A year ago, we welcomed our 3rd baby into the household. One year on, Miss K has grown into a little cutest pudding in the world, always melting my heart with her charming smile (with only two bottom teeth!).
At 11 months right now, K is able to crawl at lightning speed and stand briefly without support. She can also say a few words, such as "Mama", "Papa", "Korkor", "Bye Bye" and "Bird". Alexis is still waiting patiently for K to call her out loud one day!
Since she is turning one, preparations for her celebration are definitely on its way! I've got the cake, cupcakes and macarons booked for the day already and my wonderful Mother-in-law has volunteered to cook every glutinous rice!
I would need to put up some goodies bags, order some balloons and then maybe fix some chicken nuggets, fish balls etc for the small group of guests.
One thing that I really dread though... is the moment of opening presents because there would be SO. MUCH. TOYS!
It's not that I don't like toys, but I think my kids have too much of them. The thing about those musical toys and all, is that the kids lose interest over it as soon as I finish spelling my name. 😑 I think it is similar to other children as well?
Today, I am compiling a list of stuff you can gift to children, instead of toys. Let's go!
I cannot emphasize how much I would love my kids to receive books as presents. A good story book would be the cherry on the icing, but other alternatives like colouring books with accompanying set of crayons and activity books would be a wonderful gift too!
Many months ago, our family received this really nice storybook from Gabrielle herself. Titled The Special Bear, the story talks about how this little bear always feel very bad about himself because he wasn't made perfect - he had only one arm, and he was patched up all over.
All his toy-friends laughed and made fun of him, and he hated how he looked. However, he was bought by a lovely lady who saw him as a "perfect" bear for her daughter. His life then changed dramatically, feeling loved and cared for even though he was hardly as perfect.
This story teaches children that everyone has flaws, and even though we are not perfect, we should love people for who they are. And of course, having a kind heart is more important than how "perfect" one looks.
The words used in this book is simple and straight-forward, allowing children from the age of 5 and up to start reading by themselves. Our 2-year-old Alexis loved the story as well, as it was easy to understand. There are also activities at the back of the book for parents to engage their children with too.
The Special Bear is available at Amazon, Armour Publishing and Coffee & Toast Mama Facebook Page at only $14++.
If you are not great at selecting books, you can also purchase a subscription from Josh & Cherie. We received a subscription over Christmas and the kids LOVE the books they have selected for them. (They've got Mandarin books as well!)
2. QueenBEE Secrets Balms
QueenBEE Secrets Balms are one of my favourite balms to bring around because of the compact size and it is absolutely efficient in soothing bug bites and lip cracks when we were in Japan. A couple of months ago, we received these three QueenBEE products - the Body Bee Smooth, Baby Buzz and Anti Bug Balm.
More details below:
QueenBEE Secrets BUSH BEE - Anti Bug Balm
With Organic Lemon Scented Eucalyptus essential oil to naturally repel bugs and sooth minor bites and abrasions. Lemon Scented Eucalyptus oil is pure and repels insects naturally.
Love level: 💖💖💖💖💖
I love this Anti Bug Balm because it is really useful for our outdoor trips! We usually bring it to the zoo or picnics with us. Regular applications really do keep bugs at bay - the kids barely complain of mozzie bites these days. (fingers crossed!)
QueenBEE Baby BUZZ
The Baby BUZZ is made from unrefined beeswax and gentle Paw Paw. We brought this to both Taipei and Tokyo with us and it works wonders in healing my cracked lips and soles! There is also Bee Honey Kissed and BEE Kissable specifically for lip care, but personally, I thought Baby BUZZ was good enough for all usage.
QueenBEE Body Be Smooth
Okie to be accurate, this Body Be Smooth balm is more for the mummy than the baby, but since I am at it, maybe give me a minute to run a quick introduction on it? The QueenBEE Body Be Smooth Balm is 100% Natural and Handmade.
It smoothens the skin texture and helps with cellulite and stretch marks with Ginger, Lemon, Juniper Berry and Lavender essential oils. However, it is recommended that this balm be used between 18 to 40 years old and to use it only after childbirth.
Interested in getting your own QueenBEE Balm? You can get them at Qoo10 or Lazada! Psst. I have an Instagram giveaway coming up soon so do follow me at @hellomrstan and QueenBEE Secrets Facebook Page to stay in the loop!
3. Strap Stop
It may seem like a really small problem when we talk about it like this, but trust me. There is a huge problem that follows with kids taking their arms out of the strap. For one, my kids would be able to escape from their high chairs and stroller... and stand on their seats.
Without the arm straps restraining them, the hip straps is as good as useless - which can be really dangerous whether on strollers, high chairs or car seats.
The Strap Stop is exclusively available at Agape Babies, retailing at a mere $24.90. Somebody please give a useful gift already!
4. EZPZ Mat
|Alexis using the Mini Mat in Coral from MumsPick - $48|
The EZPZ Happy Mat is really a great gift my kids have received. First of all, I love its suction power. The relatively flat surface meant that kids cannot lift the placemat up easily and fling it everywhere.
My kids are more used to eating from a bowl than a plate, but with the 1" "wall", Alexis still found it easy to scoop up her food. I love how the plate is segmented into individual portions where I can display a variety of food for her visual stimulation.
The EZPZ Mat is now available in not only vibrant colours like the one we have, but Nordic colours as well! 😍😍
Also, you can consider getting the EZPZ Happy Bowl as well, if your kids eat off from bowls like mine.
Cleaning is really very straight forward with the EZPZ Mat as well - simply wash them with warm soapy water. It is made from 100% silicone and is BPA, PVC and lead free. Silicone does not support the growth of fungus, mould nor bacteria, making it an ideal material for young children. It is also a great investment since silicone doesn't melt nor corrode, even at high temperatures.
Our EZPZ Mat is from MumsPick and you can enjoy 15% off when you key in the discount code HELLOMRSTAN upon check-out!
So there you go, 4 great ideas for useful presents, so you will never need to resort to buying clothes and toys for your little friends anymore! Psssst. I do have some giveaways from these wonderful retailers so stay tuned!
Disclaimer: All featured products are provided for by their respective retailers for the sole purpose of review and feature. All opinions are entirely our own.