Monday, December 02, 2013

The Wide Lawns Official Toddler Gift-Giving Guide

Ok, it's Christmas. You've survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday and now it's Cyber Monday or some nonsense and you have a ton of coupons in your email and on your phone and you have a bunch of kids to shop for. Some might be your own, some might be relatives or the kids of friends and you have no freaking clue what to get any of them. Fear not. I've got your shopping list right here.

Take it from me. I'm a mom to an active three year old. I've made a ton of mistakes but I think I finally have a very good idea of what kids like.

The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot of money, travel to some fancy boutique or order a bunch of expensive shit from Scandinavia. Here's what to get them:

1. Band-Aids - Children are obsessed with band-aids. Get any child a few boxes and you will be revered. Band-Aids with characters on them? You are a saint.

2. Chapstick - Basically the only thing that kids love more than Band-Aids is Chapstick. They like to eat it, smear it all over their faces, your face, the dog's face, their stuffed animals' faces and also your nice clean windows. If you give a child some Chapstick they will think you are a god. Their parents may not agree.

3. A Cardboard Box - It's almost a cliche this one, but it's true. I can't tell you how many times people have gotten my daughter all kinds of fancy toys only to have her spend hours playing with the box the toys came in. One day I watched my daughter and my niece play with a box for two hours straight without taking a break.

4. Gum - This is up there with Band-Aids and Chapstick and should never be given to your own children for obvious reasons. Save this for other people's children. Preferably the children of people you don't like. Don't forget to give them a jar of peanut butter to get the gum out of their kid's hair. It works miracles.

4. Solo Cups - Yes, the red plastic, frat party staple. Children love them. My daughter and my niece (a different one, not the cardboard box niece) entertained themselves quietly for the duration of an entire family BBQ with a stack of solo cups. I kid you not.

5. A Box of Kleenex - Yup. The whole thing. Just for them. Hours of fun. Hours of clean up for the parents.

6. A Water Bottle - Go to the nearest convenient store and buy any bottle of water. Heck, you can even drink half or all of the water if you want. Give it to the kid. They don't even care if it's not Fiji. Any used, plastic water bottle will suffice.

7. A Bucket of Ice Cubes - Every parent knows that children universally possess an inhuman tolerance for cold. It's like their cold-sensing nerve endings aren't yet developed or something and thus, sticking their hands repeatedly in ice isn't the painful experience it is for us adults. Kids love ice. It's messy and melty, it breaks but won't cut you like glass and it's sparkly. Plus, it has just the right amount of danger as a choking hazard to make it thrilling.

8. Laundry Baskets - Give your kid his own laundry basket, which won't be used for laundry of course, and watch him go to town. Kids don't long for ponies. They just want laundry baskets.

9. Tupperware - Kids love containers. I have no idea why because frankly, I just don't see the excitement, but they do. Throw in a wooden spoon for extra amusement.

10. A Soap Dispenser - Ahh, the unparalleled thrill of pushing down a pump and having soap miraculously come out of it onto your hand, or the counter top, or in the sink, or the floor or pretty much anywhere else except your hand. I'm not kidding people, you've never seen anything like it. Soap. It comes out of it. Wow. Can we push it again? And again? How about again? How about 27 more times?

11. Straws - Not necessarily to drink with. Kids can find a million other uses for straws. My daughter is fascinated with everything having to do with straws. Except actually drinking out of them, because if I put one in her cup, she usually takes it out to play with. If I go to Starbucks the first words out of her mouth are "Mommy! Did you bring me a straw??"

12. Scotch Tape - Give a kid a roll of scotch tape and get out the video camera. Enough said. Thank me when you win the $25,000 prize on America's Funniest Home Videos (is that even on anymore?). Post-its are a close second.

13. Bubble Wrap - Just admit it, you like it too.

14.  Costco Sized Box of Goldfish Crackers - Because that's usually all they want to eat anyway.

15. Lotion - Ever wonder why kids have such soft skin? I have your answer. It's because they're all obsessed with lotion. Want to make a kid happy? Give them their own bottle of lotion, preferably one with a pump dispenser (see above) and let them slather themselves to their heart's content. It may take a while, so you might want to put in a movie or something.

See, your kids don't need an expensive tablet filled with apps. They don't need an Elmo that hugs them, a big, pink castle that seven princesses can live in or a Disney laptop. They just need the contents of your junk drawer and a few personal care products for endless joy. You're welcome. Now take all the money I've saved you and take a nice vacation this winter.

*If you like my writing here, you'll love my memoir. It's about what happens when the ultimate good girl, suffering the worst breakup of all time, decides to go to work in a strip club to make over her life. Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat is available on Amazon, Nook and iBooks. Makes a great holiday gift for your favorite reader too!**

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the bubbles, the small plastic bottle with the little round wand inside. My kids loved them and my grandkids also. No clean up no mess. Now the sell expensive toys that you fill and they make tons of bubbles automatically but stick with the wand and let them do it. SG

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious, and so true. Too bad the adults would all think we were Grinches if we actually did this for Christmas.

Johnny Virgil said...

My niece got that huggy Elmo. That thing is terrifying. I should have gotten her the tape.

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