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To be totally stumped as to what to get ds (4) for his birthday and to consider only getting a couple of things

(40 Posts)
lecce Fri 24-May-13 17:22:55

Sorry for the wordy and dull title.

We seem to have got toys all wrong. Although both sets of our parents make it clear we have a ridiculous amount, compared to friends we seem to have sod all and our two boys rarely seem to play with any of it anyway.

Ds2 will be 4 in July so I am starting to think about it but, tbh, I am sick of spending a fair old bit of money just for it to never be played with. What he really loves is a CD of 'Suessical the Musical' which he would have on non-stop if we let him. He wears a witch's hat to be Cat in the Hat and dances around singing along. He sometimes plays with his soft toys; he enjoys crafts but not with any input from us so need to be simple, and other than that he just likes pottering around making dens or baking and going out.

I am totally stumped and very disinclined to spend much more than £20ish if it is not going to be played with. He has asked for Peppa Pig toys but has tonnes of small-world type stuff and I'm sure he won't play with it.

But I then think that maybe if we spent more money on toys and had as many as our friends all have, the dc would play with them more. Oh, I don't know.

WIBU to just get some paints and glitter, maybe a Cat in the Hat costume and then ...seems mean, doesn't it?

hinkyhonk Fri 24-May-13 17:26:50

not much help but my about-to-be-four year old has the most fun trouting about with my tea towel, a small broom and a toy ride on truck suitable for my 18 month old having a random game of crankers (don't ask me I don't understand the rules apparently grin )

god knows what we'll do for his birthday so watching with interest

CAF275 Fri 24-May-13 17:27:58

He'll be 4. He'll be delighted with a big empty box at that age - days and days of fun to be had!

Paints, glitter and lots of paper will give him loads of fun by the sound of it.

Never, ever compare what you/your DC have with friends - there lies madness.

SpanishFly Fri 24-May-13 17:28:43

Why not get a voucher for a toy shop as well, then he can spend it over the next few months, choosing what he really wants. Then if it isn't played with, it was his decision, but you change tactic next year/Christmas.

Or a build a bear voucher, where you all go and make a big occasion out of it. If he likes dressing up, then he'd maybe enjoy dressing his own bear too?

NumTumDeDum Fri 24-May-13 17:30:33

I had this issue. I decided that dd could have a couple of small things to open and then bought her dance lessons. We've moved onto swimming now as she has all the natural grace of an elephant in a tutu and she loves the swimming lessons.

LadyVoldemort Fri 24-May-13 17:31:27

Yanbu to not spend a lot, although you'd also NBU to spend a fortune if you fancied it.

DS is 3 soon and I plan on getting him some jigsaws, books, maybe a few toy cars and a buzz or woody toy. He really doesn't need or use much else!

lecce Fri 24-May-13 17:31:29

Thank you. Actually, I'd forgotten Build a Bear. Think he might really like that, though will probably go for something hideous and pink. Does it make for a fun experience?

I know I need to stop comparing. i have always been a nightmare for it and parenting has made it ten times worse.

NumTumDeDum Fri 24-May-13 17:31:37

My mum got her a book and them put some money in her bank account so that if she really wanted something later on we could get it.

SpanishFly Fri 24-May-13 17:31:42

PS we gave ds1 a second hand Nintendo DS with crayola/I Did It Mum games, etc etc. We limited how long he played on it from day one, and now (age 8) he STILL knows he has a limit on how long he plays video games. I know some people aren't keen on them, but ds1 became so dextrous as a result, and is now brilliant on the PC/Kindle etc

Never, ever compare what you/your DC have with friends - there lies madness. I agree, as long as he is happy, kids don't need all singing all dancing toys, mine used to be quite overwhelmed by them all and were happiest building zoos and playing with the plastic animals, or inventing all sorts of games with random objects. what about a pop up tent / tepee and the costume sounds great. don't overdo it as 4 year olds don't really have the concept of how much is spent and too many presents sets a precedent that is to be kept up every year. we do go a bit overboard for xmas but birthdays have always been just the one or two presents depending on what it is.

