On the first day of shopping my true love gave to me…a list of about 50 things we didn’t need so I told him to stuff it and that I’d be over in the toy aisle again.
I’m just joking. I wouldn’t talk like that to my precious Cuban. He puts up with me dragging him along to shop for toys for children we don’t even know.
Sometimes, getting The Cuban to shop with me is hard but then we find ourselves gushing over cute baby shoes or fun things we can’t wait to get our grandchildren someday. (If it seems like I’m ready for grandchildren let me assure you that I’m not one of those people. I just can’t talk about buying toys for my kids because they’re out of that age. And also, I haven’t picked a cute grandmotherly name yet but I’ll let you know.) Each time I’ve gone in-store shopping for Target lately I have decided to take a new family member with me. Mallory was with me the last time and now it’s The Cuban’s turn. I can’t tell you how thrilled he is to do this with me. (Yes, I can. He actually likes it because the pressure’s off of us to get The Perfect Gift for a child.)
For this shopping excursion, we stayed in the younger age toy section. Even though we’re not shopping for little kids of our own, we found ourselves contemplating a lot more with this purchase because we wanted to make sure it was a useful toy. When his sons were younger (they’re both teenagers) all they wanted were bats and balls so it was easy. My kids required a little more VAVOOM with toys and I felt like all I did was make those knee-jerk purchases because something shiny (and loud) was within their vision. But this time, like the grandparents we aren’t, we found ourselves acting like occupational therapists in the way we questioned the toys’ value.
Will it enhance activity and coordinated movement? Is it durable and appealing to the senses? Will a child playing with this use their creativity and be able to use the toy in multiple ways?
It’s funny. I never put so much thought into a present for another person’s child as I did that day. When my boys were younger I always thought about how safe a toy was or how long I thought they might play with it. If it was for ages 8 and up would they still be interested when they were pre-teens? We also looked for something that didn’t require batteries because every parent knows that having to search for new, fresh batteries to make something work is kind of a pain in the rear. As my children got older and received more battery-powered toys from their grandparents and aunts and uncles I started buying them in bulk and then proceeded to NEVER KNOW WHERE THEY WERE.
I want to save parents the trouble and headache. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t do that.
That’s how we ended up with the Playskool Rocktivity Walk N Roll Rider. It’s a sit-on rider powered by the feet of an energetic baby age 9 months and up. It helps them with balance and has a handlebar and front hub. And it kind of reminds me of a baby Harley, so I thought that was extra cute. I love toys that have basic colors and look like they’re meant for the age intended. You can find the Rocktivity Walk ‘n Roll Rider (under $40) at Target both online and in the stores, but we really loved seeing it in person and chatting with a new mom who told us she had it and that her son loved it. If I’ve learned nothing else about being a mom it’s that listening to another mom is one of the best things you can do because she’s already tried other things and found something that works. This mom, named Tamara, told me that her little boy zooms that sucker all over their house.
After picking out the Rocktivity we actually did have to shop for some other household items and spent the rest of the time imagining what we’d buy for our grandkids someday. This particular toy? Totally on the list.
Do you know a deserving family, school, or charity this holiday season? We’re giving away one grand set of 20 toys from Target, including those mentioned in this post! To nominate, simply comment and tell us why you’ve selected them!
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