I always ask people what their children received for birthdays and Christmas. Call me nosy, but I often get inspiration for my own gift purchases. And I’m always happy to return the favour, so just in case any of you have two-year-olds to buy for, here are some of the pressies Alfie received from his extremely tasteful and stylish friends and family. We decided that A would get enough toys, games and books, so invested in a not entirely selfless Radio Flyer Big Red cart (hoping he might sleep in it at festivals – in all honesty, this is unlikely). It’s a big success so far, although it has only been pulled around the lounge.
His two sets of grandparents bought him a stylish P’Kolino Chalk Table and stools, which meets my high aesthetic standards and has a handy space to bung craft bits and crayons, and these wonderful Biplane shelves, which he is keen to put his Mr Men books on (when they are put up), respectively. His aunt and uncle ordered him a green Clothkits wigwam – be still, my beating heart – which is due to arrive imminently.
Toddlers love building and despite my loathing of plastic, I must admit to a love of Lego and Duplo. I can’t imagine any child not enjoying this set. We’ve made a house, a block of flats, a boat, a train… The options are limitless. It is expensive, though, so try to buy second-hand and keep an eye on Freecycle.
Magnets are very popular with Alf at the moment, so these Crazy Faces have been a big hit, comprising a face template and a collection of weird and wonderful features (eyes, ears, hair, mouths, noses, eye patch…) to construct your own ‘crazy face’.
Another magnetic treat is Billy, a male dress-up doll by Melissa & Doug. Will he be a superhero, knight, pirate, firemen, or a strange combination of all of them (our personal favourite)?
Automoblox combine cars and construction – two of Alfie’s current obsessions. They really are great little toys and not horrendous to look at. He got the mini Hot Rod and it’s already been with us to nursery, the park and the beach.
Bathtimes are such brilliant fun already, but if you want to make your toddler dissolve into fits of giggles I can recommend Tinti Bath Magic, a teeny bath bomb which changes the colour of the bath water and contains a surprise. I’m already ordering more!
He also received lots of crafty bits – always welcome in our household – including a fab animal origami puppets book I can’t find anywhere on the internet (must ask friend for source) and a couple of Mister Maker kits – he and his cousin Flo loved making this Monster Door Hanger.
The birthday booty also comprised a variety of amazing books, with titles I remember from my childhood, such as Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, Oh The Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss and Alfie Weather by Shirley Hughes (obviously), proving as popular as more modern titles, Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood and Giles Andreae’s Rumble in the Jungle. What a lucky little boy he is – thank you to all our family and friends for their generosity and hope you’ve been inspired.