Posted by: instanthausfrau | December 3, 2009

Holiday Advent Calendar: Day 2 | Simple Gifts

Holiday Advent Calendar Day 2 | Simple Gifts Wow, second day and I’m already behind. As I scramble to catch up, here’s what should have been Yesterday’s post: Day 2 | Simple gifts.

For today, a small selection of gift ideas that might work for someone in your life. As always, these recommendations are purely based on my own (or my family’s) experience of the products involved, and none are paid endorsements. I do not do sponsored or paid posts. It’s kind of sad that I have to say that, but there you are.

FOR THE FUTURE KNITTER/ CHILD OF YOUR CRAFTY FRIEND:

Weaving sticks in use

Weaving Sticks at Work

Weaving Sticks | These are a small bit of awesome that Moon received as a gift from my mother-in-law (who is, by profession, a weaver herself). While knitting and sewing are a bit on the complex side for Moon’s basic coordination and patience levels, she can make her own scarf with these, and it’s way cooler than a potholder loom. The number of sticks used will determine the width of the creation, and how long your child is willing to keep going determines the length. There is no accounting for the tastes of the child involved, and some of Moon’s color combinations are a bit… exciting. That said, she loves making small beds for her animals and other toys, and once the sticks are set up, she can complete the task on her own. Full weaving stick instructions online here, and at $4.99 plus shipping from Pine Box Traders here, you can’t beat the price. Pick out some fun colors of yarn to round out the gift, and your crafty-parent friends will thank you when their child is too busy with her or her own project to ‘help’ with the parental ones.
Weaving Sticks | $4.99 from Pine Box Traders

FOR THE NEW PARENTS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY HAVE JUST GOTTEN THEMSELVES INTO:

Customize your own Starbucks Gift Card

Customized Caffeine | Any new parent is going to be missing one thing in their life: sleep. While that sweet, sweet slumber isn’t giftable, you can send them a relative equivalent with a Starbucks Gift Card. Yes, it’s corporate coffee, but the Starbucks advantage is that no matter where your new-parent friends are living, there is bound to be one nearby. And with their customizable gift cards, you can create a really personal gift that still allows a bit of freedom of choice for your friends. They choose their caffeinated beverage, you get to to have fun designing the card. While all card designs are subject to review for some reason, they printed “CAFFEINE IN LIEU OF SLEEP” across the top of my recent order for friends with newborn twins, so I am pleased as punch with the results.

Customized Starbucks Card | $4.00 for Customization & shipping, + however much you want on the card.

FOR THE MUSIC-LOVING SCIENTIST KID

Here Comes Science...

They Might Be Giants Here Comes Science | Everyone (and I do mean everyone) in my husband’s family who is not a weaver or my husband is a scientist it seems, and they run the gamut from cello players to mandolin to base guitarists, so I feel totally justified in creating this category of kid. Moon got this CD/DVD combo for her birthday, and we’ve been loving it ever since. The concepts are naturally more advanced than those in the prior “Here Comes” releases, but just as catchy (everyone in our family is singing the shooting star round). I love that she’s being introduced to concepts like velocity and friction in a completely non-threatening way, even if it seems as though the last thing this family needs is another scientist. Those looking for something more basic can enjoy the ABC’s and 123’s as well.
They Might Be Giants Here Comes Science | $9.99 on Amazon.com


FOR THE FUTURE NOVELIST WHO JUST NEEDS TO MASTER THOSE ABC’s:

My First Book of Uppercase Letters

Kumon My First Book of Uppercase Letters | The Kumon books started for our family as a plane trip purchase — the tracing and mazes seemed like good entertainment while trapped on an airplane, and proved popular enough that we keep coming back. This book built an excellent foundation for Moon with writing, which means she now carries around small notebooks to scribble in on a regular basis (most recently, sounding out the lyrics on some They Might Be Giants songs so she could write them down). They have the Japanese obsession with stroke order when writing, but continue to be helpful and maintain Moon’s interest. This is also something that is easy to do ‘with her’ while trying to tandem nurse her twin brothers. So if you have travel or a sibling on the way, a workbook like this and a pack of crayons is an excellent investment.
Kumon My First Book of Uppercase Letters | $6.95 on Amazon.com

Finally, lots of fantastic ideas, as always, on the Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. They always have great suggestions, but I am most grateful for their writing style, which I have co-opted their for this post. Happy gift-hunting!

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