When a much anticipated baby makes his or her debut, don't forget to include their older sibling or siblings in the celebration! Including first time big sisters and brothers is especially important as they may not be used to sharing the spotlight. If you plan on bringing a gift for the new bundle of joy, consider the thoughtful gesture of also giving a lil something to the other tots. Check out the slideshow for ten of our favorite items!
The state of the economy has me tightening up my spending budget, tracking my expenses more closely, and making smarter purchases. I still want to treat my children and get their friends birthday presents, but now I aim for more thoughtful offerings. This beautiful Bake It Pretty Cupcakes 101 Kit ($22) caught my eye because it's a gift and baking project combined. The little suitcase comes with baking cups, 25 traditional toppers, and Rainbow Jimmy Sprinkles.
The penny saver in me says this would be an easy-to-emulate DIY gift option as well. Visit your grocery and party store for the contents and a nice box to house the goodies, and print out a few of my favorite cupcake recipes to inspire your little chef.
Let freedom ring! With the inauguration a week away, the lil ones in your life may be feeling a bit patriotic as they hear more about our nation's capital and its leaders. Though a trip to Washington to join the five million or so who are making the journey might not be in the cards for your kid, you can encourage their interest with books, puzzles, games and toys related to the executive branch of government. Use the festive goodies below to educate your lil citizen about the importance of Barack Obama's inauguration and that history is being made.
Don't be surprised if the six-year-old in your life is a lil chatterbox. Kids this age like to express themselves and tend to be social butterflies. With that in mind, we sought out several gift ideas that will encourage group play, while helping the child learn new skills and create items.
Among our picks for the grade school child are:
Preschoolers are quite an ambitious group. They spend their days at school being the line leader or napkin passer, and then come home to demonstrate their ability to complete tasks with less oversight. At this age, they are often rewarded in knowing that they finished a project on their own, rather than with applause or treats. Encourage this independence with gifts that allow them to work by themselves with minimal parental involvement.
Among our choice gifts for preschoolers are:
Three-year-olds tend to be a bit fickle as they express their independence. One moment they are telling you they can do it all by themselves, then the next they insist on holding your hand. When shopping for a gift for a preschooler, look for items that showcase their new found abilities.
Among our favorite selections for this age group:
Two isn't terrible! The key to entertaining a rambunctious two-year-old is patience and a steady stream of back-up ideas to prevent meltdowns. Look for toys that keep children active as well as items that let them explore their creative sides.
Among our choices for lil two-year-olds are:
My mother-in-law buys our children lots of gifts, but gives them all to them well before Christmas. So when the holiday finally arrives and we head to her house for dinner there's nothing to open under the tree. My daughters are always sad when they have to sit and watch their cousins open their presents. Their grandma also pre-gifts their birthday gifts, which drives me crazy. How can I get my husband's mother to change her ways without coming off as ungrateful?
— Wishing for Wrapped Presents
To read the response from Mommy Dearest, read more
Going to your local toy store and asking the sales help for advice on a gift for a six-month-old can provide you with more opinions and deep explanations than you bargained for, never mind the fact that half the items are never in stock. Rather than risk disappointing the child’s parents, and wasting your time, stick with one of these items that is sure to make everyone happy (plus, you can just order them online and be done with your shopping!).
The colors and variety of activities on the LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table ($40) encourage kids to pull themselves into the standing position. Once they are standing they can groove to the different musical instruments, turn the pages of the book and hum along to the songs.
The adorable Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy ($22) lights up as he sings familiar songs and encourages your child to hug him and play along. You'll hear "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and "Patty Cake," as well as a funny little sneeze that to this day keeps my son laughing.
To see more gifts for six-month-olds just read more