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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:49 am 
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Also, Maze-o! What a cool idea!

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:01 pm 
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I think I'm going to make L a sensory table. It looks pretty easy and DIY, and it could be fun to put stuff in for her to play with. http://pinterest.com/pin/170714642095500137/

And if we find a balance bike, I'm getting her that for her half-birthday

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:50 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Huh, weird. We have a ton of trains and tracks and live in a pretty moist area... and we've never noticed any sort of mold on the tracks. Ours are a big mishmash of different brands and stuff though.


We have a mishmash too (all 100% free from freecycle!). I think most of it is bigjigs brand, and the table is kidcraft. But you know, it all works perfectly fine! Now that I've seen the prices of the thomas and brio stuff, I can hardly believe it. That stuff is like twice the price. I guess maybe if you're looking for some heirloom thing to pass onto your grandkids then maybe it is worth it, but otherwise I don't know why you'd pay for them. Kai does love watching Thomas videos on netflix, and knows their names, but he doesn't seem to mind playing with the nondescript trains at all.

I'm so excited - my brother just told me today he got Kai this for xmas:
Image

And my dad got him this dockside recycling center! (I asked for it of course, my dad never would have thought to get him a recycling center lol)
Image

I'm actually really excited because now we'll have more to do than push the trains through one tunnel 500 million times in a row haha. He doesn't currently have any hills or anything, just plain tracks and a tunnel.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:34 am 
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This is the year that I make up for my endless jealousy of all my friends when I was a kid.
When I was little for a few years I lived in a majority-Jewish town and all my friends were Jewish. My parents were also pretty poor so I was a maybe 2-presents-for-Christmas kind of girl. I was very very jealous of the multiple presents every night.
This year, I have created my revenge.

I have made an advent calendar. It is little knit christmas lights, hung on a string. In the individual light bulbs (which i need to paint numbers on, god help me) it will be little teeny presents or tickets/maps for where to find each present. I don't have 24 little things yet but I will [and i don't have all the little lights either, i need to get my shiitake together, December is TOMORROW!) omgomgomg panic time

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:26 pm 
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I keep thinking of so many wonderful little gifts for the kids, but we're already totally done shopping for them! We are trying to keep it really small and focused on family instead of gifts, so I've been just adding my ideas to a list for later when birthdays come by or a special occasion.

But I totally forgot about nesting cups for the baby! He's getting a pull-along crocodile, even though I guess it'll be a while til he can use it easily. It's cute though, and he can sit and play with it. Also, socks for his stocking. Anyway, we'll get him nesting cups later.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:15 am 
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I got them both one book and one toy. Felix is getting the graphic novelization of A Wrinkle in Time. He cannot read on his own, but he loves looking over graphic novels. His toy is going to be a small Star Wars Lego Kit. Milo is getting a Herve Tullet board book and car-shaped beads with string. I am also getting Felix some clothes (Milo 's side of the closet is ridiculously full with hand-me-downs where older bro Felix's side is pretty sparse).

I keep wanting to get more stuff but hold back. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles will be supplementing plenty (I already got my in-laws to agree to keep the toys they get at their house, too! SCORE.), and we're not shy about getting them stuff year round.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:49 am 
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I don't really know if we'll get anything for R. He's 20 months old, and he has lots of grandparents, aunts and uncles who will get him stuff. We're also celebrating Christmas twice, on Christmas Eve with my family and the weekend before or after (not decided yet) with my husband's family - he'll get to open presents twice anyway. On his wishlist is a toy phone, books, and toy kitchen stuff - he always wants to help with the cooking! Oh, and a potty, we want to start trying that soon.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:06 am 
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torque wrote:
I have made an advent calendar. It is little knit christmas lights, hung on a string. In the individual light bulbs (which i need to paint numbers on, god help me) it will be little teeny presents or tickets/maps for where to find each present. I don't have 24 little things yet but I will [and i don't have all the little lights either, i need to get my shiitake together, December is TOMORROW!) omgomgomg panic time


So cool! Post pictures!

Also, we've been planning to do just 2 gifts at the holidays too, and I appreciate hearing that that made you feel jealous of other people's presents. I think once she's older we'll have to figure out a way to make sure she feels not shortchanged and maybe the awesome advent calendar will be an idea we steal/tribute to you :)

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:54 am 
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I am ordering Baby Signing Time Vol 1 for Eli :)
What else for a 2 month old? Hmm...

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:48 am 
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I loved advent calendars when I was a kid! I actually still do, sometimes I buy the lego one for myself though I dropped the ball this year ;)

Another great holiday memory I have, that could maybe be done with lots of little presents for Christmas etc as well, is when my mom set up a scavenger hunt for easter. Lots of little presents were hidden around the house, with each clue on the previous gift. She made little poems with clues..It must've taken her forever to do, but my sister and I had a great time.

Also, what we stole from a friend last year that I think we'll do again is to do one thing to read, one thing to wear, and one thing to play with.

For Sinterklaas this morning, V got a wooden puzzle (M&D) and one of those duplo books.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:07 am 
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annak wrote:
Also, what we stole from a friend last year that I think we'll do again is to do one thing to read, one thing to wear, and one thing to play with.

For Sinterklaas this morning, V got a wooden puzzle (M&D) and one of those duplo books.


I had to google Sinterklaas.

