Friday, August 14, 2009

One of my favorite gift ideas is for families that are expecting a new baby. Often, the new arrival has toddler brothers or sisters that are giving mom and dad a run for their money, because they are jealous and cranky about the cute new interloper who is getting all the presents. I like to give the siblings presents, and I try to make it something to help keep them quiet while mom is busy with the new baby. This can be easy, a little tote bag with crayons and new coloring books, or a puzzle are good. But my favorite present to give is a copy of the book The Mitten by Jan Brett, and toys to go with it. The book is about animals who all crawl inside a mitten to keep warm. I like to give the book with a mitten, and little plastic animals to go with them. At Wal-mart you can get a bag of plastic animals for a dollar, and a set of stretchy mittens for 50 cents in the winter. Alternatively, you can upcycle a mitten that has lost it's mate. I like to stitch a felt heart on the back of the mitten, to make it cute. Little kids that are at the toddler stage love to put the animals in the mitten and take them out, over and over. The mitten also acts as a carrying case for them. On her website, Jan Brett has all kinds of free printables and games for older children as well.
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