living: gifting to children

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From new babies to countless birthday parties, you will be buying a lot of presents in the years to come!  Gift giving is one of those things that usually makes you feel really good.  As your children get older they can, with your guidance, be part of choosing gifts for their friends.   A handmade card is another age-appropriate way to keep your child involved in the giving process.

All of the gifts I’ve listed are successful ones I’ve given or received.  I've indicated a specific brand when I think it makes a difference.  It's nice  to include a gift receipt whenever possible (duplicate gifts are not uncommon).

Gifts for Babies
Mini Whoozit
Trumpette Socks (boy and girl versions)
Lamaze My First Mirror
Sophie the Giraffe
Lamaze Peek-A-Boo Clutch Cube

Black & White by Tana Hoban
White on Black by Tana Hoban
Black on White by Tana Hoban
Who Are They? by Tana Hoban
Fuzzy Bee and Friends by Roger Priddy
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kundhart (these are usually well read so an extra comes in handy)

Gifts for 1 year olds
Radio Flyer walker wagon
small wooden block set
nesting cup set
bath toys

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd
Hippos Go Beserk by Sandra Boynton
Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet
My First Body Board Book by DK Publishing
Where is Baby’s Bellybutton? by Karen Katz

Gifts for 2 Year Olds
baby stroller & baby dolls
pail and shovel
pretend cooking supplies
pretend fruit, vegetables, and other food

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban
Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe by Tana Hoban
So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban

When You Were Inside Mommy by Joanna Cole
Where is Baby’s Mommy? by Karen Katz
Counting Kissesby Karen Katz
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill

Gifts for 3 Year Olds
play kitchen (I avoided buying this, but would have if I had the chance again, even though it takes up space-- it provides a fun focus)
pretend cooking supplies
pretend fruit, vegetables, and other food
water colors & different size brushes
baby doll accessories-- play crib, sling or baby holder, etc.
toy cars & trucks
Micro-Mini three wheeled scooter
wooden train set

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Subway by Karen Katz
Over, Under and Through by Tana Hoban
Shadows and Reflections by Tana Hoban
Exactly the Oppositeby Tana Hoban
Let’s Countby Tana Hoban
Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis
My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz
Yum Yum Dim Sum by Amy Wilson Sanger
My First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger

Gifts for 4 Year Olds
paper, envelopes, paper clips, Post-It notes other stationery supplies

art supplies
easy beading kit
no pedal bicycle (balance bicycle) Scoot, Radio Flyer, and more have versions
2 wheel scooters
dress up costumes & accessories

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban
Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin
A Chair for my Motherby Vera B. Williams

Gifts for 5 Year Olds
doll house and related items
Rush Hour by Think Fun (regular, not the "Junior")
Sculpey Polymer Clay
Model Magic
basic Lego kits
remote control car, truck, boat
dress up costumes & accessories

If your child is starting to read, see below for emergent reader books.
Kate and the Beanstalk
by Mary Pope Osborne
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstone
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks by Kristina Stephenson
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Gifts for 6 Year Olds
charm bracelet with one or two charms to start (vintage charms are especially neat)
advanced Lego kits
jump rope
science kits
Family Matters board game

Some books are for reading aloud, some for kids to read on their own or with help.
books with the I Can Read logo, level 1 and 2  (such as Danny and the Dinosaur, Morris Goes to School, Frog and Toad, Little Bear, are good to start, but may not be "interesting enough" for this level.)
Puffin Easy Reader books level 1 and 2
Usborne Beginners These are great to have around, the photographs and illustrations make them books kids will pick up, and are good to work through on their own, rather than sit down to read with them,at this age.
Jacob Two-Two (read aloud)books by Mordechi Richtler
My Father's Dragon (read aloud) by Ruth Stiles
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (read aloud) by Roald Dahl
Jenny and the Cat Club (read aloud, whole series) by Esther Averill

Gifts for 7 Year Olds
American Girl doll and accessories (most girls who want one really spend hours playing and grooming)
finer tip markers and/or colored pencils
Lego Kits
small cactus plant to take care of

Tell Me A Picture by Quentin Blake
Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke
Mercy Watson Books by Kate Di Camillo

A Child's Garden of Verses (read aloud) by Robert Louis Stevenson
Rosie Flo Coloring Books (mostly for girls, and while I'm not into coloring books in general, these are lovely and allow for drawing around the illustrations to be colored, best with colored pencils) by Rosie Flo
Sophie the Heroby Lara Bergen
Le Petit Prince GRAPHIC NOVEL by St. Exupery and Sfar


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