Although I love decorating, crafting, and baking during the holidays it’s gift giving that brings me the most cheer. I love spending months finding practical but fun gifts for everyone on my list. Usually I am so excited for everyone to open up their gifts I have to go first!
Although I am not a huge fan of cold weather I absolutely love the Christmas season. Candles in the windows, hot chocolate, fires by the fire place, and spending time with family and friends. My favorite though has to be shopping for the stockings.
“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nick soon would be there.”
Special thanks to SmartGames for providing me with an IQ Twist for review. All opinions are my own and I never recommend a product I won’t use myself or with my family.
Along with some practical and fun items I always like to find a small puzzle or brain teaser for my Dad. He plays a lot of games on his iPad but it is fun to have something in your hands to play with. As luck would have it, one of the wonderful goodies I walked away with while attending Blogger Bash this past summer was IQ Twist. After trying it out I knew it would be perfect for him!
SmartGames are fun, multi-level logic games and puzzles for one player. IQ Twist received the 2012 Best New Puzzle Award from Games Magazine. You can check out more of their award winning products here.
Although small in nature, this game is packed with 100 challenges to keep you for quite some time. IQ Twist challenges start off “easy” and get progressively harder working through a Starter, Junior, Expert, Master, and Wizard level.
To start each challenge remove all of the squiggle pieces and pegs. Using the challenge as reference, match the appropriate color pegs and squiggle piece on the board.
To complete the challenge you must place every squiggle piece on the board. Seems easy enough, right? Or not… The tricky part is arranging them so that each peg is matched up with the same color squiggle piece.
I found the Smart level challenges to be a little difficult until I got the swing of things. If you are really stumped on a challenge the back of the booklet as all of the answers.
You can purchase IQ Twist on Amazon Prime for $9.99. That means it’s not too late to grab one up this year to stuff in your stockings. It’s a great gift idea for any parent who spends a lot of time in nap jail, the car, or waiting for doctor appointments.
Before every birthday or Christmas I find myself searching mom blogs for toys, games, and gear that their children enjoy. Here are a few of Parker’s favorite toys and games at the moment. It’s a good mix of imaginative play, educationally based toys, and toys to help him learn and understand social norms. You can find all of these items on Amazon Prime which is great for last minute gift purchases and avoiding the busy malls.
I always thought I would keep Parker away from all TV until he was older. That was something that changed quickly when I got pregnant and especially now with a nursing infant. We limit Parker’s TV time to 1 movie a day and on the rare occasion 2. I also look for movies that have color, music, and no violence which usually means Disney. His favorites right now are Frozen, Cars, Planes, Madagascar, and recently Rio. I have to admit I absolutely love this movie. The vibrant colors, fantastic music, and adorable animals keep both Parker and I entertained. Whenever I am watching with him we talk about what is going on in the movie and try to learn a few new words and actions. I am looking forward to adding Toy Story to our collection soon.
Parker is actually getting the VTech Cogsley Learning Robot for Christmas but I wanted to include it in this list. We have had it for quite some time waiting for the right moment.
We are a huge fan of VTech and the Go! Go! series. The VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Heavy Duty Set are a great for the car or to play at home. They each have their own name and personality which lets Parker relate to them. They can be used individually or with the Go! Go! series play sets.
Rob scored this Kid Craft Everyday Hero Play Set of Craiglist and it quickly became one of Parker’s favorite toys. Since it does not need any batters or have noises or flashing lights we have it in his room. He will often play with it before he goes to bed and when he wakes up before he calls for us. It’s fun to watch him interact with the police chief and fire chief throughout the station in the appropriate social settings.
Bath time is our favorite part of the day (Parker’s and ours). He loves playing in the water whether it be a bath or “shark” shower and for us it means bed time is near! We got the Play Visions Crayola Bathtub Crayons so he could color on the tub and shower walls. He has even tried to give himself a tattoo a few times 🙂 It didn’t take long for him to realize he could click the crayon all the way up but after breaking a few and not getting them back he quickly learned to be more careful.
Parker loves watching us attend to chores around the house, especially vacuuming. We found this adorable Dyson Toy Vacuum awhile ago and he loves pushing it around the floor just like I do. It has such realistic sounds and even picks up a little dirt on the floor.
We received Toy Story 3 Memory a few days ago and decided to pull it out last night after dinner to play. We only used 6 sets at a time and placed all of the photos up. Rob and I would take turns handing Parker a card and he had to find a match. He didn’t really understand but he found every single one which was fun. We will slowly add more and eventually turn them upside down. For the moment though, he is practicing image recognition.
I would love to hear what are on some of your kids Christmas lists or items your toddler absolutely loves! There is another consignment sale coming up in March and I will be on the hunt for some birthday gifts!