Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday 2010: Ember's List to Santa

Obviously, Ember can't write to Santa yet, so I am penning her list this year on her behalf, with her best intentions in mind, rest assured. My outlook on toys for Ember: I want her to play with the toy, rather than the toy playing with her.

My friend Kim taught me this; it is her criteria for her girls. Much to her chagrin, it's not a concept I fully appreciated until having Ember. For Kim's daughter A's first birthday, we bought her a Fun Time Tractor. While I believe it to be a fine toy - there are animals, there's a happy little farmer, there's a tractor and wagon - there is one reason I wouldn't buy it for Ember: it takes batteries.

You have to be cautious of toys that require batteries because quite often they are the toys which will do all the work leaving your kids in a vegetative state, but more so - toys that take batteries make noise. I distinctly remember a voice mail Kim left us some months after A had unwrapped that tractor. "You hear this? I have been listening to it for an hour straight this morning. I just thought you should have to listen, too." In the background was a jolly Old MacDonald E-I-E-I-O-ing his little heart out.

Ember has exactly one toy that requires batteries - a little attachment on her Exersaucer - a chicken/weather vane thing. When the weather vane is pushed, one of five instrumental rhymes start playing with a country twang. I remember how proud I was when Ember learned that music came as a result of her pushing that chicken on vane but now I want her to forget! Each time she presses that thing, she looks at me, beaming with pride, starts dancing and looks for me to sing. And I do, each and every time. Why? Because it's not her fault I didn't take those batteries out in advance.

Anyway. All of the items on the list to Santa this year are items that I would happily give my child without regret. I would also give any of them to Kim's girls knowing that I won't come home to voice mail full of disdain.

Plan Toys

I love this company! They are all about promoting a child's development, both physical and intellectual, while being ecologically responsible.
Favourites of mine include: the Cone Sorting, Sorting Bus, and the Dancing Alligator and the Clatter.

The Early Years Farm Friends Bowling Set
We picked this up for Ember while in Vancouver in October. She actually played with it once before it went into hiding. It was a big hit! There are animals, chimes in the pins and ball, numbers and colours and it encourages play. I look forward to rousing game of five pin on the 25th.

To me, the Bilibo is everything a toy should be; it can be anything that your child would like it to be, the only limit is their imagination. Awesome. I love both the Game Box and toddler sized Bilibo. The Game Box has six mini bilibos, coloured chips and more that I think Ember will really benefit from this year. She can learn colours, invent games and whatever else her heart desires. I know that those mini bilibos would pretty quickly transform into little cars that she pushes around the floor. Vroom!


Hand made by Peruvian artisans, Blabla is a line of beautiful creations for little people. I am quite fond of the Classic blablas that are soft dolls that are of many ethnicity and creature. There are monkeys, frogs, mermaids, dolls and more in a wide variety of colour scheme which makes them a great gift for either gender.

Fropper Ride On Trike
Ember already motors on foot and come springtime, I'm sure she would love this boogie around on. Considering her birthday and Christmas are back to back, I believe we need to give her one or two things that she can grow in to in an attempt to pad our pocketbook through the spring and summer months.

Ember won't be scoring every item on this list from us (or Santa) but this is the list I'm working from this Holiday for her. They are things I know she will like and favour for some time, which is imperative for every parent, right?

Tomorrow, I'll be featuring a gift guide of items I love for kids of varying ages and some of my all time favourites that we've been gifted. In fact, all this week I'm focusing on the upcoming holiday. Stay tuned!

--Companies in this post have no idea who I am; I just really like their products. I'm sharing on my own accord. I am not being compensated in any manner.--


  1. I'm all for toys that require imagination! When Ben was younger, any toy that required batteries when right to Grandma's house. I didn't mind him playing with it, but I didn't want it at my house. Side note: we bought Ben a Cheeky Chic from Okiedog and he really loved it. Learned how to walk with it too!

  2. Hmm, shipping the toys off to Grandma's house - that's a great idea! Thanks. :o)

  3. Sarah,
    what a great point you make about battery-operated toys! I confess I never really thought of them as playing with the child rather than the child playing with them. AND I just ordered a pink Bilibo! fell in love with it after seeing it here! thank you :)

  4. Looking forward to this list!

  5. Oh I hope Sadie loves the Bilibo. You'll have to let me know!

  6. Great list Ember! I once gave the Clacking Alligator to a friend of mine (actually her son) and she happily and sarcastically thanked me later for that one. Apparently on hardwood floor its as loud as can be when a 2 year old boy whips it around the house! ; )
    I thought it was adorable!

  7. Kristin,
    Hmmm, that's really good to know. I was actually thinking of giving it to Kim's second daughter and they have hardwood floors... I may have to re-think that one. Two loud presents in five years may put me in the doghouse. lol!