Ok so here we have just been delivered the lay by for Christmas sale catalogues, they very cleverly co-inside with school holidays. I have done a lay by almost every year for my children, it works great because you don't have to store the presents! it works great because it makes you budget yur Christmas. It is difficult though to gauge what your children are going to be interested in by Christmas when its only June. I do think too that some of the toys in these catalogues are very gimmicky and so very branded that whilst i love pouring over the catalogues and deciding what would suite my kids i cringe at how blatant brands are shoved down our children's throats. I also think there is a danger when making up your lay by to get carried away and buy more than you need, i have been guilty of this in the past i think.
I can understand the parents that leave it till the last minuet, they would perhaps not overbuy as who wants to spend much time shopping near Christmas its manic. They would have a much clearer idea of their child's desires and what been written down on their Christmas list. But for me its not thinkable because i really really hate crowds, i tend to be an over thinker and like to take ages thinking and planning presents and did i mention i hate crowds.
The slow squirrelling away of gifts, i do this as well as lay by. I not only do this for my kids but for all the family, i am one of those really mad people who start buying for Christmas now. Why ? because i like buying presents and i like finding the right gift for the right person. But mostly i do it because its the only way i can budget for all the people i want to buy for. So because i squirrel away i have a Christmas birthday list on my phone of possible presents for all the family. This keeps me focused so i don't go mental and buy everything i see that they would all like otherwise my Nice's would end up with truck loads of stuff ( i get my girly shopping fix via them).
So this year whats on my list for my 2 ? i am trying to make sustainable play choices - not in the green eco sense of sustainable (that's always a bonus when toys are eco) but sustainable as in the play has somewhere to go, toys that are open ended. I have sometimes fallen into the trap in previous year in buying things that perhaps don't leave enough room for their imaginations to take over. Instead the play has been short and mimicking tv and the toy is abandoned not long after Christmas. I more often got it right than wrong but this year i am actively searching out the pro-imagination toys.
big stores with lay by for Christmas here are target, big w, kmart, myer and you can compare their catalogues online to make the choice of which mega store to choose.
I made my lay by yesterday, they are getting
sandpit excavators (one each)
robotic fish? i have no idea what they will be like but Christmas time is hot here so water play is a given.
some board games operation and connect 4 because i thought they were good for development
it was a very small lay by compared to previous years but i will be supplementing it with some of these
toy castle + knights and fantasy characters by papo ( mini zoo shop )
toy catapult on etsy
Some felt food like this (i may make some of this sort of thing if i find time) or shop on etsy
to go with the above i will hunt around the op shops for pots and pans and fun kitcheny stuff, we were given a great little kitchen by a friend and i might give it a bit of a boost with some paint.
I'm also going to get some hula hoops and caution caps.
i love these kind of toys, beautiful stacking so many possibilities for staging play invitations ;)
again on etsy
stocking filler ideas...
I will make a stack of little bean bags for each boy
some animal figurines
little wind up toys
and last year i found some nice stocking fillers and puzzles here, my wooden toys
Well i hope whatever style of Christmas shopping you do for your kids, that this post helped you to think a bit about what your going to do this year. Whatever you feel about Christmas its lovely to spoil our kids with wonderful toys