As Yashy and I leave the stage of parenting centred on dirty diapers, inexplicable tantrums, and strange smells emanating from under the couch cushions, we find ourselves catering to new kinds of needs. One of those needs is fun, and we have two great toys that are making it under our tree this year. Two of our lucky readers will win one as well!
Our kids are beginning to discover themselves, and in the process, ramping up the noise levels in the house as they engage their imaginations, one minute clashing with two foam rods pretending to be Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, the next running through the halls at top speed imitating the Paw Patrol crew. To our expectations, our kids have discovered life outside of their iPads. Both went through puzzle building stages, and with the bounty of toys that our family and friends have brought into our house over the years, their imaginations are getting a good workout on a daily basis. But those growing brains seem to need constant feeding. A puzzle completed dozens of times is no longer a challenge. A toy gets old and no longer inspires wondrous adventures in the corner of the living room. This is why we purge toys every couple of months and drop them off at a donation centre.
Disclosure : This post is in partnership with Chapters Indigo but, as always, opinions are TOTALLY ours.
In an effort to keep our kids grounded, we are trying to instil the idea of special occasions. On their birthdays, our kids are allowed to get new toys. At Christmas time, they can make a list that Santa will do his best to fulfill. The only problem is that this YouTube generation of kids are exposed to hundreds of new toy items between Christmas and their birthdays, leaving me scouring the internet for for what are seemingly mythical creatures from the depths of YouTube home video. And to be honest, online toy shopping just isn’t that fun. When I was a kid, a trip to the toy store was like going to an exciting movie. Seeing aisles of new games, puzzles, books, and toys, struggling in earnest to decide on the one I wanted the most, is a great memory, one that I hope to give to my kids as well.
Despite living in the heart of Downtown Toronto, mere steps from Toronto’s Eaton Centre, my initial forays into toy shopping proved difficult. One day, I promised the Little Monkey play dough, figuring we could just pick some up at Canadian Tire across the street. Nope, by the time we found it, we had reach the far corners of the Eaton Centre and paid double the price. That day, I came home and ordered about 40 containers of the stuff online (Yashy has since told me the dollar store carries them, but I’m not a fan of dollar store goods). Now that the Little Monkey is aware of the wondrous thing called a toy store, she has great expectations. For a while, I couldn’t figure out where to go without a long subway ride.
Recently, I promised the kids that we could go find a couple of new books. We have a storytime ritual every night, and it’s always more fun when we are reading about characters with whom our kids are familiar. We are in a major Star Wars phase, not something I had even planned, and Star Wars mania entered our house though books my Mom had given the kids. So, we all headed into the Eaton Centre to visit Chapters Indigo, where I figured we would find a couple great new books, perhaps even a learn-to-read book for the Little Monkey.
Upon reaching Indigo, I was blown away by the kids section upstairs. Not only did they have thousands of books on display, but puzzles and games as well, and to our kids’ amazement, toys! I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of demands as we walked through the aisles. Normally, when entering a toy store, I explain that we are there for a specific toy. Others can be added to a birthday or Christmas list for the future. On this day, we narrowly avoided a complete meltdown thanks to the many toy stations set up around the store where kids can play.
Having managed to escape that day, I am now pretty pleased to know that this neighbourhood Indigo provides one stop shopping for both educational kids toys and the ones that they aspire to own from their favorite TV shows. Yashy has been back there three times over the past couple weeks to purchase Christmas gifts for family and friends. The Little Monkey and I stopped in one day too. After seeing an improvement in her reading, coinciding with an obsession for Shopkins, we went on the hunt for a learn-to-read Shopkins book, and would you believe they even had one!
If you’re looking for some holiday gifting inspiration be sure to check out Indigo. For those who enjoy online shopping, they offer free shipping to all stores and for home delivery on orders over $25. Baby Boy and Little Monkey have quite a few items on their Santa Wishlist and we’re lucky that we found nearly all of them at Chapters Indigo! While we were there, we couldn’t help but pick up Zoomer Marshall (from Paw Patrol!) for Baby Boy and Qixels 3D Maker for Little Monkey. These will be the gifts Yashy and I give them this year and based on the reviews we’ve seen online, we’re very excited to play with them ourselves! That’s a sign of a good toy, right? It also helps that Indigo is having a buy one get one 50% off sale on toys between December 8 and 11 AND they offer free gift wrapping. I bet most dads would enjoy that most of all!
Zoomer Marshall really comes to life: walking, talking and spinning.The kids can get him to follow them, just like a real pup and can make him say over 150+ real Paw Patrol phrases and sounds! The Qixels 3D Maker allows kids to shape and create in 3D by using unique ‘layer by layer’ technology to add another dimension to their creations. Just build and brush with water and they magically stick together.
Enter below for a chance to win a Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall OR a Qixels 3D Maker! Good Luck!