The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is here! All I can say is wow, 2021, what a year. Ryan has grown so much from 2 to 3 and his toys just keep getting more fun for us. As always I’m sharing toys that my son either loves or is on his wish list. I thought it would be fun to come up with some different categories this year. We try to stick to battery-free and screen-free toys. My philosophy with buying toys is that it has to either exercise his mind or exercise his body and needs to last us for a few years, So I hope you enjoy some of the things I have put together.
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I am excited about this category. Since moving to North Carolina we spend a lot of time outdoors exploring so we’ve picked up some must-haves.
- Tackle Box-Since we now live near tons of lakes and streams we’ve been taking Ryan out fishing. We picked up this tackle box because it’s an all-in-one. It’s small and comes with everything you need.
- Dock Demon Fishing Pole-This fishing pole is great. It’s super easy for Ryan to use, lightweight, and inexpensive.
- Helmet-We absolutely loves this helmet. It comes in a ton of different colors. It’s also adjustable in the back and the thing I love the most is that it comes with different sizes of foam for the inside so that get the right fit which is the most important thing.
- Tonka-This is a tried and true gift that we give to every toddler. Ryan has had his Tonka since his very first Christmas and still plays with it almost every day.
- Megalodon-We have had this remote control car for years and it is by far one of Ryan’s favorite toys (it even drives on water). A remote control car is fantastic for hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and even exercise because he’s constantly running after it. I HIGHLY recommend this brand.
- Bugnoculars-We used one of these at a park event and Ryan thought it was to coolest thing.
- Binoculars-Since we basically live in the forest we see tons of wildlife so we picked up a pair of binoculars for Ryan to take on our adventures and it keeps him super entertained. These are perfect for any kid who loves to get outdoors.
- RIVBOS Kids Sunglasses-These are for sure going in Ryan’s stocking. We have bought so many pairs of sunglasses but Ryan takes them off and loses them so I love that these are polarized with U.V. protection and HAVE A STRAP! With over 5k 4.5-star reviews and under $10 these are a no-brainer.
- CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E-We do a ton of hiking/outdoors stuff and we can never bring enough water. Ryan always ends up drinking all our water so I thought it was time to get his own Camelbak instead of carrying extra water bottles. This mini CamelBak is super lightweight, holds 50 oz of water, has an easy on/off spout, and has a pouch for extra snacks.
Games and Puzzles
We have officially entered the world of games ad I am so excited about it. I can’t wait to start doing weekly family game nights. These are the ones that we have and love and the ones that we plan to add to our collection.
- Sneaky Sneaky Squirrel-Ryan played this game at a friend’s house and it is so much fun. You spin the dial and collect the acorns using the squirrel tongs. This game also promotes fine motor skills, color recognition, turn-taking, and hand-eye coordination.
- Mudpuppy Puzzle Sticks-These stick puzzles are so fun. There are 3 sets of popsicle sticks that are double sided making 6 different puzzles. We have a couple of them and they are always a hit.
- My First Orchard– Ryan got this for his birthday and absolutely loves it. It’s a game about teamwork and turn-taking. A perfect first game. There is also an upgraded version to make the game a little bit more difficult.
- Candy Land– A tried and true game. We play it all the time.
- Eric Carle Spin & Seek ABC Game-I saw this game and thought it would be fun to add to our collection. Ryan is currently obsessed with learning the alphabet and we love all things, Eric Carle.
- Briar Patch Pete the Cat Missing Cupcake-This game looks like so much fun. We love Pete the Cat. Kids get to sing songs, act out physical activities, and identify favorite animals, food, and words.
- First 100 Animals Matching Game-This is a perfect first matching game using the realistic image of animals. I think this will be a great quiet-time activity Ryan can play by himself.
- Hi Ho! Cherry-O-My favorite board game growing and I can’t wait to share it with Ryan.
This is the category of toys I focus on the most. Having open-ended toys that Ryan can use his imagination with is important to me. These are also toys that will last for years and generally have age requirements.
- Nugget-The Nugget is an investment but it really lives up to the hype. Ryan is typically bouncing off the walls 24/7 so I needed something for him to climb on inside. It makes amazing forts and we’re already talking about buying another.