The tradition we had growing up was several little gifts over the 8 days of Chanukah so we could open something every day, mostly chocolate, books, and fun socks, and then one more serious gift (the only one I remember from my entire childhood was the year I got my own menorah/chanukiah). My grandparents used to give us each a silver dollar if we saw them over Chanukah.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:53 am 
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annak wrote:
Also, what we stole from a friend last year that I think we'll do again is to do one thing to read, one thing to wear, and one thing to play with.

For Sinterklaas this morning, V got a wooden puzzle (M&D) and one of those duplo books.


For the past 3 years I have been trying to stick with Want, Need, Wear, Read, but I find I usually don't need to buy even that much.

Also, I grew up with St. Nick (Popular in WI, but I guess not everywhere else? Prob similar to Sinterklaas), and he was supposed to come last night. I slacked off. Maybe next year.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Man I feel so guilty for buying him so many toys! You are all so good!

At least I saw a few of those electric cars for like $200 - $300 in the sunday circulars today, and felt a little better knowing I didn't spend THAT much. So I guess it could be worse.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:25 am 
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:

For the past 3 years I have been trying to stick with Want, Need, Wear, Read, but I find I usually don't need to buy even that much.


I wanna do that

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:53 am 
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Aubade wrote:
poopiebitch wrote:
❀madam dahlia❀ wrote:
a word of warning about the natural wood railway tracks: ours gets completely covered in mold every time we get a decent amount of rain :( it is such a pain in the asparagus to clean.

Oh no! I hope that doesn't happen to ours! We live in a very humid area (we're practically on the banks of the Mississippi river) - thanks for the warning :/


Really? That seems odd. Dumb question, do you keep it outside? My area is pretty humid in the summer, but we got an awesome set from freecycle this summer and haven't had a problem. Kai looooves his trains! I think he gets more obsessed with them each day.



not a dumb question, but no...the train set is inside on my son's lovely bought-new train table, in his bedroom, no water gets in, there are lovely clean carpets and his window is under a large awning in great condition. we have some thomas, some melissa and doug and some random other tracks and trains as well, all new. it is such a pita to de-mold it all, and it is always during warm rainy periods.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:27 am 
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I just finished my shopping yesterday. Walter's big gift is this basketball hoop:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Tikes-Easy ... etball+set

And this set of balls (he is seriously obsessed with footballs and football helmets, because he stares out the window and watches the neighborhood boys play after school):

http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-NCAA-Footb ... k+football

Also got him three Maisy books:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... ords=Maisy

and some of these Dover sticker books:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Airport-St ... gy_b_img_y

Plus whatever battery-operated plastic crepe he gets from my family.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:32 pm 
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I know we're a few years behind on the fad, but Ezra's getting a Bilibo this year (he tried one out this summer and absolutely loved it). http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UE ... 02_s00_i01

He's also getting more track for his train set, plus two new trains: http://www.amazon.com/Wooden-Train-Trac ... rain+track

We got him the last Frances book in the set (he freaking loves these books): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006443 ... 03_s00_i00

We also got him this hat, which he is going to flip out over: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009WW ... 05_s00_i00


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Ah! That hat is really cute.

I was wrong. I wasn't done. Just ordered the boys helmets. They are long overdue, and now that my in-laws are getting them a scooter it can be put off no longer.

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:56 pm 
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What would you buy for a seven year old girl who you've never met, I have no idea what she'd be into! I was thinking something from the local bead shop to make bracelets & stuff or something from LUSH but that's only based on what I would've liked maybe she hates traditionally 'girly' stuff!

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:33 pm 
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I'd buy her a book that I think a 7 year old should read (whatever book you think that might be). Or a gift certificate to the iTunes store.


An Advent-style calendar for the Jews among us, something I might try next year:
http://www.marthastewart.com/856546/han ... kah#856963


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:46 pm 
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I loved getting books.

There are also some cute craft kits that you can get at independent toy stores etc. Like knitting, beading, that sort of thing, with age-appropriate project directions and material included.

Legos are also good.

And the itunes idea would probably work well too! especially if she has access to an ipad or something (i know that sounds nutty, but at least one of my friends opted to get a couple of ipads for the kids to use in car trips instead of the built-in entertainment system).

My sister is a beader and has gotten materials for a number of girls.. She's actually thinking of starting a little class for the kids she knows. I think she's unsure how able they are to do much with what she can show them in just a few minutes during a visit.

I love LUSH, though you might have to be a little bit careful in picking out a gift that a kid would like. Maybe bubble bath or a nice bath bomb? Make sure your 7yo uses a tub though! I don't know if there are vegan versions of it but maybe pair a bath bomb with a set of those bath crayons to keep it a little more kid-ish? ETA: maybe the crayons are too young for a 7yo. I don't know. I think it probably depends on the individual kid.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:51 pm 
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H/T to BIL: apparently my alma mater has a nice gift guide with toooooons of suggestions for kids' books:

http://bccb.lis.illinois.edu/GB2/2012GB2.html


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Series Books a seven year old might like: Mercy Watson, Magic Treehouse, Judy Moody, Horrible Harry, Stink, Flat Stanley

Putting weird sparkly stuff in hair is popular in that set, kinda like hair extensions but made of Mylar or fake feathers.


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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:33 am 
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Say what will be said about the evils of consumerism, but man did Kai ever love his presents. He was so excited, jumping up and down and laughing. It is these kinds of faces that make it all worthwhile!

Image Image

(this was a bridge for his train set)

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 Post subject: Re: The playground Holiday gift thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:01 pm 
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awwwwwww


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