Showing posts with label presents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label presents. Show all posts


10 gift Ideas for Baby Girl's First Birthday/Christmas - Need Help?

Coming up to our granddaughter Ruby's first birthday I had to do a lot of thinking about what we could give her as a gift and I decided to work on a blog post based on this.

So here we are with 10 Gift Ideas for a Baby Girl's first birthday or of course it would also suit for Christmas ideas.

If you haven't got a baby girl to buy for then click through and see 

Click the pictures and names of toys below to find out more about each one.

Click the Numbered Titles below to see a range of examples.

I am not including clothes here as we seem to find that our granddaughter always has too many clothes but if you really like buying clothes check with the mum first about what size would be best.

I am also not including a doll or doll's pram as usually this is something bought by the family.

1.  Peek-a-Boo Elephant

Ruby has always loved it when any of us would play peek-a-boo with her even if we just put our hands over our eyes and then pulled them away.  She would always giggle.

So when I saw this elephant I knew I just had to get one for her and it was part of our Christmas present to her when she was only 6 months old but would make a great interactive playmate for a 1 year old.  The ears go down in front of the eyes and then lift up again.  Two buttons concealed in the soles of the feet make it talk or sing.

There are lots of varieties of this so I did a lot of looking around to pick the one I thought was best and I was definitely not disappointed with it.  This is the one - it is all grey but others are all pink or you can also get pink and grey ones.

Baby GUND Animated Flappy the Elephant Stuffed Animal Plush, Gray, 12"

2.  Books

It is never too soon to start reading to your child.

Cloth Books

At this age I think cloth books are a great idea because little hands can grab them for themselves even when very young, they don't hurt themselves with them, they can pull at them and they can easily be washed if they throw up over them.
Those benefits in the last sentences comes from experience.

Premium Soft Baby Book First Year, Cloth Book with Crinkly Sounds, Fun Interactive Toy

Bath Books

Also those soft plastic books that can even go into the bath are a great idea and they also have most of the same benefits as the cloth books.

teytoy My First Baby Bath Books, Nontoxic Fabric Soft Baby Bath Toys

3.  Wooden Educational Jigsaws.

Girls and boys both love jigsaws and it is never too early to start them on simple pull out jigsaw puzzles because first they are learning to lift the pieces out and then they learn to place them back again.  Great for dexterity of little hands and fingers to begin with and then for hand eye co-ordination later.

Here are two for the girls who love animals

Coogam Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Set, 6 Pack Animal Shape Colour

4.  Musical Instruments 

Children of all ages respond well to music and they love to move to the sound.

I think at the early age it is very good for their cordination even if we introduce some very simply musical instruments like a tiny tambourine or jingle bells or clappers.

Of course as they hold them and move their hands and arms we need to keep a close watch that they d not hit themselves with any of them.

Kids Musical Instruments - Childom Musical Instruments Wood

5.  Shape Sorters.

Our kids had a simple round tub with a lid which had 3 shapes cut out and then there were 4 sets (different colours) of the three objects that would fit in through the different holes.  They never tired of this for the first few years.  Such joy and clapping when they could put each piece in correctly.

Now they have them in all different forms.  Like the Noah's Ark sorter that we got Matthew one day when we saw it cheap in Lidl but unfortunately we never know when these types of products will appear again in Lidl stores so I can't suggest it.

Fisher Price make a nice one which is a tub with a lid and with a handle.  It has appeared in Matthew and Ruby's house too.

Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks

6.  Puzzle Play Mats

Lots of places sell these types of mats where they are like a very large jigsaw with letters or numbers.
They are very colourful and of course educational but also a softer place for crawling and sitting than a wooden or tiled floor.

It was because of the hard tiles in our expansive kitchen floor where the kids play that made me first think of getting a mat.

StillCool Baby Foam Play Mat (36-Piece Set)

7.  Pop Up Pals

The one we have for the grandkids was given to us by my niece some time ago and I couldn't find the identical one online but there are many that are very similar.

The children love to see the animals or characters pop up when they hit or turn the shape in the correct way.  At one years old it is more hit and miss but gradually we will see Ruby catch on to the different ways to produce the pop up just as we saw Matthew do it.

The one shown here was chosen because of the good reviews it has received.

Think Gizmos Interactive Pop-Up Animals Toy

Need ideas for a Baby Girl's first birthday? Just check here!

8.  Musical Activity Table

While I was researching this I found a review by another blogger for a musical table.

I had been debating about a child's table and chair set for this post but had just made up my mind that the table and chair set was not right for Ruby yet so would not be right for other one year old's and here I found this review.

It was very favourable and so are the reviews on Amazon so I thought this would be a great idea to incorporate the music (which should lead to dancing if she is anything like her brother) and the table to stand at now that she is standing and starting to walk.  Then one day I walked into their house and someone had given them one of these and I saw firsthand how Ruby could stand beside it and enjoy making music.

