Last year, I bought stuff that my previous nanny kids used to love. Now that I know my kid a little better and now that she's really defined her personality, I can do a bit more personal shopping.
So if you are stuck, start with what your kids currently love.
V's favorite toys are Duplo, trains,
Since we have a birthday right after the holidays, we'll be dividing the pile. I have no idea how we'll do this just yet, but we will. It will likely be random, as in "I forgot where I put half those gifts, and need a few more days to find them."
First up, the toy on every toy list this year:
Symphony in B by B. Toys.
It retails at $60, but check Target online - they have it as low as $40 occasionally. I went to 3 stores looking for this last week and all were sold out. Online is the way to go.
Next, the Little People Animal Talkers' Zoo.
We have a collection of Little People that Toddler loves. I actually bought this last March. I hit a sale and had a variety of coupons at just the right time, and got this for $17, tax included.
Another deal I scored (thanks to Zulily and a friend who shared an awesome coupon!) was a balance bike:
We will need to get her a helmet, too.
We've told our family that we are getting Toddler the Melissa and Doug train table and basic figure-8 set. We're hoping they will get on board (har har) and get some more M&D tracks and trains. Even though M&D can be harder to find, it is all the quality and half the cost of Brio.
Lastly, she might get some more Duplo blocks (there's never enough of those) and she'll be getting an Elmo doll (even though I'm not happy about it, she'll absolutely love it).
The circus always came to town right after my sister's birthday, and she always got tickets to the circus as part of her gift. It was awesome. The circus isn't going by any time soon, but Elmo Live will be here for her birthday. Given her obsession, we pretty much had to.