Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Gifts for a 6 Month Old and $100 Giveaway!

It's not that I'm anti-toy, it's just that I think kids have SO many toys these days. Now I know this is easy for me to say now because Lil' J is only nearly 5 months old and is just starting to show interest in some toys. I'm sure once she's older, walking, talking and into playing. But even then, I want to make a rule to where she can only have enough toys to fit in her toybox. When there's too much for that, it's time to donate and trade up.

I half expected I'd just go to a Goodwill myself and look for some toys I'd bleach clean but I decided Christmas and Birthdays are occasions we can splurge on new toys. But what's the best toys for her age group?

Right now she's still quite in the infant sensory stage, and likes things that are black and white, she loves mirrors, and things she can chew on, but she's starting to like to grab, and shake things, and I know by Christmas she'll be all over the cause-and-effect toys that involve banging, shaking, pushing pulling etc.

So off I set on an online adventure looking for Black Friday deals on baby toys.

I already bought her a Tickle Me Elmo (the regular one, not Xtreme) off eBay and a stuffed Cookie Monster to go with him. She loves Elmo and his voice so I know she'll love him.
I'm totally into VTech toys for some reason. Maybe because I've always been an electronics kid myself. I also figure if a toy is going to make noise and light up it might as well be an educational toy. I want to get Lil' J this VTech Touch and Learn Musical Bee. It's similar to the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy, which I also like, but it has better ratings and is only $18 at Walmart.
It plays upbeat songs when you bounce it around and soothing songs other times. It also helps teach numbers, colors and shapes. I'm actually trying to see if I can find one in Spanish since it's a given she'll be learning these things in English.

Another VTech toy I'm eyeing is this VTech Baby's Learning Laptop. It's only $14.54 at Walmart (it may be a Black Friday sale?) and it helps teach shapes, common objects, and feelings. She'll mostly be interested in the noises and lights it makes at this age, but in another year--If she's not bored of it yet, she can use the mouse pad and do more with it. This toy also has really high ratings and seems like babies like it quite awhile. It also comes in a pink but I'll get the more neutral blue.

If I'm going to splurge on one toy it's may be this 5-in-1 adjustable gym from Little Tikes. It looks really cool because it grows with her. She's just starting to sit up a little, but she could also lay down to play with it, or stand up with it when she's older. The ratings aren't as high and for being $45 at Toys R' Us, I'm thinking I may look around on Craigslist for it. Or, use our Babies R Us gift card for it (anyone know if TRU accepts BRU gift cards?).

I'm really into more of the simple things though like this wooden farm book. Lil' J loves books for some reason. When we bring out books at home to read to her every day, or if were reading or singing from books at church she loves to grab them. She loves board books and I think a wooden one she'd like even more. It'd be practically indestructible, and make a cool noise when the pages clap together.

This Sassy Fill and Spill Bucket is exactly what the name says and I think, exactly what babies love to do. Fill and dump... Mostly dump. So I think she'd like something like this, and it's only $10.

Lil' J also loves lights and things that move. I'm thinking about getting this Tiny Love Nature Soothing Serenade Mobile for her, but it's a little pricey too at about $45. She really likes the butterfly mobile I made for her, she has since birth. Now she kicks and laughs at it during the day, but at night she can't see it because it doesn't glow. I'm not sure if I'll get something to this extreme for her crib, maybe I'll get something more subtle, but I think she'd like it if there was something nice and glowey in there, and what better time than Christmas to get it for her!

Finally, one of our friends gave us this rain forest jumper and I packed it up since I was about 6 months pregnant with a ways to go. I forgot I had it and may save it for Christmas, or take it out before and see how she likes it.
If she does like it than I think she'll LOVE a door jumper (like a Johnny Jumper). I just can't decide if I'd rather the Sassy Seat Doorway Jumper that has lights and toys and fun things and is about $35.

Or the fancy smantsy Merry Muscles Jumper Exerciser Baby Bouncer that's about $85, but apparently lasts a long time and is better for your baby's feet etc. I just don't want to spend a lot of money if she ends up hating it. I think she'll love the bouncers though because she loves to kick and jump with us already.

So that's that for the toys on my shopping list. I'm much more into clothes myself. I used to think clothing was a boring gift but now that I have a child myself I understand why parents like buying them... To see their kids dressed up all cute! I'm in love with the Tea Collection. An online shop with children's clothing for the little citizens of the world! Here's a few of my favorites:
Croatian Floral Hoodie
Romanian Floral Top

Eniko Yoke Dress
Hungarian Floral Dress
All of the my blog followers (old or new) who leave a comment letting me know their favorites from this store before December 8th will be entered to win $100 to spend there! You get an extra entry if you follow @teacollection on twitter or if you let me know a Christmas gift recommendation for my husband or Lil' J (hehe, I'm cheating). will choose the winner, good luck!  

In a few hours I'll be posting another Christmas gift idea that Lil' J LOVES, plus doing a giveaway for it!