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My toddlers are officially children. I can’t believe that they’ve been a part of our family for four years when it feels like just yesterday they were born. Yet it also feels as if they’ve been a part of our family forever.

In the past year, E and V have made friends! So their party invites included family and friends that have been invited to previous parties as well as their own friends. Yet due to covid and a few childhood illnesses that have been making their way around their friend circles, many family members and friends weren’t able to make it. They still had a lovely party and enjoyed their time with those who were able to join.

I’m regularly asked about gift ideas, so I’ll share what I put on their list (always dictated by their needs and interests, of course) and what they received. I’d also like to remind everyone that while I’m using their age in the title, age has little determination on what gifts are appropriate and ideal. As always, follow their individual development.

Frozen Pop Beads. E and V, while still never having seen the movies, are really into the Frozen characters, Elsa and Anna (due to the stickers they have received from their doctor’s office and the nurse’s joy of explaining who they are, “Sisters, like you!”). One of my daughters needs additional fine motor strengthening work, so these looked perfect! The opportunity to combine an interest with a need. This is one of those items that, even though for three and up with my children now being four, we can’t have unsupervised.

The Story Orchestra. They have many of these books and they love them all. We also use them during Music Mondays as inspiration for composers we wish to study.

Hopscotch rug. An opportunity for gross motor movement while practicing an activity that Grandma Nancy has been showing them and they’ve been practicing.

Playmobil. We introduced Playmobil last year when E and V showed interest in some present play and thought it would be anther great way to provide fine motor strengthening. They loved the sets I found at a second-hand store so we’ve been slowly adding to their collection. Calico Critters houses and items fit Playmobil people, albeit just slightly larger scale. We discovered this when they received some Calico Critters items for Christmas. While the critters are rehoused to Aunt Deb, because “animals don’t wear clothes and sit at tables” as the girls have reminded us, their elegant manors have been a fun addition.

Magnetic match and make flowers. This looked like something E and V would enjoy that offered guidance in actions as well as opened-ended play.

Buckle pillow. Perfect for fine motor work while on road trips. This material may be overwhelming if it’s the first introduction to fasteners. E and V have become proficient with the buckle dressing frames, so this seemed appropriate for road trips at this time. There was another that I thought they may have an interest in as well as provide comfort.

Themed gifts. E and V received a gardening-themed gift which was so thoughtful. It included: gardening tools, an apron, gloves, and a flower to plant. Or perhaps a kit that already includes it all, minus the flower or seeds (below). Other themed gifts could include baking, art, a sensory bin, ect.

Those are gift ideas that my four-year-old children enjoy or would enjoy, what would be on your child’s list?

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