Little Boy Gift Guide 2018

The most magical season has finally begun. It was so sweet last year with Thomas here for his first Christmas, but this year is even better. Now that he has interests and so much more personality.. I cannot wait to share in his excitement. We swore we wouldn’t go crazy this year, seeing as toys last a whole 20 minutes of interest for Thomas. We wanted to do a couple bigger things, instead of a lot of little things. And I know, I know, it isn’t about the gifts! You don’t have to remind me :). I actually love Christmas for all the other reasons and can’t wait to tell the story of baby Jesus in a manger on repeat to Thomas. I want him to become accustomed to traditions like waking up in our cozy house on Christmas morning, baking with Mom, putting Christmas lights up with Dad and trimming the tree as a family. I hope to teach him why we do these special things - and what the family time and nostalgia is all about so gifts are an after-thought. As moms, I know we can all hope!
We have plans to give Thomas a playhouse this year and I am so so excited about it. We have a talented friend in town who owns his own woodworking company and he has sketched up some awesome plans for T. I wanted to do this so we can utilize our backyard more, without bogging it down with random toys. Our in-laws gifted T the play kitchen that I plan to add some customizations to and put it in playhouse too. He gets two AWESOME gifts, and mom doesn’t loose more precious space in this house haha! It’s a win-win.
At last… here are my top picks for Thomas’s age range. I personally feel like boys can be tricky to shop for so I liked the idea of something educational, something developmental, something imaginary, a clothing item, etc to break it up.

Little Boy Gift Guide | 18-24m | Victoria Austin
  1. Wooden Tool Set by Moon Picnic, $78

  2. Jefferson Slip-Ons by Native, $35

  3. Balance Bike by Banwood, $189

  4. Play Kitchen by Milton & Goose, $649
    Play Kitchen by Ikea, $79
    Play Kitchen by Pottery Barn Kids, $399

  5. Classic Train Set by Melissa & Doug, $24

  6. A-Z Flashcards by VAD:), $35

Any favorites you have for little boys? I would love to know!
Happy Shopping, mamas! xo

Sensory Play Ideas | 14 Months

I should title this “Part One” because all moms know this is just the beginning. One of the things I love about motherhood is planning for stages (I find that I thrive on that too). So as Thomas seemed to get bored with everyday activities and his typical baby toys, I am excited to dive into the world of sensory play! I was given great tips from some friends in similar stages (like putting Thomas in the bathtub for water beads because, #messes). Share any of your favorite activities and tips! I am always on the hunt because I am convinced I have the world’s most active 14month old.

Felt Balls and Cups

Sensory Play | Victoria Austin
Sensory Play Ideas | Victoria Austin
Sensory Play Ideas | Victoria Austin
Sensory Play Ideas | Victoria Austin

This was so easy! And actually gave me some time to clean up the kitchen because Thomas could play independently (make sure they don’t put the felt balls in their mouth - choking hazard). Thomas liked stacking the cups, emptying them out, trying to feed them to our dog?, etc.. ha! But I originally found these at Hobby Lobby for another craft project so they were just sitting in office closet. It’s been three days and he is still interested in them… WIN!
As he gets older, we can organize by color and match to the cup.

Water Beads

Sensory Play Ideas | Victoria Austin
Sensory Play Ideas | Victoria Austin
Sensory Play Ideas | Victoria Austin

Okay, these are really cool (even at the brink of 30!). First and foremost, they are small and slightly messy. Thomas can bite into them, swallow them and throw them. So he had to be watched but he had so much fun with them! The mini strainer was fun to use (a cup would work too).. and he loved rubbing his hands in the bin and seeing them bounce in the tub. Full disclosure: he cried (tantrum-like) when we were done and I had to put them away. So he definitely liked them! They sell them in a lot of colors and I am sure online has plenty of options (I found these, Orbeez brand at Target)!
I have a few more tricks up my sleeve for the next week and will update with ideas! I always post to my stories on Instagram so be sure to follow (@victoriaaustindesigns). If you have any ideas, I would LOVE to hear them!