Birthday Presents

This year’s birthday party was a lot of fun for everyone. It was the first we’ve had with lots of little friends for Aria to play with. I went a little lighter this year by not doing food at all except ice cream and cup cakes. I wanted to do a little less because it has been so insane here with emergency surgery, new family members, and unexpected long-term guests. I asked on behalf of my daughter for more creativity based presents because she has been very into doing stuff as opposed to just playing lately.

One of her most beloved gifts has been several sets of Magna Tiles and Mag Formers. She has been over the moon for them and plays with them daily (we even got one set early so its been almost a month of daily play).

Some of our daily activities include things like play doh, magna doodle, aqua doodle, puzzles, educational apps on a phone, reading books, painting with water, playing musical instruments and so on. We don’t always do all these things on a daily basis but we do a lot of them, along with lots of outdoor play whenever it isn’t pouring freezing cold rain or boiling hot outside (seems to be about 80% of our weather this summer).

Some of our gifts to her included Melissa and Doug (I am addicted to their brand, so good) Water Wow reusable water coloring books, a frozen activity booklet with a million stickers, and some workbooks (some also from others). We also got more stuff like a travel Aqua Doodle, but it isn’t pictured because it is in the travel toys in my car.

This Peppa Pig book has been a big hit, although I need to find some chalk markers for it to actually be usable. I also know absolutely nothing about Peppa Pig so I will have to see what else she might enjoy. These oversize drawing books are a huge hit, with some of her favorite things.

One of my sets of grandparents gifted us with a huge box of play doh in all kinds of colors, and several play sets to go with it (Frozen, Sophia, and My Little Pony). This is one of the first things that gets played with and we often come back to it multiple times per day. The Pinkie Pie remote control scooter has also been a huge hit, and so good for motor control and boredom when we are stuck indoors. The VTech Write and Learn Creative Center is a fun little toy. When you don’t turn it on, it is basically a Magna Doodle. When you do turn it on, it gives writing instruction and all kinds of other drawing prompts. I almost forgot all about the Lite BriteĀ  (pictured with the play doh) which I find amazing, and I think at this point I like it more than her. The new versions feature LED lights (no burning yourself!) and lots of different shaped pegs and pieces to use to create with. It is a lot of fun for us both to play together.

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My dad decided to grab this up for our little one. Initially I thought about returning it, because almost all of these kid based tablets have a huge failure rate right out of the box, every brand across the board. But this one actually had mostly all good reviews so we kept it. I’ve loaded it up with educational games and set it all up for use (a painful process). I am waiting for a gel skin and a case to arrive in the mail before she actually gets this one, but that should actually be arriving today. I fiddled around with the games and they seemed pretty fun. It is also e-book, music, video, and photo capable, with options to load your own right to the device. The only caveat is that I cannot for the life of me get that to work. I tried loading some of our photos and music and I had zero luck.

We also got a decent amount of fun presents, like a stuffed Shining Armor pony from build-a-bear (from us) and a huge amount of art supplies. Everything from various kinds of drawing paper, markers, crayons, watercolor paints, and tons of stickers. We are definitely all set on art supplies for a good long while. All in all it was a great birthday and she got so many amazing gifts.

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