How far in advance do you think about birthday presents? If I leave it to the last minute I buy things I regret. I've done this so many times. The other thing I'm good at is thinking about gifts but not making the decision until the last minute - then panic that it won't arrive in time. Otis's birthday is in April so it's something I've started to think about. I've compiled a list of suggested Montessori and educational gifts for those turning two. This post contains some affiliate links.
- Schleich Animals. No gift guide of mine would be complete without them. Otis plays farm everyday.
- Mee a Bee Messenger Bag. Otis has one in a different fabric and we are constantly stopped and asked where we got it from. With the flap (no zips or buttons) it's suitable for a toddler and perfect nature walks. If you are looking for a magnifying glass (to put in the bag on one of those nature walks) for a toddler (under supervision) to preschooler plus I really like this one in Australia and this one in the US - think about 5" diameter and X2 magnification.
- Plan Water Blocks and Mini Hollow Blocks. Our family is using blocks in more interesting ways everyday, these blocks would be a lovely addition to our collection. From reading reviews the Plan blocks are good quality.
- Fruit and Vegetable cards. I've used Michael Olaf cards before and they are excellent with nice clear pictures. I know these would be a hit with my soon-to-be two year old.
- Monarch Butterfly Puzzle and the Apple Puzzle. We already have these from Beginning Montessori and they are simply beautiful. These belong in schools so more children can experience them.
- Wheelbarrow. Every two year old needs one.
- Sandbox Digger. A great addition to any sandbox. Good for gross motor (large muscle) skills and coordination.
- Apron, Broom and Dustpan. For practical life. The apron and broom are sized 'tiny' and are the perfect size for Otis (he's 84cm/33inches tall).
- Magnetic Alphabet and Lower Case Alphabet Puzzle. Great materials for introducing letters to toddlers.
- Rainbow Stacker. Just beautiful. This is the extra large but large and small are also available.
- Tumble Down Counting Pegs. I wish I could find an Australian supplier.
- Tractor. Ever since I presented this three period lesson to Otis tractors have been his favourite. Bruder trucks are built to scale and have movable parts. Just like the real thing.
There are two obvious omissions. A balance bike and books. Otis received his balance bike for Christmas and he still prefers his trike, his feet touch the ground but he's not comfortable on it - so no recommendations from me yet. Books are always a good choice for children. Otis's current favourite reads are listed here but I'm on the look out for new titles for him. I have ordered Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, it looks brilliant have a look at the video - it's also Caldecott 2013 Honor Book.
I hope you've found this list helpful. I'm still not sure what we will get Otis. I'm thinking blocks or a tractor or tumble down counting pegs? Let me know if you have any suggestions!