A Toddler’s Christmas Wishlist 2019
We are finally here – summer holiday has kicked in strong and the Christmas cheer can be heard, seen and even smelt everywhere we go. Christmas truly is a magical time of the year, it really doesn’t matter how hard, exhausting or draining a year have been, Christmas gives us that extra push to get through it, it gives us that little bit of hope we needed. However, for moms Christmas can become a little overwhelming as well. Suddenly little wishlists starts pouring in and the kids believe that the little bit of Christmas magic doesn’t end with Christmas music and magical Christmas lights and trees – no, they believe that money magically doubles or even triples throughout this season as well.
Unfortunately for my kids, I absolutely refuse to buy conventional toys. You know those toys that costs a fortune and that every other child has and your child really NEEDS, just to be played with for a week and then never to be seen or in many cases heard again. Yup, no, I refuse. When I search for gifts, I look at 1. Quality, 2. How long it can last and will be played with, 3. Price and 4. Does it add something positive to my child’s life – does it develop him/her and bonus no. 5. Is it locally made? Wooden or educational toys still remain a firm favorite in my household, but here are some of our favorite toddler toys for 2019 – just in case you need some last minute ideas:
1. Acornkids Bath Products
Acorn Kids have a wide variety of unique products that are designed specifically for children with the concepts of fun, imagination and the energy of children in mind. Their products are truly amazing and can be used not only for bath time fun, but also for fun activities outside the bath, especially sensory play activities. Their products are fun, creative and definitely focuses on the learn through play concepts and to top it off it is super affordable. Products range from about R19-R100 depending on the product and their Christmas package sells for about R340 (this includes 10+ products!). You can read more about acornkids here – https://letterstomywildling.com/2019/11/20/acorn-kids-a-whole-new-world-of-educational-bathtime-fun/ and order by tapping on this link – https://www.acornkids.com/BiancaO
2. Wooden blackboard toy phone from @Declan&Leah
This fun little toy encourages roleplay and creativity. The phone also has a blackboard front which is suitable for writing and drawing. These little phones sell for R95 and promises to outlast your wild toddler. You can also get their beautiful Wooden Laptop and phone combo for only R360! This remains one of Aryan’s favorite gifts. – https://www.declanandleah.co.za
3. Klei-Klei play doughs
Klei Klei makes the most amazing clay. With 15 different flavors and colors, of which some include magical unicorn, galaxy, passionfruit, Turkish delight, marshmallow cloud and so much more, your little one will be guaranteed hours of fun, sensory play! A pot sells for more or less R50 and they also accept custom made requests. (orders close 11 December so hurry!). – https://www.facebook.com/speelkleiklei/
1. A Themed Playdough set from @Craftingmadeeasy
These playdough sets are perfect for improving fine motor skills, concentration, creativity, vocabulary and so much more and they come in so many fun and exciting themes! There really is something for everyone. They have a cupcake, dinosaur, mermaid, monster, unicorn, space, bub, pirate, construction, garden, princess, fairyland, safari and even a Christmas themed box! Each box sells for about R180 and includes everything from the clay, to the animals and the little storage box! Orders Close on the 15th so HURRY, HURRY, HURRY!!! – https://squiggle-craftingmadeeasysa.myshopify.com
2. A subscription to kids book Club
Kids Book Club makes reading fun again, and let’s face it, achild can never have too many books! You choose your subscription and they will send your child age appropriate book(s) each month! With the starter pack you will receive one paperback storybook, a themed shopping bag, themed A5 Activity pack and a story sparker bookmark and collectable for only R159 p/m. – https://linktr.ee/kidsbookclub.co.za
3. DIY Vehicle Assembly kits
Aryan absolutely loves tools and cars so these DIY Assembly kits are awesome since they allow them to assemble and take apart their own vehicles. It includes all parts as well as the tools needed. The smaller sets sell for about R60 and the larger sets for about R150. I bought Aryan’s set at Crazy store.
4. Art set
Crazy Store sells some fun art sets for toddlers and Aryan’s has been incredibly helpful! Everything is packaged into a lovely carry bag so it’s easy to pack in the car or take along to a restaurant as well. The 163 piece sells for R180 and you can get the 66 piece set for R90. Toys R Us sells beautiful wooden sets as well. Online the 68 piece set sells for R199.
1.Play Doh Sets
Play Doh always takes creativity to a whole new level and I love their little sets! It includes the clay as well as different themed tools. We got Aryan the Toolin Around set which includes the hammer rolling stamper, tape measure rolling stamper, saw tool, screwdriver cutter, wood texture roller and 3 cans of clay! This particular set sells for about R250 on Takealot. There, however, is a wide variety of different sets available for boys and girls!
