Tag Archives: holidays

Making the Most of Winter Break with the Kids

Doing a stay-cation this winter break?  The thought of a week or two at home with the kids need not instill fear in your heart.  With a little bit of planning, you can take advantage of the great opportunity the break affords to spend some great quality time together as a family!  Here are some ideas for making the most of your time together — keep it handy and pull it out over the break whenever you need some inspiration!

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Gift Guide for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Gift Guide for Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers

Note: Check out the latest (2016) version of this gift guide here!

Looking for the perfect holiday or birthday gift for your little one, a grandchild, or a family friend?  Here are our curated lists of age-appropriate gifts that are proven hits.

If you’re planning on buying a toy, see also our Buying Guide: Baby Toys & Books for info on buying safe/non-toxic toys.

0-6 months

6-12 months

1 year olds

2 year olds

3-4 year olds

All ages

  • Clothing: For a classic holiday gift, how about some snuggly jammies?  Our top picks are the organic sleepers and two-pieces from Hanna Andersson — they’re  fantastic quality and last forever!  The rest of the year, nice pieces from top brands like Baby Gap, Mini Boden, Tea Collection, etc. are always Mom favorites.
  • Looking for something handmade? Check out our top picks for baby goodies on Etsy
  • Experiential gifts: Trip to a local farm or zoo; hike at a local trail or park; a train or bus adventure; or an afternoon of art, cooking, or some other creative activity with gift giver (see also our Pinterest board for great baby & kid activity ideas)
  • Free and fun: Don’t forget the big cardboard boxes and discarded wrapping paper that all those presents come in!

Any other favorite gift ideas for little ones? Let us know in the comments!

Note: All featured products and brands are editorially selected by our editors; we do not accept compensation in exchange for coverage.  This post does contain affiliate links, meaning we may receive a small proportion of any purchases you make after clicking on them (at no cost to you); thanks for your support!  See our full Editorial Policy & Affiliate Disclosure here.

Best Advent Calendars 2015

Can you believe it’s that time of year again??  Here are our picks for the best kid-friendly advent calendars of 2015.

bellazahn modern quilted advent calendars

bellazahn santa over town

These gorgeous modern advent calendars from bellazahn on Etsy are nothing short of quilted masterpieces.  A variety of scenes are available (our favorites include a classic Christmas tree, Santa flying over a village, and Christmas stockings), and all feature pockets for treats.  They’re on the pricey side ($50-60), but you’ll be able to enjoy them for years.  Note that these ship from New Zealand.

GoldTinselShop muslin bags

GoldTinselShop muslin bags

These festive muslin bags ($45) from GoldTinselShop on Etsy are decorated with colorful holiday-themed prints and are perfect for holding little treats.  Order by 11/23 for 12/1 delivery.

vintagemodernmix advent boxes

vintagemodernmix advent boxes

These versatile little (2″x2″) advent boxes ($29) are decorated with vintage-inspired prints and can be stacked into a pyramid, lined up on your mantel, or adhered to a backing for a more traditional-style advent calendar.  Cuteness!

TheButtercupHouse magnetic tins

TheButtercupHouse tins

These little (2.5in. diameter) advent tins ($45) from TheButtercupHouse on Etsy feature cute modern Christmas images and are perfectly sized for tiny treats.  They’re also magnetic, so will provide hours of fun refrigerator play as well.

LEGO advent calendars

LEGO Star Wars advent calendar 2015

If you’ve got a little LEGO fan in your life — accept no substitute for one of the 2015 LEGO advent calendars.  There are three flavors this year: City (item #60099, $30), Friends ($30), and Star Wars (item #75097; $40).  All three have already sold out at LEGO.com ($29-39), but you can still get them (albeit usually at a premium) on Amazon (City is selling for $46 at time of writing; Star Wars is going for $61; and Friends is blissfully still available at retail price).

Pottery Barn Kids Telluride Advent Calendar

PBK Telluride Advent Calendar

PBK is also offering a nice version of the classic Christmas tree advent calendar ($69, sale $55) this year.

Eric Carle’s Dream Snow Pop-Up Advent Calendar

Eric Carle's Dream Snow Pop-Up Advent Calendar

If you don’t relish the concept of having to fill up 25 tiny treat pockets, perhaps the Eric Carle advent calendar ($10 at Amazon) is more your speed.  This marvel of paper engineering features a central tree and Santa figure (from Eric Carle’s book Dream Snow) and flaps that lift up to reveal a new decoration to add to the scene each day.

Starbucks Advent Calendar 2015

Starbucks advent calendar 2015

We also can’t help but mention the Starbucks Advent Calendar ($45, sale price $31).  This year’s incarnation features reusable tin globe-shaped ornaments that come pre-filled with chocolate and peppermint bark.  This mom couldn’t resist buying it this morning on a coffee run, and it’s actually pretty nice.  I’m thinking of turning our full-size tree into a life size advent calendar tree using these ornaments this year.   The package also includes a $5 Starbucks gift card.  The Starbucks calendar is available online as well as at local stores.

Find another advent calendar that you absolutely love?  Please share in the comments!

Happy countdown to the holidays, everyone!