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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:15 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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How about one of those little cars made by step 2? We had one when we lived in California that a neighbor gave us and Grey loved it! We gave it back when we left, it was an old version and was SO loud and kind of annoying, but it had a trunk on the front I could put water bottles and snacks in. I saw one at Costco yesterday, the new version that doesn't make noise, it had a cup holder for the parent, I didn't see if it has a trunk. They are like $50. We also have a wagon and I think I would find it annoying in a city, it is loud, heavy to pull and kind of hurts my shoulder after a while of oulling, plus I constantly have to check on grey and make sure he isn't trying to get out. I also think if I tried putting other things in there with him he would probably throw them out while I wasn't looking.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:21 am 
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Interestingly, neither E nor M has ever gotten out of our wagon! Ours has the side panel things, so maybe that makes a difference. Or maybe they just haven't been trying.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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We don't have the side panels, maybe that is the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry
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I'm looking for a gift for my 17 month old nephew. Mom doesn't like things that light up or make noise (who does) and they don't have a lot of room in the house for things. Also, less that $50. Any brilliant ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:41 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Clothes? Books? Wooden blocks or trains or cars and a container to stash them in for clean-up?


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:19 pm 
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Again with board books... one of my kids was craaaaazy for board books at that age. We're on limited space as well (and I hate having a lot of stuff), but books seem easier to find room for than other stuff.

Washable markers started being pretty popular with one of my kids at that age, and they keep being fun and useful for a long time afterwards. (Keyword washable though... otherwise this turns into the gift that keeps giving in a bad way, ha ha.)

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry
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Thanks, guys. They've got a ton of the "classic" books, but I'll see if there are any newer ones that look good. Markers are a good idea, too.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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The Melissa and Doug coloring pads are fantastic - they are large format, high quality paper to stand up to watercolors or markers or crayons or whatever, and tear out one sheet at a time. I would wrap up one of those with either some washable crayons (the triangle ones are pretty good) or twistables colored pencils. Washable markers, as mentioned, are another good idea, but require a little more supervision in our household. If you don't like the gendered ones (girls = princesses, fairies, cakes, jewelry, animals, boys = vehicles, dinosaurs) they have an animal one that's really good.

Another idea (Thanks for this last year, Ariann!) is a soft baby doll (Corolle is one good brand, although Target has its own line that's less expensive and seems more or less the same) with an accessory or two like a feeding kit or stroller or whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:05 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I just ordered a balance bike for my 23 month old. I couldn't decide if I should wait until Black Friday or not, but I went ahead because several places I looked were already out of stock. I'm keeping it in the box until after Black Friday though. She keeps using her friend's so I figure it's time. And that's it for me for her birthday and Christmas. I'm trying to push books and clothes on any family that asks what she wants.

Still can't decide if I should let the grandparents get us a wagon or not, but I realized my neighbors have one so I'm waiting to talk to them about how it works in our 'hood.

And I finally know why companies still send catalogs. I never read them, but my toddler finds them fascinating and now wants everything with elmo on it and everything else she sees before I can tear them out of her hands and recycle them.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:06 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Double post


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:10 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Butternut wrote:
I just ordered a balance bike for my 23 month old. I couldn't decide if I should wait until Black Friday or not, but I went ahead because several places I looked were already out of stock. I'm keeping it in the box until after Black Friday though. She keeps using her friend's so I figure it's time. And that's it for me for her birthday and Christmas. I'm trying to push books and clothes on any family that asks what she wants.

Still can't decide if I should let the grandparents get us a wagon or not, but I realized my neighbors have one so I'm waiting to talk to them about how it works in our 'hood.

And I finally know why companies still send catalogs. I never read them, but my toddler finds them fascinating and now wants everything with elmo on it and everything else she sees before I can tear them out of her hands and recycle them.

The other morning when Grey woke up at 5 am and wanted to eat a "dog", I looked at my anthropologie catalog and made up a story about the mamas and the dogs and horses and camping. He was very excited, so now I'm keeping every catalog or magazine I want to look at and I can pretend it's a book.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:34 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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For people with play kitchens -- would you recommend one? We had planned to go in with the grandparents and get Sven a Hape play kitchen and fridge and some wooden and felt food for Christmas, but I'm starting to second guess if it's a good idea. I'm not sure if we even have the space for it, although I'm pretty sure it's something he'll enjoy a lot. He'll be turning 2 just after Christmas. How much mileage did your kids get out of a play kitchen?


