The Toys are For Us, Really.

December 11, 2013 in Design, Parenting, Toddler Activities by chicachica

toddler play ideas for stay at home parents Christmas music is blaring in the background while we build the Duplos train track (saved from my childhood, and thank Lego my parents did…those things are shmexpensive!).

I told CJ that if we didn’t already have my enormous stockpile of Duplos, this would be “The Gift” this year. You know, the “big” christmas present (whether large or small or expensive or not, the Big Kahuna). It’s one toy that will grow with them (and already has).

We don’t really have a Big Kahuna this year because CJ and I have a shopping problem, and I have a Bored Stay At Home Mommy problem (the new toys are really for me, let’s be honest. I can only play with the same Little People dinosaur set so many times). This has resulted in us already buying things (usually at an extraordinary discount) that would have been a perfect “The Gift” for two year olds. Play kitchen…Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart (best money we’ve ever spent on metal)…radio flyer roller coaster…we ruined it for ourselves, really. CJ and I talk ad nauseam about raising our kids to not be spoiled. We have plans (big plans!) to do a minimal gifting scheme as the kids get older, like the 4 Gift Want-Need-Wear-Read Thing:

fourgifts

[photo courtesy Jones Design Co blog]

want need wear read gift tags

[photo courtesy Dandee Designs]

[Want to know more about this 4 Gift thing? Read how HelloBee and A Healthy Slice of Life do WantNeedWearRead, or check out SimpleKids’ 9-category approach.]

But we still have a few precious years (…months?) where we can get away with stuff like too many toys and last-minute birthday cakes and drive-through fast food for CJ and I on the way home for the kids’ balanced, veg-and-fruit-heavy lunch. (Another benefit to rear-facing seats: they can’t see our fries. “It’s nothing, kids,” I say through a mouthful of Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe. “We’re almost home and then we’ll slice up some avocado!” ). Oh, these things are all coming to an end and before you know it we’ll be forced to grab some pricey, organic, free-range sandwiches on the go because while CJ and I indulge in an occasional Oreo, we want better for our children.

Yes, we had plans of just getting a few small things for Christmas…and then Toys R Us had their Black Friday sale and Amazon had Cyber Week and I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we have a neurological deficit that forces us to buy things we don’t need when they’re 50% off.

“It’s not for them anyway,” I said as CJ and I stood with hands on hips, shaking our heads at the stack of wrapped Not Going to Get Them Much This Year Because They Already Have Too Many Toys. It’s for us, really. Two active toddlers cooped up in the bitter winter…we need some new tricks or things are going to get ugly.

How do you do gifts? Anyone planning on doing Want-Need-Wear-Read this year?

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