Christmas 2009 is upon us and it’s time to start shopping in earnest. This year, I’m barely stepping foot inside a shop – almost all my gift buying will be online so I can avoid the crowds and sit back as my shopping is delivered. It’s absolute luxury!
Here we have a roundup of the latest and greatest gifts, and we’ve divided them into approximate age categories for you – up to one year, toddler, and older child (ages three to five and above). There’s just so much to love on this list, so enjoy shopping from home and de-stress about gift buying!
Age: Up to one year
Vulli Sophie Giraffe
Flipsy Flopsy Dolls
Just perfect for little humans just starting their explorations into how things work and imaginative play, this Flipsy Flopsy Doctor and Nurse Doll will have a long life beyond babyhood. You get two dolls in one for $39.95 at Design Child. We last wrote about these dolls in June this year.
Ebulobo Daddy and Baby Bear
Trust French company Ebulobo to do the most adorable take ever on a textural interest bear for babies. With a squeaker in Daddy Bear’s nose, crackly bits, crinkles, super-soft fur, fishing gear and rattles, this bear with its own baby is not only exploratory heaven for babies three months and up, it’s a beautiful statement about the bonds between daddies and their children. The Daddy and Baby Bear toy comes as a set for $74.95 from Urban Baby.
For delightfully unexpected stocking fillers, include a Maileg Mouse or two. Exquisitely detailed and packaged in wooden matchbox beds complete with bedding, the surprise of opening the box and finding a sweetly tailored mouse inside will make for an unforgettable childhood moment. They’re $50 each from My Brood.
Rice tumblers and plates
Delicious Danish homewares brand Rice has hit Australia through Baby Goes Retro. These pretty tumblers are just about the only things that don’t break on my hard tiled floors, and at just $6.50 each, or $37.50 for a set of six, they won’t break the bank either. Get some in your children’s favourite colours and there will never be any question about who owns which cup. Also see the range of compartmentalised plates – toddlers just love it when their food is sectioned off. They are $27.95 each, from Baby Goes Retro.
Brio pull-along Engine
You can’t go wrong with gorgeous Brio toys, especially the pull-along kind for toddlers. They’ll toddle contentedly with this cute wooden engine whose chimney turns as the wheels do. It’s $39.95 from Infancy. Brio products made our Christmas roundup last year as well.
Toddlers love to make their mark on the world in all kinds of ways! These ergonomic Dot Markers – which use washable ink – will give them the tools for being successful early doodlers without needing the fine motor skills needed for traditional markers. Big markers for little hands make for very happy tiny artists! They’re just $16.95 for a set of six, from Design Child.
‘Tickle Monster’ book and mitts by Josie Bissett
I remember this lass from Melrose Place all those years ago! Josie Bissett went on to have two children of her own, which led her to write Tickle Monster, a book all about fun and laughter. As a charming extra, you can also buy the Tickle Mitts to accompany the book. Children will just adore the anticipation of the next tickle – expect much family hilarity over this book about a monster who sets out to cheer up planet Earth. The book is $31.95 and the mitts are $29.95 from Urban Baby.
Sirch Troll Doll Stroller
A stunning design piece in itself, this doll stroller in Sirch’s Sibis range (we’ve featured the furniture and the walker) is made to withstand any workout your toddler cares to inflict upon it. Divinely fashioned from steam-bent wood, it will make you swoon as much as it will excite your toddler. The Troll Stroller is $299 from The Infant Boutique. An optional pram liner is available for $48.95 – this would be good if your child likes to push a long-suffering cat around.
Little Hero Cape and Side Kick Sock Monkey
This is such a fantastic gift combo for energetic little superheroes. Grab one of the legendary Little Hero Capes and for a suitable ‘partner in crime’ include this characterful Side Kick Sock Monkey! Watch the adventures unfold now that your child has that all important offsider. Both are available from Monkeytail and Wellington – the capes are $49.95 and you can add on some cuffs for $10.95 and a mask for $19.95. The Side Kick Monkey is $69.95. Our first article on the capes was featured in June 2008.
