Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gifts for Them That Help You!

The gift buying season is upon us. Every year I sit down and make a list of the people I need to buy for and struggle to match that list to gift ideas. Face it, some people are harder to shop for than others. Since I'm probably not the only one with this problem, I thought I would share some of my ideas. Today's list is about gifts that can also help you out! Check back often throughout the month for more gift buying ideas! Good luck shopping! May the deals be plentiful, your cart overflowing, and your wallet not emptied.

Gift giving is about the receiver, but sometimes you can give them a gift that helps you out too! Kids are by far the easiest ones to buy for in this category. Pretty much any new toy will keep a kid occupied for a little while, but the ones that keep them occupied for longer periods of time over and over again are the best ones. Below is my list of my favorite gifts for them that help you!
  • LeapPad Higgins had a LeapPad and he absolutely loved it. He had some books on it and the LeapPad read to him. He also had a variety of games on there that he loved to play.
  • LeapPad App Card. You can load this online and pick out games, books, etc.
  • iPad or iPad Mini*
*DM Tip: The Leap Pad and the iPad are great to bring to doctors' offices or anywhere you have to wait in line or in a waiting room. This has saved my sanity numerous times when having to wait with the kids.
  • AquaDoodle. I love these. If you are not familiar with it, the pens/paint brushes are filled with water and the kids draw on a special mat that turns colors when wet. Once it dries, it can be "colored" again and again! If you have a kid like Higgins, you may want to institute a Mom/Dad fills the pen rule. Otherwise, your bathroom could become quite wet. There are several options in the AquaDoodle: the original mat, the travel size, jumbo sized mat, pets (dog, penguin plush with AquaDoodle belly), and more.
  • A pet (ASPCA's website offers links to different adoptable animals in your area.) (PSA: Pets are a lifetime of joy, but they are a lifetime of commitment.)
  • Kindle (Amazon) or Nook (Barnes & Nobles). These are great book readers, but they also connect to the web and lots of other cool stuff. The Kindle Fire for Kids comes with a case, 2 year protection, and has awesome parental controls. I love being able to control the time that they are allowed on it. 
  • Netbook. These small laptops can even fit in my purse! They are great for travel when you just want to be able to check your email and get online. Most come with a webcam already on the computer, so you can use Skype as well. The basic versions do not have as much memory as a laptop though.
  • Skype. If you have an out of town relative that keeps saying they miss you guys and miss seeing the kids so much, set up a Skype account. For them this is great for keeping in touch! As long as you stay with the basic Skype, it's free to use!
  • Classes. (See the Life Changing Gifts post for ideas!)
  • Netflix or Hulu, with player if needed. Netflix and Hulu are both relatively inexpensive on a monthly basis ($8-10/month for basic). The Roku player will stream both Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon videos, along with other apps.
  • Snow or Lawn Service.
  • Build A Bear with your voice recorded in it. My kids loved their special animals with our voices in it, so much that they wore out some of the recorders (DM Tip: You can bring the stuffed animal back and put a new one in). There were many nights that I could hear the recordings turn on in the middle of the night. It was great that they could self-sooth with the stuffed animal and not wake me up!
  • Storybook or Ornament with your voice recorded in it.
  • A safe. I have lost track of the number of times Higgins has snuck into Bernardo's room and stolen a toy. To keep their special toys or gift cards safe, try a book safe! (Plus it's lots of fun to see their faces when they think they got a dictionary for Christmas!)

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. If you buy an item from Amazon using my links, I may receive a small commission for the referral. It does not affect your cost at all! If you want more information, please visit my Disclosure page.

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