Oh and don't forget the hours of delight the lovely noise music will bring to mummy and daddy!!

VTech Play & Learn Baby Activity Table,

9.  A Child's Bible.

As I said above it is never too soon to start reading to your child.  They just adore to look along as first you turn each page and then they try to turn them.  Of course they like to turn back the pages too which is rather infuriating for someone like me who wants to read the story when it is the first time they  have seen the book.

Also never too soon to get a child's Bible.  Even though at that age even the simple bibles may seem too much for them just simplify the story even more as you turn those pages and reveal the pictures.

At the shower for our grandson Matthew our gift was the Jesus Story Book Bible by  Sally Lloyd Jones.

The Jesus Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition: With CDs (Hardcover)

This version has a set of CDs along with it.

The book is well written and well illustrated and Matthew loves to go grab it each night to have his Bible Story (+a few other books) read before bed.

Now it is playing in the car as they travel so Ruby is getting acquainted with it there and will soon be having it read to her as well.

There are other versions of it too which are cheaper than this one.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

10.  Personalised Bracelet.

When I was thinking and thinking and thinking for something special for Ruby and something that had not been already got for Matthew I was really having a hard time because other gifts like a Doll and a Doll's pram etc. had already been got by her mum's side of the family.

In the end I thought about an expanding bracelet.  I had one as a small child and so did our daughter Linda so I did a search and found one for Ruby.

I can be personalised up to 15 characters including spaces so you can get more than the child's first name if you wish and it comes in a little bag.

Personalised Child's Bracelet -

The birthday and party have passed for us now and we no longer have a baby granddaughter we now have a toddler as she has started to walk.

I am not an Amazon affiliate and do not receive any compensation for my suggestions here


STUFF, STUFF and more STUFF! - A Dose of Encouragement

Isn't it lovely to receive presents?

In the weeks leading up to our son's wedding our house just filled up with wedding presents appearing day after day and week after week in the post.  (All this online shopping is fantastic now even for Wedding Lists.)

We have a room in our house we call the games room because there is a snooker table in the centre of it, but truthfully it should be called the

 "Where our 3 children, who have all left home, 
still store their STUFF"   room

because all around the room and under the snooker table are boxes & bags of all sizes and descriptions holding all the STUFF our kids wanted to keep but did not have room for in the small places they had been living in so far.

So my husband Fred piled the presents on and around the snooker table and this room became the

  "Wedding Present" Room

up until Daniel & Suzie returned from their honeymoon and came to take these gifts to their new home.

And then the snooker table was cleared again.

There was still a corner of the room which we called Daniel's Corner where all his boxes of STUFF were.

The STUFF did not go when the presents went.
 (There was no room left in the car and the presents would have to be found a home in the house first)

His wife Suzie looked at us with suspicion every time we said

 "Daniel's STUFF" 

because she had never yet had a glimpse inside these boxes and was wondering just what would be unearthed when they were finally opened and what would she have to find a home for.

The problem was they had both been renting accommodation with friends since before they met and she thought that Daniel had brought enough "stuff" from there.


 Later "Daniel's STUFF" was to be taken and sorted and a home found for all the things from his previous years as a child, teenager and university student.

All of our family hold onto STUFF 

Even though we have moved house several times, having lived in different countries, and have done large clearances each time, we still have STUFF that has stayed with us.  My husband is always saying that we should just go through the kids STUFF and sort it out but I say it is not ours to decide on as some things we might feel have no value will actually be the things that have special meaning or memories for the kids.

I had said that I needed to do a clear out once again as we had been here in this house for 3 years then and there was definitely STUFF we did not need anymore.  So hopefully I can get myself round to doing this very soon.

I said that I needed to do a clear out once again as we have been here in this house for 3 years now and there is definitely STUFF we do not need anymore and hopefully I could get myself round to doing that soon.

I have also assured Fred that I can help him to sort through all his STUFF 
but he goes very quiet then.

Well the time did come later when Daniel and Suzie came to sort through Daniel's "stuff".

Some of the STUFF was thrown out as Daniel decided he didn't need it anymore, and some more of the STUFF was given to the car boot sale because it could be of use to others but there was still some of the STUFF that stayed with him because of the usefulness of the object or of the memories it holds.

But what about my STUFF?

Well I have been doing a Facebook Decluttering Challenge this year called

and this has been a good encouragement to get rid of more of the STUFF in our house.

Of course life would be more simple for all of us if we got rid of a lot of the stuff we still have in our houses but more importantly our lives would be simplified and of a better standard if we got rid of all that STUFF that stays in our mind and hinders us from growing each day as God would want us to grow.

