daughter's absolute favorite book is the one that is all about her. Using Blurb we created her a scrapbook of all the pictures from her 1st year of life. Blurb is incredibly easy to use no matter your skill level on the computer. You can make the book online, with their downloadable software or even with InDesign, letting you work with a program that suits you. 



The quality of the books is really high and all of the pictures and text look incredible. We have made one for each of our girls now and they stand the test of time too! 


Dream Big 

I absolutely adore this book. The story of a baboon who mocks the dreams of his fellow creatures. While they get discourage by this mocking, they keep dreaming and accomplish their goals. This brightly and gorgeously illustrated book is all about helping kids learn to push through negativity and strive to reach their goals.

I feel like every child will need this book at some time in their life. It is a good reminder in times of trial and heartache to keep going. My girls love it and it is one of my favorites to read out loud to them.



My Best Tooth Fairy Friend 

My Best Tooth Fairy Friend, or BTFF for short, is soon to be a much-loved lifetime companion for kids and a captivating way for parents to be involved in one of their child’s most memorable experiences. BTFF is a spunky, lovable companion for children who are about to lose a tooth. Inside the gift box is everything parents need to create a lifetime of memories. It’s easy and fun for the whole family! This adorable and naughty character was dreamed up by three parents and encourages children to use their imagination. The gift set comes complete with a handmade BTFF doll, a beautifully illustrated book, tooth vessel, keepsake notecards and sticker badges. BTFF magically appears at the first sign of a wiggly tooth and stays until the tooth comes out. When the tooth falls out, My BTFF takes it back to Tooth Fairy Land, leaving behind special notes and stickers. My BTFF comes back at the next sign of a loose tooth. 

We haven't gotten the chance to use this with our kids yet, but I think they are absolutely going to love it. It is a fun way to get them even a little more exited about losing a tooth!


Zoonicorns


Do you every look at a toy and think to yourself, "this was made for my kid?" That is how I felt when I saw Zoonicorns. The combination of zebras and unicorns, these darling plushes come in four different colors. They aren't only a cute plush but they come with a fun app too that sparks creativity while entertaining and educating. There is a matching game as well as read along stories.

The app is available on both iOS and Android and my kids have an an absolute blast with it. I love that it isn't just an app, the Zoonicorn is a fun, plush friend and there are also books to go along with it. It is an entire world for you child to be a part of.



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22 comments:

Angela Tolsma said...

I love the dress up clothes! So cute, I think dress up and imagination is so important for child's play.

Terri Steffes said...

I know you believe in imaginative play and these gifts will spark that in any child. I love your crafts and your teachable items, like the felt tree.

Amanda Love said...

Creativity and imagination are two things that I'd love for my kid to develop further which is why I normally look for toys that you have on this list! I like to get my daughter a lot of the items here!

ana de jesus said...

Those Pebble stuffed animals are completely adorable. I love the tiger and the dress up looks fun as well!

Theresa's Reviews said...

These are all such cute and creative ideas! I love how they are tailored to your parenting style and encourage your children to stay away from technology and play with hands on activities to learn.

Reesa Lewandowski said...

What a bunch of amazing gifts for children! I am loving that tri-sided easel! Never seen anything like that before!

Jessica Hughes said...

Your children are sweet and thanks for all the great ideas. Yes, T.V. needs to be turned off to allow our children to use their creative minds.

Dawn McAlexander said...

That is really great! I think that imagination is something that has been lost with kids today. These outfits can really spark an imagination.

Debra Schroeder said...

Such fun gift ideas. Play time is so important for kids. I'm loving those slap watches. I need one for myself.

jean said...

Wow, what an amazing range of gifts! As a teacher I definitely agree that its important for children to be imaginative, creative and have lots of fun doing so! Particularly love the versatility of the easel.

galatealily said...

These are such creative awesome ideas for the little ones. I bet a lot of parents would appreciate this post :)

Karen Morse said...

These choices are SO unique and quality and inspire creativity! And that little pebbled stuffed animal is adorable - I want one! Oh - and kudos on finding a "costume" that isnt itchy and MACHINE washable! Score!

Krystel Seijo said...

I like every single one of these. Elmo never fails to amaze me... until this day I wanted the tickle me Elmo. I would now love to have a personalized one.

Karlie Alms said...

This is perfect timing as I Christmas shop for my niece and nephew. The Pebble Tiger is the BEST. I love a good fair trade and socially conscious and ethical product! You go girl! Great list!

CourtneyLynne said...

Omg so many cute gift ideas!!!!! We are getting my daughter a ton of dress up outfits!!! Can't wait for her to open them!!!!

Tabitha said...

These are awesome ideas! I love the costumes and the stuffed animals to go with them! So cute!

Taylor Mobley said...

As a little girl I had SO many dress up outfits in a huge bin in my bedroom. Those were the best gifts I could have asked for. I had the best time playing dress up and makeup believe in my bedroom. I was an only child for a long, long time so I learned to entertain myself!

Rachel Catherine said...

These are such cute gift ideas! I love the dress up clothing. My daughter would love this.

Sona Sethi said...

Wow...your dolls look so angelic..love their dress...Very cute gift ideas...and something thats different too!

Tough Cookie Mommy said...

Dressing up is a great way to inspire pretend play. I remember doing just that when I was a little girl and using my imagination to do so.

Krystal Butherus said...

That learning tower is kind of amazing. My little dude would have so much fun playing with that!

Christina Aliperti said...

These are wonderful! I love anything that inspires creativity because it encourages a love of learning.

 
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