- Lego Duplos-My husband loves Legos and Ryan loves helping him so I thought it was time to get his own set. These Lego Duplos are the perfect segue into Legos and are just the right size.
- Wobble Board-We got Ryan a wobble board for his birthday and it’s another one of those easy activities he can do inside to get out some energy. We also use it as a place to lay, part of our obstacle courses, and racetracks.
- KAJA Classic Wooden Blocks-Ryan loves to build things so I thought it was time to get some wooden blocks. I love the size and thickness of these wooden blocks and personally, I perfect the bare wood. I think they will last a lot longer.
- Connetix Ball Run-Connetix tiles are superb and this ball run has been a huge hit we play with it almost daily. This is a perfect addition to any magnetic tile set. There are cheaper versions but if I’ve learned anything you get what you pay for when it comes to magnetic tiles. Connetix tiles are the strongest in the market and we will never go back.
- Picasso Bristle Shapes-I saw these on Amazon and thought they would be another perfect building material.
- Hot Wheels-Ryan is car and monster truck obsessed. He’s had Hot Wheels cars for years but we just added a track. This track is a perfect start if you’re wanting to start collecting. Extremely easy to use but all the fun of racing Hotwheels.
- Terra by Battat – Wooden Animal Barn-I saw this recently shared on Instagram and thought Ryan would love it. It’s a perfect open-ended toy that can be used for years.
- Treasures from Jennifer-I got these beautiful wooden tracing boards for Ryan for his birthday. There are a ton of different options including the full alphabet. These are
- Screw Driver Board-We got this for Ryan’s birthday and he loves tinkering with it. It’s something super small you can take places and also just have it sitting on the shelf.
- Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks-These pattern blocks are great because they will grow with your child. They can initially just play with the blocks, then move on to matching the blocks to the plates, and then creating the image next to the plate.
- Jasonwell Building Blocks-If there’s anything Ryan loves it’s a power tool. We have a couple of different versions of this that build one specific thing and I think this would be a great addition because it’s open-ended.
- Rock Blocks-Rock Blocks are so fun. They promote logical Thinking, team-building skills, hand-eye coordination, creative thinking, spatial reasoning, motor skills, and sorting skills.
- Little Tinker’s Block Logic Puzzles-The goal is to fit all nine of the blocks onto the grid by following these simple rules: Each block must be placed over its matching color. Each block can only cover one star. I think this would be a great on-the-go puzzle as well as something you guys can do together.
- Modern Cloth Company-I found these on Instagram and they look amazing. It’s a cloth that you can color on with crayons or markers and then just throw in the wash and start over. I think the small one would be perfect to take to a restaurant or on vacation instead of paper. Also with every purchase, Modern Cloth gives 5% of its net profit back to charity.
- Tender Leaf- Weather Watch-I love this daily weather watch. We have been slowly incorporating a morning routine with Ryan and I think this will be a great addition. I love everything from Tender Leaf. They have excellent quality.
- BrainQuest– I loved Brain Quest when I was a kid so when I found out they had one for 3-4 years olds I knew I wanted to get Ryan it. These are perfect to keep in the car to pass the time on long car rides or if you have to wait somewhere like an appointment.
- Munchin Bath Crayons-We love these bath crayons. They are the best stocking stuffer. They are super easy to clean and keep your kid in the bath longer.
- Joie Wavy Knife-Ryan loves to help in the kitchen and one of the easiest things he can do is chop things. The Joie Wavy Knife has become a staple for us. It’s so easy for him to use and I never worry about him cutting himself.
- Learning Resources Helping Hands-Helping hands are the best addition to our sensory bins.
- Snugplay+ Headphones– I’ve been on the hunt for headphones for Ryan and these are it. They come in a bunch of different colors, are super lightweight, and you can connect one set of headphones to another and then to the device so multiple kids can watch the same thing. It also has 4.5 stars with over 19k reviews.
- Bomba Socks-Since we hike and spend a lot of time outdoors I want to get Ryan some good socks for his feet. Bombas are long-lasting socks that have seamless toe and arch support. These socks also have extra ankle support so there are no blisters.
- Do a Dot Art-We love dot markers and use them all the time. They are perfect for drawing, marking something off, or dotting the shape of a letter.
- Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks-I found these and they look so fun. These would be perfect car toys, vacation toys, or restaurant toys.