  • All the things we remember that people have said or done that have hurt us.
  • All the foolish things that we remember we did in the past.
  • All the times when we spoke too soon,  or too late,  or when we shouldn't have spoken at all,  or when we should have spoken but failed to stand up for what we knew to be right.
  • All the things that we listened to from others which have led us in the wrong way instead of testing it by God's Word
  • All the things that we wished we had done but didn't.

Have you sorted through all the STUFF in your life?

All this STUFF needs to be thrown out.

           All the good STUFF needs to be kept.

                       All the other STUFF that truly helped us previously needs to be shared                                                                                          to help others now.

What are you doing with your STUFF?

3 More Coffee Mugs! - A Dose of Encouragement

Last Friday was my birthday.

If you hadn't heard you should read last week's Dose of Encouragement I'm Too Sexy for this Card and have a laugh.

So because 2 of our kids are living in different countries from us and the third was working at a Christian Youth event all weekend, cards and presents were arriving in the post.

Yes you are probably thinking that I got coffee mugs from all three of them because of today's title but you would be wrong!

Well partly right and partly wrong!

Our oldest son sent me Dvds

because he knows that Fred and I love to relax watching a dvd usually of a mystery or crime series
and both our sons love this series so they want to get us to love it too.

Our second son sent me a Taster Set of 5 bags of coffee

because he knows how much I enjoy my coffee and he and his brother enjoy trying out new coffees too and they know I'll always share.

(I know you are thinking - this is leading up to the mugs now because coffee and mugs go together)

No not yet!

I think this is the point when I should mention that Fred also bought me a present but it was quickly returned.

 Due to the fact that HIS idea of what indoor plant I would like was nowhere near MY idea of what I wanted to put in our house.

All because he knows I like the colour Blue!  (I've also blogged about that HERE)  

But then our daughter's present was

                                               (drum roll)

                                                             a mug.

Look at that happy face!

That is the face I had for the dvds and the bags of coffee as well.

But not the face I had for the plant.

Fred did not hear the happy voice and thank you's that the kids heard about their presents.

No he got a

                            "I can't believe you bought me that thing" 

                                                                                                face and voice.

You see it was obvious to me that he had just gone into the supermarket (3 mins drive from our house) to get something and spotted the plant and decided to buy it because he did not have a gift for me.

Now in all fairness to me, Fred had asked me what I wanted for my birthday a couple of months ago and I said I wanted to go away for a few days.  He had agreed but things don't always go as planned and he had his bout with food poisoning and two trips abroad with work and then was again not feeling too good so there had been no trip in the end.

And that plant was not a good enough substitute: given that I didn't like it and it was too big to put anywhere in the house.

All I could say was:

                 Look at the mug Linda sent me.

                        It suits me exactly.

                                She knows what I like.

                                       She pays attention when I say something.

You see a few weeks ago I had noticed that two of my mugs were getting rather faded and it was hard to read what was written on them

The one on the left says MUM & the one on the right says MOTHER

I mentioned about the mugs saying that the mum and mother were very faded so perhaps it would soon be time to get a replacement one with grandma on it (hint, hint) and Linda immediately thought that she would get me a mug to replace these ones.

Well she told me later that she had to get me one with mother on it as she wasn't in the position to get me one with Grandma yet.

Linda also designed the mug herself.

Not only did the mug have Mother on it but it had butterflies and they were blue - my favourite colour!  -  but of course you know that by now.

If you didn't know that I love butterflies then you should read  "I was Going to Miss the Butterflies"

If you could see closer in to the picture of me with the mug you would also see that there is something else written on the other side of the mug.

Mother knows best.

And oh did I think that I did!

But I was wrong.

Because the next day I discovered that Fred had been planning to get me something else all along 

It was exactly what I had wanted but I had not asked for it.

He had been listening to me when I talked about this months ago.

I told him that he shouldn't have kept it a secret so I wouldn't have been annoyed at him.  

But he didn't see it like that.

He saw it as a surprise for me not a secret.

He knew I would love it.

Nothing to do with BLUE or with MUGS.

How many times do we think we know what is happening?

How many times do we think we know best because of our view of a situation?

How many times do we get it wrong?

How many times do we look back on something and realise that God was planning something that we could not see, or that we could not understand because we did not see what He saw or know what He knew.

We don't know everything; only God does.

We don't know what is best; only God does.

How many times do we turn to Him with the wrong attitude and ask why something hasn't happened yet?

How many times do we think we know the best time and way for our prayers to be answered?

How many times do we think He wasn't listening to us?

I am guilty of all of this as well as the attitude I took on my birthday.

Are there any of us who are not guilty of behaving like this toward God at times?

Thankfully God is ready to forgive our attitudes just like Fred was ready to forgive mine.