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7 Tips for Getting Toys the Kids Really Want

GEAR, toys By December 11, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Tips for Getting Toys the Kids Really WantI’m one of those moms who shops all year long. I buy things on sale and fun items fill the cupboards in the spare bathroom. By the time wrapping week comes around in December, the gifts have trickled into the bathtub, hidden under towels.

While this system has always worked in my house, this year things are different. The boys are 6 and 7 and have very specific HOT toys in mind. I realized yesterday in a panic that I didn’t have what they really wanted. Scouring the internet I finally found the toys in stock at one online retailer and pulled out the old Amex.

This mom has learned a few tricks and I won’t be making the same mistake in the future. Here are 7 tips for getting the toys the kids really want.

1. Write letters to Santa on December 1. If you do it too early the kids may change their mind about what they really want.

2. As soon as the letters are written, hop online and order the special present.

3. Stocking stuffers are great to collect over the course of the year, but larger bulky items are best sourced in December. Having an expensive bathroom as a storage area isn’t very practical.

4. Canada has caught on to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in a big way. Making a good list of items and finding the best deals on those days can save a fortune and eliminate the need to shop all year.

5. Pull up a few ‘hot toy’ lists and go through them with your kids to gauge interest. Mattel has a great Hot Toy List and I love Dr. Toy’s annual list as well. This will help you give Aunts and grandparents some ideas. Mattel also have a great online wishlist where you can keep track of the kids’ desires!

6. Check the safety of the toys and whether there have been any recalls. Healthy Canadians and AllAboutVision are great places to check.

7.  Canada’s official Free Shipping Day is happening this Thursday, Dec. 12, and eager online shoppers are gearing up for great deals.  Over 230 stores have signed up to participate, with several more expected to be added to the site before offers go live at 12:01 a.m. EST. In addition to big-name participants like Indigo, Garage, Roots and SportChek, independent retailers are also offering free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.

Once you’ve eliminated the stress from your shopping, you’ll have lots of time to bake, decorate, do charity work and make beautiful memories with the kids during the holiday season.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mattel Canada.  All opinions are our own.


The Joy of Learning Using Fisher-Price® Loops ‘n Swoops Amusement Park™ and Stand-Up Ballcano™ toys

GEAR, toys By October 18, 2012 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Fisher PriceThere’s nothing quite like watching children learn. The wide smiles, loud squeals and dilated eyes as their new toy does something fantastic make you want to record hours and hours of video. Fisher-Price® has always been a top pick in Mom’s bag of tricks and two new toys that UrbanMommies was asked to test are sure to be winners for families everywhere.

Little People® Wheelies™ Loops ’n Swoops Amusement Park™ is so tall (over two feet, in fact) that you can stand up and play from both sides. Because toddlers can use it alone or with a friend, it is perfect for the stage of development when kids are moving from solo to parallel play.

As a mom who owns very few tools (can I use a tap shoe as a hammer?), what tends to resonate with any new toy is the ease of assembly. Needing only six screws and one screwdriver, I felt like a building rock star. My kids eyed the enclosed stickers with excitement and we played a shape game as they instructed me where to place the decals. I was overjoyed watching them study a photo of the finished product on the box while their spatial recognition kicked in and they guided me through the assembly.

Once the final flags were placed in the amusement park (they were chomping at the bit to play) the two enclosed ‘wheelies’ started dipping and swooping down two roller coaster ramps and around the gravity-defying loop the loop. A great teachable moment happened when the boys asked why the wheelie didn’t fall when it was upside down.

If your little ones are learning individuation and suffering from separation anxiety, this exciting Little People® Wheelies™ Loops ’n Swoops Amusement Park™ demonstrates that what goes away will re-appear.  It encourages social interaction and is pretty fun for parents, too. OK. I admit that I took the first turn. Woosh!

Our next test toy was the Stand-Up Ballcano™ that catches balls at its base while encouraging standing. Baby can fill the centre with the six colourful balls and activate an ‘eruption’ that spills the balls all down the three legs of play.

The colours and obstacles help define the world around the kids and the sounds that are created when they place the balls in different spots encourage hand/eye co-ordination. Music and lights inspire the child to do it over and over again.  “Do ‘Gain!” was the comment that I heard most from my little testers.

It was like a mini Physics 101 class.  If the ball gets sent down this ramp, X occurs. If you choose a different ramp, other effects are produced. The only drawback?  They are so excited about volcanos now that pretty soon I may have to go find a chemistry set.

We know moms and kids are learning every day, and Fisher-Price® is here to help in a joyful manner…from innovative solutions that make parents’ lives easier to toys that help kids learn and grow through play.  It’s what we call the Joy of Learning.  Discover more at

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Fisher-Price® via Glam Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Fisher-Price®.