I’m always realizing that I should have started ordering gifts about two weeks after I should have actually done so. Bad habit of mine. And while Valentine’s Day causes some debate about whether there should or shouldn’t be gifts, personally, I always remember it fondly because my mom would do special, little things. There were no wish lists or gift requests, but she seemed to know exactly how to make my day but starting it off with a little something special.
When Uncommon Goods got in touch with me about Valentine’s Day, I thought it would actually be a perfect time to round up a few ideas of what those special little things could be for my own kiddies. Although these gifts are not at all Valentine’s Day specific, and could be given any time of year. I’ve actually ordered a lot from them before for the occasions where you need to find just something a little special that you can’t easily find everywhere else. I get quite a few gifts for babies and birthday parties at Uncommon Goods for that reason, but here are a few favorites for right now!
First up, for the diplo-baby:
- Tegu Magnetic Circuit Racer: Diplo-baby has just turned one and nearly overnight developed a love for all things cars and trucks, as well as a love for anything he can take apart. So a magnetic block version of that seems just perfect. Plus, you know I have a soft spot for wooden toys!
- Foreign Language Wooden Blocks: Again with the wooden toys! We know quite a few families that are bilingual and so theses are a big go-to gift of mine. It’s a sweet way to incorporate another language and I often give them to others for Spanish and Hebrew. I know that there are naysayers that will say “but they can’t read anyway!” but at least for us, I find that when we play with toys together, we talk about them a lot and so working in the foreign words into your conversations (especially if you already speak that other language) is just another prompt.
- Starcrobats: This nifty toy just won a bunch of design awards, but the little figurines are magnetic and you can stack them to make all sorts of towers and shapes – again, given diplo-baby’s love for taking things apart and putting them back together (as well as one can at this age) makes me think he would love it.
- Trumpette Oxford Socks: Trumpettes have always been popular at our house for both our kids and for gifts – especially since when my kids are at home, they tend to be in socks despite my best attempts at slippers. My only gripe about these is that they usually only come in one size and my children both have ginormous feet so they outgrow them quickly – I wish they would make multiple sizes since these socks always get compliments!
- Taco Booties: I mean, I just typed the phrase “Taco Booties”. Diplo-baby isn’t walking yet, just a bit of cruising, so these will still fly with him before we have to transition to soled shoes. Also, they are taco booties.
- All Aboard Books: Board books have also been a hit with both my kids and we love to talk about destinations that we travel too. This seems like a wonderfully illustrated way to get him in on the conversation too and they’ll stick around for years to come.
For the diplo-tot:
- Handmade Tooth Fairy Pillow: The big news around here is that we’ve got two loose teeth – gah! For some reason, every time she shows me it makes me nervous. It seems like not so long ago that those baby teeth poked their way through and now we’re losing them already? However, diplo-tot has been asking a million and one questions about the tooth fairy and how it works so having this little pillow on hand for the big day will be perfect for the tooth fairy hand-off.
- Color the Earth Kit: Geography lessons + rainy day coloring activity + ball? You know I love a multi-purpose gift. Similar to the All Aboard books above, we do like toys that incorporate destinations or travel because, well, we do a lot of it. And especially with a “move year” coming up, this would help our diplo-tot get more active in contextualizing the move.
- Plus Organ Collection: Our diplo-tot has three big loves, animals, music and general health/medicine (Doc McStuffins anyone?). This fits the last one squarely. Not only is it a fun take on the Valentine’s Day “heart” but it helps tots visualize what the actual organ looks like, giving you an opportunity to talk about what the organs do, and also what we have to do to take good care of them.
- Musical Pat Bells: This one is probably the most expensive gift on this list. At $150, this one would really sting the wallet a bit, but these bells look just so beautiful. Diplo-tot loves instruments and I think these bells would be no exception, and I have a feeling her brother would love them too. It seems like a gift that would truly last a long time. Since there are 8 bells, it would be easy for the two of them – and friends – to share. A special splurge for sure, but one I have to say I’m tempted by.
- Custom Big Sister Book: I love this one since it would be easy to pass this off as a gift from her little brother. Diplo-tot has been a wonderful big sister but at a year in, there still are a few moments where she doubts her own place, especially when her little brother needs more attention. This is a sweet story about how a big sister has special roles that only she can do – if this is anything like the “My Very Own Name” book which someone gave to us as a gift, this one will be just as lovely. Actually, personalized gifts in general is something this place does well…
- Penny Portrait Kit: After the holidays I’ve been using some of the down time before I head back to work to do some early spring cleaning in anticipation of our move. And coins seem to be accumulating in all sorts of boxes and drawers. We could put them to good use with this portrait kit that allows you to think through the portrait a bit, teach about Abraham Lincoln and also introduce a conversation about going home and how our coins will look different than they do now.
So that’s what’s on the gift short list for consideration – what’s on yours?