If you have a toddler or a pre-teen, it probably seems like there’s a birthday party every other weekend … and you are probably right. You go out to the toy store, get a gift, come back … and there’s yet another invitation.
I used to find myself spending lots of time scouring shelves looking for just the right gift or for something that I’d bought in the past that seemed like a big hit and was both appropriate and affordable. But I’ve learned some shopping lessons I’d like to share.
First of all, I no longer purchase one gift at a time. I know that my children have many kids in their class, so I often try to purchase two or three gifts (or more) at once. It saves time, gas, and sometimes money. Here are some tips:
• You don’t need to purchase a gift the day you receive an invitation. Wait for a day of a big sale and plan to make that big multiple-gift-shopping day.
• Look for online coupons.
• Don’t purchase gifts that are strictly for a boy or strictly for a girl. For a toddler, those giant puzzles are wonderful, as are books. You can purchase several and parse them out as needed for a boy or a girl.
• For a child who is approaching 7 or 8 years old, you can buy science kits, cooking kits, or educational toys.
• Talk to your local toy store and find out if they will give you a discount if you purchase in quantity. I was able to secure a discount when purchasing several gifts of the same type from a small merchant.
• Avoid no-name toys. If a toy doesn’t have a manufacturer name and model number, don’t bother. If it is later recalled, it may be difficult or impossible to check.
And most important: Remember to keep safety in mind when buying a child’s gift of any type. In tomorrow’s blog, I’ll tell you about some important safety tips you will need while buying a toys for kids.