SpanishFly Fri 24-May-13 17:34:30

Build a Bear is great. Lots of fun for all. The cost can mount up too, but it can be limited. And it's great for future bday and Christmas presents -ds1 gets a bear outfit from his grandparents regularly

NeverQuiteSure Fri 24-May-13 17:35:49

'Construction' type toys get played with most around here (3 yo DD and 4 yo DS). Lego/duplo, k-nex, that kind of thing. Kapla blocks/citiblocs are next on our list. Our kitchen/tea set/play food are also well played with although, to be honest, they enjoy playing with playdoh and pans etc from the big kitchen just as much. We have cupboards full of HotWheels, Peppa Pig etc which rarely get touched.

So YANBU. If you can afford it, perhaps take him somewhere nice with the money you've saved on his gift. Either way, don't feel guilty!

acceptableinthe80s Fri 24-May-13 17:36:40

Do you have a garden? If so i'd go for outdoor toys like bat and ball/sand and water table/swing maybe? Indoor toys ds (4) likes are his batcave and fort and lego. He's also really getting into games like snakes and ladders/ludo and card games. He has way too much thanks to the gp's.

BobblyGussets Fri 24-May-13 17:38:44

A marble run is a good one. Does he have a scooter?

LineRunner Fri 24-May-13 17:39:17

My DCs are now teenagers, and now I think we all wish I'd put away the money wasted on unnecessary toys when they were little, so that now they need some financial help for college they would have a bit extra set aside.

I agree that at a young age, they 'only' need books, music, crafts. And a sweet shop. And a little post office. And dolls and stuff. Fails to present own argument.

fuzzpig Fri 24-May-13 17:42:16

Thebookpeople website has a few dr seuss books going pretty cheap if he doesn't already have them?

lecce Fri 24-May-13 17:45:11

He has an older brother so we have loads of lego/duplo stuff which, yes, is good. I had thought about outdoor stuff but would rather get joint otherwise I feel that, having a summer birthday, he loses out a bit by getting getting garden stuff and having to share it.

Likes the marble run and scooter, yes.

I love the look of Build a Bear but it looks mentally expensive confused.

fuzzpig Fri 24-May-13 17:49:13

I was shocked at BaB prices too lecce

fuzzpig Fri 24-May-13 17:55:13

Also not sure if link will work but these [[ cat in the hat learning library books]] might be a nice gift

fuzzpig Fri 24-May-13 17:56:46

Oh bum. Stupid phone. It is on amazon "cat in the hat learning library"

apatchylass Fri 24-May-13 17:59:21

Buildabear doesn't have to be expensive. Great bears start at around £9-12 and then an outfit costs about £10-15.

Does he have stuff that he'll get loads of use out of: a scooter, pedal car, bike or trike?

Cat in the hat outfit is a brilliant idea. We didn't spend much at that age either. they get much more expensive once they know what they like. Save your money!

BeaLola Fri 24-May-13 18:03:39

slightly on your topic I saw the most beautiful Cat in The Hat Soft Toy in the bookshop at St Pancras - is it Foyles ? same side as the the LK Bennet shop if anyone knows where I mean. Also Sainsburys had a lot of Cat in the Hat dress up outfits in my local store last week reduced - both I would have bought except do not know any likely recipients ,

actualy thinking about the D Seuss cat in the bookshop I think they may have ben made by Jelly Cat

SimplyRedHead Fri 24-May-13 18:25:18

Gardening set for pootling round the garden?

Mini bugs kit with magnifying glass for finding things in the garden / house.

Flower press.

Hamleys do a brilliant sticker making kit for around £15 that has had hours of use here.

Funky wellies? Character clothing?

SimplyRedHead Fri 24-May-13 18:26:12

Tickets to an event / the cinema / meal out?

Pos1 Fri 24-May-13 18:33:58

My daughter who has just turned four absolutely loves the following:

Mini tape measure (£1 in homebase)
Wind up torch
Magnifying glass
My old keys
Old mobile phone

Which she keeps all together in a bag. Goes everywhere with us, dead cheap and must be played with at least once a day. She also had some
Mini screwdrivers that my parents had given her(!) but I confiscated those when I found her trying to fix the baby.

I reckon you could do well in a pound shop for the above and similar things (and some of those glow sticks- I know you can get them in homebase too for £1)

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