Preschoolers make Christmas more magical. They see the world with a preposterous amount of wonder, fascination, and creativity. It would do us all good to follow their example.
Here are our top picks for kids in the 2 to 5 age range.
Designed for 2 to 5 year olds, the FirstBike is a wonderful "1st bike" for any tot. It helps kids develop balance and eliminates the need for training wheels (which, apparently, do not support proper posture or spinal development). You can adjust the height of the seat with the turn of a knob. A winner of many awards in the toy and outdoor industries, the FirstBike won't rust like metal bikes or splinter like wood frames. It's lightweight, durable, and available in 11 colors.
Looking for a fun way to teach your kids to memorize Bible verses? Pick up a CD by Seeds Family Worship. Worship leader Jason Houser of Franklin, Tennessee puts verses to catchy tunes and the discs also include the voices of children. Unlike many of the songs on kids albums and contemporary radio stations, these songs are a very good thing to get "stuck in your head."
Foster your toddler's independence with this well-designed stool. Available in 6 different color combinations, the safe step allows little ones to access the sink or toilet with ease. The rubber feet and rubber top prevents slippage - and it's sturdy enough for grown-ups too (I sometimes sit on ours at bath time). Two thumbs up to BabyBjorn for creating aesthetic and ultra-functional products that will make the whole family happier. Also, check out the company's potty products.
This is the only product in the gift guide that our family hasn't personally tried, but I think you'll agree that it's super awesome. Winner of the Toy of the Year Award, this ingenious toy allows kids to play conductor. Choose up to 6 (of the 13) instruments to put in the "orchestra pit" and hear them play together. Then change up the instruments and hear the musical transformation. I might just add this to MY Christmas Wish List too! ;)
See Kai Run has always been one of our very favorite shoe brands for children. The designs are modern and colorful, the perfect blend of whimsical childhood and "grown-up" style. Even more importantly, they're crafted with super soft leather and a flexible rubber sole for optimal comfort, proper foot development, and breathability (no stinky feet!). They're also easy to get and off so that little ones can practice independence.
Every little girl should have one doll to cuddle, rock, feed, and carry. One charming option is the Bitty Baby by American Girl. Designed for ages 3-6, the bitty baby has a cloth core and plastic body. Choose from seven hair/color/skin tone combinations. The doll comes in pink flowered pajamas with a miniature fill-in-the-blank book, but...there are tons of clothing and accessory options you can add on throughout the year. This is what sets the doll apart from other toy store options. You can buy a crib, carrier, booster seat, diaper bag, changing table, and car seat - plus outfits for every season! The only downside is the shrinking of the contents of your wallet.
My girls are forever wanting to "match" with me. If I wear jeans and they happen to be wearing jeans too, they laugh in delight. If I have a yellow shirt, they want to wear a yellow shirt too. If I wear sparkly dress shoes, they want to wear sparkly dress shoes too...and now they can, thanks to Pairendipity! The California-based company offers matching shoes for moms and little girls (sizes 5-2). In the picture above, I am wearing the Prima Kara with kitten heels and my two older girls (ages 3 & 6) are wearing the coordinating shoes. I look forward to watching the company expand and offer more options in the coming years.
Will you be shopping for a preschooler this year? What gift recommendations would you add?
Be sure to check out Metropolitan Mama's full 2012 Christmas Gift Guide.