Unique Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

This post is sponsored by Hahaland.

I am always on the lookout for unique, fun, and educational gift ideas for my own children and for birthday celebrations. I was so happy when Hahaland let me try out some of their products and “best-ever” toys. Their products are of great quality and are functional and fun! I love that I can find toys for all ages in one place.

Let’s be honest, we use screen time in our home and I don’t regret that, but I do love when I come across a toy that allows for screen-free play. We can all use a little bit of balance in our lives.

Here are some of our favorites, sorted by age level. I hope you find them as awesome as we do!

Bonus, save $10 on Orders $65+ with code Lauren10 at Hahaland.

Baby/ Six Months Plus

sippy cup with soft spout and straw cup

This sippy cup with spout and weighted straw is great for smoothly transitioning baby from the bottle to a cup. We have found that a soft sippy spout more resembles the bottle which can help baby more easily get used to the feel of a cup. At 8 months plus, the straw cup (which is also included) can be used as well. The straw is weighted, which means that baby can be in any position to drink. Little ones are used to holding a bottle upright to drink, but a typical straw cup does not allow for this option. The weighted straw allows them to get used to the feeling of the straw more easily by drinking from any position. I love that this cup comes with attachments for both options, as a straw cups can support speech development and help little ones build muscles in the mouth. Measurements are also still included on the side of the cup to help manage feeding as well. Win!

Toddler/ Preschool Ideas

paint with water flash cards

Paint with Water Flash Cards Toddler Puzzles are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. I love educational toys as who doesn’t love having fun while learning? These cards have so many neat features. First, realistic images of fruits and vegetables are featured to use as flash cards to help with language development. The cards also function as small puzzles which help with motor coordination. For added fun, the front of the card features a magic water drawing activity. Fill the included pen with water, and little ones can paint to magically show what each fruit or vegetable can become. I love how this encourages children to think about cause and effect relationships. This is a great Montessori activity.

car screen free toy

The Race Tracks Car Adventure Toy Playset has been a huge hit in our home for all of our children (ages 3, 6, and 8). They have spent hours playing with this toy. Little ones use their hands to activate different buttons along the bottom of the toy to make the cars move through obstacles along the path. At first it was fun just figuring out how the buttons worked and in what order. Now, the kids are working on keeping all three cars moving around the track at the same time. The playset helps build hand-eye coordination as well as motor skills. This is a great screen-free, electronic-free toy which provides endless entertainment.

Whole Family Fun

Titanic 3D puzzle

The LED Titanic Ship 3D Puzzle is hours of fun for the entire family. If you are looking for a scree-free activity for the whole family, this is it! We worked on this 3D puzzle together. We worked a couple of hours a day, and it took us about eight hours to complete (even with little hands helping). My six and eight year olds really enjoyed this challenge. With adult help, they were easily able to participate. I am amazed at how seamless this 3D puzzle was to put together. It looks like it would be very difficult, but it wasn’t. We just followed the directions exactly and were careful when punching out the pieces and it came together perfectly.

putting together titanic puzzle

I cannot believe the details in this ship. They are intricate and beautiful. The pieces came together so perfectly that it seemed like magic. The finished product is 34.6 inches long and includes working LED lights. It looks beautiful on display. We will display it in our home, which will remind us of all of the fun we had together. This would make a perfect gift for a child, teen, family, grandparent, really for anyone. If you have a child who loves puzzles, this is a unique activity they will surely enjoy.

3D puzzle of the titanic

Remember, you can save $10 on Orders $65+ with code Lauren10 at Hahaland.

Do you have a favorite? Which product do you like best? Share it in the comments.

To learn more about. me and my blog, check out: About Lauren

You may also enjoy: 30 Plus Fun Craft and Activity Ideas for Kids with Household Items or What Makes a “Good” Parent

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How to Rock the Transitions as Your Baby Turns One

My baby is turning one! Now what?

“They say” congratulations you made it past the first year! 

“They say” it’s so exciting when you reach age one—like whew! Things are easier, smooth-sailing now! You did it! It truly is exciting and many things DO become easier, BUT, there are a lot of changes happening as baby turns one! To be honest, for me transitions can be anxiety producing.

At age one, babies are transitioning from baby food to “big kid” food, switching from formula to regular milk (this can be especially challenging if you have a milk or soy intolerant baby like us), and they are moving from a bottle to a sippy cup. They are becoming more mobile, and as they meet milestones, it may affect their sleep. You may even be transitioning away from sleep aides like a sound machine or wearable blanket.

When making these transitions, sometimes it seems there are more questions than answers:

What if my baby won’t drop the bottle? 

What if they hate milk? 

During a regression—What if they never sleep through the night again? Ahh!

… and so on.

Well, they will sleep again, AND here are some tips which have helped us with our three kiddos! Hopefully these tips will help you rock the transitions as your baby turns one and make the transitions smoother for you.

Transitioning to the Sippy Cup

First, start the sippy cup early. As soon as it is okay with the pediatrician, and before age one, you can begin offering liquids in a sippy cup. I have found this helps our babies get used to holding and drinking from a cup.

Try different sippy cups. My kids have all struggled moving from the bottle nipple to a hard sippy cup spout. Here are two cups which have worked wonders for us.

This Nuk Learner Sippy Cup worked wonders for my first two children. They easily transitioned from the bottle to the soft cup spout.

