I have done my fair share of gift guides in the past and I finally compiled my family’s musts. Toys that all 3 of my boys have found entertainment in, things that have stood the test of time and been worth the money several times over. You can find BOY MOM MUSTS along with my other Must Lists on Amazon as well if you want to add to cart more easily.
But if you want my reasoning for each item, read below!
Some of my favorite memories as a mom is seeing the joy on my boys’ faces when they have a little bit of freedom. The wind is in their hair and they’re going wherever their heart desires (within the cul-de-sac of course.) I try to have something age appropriate on hand for each of them that gives them that feeling of freedom and autonomy. Plasma Cars have gotten hours and hours a day of use from all 3 of them! Their neighbor buddies all got them too and would ride and race around all day long.
Cash Register. Playing store is more than that in my opinion. It’s my kids learning to compromise, negotiate, learning value and math, too!
Easel. I am a huge proponent of creative play and artistic expression. I have a whole loft devoted to it and although it makes messes, its the kinds of messes I want!
We have pretty much every kind of “building” material for kids. Magna Tiles are trickier to work with, but I love that they can think in 3D.
I have every type of Lego Brick on here because it’s good for all ages and sometimes my kids are sick of the tiny standard Lego and just want something easier and larger scale. The kits are fun, once. I always get the free play boxes because they go farther. LEGO // DUPLO // MEGA BLOKS.
This electric dirtbike has the same reasoning as #1 but on steroids. It brings my kids so much joy and inspires us to go out in nature where they can ride free! For the record they don’t go very fast and my kids have yet to wreck! Small town win, for sure. Grab a helmet while you’re at it.
Micro Mini Scooter has gotten more hours than even the Plasma Car. All three of my kids ride for hours. Other brands work just fine (like Globber for instance), but Micro seems to be the smoothest and easiest to balance!
Guardian Bike ($20 off with “smallfry”) is the only bike I’ll buy for my kids. They have patented brake technology that keeps them from flipping over the handles. It never lets their front brake go first and it keeps the pressure even through front and back. So they stop faster and more balanced than a regular bike! Watch the video of them braking compared to a standard bike. Super eye opening!
Car Tracks forever, this is Hayes’ #1 most used toy. The specific tracks are fun to set up once and if you leave it put together even better, but I have yet to see my kids rebuild a set after it gets taken down. The Track Builder kits give them everything they need to creatively build set after set after set. Worth every penny!
This is a new find for my kids but I love that it has the beginnings of programming. Like a mini rolling robot that they control! Sphero Bolt
Paint By Sticker for Kids is a must for any quiet time bag. It’s just complicated enough that it takes all their focus, but not in a frustrating way.
I always have art supplies, paper, glue, string, popsicle sticks, paint, beads, and whatever else I can think of on hand for a day inside. You can give them a prompt – “make me a monster puppet” or “draw a birthday card for the party today.” I put their art on display too so they know its value in our home.
Megabloks (my toddler loves these and everyone else plays with them too!)
Lego Duplo (less frustrating then legos for my boys!)
Not pictured but bath toys are a must for boys. It’s hard enough getting them to actually bathe so make it fun! This set is great and gets the building element involved.
Another awesome gift idea for you guys today! Even through our crazy year Russ and I never let date night slide and it was really the only thing holding us together at times! Even if it was just a sushi run after the kids went to bed, the TIME is the important thing. But if you’re like us and there’s definitely one person planning the dates, securing the sitter, making it happen it can start to feel like work instead of fun. Anyone in that boat?
This is where Rendezvous Box comes in! You take a quiz on their site so they know your ideal date night situation. They create the itinerary, handle ALL the details. Reservations, appointments, tickets, even down to parking. You just show up and be together! We got our itinerary in the mail a few hours before we left and it was so fun to be spontaneous and have those nervous butterflies. Where are we going? What are we doing? And since they take care of it, both parties get to enjoy without stress. Here’s our date! I’ll tag the itinerary below!
Chocolate tasting (Hi Steve!) at Hatch Family Chocolates. With a Carmel Malone for the road. 😉 Dinner at Avenues Proper – their beet salad and burger were our favorite!Then axe throwing at Social Axe. Russ said he wanted to join an axe club after that so you can guess how that went!
You can check it out here, don’t forget SMALLFRY for 20% off!
