Usually Trillian and I take a backseat on gift-giving for both Christmas and Scooter's birthday. We'll pick out something we think he'll like, but nothing very expensive.
But this year, we decided to go for something a little bit bigger: a computer. Maybe you've read about One Laptop Per Child--if not, go take a look. In any case, Trillian and I decided that it might be time to give Scooter his own bit of technology. He has shown interest in our laptops, but has generally restrained himself from messing with them. The laptop we got him is somewhat limited in its software, but it is incredibly durable. And cute.
So far, Scooter has let us do the navigation, as the touchpad mouse is a bit difficult for him to maneuver. We play the memory game a lot--one version has him matching uppercase letters with their lowercase versions, the other involves basic addition (and he's now able to do the simpler problems). He absolutely loves the built-in camera and will get me to take picture after picture. His favorite activity, however, is to have me do a bunch of typing in the word processing program so that he can hold down the Erase button and watch it all disappear.
I have to say that the decision to get Scooter his very own laptop was not automatic for us. We never went for the toddler computer accessories, and we don't want to turn this into another screen he spends a lot of time in front of. But I also think it's unavoidable that Scooter will need to have computer skills; heck, he's likely to begin keyboarding at school as soon as he starts reading. So this seemed like as good a time as any to begin his opportunity to experiment with technology.
I'm sure we're in for a lot more memory and photos and typing before we move on to other things. But hey, he typed his own name today!