Kids’ Christmas 2018 Wish List: Calico Critters Town Grand Department Store Gift Set, Plus Designer Studio

If you’re currently looking for a very special gift for a child this upcoming Christmas season, take a look at the Calico Critters Town Grand Department Store Gift Set.

The folks at Calico Critters sent my family one, along with the Designer Studio.

I made an unboxing video, which you can watch above, as I show the set in action.

The Grand Department Store Gift Set consists of an elevator, a revolving door, a Chocolate Lounge, a Boutique Fashion Set, a Fashion Showcase Set, and a Cosmetic Beauty Set.

I need to note, though, these toys contain small parts; which are not intended for use by children under the age of 3. So adult supervision is required for children that young.

The Grand Department Store Gift Set is designed as a base for other attachable sets, to further build your town square. We have the Designer Studio, for example.

There is also the Creamy Gelato Shop, the Delicious Restaurant, and the Ride Along Train.

My guess is by now, you are already familiar Calico Critters, and have at least half a dozen of the characters in your children’s playroom.

That definitely is the case at our house.

The Grand Department Store Gift Set will help bring all of your existing Calico Critters to life in an exciting new meeting place.

Hopefully you’ve watched my video at this point. Now, it’s time to click on this click to be magically transported to Amazon, where you can find this gift set for a great price, and even rack up some points well you’re at it.

And here’s a link specifically for the Designer Studio, as well.

The Calico Critters Town Grand Department Store Gift Set just might be that perfect special big gift that you’re looking for, as you are currently planning which gifts to buy your children for the 2018 Christmas season.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

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Dear Jack: Combining Beyblades and Jenga Blocks Was a Good Idea

7 years, 9 months.

I didn’t even know what a Beyblade was until about 2 weeks ago. But now you have 3 of them.

And this past weekend you literally spent hours spinning these little propelled tops across the kitchen floor, attempting to crash down Jenga towers that you would build.

It’s the kind of self-invented activity I love to see on a Sunday afternoon. And even when you finally got ready to change things up, you learned that the Jenga blocks make perfect dominoes.

Your sister even took notice and decided to make a bed for some of her smaller stuffed animals.

Good thing Mommy suggested you go through the closet and find a game to play. You made the original Jenga even better!

Dear Jack,

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Could You BE Anymore Obsessed With Minnie Mouse Clothes?!

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

You are at a point where you have all the toys that I could imagine you’d even have time to play with.

With your 2nd birthday a month behind you, Mommy reminded me you still had a gift card with money on it. We couldn’t justify using it to buy you another toy, especially knowing that you undeniably have a certain interest that even overpowers toys:

Minnie Mouse clothes!

Your obsession is pretty bad, actually. After Mommy carefully selected the best Minnie Mouse clothes for you online using the gift card, you were so excited to open them a few days later in the mail.

Needless to say, you wanted to wear one of the shirts immediately; which meant you would wear it to dinner and to bed.

You accidentally spilled some oatmeal on it, to the point it would need to be washed.

But Mommy had a feeling that you were going to want to wear it the next day as well. So while you were asleep that night, she put it in the laundry.

And yes, you wore it the entire next day as well.

If you had it your way, Minnie Mouse would be on every single outfit you wore, including your pajamas.

I’m not sure how and when you discovered your love for Minnie Mouse, or even why you like her so much, but truly, you are obsessed!

Never mind about the new toys you could have right now. You’re all set.

In fact, I’m convinced you’d rather have Minnie Mouse clothes than another Minnie Mouse doll or Minnie Mouse toy anyway.

You are obsessed with Minnie Mouse the same way your brother was obsessed with Thomas the Train at your age.

There must be something about Minnie Mouse and 2 year-old little girls that makes them the perfect match for each other!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Now I Finally Believe That Little Girls Really Do Instinctively Love Tea Parties

2 years.

Dear Holly,

Until now, I always thought the idea of little girls wanting to play “tea party” was just a concept invented by toy marketers to sell more product. And for all I know, perhaps it is. But if so, hey… it works!

Because for your 2nd birthday last month, our good friends Lena and Mohamad got you a tea set, and not only did you immediately want to play with it, but you instinctively knew what to do with it!

In fact, having our tea parties together has become a bit of a ritual. Your tea party set is getting a lot of use!

I will say though, for me, you change it from tea to coffee. That’s because for the past 6 months, with me working from home, you have observed me making my organic instant coffee twice a day.

Whenever you think it’s getting near the right time of the day for it, you always ask, “Daddy, coffee?”

My favorite story so far with this tea set was a few weeks ago when I was finishing up cleaning the bathroom upstairs, as part of my weekend routine. I had been up there for a solid 15 minutes.

Then you stood at the bottom of the stairs, and announced to me, “Daddy, coffee!”

Mommy helped explain that you had just made coffee downstairs for me and you wanted me to come down and take a break.

