I’ve made a really good dent in my Christmas shopping (tip: don’t leave up on your laptop when your children are at home — I’m terrible at surprising people) and have hit a couple of snags. Maybe someone can help?

#1 In the old days, we kept Christmas pretty simple for one and two year-olds. They don’t care much about “stuff” do they? However, the older siblings now notice what the little kids get, and everyone wants to see cute Thomas opening something delightful. However, we own so many toys already for the toddler set that shopping for more is slightly nauseating. Also, we have to bring everything I’m currently buying back in our suitcases, so it can’t be too large. So… What do you cute people think my cute Thomas “needs” for Christmas? Is there a clever thing for a two-year-old boy that I haven’t heard of? (He turns two in January, so think young two.)

#2 I want to get my kids one new fun thing for the Wii.  We’re mostly stuck on Mario Bros. right now — they even like the old-school one, and are very impressed by my skills on it.  Oh, and they recently downloaded Tetris and couldn’t believe what I could do with Tetris — I’m so cool. Anyway, I’m thinking maybe rock band, even though the accessories cost more than we paid for the darn Wii, or I could do Wii Sports Resort or something in that category. What have your kids enjoyed, or alternatively, which do you think would kill fewer brain cells?

#3 Mary wants some clothing for her 18-inch doll. It’s not American Girl because those are $100 and she’s FOUR. Madame Alexander makes very similar looking dolls for more like $30 — try Toys R Us, or I think Wal-Mart carries them too. Much more appropriate price point, in my opinion. The clothes I’ve found cost almost as much as people clothes (they start at around $20 for a simple outfit), but this is what she really wants, and (I know what some of you are thinking) there is no possibility I’m going to MAKE doll clothes this year. I’m leaning towards supporting someone’s etsy aspirations, and just wondered, do you know someone who is doing this (there are tons of people making doll clothes on etsy) who I should patronize?


17 thoughts on “ideas?

  1. Robin

    For Thomas–I have the same problem with James, so no help there!
    I’ve had the karaoke and dance games for the Wii recommended to me. I don’t know if your kids would be into that, but I don’t think they require much in the way of accessories. Sports Resort is super fun. My kids have made “Mii’s” for just about everyone in the family–including Granny and Grandpa Kent–that they can play as, or have cheering them on in the background.

    The Our Generation dolls and accessories at Target are super cute and very reasonably priced. Also, my mom spent oodles of money buying all these doll clothes for my girls, and to tell the truth, they hardly use them at all. I’ve got a whole box full of them if you want to come pick out a few outfits when you’re here. I think she got most of them off a site called Emily Rose.

    1. liz Post author

      Robin, my kids love making miis too — it’s the only thing Mary ever wants to do on the Wii. Thanks for the tip about the doll things at Target — why didn’t I know about those? And Mary would be thrilled to receive some hand-me-down doll clothes, as long as your girls won’t miss them.

  2. Monica


    Madame Alexander dolls are $19.97 at Costco right now. I bought one for my neice on Friday. They sell the clothes that go with them at Target for good prices. From what I hear, you can’t go wrong with them…. Check costco online… or I’d love to go and buy you one if that’s easier. Good luck!!!

    1. liz Post author

      Monica, Mary LOVES her Madame Alexander doll from last Christmas. I like her too — I think MA makes the prettiest faces for dolls. You’re so sweet to offer to shop for me. I don’t think we’re doing a new doll this year, just some clothes, which I think we’re going to hit Target for.


    For Thomas: what about those colorful plastic snap together beads that Fisher Price makes? Or the large colorful wooden beads that you string? If you can stand it, what about one of those noisy little popcorn poppers that a child pushes around the room making a racket? (Fit it diagonally in a large suitcase)? Or how about Fisher-Price Little People figures? Ideally, you would get a Little People barn or school bus as well, but if that isn’t possible just the people would be fun for playing pretend with older siblings.

    Given your transportation issues, maybe none of this is practical, anyway, good luck!

