Gifts That Are Still Giving: 7 Faves from Christmas

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Gifts That Are Still Giving: 7 Faves from Christmas

Now that we’re several weeks post-Christmas, it’s been great to see which of my kids’ gifts are still being utilized and enjoyed. Below are some favorites that were not cast aside after a few days and have instead continued to engage my boys. I’ll likely be purchasing more as birthday gifts for friends and family.

Crazy Forts

My boys, 7 and 5, love building blanket forts. They would drape all the blankets in our house over furniture and cushions, but inevitably the fort would collapse. Enter the game-changer, Crazy Forts. This sturdy collection of sticks and balls serves as a framework to be covered with blankets. Having two kits enables them to create entire fort villages. I’m all about a gift that encourages creativity and pretend play.

Outdoor Dome Jungle Gym

We don’t have a huge backyard, and my husband and I weren’t crazy about the idea of shelling out a thousand dollars on a playset. However, we still wanted to encourage outdoor play as much as possible, so we looked at alternative options and were thrilled to find this dome climber. For added fun, we hung this little disc swing from the center. It was so easy to put together, and we were very pleased with the materials. A steal for $165! The kids have been outside every day (even on rainy days, the set dries so quickly, they can still use it).

Kano Computer

My 7-year-old recently became interested in computers, but we weren’t ready to take the plunge and get him his own. For school assignments, his tablet is still sufficient. He didn’t need a serious computer. Instead, we opted for a Kano computer that he could build himself. The full price is $115, but we got it for $50 during Target’s Black Friday sale. The engineering stage alone was enough to engage him, but then once it was built, it functioned the same as a real computer with a few games and Internet access (that we can restrict with parental control settings). STEM bonus: the Kano computer introduces kids to basic coding skills.

Comfy Hooded Blanket

My boys cannot have enough soft, cozy blankets. They especially love this one because a) they love Minecraft and b) it has a hood. They have wrapped up in it every night since Christmas, and it’s great for road trips. I like a practical gift with a favorite character as opposed to stuffed animals or action figures.

Air Soccer

This was the best $11.99 impulse buy! We have a very long hallway, and this “soccer ball” floats down the hall as the boys kick it back and forth (think air hockey but on your floor). Because it “floats,” it doesn’t damage our wood floors, and its all-around padding prevents it from marking up the walls. We enjoy playing with it just as much as the kids!

I Can Draw! Book

We got this one a few years ago and are still using it all the time. I love this book because it has a good variety of subjects to draw and is easy to follow even for kids who can’t read yet. Perfect for projects, it gives my kids the guidance and confidence to work independently, which means they’re not panicking and asking me to do their work. It’s been so good to us that I’ve paired it with a sketchbook and colored pencils and given as birthday gifts a few times.

My oldest is now in the Talented Visual Art program. He used the book to guide him in making this piece, which was part of his audition portfolio.

Wallet

I carried a purse when I was a little girl and loved how grown up it made me feel, so I wasn’t surprised when my guys recently asked for wallets. My mother-in-law gave them fun wallets and put a $20 bill inside. They got the biggest kick out of it and couldn’t wait to take their wallets to Target and make their purchases.

What were your kids’ favorites this year?

Alyson Haggerty
Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their 8 and 5-year-old boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education and is now a full-time nursing student. In her hypothetical free time, Alyson would enjoy flipping furniture, writing, dancing, and painting. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.

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