Friday, January 27, 2012

Gift Giving . . . Age 2 to Age 3

Yesterday, I blogged about Gift Giving for newborns and 1 year olds.  Today is Gift Giving for 2 and 3 year old boys.  You will not find any pink here.  That doesn't mean little girls won't like the same thing, after all society finds it more acceptable for girls to blur the line between sexes and their toys than boys.  You could simply modify the gift but concepts remains the same.

When I started this I mentioned my friend Jennifer, mother of 2 - 1 girl and 1 boy wanted to know what to give a 3 year old boy who was having a birthday.  Since I have had two boys already hit 3, I was again a very good and free source.

An average 2 year old is demanding, inflexible, emotional and all this before breakfast.  I use the word "average" to say that most, or a minimum of 51% behave this way.  Now, I know the child you are buying for is exceptional, brilliant, beautiful and excels in every way.  No matter if you have the average child or the exceptional child both will love these toys.  They help build muscles, confidence and independence.  This is the perfect example of growing through play.

Some of my favorite 2 year old gift giving toys are:

Puzzles - Puzzles are awesome for children.  No, not the 1000 small piece, all strawberry puzzle, I did that one once.  I am talking the Melissa & Doug knobbed puzzles.  Again working on gross and fine motor, the child lifts the piece out of the puzzle and puts it back using his gross motor.  They are lifting using the whole arm, working with the upper arm muscle.  The fine motor comes into play with grabbing the knob.  The grabbing of the knob is a pre-curser to a crayon/writing utensil grip.  It is not a three prong grip but rather a full fist.  Puzzles come where they specialize in color, size, and theme.  Puzzles this age should have approximately 6 to 8 pieces.

Large Construction Blocks -  Blocks are great for building a toddler's grabbing, stacking, sorting and knocking down skills.  Pieces should not be small enough to fit in the mouth, nose or ear, yup seen a lego in the nose, we threw it away!  The blocks should be large but not heavy.  You want blocks that can be easily moved, stacked, sorted and fun to play with.  Their imagination will soar with building blocks.  Forts, buildings, towers are all great things to build.  And, we can be honest here, the best part of blocks is knocking them down.  These blocks will brings many hours of entertainment and lots of laughter. 

Tricycle - or a big wheel is what we called it when I was growing up.  A toddler will love tooling around on his trike.  It aids in building independence.  It also gets them outside enjoying nature.  It is important to get a good fitting trike, not all are the same. Make sure the trike fits the child with a wide base for stability, pedal height and cushion seat for comfort.  You might consider getting a trike with a detachable push handle.  The handle allows you to push the child when he gets tired from pedaling, and will save your back!!!  The trike helps with center core balance, upper leg muscles strength and spacial perceptions aka not running into stuff!


I am sure you have heard someone talk about the Terrible 2s . . . Just wait until they are 3!  This is when every mother considers giving them back, at least once a day!  I know, I know you wouldn't really give them back, but if you can . . . hand them off to dad or grandma!  You are going to need a break with a 3 year old!

3 year olds have a growing vocabulary and ask lots of questions.  They also are gaining a sense of self and their desire for independence.  Remember 3 year olds will survive.  They are made to survive in spite of you and not because of you!  They want to do it themselves and you should let them. The fastest way to learn something is to try it yourself and through failure or success, you have learned how to do it and that you can!

My favorite 3 year old gift giving toys are:

Plasma Car - Love these.  A child sits on it, puts their feet up and moves the vehicle through their body motion.  They move the steering wheel back and forth and it creates motion for the child to move about.  Our boys love theirs and still use them.  They often have races through the house on these.  The Plasma car helps with center core strength and arm strength.  The back and forth motion helps to build strong muscles along the spine which helps kids sit longer and taller in their chairs.  Chair fatigue is real, trust me I have it right now! You can find the plasma cars just about anywhere toys are sold and they come in many cool colors. 

Play-doh - It is the same stuff you played with as a kid.  I love Play-doh for so many reasons 1 - awesome colors, 2 great price point, 3 - it travels well, 4  - and you can use just about anything to make it work.  I have taken play-doh with us when we travel. I pack it along with some fun cookie cutters - when we went to the beach I packed it with a shark, beach ball, fish, boat and so on.  This is an awesome toy and it uses your imagination, it also works the upper body when rolling play-doh out and helps strengthen the hands for fine motor development.  Not only will the child create fun items.  He will then use the items in a scene he has created with the various pieces he fut out.  Children LOVE to mix colors.  I have no explanation for this.  Play-doh will keep this child busy, quiet and using his noggins getting creative.  This is a great gift especially if you throw in a play-doh set - we have a Bob the Builder and man oh man can Bob build!  Bonus - Play-doh if eaten won't kill ya - after all you survive didn't you?

Flash light - OK, you might think this odd but it is so perfect for a little explorer guy!  Little boys love to get down, check stuff out and pretend.  In addition to the flash light you could also add a latern, binoculars, and walkie-talkie.  All of these my 4 year old still uses and loves.  He hides behind the rock wall and peers around it finding bad guys.  He will get on the bridge between their forts and use the walkie-talkie to call his brother.  His uses of the flash light are endless and to many to name, just accept he has fun with it.  Exploring is perfect for a 3 year old - it is what they are born to do, to learn, touch, feel and if necessary taste, but we are going to leave that one alone!  They will look under sofas, behind tvs, outside for bugs, they might even find that missing earring you have been hunting!  I LOVE this for little guys!

Gift Giving . . . Age 4 to Age 5 - back on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Love these ideas. I have two grandsons I adore and only want the very best for them. Looking forward to next next blogs on this.