This Mam Trainer Cup worked for our third baby when she would take nothing else. It was such a life-saver. This sippy cup comes with two different nipples. One looks almost like a flat bottle nipple. We used this one first to transition her off of the Dr. Brown bottles. Then, we switched to the other included nipple which looks more like a soft sippy spout.

Another great option is a sippy cup with a straw. Here is our favorite. Our youngest does well with these too!

Start slow. Remember, it’s not a race and there is no rush. For me, realizing this helped take the pressure off a bit and decreased some anxiety.

transition tips at age one

Transitioning to Milk

Transitioning from formula or breastmilk to regular milk is another big transition for our little ones. Here are some tips we have learned along the way:

One change at a time. If you find your baby is having a hard time with a transition, sometimes I have found it beneficial to go back and make only one change at a time. For example, when my baby refused to go from a room-temperature bottle of formula to a cold sippy cup of milk, I broke it down and changed one thing at a time. You can mix the formula or breastmilk with the regular milk and decrease the amount of formula over-time, for example. This was so important for my third baby. She is dairy and soy intolerant, and refused anything we tried at first. This was key for finally getting her onto the almond milk which she needed.

You can warm up the milk to start and then slowly warm it less and less until they are drinking regular cold milk. You can also replace one bottle with a sippy cup at a time, rather than stopping all bottles “cold-turkey.” Every baby and every family is different, so I find it best to try different approaches and find an approach which works for you. Hang in there, it will happen!

If your child is not into milk, try not to worry. My first child went from hating milk to milk now being her drink of choice. I can’t even keep it stocked in the fridge she drinks it so fast. In the mean time, keep offering it and remember, vitamins come from other foods besides milk.

Foods containing Vitamin D are: Fatty fish, some dairy products (like cheese), egg yolks, and fortified orange juice and cereals.

Foods containing Calcium: Cheese, yogurt, but also leafy greens like spinach and kale, soybeans or white beans, and fortified orange juice

For the full list check out: Top Foods for Calcium and Vitamin D

Protein can be found in seafood, meats, eggs, beans, yogurt, cheese, and soy.

For the full list: Good Protein Sources

I also found myself worrying because my child was taking in less milk than they were formula or breast milk. But remember, as their food intake increases, they are getting more and more vitamins and calories from that food. Our pediatrician recommended removing baby food by 15 months, so if you are worried about liquid intake, take your time in transitioning away from baby food. We also give fruit pouches from time to time for more liquid along with their meals.

Transition tips for age one

More “Big Kid” Food and Less “Baby Food”

I have learned some kids have a food texture issue, including a couple of my own. My first two children didn’t like texture of meats for the longest time. My biggest tip is to keep offering it, while also trying thinly sliced lunch meat, eggs, peanut butter (when the pediatrician allows), beans—even baked beans—for the protein. See a great list of high-protein foods in the previous section.

For extra vitamins, one key word: Smoothies! Hide everything in there! 

We like to hide veggies in our food around here. Ours loved spinach mixed into eggs. We used frozen, chopped spinach—so easy. Simply fry it up in the pan and add eggs. Kale works well too.

Sleep Transitions and Regressions

With turning one, all three of my babies had sleep regressions… or sleep “transitions” as Motherly’s sleep expert calls them. Read more about this here: This Expert Wants You To Know: Sleep Regressions Aren’t Real.

Whether it is from meeting a milestone/ walking, teething, or the molars are coming in something fierce, it happens.

The best thing we did was try to remain consistent with bed time. We also used “cry it out.” Every family is different, this may or may not be for you [and you know we are ALL about going with what works for you], but this technique simply worked for us. When baby started crying, we came in to check on them at increasing increments, for example, first after 2 minutes, then returned after 5 minutes, then 10, and so on. Depending on the child, the first night could be rough, but after that, the sleep was progressively better… and so was my sanity.

To top it all off, you may be considering taking baby out of a wearable blanket or removing a white noise sound machine around this time. I almost typed time machine… if that’s not telling, I don’t know what is. They grow too fast! I’m still in shock that my last baby is one.

Back to the point… for us, we decided to remove the white noise sound machine we had been using and the wearable blanket a couple of months after our babies turned one. We waited for any sleep regressions to pass, and then one at a time, we made these changes. Our babies did fine without these sleep aids and transitioned with no issues. You may decide to keep these longer. The most important thing here is to do what you feel is best. In my book, using that parenting intuition is always best.

Always Remember

Babies grow and develop at different rates! Even my own three kids developed differently. Don’t let it get to you if you see other’s—friends… other parents on social media—with babies developing more quickly than yours. Here is a great article from Baby Center about the ranges for development which may bring you some peace of mind – Developmental Milestones: What to Expect From Birth to Age 3. Of course, if you have any concerns, always check with your pediatrician.

I’ve learned that sometimes the best transition is not a transition at all. It is just to leave things alone. When we feel we are not ready for a transition or that baby isn’t ready, sometimes it’s best to simply go with our gut and wait.

This post is not a substitute for medical advice. I am not a medical professional. Always speak with your pediatrician when you have medical concerns.

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You can count on me only recommending products which I know and love!

To learn more about me and my blog, check out – About Lauren

You may also enjoy – Motherhood: What We Don’t Talk About

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