Buying gifts for little people

toys

It might only be July, and a long time until Christmas, but I’m just about all done with Miss E’s Christmas shopping already. Having almost all of our families birthdays in November and December along with Christmas, makes it a very expensive time for us. We clearly planned Miss E well, with her birthday falling in between Christmas and New Year! So I decided I need to be organised well in advance, if we don’t want empty wallets at the beginning of January.

I’ve done most of my shopping at the toy sales this year, planning out what I would buy before I walked through the door. Walking into a toy sale with all those bright coloured, light up, noise making toys can be overwhelming, I needed to make sure that I knew what I wanted, before I went in.

I came up with some criteria, then checked the catalogues and made my list.

Here’s some of the criteria I was looking for:

  • Nothing that requires batteries, has lights, moves automatically or has automated voices/plays music. I don’t want Miss E sitting passively and expecting to be entertained by her toys, she should play an active role in entertaining herself.
  • Should promote imaginative play and open ended activities.
  • Some outdoor play equipment.
  • Help develop fine and gross motor skills.

Here are some articles that guided my thinking before I came up with my criteria.

http://mamas-in-the-making.com/2012/06/starting-the-toy-revolution/

http://www.janetlansbury.com/2010/10/better-toys-for-busy-babies/

That said, we already own some toys that break my own rules. Bought by me before having Miss E, and before I’d thought this through, or as gifts from friends and family. I haven’t thrown these toys out though, I just limit their use to ‘once in a blue moon’, or when I’m desperate for a few minutes peace to finish my lunch before it’s cold, or have a shower.

Do you have specific criteria for the toys you buy your children? If so, what would you add to my list?

Abby xx

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2 thoughts on “Buying gifts for little people

  1. WOW. You’re amazing! I’m struggling to think of a single thing to get my girls. I would happily get them nothing as our house is packed already but I think my 5 year old might have something to say about that!
    Anyway I really like your points about her needing to entertain herself through imaginative play. This is so important and it can be very hard not to give in to all the fancy toys that really do nothing useful!
    I would add to your list nothing made of cheap flimsy plastic! And nothing with annoying voices! In fact, no toys!! Haha. Only joking 😛
    I will end this mammoth comment by saying we have that same inflatable globe and it’s really good! 😀

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