Monday, November 14, 2016

Norah's 2-year-old birthday gifts.

Here are some of the gifts that Norah got for her birthday and is enjoying!

(Again, I just want to point out that my idea behind these kind of posts is to be a resource for other parents of toddlers/preschoolers. As a former preschool teacher, I love researching educational toys! Norah has a generous family, and is still the only grandchild/niece or nephew on both sides, which is a blessing, but no one ever has to get their kid a certain amount of stuff or at a certain price point to be a good parent. Loving your kids and spending time with them is the best present!)

1. Learning Resources New Sprouts Style It Playset- Norah has recently been loving to brush my hair (sometimes her own hair), and to try to put ponytails in, which is super cute, and I don't mind having my hair played with. When I taught preschool, I would sometimes have a "salon" in the dramatic play area, and the kids loved it! (I had old hair dryers/curling irons/straighteners that had the cords cut off and the curling iron barrel taped shut so hair couldn't get stuck in it and old, empty spray bottles, and we didn't have combs or brushes for lice protection. Boys liked it just as much as the girls!) Norah has been loving it!

2. Learning Resources Pretend & Play Doctor Set- We got this for Norah to hopefully prepare her for doctor visits better. She did much better at her two year wellness check than I thought she would, but going to the doctor certainly is not her favorite thing. She likes playing with it, especially checking blood pressures, heartbeats, and taking temperatures! It's a pretty nice kit, with lots of tools and nice that it fits to store easily in the sturdy case.

3. KidKraft Chelsea Doll Cottage with Furniture- I love this dollhouse and think it's so adorable! Norah got this KidKraft kitchen for Christmas, and it's very nice quality, so I knew their dollhouses would be nice too! If you are considering one, just be check to measure your space availability. They are big! This one is actually considered one of the mini ones on their site, and I still think it's pretty big. It comes with all the furniture, which is nice, but you have to buy the people separately. They also have an African American family and a Professionals doll set. (It's not big enough for Barbies or bigger dolls to fit in it. Some of their dollhouses are, but not this one.) It seems so inviting! I loved playing with my doll house growing up, and hope Norah does too!

4. Learning Resources Counting Cookies- Norah loves cookies, and has also been practicing counting, so what could be better? She can fairly consistently count to 13. I like these because they gave the numerical number on the bottom, and the top has the corresponding number of chocolate chips, so they can count and order them in multiple ways (comes with 0-10). The storage cookie jar is pretty cute too! And it's pretty small, so very easy to store and doesn't take up a lot of room.

5. Fisher Price Little People Farm Animal Friends- Norah got the Fisher Price Little People Animal Friends Farm for Easter from grandpa/grandma, and her aunt/uncle got her this coordinating animal set to go along with it. The farm only comes with a couple animals, so this was perfect! She loves farms and farm animals and has already enjoyed playing with them several times.

6. LeapFrog Learning Friends Adventure Bus and LeapFrog Learning Friends Owl & Parrot and Hippo & Panda sets- This was another aunt/uncle gift, which was amazing because this too coordinates with what she already has. As a previous gift, they had given her the LeapFrog Learning Friends Preschool Playset, and these are the add-on pieces. I love that this gift (and the last) build on something she already has and loves! The school actually models what "real" school will be like someday, with different school activities and routines. Each animal has it's own "personality" and makes it's own sounds and stories when you put it on the noise circle. The bus has different settings and noises too, and changes depending on which animal you make the driver. I like this because Norah struggles with separation anxiety and I think she will have a hard time going to preschool, so this is the perfect introductory toy to that!

7. Pottery Barn Kids Baby Doll Carrier- My good friend sent this to Norah for her birthday and it's so adorable! She sent her a note about how she can carry her baby like I will carry the twins. She loves her Bitty Baby Doll, so this will definitely be a fun accessory!

8. Bitty Baby Snuggle Sweater Outfit and Bitty Baby Lambie PJ's- Norah got these two adorable outfits for her baby too!

9. Minnie Bow-rific Bag Set- My parents had this old play purse that Norah found and was dragging around at their house, so another aunt got her this play purse! She also likes Minnie, so it's perfect!

10. Dot to Dot for Tiny Toys Wipe Clean Activity Book and Wipe Clean: Starting School Activity Book- I chose these two books for Norah because I thought they would be good church/long car ride activities. They come with a dry erase marker and each page you can just wipe clean. How handy to have so many activities in one small book! She's a little young for them now, but I'm excited for her to grow into them. They aren't that expensive, and very educational!

11. We're Going on a Bear Hunt, God Gave Us Two, and Little One, God Made You Special- I love to give Norah books for gifts because I love reading, I love reading to her, reading is so valuable, and I want Norah to love reading. We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a fun one that was a preschool favorite when I taught, and Norah didn't have it yet. I bought God Gave Us Two before we found out it was twins, but still a really neat book, and I love the Christian aspect. She already has God Gave Us You. She also already has Little One, God Loves You, and it's such a cute book, so Little One, God Made You Special goes along well!


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