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:54 am 
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We are on our second play kitchen now, with 2 kids. The first was a cheap plastic one we got for free and the kids destroyed it they played with it so much. Now we have the IKEA wooden one and it is used all the time. They are trying to destroy it in their own playful way and it's holding up wonderfully. It also looks really nice and has quite a bit of storage space. My 6 year old has been using a play kitchen since she was about 1 1/2-2 years old and my 2 year old has played with one almost daily since he could walk.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:02 pm 
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At the risk of being spammy, I know there are some military and veterans on the board. Toys R Us/Babies R Us are giving 20% off of one reg. price item to military this week: http://blog.seattlepi.com/militarywire/ ... babiesrus/ (Not clear on whether it applies to veterans as well)


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Like JENNA, our kitchen was free from a relative. It's almost toast now, since it's pretty old and the plastic's breaking, both boys LOVE that kitchen. Little one has been playing with it since he was probably about one, and my other son is five and still loves it. They have a lot more fun with the toy food than the dishes though, other than the pots and spoons, which they love. I'd recommend a wooden one (IKEA) though. A bit sturdier and a little nicer looking.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:46 pm 
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What do you do when your child keeps asking/hoping for a present that you know you are not going to be buying them? Our 5-year-old is asking for a video game & system (skylanders swapforce) and he just got one (skylanders giants) for his birthday in September. I have tried gently explaining that we just got the other one and that's the only one we are going to get for a while, but that hasn't really had an impact. Do I just say no, you aren't getting that for Christmas, or wait it out?

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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We have the ikea kitchen as well and it is very nice. Grey only uses it to throw the play food all over the house so I think we are getting rid of it. It took up too much space in our old house and we are moving back there in February, wish you were nearby mandycoot. It is a very nice kitchen.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:05 pm 
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mandycoot wrote:
For people with play kitchens -- would you recommend one? We had planned to go in with the grandparents and get Sven a Hape play kitchen and fridge and some wooden and felt food for Christmas, but I'm starting to second guess if it's a good idea. I'm not sure if we even have the space for it, although I'm pretty sure it's something he'll enjoy a lot. He'll be turning 2 just after Christmas. How much mileage did your kids get out of a play kitchen?


We have the Ikea one. It's not super big... maybe 3 ft by 2 ft or something? The Emperor goes in and out of liking to play with it. The Magician (not quite 2) loves it and spends a crazy amount of time pretend cooking. (He does like also just emptying all the food out of it and putting it back in though.) He's been into it for 3 or 4 months and isn't showing any signs of losing interest in it.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Thanks for the input everyone! That's what I was afraid of -- I know it's just up Sven's alley and he would adore it. I'm just starting to panic about space in our house now that we will have two children. I really like that Ikea one but I reeeeeally want a matching fridge (I know, I'm a dork) so after lots of browsing we are planning on the Hape kitchen set, since it seems compact, sturdy, and is pretty inoffensive-looking.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Inez got a simple wood kitchen from her aunt for Christmas last year, just before she turned two. It is pretty small (I think the brand is Treehaus?) and I have it set up just outside our (open plan) kitchen since there's not really room for it in her bedroom. My idea was that she could "cook" while I cook, but that doesn't happen often (she'd rather help for real). Still it's pretty much been a hit - I mean, she goes through phases with everything but she plays with it a lot. And, like JENNA mentioned, it's handy for storage. She loves all the play food and it's a good place to contain all that.

Does anyone have any favorite puzzles? Inez loves puzzles and I want to get her some more, but I feel like she's kind of in between the fit-the-shape-in-the-spot kind and more advanced jigsaw-type ones. We have a few jigsaw puzzles and she can do them, but not without a little help. Bonus points if they are a) cool looking and b) self-contained (in a tray or whatever).


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Grey has the green start wooden puzzles and loves them. It comes with four in a tray, I got them at whole foods last yeat after Christmas and it was on sale for maybe $10. He has been able to do them since he was about 20 months, but still enjoys them. Each puzzle has four pieces.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:22 pm 
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We got our play kitchen at the Salvation Army and it is wonderful. L plays with it every day. We got some pots and pans and felt food at Ikea and they are great.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:28 pm 
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We love the boxes of four puzzles, with the different symbols on the back of the different puzzles. We have a couple Melissa and Doug ones and a Winnie the pooh one. The Disney one has two puzzles with 6 pieces and 2 with 9. The lid of the box is just the right size for doing a puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:28 am 
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Yeah my son is in that inbetween puzzle phase too but i found a set that has 4 puzzles with 4, 6, 8 & 10 pieces. He really likes it and is getting better and better at them. His is thomas but them must have them with other characters...

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:24 am 
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My sister is giving us their play kitchen to give to Peter for Christmas - I'm so excited! It's in great condition and I think he's going to really love it. I've picked up some pots and pans and utensils and stuff for it, but my question is what kind of play food do you guys recommend? I'd like to avoid plastic, but is wood or felt better? Any recommendations on brand? I don't want to spend a ton, but I don't want to get anything super cheap feeling either. (He's 3.5 if that makes a difference)

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