Tis the season to be shopping, or at least having your kids make their lists. How long should their lists be? That’s the first thing that needs addressing. How many people will be shopping from a child’s wish list? A wish list should include enough things so that parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, and siblings can have a choice of what to buy. The list should also be longer than the number of presents a child is expecting. For example, if you think a child is going to get about 10 presents, then their list should have 20 items listed. It gives your family present options and it’s important to teach children at a very early stage that “you don’t always get everything you want” (unless your last name is Trump).
Once you have that wish list, the next stage is to research what your children are asking for. You’ve heard that old line, “Kids say the darndest things.” Well, kids also ask for the darndest things. Last year, my 14-year-old asked for a car, which was amusing since the driving age in New York is 17. You should research what they’re asking for if you’re not familiar with the items (many parents don’t) to make sure they are age appropriate. Next step, shopping.
There are always one or two things that your kids really want. Do I shop now and put it away, or do I wait for it to go on sale? The bottom line is this: If you walk into a Toys “R” Us, there are over 7,000 toys in their stores. And come early December, there are going to be great bargains and deals. However, with the really hot toys, like Zhu Zhu Pets, Barbie Fashionistas, Rocky the Robot Truck, Bakugan 7 in 1 Maxus Helios and the Nerf N- Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35, there will be no bargains as these toys are selling out quickly. My advice is to shop at various times. If your child is going to get one of the really hot toys (How do you know what’s hot? Check out Time To Play’s Most Wanted!), then buy it now. Go out and get what you absolutely need to have and you can save the rest of your shopping for later (if you can deal with the crowds better than I can!)
I am a person who likes to buy, but hates to shop. When shopping for toys, my favorite places are www.toysrus.com and www.amazon.com. I find these two sites have the largest selections and inventories. Other good alternatives for toy shopping are www.target.com and www.walmart.com.
Often you’re looking for a unique specialty toy that isn’t readily available. Two great sites to find toys such as those are www.fao.com and www.kazootoys.com. It’s often cool that your child gets a toy that none of their friends have.
Remember, you can always visit us at TimeToPlayMag.com or send us a question or comment about toys…..it’s what we do!
Jim Silver is recognized as
one of the preeminent experts in the toy, licensing, and family
entertainment industries. As editor-in-chief of family entertainment
Silver and his team provide adults with information on what’s fun for
children and their families, including toys, games and trends.
is also editor in chief of trade publications Royaltie$: The Journal of
the Licensing Industry and Toys & Family Entertainment at aNb
Media. You can follow him on Twitter.