Hi friends! It’s hard to believe but somehow, some way the holiday season is once again upon us 😱 We normally don’t get in Christmas mode in Casa Rice until after Turkey Day but with this year’s supply chain issues I worry we’re already too late! Our Christmas playlist may not be playing on repeat quite yet but its time for mama elf to get to work — 🧝🏽♀️ aka put her terrible online shopping habit to good use. 🤪 Below is the first of what I hope is a series of gift guides to help you get through your list a little quicker.
For this first gift guide, I am focusing on gifts that siblings can enjoy together and gifts for the whole family. If you’ve been following for a bit, you know us Rices are not big gift-givers when it comes to the kids’ birthdays and holidays. We worry about excess and promoting materialism — said the blogger mom pushing product 🤨 — and grandparents/family already gift so much that we don’t think it necessary. Typically, each kiddo gets one individual bigger gift and then we get gifts for them both to share and for the family. This way, we still have plenty of gifts to open on Christmas morning while promoting sharing and spending time together.
Rice Family Favorites
Giant Jenga is a Rice family favorite. We purchased it last holiday season and one year later it continued to be on HEAVY rotation. Same thing goes for the Crazy Forts set — we purchased two of them for maximum fort building capabilities and recommend you do the same! Our $85 double trampoline is AWESOME and 1.5 years later has held up well. We bring it indoors on colder months but otherwise keep it outside. My best friend wrote a Christmas book and I am including in every. single. gift guide because well — MY BEST FRIEND WROTE A BOOK! It’s a children’s recipe book with a story and the first (non Christmas) edition is Teddy’s favorite book 🤗 Pop It’s would make really cute stocking stuffers and they are beloved my kids of ANY age (myself included 😅). Magnatiles are a HIT in our house and at all of our friend’s, too! Even the Dads in our crew have been known to partake in a build or two 🤣 Chickie is very into UNO and it’s so fun to play as a family! Last year, Santa brought the kiddos this big blue sled and the excitement was REAL – we used it lots last winter and it was so fun every time! We purchased this arts and crafts library early on in the pandemic and it’s been such a great addition to our rainy day activities! It’s so well stocked I’ve never had to buy school crafts supplies again 🙌🏽 How cute is this big sheet for coloring?! The perfect sibling project 😍 This pop up threatre tent is so, so cute!
Family Board Games
Some of these we own (Life Jr. is our current family fave) and some of these you said you loved, when I asked you on stories. Teddy (3) is still too little to really play anything but the memory game but Chickie (5) is VERY into boardgames and puzzles. My older nephews (8-11) can play a mean game of Pictionary – I’ve heard great things about Pictionary Air and purchased it for Thanksgiving! When we traveled to Houston, they ALL (chick included) played Go Fish! together for a long time and our collective hearts melted – this portable version is the BOMB. My mom got these giant Jax for Chickie and she’s making so much progress! Giant dominos will be our next venture 😜
Get Them Movin’
When I asked you guys about the best sibling gifts you’ve ever gifted, SO MANY of you replied with claiming structure, active gifts! I was not planning on including those as I have little experience with them but the community has spoken! I did research on the most recommended ones and although they are expensive, reviewers agree that they are durable and worth the $$$.
I purchased two of these gymnastics mats when Chickie turned 3 — one to keep inside and one to keep outside — and we use both on the reg to this day! Great quality for the $65 price tag. How cool is this balancing beam to use along with it?! This rainbow rope ladder looks so fun. I cannot express how much I wish this indoor play gym fit in out basement 😩 the rock climbing wall doubles as a slide! Also not to be missed are the swing and basketball hoop!! So many of you said these monkey bars/climbing structure got you through winter – they look amazing! Here is a more affordable climbing structure. Balance boards are all the rage right now – kiddos can use it as a slide, to balance, a bridge, etc.. open-ended toys are the best! Multiple people recommended this portable Ninja Warrior obstacle course and I have to say – wowwowow is this for real? I would’ve LOVED this as a kid!! This is a simpler, way more affordable alternative. Frisbees — a genius sibling gift I wish I would’ve come up with myself! This $8 four pack is a great option. This $13 three pack is more aerodynamic and easier to catch. This summer we flew kites with the kiddos and it was so, so fun! You can turn any wall into a rock climbing wall using this set – how cool is that?! Someone recommended purchasing these stepping stones to use them to make obstacle courses and my mind 🤯!
That’s it! I would love to hear your thoughts on what/who I should tackle next — personally, I would love to do “gifts for her” because there’s so many incredible ‘hers’ in our lives: moms, grandmas, aunties, nannies, teachers, etc.. but happy to do whatever is most useful. Happy Holidays, my loves!