by Nilsa on December 11, 2013

Now that we are almost halfway through December (say it ain’t so!), I can say with confidence we are in the middle of the holiday season. By season’s end, my goal is for Gavin to experience the holidays, give during the holidays and receive during the holidays. So far, Gavin has participated in a food drive at his school (where, at the end of the drive, his class delivered the donated food items to a local non-profit), has made Thanksgiving-themed cookies and went to see the ZooLights exhibit at our local zoo. We have plans to make Christmas themed cookies, to go see Christmas carols and to celebrate the Christmas holiday with Sweets’ family and their friends.

In the meantime, we’re working on Gavin’s wishlist for things he’d like to receive for Chanukah and Christmas (ok, fine, Chanukah ended last week and he’s already received some of the items on this list – sssssssh, don’t ruin my post!). Last year, I shared the gifts we were buying our then two-year old son. So, this year, I will continue the tradition with gifts we are buying (or asking grandparents to buy) our now three-year old son.

construction puzzles For the past year or more, Gavin has been infatuated with construction vehicles. Our morning runs consist of lots of stops, usually to point out construction vehicles and often to watch them at work for a few minutes. Excavator! Bobcat! Cement mixer! Bulldozer! Dump truck! Crane! He knows them all and wants to make sure to engage me in conversation about them! That’s why I knew that even though Gavin doesn’t like to sit still for very long, Melissa & Doug’s construction puzzle set might be just the thing to capture his attention! And if they do capture his attention, then he can work on his problem solving and fine motor skills along the way!

Battat Take Apart Airplane Battat Take Apart Crane Gavin is fascinated with how things work. He closely watches Sweets whenever something needs to be fixed. He loves helping me cook, always curious about what happens when we mix things together. And, his busy body loves his work bench, which includes a battery operated drill, hammer, screwdriver, nails and screws. Insert Battat Take Apart Airplane and Battat Take Apart Crane. Battery operated drills allow young children to take apart and put back together again different vehicles (they also have a 4×4 and roadster). Given how obsessed Gavin is with work trucks, planes, trains and anything else that moves, we expect these gifts to be a huge hit!

piggy bank While I’m on the topic of all vehicles that move, let’s talk about the great piggy bank debate of 2013. You know, the one where Sweets was sure Gavin’s piggy bank was plastic and I was sure it was porcelain. The one where mere minutes after we publicized that debate in front of friends, Gavin drop said piggy bank and we (along with our witnesses) watched it smash into a million tiny pieces on the floor. Well, while I like to chide Sweets about that debate (and remind him of my victorious outcome), Gavin has not lost interest in money. So, when I saw the this cute, PLASTIC bi-plane bank, I knew it was the perfect gift. It’s time to get that kid saving for his college fund!

Design and drill Before moving away from our busy-body son, let’s talk about that work bench. The most exciting thing is being able to twisting the screwdrive to fasten screws to the bench (ok, well, maybe it’s a tie with using the hammer to bang in nails to the bench). Either way, Gavin loves it. I think Design and Drill will take Gavin’s interest to the next level, allowing him to continue drilling while also learning to follow patterns and make interesting shapes.

Fisher Price camera Gavin moved fairly seamlessly from hating every attempt I made to take a photo of him to wanting to use my camera to take photos. These days, I negotiate with him: if he stands still for a photo, then I’ll help him take a photo with my camera. However, you know I’m a nervous nelly when I let go of my camera to let Gavin independently take a picture. Enter Fisher Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera. It’s a kid-friendly digital camera that takes real photos from a kid-friendly (and drop-friendly) body. Parents can also download the photo app to their computers, allowing kids to download photos and edit them in fun, colorful ways. The photos themselves might not be masterpieces, but I think the camera will provide Gavin a much-needed opportunity to practice behind the lens without mommy standing over him for fear he’ll drop and break her precious camera.

games Sometimes, age appropriate games can buy us ten minutes of time. Gavin is still at an age where he needs parental involvement when playing games. But, during those ten minutes of play, it means he’s not getting into trouble elsewhere. It’s usually worth taking a few minutes away from what we’re doing in order to join him. This year, the Cat in the Hat’s I Can Do That and the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel game on are Gavin’s wishlist. The former works on physical abilities (“Can you hop on one foot while holding onto the (paper) goldfish?”), while the other works on counting and colors. Both look like great fun, especially as winter drones on for months and months!