Age: Older child – three and up
Janod magnetic wooden vehicles
Wooden toys always top the must-have lists here at Babyology. They make beautiful sounds even when the pieces are being bashed together by a rambunctious little person, and the quality brands pay close attention to eco-considerations. We just love the plane and rocket magnetic toys by Janod; all eleven pieces can be pulled apart and reassembled, and will actually stay together thanks to the magnets. Great for kids who are up for something a little more challenging! Both the plane and rocket are $29.95 each from The Hip Infant. There’s even a lovely yellow helicopter in the range!
Goki My Little Zoo
While we’re on the topic of beautiful wooden toys, here is one sure to thrill the animal-lovers. The Goki My Little Zoo can be set up in any little corner of the house. Your budding zookeeper can tend to the animals and escort tours through its paths. Use it as a teaching tool about the habitats different animals live in and the food they eat. You can also take portions of the 220 piece set out with you to entertain them at restaurants. It’s $119.95 from The Hip Infant. Also see other items in the range to suit different age groups.
‘This Is Australia’ book by Miroslav Sasek
I bought the Paris and New York editions of the delightful Miroslav Sasek travel series for my son’s birthday and increasingly they are being chosen as the books to read each night. From the 1970s retro artwork and strikingly produced covers, to the lively explanations of things to be found in places near and far, show the kids about our country through the eyes of Sasek. It’s $34.95 from Infancy.
Seedling Kits, which we wrote about in March, give kids the chance to make things with their hands, and to be productive in ways that modern life doesn’t often enable. Containing everything you need to make an object, grow a plant, make a collage, be a doctor, or go on an outdoor nature adventure, they make a rarer gift of experience and encourage interaction, skill-building and attention to detail. The kits range in price from $24.95 to $59.95 at Design Child.
Kid O ‘Deep In the Forest’ wooden puzzle
We just can’t get enough of Kid O products (seen here in June and October) and now that they’re readily available in Australia, they’ve gone straight onto our Christmas list! This fabulous ‘Deep In the Forest’ puzzle is not only a theatre, but an exercise in depth perception as your child works out which animal is deepest in the forest. It’s $69.95 from Urban Baby and includes sixteen pieces, wooden tray, cards and cotton storage bag.
Radio Flyer Trike
Sleek vintage styling, shiny, red and with a back step for little bro or sis, the Radio Flyer Trike is a classic with whitewall tyres and handlebar streamers. Just one look at it and you know it’ll be a hit with the kids. Get one for $199 from Infancy.
Get your orders in quick for these uber-popular Fairy Doors. Made by our very own Monkeytail and Wellington, your child will embark on many flights of fancy as fairies are given a gateway into our world. Each door comes with a tiny key and a vial of fairy dust to be used as evidence of fairy activity. They come in a range of colours and styles, from Monkeytail and Wellington.
I still remember the thrill of setting up a tent in the back yard and feeling like I was the only kid in the whole universe inside my little haven. These fab teepees from An Angel At My Table will provide hours of enjoyment and protection from the harsh summer sun. They can have picnics, make it into their very own pretend operating theatre, or simply go inside to escape or relax. Order them in blue, red or pink from The Infant Boutique for $229 and set it up for Christmas morning with presents inside. It’s such a shame Santa will get all the kudos!
Whilst not every kid is cut out for a future with the Crusty Demons, this superb Kiddimoto balance bike will at least make them think they’re going that fast! Stunning motorbike styling in red, black and white, it’s your child’s first foray into two-wheeled riding, teaching them those essential balancing skills needed later on. Kido Store have them for $299 each.
We hope you have enjoyed our Christmas roundup for 2009 as much as we loved putting it together! Wishing you many happy hours shopping for your little ones and then sharing in the fun once the gifts are given.