We went ahead and did all our gift giving on Saint Nicholas day, and since most people do traditional Christmas gift giving on Christmas (weirdos... totally kidding) I figured some feedback could prove helpful to those still trying to think of kid-gift ideas. Or not, but either way, these are my 5 top rated gifts for the kiddos of 2014, because no one asked.
1) Songs in French for Children. This is a real gem. My girls do not, I repeat DO NOT, know any French and I am not teaching them French yet. However, Naomi went through a weird spurt a while ago where she was making up jiberish words and saying that she was speaking French and constantly asking me how to say things in French and so it happened that I sought and found this cd at the library and she fell in love with it. I am so not a fan of children's music, but the woman's voice in these songs is very pleasant and not at all annoying and the songs don't really get stuck in my head because they're in French. It's really amazing how the girls brains retain the words to the songs and even Lucy walks around singing "Alouette", which is incidentally a super disturbing song.
2) Toy Accordion. This is more accurately Mike's favorite toy, but the girls really like it too. Mike has always been a big accordion fan and when he realized we could get one for $20 rather than the going rate of $400 for a real one, he couldn't resist. He's been practicing and has "The First Noel" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" like a boss. It it such a sturdy toy and actually takes a lot of work for the girls to use it the right way, and I have been pretty impressed with how hard they try.
3) Handmade skirts. I had a lot of nieces to buy gifts for this Christmas, plus my own female offspring, and was stumped as to what to get for so many little women. When the idea of buying a bunch of fabric and making some skirts came to me I just ran with it. 10 little girl skirts later and I am never buying a skirt again, it is so fun and easy! I found this tutorial which helped with the general pattern, but I used a lot more fabric to make them more billowy and added some lace to the bottom for more charm and voila:
The girls love them and I love that after 2 years of having 3 girls I finally have one clothing item for all three that matches.
4) Toy Keyboard. This is not actually my favorite by any stretch, but it is definitely the favorite toy gifted for all three girls. The demo songs are not that bad and the volume can be turned down really low so as to not drive me totally insane.
5) Curious George Jack in the Box. Again, not my favorite, but for some reason the girls just love it. Oddly enough, Bernadette-- the 4-year-old-- is the one who begged and begged for it, so we went for it and got the Curious George one and it's been a hit. I really like any toy that does not require batteries and I suspect this will be a fun diversion for Joseph once he's a bit older, we shall see.
There you have it, hit up Jenna and the gang for more!