Thursday, 19 December 2013

What will be under the tree for Miss V, and some other stuff

Holy cow, somehow it's almost Christmas!  I did pretty well again this year by picking up things over the last few months and just tucking them away (mostly stocking stuff, her stocking is out of control this year!) so I didn't have too much of a last-minute shopping panic when it came to Vivian stuff.  She's still in a ridiculously easy phase - she just likes everything.  Plus, she hasn't really grasped the whole concept of Christmas yet, so her demands were easy to keep in check.  Here's a little rundown of the main stuff that will be waiting for Miss Vivian on Christmas morning.

(I just linked to Amazon for the most part because it's easy.)

The only thing that she actually asked Santa for?

Clawdeen Wolf.  Vivian is super into Barbies and Princesses, and is just starting to get really into My Little Pony (a couple of ponies might have found their way into her stocking) and she's just on the verge of liking Monster High.  For whatever reason, she really likes Clawdeen.  She always talks about how she's a wolf and has ears.  If you ask her what Santa is bringing her, this is what she says.

However, Mommy has asked that Santa bring her these,

She's been getting pretty into the whole idea of baby dolls lately, so her big Santa present is this high chair and doll bed, along with a Cabbage Patch baby doll and a little diaper bag of accessories.  I actually found these two Melissa & Doug pieces at a Winners for an awesome price ($44 each!) so I couldn't resist!  They're awesome quality so they'll definitely be a toy that will be around for the long haul.

This was supposed to be a birthday present, but when the dollhouse ended up coming for her birthday from Grandma, I thought it was best to hold off on this until Christmas.

I swear, I should just buy everything by Melissa & Doug.  My friend Amanda was getting one of these for her daughter and suggested I take a look at it as well.  I'm so glad she steered me to it, because it is AWESOME!  Again, it's wood so it will be around for a long time.  It's got loads of room for characters to move around in different rooms and it folds up so that it takes up (slightly) less space.  Even with it closed it still leaves a courtyard area in the middle though, so it's really versatile.  Vivian is really into smaller sized dolls (like the MagiClip princesses) so this fits them perfectly!  She also has a bunch of princess sets like these that will work well in it too.  (For some reason, they're kind of hard to find on Amazon.  You can find different sets at Walmart for like $15 each though - they're really great.)  It would work well with the Little People too.

There's a story in my family about how my brother Brent asked for a logging truck for Christmas one year, and that's all that he wanted from Santa.  Of course, this was in the late 80s or whatever, so it wasn't as easy as jumping on Amazon and having one delivered to your door a couple days later.  The logging truck proved to be quite elusive.  So when I saw this bad boy at a Winners, I knew I had to get it for Vivian.

Bruder is a great line of trucks - really great quality.  They're usually stupidly expensive too - I think at Mastermind they're like $70 each.  I found this at Winners for $30.  Who says the princesses can't go for a ride in a truck sometimes?

Last year I talked about getting Vivian a Busy Book and it's proved to be awesome for her.  Phidal books has a huge range of interactive books that work really well for Vivian.  She still has a hard time sitting still for a whole story, but she can really focus on something different like the characters in the busy books, or the magnets in the bubble magnet books.  They seem to be everywhere now too - I've seen them at Chapters, Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, but I still like Winners the best.  I got her a few different ones, and seem to find them at Winners for like $8 each.

I think that this year Vivian might be old enough to start getting into Playmobil.  A few months ago, Mastermind Toys had an awesome promotion on Playmobil stuff where you basically got $40 of free stuff for spending $60.  I stocked up on a bunch of these travel case sets to kind of get her introduced to things, and then I got a bigger pony farm set.  So she will be getting a nice variety - a school set, a fairy set, a pony set, plus she got the Christmas set earlier to get her pumped for Christmas.  I really love the hotel that they have now, and I love how it's so easy to build and expand on everything.  

Beyond that it's a lot of more generic stuff - Play-Doh, a Barbie, some puzzles, books, stuff like that.  I also wanted to share a couple of other toys that I love just in case you were still looking for something for a little one on your list!

Vivian is really into the princesses and Barbies, but she also really likes Lottie dolls.  I love them too - they're smaller than a Barbie doll because they're supposed to be a child.  Because of that, they also have more of a child's physique.  The clothes are really great - instead of being that really coarse, cheap feeling fabric like most dolls, they have soft clothes with a lot of great textures.  Vivian has two - this ballerina one, and a music festival one (who has a furry little vest, it's adorable).  They have really soft hair too - not the kind that becomes a knotted mess immediately.  They have a nice range of dolls too, not just the typical roles.  There's a karate doll, a robot girl, equestrian, lighthouse keeper, some really cute, different stuff.  They also come in a really cute box that hardly even needs to be gift wrapped.  I have gotten Vivian's from Mastermind - they make awesome little gifts!

This is my new favourite gift idea for kids, so I had to share.  You know how you always see those big cardbord castles and playhouses that you put together and then kids can decorate them?  And you think, "Oh yeah, that's cool.  It's pretty cheap too, I bet the kids would love that.  But ugh, then what am I going to do with it?  The stupid thing is huge, and they're probably just going to tear it apart."  Enter the Miniature House.

It's super cute, super cheap (under $10), and is small enough that you can shove it under a bed or in a close when the kids aren't playing with it.  I got one for Vivian in the summer and she thought it was awesome putting it all together and then taking her time painting and colouring it.  Once she was satisfied with the decorating, it became a fun house for her dolls to play in.  It was lots of fun, and then when it starting looking a little beat up I didn't have any hard feelings with chucking it in the recycling bin.  It makes for a super easy gift too - just grab a house (they're flat-packed so they're easy to wrap) and some art supplies (which are clearly sold separately) and you've got a nice little present for someone.  I thought it would even be fun to decorate them for the different seasons - you could do a haunted house at Halloween or a cardboard gingerbread house at Christmas.

That's the main stuff that will be taking over my house by this time next week.  Let me know if you have any other suggestions - even though I really don't need to buy anything else!

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