I know it isn’t even Halloween yet, but truly, for the frugal at heart it is time to start thinking about Christmas! Yes-I know. I hate rushing the season as well. . . but if you want to stretch your dollars and figure out how to fit all your Christmas plans into your budget, then you’ve got to start now.
I recommend setting a goal this year for how much money you are going to spend on the holidays, then make a plan for how much you will spend each month. If you pick up a few gifts each month (or put a few big things on Layaway) then you should be able to head into Christmas enjoying the season rather than dreading the January credit card bills.
As part of the whole “planning ahead for Christmas” thing Walmart asked me to preview their toy selection and share my top 10 picks for toys this holiday season. It’s always fun to look at Christmas toys. I remember as a kid we would get those big thick catalogs from JC Penney, Sears & Service Merchandise and just POUR over the toy sections, circling things and dreaming. I always wanted a Snoopy Sno Cone machine. . . but Santa never smiled on me I guess he (and my mom) thought it would be a bit too messy to have a Sno Cone machine in the house with 5 kids. Oh well!
So here we go-my top 10 picks from Walmart.com’s Holiday Toy Selection:
Buddy loves Legos–he really enjoys building them but also is very into the mini figures. He doesn’t have any of the new “Monster Fighters” sets yet but really wants some–the mini figures are cool, they have nifty parts and there are glow in the dark bricks. I think any boy would love that! The spy gear is just super cool for any age group.
Santa brought Princess a Spy Watch a year or so ago and she still pulls it out to wear and take pictures with it or tape folks sometimes. Walkie Talkies of course are always popular with kids of all ages.
The streaks of color in the hair are extremely popular right now. The hair Chox (chalk) looks like a great way to let girls of all ages play with the fashion statement without making any permanent changes.
Apples to Apples is a fantastic game-we love playing the adult version. But when you’ve got kids a lot of the phrases (Marilyn Monroe, The Industrial Revolution etc) just aren’t things they would know. The junior version is exactly like the adult version, they’ve just taken out the references that younger folks wouldn’t be aware of.
In the winter I try only to let the kids play video games that get them up to move-so Xbox Kinect or Wii games that make them use their whole body! Just Dance 4 has fun music and gets them (and me) moving. While it isn’t active, Buddy loves Legos of all kinds so the Lego Star Wars III would be a big hit.
Bop It is one of those weird but fun games. You can play it by yourself or with others, and you can keep trying to beat your own score. I’ve even caught Yankee Bill playing with it!
Perry the Platypus is just awesome (and if you haven’t ever watched Phineas and Ferb and have no idea what I’m talking about, well, I’m sorry!) Both of my kids thought this clock was awesome and I think if you’ve got anyone in the house between the ages of 6-12 they would too! The Star master just projects “stars” up on the ceiling–and kids love that sort of thing It’s also good for a nightlight for kids that still want one but don’t want to be “baby-ish”.
There you have it, 10 cool toys that I think most kids (and most especially my kids) would love for Christmas this year. What do you think?