Wednesday, December 3, 2008

using the internet for good

That would be for MY OWN good, thank you. Alice is (nearly) nine-months-old. She'll be (nearly) ten-months-old at Christmas time (you: gee, Whimsy, you're good at math!). Alice is not going to remember this Christmas. It is a Photo Opportunity, pretty much. And will be a good time for my parents and us, naturally, because, duh: Alice's First Christmas.

I want to have a few presents for her, and they will mostly be practical things that she needs already: sleepers, a heavier coat, some onesies. Beyond these basic things, though, I'd like to get her one or two toys. Things that she'll enjoy and use for a while... So here's my conundrum: I don't know what to get her. She's at a tricky age that makes a trek down the baby gadget aisle a lot less fruitful. I can't get her a rattle or a chew toy (dude it sounds like I'm picking out rawhide doggie treats for my kid) or a set of plastic keys. Heaven help us, I'm contemplating actually perusing the TOY AISLES and the mere idea of it is giving me hives. I need IDEAS, people.

My criteria:
- I don't want to spend a lot of money, I'm aiming for middle range. Think affordable.
- We don't have a ton of room for bulky items: so unless an ACTIVITY TABLE is, like, accompanied by a choir of angels and heavenly music, I don't see us investing in one. Think respectably portable.
- My hope (is this insanity?) is that we can get her a couple of toys that she'll be interested in for longer than 5 minutes or even 2 months. Think longevity.

So there you have it, my crazy desire to buy my daughter a couple of toys that she'll like for a while, that will not break the bank, that will not crowd us out of house and home, and will not drive me batty.

I have considered some kind of stacking toy (those colorful ring things) or some kind of shape sorter or those ball things with little things inside them (read: the things with the things that do the thingy thing...).

Help me, internets. Any ideas? Stuff that your kids or nieces or nephews have loved? Something you think would just rock Alice's world (more than the measuring cups she's currently in love with)?



Anonymous said...

My kid is just over 2 and still plays with the ring stacking toy and the shape sorter thingy. You can get some cool ones that are wooden if you don't want the regular old plastic Fisher Price ones. I have no other helpful suggestions b/c my kid was bored with every toy after about 5 minutes, except for this thing when she started to be able to pull herself up. This was THE best toy purchase we ever made, though know it doesn't fit your criteria. We got it on sale and had a gift card, so we didn't pay that much.

And if makes you feel better, we didn't get her one gift for her first Xmas (she was 3 months old), nor did we get her anything for her second Xmas because she got enough from the relatives. We decided to take advantage of her not knowing better years while we could.

The Wife said...

I vote for the shape sorter thing--my sister is storing one for us and I think the Boy would totally dig it but he's not that coordinated yet.

Also, have you tried just a ball...a standard ball that you can roll and she can chase around? I think she would dig that...they make little soccer training balls that are about 5 inches in diameter that are always fun for little kids.

Or animals? They make smallish plastic realistic looking animals that my nephews LOVED. Target sells them...

On the TOY aisle.

Vicky said...

Stacking toys, sorting toys, and balls are all great and still used in our house by the 18 months old. Simple toys are best at that age. Cars to push when crawling are good too.

Eleanor Q. said...

We are getting a lot of use out of the shape sorter (there is no shape sorting going on, just a lot of sucking on shapes, but hey! that's fun too)

Have you considered a car that she can sit in that you can push with a tall handle? It'll be good for walks and when she's able to use her legs to "drive" herself.

The other idea I have is a little bit larger but friends keep telling me how great it is. Its the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn House. It's a little expensive but everyone says the kids are interested in it forever. We are currently debating it. Here is the link:

Good Luck!

Alice said...

my friend with an 8 month old is all about Haba toys right now (run a search on "haba" in amazon) and reports that her daughter loves to gnaw on them (and they're nontoxic, so yay!)

serenity now said...

Here's another vote for the ring stacker, shape sorter, and ball. My girls still sometimes play with their ring stacker (2 years after we bought it for them) and the shape sorter lasted almost as long. A cool ball you could check out is the O-ball. We got ours at Babies 'R' Us, but you can also get it off Amazon and probably other places. Easy to catch, chew on, throw, roll, squish, and it goes in the dishwasher to get clean. The girls have played with it for a couple of years now and will probably keep playing with it for many more.

Stacey said...

I know it's a little bulky, but Austin got one of those ride-on cars for Christmas last year. (Not the super big ones, just big enough to fit a little toosh). He had just turned one. I had wished we had bought it a little earlier because it might have helped him when he was learning to walk. (If you get the one with the little handle on the back that they can push or ride).

Kristen said...

Last Christmas A was 9 months and the best gifts we gave her were a ball and a small box filled with random items of different sizes, shapes and textures: sponge, feather, silky handkerchief, bumpy rubber coaster, etc – just regular items like the things she’d find around the house and want to play with. (Her favorite toy at the time was the lid to Tim’s shaving cream.) I found the idea online and it made sense. Compact, inexpensive, entertaining and educational… it worked for us.

artemisia said...

Thanks for posting this - I am totally trolling for gifts for my nephew! Hee hee!

Thanks, all!