I just love this time of year! The holiday season is quickly approaching and I am so excited about it all! To have TWO little boys to share my love of Christmas with.. ah! I can’t wait to pick out our tree and decorate the whole house and blast Christmas music and dance along. Copeland obviously won’t care yet, but Neeson is at the PERFECT age to take in all the magic this time of year holds. He’s going to love it!
As much as I love this season, gift giving and receiving stresses me out! It’s such a struggle to know what to get everyone – will they love it? Will they use it? On the receiving side, I’m pretty practical, so I struggle with gifts that don’t really serve a purpose. Add that to the simplifying and minimizing Dave and I have been working toward, gifts are HARD. We truly aim to have nothing that we don’t love or isn’t purposeful. It’s even better when they are BOTH!
Having two small kids can make that a more difficult goal. I hate the idea of just loading them up with more toys. For our lifestyle and family, more isn’t better. Neeson gets really overstimulated, as any 2 year old does, and when he has too many options he just dumps everything out and doesn’t actually play with anything. Along with books and stuffed animals, which he always has access to, we only have cars, blocks, and his Melissa & Doug pretend cleaning set currently available for him to play with. This not only has cut down on the clutter, but he actually plays and pretends, which is the goal! In full disclosure, though – he loves watching Moana and playing with the iPad… and probably spend way too much time on it. So… while we try to encourage imaginative play, you do what you gotta do sometimes.
Copeland is so little yet he doesn’t really have favorites, but we do know he loves to nap being held or worn, but prefers night sleep on his own (PRAISE!), and that he loves his puppy paci. Beyond that, we want to encourage sensory exploration in simple ways – pleasing sounds, various textures, soft light, colors that are not too loud. So much of what you see for kiddos is overstimulating and way more than they actually need. We have found that we align strongly with the Montessori way of teaching and you’ll see many of the items on C’s list fit with that.
Oofta (can you hear my midwestern Norwegian coming out with that one?). All that to say, we want to keep Christmas simple around here. If you have the same goals with your family, here is a small list of purposeful gifts for toddler and baby boys. xo
NEESON, age 2:
- Faux fur bean bag – I love this one from Target! Neutral and perfect for his reading nook.
- truck play rug – he loves playing with his trucks and something like this one from HM can really help his imagination run wild!
- Name magnetic train – he’s starting to understand letters and numbers and these are perfect to teach him how to spell his name! Here is a link to ones similar to what we’ll purchase from a local shop.
- Magnetic letters – similar to above, these are a fun way to combine learning and play. I KNOW the different colors could help teach him, too, but I’ll likely spray paint these white or copper. 🙂
- Books – I snagged a new Llama Llama Christmas book (Llama Llama is his favorite!), as well as one that teaches about tons of different trucks.
COPELAND, age 2 months (almost):
- Tula Free-to-Grow carrier – he LOVES to snuggle and be worn. I have the Solly wrap and a Sakura ring sling, but this Tula (LOVE the Doodle print!) provides a bit more structure, which will be great for hikes and our upcoming trip to Chicago!
- Krinkle paper – a perfect first toy! Here’s a link to one on Amazon, though we’ll try to buy local for this, too.
- Montessori mobile – high contrast (read: BLACK & WHITE!) is perfect for little babes. I’m obsessed with this simple crib mobile!
- Wooden motor development set – this one on Etsy is PERFECT.
- Wubbanub paci – Neeson never took a paci (which we were grateful for because we never had to break him of it) but C loves it. We fought it at first, but decided “whatev” and now need a back up to the puppy paci we already have! This longhorn bull is SO CUTE.