Jane.com is a flash deal site from right here in Utah! We’ve worked with them several times over the years and always been amazed at the deals they work out for their shoppers! I got this peg doll nativity from there (it’s gone now unfortunately!) but that’s part of the adventure! Keep your eyes peeled for new deals all the time! But here’s several ideas live NOW will get all those little and big presents check off the list at a screaming deal!
Back with gift guides today – and this time for boys and girls! I teamed up with Globber on a fun giveaway on Instagram so don’t miss that, too!
Playpa is essentially giant coloring pages that you can play on and interact with after you’re done coloring! Getting two indoor quiet activities out of one $20 gift is what I call a good idea. Especially during the long Winter break!
My sister gifted this idea to my nieces and my boys flipped over it too. I watched them all sprawled over my floor making t-shirts together and it was so sweet. They even decided to all wear them to school the next day. You just need a few plain shirts and …
Fabric Markers! These Yoobi ones could be the start of endless DIY crafts. Another Winter Break win.
If I know kids, I know they flip over tiny things. This set from Yoobi is all miniaturized and darling. Watch them squeal, guaranteed.
This is a new-to-me brand and a welcome guest. I went through several grocery store detangles and they all left this greasy film on my boys’ hair. Needing another bath to look clean. Oof. This stuff works great – I use it and am obsessed with how soft my hair feels, smells great, but doesn’t leave any of that residue. Stocking stuffer! Shiny Happy.
Globber is sponsoring the giveaway on instagram today and they are a much less expensive balancing scooter option than the brands we’ve always used. Like half the price. But the kicker is they work the same. So be smarter than me and go with Globber off the bat this year! Or better yet, win two here!
So many dollhouse options out there but I know when you have a certain aesthetic you like it can be hard to shop for. I think this one would fit a lot of yours out there! So pretty.
I’ve been on a big kick this year with promoting products I wish I had as a girl. Having a library of stories of women who dared to try something new, went against the grain, paved the way. I want those stories on my shelves! Women In Science book.
Bravery Mag. See #10, too. This magazine is FILLED with activities, stories, darling design and Brave women. YES!
What are you getting your girls this year?
Another awesome idea from my sister! She gifted the boys their Christmas when she came for Thanksgiving and I had forgotten about these cash boxes! I had one as a kid and LOVED it. My boys are equally obsessed and love having their own key and spot for treasures no one else can get to.
Who has a lego obsessed boy or girl? This book is so fun to flip through!
Morphonauts was a Kickstarter awhile back that we got to try out. It’s all magnetized and interchangeable so you can be as imaginative as you want! I also love that its quiet. You can’t her them snapping together which is a huge win for church.
Always love to give a puzzle and this one is large but also seems a little easier with all the variety and branding.
Give a gift of music with this Cedar Thumb Piano! Its going to have a resurgence I am predicting!
Driven by Battat makes all the most realistic big trucks which have bene my boys’ dream at one point or another their whole lives. They also sell pocket size too!
I think Petit Collage has made our gift guides since the beginning of time. Lorena is so talented at creating toys kids like with designs parents like too. This Pop-out Space set for example.
Another Globber option. They have scooters for babies on up to adults. Hayes wanted a more grown up scooter – I guess most of his friends ride on this type of scooter so I am excited to surprise him with this one!
I would be remiss to not include Plants vs Zombies on this list because my boys are obsessed. I don’t know how they discovered it (blame YouTube, surely) but if you are looking for your own kids Amazon has the best collection I’ve found. I like that I can buy the figures in K’Nex sets so it’s a little more substantial then handing over a figure by itself.
It’s hard for me to buy video games because I hate them. It doesn’t change that those characters are what my boys are into so I love finding non video game options that they’ll still be excited about – even if its just Mario’s photo on the box. They play this Monopoly Gamer at their friends house every time they go over so its high time to grab one for here!
Tabletop Cornhole! Inside fun is a huge theme this year, can you tell? #noyardproblems
Star Wars is all anyone talks about when I go into my boys’ classes. This Darth Vader backpack is “sick!” as they say and 40% off today!Happy shopping!!
One of my favorite things to gift is art! Especially framed art – because handing over a print with no frame is like assigning them to an automatic minimum 4 hours of effort before they can enjoy it on the wall. Working with Minted today to share some of my favorite framed art that always comes ready to hang! I paired them all with thin gold frames but each selection has loads of other options from wood to metal to textured to colored. They also have pre-selected art pairs here so you can find things that look great together!
