Saturday, October 29, 2011

A few of our favorite things: Holiday Edition

I can't believe it's almost November.  Wasn't it just July?  What do you mean some states have snow?  We haven't even finished picking up our leaves yet.  Our supply of firewood has a good dent in it already, though.  What can I say?  I'm a fan of a crackling fire on cold, windy nights.  You know what else I'm a fan of?  Free super saver shipping on  As a single-income, constantly budgeting family, I've already begun, or may I say, half finished with Christmas shopping.  We've found it to be less painful when we spread it out over a few months, and I can't resist an afternoon of sipping coffee, sitting in sweatpants, and shopping from the comfort of my couch.  Anyway, in the spirit of my fondness of spending other people's money, I thought I'd put together a list of our favorite sensory and development gifts of the past and present for those of you looking for some ideas.  Enjoy!

Big gifts:
Nest Swing:  This is $30 cheaper than what I paid for one of these last year from Magic Cabin, and it comes in more color choices.  Isaac loves to hide, spin, and sometimes fall asleep in this swing.  It's calming for him when he's feeling out of sorts, and my skinny husband claims that it's comfortable to read in.  Bonus: It's machine washable.

Mini folding trampoline.  You can find these almost anywhere.  We scored ours at a mom to mom sale for $40.  Amazon puts them on sale occasionally.  Totally worth it for energy burning, vestibular sensory stimulation, and gross motor skills.

Educational Gifts:

The Learning Journey Match It! spelling and math puzzle cards have really helped things click for Isaac in these departments.  There is something about the physical act of putting a puzzle together while saying the letters/numbers that works in his brain.  They also make sequencing, sight reading, rhyming, and upper case/lower case matching puzzles.

The Meet the Sight Words DVDs 1-3 will be under the tree at our house this year, along with the first pack of easy-reader books made by this company.  There is nothing particularly special about these DVDs other than that they work for my visual learner.  Now he'll get to watch them on the 9 hour car trip to grandpa and grandma's house so that he'll be good and indoctrinated in sight words by the time we get there.  If I wasn't so sick of it, I'd also suggest buying the LeapFrog letter sounds dvd, but I just can't do that to you people.  I love you too much and the dvd works too well with it's catchy songs and memorable animations.  Good Lord, yes the B says BUH!

We have the Imaginarium Deluxe Marble Maze pictured to your left, but any marble maze will do.  We've found it to be not only fun, but a good toy to work on problem solving, fine motor skills, and challenging our not always flexible little boy when it comes to mixing colors, taking turns, etc.

Stocking Stuffers:
For aid in writing I'm really thinking I'm going to order the following for Isaac.

Pencil grips

The HandiWriter helps fix grasp issues.

And because we can't get enough of it:

Playing "Blink" the card game correctly would probably be over Isaac's head, but Andrew used this deck of cards to work on sorting colors, shapes, and numbers with Isaac tonight.  There are endless games to be made up with this deck.  Bonus: it's a great two player game when played the right way too.

Happy shopping!

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