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How much do you spend on your kids toys?

How much do you spend on your kids toys?

It’s that time of year where there are toy sales on wherever I turn. I admit, I used to be an absolute sucker for toy sales. I’d go through the catalogues and carefully pick out the “perfect toys” for my kids. I’d then either layby them for Christmas, or buy them and put them away for upcoming birthdays or the end of the year.

But the further down the motherhood gig I got the more I realized that my supposedly organized approach wasn’t really working.

Firstly, whenever I went into the sales I’d get caught up in the trolley chaos and find myself buying ridiculous specials because you know, they were 60% off. Never-mind that my child wouldn’t be remotely interested in the fact the toy in question made fake ice-cream, they’d want the real thing. A standout purchase was the inflatable house filled with those plastic balls. I figured that would save me on the torture of taking the offspring to those play centres with them. Nope. They showed a desultory interest in it, and played in it once or twice. And guess what? The next time we went off to the play centre they took off shrieking to the inflatable house as if they’d never seen one in their lives before.

I learned to purchase items that could be added to and made collections of rather than one offs. More kind of classic toys rather than the latest craze. Building blocks, that kind of thing. I also realized that buying stuff for the kids for Christmas, six months before Christmas wasn’t practical at all. I don’t know about your kids, but mine change their minds more frequently than they change their clothes (which is daily by the way) so what they wanted in July wasn’t what they wanted in December. And it’s all very well saying they should be happy with what they’ve been given. You try staring into a four year olds tear filled eyes when they say reproachfully to you “I wanted the yellow teletubby” when you’ve given them the stuffed giraffe they said they’d simply die without some months before.

I do have a presents cupboard which is useful for birthdays and I’m not alone. According to a recent study from Kmart 40% of us do this. The study also found that on average Aussie mums buy 42 toys per year, with an average spend of $1,160 per household. Uh huh.

That’s a whole lot of shopping. I’m pretty sure I add to that average as well. These days I’ve clocked the fact that most stores have sales before Christmas as well, and that shopping online is also a surefire way to avoid the stress of stores at the busy times of year. Sometimes I break all my own rules and just hit the sales. Because that’s what parenthood is often about, just figuring it out and it’s different every day.
How do you approach toy shopping for your kids?

8 Member comments Post a reply

Avatar Megs_Mac

So far we've put about $350 on layby for Christmas and Thomas's 1st birthday presents.. spoilt little man smile

Posted 20 July 2011 - 12:36 AM

Avatar declan&miasmummy<3

i spent $750 last year on DS 1st birthday and Christmas presents blink i calmed down a bit and only spent $250 this year for christmas and birthday presents that includes a couple for DD

Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:33 AM

Avatar pennys2011

WOW- i think my poor children are deprived wink last B'day's we spent DD-$15 ,DS-$25 (we really wanted to get him Lego, cos he had no real construction toys)

Posted 20 July 2011 - 04:13 AM

Avatar Jade&CailsMummy

layby'd about $600 worth of toys and will prob still buy more for him i just love to spoil my babies havent even thought of my daughter yet but she will only be 3 months old then so wont need much.

Posted 20 July 2011 - 05:51 AM

Avatar TinaBNE

We're 7 and a half months pregnant with our first baby, a baby girl and my husband bought a huge bag of Lamaze toys home from Myer one day. So sweet! He's wrapped up in her already. I think she'll be able to get anything off him!! He said that was it but he surprised me with more gifts at the baby shower. We've spent over a grand on toys and books already (i really wanted to collect books i liked while growing up) but we have bought a couple of things she won't be able to use for a while.. Like a rocking horse which is more just nursery deco right now.

Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:06 PM

Avatar Angela-75

I agree with Sarah - classic toys like building blocks, stacking toys etc are what we look for too. Anything educational that is wooden or classic. We let our family buy the big plastic singing toys for our son (we dont like them) but he does so we dont mind. But where we spend our money is on classic educational toys that will last, have benefits and wooden toys stay in great shape so can be used as a beautiful handed down toy.

Everytime our son enters his next phase of brain development we need to update his toys and this would cost us around $150 - $200. Puzzles are great and can be cheap and finding great educational toys that are on sale can really help. For baby and toddler toys we use the Australian company Classic Baby http://www.classicbaby.com.au they always have great sales on Melissa and Doug, Wheely Bug and Montessori.

Posted 23 September 2011 - 06:04 PM

Avatar goldcoastmum

We always spend too much on DS. We have $160 worth of stuff on layby but he'll end up getting other stuff too. OH is the worst for getting him things on a whim too. He just got some more duplo blocks which he loves atm, but they are fabulous in the fact that they will last for years. He even has a few duplo things that are as old as me that mum gave us. I think it's our generation that didn't get spoilt at all (at least that was OH and I's case) that tend to buy all the things we wish we had as kids smile

Posted 23 September 2011 - 06:52 PM

Avatar Former Member

every year we spend 1000$ on our girls xmas prezzys this year our DDs will be getting a 4wd dirt bike as they are old enough to ride themselves and they are forever asking daddy for a ride on his this way they can do it themselves supervised of course, my question would be what is cheap but still has the wow factor??

Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:53 PM

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