Monday, July 1, 2013

Blogging Through the Alphabet - "B is for Birthday Gifts for Kids"

With my daughter's birthday coming up, I've been thinking a lot lately about what items would make great gifts.  Let's face it.  It can be hard to think of great gifts sometimes - especially when you don't want to just flood your child with new toys.  Don't get me wrong.  Toys are AWESOME!  I live vicariously through my kids, often buying them toys that I wish I'd had at their age.  Haha!  But I don't want them to only get toys for their birthdays. 

So, with that thought in mind, I've decided to compile a list of what I consider to be the BEST birthday gifts for kids - toys and "non-toys" alike!  These items are not in any particular order and I was not compensated or contacted by any of these companies to place their products on the list.  I have reviewed several of these items on my blog (some I received from the company and some I bought on my own), but I picked all of the items on this list on my own.  I hope this list helps you get some ideas for your little one's special day.
1.) The Jesus Storybook Bible - Reading to kids is crucial. And storybooks make fabulous birthday gifts! You couldn't find a better storybook than the Jesus Storybook Bible! Their website states - "Written for children ages four and up, The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the one story underneath all the stories of the Bible and points to the birth of a child, the Rescuer, Jesus. Complete with 44 Bible stories, The Jesus Storybook Bible paints a beautiful portrait of Jesus and invites children to see that he is not only at the center of God’s great story of redemption—he is at the center of their story too."
Although it says that its written for kids 4 years and up, we've been reading this to our oldest since before she was a year old and she loves it! Its bright and colorful, and the stories are really written on a child's level - yet they are beautiful and touching!

2.) Green Toys - If you read my blog with any regularity, then you know how much I LOVE Green Toys!!!!  These toys are seriously amazing!  They are made in the USA from recycled milk jugs!!!But these toys are not just eco-friendly, they are also safe, sturdy and ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!!  They have items for all ages and NONE of their toys require batteries! - These toys inspire imaginative play!  Oh, and just when you think they can't get any better, you learn that their toys are also DISHWASHER SAFE!!!!  Mama jumps for joy over that!
A couple of my personal favorites are:
     A.) School Bus - This bus is sturdy and absolutely adorable! And its safe for kids 1 year old and up, so it would make a great 1st birthday gift!  (Although, my daughter didn't receive her's until she was 2 years old and she still loves it!)  We actually bought these little people from Plan Toys - another fabulous toy company - to go inside.  The twist to a seated position and fit perfectly inside!
     B.) Tea Set - Every little girl needs a tea set and, in my opinion, this is the best one out there!  Its suitable for kids 2 years old and older, and its also durable, adorable, dishwasher-safe, and meets FDA specs for food contact, so you can actually serve food and drink in it!  My daughter LOVES to serve me tea, but, oddly, whenever she serves my husband she always tells him its coffee.  Haha!!!  I guess she's been paying attention.

3.) Piggy Paint - If you have a little girl, Piggy Paint is a MUST!!!  The Piggy Paint motto is "natural as mud" and they really mean it!  Its non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and odorless!  That's right!  ODORLESS!  Seriously!  I'll never go back to regular nail polish again!  This stuff is amazing!  And with a birthday gift like Piggy Paint, you and your daughter will have lots of fun painting each other's nails!

Check out my review of Piggy Paint

4.) Citrus Lane - Once again, if you read my blog you know that I'm obsessed with Citrus Lane!!!  Both of our girls get boxes and we LOVE them!  And Citrus Lane is the birthday gift that keeps on giving!  Buy your child or grandchild a Citrus Lane subscription (3,6, or 12 months) and they will get a surprise box each month!  My youngest has no idea she getting these boxes yet, but my oldest LOVES when her box arrives!  She always says, "Is that my box?"  I even put her name in the address section when I signed up so the box actually comes to her name!  SO neat!!!  And we've gotten lots of great products from them - some great toys, but also some really handy, practical items as well!

Check out my Reviews of Citrus Lane

5.) Begin Again Toys - Here's another great, eco-friendly toy company!  And I love that one of their workshop rules is "No batteries, no electronics, ever!"  BeginAgain believes in helping to encourage a child's imagination, creativity, and artistic ability!  Their wooden puzzles are just incredible!  We have 2 of them already (and are saving a third one for our oldest's birthday).  They are non-toxic, durable, and so pretty with all of their bright colors!  And since they can actually stand upright, they make great decorations for a child's room!