So I gladly did.

It was one of those precious moments that I just wasn’t expecting.

In your mind, you thought, “Daddy’s been up there a while. I bet he’d like some coffee right about now. I’ll go ahead and make him some…”

You are such a sweet little girl. How can I not be completely in love with my little sweetie?

Love,

Daddy

10 Gift Ideas for a 2 Year-Old Girl in 2018, With Helpful Photos and Convenient Links to Amazon

With my daughter turning 2 years old in April, I figured it would be a good idea to share the “gift search experience” with anyone else out there who is also deciding what to get a 2 year-old little girl they know. Perhaps you’ve been invited to a birthday party, or are just looking to send a gift to whoever the little girl is that you know. Either way, I hope to help you in deciding what to get her.

My wife helped me out with this, by giving me links to gifts that she has either already bought our daughter, or is considering buying.

Unless you happen to be the parent of an almost 2 year-old daughter in 2018, like my wife and I are, it can be difficult to figure out just where the child’s development level and interest skills are, in relation to an appropriate gift; one that will not be too much too soon, or too little too late.

So today, I share these with you, in hopes I make your life a little bit easier. Remember, all you have to do is just click the link to the gift idea, and you’ll get straight to the product on Amazon to learn more; and to potentially purchase it right there.

LeapFrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket

Thanks for checking out my blog today. Good luck on your search for that special almost 2 year-old little girl in your life. If nothing else, you might stumble upon the perfect gift once you get to Amazon from one of my links.

Dear Holly: Minnie Mouse is Your Best Friend and Elmo is Your Boyfriend

1 year, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

I guess I am learning that every Valentine’s Day at our house is like a “mini” Christmas morning. And speaking of Minnie, she was part of your gifts from Mommy and me:

Pilot Minnie, which includes a pink purse and a pink suitcase.

It is my assumption that little girls your age are equally obsessed with Minnie Mouse and Elmo, with the same mania that teenage girls went crazy over Elvis in the 1950s or The Beatles in the 1960s.

Here is how I perceive things with you right now:

It’s as if Minnie Mouse is your best friend and you want to be just like her. So it’s no surprise to me that yesterday, you clutched her tightly in your hand for both your morning nap and for bed at night. It was like a sleepover.

You just think Minnie Mouse is the coolest girl ever!

And as for Elmo, well… I’m starting to think he’s more than just a friend.

Each time I read you the Little Golden Book, Elmo Loves You, and finish the last page, with a big smile on your face, you lean down and kiss Elmo right on the face: “Mmmmmwhah!”

It’s not like anyone gave you this idea. You just immediately did this the first time, and every time, I have read you the book.

Mommy and I have learned to be careful about even saying Elmo’s name in front you. Because often when we do, you get caught in a trance:

“Elmo? Elmo. Elmo? Elmo! Elmo. Elmo. Elmo. Elmo!…”

At that point, I have to either give in, and take you upstairs and let you watch one of your Elmo DVDs, or I have to find a clever way to distract your train of thought.

So yeah, I convinced: Minnie Mouse is your best friend and Elmo is your boyfriend.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The Paradox of Receiving a Berenstain Bears Book and HALO Action Figure on Valentine’s Day 2018

7 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

I don’t know how normal it is to receive so many little gifts from your parents on Valentine’s Day, but apparently, you are one lucky kid. Because before you even left for school yesterday, you got all your Valentine’s Day gifts from Mommy and me.

It was funny to me; I remember on your 2nd Valentine’s Day, Mommy asked me to pick out a little toy for you. This was a new concept for me. I had never heard of parents getting their kids gifts for Valentine’s Day.

I picked out an 88 cent Hot Wheels red monster truck for you. And since that day back in 2012, I have seen your Valentine’s Day gift selections grow a little bigger each year.

This year, you received a mini Hatchling, a stuffed animal ball, a bag of Trolli gummies, and an inflatable Hulk.

But looking back, perhaps it was slightly ironic, and definitely easily hilarious, that two gifts in particular couldn’t be more opposite:

A Berenstain Bears book called Valentine Blessings, which includes Bible verses about the Biblical definition of love.

And…

A Mega Construx HALO action figure, ready for war!

But in addition to it being both ironic and hilarious, I also see it as perfectly ideal for you right now, as a 7 year-old, 1st grader boy.

While you very much enjoy action of any kind, including your now growing collection of HALO figures, as well as your obvious and, by default, fascination with super heroes like the Hulk, you still are very excited to receive a fluffy stuffed animal or another book from that lovable family from Bear Country.

You are a sweet and sensitive boy, yet I see those undeniable glimpses of you as a pre-teen, as well.

And really, this is exactly how I remember being, 30 years ago, when I was this age.

I think your Valentine’s Day gifts from Mommy and me were a perfect representation of who you are to us at this age.

Love,

Daddy