Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Never Too Early to Think About Christmas (Especially Toys!)

I consider myself a "smart" shopper.  I research products like a mad woman, shop around for the best deal (even if that means returning something to save a few bucks), and use any coupons/rebates that I can find.  My kids are getting a little older and are starting to have specific requests for presents, but if they're junk, I usually try to sway them into an alternative product that won't fall apart in a few days.  This, however, takes a lot of time.  I am not a last-minute shopper and September is a perfect month to start my quest for Christmas gifts.  In addition to my gift purchases for the kiddos, I do my best to put a lot of thought into gifts for grandparents, niece and nephews, etc.  I'm not big into giving someone something just for the sake of it.  I may take a stab at a few DIY gifts this year.  I better get moving on those!

Today I'd like to share with you a few of our favorite toys in case you are beginning your search for good gift ideas.  I plan to do a few segments on this topic.  One of the first gifts we bought our oldest son was the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn House.  Several moms in my original mom's playgroup had this and it was a hit with all of the kids.  Even as they've grown older, they still use it for make-believe.  A few other toys for the younger crowd have been big hits, too.  In both of our younger two's beds you will find the Glow Seahorse and Scout or Violet.  I also found this Tobbles toy last year that is awesome!  

For a toddler, we have found these great new toys in the past year.  The Wheely Bug and Rody the Horse.  They are great for gross motor skills and good for some laughs!  We also have really enjoyed the Fisher Price house and the Weebles Tree House.

Our daughter was just beginning her love of princesses last year and received this Melissa and Doug castle from Santa.  It has been very durable and provided many hours of fun!  I purchased a little set of Disney princesses similar to these to go with it.

For the kids who love to role play, Melissa and Doug make great dress up outfits that are very durable.  We have the police officer, chef, pirate, doctor, and train engineer and have been pleased with them all.  We also have the cookie and cupcake set that is a great addition to a play kitchen.

If you have a young video game lover, we purchased this Nickelodeon Fit game for the Wii a few years ago and the kids really enjoy it.  Our kids also love to play board games and classics like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders top their list.    

Whew, I think that's quite a bit of stuff for one post!  I'll put on my thinking cap and add some more great gifts another day.  We have some awesome books, music, and puzzles, too, and I'll share ideas for those categories!  Happy weekend!  


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