Check out my review of BeginAgain Toys

6.) Aden + Anais Dream Blankets - You may have heard of Aden + Anais before and, like me, you assumed that they only sell baby items - like swaddling blankets.  But they also have some INCREDIBLE larger blankets!  A Dream Blanket would make a wonderful gift for any child!  Their products are made from 100% cotton muslin, which means they are soft, breathable, and provide warmth without overheating!  And at 47 inches x 47 inches, its a great size for babies, toddlers, or even teens!  I ordered this special edition Hello Kitty Dream Blanket a couple of months ago!  My daughter LOVES Hello Kitty, so this will be one of her birthday gifts!!!  Since this was a limited edition, they no longer have it, but they do have some Hello Kitty towels, washcloths, and bibs left!  Plus, they have many other adorable Dream Blanket patterns!

7.) Kidbasix - I've been on a mission to replace the plastic items in our house.  Not just for the environmental reasons, but because a lot of that plastic is full of nasty, harmful chemicals.  There are some great plastic alternatives out there and Stainless Steel is one of them!  Kidbasix makes a line of baby bottles, sippy cups, and sports bottles that are fabulous!  Not only are they made of stainless steel, but they are still dishwasher safe, which is a HUGE plus!  These water bottles would be a great little gift!  And they come in 2 sizes and LOTS of great colors!

8.) Innobaby - I wouldn't normally recommend buying your child a plate for their birthday.  You might not get a great reaction.  Haha!  But with the Innobaby Bus Platter and Lid, I think you'll get a great reaction!  This platter is stainless steel, which makes it durable, non-toxic, stain-resistant, and super easy to clean!  And better than that, its ADORABLE!!!!  My oldest LOVES eating out of this platter!  And I love that it has plenty of sections for me to offer her healthy snacks and foods!

9.) Barefoot Books - As I mentioned above, reading to kids is crucial.  You really can't read to them enough!  It helps them learn language, how to sit and listen, how to interact with the story, and how to use their imaginations. And it also instills in them a love of reading that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives!  Barefoot Books is one of my FAVORITE independent publishers!  Their books are colorful, fun, and educational!  For babies and toddlers, the Bear Books are wonderful!  And for toddlers and older children, their Books with Singalong CDs are amazing!  My kids could listen to them over and over and over again!

Check out my review of Barefoot Books

10.) Sovereign Grace Music - We LOVE music in our house! - Especially music that glorifies God!  Unfortunately, sometimes kids' music can be annoying - especially if you have to listen to it over and over again.  But Sovereign Grace Music's kids' CDs are the exception!  We own them all and LOVE them!!!  The music is fun and enjoyable - even for adults - and the words are ripe with theology!  Their kids CDs - Walking with the Wise, To Be Like Jesus, and Awesome God - are each so incredible that I really can't pick a favorite!  And it THRILLS MY SOUL to hear my oldest sing about God!!!

So there it is.  A list of some of my favorite birthday gifts for kids!  As I said, I was not paid by any of these companies to place them on the list.  I have done reviews of many of the products, but I and I alone picked the products for this list because I really do love them and think they would make great birthday gifts!  I tried to get a well-rounded group of products - from toys, to blankets, to dinnerware, to books, to CDs.  I hope my list gives you some ideas for great gifts for your kids!

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  1. This is a great list! I need to look into the Piggy Paint. The littlest loves to have her nails painted, but she still sucks her fingers at night (and during the day) so I hate to paint her nails and have her put it in her mouth.

    1. TaMara, its seriously GREAT!!! You'll never go back to smelly, chemical-filled polishes! They sell it at some Walmart stores and you can order it on and

  2. Love the list Rebekka. Funny, my favorite is the Innobaby platter. I love the different sections. I think Sara would really enjoy it. With lots of birthdays in our house, it's a good list to have :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad you like it! We LOVE the Innobaby platter! And I forgot to say that it comes with a lid!!!! - So you can actually fill it up and cover it and place it one the counter or in the fridge until snack time or lunch time! :)

  3. We switched from sippy cups to Tervis Tumblers and we love them! This list looks great!

  4. great list ,I've found Lots of necessary information from your blog.thanks for sharing