It's killing me to end that in a preposition but nothing else sounded quite right. Who cares? No one.
Anyway, there are a lot of skills I don't possess and one of them is picking out toys our kids will actually love and use. However! My mom has a knack for giving the kids gifts they love and play with forever and ever. Amen. I've been compiling this list since the beginning of the year so as to make sure I wasn't just grabbing a week's worth of popular toys but toys that have stood the test of time around here.
I'm missing a few BUT here are the ones that stood out. And I'm willing to bet a bunch of them are on sale for Cyber Monday. I know the kitchen is, at the very least!
1. play kitchen - we got this for the kids last year (it's 40% off at the moment - it was NOT 40% off when I bought it, boo) and it gets used every single day. It's the first thing Bosco goes for when he wakes up, the kids all love to make faux meals, and it doubles as a barre for my barre dvds. It's a winner. Might I advise that you NOT wait until 10:30 in the pm on Christmas Eve to assemble it, though? It's time consuming - to put it politely.
2. Wheely Bee - Phoebe got this for her second birthday and it was a HUGE hit among all five kids. I'm tempted to get the bigger size for Christmas as a group gift. It's $20 off at the moment too ...
3. puzzles - I don't think there's anything particularly special about these puzzles but the older three kids LOVE to do these. Over and over AND over again. We've had them for a few years and they have yet to lose their appeal. I love that the box is wooden and Bosco can't tear it to pieces like he does with cardboard.
4. Plasma Car - Another one we've had for years that my mom bought I think before Theo was even born. It's taken a beating but still works really well - maybe a little too well because Sebastian is scarily skilled at whipping around the deck on it VERY quickly. It's $20 off right now, too!
5. Boogie Board Writing Tablet - I have to admit that I thought this was a little gimmicky when my mom gave them to the older two but I was QUICKLY proven wrong. It's great for the car and up until recently we let Julia bring it into church to draw quietly. It's a no-mess way for kids to practice writing or just draw things. If you lose the pen like we did - any old anything will work (Julia gets creative with bobby pins, retractable pens etc). Phoebe has tried to scratch them to death but they are incredibly durable and still going strong after 3+ years.
6. Brio Trains - My aunt saved these from when her three boys were little and got them out when we visited a few years ago and Sebastian was completely obsessed. We've slowly built a collection (mostly thanks to my mom) and it's still a favorite around here. It's odd if there's not a new track built in the boys room. Even Bosco let's his truck-obsessed eye wander over into train territory on occasion.
7. Cleaning Set - I'm no child development expert but it seems like every toddler goes through a cleaning phase of sorts and these are PERFECT for when they want to "help".
8. Inflatable Bouncy Animal - I can't explain why kids love this thing but they DO. I go back and forth about whether or not ours (can't seem to find our exact breed pictured up with our kitchen) is a dog or a bunny on the daily. Maybe a dunny.
9. B is for Bear: My grandma bought this for newborn Julia and all her other books paled in comparison in the interest and excitement department for months on end. All the kids have felt similarly - something about the big pictures, I guess? It would make a great baby gift or gift for expectant parents, I promise!
On my wish list: I'd love to get a doll stroller for Phoebe and Bosco or maybe a shopping cart? Something to push around and bicker over :)
And now for the selfish part of my post - what toys do your kids love? I think we are going more the experience (zoo and museum memberships) route this Christmas but I like to keep a running list of ideas for birthdays and potty training incentives for the younger crowd.
Anything you're excited about for Cyber Monday? It seems like a lot of sites have done a big weekend long sale which is nice and convenient for us fickle folks that are slow to pull the trigger.
A few good ones:
Amazon is having a big sale on electronics (and I think it's running all week? way to be, Amazon), lots of car seats are discounted 25% or more, and there are loads of strollers are on sale too
J.Crew Factory is having a 40% off clearance, 50% off men's suits and Crewcuts styles, and 60% off everything else sale.
ASOS is running a 30% off site wide sale. I haven't shopped for maternity clothes for a couple of years but they always had a fun inventory and lots of great dressy dresses (non-maternity too, of course). I might be a lone lover of these loafers but, I love them - can't help it.
LOFT is doing 50% off EVERYTHING. They have a wide variety of peplum and lots of fun long cardigans too.
I didn't think much of Nordstrom's 20% off clearance sale BUT I finally looked closer and these seemingly perfect ankle boots are deeply discounted, Hunter Boots are on rare sale, and there are lots of winter coats for more than 50% off (maybe the only thing I miss about the cold, maybe!). And this is the only place I've seen the new special edition Fitbit Blaze on sale.
I'm in the market for a new DSLR but haven't found any on great sale - let me know if you've happened to see any!
Hope you all have a great week! We may or may not have put the kids to bed at 6:49 on the dot tonight (they fell right to sleep so - Mom knew best, for once) so hopefully tomorrow morning's school time wakeup is a little less painful than I know it will be. Godspeed to everyone in similar boats.