Christmas is right around the corner, the most wonderful time of the year and the time that can become extra crazy and stressful for everyone involved. I don’t know about you but I tend to spend quite a bit of time contemplating gifts for my children. Two of my daughters want the newest, latest and greatest toy this year: the Furby! Being the frugal, over analytical parent I am, I have spent time pouring over articles, videos and reviews about it in an attempt to figure out if it really is the “greatest” thing. I can easily imagine the light in my children’s eyes as they open it on Christmas but I can also imagine it becoming much like our last year’s “Go Go Walking Pup,” a new addition to the pile of “never played with toys stashed in the closet.” So, I have a few questions that I try to ask myself as I consider whether or not to purchase a toy.
* Is the toy open ended? Are there multiple ways to play with it?
* Do my children already have multiple toys very similar to this toy?
* Is the toy age appropriate for my child?
* Is the toy a reasonable price? I will spend more money on a toy that: I know my child will play with a lot and I know that my child will not outgrow for a while.
Once, I have considered all of the questions and made my decision, I very carefully steer my children in the direction of my decision. From a young age, my children came to understand that toys aren’t always as great as they may seem in the commercials. I spend time with each child, helping them to brainstorm their wishlist and helping them figure out what it is they want and/or need for Christmas. I ask them several questions:
* What types of things do you most enjoy doing?
* What is your favorite toy that you own? Why?
* What toys do you play with when you are at a friends’? What do you play with at preschool?
I can actually help you with that last question! We have quite a few popular toys here at the preschool but some of the very favorites are:
* blocks * magnatiles *art supplies *puzzles *play food *dress up clothes
*cars *baby dolls *books *musical instruments
These are all items that easily fit the probing questions that I listed above and that you don’t have to stand in long lines to purchase! U.S. Toy carries many of the types of toys listed above. Costco and Sam’s also have some good selections this time of year.
Along with everything else I have mentioned, it is also a great idea to have your children write their letters to Santa early. Once those wishlists are made and sent, there’s no changing their minds! (You probably can relate if you’ve had a child who wanted to change their Halloween costume choice the day before Halloween! Yep, I’ve been there.) And, while gifts are a big part of Christmas, there is so much more! My own children may not always remember what they received as gifts last year but they still haven’t forgotten our tour last year around Kansas City looking at Christmas lights and muching on Krispy Kreme donuts! We look forward to sharing some ideas about creating Christmas traditions in the coming weeks and would love to hear what your own family enjoys! Leave a comment and we’ll include it on an upcoming post!
And, in case you’re wondering, I am still trying to decide on the Furby! 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend,