I think it's time to remind my dad was is and isn't appropriate as a gift for Ellie. He's leaving in a couple of days for a trip to Cherokee, and I know he'll bring a gift back for the grand kids. Daddy takes a few trips each year to Gatlinburg, and he always brings something back for the kiddos. That's totally understandable, but he's got to remember just because he thinks something is cool doesn't mean it's the right thing to buy. Daddy is known for handmade and unique gifts. As soon as Ellie was big enough to beat on a toy drum he went to Cherokee and got her a handmade Native American drum. At a little over a year old she could play with it, but I had to take the big chunky wooden drumsticks away so she didn't beat everyone with them...yes, she tried.
At the beginning of the Summer Daddy came back from a trip with more wooden toys in tow. He got my 2 year old nephew a wooden pop gun (the kind where the cork is tied to the gun) which took all of 10 minutes to injure one of the kids. Ellie smashed and cut her finger putting the cork back in the hole. He brought Ellie a wood puzzle type toy that would be great for an older kid, but dangerous for her. It's a wooden dowel with a heavy wooden ring tied to it. There are smaller dowels running down the pole, and the object is to swing the ring and catch it on the pole so it slides down without getting caught on any of the smaller dowels. Ellie will be 3 in October, and there is no way she can figure that thing out. Ben and I both tried it, and not only did it take us both quite a few tries to get it, but we both ended up smacking ourselves with the wooden ring trying to swing it. Ellie tried to swing it and knocked herself in the head with it! So, of course those toys have been hidden in the closet, and she can have them when she's older and more capable of playing with them!