Gift Guide: Toys / by Katie Brightbill

Gifts, gifts, gifts! My gift guide is back, this time it's all about toys!

1. Jump rope. 2. Tea Set. 3. Wooden Dog. 4. Play Food. 5. Doll. 6. Percussion Set.

The girl toys are the easiest thing in the world for me to round up for you; these are really just things Sophie would pick, and I know a lot of her little girl friends are similar. Sophie plays with pretend food and has tea parties with dolls and Maggie all day long. We dance around the house with maracas, so the instruments would be a hit in our house. A jump rope would be a good coordination activity for the fours and five-year-olds. I've also included a wooden pull dog. Imaginations run wild with the preschool age, and I'm positive Sophie would be absolutely delighted to have her own "pet dog."

Musical instruments, building blocks, balls, cars and roaring lions are hits with the little boys I know. Plenty of space for imagination and messes and noise!

Babies put everything in their mouths, so it's important to me that their toys are safe and chewable. Teething toys are great for soothing. Plush toys are fun to gum and roll over and throw. As they get older, it's nice to have some learning toys and a great push/pull toy. Maggie loves her flapping seal and the good thing about the Plan brand is that they work forward AND backward. Most other brands only go one way or the other.

Have fun choosing toys for the little ones in your life!! Isn't it such luxury that these days we can just grab things online with a click on a screen? As a mother, online shopping is just so handy when you don't want to lug the kiddos out and about, right? I love it.

Happy Gifting!