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Christmas Gifts My Kid Loved. Batteries NOT Required.

JD and I celebrated Christmas yesterday, so Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrated with fam and friends. Needless to say, JD got a load of pressies from Santa and his family: superheros (galore!), movies, clothes, sneakers, cars, games, stickers, crayons, story books, learning toys … and I’m happy to report that he’s been having the most fun with three items that don’t require batteries or are Apps.

In the ever-changing, booming world of technology, I like to remind JD that he doesn’t always need to play on his iPod Touch, with his Innotab, on his Macbook (I gave him my old computer when I upgraded) or his uncle’s iPad. In fact, as tempted as I was, I didn’t buy JD an iPad mini. He has a ton of learning Apps on his iPod Touch and didn’t actually ask for a tablet.

It’s no wonder he’s enjoying what I call old-fashioned gifts best of all. JD, like most little boys and girls his age, loves Angry Birds. He has the App on his iPod Touch. For Christmas, he got 2 sets of Angry Birds, the actual game. The sets came with building blocks to make walls, creatures, Angry Birds and launchers. JD went bananas when he opened the sets. “The real game, mommy, whoa!!” He immediately asked if he could set them up on his train table.

Sniffle, he’s kinda over Thomas and all his trains, but instead of giving the table away, Uncle Bri gave me the idea to store all of his trains (ah for my future children) and use the table top for Lego projects. It’s also the perfect place to play … Angry Birds—which is what we did all Christmas morning and again this morning! It’s a great game to exercise his fine motor skills (the launcher works buy flinging it with your pointer finger).

It’s also physically interactive. JD and I set up the wall together, took practice turns side-by-side (cozy!) and then we played against each other. It was real-life, real-time, laughing, talking and cheering! This doesn’t exactly happen when JD is on the couch with his iPod and I’m next to him on my computer, working, ya know?

He also got the classic game, Twister. He never played this game and was so excited this morning when we spread it out on the living room floor. “This is cool and colorful, Mommy!” My mom spun the wheel and JD and I played against each other in our jammies. Again, tons of giggling and talking, plus a great game to reinforce left from right, taking turns, and physical activity! (I have a feeling this will be a great snow-day activity this winter season. JD already requested to play Twister with Lily.)

Lastly, and I’m not dissing Apps and websites that have played a huge roll in JD’s learning and reading, but I will say my son sat at the kitchen table and was completely engaged in a dry-erase learning book I got him. There are several boards in the spiral bound book and it came with a marker and eraser. JD loved writing, tracing letters, numbers and shapes. The book is all about writing and basic math.

I have Apps on my phone and JD’s iPod that allow him to trace letters with his finger and practice sight words, but in real-life, he needs to write with pencil and paper. He needs to practice holding a pencil, or in this case a marker. Tracing letters with his pointer finger is fun, but face it, in first grade, he’ll be writing in a theme book with a pencil.

I’m thrilled JD loved these gifts that don’t require batteries … and keep him BUSY. Score!

What gift(s) did your children love best this holiday season? Please share. Happy holidays!

Full disclosure: Products mentioned in this blog with the exception of 1 set of Angry Birds were all purchased by me. I don’t endorse products mentioned in this blog for payment, but I do accept relevant products for review. Thanks for the 1 set of Angry Birds. We love it. 

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