My kids have way too many toys. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many.
We have weeded many times, and I can honestly say that the toys we still have in the house are ones that they play with regularly - the problem is that their play is so creative, it jumps from idea to idea, and everything gets used in one fashion or another. (It is a little disturbing to come into the living room and find Elmo and Bob the Builder, with backs to the dresser and arms pinned inside like they are in the stockades. Just keep walking and don't ask questions, Mom.)
This makes things like Christmas and birthdays a little difficult - you want them to be able to unwrap something that makes their eyes light up, and those little mental gears start whirring, but it is quite obvious that we really don't need any more toys.
So, two things came to mind this year: one is the aforementioned creativity, and the fact that every time they play together, there is a story of some sort.
I'm not sure I want to know the story here, either.
The other is that, generally, they do play together, which means toys they share are perfectly acceptable. With that in mind, we have put together three main gifts that I am going to share here (one each week or so), in hopes that it will spark some ideas for other parents of creative kids:
We already (obviously) have a few, and blankets can always be capes or ghost coverings or Santa's sack (sometimes within the same play period) - but, more is always better, right? I had a wicker chest sitting in the garage, which will fit perfectly next to S's bed, so I started filling it with odds and ends picked up after Halloween and at thrift shops and yard sales. I am wrapping each individually, with little notes to help them guess what is inside:
Okay, not exactly a riddle for the sphinx, but these are little ones we are talking about. I tried to focus on things that denote certain professions or characters without putting together the entire outfit - giving them a suggestion, in other words, while still letting their creativity take over (when they play firefighters, they use C.'s backpack and his Harley Davidson canteen as their oxygen packs!)
This cost me a whopping ten cents! Is it a band uniform? A general's coat? A king's formal wear? Who knows what they'll decide!
The chest is full of wrapped packages now, with two open ones sitting on top: a butterfly outfit, and a ninja. Still deciding what to set out for L., but I know those two will be snatched up instantly. After that, I am going to have them open a couple every day or two, to stretch the excitement out, and make sure everything gets played with at least a little.
The bonus on this gift is that they are used to seeing the chest in the garage, and don't look twice at it - they have no idea they have been walking past and sitting on a major Christmas present!
So, what ideas do you have for your creative kiddo? Share here so other Moms can
steal borrow! And, shh, don't tell my kiddos what Santa has up his sleeve!
P.S. But WHAT, besides gift certificates, do you give the smart, nonmaterialistic 18-year-old mountain girl???