Miss Kavya’s 12-18 Month…

Miss Kavya's 12-18 Month Recommended Holiday Gift Guide

  • Baba and Dolly -- in the last six months, she's gotten very into her baba (fluffy white stuffed bear) and various dollies, such as HABA's Lotta. She kisses them (or has them kiss each other), tries to feed them milk and food, carries them around with her as she wanders the apartment, takes them to bed with her, and puts blankets over them. So damn cute. Anything soft and about two-thirds her size seems ideal, although she does also try to carry around the GUND bear from her great-aunt and uncle, that's still a bit bigger than she is.

  • Charley Harper, ABCs -- Kavi is entranced by this book right now, learning both ABC's and the animals (and sometimes the sounds they make, 'ook ook'), and I love the gorgeous aesthetics.

  • Sevi's Pull Along Marajah -- Kavi is very into her pull toys right now -- her favorite is this wobbling elephant from Sevi, although she's also quite fond of HABA's Don Rudolf and Rodrigo (which has the advantage of the Don being a nice snuggle toy as well, plus a horse with wheels, how cute!). All the pull-toys were frustrating at first, but now that she's got the hang of it, there is much pulling.

  • Putumayo's African Playground -- By far her favorite CD, taking the place of her previous favorite, Lisa Loeb's Catch the Moon, Kavi rocks out to this music daily, and mama still hasn't gotten sick of it. Amazing!

  • Sandra Boynton's Philadelphia Chickens and Dog Train -- smart, funny, infectious, and really good music to boot. Excellent! (I do think mama may still like this more than Kavi, but it's growing on her. :-)

  • Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker -- it takes some effort on the parents' part not to lose the pieces, since baby's favorite thing to do is turn the whole thing over and spill them onto the floor, but she does like it so much. And when she finally learned how to start putting them back on -- oh, the look of triumph and glee on her face!

  • Matthew Van Fleet, Tails (also Dogs and Alphabet) -- When we bought one of these books, Kavi liked it so much we went out and bought his other two. The textures are great, and now she can actually manage the bits that pull out or flip up.

  • Melissa & Doug Flower Fill and Spill -- I'm not sure why she likes this so much, but she does like pulling the flowers out, stuffing them back in, and walking around with a flower in each hand, singing to herself. The flowers also often kiss her and each other.

  • Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell -- another flap book, very funny and charming to us, while entrancing for Kavi.

  • Infantino Matching Colors and Textures Puzzle -- oh, she has loved this toy to death (Ellie did help a bit with the chewing). She daily insists that we pull it out so she can match the pieces, and while she doesn't quite have the dexterity yet to actually fit the puzzle pieces together, she loves bringing them to us to fit together for her.

  • Melissa & Doug Band in a Box -- a great value for many hours of musical fun -- she loved the maracas at one year, and can now handle the cymbals all on her own.

  • Xylophone -- I can't find the one Kavi has, so I recommend going to a good toy store and trying a bunch out. Many of the ones we looked at had unpleasant, tinny or flat sounds. But the one I did like, she loves, and happily bangs on it, pots and pans, and any other nearby objects.

  • Melissa & Doug Wood Animal Blocks -- Kavi loves it when we stack these so she can knock them down, and she pulls them out often to try to stack or nest them. She often fails, but the puzzle of it keeps her occupied for a goodly amount of time, and it's probably good for her brain. And she loves pointing to the animals and having us name them. They come in cardboard too, but I think she would have thoroughly destroyed those by now; the wood ones fall on her toes occasionally, but while it hurts, it doesn't do actual damage.

  • Pram I Am -- This is the best price I could find for a wooden doll stroller (which are recommended over the plastic/metal ones for better stability, especially since kids sometimes try to sit in the toy ones and fall over -- also, pretty). Kavi loves piling not just her dolls, but all sorts of random toys in this and pushing it around the apartment. You need reasonably clear floors to avoid too much frustration, but this does make the transition easily from wood floor to carpet, and turns well too.

  • Melissa & Doug Puzzle Bundle -- this set of three wood puzzles is a great value for $15; usually they cost $10-$15 each. Kavi has a variety of wood puzzles, which she likes a lot -- mama also likes the wire storage case to help keep them organized.

  • Oxo Candela Night Light -- This is a bit pricey, but a) they're lovely, b) Kavi thinks they're bunnies, and c) she absolutely insists on one every night, and hugs it to her as she falls asleep. I bought them a month ago, and she still loves these night lights beyond all reason. Anything that helps her go to sleep!

  • Learning Tower -- Even pricier, but oh my god, it makes her so much happier when she can be up on our level. She'll gleefully stand in it for half an hour, playing with a bowl and a spoon on the counter. If you have the space for it in your kitchen, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. And it comes in a variety of stains; ours is dark cherry.

Interestingly, when Kavi was small HABA made most of her favorite toys, but Melissa & Doug has totally taken over. Which somewhat overpriced toy manufacturer will capture her heart next? We'll just have to wait and see.

Question: This took a bit of time to put together. Was it actually helpful to anyone? Please let me know if so!

6 thoughts on “Miss Kavya’s 12-18 Month…”

  1. Aww, so sweet! And yes, it will be helpful to me for future godchild / niece / etc purchases. Being kidless, I am also quite clueless about the state of things, and without guidance would probably end up buying lead-based toys from Chinese sweatshops, or something. I also appreciate the super-practical notes about “this takes effort on the part of parents” and wood floors vs carpet … so I know whether that toy would be appropriate for a certain family or not.
    So, thanks!

  2. Yes. It was helpful. I WISH I had known you and known where to find this stuff when my children were young enough to enjoy them. Kavi has some of the most wonderful toys.

  3. We’re 12 – 18 months away from needing advice on this front, but I’ve jotted down the URL, and definitely appreciate it! Especially the things I suspect we might not have thought of, like the Learning Tower; although Amy reads a lot of baby blogs, so maybe she knows all about this thing already, but I was like “wow, that’s awesome”. :^)

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