Making A List

I’m one of the million mothers out there making a list and checking it twice, dashing around trying to find the perfect gift for my preschoolers when it hit me. I have the best resources at my fingertips…other parents. Whether you are buying for nieces and nephews or your own children, poll a friend with older children on crowd-pleasing gifts of Christmas past. I even went so far to email a few of my super shopper mothers in the great state of Texas (where everything is bigger and better might I add) and compiled a list of best-loved gifts.

1. YBIKE ~$59.99Y Bike
This balance bike helps toddlers (the webpage says as young as 1.5 years!) learn balance and coordination like a regular bicycle but it’s safer and easier to control. YBike comes in a variety of colors. The bigger wheels allow children to ride it on grass, sand and pavement and the bigger wheels reduce the risk of falling. *Locally, I have seen these at Spotted Stork!

2. TRAIN TABLES ~$150-$300
Yes, my boy moms recommended these but I remember how much my nieces and my daughters love playing with trains so don’t count this out for girls. A couple of my mommy experts also suggested checking to see if any mothers of older children are looking to sell their tables because you could get a deal!

3. DOLL HOUSES ~$100-$300
I bought my oldest daughter her doll house for her fourth birthday. Like everything these days, there are a lot of options out there but when shopping for one remember to consider:

  • Do you have younger siblings and need to avoid small parts?
  • Where will you put it to help determine what size house?
  • How much assembly is required?

Costco carries several KidCraft models.

4. DRESS UP ~$20
Attention boy moms this is for you too. Melissa & Doug carries several options other than the traditional princess or fairy like a construction worker, fireman and knight costumes. All of the moms I polled said their boys like to dress up just as much as their sisters. Occupation pajamas are another option!

I gave my daughter a princess scooter for her 3rd birthday, but I must admit I regret it because the design stinks. The scooter platform is wide whichKickboards USA is suppose to make it easier to ride, but from the very start, Anna Claire kept knocking her ankle mid-push off. I wish I had known about Kickboard USA’s scooter’s because they are perfectly designed for both younger and older riders. My friends son wasn’t even as tall at the T-bar steering stick, but he rode the scooter like a champ. Santa is bringing Anna Claire a do-over scooter present this year!

Okay, so I must admit that I’m happy several of the most-loved gifts keep are children moving and roller skates is another one that involves exercise. Fisher Price has a nice model for toddlers that fit right over their sneakers and are adjustable as they grow. They offer one set in blue/green and pink.

7. TINKER TOYS ~$30-$40
With so much technology available to kids these days, it’s nice to give them a chance to use their creativity to build things and use their imagination. Tinker Toys offers several sets of these plastic pieces like animal, construction site and transit stations. Once the child builds it then they start creating play around it.

8. LEAP FROG DVD’s ~$25
Leap Frog offers so many learning toys and many get rave review like the Leap Pad but I am going to endorse the DVD set that includes the letter factory, word factory and numbers. My oldest started watching these around two years old and it didn’t take long for her to identify and make the sounds of the letters. As she got older, we moved on to the word factory dvd that taught her how to blend sounds into words. We all know there are days where we “need” our kiddos to watch a show and I feel like this is time well spent!

I hate to admit that Anna Claire requested this after a wild marketing campaign during Saturday morning cartoons during the joyous two and half weeks we spent living in a hotel waiting to close on our new house. After two weeks at the Residence Inn, we finally moved and naturally Anna Claire was apprehensive about sleeping in a new room and a new bed, double whammy. I bought one for her first night and she was so enamored with it, she completely forgot about her new surroundings. Her glowing rainbow unicorn also broke her need for a night light because her room must be dark to see the stars that it shoots on to her ceiling. I was a doubter at first but I must admit I’m a Pillow Pet Dream Lite fan!
*Found at Bed, Bath and Beyond and don’t forget your 20% off coupon:)

Kids love to do things to imitate what mom does and whether we can’t deny how much time we spend in the kitchen. I love this learning tower because it’s safer than the good ol’ kitchen chair and with an adjustable platform even your youngest can get in on decorating those Christmas cookies or washing their hands in the big sink. It folds up nicely making it easy to store.

The End.
Umm…hardly. Does shopping every end for a mother? Keep this list handy for your kiddos upcoming birthdays. Believe me, it was nearly impossible to narrow this list down to my top ten. Feel free to message me if you need more suggestions or you have a gift that I must include on next year’s list. Happy Holidays, y’all!

Mary Lauren Eubank
Mary-Lauren is a curly-haired Texan in the trenches of motherhood with two sassy and entertaining daughters. A busy body in the truest sense, she teaches fitness classes all week at Define Jacksonville. To stay sane, Mary-Lauren requires a daily dose of dark chocolate, unwinds with a page-turner and folds laundry watching just the kind of reality TV that she will forbid her girls from watching in the future. A wannabe foodie, she loves to learn about, prepare, experiment and indulge in all things food…well except the shopping part with kids in tow. She blogs about all things fitness from debunking the latest trends to goal setting, Mary-Lauren is passionate about being active, being real and being healthy!


  1. My kids are OBSESSED with the dream lites commercial. They already have the ones that just put stars on the ceiling, but, oh no, they want dream lites!


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