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We anticipate the Christmas season so much to honor the birth of Jesus Christ, but then New Year’s Day comes and it seems like Christmas is gone! However, if you’re like my family, you extend the joy of the Christmas season for twelve more day, until January 6 – El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos! Día de Reyes for short.
Per the Gospel of Matthew, the three Kings, Melchior (Europe), Caspar (Arabia), and Balthazar (Africa), followed a star and traveled the desert for twelve days to Bethlehem to find El Niño Jesus, the Divine Child, to present him with three symbolic gifts.
The symbolic gifts are as follows: Gold to acknowledges Jesus’ royalty as “King of the Jews;” Frankincense to demonstrate the divinity of Jesus’ existence as the Son of God; and Myrrh to foreshadow Jesus’ mortality and His future death to be our Savior.
This divine day is celebrated with family and with a special focus on our very own children by also giving them gifts on Día de Reyes, instead of, or in addition to Christmas morning. Gifts are traditionally placed in children’s shoes, instead of under a tree.
Will your little ones be leaving their shoes outside their bedroom doors, so the Three Kings can leave their gifts inside?
Don’t worry. These larger presents on my gift guide can be placed around their shoes! I’m sure your bebé will not mind and neither will your wallet! All of these educational toys are under $25!
My daughter is 18 months old and has played with all of these gift guide options. It’s never too early to learn while having fun.
- Amiga, the words “Reusable” and “Washable”! The My First Crayola® Dry Erase Activity Mat by Crayola is only $6.79 is just gives loads of art time over, and over, again! It includes 12 reusable activity sheets and four washable, easy-to-grip dry-erase crayons. We use the fold-up activity mat at home, in the car, at the doctor’s, and at restaurants! Life-saver. So easy to take anywhere because of its built-in storage.
- The Bath Letters and Numbers by Munchkin are only $4.49 and are the best during bath to identify the alphabet, learn to count, spell simple words, or group by color, but also work anywhere else you can think of! I keep an extra set in the car because I love that they’re small and light-weight enough to fit in my bag and be taken on-the-go!
- Want a toy that doesn’t require batteries, but keeps it poppin’? Brilliant Basics Corn Popper Push Toy by Fisher-Price is $9.59 and it’s the same awesome classic Corn Popper that you probably grew-up playing with, but with a sleek new design. As your bebé learns to walk and pushes the Corn Popper along, the rainbow colored balls will pop around inside the clear dome! Ellie loves it! The faster your bebé moves, the faster the “poppity-pop”sounds go! This toy will definitely help you tire baby out just in time for their next nap!
- Hungry? So is Luke! This Baby Alive Super Snacks Snackin’ Luke by Baby Alive is $11.09 and ready to be loved, fed, and taken care of by your little one! If you want to foster their empathy and big sibling instincts – this is the toy for you! You’ll love to watch all of the pretend play and the subtle reminders of YOU! Your little one will start imitating your parental behavior! Oh, and please be warned, Luke “poops” in his diaper! ¡Gracioso! Have fun!
- It’s My Pal Violet by LeapFrog and is $14.89. With the help of your phone, tablet or computer, you can help personalize Violet by helping her learn your bebé’s name and favorite things, as well as help her teach first words, feelings, emotions, counting and colors to your little one! What’s not to love of such a cute and cuddly friend. My Ellie keeps hers at Grandma’s house for the added comfort from the soothing bedtime music during nap time.
- Like I said earlier, never too early to learn! Mr. Pencil’s Scribble & Write by LeapFrog® is $16.39 and comes with six activities that will introduce writing, drawing and spelling. Plus, Mr. Pencil will also show step-by-step instructions on how to write numbers, shapes, uppercase letters and lowercase letters. Don’t be afraid to allow your little one to venture on their own, but this is definitely a toy you want to spend time guiding your child with in the beginning. ¡Divirtiénse y aprendan juntos!
- Laugh & Learn Puppy’s A to Z Smart Pad by Fisher-Price is $20.49 and so awesome! My Ellie has been playing with this one since she was 11 months old and we love the sing-along songs! Smart Stages technology lets you select the stage that’s best for your little one – there’s 4 levels! The Smart Pad teaches creative thinking, letters and numbers, large motor skills, shapes and colors, but my favorite is the little clock with rotating hands that teaches them how to tell time! So valuable in a digital world!
- Table manners are a must and Laugh and Learn Say Please Snack Set by Fisher-Price is $23.49 and helps you with that value, plus matching and sharing! We love that the Snack Set knows which of the fruits, veggies, and treats are served and what’s missing on the table and depending on which of three levels it’s set at your bebé can interact differently with Puppy and Sis. This toy is more fun when played by two, so get ready to have a fun, yummy, and lovely meal with your bebé. I would recommend this toy to encourage sibling play-time.
- Do you have a dancing queen or king? Bright Beats Learnin’ Lights Dance Mat by Fisher-Price is also $23.49 and teaches ABCs, numbers, colors, shapes and encourages dance moves all around! Its always awesome when toys can grow with your bebé. The large, soft mat was perfect for Ellie when she was just sitting and crawling, but now it’s just as great for dancing and continued learning!
As you wait for the arrival of the Kings, I hope you get to enjoy the Rosca de Reyes (or Kings’ Bread) with your familia and friends! And remember, if your slice of bread has El NiñoJesus (or “Baby Jesus”) figurine baked inside, you’ll have to host on the Day of the Candles, Día de la Candelaria, on February 2 and prepare tamales for everyone in attendance! ¡Ay!
Trust me, it’s a blessing!
I hope the gift guide was helpful and your toddler wakes up with one of these fun and educational toys next to their shoes!
¡Feliz Día de Reyes, Amiga!
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