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Gift Guide

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

| Shop Small Businesses|


Sea And Ivy | Morgan

This sweet shop has handmade Montessori toys, prints, stickers, and more. Jane loves playing with her Sea and Ivy toys. They spark so much creativity and are simply beautiful!

Instagram | Etsy



The Northern Peony | Katie

Handmade custom wooden signs, essential oil holders, and more. We have these sweet stocking tags for our girls and they are absolutely adorable!

Instagram | Etsy




Zelba and Mary | Carol

Cutest linen friends! Shop her instagram and find these cute critters soon at The Departments at Dayton's.

Instagram | Etsy | Website




Clementine | Nicolle

This local boutique has the cutest children's clothing and goods! You can shop her store in person in Becker, MN or online.

Instagram | Website



Pacific North Knits | Heidi

This adorable momma knits the sweetest bonnets and baby items.

Instagram




Usborne Books | Lauren

Some of our most read, favorite books are from Usborne. Lauren can help guide you on what books would be best for your kids based on age and interest. She shares many of their favorite books on her instagram as well!

Instagram | Shop Books


|Toy Guide|


For starters, I want to share HOW we display and rotate toys and books. We are a Montessori leaning family. Therefore, the way our toys are displayed is intentional and interesting for little humans. We use a cube shelf and only display one toy per cube. Each toy is set out disassembled or in a tray to engage their little minds. We also rotate our toys and books. This also helps control the chaos of toys all over the playroom and our home in general. Every few weeks (or depending on when Jane starts to lose interest or masters toys) I set out new toys on the toy shelf. We have a couple storage bins organized by age/developmental milestones.


As far as WHAT toys, I focus on a few different things, educational, encourages developmental milestones, seasonal, nature based, and lately interest and enjoyment!

Children naturally find interests as they go through different developmental milestones. It is important to observe your children and provide them with activities to encourage and develop those interests. Some interests may include language, movement, coordination, and aural development (listening/responding to sounds). If you are interested in learning more about this I HIGHLY recommend reading "The Montessori Baby" and "The Montessori Toddler"!

I like to try and stick to natural materials (trying to avoid plastic as much as we can). Along with natural materials, I also like to try to avoid toys with lights and batteries as much as possible. This is a personal preference. Do what feels right for your family.

Being a stay at home mom, I try to find toys that are educational. Things that are fun, but we can also work on colors, letters, numbers, words, sounds, etc. as Jane shows interest. You can make most toys educational with a little bit of creativity! This also includes A LOT of books! We try to do weekly, or bi-weekly trips to the library. Its a great, easy, and free activity to get out of the house.

Encouraging pretend play is one of my favorite things with Jane. Finding real, everyday items that are her size was important. Having access to items that fit in her hands and are her size so she can explore and guide her day the way she sees fit. We encourage independence as much possible by placing these items in her reach. Don't get me wrong, we have boundaries and rules that need to be respected. We are there to supervise, and step in when her frustrations set in. By encouraging your children to try these tasks, you will be surprised at how much they CAN and WANT to do! These pretend play skills quickly develop into everyday life skills and they will soon be helping you around the house.

Another thing I decided when we were pregnant with Jane, knowing we wanted a big family and these items would be played with by multiple kiddos we would rather have less toys, but higher quality so they will last! Again, this is a personal choice we made. Do what works for your family!


|Staple Items|

Lovevery

We subscribed to Lovevery subscription boxes over a year and a half ago. For a while I used lovevery as a guide. I would search and search Amazon or Target for similar toys. Then, I decided to purchased one box. Let me tell you, it was SO worth it!! I was spending way more time and money trying to do it myself. The quality of lovevery toys is hard to match. They offer developmentally appropriate toys for your kiddos. I would definitely encourage you to check them out!


Pikler Triangle

Pikler triangles offer an array of benefits (especially for us midwestern parents!). It encourages gross motor skills, spacial awareness, balance, strength, and offers endless opportunities for open ended play. We bought our pikler on Etsy, then a local momma and her husband made our rock wall/slide and ladder/slide boards. If you are interested in buying yours locally, I will link their Instagram, or reach out and I can give you their contact information.


Play Kitchen


Sensory Table


Helper Tower


|Arts & Crafts|

HoneySticks Crayons

HoneySticks Paint

Rock Crayons *These are one of my favorite things! The shape of these crayons is designed to encourage the pincer grasp.

Art Smock

Earth Paint

Water Wow *Great stocking stuffer. Also great to have in your diaper bag for car rides, restaurants, etc.


|Educational | Homeschool|

Cash and Coins tray

Sandpaper Letters

Alphabet Tracing Board

Sign Language ABCs

Color Bean Bags

Shapes Bean Bags

Bird Color Sorting


|Baby|

Lovevery Play Gym

Wooden Play Gym

Teething Tubes

Spin Drum

Tissue Box *This is a great "grow-with-me" item. Infant to preschool.

Black and White books

Basket of Babies *"grow-with-me" item. Jane is currently dragging these with us all over. Also great for motor skills to dress and undress the babies.


|Toys|

Wooden School Bus

Cloth Nesting Dolls

Reusable Drawing Pad *Great on the go item

PicassoTiles

Magna-Tiles

Sensory Blocks

Wooden Blocks

Marble Run

Dust, Sweep,Mop Set

Kitchen Sink

Wooden Piano


I hope this list was helpful! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via my instagram, or by sending me an email. I will continue to update this post as more ideas come to mind and as our family grows. I am simply sharing our family's favorite items. There is no right or wrong way to go about this. Do what feels best for your family! You are doing great!

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