We received products in exchange for this post, but all opinions are my own. Affiliate links included.
In our house, Santa wraps most presents. The big ones are left out unwrapped looking pretty awesome first thing in the morning. For Charlie’s second Christmas, his presents that were left out from Santa were a chalkboard and a kitchen. The items that are left out are usually the big ones that need put together. I hate the idea of spending Christmas day putting together gifts that the kids could be playing with instead.
This year, the boys will come downstairs to find a pile of wrapped gifts and some sitting out ready to play.
PlaSmart Happyville Smart Mat
I’m really excited about giving the boys the Happyville Smart Mat from PlaSmart this year. Charlie has always been into cars and Owen currently loves anything that goes. This huge (it’s 78” x 46”) mat is super durable and easy to clean because it’s coated EVA foam.
If you have more than one child, you’ll understand the excitement I have about the size of this. The boys will both be able to play with their cars, people, planes, animals and more without really having to share their space. It’s pretty much a mom blessing.
Okay, so you’re thinking what do I do with this huge mat when the kids aren’t playing with it? Well, if you have a playroom or a large bedroom, I’d just leave it out. But, if you want to put it away, it rolls up really well to be stored under a bed or in a closet.
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VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home
Charlie loves playing with the dollhouse that is at my in-laws. While some don’t think boys should play with dollhouses and the like, I have no problem at all.
When I found out Toys R Us was sending us the VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home, I knew it would be perfect for Charlie. Again, this is a toy that both boys can play with as it’s geared at ages 12 months – 5 years. I love being able to put out toys that I know both can enjoy safely.
In the box you’ll find the VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home, Miss Norah play figure, Doghouse and dog, and stickers to accessorize the house. I had a rough time with stickers. I will say they’re sticky though and won’t come off, so make sure you have them on correctly.
I played with this a bit while the boys were sleeping after we put it together, which is easy enough as it just snaps together. It took us maybe 15 minutes (stickers included). Miss Norah is pretty cool- you press the light on her belly and introduces herself, sings some songs, and chats it up. When you place her on magic points throughout the house, she interacts and does different things. When you place her on the elevator, it moves up or down. I think that is really neat and I know the boys will get a kick out of it.
I do wish that the set came with 2 characters though. It does include a dog, but the dog does not have a sensor, so he’s really just a play figure. We ordered the Smart Friends Convertible – Boy which includes another character to interact with, a convertible car, and a gas pump. Now the boys can each have a person to play with and I might have eliminated a small feud.
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Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Chair
It’s hard to believe Owen is already 14 months, but he’s running, playing and learning more every day. The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Chair will be all set-up and ready for Owen when we come down Christmas morning.
Owen loves to sit and do everything just like big brother. I love that this little chair just for Owen will grow with him. I can tell it his age or just use the switch on the back to change to another level.
Like most parents, I don’t want to hear the same song over and over and over again like with some toys. The Smart Stages Laugh and Learn Chair has over 50 songs and phrases! Owen will be able to sit in the chair, interact, play games or just chill like a big boy!