Great Kids Gifts. Guaranteed.

Before I had a kid of my own, I had a litany of nieces and nephews to buy for. At first, I would get it all wrong. Ok, little Suzie is 2...she would love a Barbie, right?? What kid doesn't love a Barbie?? Um...little Suzie probably shoved Barbie's shoe up her nose and had to go to the ER.

Lesson learned.

Until I found this website, I used to cruise the toy aisles and ask parents what their kids like. Creepy, much? Yeah, in hindsight, I might have been creeped out by that, too.

I had the fabulous opportunity to sit down with Jim Silver of Time To Play- the website that reviews all things kids from toys to games to books.


Jim let me in on the best kept secret in gift giving- the Toy Advisor. Head to their site and plug in the pertinent info: gender, age, type of toy they enjoy and budget. A list of appropriate and hot toys will populate. Umm...where was this when I was cruising the aisles of Toy R Us, desperately trying not to look like someone who drives a white van with blackout windows, while trying to figure out what would make my 6 year old niece think I was the "cool aunt?" ('Cause EVERY aunt out there wants to be the cool aunt, you know...the one that their niece goes to instead of your sister that tells you all about the boy she kissed).

I digress.

Besides the Toy Finder, this site give a price comparison and direct link to amazon, Target, Toys R Us, Walmart and Kmart so you can buy it and be on your merry way.

My fave feature of this site is the Repeat Play review.

Have you ever purchased a gift for your kid, only to see them play with it for five minutes and toss it, never to be seen again? The team at Time To Play rates the repeat play, or longevity of the toy's life in your kid's hot little hands.

They also have video reviews so you can see HOW toys actually work, and HOW to play the games.

Jim gave me a few tips:
  • When having your kids write their Wish List, have them put DOUBLE the amount of gifts you expect that they will receive. This way, they won't get every item on their list and learn one of the best lines ever written, "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
  • Want a free toy for your toddler? Take out the batteries to an old remote. b loves it- totally his favorite toy.
  • Think games in addition to toys for the family. Games are different every time you play with them, especially those with a high Repeat Play rating.
Anyways, check it out. I will let you go now so you can get back to your holiday shopping but just wanted to let you in on my shopping secret.

Thanks to M. for inviting me, and to Jim for all of his helpful toy tips!

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