Friday, October 26, 2018

Holiday Gift List for Babies and Toddlers

It is time to be putting together our holiday lists for the grandchildren.  In the past I have had 2 – 3 long diversified lists but this year I am going to do more lists with each one aimed at a certain age group.  

About Holiday Lists at The Grandma Chronicles
There are lots of holiday toy guides this time of year but mine is unique.  This is a guide from a grandmother’s perspective. It is my HONEST opinion -  no corporate PR.

I go to toys shows throughout the year and literally I see thousands of toys. Usually I see them out of the box and I may see demonstrations of how they work. The items on this list are the toys that I think the kids will enjoy and you may not hear about them elsewhere. And… there are some that you will enjoy playing with the grandkids.  This is how items make it on my lists.

Most of these pictures were taken by me at toy shows - not stock photos.  They may be less than perfect with other stuff in the background, but they show the real deal.

My first list is for infants and toddlers. Bonus – None of the items on this list are budget busters!

Pillow Pets Paw Patrol Marshall Sleeptime Lites by Nickelodeon
This item can be enjoyed by a toddler and older children.  It actually has three completely different roles.  During the day it is a soft plush of every toddler’s favorite character – Paw Patrol’s Marshall.  Undo the belt at night and it opens up to a pillow.  But best of all, once the bedroom is darkened, turn on the light and the ceiling will fill with stars.  I have spent some very pleasant quiet time with my grandson looking up at the stars on the ceiling then moving the lite to shine on the nearby wall.  He will run to touch the stars on the wall.  Great for sleepy time bedtime stories and cuddling.

Little Blue Truck and Plush by Yottoy

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas

The Little Blue Truck is a favorite board book series that infants and toddlers enjoy. There are seasonal theme books in this series which I love and if you get the gift set with the plush, your grandchild will enjoy cuddling with the plush with multiple books.

The Little Blue Truck Christmas book is a favorite book for my grandchildren and I love reading it with them. The Little Blue Truck delivers Christmas trees to his animal friends and at the end the lights on the tree light up.  This is the type of book that becomes a Christmas favorite to be read every year even after it seems the kids should have grown out of it. 

Mondoudou Miss Happy Panda Doll by Corolle
Mondoudou Elf Happy Panda
Doesn’t every grandmother want to give her granddaughter her first doll?  Well this is the one you want give her.  Corolle is a French company that makes high quality, beautiful dolls and this one is perfect for a baby.  Miss Happy Panda is only 9.5 inches tall and a perfect size for a baby and toddler. She is made of ultra-soft fabric and her pretty, realistic face is delicately scented with vanilla - a Corolle signature. I gave one of these to my granddaughter when she was a baby and at two years old it is still a favorite.  

Another option is the Elf Happy Panda.  The elf has a little bell inside which provides a soft jingle.  You can't go wrong with any item in this collection. The Mondoudou collection is designed and sized for infants and toddlers.  Everything in this collection is machine washable.

Welcome Little One - A Keepsake Baby Book by National Geographic
This is an excellent holiday gift for the expectant family or parents of newborns. The pictures are exquisite.  It is unlike the bland baby keepsake books that are most common.  It is unique, modern....captivating as it features striking pictures of baby animals throughout the book.  See my full review earlier this year here.

My Soft World – City by Edushape
These soft foam wood-like blocks are excellent first blocks.  Parents and educators give them rave reviews and toddlers love to play with them.   They are washable, durable and quiet.  One of my favorite accolades is that they can be thrown and not cause any damage.  The city set features, people, trees, cars, trucks and building pieces.    These blocks good for encouraging creativity and building fine motor skills.

Beatrix Potter Classic Plush Collection: Peter Rabbit, Flopsy Bunny, Benjamin Bunny and Jemima Puddle Duck by GUND
If your little ones enjoyed the new Peter Rabbit movie this year, or loves the Beatrix Potter books, this collection of 6.5 - 7.5 inch plush animals will provide lots of opportunity for imaginative play.  The plush are small enough to be easily handled by toddlers.  As always, they are a quality product if made by GUND.

Pull Along Duck by BRIO
This classic wood pull along toy is sure to be a favorite with toddlers.  The head moves and the wings flap when you pull it along.  BRIO is known for high quality products and this may be one saved and handed down for generations.

All of these items are available on Amazon and can be ordered by clicking on the icons below.  Also look for them in your local specialty toy and gift store.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

It is Fall... Time for Apple and Pumpkin Picking

My favorite activity in the Fall is apple and pumpkin picking at a farm.  We go to a large working farm, Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ.  If you are thinking of taking your grandchildren on this kind of an outing, do your homework and consider their age and how much outdoor activity will work for them.

My grandson is 9 years old and we choose Alstede because it is a good fit for older kids.  There is the giant haystack, a long hayride, apple, pumpkin and fruit/vegetable picking, a corn maze, a place for lunch, homemade ice cream stand, farm store and more.  If you are bringing a small child you may want to visit a smaller place with a playground for young children and a nearby pumpkin patch. 

This is a perfect grandparent and grandchild outing.  If your grown kids remember doing this when they were young they will probably also enjoy the day.  My daughter certainly does.

Our Day in Pictures

The day starts with my grandson climbing the giant haystack to the top...

Now we are ready for the tractor ride out to the fields...

First stop is apple picking and we fill my "Grandma is my name Spoiling is my game" bag...
My daughter and grandson both enjoyed choosing their favorite pumpkins...

And finally we are ready to hop back on the tractor ride to head home.  Everyone is still smiling which says everything about how much we enjoyed the day.