Monday, July 20, 2015

Top Ten Great Baby Toys

Baby Toys for 0-1 Years

Top Ten Baby Gift Ideas

Babies are great, but it can be so hard to think about what to buy for them......especially if you don't have children yourself or you're a first time parent.

The problem with babies is that they can't tell you what they really want or give you a list. With this list here, hopefully you'll be able to make an informed decision and get the best baby gift for the baby in your life.

Sophie the Giraffe

A Great Baby Toy

One of my daughter's favorite soft toys when she was really little was a soft giraffe that she received. Her little fingers were able to grasp hold of her giraffe by it's legs or neck and then the poor thing would get chewed on, although there were also lots of hugs.

Vulli-The Original Sophie The Giraffe Teether Toy

Sophie the Giraffe is sure to become one of your baby's favorite toys as well. Unlike my daughter's giraffe (which was pastels in color) Sophie contains dark contrasting spots which are great to help with visual recognition.

Sophie's body contains a squeaker (although the very young babies probably won't discover that at first). When baby grows and 'discovers' this squeaker it helps them to follow cause and effect learning......and I bet you thought it was all about playing :)

The best thing about Sophie is that she is completely safe for baby to chew!


Building Blocks

Great Baby Toys

My daughter also loved her building blocks, she wasn't too keen on her wooden blocks when she was a baby, however preferring some fabric ones she had, like these -

Bright Starts Grab and Stack Blocks Toy

I think one of the reasons she like them was that they were soft - she would often chew on them (teething!), she could stack them or sometimes just wave one around and listen to it rattle before giggling and then shaking it again before she would have a giggle fit unable to stop herself - the sound was adorable!

As a mom I also preferred to see her play with soft blocks when she was this age as she often hit herself with them which could have been a little nasty with the corners of a wooden block!


Activity Mats

A Great Baby Toy

When my daughter was a baby we brought an activity mat that was a rectangular shape which could convert into a tunnel as she started growing. It was a great mat, but when visiting another friend who had a square shaped mat with the arches coming in from all four corners I swore that if I had another baby I would buy that type of mat. Like this one I've featured below -

Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym

Why buy a square activity mat? Well initially babies will just lie there and play with things that are hanging down, but then they start moving around (usually just in one direction) and if you have a square mat you won't have to listen to them scream when they've turned themselves around and are no longer able to play with anything hanging down!!

The different hanging toys can be moved around and baby can also enjoy tummy time hitting the different pictures on the mat.

I have since seen a couple of really cool round mats and these would be just as good, in fact one that I saw seemed to have more padding on it, I just can't remember the brand off the top of my head.


Stacking Toys

Great Baby Toys

Stacking toys are always a hit with babies whether you get the rubber rings that go over a pole, a wooden toy or this fantastic 'soft' stacker.

Melissa & Doug Plush Rainbow Stacker

The reason I like this stacker is because it makes noises, it's also colorful.

My daughter loved all of her stacking toys, but the musical ones were the ones that she preferred to play with.

Your baby will soon learn the different sounds and will learn the order in which s/he is supposed to hear them. Stacking toys really help with their development a lot and as it's made from fabric.......yes you've guessed it, it's great for chewing on when they're teething :)


Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo

A Great Baby Toy

Now my daughter never had one of these, but I've since seen friend's children play with them and they are definitely a great toy.

Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo

Once the baby can sit upright unassisted this toy will bring countless fun allowing your baby to work on their motor skills. The baby can move and jump around which develops her/his large motor skills.

The Rainforest Jumperoo also has a range of rainforest toys for baby to grab and play with which will help his/her fine motor skills. The use of different textures, colors and sounds make the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo a veritable adventure packed playtime for your baby every time s/he is in it.

If you click on the amazon button or the image of the toy you'll be able to read other people's reviews as well as more details on the toy.


Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes - A Great Baby Toy

My daughter loved anything to do with music and this Takealong Tunes by Baby Einstein is very similar to a toy that she would love to take in the car with her. It helps with music appreciation (although as a parent it can become tedious, but that's the price you pay) and your baby should love it.

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

The handle is shaped to make it easy for little hands to hold onto it and btw you will find that they hold on very tight especially when you ask them to give it to you.......this is why it's best to buy online and not have them refuse to give it back in a shop (not that I'm speaking from experience of course, it was my identical twin - honest!)

I’ll fully admit to being biased when it comes to Baby Einstein products as I’ve always loved them and so has my daughter. In fact most of my friends have realized this as I’ve brought various different Baby Einstein products for their children when they were younger.


Mirror - A Great Baby Toy

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest baby of all.....why it's yours of course! I always think babies are vain as they love to look in the mirror, but of course it's not really vanity as they think they've found a new friend!

Bright Starts Sit and See Floor Mirror, Safari

My daughter had a great little mirror that she could grip hold of and kiss etc, I wish I had seen this one as I would have brought it.

Why? You're full of questions, aren't you, well this baby mirror is made on a triangle of fabric which means it can stand up on it's own. It is also daughter hit herself with her mirror on more than one occasion and although it didn't faze her as a mum I'd definitely buy a soft one if I had my time over.


Baby Einstein DVDs

Great Baby Toys

Talking of Baby Einstein I was first introduced to the company by their dvd's.......well actually it was VHS, but anyway I found them to be excellent.


Baby Einstein DVDs can be excellent for introducing the baby to colors, language and music along with a range of other things. The initial ones such as Baby Bach and Baby Mozart run for only 20 minutes and keep the baby entertained really well. A friend of mine used her DVD when her baby wouldn't settle and it worked a treat.