I Stink

I wouldn’t say we’re raising Gavin to be a voracious reader, but we do enjoy family reading time just before bedtime each night. Given that Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site was such a popular choice in our house (and is easily one of my favorite kids books), I figured more books with the work truck theme would a hit with the little person crowd in our house. That’s when I came across I’m Dirty and I Stink. The only problem with fun books like this is I’m not sure who looks forward to reading them more: Gavin or his parents!

I think these gifts just about cover off on what our busy-body three-year old boy is hoping to get this year. I also think it’s possibly the last year where mom and dad will be deciding what’s on Gavin’s wishlist. I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll be much more vocal about what he wants in years to come!

What’s on your child’s wishlist this year? What sorts of gifts are you giving to the children in your life? How do you  

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly December 11, 2013

I love that he is going to have his own camera! So cute :) I can’t wait to see some of the photos he takes. I love that this is now possible because of digital cameras, can you imagine if our parents tried to do this? lol


kapgar December 11, 2013

I think I’m bookmarking this for when Nathan is another year older. Seems he and Gavin have a lot of the same interests.


Nora December 11, 2013

LOVE the toys, especially the put together/take apart toys. Will have to remember that when my friends’ boys turn three this next year!

We have a lot of crafty/DIY/noggin-using toys for the girls this year. They are into crafts and creating things so we got them a (safe) make your own bracelet set from Melissa & Doug, more Crayola products with an awesome box/carrying case, a few other crafty/DIY projects, some Disney story books, a game for them to share on the DS that they have, and a few other odds and ends. We try to stay away from Barbies and baby dolls because the shoes wind up on the floor, in the vacuum or Jack’s mouth and the dolls wind up naked and creepy. Not my favorite :) The girls are SO spoiled by everyone so we kinda go minimalistic on the presents as they get so much from my side and D’s side of the family. We also have an experience night planned: the lights at the Zoo and then dinner at one of our favorite family restaurants that is always decorated to the 9′s! We are big on experiences with them as I know that’s what they remember most about their time with us. And sorry for writing a book on your comment wall…


Alli December 11, 2013

Is it weird that I think i’d have a blast with the Take Apart toys?


heidikins December 11, 2013

I bought the Goodnight Goodnight, Construction Site this year for my 2-year old nephew. Hope he loves it! :)



lisacng December 11, 2013

I’ll be adding the Take Apart and Design & Drill games to J’s wishlist! Especially the D&D game since it’s a developing skill for 3 yr olds and J hasn’t made a pattern yet. However you come up with these lists, keep doing so because it makes my life easier, hahahahahaha. No really. LOVE D&D. Definitely am going to get it! Besides that, I’ve put clothes and books on J’s wishlist for the family to get. Kid is growing like a weed and he’s always asking for “new books” even though we are probably approaching 100 of his books in the house. The hubs x-ed the workbench b/c it didn’t have as many activities on it as he would have liked. I was thinking about a LeapPad but also don’t like the idea of a “sedentary” toy since J is definitely a more tactile learner.That’s why I love your D&D gift idea!!!!


Lisa of Lisa's Yarns December 12, 2013

Gavin sounds a lot like my nephew Kolin that lives in the Chicago area. Out of all of my nephews, he was most interested in cars, trucks, construction equipment, how things worked, etc. He even loved this really detailed book about what happened to your trash after you threw it away (which, for the record, was my least favorite book to read to him!). Now that he is getting a bit older, he loves lego sets where he can assemble things like cars. It’s pretty neat to see him focus so hard on something (although he is almost 7 so at a different stage than Gavin).

I am kind of a boring aunt as my nephews and niece all get books from me for Christmas and then books + money for their college savings accounts for their birthdays. I would maybe deviate from this and get them a puzzle, but so far I haven’t deviated. Luckily my nephews and niece all love to read or be read to so it works out ok and my siblings have said they appreciate it as the kids get so many toys!


Zi @ December 13, 2013

We are doing a big trip for the kids this Christmas season so we are cutting back on presents this year and just getting one big gift for all the kids– a bounce house, to work off the massive amounts of energy they have.


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