I find that even though we have weeded most of Christian’s plastic toys from our home, he gets plenty of exposure to mainstream toys: there are brightly colored plastic toys and noise-makers where ever we go. Still, my resolve remains firm to keep his toys simple, natural, and conducive to imaginative play – especially with his first birthday just two weeks away.

Family and friends have been asking what Christian wants or needs, and while he is perfectly happy with what he already has, from past experience I know that people tend to ignore “no presents necessary” clauses on birthday invitations (and then the people who listened to you and didn’t bring a gift feel like boobs) . So, I’ve created a wish list for Christian, in an attempt to productively channel our impulse to shower the dude with presents.

First and foremost, I would love to see Christian get handmade gifts or help towards making any of the Waldorf-type toys that I posted about here. Just the lumber for those two playstands will run at least $50 and will probably require a weekend of focused attention. Blocks made from tree trunk sections of varying widths and lengths would be wonderful and I think that a play kitchen would get years of good use. We already have a wicker laundry basket full of regular wooden blocks.

Since we are trying to set up child-centric spaces in our home, a small wooden table and chairs, like the kind you can find at Ikea would be useful. As would a wooden step stool for the bathroom sink. Hooks (rows of hooks – I saw some that looked likes branches) would be nice, for hanging capes and costumes. Of course, he’s not wearing capes yet, but many of the kids who come over to play are.

We don’t have any non-plastic toys for the tub. Christian loves bath time, so I’m on the lookout for simple wooden boats to float.

He’s at the age where he finds animals and fish fascinating, so a zoo pass to the Santa Ana or San Diego Zoo would be good. Ditto for the Long Beach Aquarium or the Scripps Aquarium at La Jolla. Heck, we would be totally psyched to get an annual pass to the local Laguna Niguel Regional Park (which could be used for all regional parks including the beaches).

In case none of these ideas appeal to you, I also set up a wish list at Nova Natural Toys + Crafts. Keep in mind that many of those pricier items I hope to make, not buy. Also, the list is just a general guide; when there is a car listed, I just picked one on the page when any of the cars or trucks would do. The list is under the name Christian Holden Murdy and his wish list ID is GG3ATN.

And in the end, the best gift would be time. Christian is a social guy and would love to spend a morning or afternoon with you outdoors at the beach or hiking in a local park. He’s happiest outdoors and with people who make him grin.

P.S. While I really wanted a walker for Christian, I think it’s too late; he’s already given up crawling and walking with any aid – he just wants toddle by himself now.

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