The good and the bad. We've had a few weeks to play with everything so I think it's a good time to review. I must say, there wasn't any really bad gifts this year. Everything she got she plays with. Some not as much as others, but she does play with everything. Let's start with the big stuff.
Dollhouse. I thought Paige was getting old enough to play with this and enjoy it. I didn't want to get her a plastic Fisher Price dollhouse. I wanted something she could grow with. This one is actually wood & came with furniture. She plays with this some, but not a lot. She likes to move the furniture & put the kids to bed. (We got her a Barbie, Ken & 2 little girls that came with a Barbie set.) The cats really enjoy sleeping in the kitchen of the dollhouse. And Ronnie hides the remotes on the terrace. I think this will get more use the older she gets.
Digital Camera. Picture quality isn't the best. But, she does use her camera & loves it! Better yet, she's stopped using my camera & dropping it. That makes Mommy very happy. It's a 1.3 megapixel I think. She likes the games that she can play and that she can put funny hats or noses on our pictures. Following the recommendations from the reviews I read, we upgraded to a memory card so we wouldn't lose any pictures if the batteries die. We haven't gone through our first set of batteries yet and it's gotten some pretty good use.
Vtech PC Pal. This is great! Paige loves to play on the computer, and now she can play on her very own! It came with one game and the keyboard & mouse. It plays all Vsmile games. We used a very nice Target gift card to get a joystick, Diego game & an ac adapter. The game selection on this one was better, to me, than on the Leapfrog. It goes up to age 7, so I think this will get lots and lots more use. It doesn't come with an ac adapter, but runs on 4 batteries each for the keyboard & the game consule. Truse me, invest in the $9 ac adapter. You'll save that much in batteries the first month! Grammy & Grumpy did good with this one.
Crayola Glow Board. This says ages 5 and up. Don't wait that long. If you find one in stock, grab it now! This was a gift from her Paw Paw and Aunt Maria. I will admit I hid this toy for about a week. She loves it and plays with it frequently. The one draw back is the markers dry out quickly. Paige isn't the best about putting caps on her markers. She tries, but she sometimes doesn't get the cap on completely. They dry out super quick. The directions recommend keeping them in a sandwich bag when not in use. Of the 6 markers it came with, 3 of them dried out within the first 2 weeks due to lack of correct capping. Of course it was the pink ones. I had a hard time finding replacement markers. This was an extremely popular gift this year. Until I could find replacement markers, I hid it under the couch. It was easier than listening to her whine (& get in trouble for it) because she couldn't have pink markers. I found 2 packs of replacement markers & it came out from under the couch!
Board games: Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, Ants in the Pants, Memory, Cooties. She's a bit young and hasn't quite gotten the hang of sitting still long enough to play. I think these are the closest thing we had to a bomb this year. But, given a few more months, or maybe longer, I think she'll grow to love these games as much as I did as a kid.
Books. Paige gets books every year. They are always a hit. This year one of her books was The Toddler Cookbook. This is pretty cool. We haven't tried the recipes yet. We've been a bit busy. It's got good ideas & a lot of pictures. Ronnie & I both like this publisher, they are great for their pictures. There are even party tips included for throwing a cooking party for your toddler friends. If you're looking for something to get your toddler started in the kitchen, try this one.