2. Bilibo Game Box
I am such a huge fan of the Bilibo Brand! The Bilibo game box is part of the multi award winning Bilibo products from Moluk designs. The Bilibo game box includes 6 mini Billibos, a custom-able bouncing dice and 36 color chips that makes a fascinating construction set and opens the way for countless games and play activities for your toddler and even the entire family. Your toddler can match colors, stack, balance, flick and aim, throw and catch, sort, count, invent their own games and so much more! There are no boundaries, except for their imagination! This is the perfect gift to encourage learn through play and a gift that will be used for years to come. The Billibo game box set usually sells for around R310 but is currently on sale for R 250 by straight zig zag. – https://straightzigzag.com/product/bilibo-game-box/
3. Balance Bike
The design of a balance bike encourages kids to use their arms and lift their legs when moving forward. This helps them to build strength, and fine tune their motor skills, coordination and agility as well as their balance, which make the transition to a normal bike, without added wheels so much faster and easier. We bought this balance bike for Aryan at Pick n Pay for around R300 and it has been a hit with him and all of his cousins!
If you do have a little extra money, I will highly recommend getting the YBike Session, since this bike actually grows with your child.
4. Electronic Kids Cash Register
This one is only on here because Aryan is so obsessed with these and I do see some educational value in them since it can help teach them about saving, and also encourages them to count. You do get a wide variety of these and the prices range from about R200 – R300.
1. Bilbo Large
The multi-award winning Bilibo is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and versatile open-ended toys in the market. Bilibo arouses curiosity, engages the imagination and playfully trains basic motor skills and balance. Both boys and girls find unlimited ways to play with the Billibo – and once again the sky is the limit. They can use it to rock and spin in, hide under, sit on, tote with and peek through. It can become a sensory bowl, a mask, a bridge, a car… The Bilibo provides hours of fun, indoors and outdoors, any season, anywhere and anytime of the year. (www.playingandlearning.co.za) The Bilibo sells for between R320-430 from straight zig zag depending on the color you choose. – https://straightzigzag.com/product/bilibo/
2. Melissa & Doug Toys
Melissa & Doug sells a wide variety of educational and pretend play toys that are fantastic and really worth investing in. I can guarantee you they have something for every child. I love their wooden kitchen sets! From little coffee sets (R350) to their little cutting food sets (R320). They also sell a wide range of wooden car, music, tools and princess sets. Melissa and Doug toys are not only educational, but they are also affordable, and the quality is amazing. These toys are made to last.
3. 3 Piece Super Large Play Tent
These tents make for hours of fun indoors or outdoors. It comes with 2 tents that are connected by a tunnel but could also be used separately. These 3 piece tents sell for around R425 on Takealot currently
R1000 and Up
I know, I know a R1000 sounds like a lot of money to spend on a 2 or 3 year old, but I am that kind of mom that would rather save a year long and buy something that will last a lifetime and guarantee hours of fun for everyone than spend R500 or up on small little gifts that will disappear when the phase is over. All of these gifts are gifts that have been tried and tested by us and that remains a hit with ALL of the kids whether they are 2 or 6 and will most likely outlast them.
1. Wooden Play Kitchen
These little kitchens are amazing and incredible for imaginary play. They also make buying gifts for the future easier since there are so many fun little add ons that can be bought to make their little kitchen even better. We bought Aryan his little kitchen for his second birthday and I have not regretted it for a moment. There is always someone playing there and it also keeps him busy while I am cooking since he gets to “cook with mommy”. He has his own little space to let his wild imagination run free. Cozy Nest Woodworks sells amazing ones and are very affordable! – https://www.facebook.com/Cozy-Nest-Woodworks-805531126304777/
2. Busy Board
Aryan’s grandfather built him a busy board for his first birthday and once again it is something that are always played with by everyone. It’s any child’s dream with everything on that are not usually allowed to be played with such as buttons, plugs, light switches, etc. It’s true the “forbidden” things make the best toys and that’s why these are such a hit for little fingers. Depending on the size you can expect to pay anything between R800 – R1500. They are relatively easy to build as well so put daddy or grandpa to work.
Yet another thing that has been a hit with kids for years. Westpack now sells these ones for R900 or R800 if you are a member.
4. Mud Kitchen
Kids love to get down and dirty and these mud kitchens are definitely worth investing in. Remember how you made little mud cakes as a child? We would spend hours just playing in the mud until all you could see were white little eyes peeking out from behind the mud covered faces. These mud kitchens sell for between R1000-R3000 depending on what you want and off course the size.
5. Reborn doll
Show me a toddler that does not enjoy playing with dolls, yes, even boys. Aryan’s grandmother made him and all of his cousins these reborn dolls and they can play together for hours. These dolls become their brothers, their friends, sick patients and even partner in crimes. There are so many developmental aspects as to why it is important for all kids, but especially boys to play with dolls and although they pricey they last a lifetime. Here is a link if you would like to read about the benefits that playing with dolls hold – https://letterstomywildling.com/2019/10/23/10-reasons-why-i-let-my-boy-play-with-dolls-why-i-believe-every-mom-should-too/
So there you have it our (or should I say Aryan’s) toddler Christmas wishlist for 2019. May you all have a very blessed Christmas and an amamazing New Year!
– Love Aryan & Mommy –
Little Disclaimer: Many of the photos used are not my own and photo credits go to the individual companies.