I am a stay home mum, so I know that I am the person who knows my baby the best. I know where she is in her motor skills development and so I know what's best for her in accordance with the values I want to transmit her. I am super bossy when it comes to her, and it's ok, I assume that ! With her dad, we agreed on a "non battery toys policy"... Unfortunately every one does not follow, but it will be the subject of another blog article. Little Rose (our daughter) blew her first candle on December 20. So within 5 days she'll be (too) spoiled and will receive many more gifts than she needs, but then, nothing for another year. Some of the gifts on the list will be hidden until she is ready to use them. Another rule for us is to not give her something before she is able to use it by herself. For example, we took her a little chair so she can seat at the coffee table. She does not stand on her feet yet, so she will have it in few months, once she will be ready to reach it and seat on it by herself.
A little chair. We found it in Ikea. Let say, the couch is kind of our house's heart. We seat there with a cup of tea / coffee, we chat, we read, we watch TV... So with her little chair, she'll be able to seat with us and join the party.
A combo Tent, Tunnel & Balls Pool. She is mastering the crawling at the moment. So I thought the tunnel will bring a little more adventure to her world. It is great because it can be used inside or outside and you are not oblige to link them all together. I would still recommend to link the tunnel and balls pool to avoid leaks, but like for us, the tent can be put somewhere else. The tent will be put in my office where we spend time together and offer her, her own little space where she can retreat. You can find them in Smyths: https://www.smythstoys.com/ie/en-ie/outdoor/play-houses-and-tents/kid-active-pop-up-combo-playset/p/154303
A Wobbel Starter®️. Better than a description, here is a video to understand what and why.
You can find retailers in Ireland here: https://www.wobbel.eu/en/dealers/ireland/
Even if she is still young, Rose shows a huge interest in objects that she can interact with and make noise. So, what's best than Music Instruments?! I have not been picky for this one and asked for anything she can safely play with: Tambourine, xylophone, bongos, drum... You'll find an interesting selection by age in "educationaltoys.ie"
Books, were the first object Rose was able to play with without chewing them, so books are a great present for her. She has (too) many already, so what I do is, I dispatch them between the different rooms where she spends time during the day and hide some and then swap so she has the impression to always have some new ones. Also, she plays a lot with the musical one. By 10 months she understood how to play the sound and can spend hours listening to them. The only issue are that the batteries won't last long and they are the little tiny one.
And finally, a Storage Unit because we will need to tidy up a little bite to make her room to play. I did not chose any unit, but based my choice on Montessori's theory to display toys and books. The idea is to avoid any big toy box because toys that are the bottom... stay at the bottom. Instead, go for a display where your kid can see the toy, they can be sorted by category and will be able to pick them by himself. Display books showing their cover and at hand so your little one see them and is tempted to go for them and chose by himself the one he wants to read. Jojo Maman Bébé have some perfect example.
I hope this post can help you if you did not what to go for. It can be difficult as we are always harassed by ads and marketing offering us useless and sometime dangerous products for our little one. I personally prefer the quality over the quantity and toys that will help my daughter in any way to develop her motor or fine skills. Toys and stuff that will grow with her over the time and last longer than plastiquy noisy ones. And sometime, you have to forget the age that's written on the boxe (as long as it is safe) and go with your gut as you know your baba better than any one else.
Feel free to share and comment with your own favorites or suggestions. I wish you a lovely Christmas : )