The Best and Worst Are Actually the Same

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In preparation for my one and three year old’s double birthday celebration, I took three boxes of toys to Goodwill.  I assumed they would be showered with gifts and I would be scattering to make room for it all.

At least, that’s how it was in the past.  Not this time!  I was going to be prepared.  As predicted, they were spoiled rotten by friends and family, (and mom and dad…)

It has been almost two weeks since the party and I can confidently name a few gifts that are the best ever, but also happen to suck at the same time.

First up-

Play-Doh.  It is so awesome!  It’s great for sensory play.  The kids can build things, learn colors, make spaghetti.  My daughter LOVES Play-Doh, it has proven to be a great motivator for her.  She does not like to share it, however.  Which is why I can only play with it while she’s taking a nap.

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Why does it suck?  Ever since my daughter has developed a Play-Doh habit, we have it everywhere.  All over the floor, in all of the toy bins, embedded in most of my socks.

And baby likes to eat it.  He doesn’t like the taste of it, but for some reason he keeps going back for more.

Next-

Puzzles.  They are the best!  My three year old loves to put puzzles together.  It’s a fun activity to do with someone else-or by yourself.  It helps with hand-eye coordination and matching colors.  And my daughter has learned a lot of her animals from some of the puzzles we’ve had.  The bigger ones are great for baby to play with because he can’t swallow them.

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Where is the squirrel on this Forest Puzzle, you ask?  This leads me to my next point…

They are the worst!  We have puzzle pieces everywhere.  Not necessarily all over the floor, more like, one piece in this toy box, another piece in that toy box…not fantastic for the one with OCD in the family.

And, oddly enough, baby likes to eat the pieces.  The big ones, no big deal.  The smaller ones eventually break down and with that, he’s getting more than his daily dose of fiber.

The Match It! Make It! Farm puzzle was given to the three year old.  So freaking cute and clever-and she caught right on how to use them.

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So did the baby.

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Last up of the “best/worst’s”-

Flash Cards.  These things rule!  They are the perfect teaching tool!  My daughter learned her entire alphabet from flashcards awhile ago.  They’re a fun activity for quiet time, she just sits and goes through a stack.

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Why mama hates them.  If you want a room to look like a disaster in two seconds flat, break out the flash cards.  The flimsy papery ones are even more terrible because they bend and rip easily.  Luckily, there are some flashcards that are thicker and won’t be affected by baby’s persistent saliva-these still make a mess, but they’re pretty cool.

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If I’m going to a birthday party, would I buy any of these toys?  Absolutely!  I may get a glare from mom or dad, but I will be the kid’s favorite person in the entire world.  Until they move on to the next gift, of course.

**Do you want to score with the kid and parents alike?  Get them a wicked cool interactive book.  No mess.  Always educational.  Also, it’s a great way to get them to want to read.

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This Poke-a-Dot book was given to the one year old, and both kids can’t get enough of it.

What gifts do your kids get that you love and hate?

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21 Comments

  • Reply Della Horst

    As usual I <3 every picture and your writing is super!! <3 you!!!

    July 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thank you, Della!! Love you, too-and miss you!

      July 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm
  • Reply Kelly Nortrom

    We don’t have kids, but I had gotten a present for my goddaughter’s first birthday several years ago that her parents said was a wonderful gift and that they really loved (it has since been handed down to their second and then third kids to play with as babies/toddlers). It’s called the Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube. It’s the best because the kids could play with it for hours; it helped them learn colors, and they also learned the melodies of some classical songs. It’s the worst because they would play with it for hours (and drive the parents a little up a wall). I fear that there will be retribution someday if I have kids. LOL!

    July 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Hahaha! That’s hilarious! We have something similar to that. Zoe used to play with it all the time, and Ronan is just beginning to show interest. LOL!

      July 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm
  • Reply shelahmoss

    What a great post on the good and not so good after effects of birthday gifts.

    August 18, 2014 at 7:57 am
  • Reply andthreetogo

    Ah, play dough… my arch nemesis. I know the stuff is great for your childs creative play and such, but what a mess! As I say this though, my Z has about 15 different colors of the stuff in her closet ready to be played with. Ack, the things we mothers have to contend with. 🙂

    August 18, 2014 at 8:58 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Yes! We have a ton of it too. Bleh!

      August 18, 2014 at 3:13 pm
  • Reply Erica Buteau

    Do you remember Moon Sand? That was the most fun and biggest mess we’ve ever had!

    August 18, 2014 at 9:51 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      I’ve heard of it. I haven’t introduced it to the kids yet. So you’re saying I should avoid it? Haha!

      August 18, 2014 at 9:56 am
  • Reply Valerie

    LOL, this list is awesome! I totally agree with you on playdoh and flashcards, oh my word!! They are great but I hate them!!
    I also hate blocks (most varieties) and crayons. 😛
    Off to share….

    August 18, 2014 at 10:08 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thanks!! Ugh-crayons!! Can’t stand those!

      August 18, 2014 at 10:10 am
  • Reply maggiemaysgifts

    So true about all the toys! They are great and they are terrible. Luckily my daughter is on a pen and notebook kick. those two things and she’s entertained for an hour. I’ll enjoy it until next week when she’s over it 🙂

    August 18, 2014 at 10:31 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      A pen and notebook sounds wonderful! I’ll have to try that!

      August 18, 2014 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Melissande

    I love how you purged a whole bunch of toys in preparation for a Birthday party. Go you!

    August 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Haha-thanks! I feel like I’m getting rid of toys all the time. They just keep appearing!

      August 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm
  • Reply melissajane01

    That book does look awesome! It can be hard getting gifts for my older daughter because I always think, oh her younger brother all rip it, put it in his mouth, etc.

    August 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Yes, exactly! My daughter has a few toys that aren’t allowed to be out when her baby brother is awake…mostly because the parts are too small.

      August 18, 2014 at 4:31 pm
  • Reply Victoria

    I can really sympathise with the puzzles and flashcards-our flashcards seem to go missing at the same rate as puzzle pieces too!

    August 18, 2014 at 11:46 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Yeah, I’m about to get rid of our remaining flashcards. Making me crazy!…

      August 19, 2014 at 7:16 am

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