Lets go shopping!
Tip 1: DO NOT TAKE KIDS TO THE SHOP WITH YOU.
Avoid a gift buying disaster. My beloved firstborn lay in a heap of flailing limbs on the supermarket floor. His face bright red and screwed up, bellowing unintelligible words and sobbing. I stood beside him, hands clenched on the trolley. My face plastered in to an image of calm and composure.
I did not like my offspring right at that moment.
There was a real temptation to bulk eat the pack of snickers in the next isle. Clenched in my son’s hands was an overpriced transformer, the type that would undoubtedly break within two minutes of getting home.
Let’s face it we have all been there.
Tuesday evening at the shop. Has something dastardly happened, flood, plague, pestilence? Did Peppa Pig go to the butchers? No. A classmate of my son is having a birthday party and we decided to look in the toy isle whilst doing out grocery shopping.
Big mistake Mummy.
What I learnt from this? Don’t take your children toy shopping with you. They will want everything. You will want to leave them there.
Tip 2: FIND A GOOD DEAL.
You don’t have to buy expensive toys for children! Save money where you can. I hate buying a gift then two shops down finding it on sale. The last couple of years I pretty much have done all of my shopping online. That way I can get toy suggestions for the age of the child and find out where it is sold cheapest. Sites like Everyday is Black Friday that search and compare products save so much time, we as parents have so little anyway!
Tip 3: GET AGE APPROPRIATE TOYS
Birthday gifts for babies’ toddlers and teens. What if you buy them something they have already got, do you give the receipt to their parents? How much money do you spend? Do you buy that singing, flashing light up monstrosity that the child will love but the parent will literally kill you for? I asked my son what he would like to buy for his friend as then he has an input, it’s (most of the time) likely to be relevant (some of the time it will be ‘a puppy’). I stuck to old faithful Argos on the Everyday is Black Friday site where I found Lego Ninjago’s on sale.
WHAT TO BUY?
Babies. Let’s face it they will discard the toy for the box. Board books, rattles and brightly coloured toys are wins. That or buy something for mummy and daddy as they will likely need it more. Luxury coffee perhaps?
Toddlers. Bath toys, people always forget bath toys. Blocks, musical instruments, push/pull toys. Wooden toys were always my favourite; made from a natural material they just look so lovely.
Keep safety in mind. If toys are likely to go in mouths don’t buy things with small parts, buttons, and eyes, everything that little fingers could pull of make sure they are well stuck on. Toys should be made of sturdy nontoxic materials that will not break easily.
Preschoolers. Ask parents if the littles need anything or what they like. Crafty presents and board games or lego and megablocks are always good options. Classics like playdough, dressing up clothes and DVDs or story CD’s. Add a book, write a note from yourself or encourage your child to write a note inside the book cover. This will be a special keepsake.
As a parent I love it when my son received practical presents, sleepsuits and muslins when he was a baby, socks and pants now he is a speedily growing school goer. If you have a bigger budget a pass to the swimming pool or library are presents that give endless amounts of fun!
TIP 4: Don’t overbuy
Hi, I am Jade and I am an overbuyer- I have an implicit fear of looking stingy. So, other people’s kids probably get better gifts than my own. Perhaps that is why we get invited to so many parties.
Let’s face it they are children, it’s the unwrapping that makes it awesome. Pick special wrapping but don’t expect a 3 year old to appreciate ribbons. For older children if I have a spare 5 mins I will put on 3 layers and put a sweet in each like mini pass the parcel. Buy them a badge.
Remember Birthdays only come once a year. Unless you’re the queen. In between you have Easter, Christmas, Graduations, Celebrations…
Get online and get shopping.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post written with Everydayisblackfriday.co.uk