What does this have to do with the topic of this blog? Well, a couple times I've mentioned that asking for what you want for gifts can save you a considerable amount of money, since it saves you from having to buy things you want or need. Plus, it saves the gift giver money, since they aren't throwing it away on something you're just going to get rid of as soon as they aren't looking. In my case, I tend to ask for things for the kids that will be helpful with our homeschooling, since that will further save us money. I figured an example of what such a list may look like would be helpful to some people.
So here is what my youngest "officially" wants for his 2nd birthday! Most of these are things that he's played with at the children's museum we frequent or at other people's houses, so I know he enjoys them. (anyone that is looking at this because they will actually be getting him a present, please note: HE DOES NOT NEED CLOTHES! Also note that we don't care about the specific brands on this list; it is for illustrative purposes only. We'd always prefer to support small businesses and/or products made in the USA.)
Step2 Little Helper’s Grocery Cart
Smart Snacks Counting Cookies
Smart Splash - Letter Link Crabs
Little Helper Broom Set
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Cutting Fruit Crate
Small World Living Toys My-Oh-My Pizza Pie
Alex Toys Super Cooking Set
Fisher-Price Bubble Mower
Melissa & Doug Insects Wooden Chunky Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Pets Wooden Chunky Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Playtime Veggies
Smart Snacks Rainbow Color Cones
Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set
Little Tikes TotSports Basketball Set
Melissa & Doug Stacking Train
Enesco Karina 10.5" Labradoodle Plush
If you notice, none of these toys (I don't think the bubble mower does, does it?) require batteries or promote television shows, but all of them stimulate the imagination or the body or both! Kids don't need to be sitting around on their butts watching the toys play with themselves (yes, I phrased that the most obnoxious way possible, because I think toys that do everything for the child are the most obnoxious things out there!). They need their little brains and their little bodies on the move and that is a huge part of how I pick toys for my kids, or any children I buy presents for.
A lot of great toys, like building today, for example aren't on this list because this is my fourth child, so we already have a lot of toys like that from the older children. Most toys are shared between the kids once an initial "that toy is special" period wears off. For a more complete list of wonderful toys and what makes toys great, check out this list by a localish (well, it was local where we lived before this) toy store.