Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Five Favorites: Advent-style!

It's getting close to my absolute favorite time of the year, so I'm sharing 5 of my favorite Christmas/Advent things for the kiddos!  These are all terrific gifts for your own kids or your godchildren, and I've tested them out so you know they're awesome :)
 
Most links are Amazon affiliate links, so at no extra cost to you, you help support this blog by shopping through these links - thanks!
 
ONE
 

 
My sister got us this advent calendar a few years ago and I bought another one last year after a bunch of the pieces accidentally got thrown out with the Christmas tree...
 
There's a story for every day in December (the 1st through the 24th, so not necessarily every day in Advent...) that leads up to the birth of Jesus.  The books are sturdy and ours have been chewed on quite a bit and are still going strong!  Then the kids can hang the books from the Christmas tree and read them again throughout Advent.  We use a little fake tree because we don't get our real Christmas tree until Christmas Eve.
 
TWO

 
I've done a LOT of research on nativities for children.  There aren't a lot out there that are baby-friendly, actually stand up on their own, and don't cost a million dollars.  You can usually find a Fisher Price nativity for around $30, and the price is absolutely worth it.  This is the favorite of all our nativities, and we don't have to worry about the pieces getting chewed on.  The kids acted out the story of Jesus' birth ALL Advent (even though we hid Baby Jesus), and loved making the wise men move closer every day until Epiphany.
 
Christmas morning 2011 - playing with their new nativity!
 
They took that thing EVERYWHERE!  You can see the advent calendar books hanging on the tree...
THREE

Noah's Ark & Nativity Set -  Maxim Enterprises - Toys"R"Us
 
 
Another gift from my sister - this is a great price for a nativity AND Noah's ark set.  The pieces are only painted on one side and the stable is a little tricky to put together, but it's a great group of characters that allows for a lot of creative play!
 
The ark and nativity in action, 2011 (on the toy box).  Honorable mention: Giant Baby Gate  that kept the kids away from the tree!
 
FOUR
 

 
 
I get such a kick out of this one, and the kids do too!  Baby Jesus duck?  Angel duck?  Yes please!
 
You can get it for a better price at Oriental Trading Company, and we picked up some awesome St. Nicholas ducks a few years back (complete with a bishop duck - how amazing is that?) so it's worth a try!
 
FIVE
 

 
 
I picked this up on a huge discount after Christmas last year and the big kids are getting it for Christmas this year.  Since it has a lot of small parts it'll be one of those toys that they only play with at the big table, or while the babies are napping.  I have a feeling they're going to be ecstatic, particularly Cecilia.  All those animals!
 
Next week I'll be rounding up some of my favorite books for the Advent season - get excited!
 
 
Linking up with Hallie at Moxie Wife - check out more awesome favorites!

26 comments :

  1. I just put the Fisher Price nativity on my wish list. Thanks for the suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh I love playmobils! Although you always have to be careful about the small pieces they give. I just like life-like toys, instead of those littlest pet shops with huge eyes or dolls with giant heads lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think a lot of the tiniest pieces will just stay put away until the kids are older because otherwise they'll get lost right away!

      Delete
  3. This is an awesome list! I really want the first one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have the playmobil one and our kids just love it...last year I made an Advent calendar out of it and every day they got a new piece of the nativity scene, with baby Jesus last on Christmas Eve. I put it away a few weeks after Christmas and they've been asking for the "kings" to come back ever since. Great picks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally stealing that idea! We put ours away once Candlemas hits and it's always a novelty when they come back out :)

      Delete
  5. Oh my gosh, that rubber duck nativity is too cute!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love our Little People nativity, and so does Grace! It kept her away from the non-kid-friendly one! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Definitely added a few of these to our wish list! I've had my eye on the Little People Nativity for a while. There's another nativity I found a while ago that I'm hoping to get soon. It is magnetic for the fridge and its made by the same people who make our "nice" nativity: http://www.inhisname.com/product.php?product=75025#.UnpVz3C-opd

    ReplyDelete
  8. Little one got the Fisher Price one last year from her Gram and she loves all the little characters- who are mostly in a giant bin with a gazillion of little ducks. I think this year she'll get a big kick out of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She totally will! Cecilia at that age loved making Mary "ride" the donkey and would generally just hold as many of the characters as possible at all times :)

      Delete
  9. I saw the Fisher Price nativity at Toys R Us this past week. We have a vintage one. :) The Playmobil nativity set is great, although the crowns don't stay on very well and there are a lot of teeny tiny pieces (that end up in the vacuum cleaner)

    I might need the rubber duck nativity one....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhh those teeny tiny pieces... I might just withhold them until the kids are better about not dropping things on the floor?

      Delete
  10. We have that Fisher Price nativity and the kids *love* it!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Little People Nativity is a big hit here, and that first one looks great! I've been looking for a kid-friendly Advent Calendar.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love our little people set and can't wait to get it out!

    ReplyDelete
  13. We got Lucia a nativity for her first Christmas (it's none of the ones you showed though, believe it or not) and we didn't get it out last year for some reason (I probably forgot about it) so this will be the first year she gets to play with it! Your post reminded me about it and how excited I am for it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You know, while I was growing up, we usually set up and decorated our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, too, but it was more because my mom was hugely disorganized. It was nice having it be brand-new and magical for Christmas, though, especially since everyone else was bored of theirs and the needles were dropping everywhere.

    Nate comes from a decorate-right-after-Thanksgiving family, though, so we compromised to 2 weekends before Christmas for setting up our tree, and slowly things come out before then like the Advent wreath and calendar and door wreath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! For us it was that my parents couldn't afford a tree until they were knocked down to rock-bottom prices on Christmas Eve!

      But Andrew's a stickler about only observing one liturgical season at a time - Advent during Advent, Christmas during Christmas. It always depresses me to see Christmas trees on the curb on the 26th when the Christmas season *should* only be beginning!

      Delete
    2. Daddy's family never got a tree until Christmas Eve. I thought we got ours maybe a week before Christmas, but I guess you have a different memory. Now, of course, we're tired of the whole tree thing and haven't put one up in years!

      Delete
  15. Thank you for this wonderful post! I LOVE the ducky nativity set!!! I'm going to have to get that for my 2 year old as a St. Nicholas day surprise!
    We have the Little People nativity, but it has been played with so much over so many years that we're missing pieces! Maybe it's time to graduate to the Playmobile one...hmmm...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so sweet with the tiny ducky Jesus! I'm really excited to break out the nativities again :)

      Delete
  16. You can't go wrong with Playmobil! You should check out their website. They have the 3 Kings to go with the nativity and even St. Nicholas! Lots of wonderful, well made toys! The detail is very exact. I even found some Playmobil nuns in full habit for my daughter's Playmobil school a few years ago.
    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  17. My kids beg, beg, for me to get out the Little People Nativity set every year and then beg, beg, me not to put it up. It has been the best every Advent gift around here.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I definitely ordered the books today! Our Playmobil nativity is in storage this year which is so sad, but I ordered the Fisher Price one, so all will be well.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...