Parents can use the DVDs in two ways - they can interact with baby while watching it together or they can pop baby in their rocker to watch it while they take a coffee daughter watched her DVD once a day and as much as I loved her I looked forward to my 20 minute coffee break :)


Shape Sorting Toys

Great Baby Toys

This toy makes an ideal first shape sorting toy for any baby make in a plush fabric.

Melissa & Doug Bird House Shape Sorter

The birds come in different colors and shapes and are easy for little hands to grasp hold of. Not only that the birds, rattle and squeak as they are placed in their slots.

This Bird House Shape Sorter not only helps baby to sort shapes, but also well as having lots of fun:) Window flaps on the Bird House also provides an opportunity to play peek-a -boo and we all know how entertaining babies find that game - this is sure to be a favorite toy.



Great Baby Toys

Of course balls in all shapes and sizes are awesome presents.......I brought my daughter her first ball when I was still pregnant.

Gund Colorfun Ball - Primary

She had a rugby ball as well as a round ball - her favorite was a round ball with pooh bear on it. Unfortunately I can't find that same ball anywhere for you to purchase, but the one opposite is pretty cool.

The different colors combined with a bell inside is guaranteed to make this ball one of baby's favorite toys.


This article used to be published on a different platform and received a lot of comments including a number of people exalting the virtues of the Rainforest Jumperoo, the only toy that my daughter didn't have, here are a few things that they said -

"The rainforest jumperoo is a winner, our wee one loved the thing!!!"

"Rainforest Jumperoo was a big hit for my little guy."

"My sons are 1 and 2, we have a few of these toys, but their favorite is the jumperoo."

I hope I've helped you to find the perfect baby gift on here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Doctor Who Gift Ideas

Gifts for Doctor Who Fans

Doctor Who gift ideas
My middle niece (and goddaughter) is an avid Doctor Who fan which led me to looking for a variety of Doctor Who gift ideas in the lead up to last Christmas. I came across a number of cool gift ideas which is why I decided to help out anyone else who has to buy for a Doctor Who fan.

There are certainly a lot of different gift ideas to suit a range of different age groups as well as price ranges from Tardis coffee mugs, to figurines, Doctor Who t-shirts, books on the series ..... there really are a lot of ideas so let's start looking at them in detail. I've explained what I like about a few of the choices and then I've compiled a few more ideas further down so that you're covered whether you're buying for a younger fan or an older fan.

There are Doctor Who fans who fell in love with the Doctor decades ago and still say 'Exterminate, Exterminate' when talking Daleks, who apparently aren't very scary these days! Then there's the fans from the new Millennium who have the advantage of our far more advanced special effects, costume and props departments! On with the gift shopping and enjoy....

Where's The Doctor? - The Best Book Ever!

A Where's Waldo Style Doctor Who Book

This is a book I brought for my 13 year old Doctor Who fan for Christmas. She loves games as well so I thought she'd enjoy finding the Doctor and all the other characters in the book. I also had to get something that could be easily posted as we were celebrating Christmas in different countries.

Doctor Who: Where's the Doctor?
My mum said the reaction was fantastic as my niece had apparently declared that it was 'the best book ever.' I was really happy with that even though mum was a little annoyed as she'd gone to a lot of trouble to get a book that had actually been requested just to be usurped by me!

The fact that this book features the 11th Doctor along with his assistant Amy Pond was another factor in me choosing this for my niece as he's her favorite Doctor.

Doctor Who Tardis Gift Set

This cool gift set features what they're calling a tin tote which is basically a tin lunch box that looks like a Tardis. Now what I would've given to have this as my lunch box when I was still in school - I would've be the coolest kid at the lunch table!

Doctor Who TARDIS Tin Tote Gift Set
Inside the box are four Doctor Who drinks coasters along with a Tardis designed travel mug.
This gift set was released at the San Diego Comic Con and are officially licensed collectibles.

Doctor Who Takes Afternoon Tea!

Now one of the gifts that I'm thinking of for my niece is a Tardis Mug along with her favorite hot chocolate and maybe a cookie jar - it was just unrealistic last Christmas because of postage.

I first saw the Tardis cookie jar and mug in a local shop, but it wasn't until I checked online that I discovered you could even get a Tardis tea-pot. These three gift ideas are absolutely fantastic and I know just the person who would love the Tardis tea pot as they collect tea pots and used to enjoy Doctor Who when they were younger.

This does rather beg the question - what type of cookies would the Doctor want in his cookie jar? My niece is sure to to tell me double choc chip as they're her favorite, but..

Doctor Who Board Games

I love giving my nieces board games as it gives them all something to play with together and they do enjoy playing board games. I love it when the extended family gets together as we usually manage to play a few board games - they're great for the kids to learn from as well as being a great bonding activity for us all.

I've found a couple of special edition Doctor Who board games which look great.

Doctor Who Micro Figures

The Eleven Doctors Collection

There are lots of different Doctor Who figurines available, but this particular collectors set is a nice gift idea as it features all eleven Doctors in a Tardis display box. It's relatively inexpensive (compared to some collector figures) which means that they can either be kept for display purposes only or can also be used in imaginative play.

Doctor Who The Eleven Doctors Micro-Figure Set
This set is now out of date of course as we have a 12th Doctor, but at the time this would have had pride of place on my niece's shelf and I still think it would be appreciated.
I haven't seen an undated set available at the time of writing, but I'm sure you'll be able to add the 12th Doctor when you find him........and let's face it we all know that eventually there will be a 13th and then 14th Doctor to add anyways.

More Fun Doctor Who Gift Ideas

Gifts for All Doctor Fans