Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Assuming they're more nice than naughty . . .

Tuesday is my LONG day so this post will be short. I'm just starting to think about the holidays and have started receiving requests for the boys' Christmas lists.

The dilemma is that we need to prepare this house for sale which will involve a MONUMENTAL de-cluttering effort. I imagine that in addition to getting rid of stuff, we may also have to put some of the boys' stuff into storage. If people want to give my children gifts, I am thrilled and want the boys to enjoy a few new things. However, I do not want to bring a lot of big stuff into the house, nor any games/toys that involve multiple pieces (legos, blocks, crafts). I do want there to be some key items around that can keep them occupied while other stuff (like train table, for example) is in storage.

Some ideas I've thought of so far include:

* DVDs -- Bub is starting to be able to watch and actually comprehend movies, and it is fun to talk to him about what happened and see what he remembers/understands. I'm thinking of UP, Cars (erased our DVR copy on accident), Monsters vs. Aliens . . . but I don't want the boys to be watching movies the entire time the house is on the market!

* Photo Albums/Books -- My sister LAP made Bub a Kodak Gallery mini book a few years back, and he still loves flipping through it and naming all the family members featured on its pages, ditto with a book/album that Grandma put together for him. I designed a book at Kodak Gallery called "Best Buddies" that features Bub and Little Bit together that I hope they will both enjoy now and in the future. I could put together some other book/photo collections: updated family book, cousin-themed one, our neighborhood, our house, favorite things, etc. They might get a kick out having books that are about their life!

* Books in general -- They take up less space than other stuff, and we can definitely give our current library a weeding-out to create space for new books.

That's all I have so far. I have been wondering about the Leapster that's for four year-olds and older . . . Do any of you have kids with Leapsters? Do they like them? Use them? Any particular games? Are they worth it?

And, although these items are not small, they would be easy to put in the garage during a showing and may provide hours of indoor fun . . . have any of you seen/owned those little Plasma Cars (look like small scooter things that supposedly steer in some cool way)? The reviews on Amazon and Costco.com are really, really positive. I'm just wondering if plasma cars are worth exploring.

At the end of the day, my boys are little and do not have a lot of expectations for the holidays. The festivities, travel, people, and wrapping paper will likely be the highlights for them. I know that. But I do want to give them a few gifts and want to be able to give good ideas to relatives who have requested them.

So, do you have any good ideas for me?


E... said...

We're having a similar dilemma around here. O. really just wants more dinosaurs, but I'm trying to come up with a way to find something that will lead him in a new area of interest while also delighting him on the actual day. He's ready for a two wheeler, but seems cruel to give it in the winter, since I won't want to be out there in the cold teaching him to ride.
Feedback on the Leapster: O. got one last year, and has enjoyed it, though he probably doesn't play with it as much as I expected he would. The games are a tad advanced for a four year old, if they are not super familiar with their numbers and letters (this is not something I push), but they can still play with it without this knowledge. He has the Cars game, the Pet Pals game, and the Backyardigans one, and I would say Pet Pals is the usual winner -- he likes to give his puppy a bath, mostly. He also really enjoys the drawing game that comes with it.
O. tried out one of the plasma cars at a b-day party recently and got a real kick out of it. Wish we had a more flat area to ride it, but he maneuvered it well in the unfinished basement area he tried it in.

Kristina said...

This violates your "rules" but we're getting the kids magna tiles as a joint gift. The Amazon reviews are incredible. Little boy is getting a Let's Go Thomas - have you seen them in action? They are awesome. Big Girl is getting a strawberry shortcake head to practice hair dos on - probably doesn't apply to your boys. Oh and grandparents are making them a table cloth fort for the card table. Check these out as an example: http://www.etsy.com/shop/missprettypretty?section_id=5577944

Sarah D said...

Here's some general gift ideas from our fam:
Adam's mom every year gives all the kids (8!!) $100 in their college fund for xmas and their bdays and then just a small gift to open. Small toy or outfit. So super generous and so super smart. They get so much stuff and this is a gift that truly keeps on giving. My folks and aunt and uncle have also given L some of her xmas budget in this form, too. I look around here and think, what the heck do we even ask for? There are a few things I think she'd like to have as she gets bigger, but overall, we have a lot of toys and not a lot of room for all the toys! I agree, while they are little and not asking for everything under the sun, may as well take advantage of it.
Another thing I like to do is put some of the gifts away and get them out in a few mos. They get so much stuff right now and the excitement wears off in a couple of mos, so I like to have other new stuff stuff to pull out to keep the excitement going.

Regan said...

I would say the XBOX 360 packs the most entertainment punch for the least amount of space. Also, Bub should be online a few hours each day. It's done wonders for me. I would get puzzles of a high enough level that little bit can't solve them, but easy enough to attempt. Tie meals to progress. Then again, I have no kids, and these may not be good insights.

Nap Warden said...

You are so putting me to shame...I have NO ideas for Christmas...NONE:(

I'm such a slacker...

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