Love the texture on this abstract floral piece – Ivy. // This moody drizzly photo is so calming to me. // This photo does the opposite effect – I get butterflies looking at it because it reminds me of being on a ski lift climbing up to enjoy the snow at full-speed! – Winter Upon Us // Back to calming with this beautiful horse photo – Dominant Spirit // Line drawings make such great pieces if you like a more minimal feeling. Interesting to the eye but not too noisy. – Standing Figure // I love being able to find the color palette you need for a gallery wall or to fit a room/ Love the pastels on this! – 66.
And a few other ideas for gifts while you’re shopping!
Gift Guides are back today and gotta kick it off with my by myself.
Make-up gift sets are my favorite thing to get for Christmas. My mom always gifted these to us girls and its so fun to try out new things on someone else’s dime. Stila makes one of my favorite stay-all-day formulas and this pack is full of beautiful shades to try out!
Vogue is on a daily deal over at Amazon for $10 for the whole year. Gift that keeps on giving and is such a great value to for the giver!
A great coffee table book is a great gift because its something they’ll keep out all year and they can say “Oh Emily gave me that.” Ha. Jk. Sort of. Gray Malin photos books are always a win.
This Sphynx travel razor is freaking sweet. I will show it in action on my Insta Stories because I can’t really do it justice here. But it rotates around to give you a spray bottle, soap and a razor to touch up missed spots on the go or to take with you on a flight.
Sorry the numbering is so crazy but I ain’t going back now! Oprah’s Soul Sunday conversations are always so good and I love being able to gift all the best highlights in a book form!
Kristin Ess is making some of my favorite hair products as of late, especially the texture spray. Her travel sets would all make excellent gifts but this set specifically also comes with a french pin which is beautiful for a day out but comfortable enough to sleep in – and no breakage! Genisu little contraption!
I hear amazing things about these Mahabis slippers. I love their nordic feel – somehow less frumpy feeling – and that they have a rubber bottom in case you need to split quick to carpool.
I swear by week at a glance pads and have shuffled through several. This one is ideal – full boxes for each day (none of this “weekend” slot for Saturday and Sunday) And a big note section. Its the best I’ve found
Christmas Pajamas are best done when you can rewear them! Whether its a legging for work outs, or this incredible fluffy sherpa turtleneck that is 40% off.
A version of this jacket has been seen on all my favorite fashionistas on line and its on super sale right now!
This is freaking cool. Amazon Prime members can now sign up for sample boxes of all types of beauty products for $20. THEN you get a credit for $20 to buy a full size of something you like from the shipment. So basically all those samples are free. Cool right?
Happy to have @theprimeparty girls here today sharing the first of Small Fry’s Gift Guides! The Prime Party is actually made up of one my friends from childhood – hi Taylor! So fun to reconnect today and Taylor and her crew are giving away $100 to Amazon on Small Fry’s instagram, too!
So, for today’s guide: this one is all about getting you prepped for a smooth Holiday Season. It’s not easy being “in charge” time of year, so much to do and so many people to think about. I love all their awesome ideas!
We are 3 stay at home moms and we are passionate about Prime.
There is something magical about checking items off your errand list while you sit on the couch in your PJ’s. Christmas time does NOT have to mean long lines and crowded parking lots!! Let’s take back December! Let’s do it in our PJs!
If you don’t have Amazon Prime already, get it! Best $99 you’ll ever spend. We aren’t paid to say that. But like, we WOULD say it for money … if you know someone looking to pay us… Either way, you need prime. Get it here!
Let us help you check off your Christmas to-do list right now! Are you in your PJs?
Have you ever volunteered to bring the paper goods for the class party…. and then you remember the morning of… and you run around town with kids in your car trying to find an open store just to learn that every store is closed or sold out of what you need!? We have. WE HAVE. Lesson learned. This year we are stocked up and ready for all the partying. From class parties to dinner parties. Bring it.
Have you ever had a friend bring over a thoughtful gift and you were just standing there… wishing you had a gift to give her in return… ? Awkward.
These are a few of our most favorite things that could be given to ANY woman in your life (mom, sister, girlfriend, teacher…) Winning best girlfriend award!
