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Let’s face it, Christmas shopping for toys can be seriously overwhelming!
To ease those feelings of overwhelm and make Christmas shopping a fun and rewarding experience for you and your family I have compiled these following tips-
Tip 1 … Have a Clear Out
OK, first things first. The reality is a lot of new stuff will be coming into your house on December 25th
In preparation for this, and to avoid major overwhelm, you need to undertake a serious toy box clear out, out with the old to make room for the new. Chances are if you are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of toys your children already have, they are to! Assess which toys no longer fit with your children’s needs and store, giveaway, donate or sell them. Keep in mind Christmas is still a way off, so if your children are not ready for these toys to be out of their play space just yet, put a small mark on them with a permanent marker or use a sticker so they can be quickly recognised and removed once the new toys arrive.
Tip 2 … Observe and Assess
Next, before you hit the shops or click the Add to Cart button you need to determine which toys your children actually need or want - what are you actually shopping for? To do this I suggest you spend time observing how they play; what type of toys and games do they engage with at home, on play dates, in coffee groups or at daycare?
Determine the type of toys designed to help your children develop new skills, fill gaps in their learning, that suit your lifestyle and environment and their interests. There’s no sense purchasing a large scale toy for which you have no space or toy that looks great but is too easy or too challenging!
Tip 3 … Consider Classic Toys
If you are struggling to decide which toys might be appropriate, it’s worthwhile considering the “classics” Think about what toys you enjoyed during your childhood, you should be able to find similar toys. Although they might look a little different, the core learning fundamentals and development opportunities remain the same. Classic toys never really grow old, often they are just re-invented.
Tip 4 … Avoid Trendy Toys
Don’t get too caught up with trends!
Kids often want what they see on TV or in magazines, especially licensed products featuring their favourite characters. In my experience, the appeal of these types of toys appeal can be short lived; these are the first type of toys children grow bored with and unfortunately they are often not built to last anyway.
Tip 5 … Set a Volume and Spend Budget
Decide how many and how much; how many gifts you intend giving and how much you intend to spend. This is your Volume and Spend budget. Remember ”less is more” and “quality over quantity”. You really don’t need to spend wads of money or buy a truck load of new toys to please your children.
Tip 6 … Compile a Shopping List
Be like Santa; write a list and check it (at least!) twice.
Bring together all the information and thoughts you have gathered about the types of toys your children need. Put together a list, remembering to stick to your Volume and Spend budget. The list doesn’t need to be brand specific or very detailed.
Assign a portion of your budget to each item it might look something like this:
1) Sorting Toy (1) $30 - $45
2) Bath Toys (2) $20 - $30
3) Push and Pull (1) $30
Have this list with you when you scope out the shops and then add brand names, prices and shop names. You may also find it useful to take photos! Don’t forget to share your shopping list with friends and family, it will make their gift shopping easier too and it’s another way to ensure your children are getting the types toys you feel they need and not ones that create clutter and overwhelm.
If you are unsure what types of toys would best suit your children’s needs, feel free to contact us for advice. We love playing and Santa and would love to help you compile your shopping list and make the right decisions this Christmas.
Tip 7 … Give Yourself Time & Breathing Space
If you can shop without your children, do it!
Having uninterrupted time to think and breath is invaluable when making decisions and will give you more opportunity to look around, talk to shopkeepers and seek advice without distraction.
Please remember, wise shopping doesn’t mean fast shopping. Don’t be put off by friends and family that complete all their Christmas shopping months in advance; if you’ve taken the time to plan and left yourself a reasonable amount of time for purchasing and delivery, then you can breathe easy. Although having said that, you should definitely avoid leaving shopping to the last minute; not only does this make you feel stressed but you may find the items you are looking for have sold out.
Tip 8 … Take Advantage of Freebies, Sales and Discounts
Pre-Christmas sales can be a blessing and a curse!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overbuying and ultimately overspending on the wrong toys purely because they were available at a great price. Keep your eyes on your list and a tight grip on your wallet! I know is tempting, but my top tip is to only buy extras if they are truly justified. Take advantage of free or gold coin donation giftwrapping and offers of free shipping where you can, why not make it easy for yourself and save a few hard earned pennies too!
I hope these tips will help your Christmas shopping go smoothly and be overwhelm free. Remember, first and foremost this should be a fun and exciting time of the year for you and your family!