I have to admit that while I try to minimize the amount of "stuff" that O has, and I strive to give her more handmade gifts than bought gifts, I do LOVE toys. I have a great time making O's Christmas wish list each year, and I'm so glad that her grandparents always request a list (otherwise I wouldn't make one). I enjoy researching toys and reading reviews. I have pretty strict criteria for the toys that go on O's list...no plastic, no batteries, no characters, made of wood, heirloom quality, open-ended, inspires creativity, etc. However, their are ALWAYS exceptions to my rules :) I make a LONG list so that O's grandparents can choose something that they like, and so they, hopefully, don't feel like I am just telling them what to buy :) Her grandparents usually buy 3 or 4 things off her list. We are VERY lucky that O's grandparents are respectful of our "criteria" for O's toys :) So here it is: (I'm copying and pasting from the email that I sent to O's grandparents. Although I have edited it a bit within the last week.)
Toys and Puzzles
rainbow blocks O loves her unit blocks so much that I think these will be a welcome addition to her open ended, creative block play!
Just Like Me Toddler Photo Doll Girl/Boy Set with Terrific Twins Clothes (felt paper doll made using O's picture) I think O will be thrillled to see herself as a paper doll! This is such a neat idea, and I think that since O loves to play dress up so much that it will be neat for her to dress up a doll that looks just like her!
These blocks are so cool, and it's a great brain building exercise. I don't think amazon has a very good picture of the blocks, but www.mindware.com has better pictures if you are interested.
body puzzle Since O is very interested in veins and bones, I think this puzzle will be thrilling for her. I am sure she will learn so much from it.
yoga kit for kids O loved doing yoga months ago when we had a kids yoga library book, so I think it will be a fun addition to our morning routine to do yoga. I especially think she'll like pretending to be the different animals.
kids PVC free yoga mat
dollhouse nursery furniture
dollhouse accessory set
dollhouse furniture playground
All-in-One castle This is such an amazing toy. I wish I could see it in person! I think this is one that could definitely be passed down to O's children!
Nesting water waves
Stories on CD
Jim Weiss Sweet Dreams cd
Jim Weiss Animal Tales
*Jim Weiss Good Night
Jim Weiss Fairytales
third box of color tablets
metal insets with 2 stands http://www.montessoriequipment.com/Metal-Insets-p/l.411.1.htm
Hello from around the world memory game O LOVES matching games, and I really like that this game uses actual photographs. I think it will be fun for her to learn how to say "hello" in so many different languages!
Tell Me a Story cards