Stanley 40 Oz Quencher — This cup is the best of the best. We’ve tried them ALL. Give it to anyone, with their favorite beverage, and they will love you. // Clarins lip oil. Everyone who has tried our lip oils, has purchased their own ASAP. Luxury on the lips. // Cool Firming Eye Gels– For the girlfriend you really wish you could send to the spa for a day… this is the next best thing.
While you are at it, stock up on some wrapping supplies. You will surely need some.
It is officially gift giving season and every year we say the same thing. Activity subscription deliveries make the best gifts! I love being able to give experiences and this is something totally non-invasive. The recipient can choose when they want to do it, and everything is ready right in this darling little box. (The BOXES, am I right? So good.) Let’s check The Little Archives out! Today is the last day to get 20% off too, so hop on it if you’re interested!The first box we opened was a Make Your Own Monster Kit. Hayes worked on this for a full hour. It was the perfect amount of challenge and he felt pretty cool wielding a needle. They have a selection of monster templates, colorful felts, and all the tools you need to have a plush of your very own.He added the arms and legs and wanted them to look like bananas. You do you, kid! It’s always a win when my perfectionist kid wants to stray from the directions. 😉
And the finished product! So proud!
The second box we did was more Cal’s speed – miniature succulent pots! Mold, bake and display!He did all the little dots and shaped them pretty amazingly well I must say. I only had to clean them up and put them together!Why isn’t there a name yet for loving miniature things? Miniophile? Let’s come up with something because these make me squeal.
The Little Archives is doing 20% off orders so you can try it out with a discount, too! Thanks for sponsoring this post and giving me the perfect excuse for a crafternoon with the boys!
By Emily. I love to give a few books to the boys each Christmas. It might not be their very favorite gift under the tree, but I want them to know how valuable they are and they should be treated like a gift! Brevity was never my strong suit, so here’s three guides filled with favorite titles. Broken down by the WORLD, HUMAN EXPERIENCE, and ACTIVITY. Add your favorites in the comments below! And find all our past book recommendations here.
BOOKS ABOUT FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES:Home — Written by the Decembrists’ Colin Meloy’s wife 😉 a beautiful book that talks about the various places people can live. Great for family’s who are moving, too! // King Baby — for families with new babies or babies on the way! Hilarious. // The Heart and the Bottle — A sweet story that talks about loss and staying open when we’re hurting. // I Can Do It Myself! (The whole Empowerment Series) — Great for toddlers with budding independence. // Vincent’s Starry Night – Children’s Art History Story Book — teach the stories behind art masterpieces. // Sparkle and Spin — A classic and so beautifully illustrated, all about words. // What Do Grown-ups Do All Day? — A book to teach about jobs and responsibilities // The Snowy Day — race and predjudice consciousness.
We’ve got a gift guide for the guys today! Since Andrew is OBSESSED with Sierra Trading Post I took this on one. Here’s what he picked:Hoodie — Mountain Hardwear is Andrew’s fave and this is like half off! // North Face Hoodie — 30% off // Fill Power Jacket — another 50% off coat that every guy needs! // Down Vest — Marmot is an industry darling and this is 50% off too! // Moc Toe Boots — Red Wing is a must for the outdoors, if your man works construction or any other super active gig. They last for years! // Sweater Jacket — for date night when you want him to look less like he just got off the mountain. // North Face Zip Up — A perfect little half zip as a base layer or the only layer if you live in California. // Sunglasses — almost 60% off // Minnetonka Slippers — perfect Christmas gift and only $30! // Active Comfort Shorts — something cozy for home or the gym! // Mid – Winter Snow boots — an awesome snow boot option that doesn’t scream snow boot!
Note from the man himself:
Hey guys! Andrew here. The reason why I like wearing outdoorsman gear as my every day is because it’s durable and stylish. Sierra Trading Post makes it affordable too which is really nice since I’m kind of a jacket junkie. I think they are a cool online outlet to find top brands at super discounted prices. You have to be on top of it because the deals go quick but you can find crazy deals. I recently bought this Mountain Hardware jacket which I love because I prefer down jackets for warmth and weight, but the downside to down is you shouldn’t get it wet. Both of these jackets are synthetic and crazy light weight. Great for layering and quick drying. The micro is a windbreaker and light rain jacket so good for hiking, biking, climbing. Both jackets fold into themselves in one pocket for easy packing. Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia are my two favorite brands for outdoor gear and apparel