One of the great things about toddlers is that they can get really excited about "new" toys, but they haven't yet learned that "new" means they're wrapped in thick plastics and still have a chemical smell. For more Christmas morning bang for your buck, shop second hand. Just make sure the second hand item is clean and any age appropriate. You can also hide back toys that older siblings have out grown. Pull them out of hiding on Christmas Eve and shine them up.
By the way, if the child is old enough to know that "new" comes with a chemical smell, you can buy a "new" car air freshner for $2, spray down the toy, then head out to the garage to give yourself a "new" car for Christmas.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
When you don't have much to spend on Christmas, make the day about spending time together. We have a rule that we open, put together, and all play with any toy we unwrap. If it's a Lego set, we put it together and play with the figurines within their new world. If it's a hot wheels track, we put it together and race each other. This makes about five presents each last through the day and we have great memories of long play sessions around the Christmas tree. It allows us as parents to also enjoy that "new toy" excitement a lot longer. They ooh and aaahh as every piece comes out of the packaging and put onto the set.