    1. liz Post author

      Pmom, what a thoughtful list of toys for two year-old boys. My problem is, we have every one of those things! Can you believe it? Even the barn and school bus you mentioned. He truly doesn’t need one single thing. The beads were a good thought though; the ones we have are sort of girly (almost more for jewelry), so we could use some of those — they’re great for fine motor skills and are the kind of classic toys you keep around for your grandkids. Thanks for taking the time to help!

  4. Sarah

    We received Rock Band last year, and I have to say we haven’t really played it that much. My kids might be too young still. If you do get it, check the songs first. The actual Rock Band Disc is pretty raunchy. Not exactly family friendly! We do love our Wii Fit. The kids love competing on it. If you don’t have that, it’s what I’d get. As a bonus, I think Jillian Michaels has a Wii Fit game!

    1. liz Post author

      So there’s a rock band LEGO game, which I think will have more kid-appropriate songs. You might want it — it’s on sale right now for under $20! I’m looking into it. I’ve been wanting a Wii fit, but hadn’t figured the kids would be that excited about it — glad to hear that your kids like it. It’s a good thought. Thanks!

  5. dixiejo

    I think we have guitar hero – which like Sarah said, some of the songs are too mature for me let alone my kids. Our boys like the Wii Resort (most played at our house) and they were playing a game at a friend’s the other day they raved about. I will double check what it is and let you know.
    For Thomas, what about a small stick pony to ride around the house, my two year old boys loved flash lights and now they come in all kinds of varities like animals. I can’t help you with the girly stuff! :)

  6. liz Post author

    I got a couple of other votes for Resort, dixiejo. That one might be in the lead, since it’s more affordable than rock band! And I love stick ponies — kids are so cute on them. The flash light is a good idea — we have some, of course, but a kid-friendly one would be great. Thank you thank you!

  7. Jen

    my kids love wii fit. There are lots of things they can do too. Kaitlin loves to go “running” – actually they all do. And there are little quizzes at the end of the things they saw while running. My kids have mii’s for all of their friends in the neighborhood, family etc.. Anyone they can think of, there is a mii for. I totally agree about getting something / nothing for Thomas. I am in the same boat. Carli doesn’t really play with anything that I have gotten her in the past – she just plays with the kids toys and she’s perfectly happy so she will probably open some of the family gifts and we’ll call it a day. And I know she will get gifts from other relatives as well.

  8. christine

    We LOVE our Sports Resort…so many different games. I sometimes have to practice late at night so I can keep up with Noah! That’s my vote. The Dance ones are great too, but I can’t remember the exact name. Good Luck!

  9. Jill

    Why don’t you get Thomas some board books you don’t have. Easy to pack and you know he is going to be happy just with the paper. Possibly his own little car, like a Cars Car. They are cute, a little bigger than hotwheels and easy to pack.

    I was thinking Rock Band for my kids too but worry about the fading fad and then a large and cumbersome thing sitting in my family room. I have lego rock band (purchased it thinking it didn’t need the instruments) but kept it thinking I would get them later. The jury is still out. My kids love Mario Galaxy (which just game out with Mario Galaxy II). They too are stuck on the retro super mario bros. Good luck deary.

  10. Sarah

    Totally random, but I just saw a commercial for the Crayola Music Maker. It plays music according to how fast you color. It doesn’t look too big, and it’s only $16 on Amazon. I think I might get it for Afton, and she’s two next year. I think the age range was 24 mos.

  11. Emily Mecham

    I’m shopping for a 2-year old this year, too. And since I’ve already had 2 other 2-year old boys, I’m feeling your pain about buying more toddler toys. We settled on an imaginext fire station, which is really cute, although sort of large. My boys have also loved the MatchBox sets that fold up into a little suitcase. They have all the cool roads and gadgets, but the pieces don’t come apart or get lost–much.
    For the wii? Wii fit! Wii fit! Wii fit! We all love it–even me! And it turns out we can use it on a bunch of games that we already had.
    Good luck with the shopping!
    p.s. Love the blog :)


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