Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Few Good Finds

I am pretty average when it comes to the timing of my Christmas shopping. I am not really good about getting it done very early, but I don't usually wait until the last minute either. But once Thanksgiving is over (in two days!), I start to feel the pressure. In regards to Christmas shopping, is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by all of the toys and games available for kids these days? Because we are usually low-tech, low-cost - I find that my options are quite limited. However, there are are several toys/games that we have given or received that I think are worth recommending. Most of you probably know about these already, but for those who don't - you might find a couple of Christmas ideas. These things are relatively small, simple and cheap. But I have had enough kids to recognize a "keeper" when I see one.

1. Blink - this is a card game that is very simple, but fast-paced. It states that it is recommended for ages 7-15 but my 4 year old enjoys it too (it's all about recognizing shapes, colors, and numbers). Around $6.00

2. Twenty Questions - this has been around for a while. You think of something - the little electronic orb tries to guess it by asking a series of questions. Fits in the palm of your hand. Great for the car. Around $10.00

3. Robot claw (or as we call it, "the grabber") - these are so cheap (around $5.00) that you should buy at least two. My kids love them. They are also great for the woman who is 9 months pregnant and sick of crawling around on her hands and knees to pick up scattered toys on the floor. Although I guess that is what older siblings are for!

4. Yada Yada Yada Electronic Voice Changer - we have only given this as a gift, but my kids played with it constantly until it hit the bottom of the gift bag. You can record short phrases and then warp it to sound lower or higher (the kids recorded themselves saying "Happy Birthday John!" to play when the receiver opened their gift). I bought mine at Walmart but I couldn't find it on their website. The only place I found it was on ebay! You can check your local Walmart - otherwise it's probably not worth it. Under $10.00.

5. A Globe - these can be surprisingly expensive! I found mine at Target for around $15.00 but most of the time they are much more than that. This is such a simple gift, not the most exciting - but shouldn't every household have a globe?

6. Klutz Potholder Kit - my daughter, who is not really into crafts, really enjoyed this and actually finished the projects she started! Anything "Klutz" brand is great quality. This is around $12.00. Check to see what stores sell this brand in your area. I'm not positive but I think I may have seen it at Target.

Well, there's a few ideas. If I think of some more, I will post again. I also want to ask my kids what their favorites are. Now...the problem is, I'm the one that needs ideas!!!


Kip said...

Very cool, Emily. This gave me a couple of gift ideas for the future. Thanks!

Darren and Chrissy said...

Great ideas! I love that you blogged your ideas. I have been worrying about what to get Brad (Sydney was easy). I think I will use some of your ideas.

Jennette said...

I love this post. Great ideas and I love the low-cost, low-tech approach.

Hey, in return, if you're looking for some new gift ideas, here's one of our favorite family games: Enchanted Forest. It's a great kids game that is still really fun and interesting for adults to play with the kids as well. We play it all the time. You can't buy it at regular stores, but will have to find a specialty toy or game store. Or, you can search online for plenty of options as well. I did a quick search and here's what it's going for on Amazon: