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Ericandblueboy

What Are You Giving Your Children This Holiday Season?

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If I were a little girl, I would totally want one of those cool artsy tee-pees and some decorative lights for it.  I don't have kids, but I have friends whose little girl has one, sooo cool.  I got this for my 2 and 4 year old nephews. What about American Girl dolls (they might already have them).  What about a bath bomb kit??? Don't they really like bath bombs?

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I've been demonizing American Girl dolls as toys for the bourgeoisie.  So we might buy American Girl doll accessories as gifts for others, we do not buy anything for ourselves.  They have two hand me down American Girl dolls.  

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I'm very grateful that my 4-year-old hasn't discovered American Girl dolls yet (though we did receive marketing mail from them when she was less than a year old)!

(I assume that since my daughter is a couple of years younger than your younger daughter they're interested in different things. Mine's pretty into Paw Patrol and My Little Pony.)

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8 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

What about American Girl dolls (they might already have them).  What about a bath bomb kit??? Don't they really like bath bombs?

8 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I've been demonizing American Girl dolls as toys for the bourgeoisie.  So we might buy American Girl doll accessories as gifts for others, we do not buy anything for ourselves.  They have two hand me down American Girl dolls.  

6 hours ago, dracisk said:

I'm very grateful that my 4-year-old hasn't discovered American Girl dolls yet (though we did receive marketing mail from them when she was less than a year old)!

A warning to anyone unfamiliar with American Girl dolls: Be very, very careful - I had a friend whose daughter had an American Girl collection. Like buying a printer, the doll itself is only the beginning; then, you have to buy ink cartridges, annual software updates, etc. ... every possible accessory for each American Girl doll costs mega-bucks, and they're marketed directly to the children, so the little kids clamor for more-and-more of everything. It's an expense that can easily explode geometrically, and if you think it's going to be a one-time, $100 gift, a few years later you may realize you've dropped over $1,000 at this store.

I'm not saying they aren't lovely dolls, but buyer beware! I saw it happen with my own eyes.

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12 hours ago, DonRocks said:

A warning to anyone unfamiliar with American Girl dolls: Be very, very careful - I had a friend whose daughter had an American Girl collection. Like buying a printer, the doll itself is only the beginning; then, you have to buy ink cartridges, annual software updates, etc. ... every possible accessory for each American Girl doll costs mega-bucks, and they're marketed directly to the children, so the little kids clamor for more-and-more of everything. It's an expense that can easily explode geometrically, and if you think it's going to be a one-time, $100 gift, a few years later you may realize you've dropped over $1,000 at this store.

I'm not saying they aren't lovely dolls, but buyer beware! I saw it happen with my own eyes.

The Tysons store has a doll hair salon: Watch as our expert stylists give dolls a new look! Choose doll hairdos, ear piercing, pampering services and more.

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I'm also glad that my daughter is too young to know about L.O.L. Surprise! But I'm sure there will be something equally inane when she's older.

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My nearly 6 year old likes science kits, especially the goo-related ones. She also likes random instruments so we are getting her a xylophone at her request. She wants music sheets for her lap harp (which was her dad's). She also wants a sewing machine and for me to teach her to sew which can't happen for a variety of reasons that I won't get into.

She also likes making mess, I mean art so Santa will refresh her googly-eye and pipe-cleaner supply and add some new stuff. 

If they don't have stomp rockets and you have a yard, it's a must-have. Ours busted so we are getting a new one. You too might enjoy it.

We are buying some new family games. All of ours have been rendered useless by use. I'm open to suggestions about novel ones that I might not have considered (5&8).

Finally, American Girl dolls are horrible for so many reasons. I am very happy that my girl thinks they are "creepy looking" and I swear I did not offer that thought to her myself. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, NolaCaine said:

We are buying some new family games. All of ours have been rendered useless by use. I'm open to suggestions about novel ones that I might not have considered (5&8).

I'm looking forward to trying Qwirkle when my daughter's a little older. I just learned about it recently, but maybe you already know about it.

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Ah geez, this thread is like a trip down memory lane. American Girl dolls, Qwirkle, Rat-a-Tat-Cat, Slamwich....My kids are 14 (twins) and this year's main presents are an EOS camera for the girl and a new monitor for the boy.

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Forgot to suggest books! Eric: have your girls read "Clementine" or Beverly Cleary. Big huge hit over here.

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2 hours ago, Bob Wells said:

Ah geez, this thread is like a trip down memory lane. American Girl dolls, Qwirkle, Rat-a-Tat-Cat, Slamwich....My kids are 14 (twins) and this year's main presents are an EOS camera for the girl and a new monitor for the boy.

Books for your girl...wait, is one of those 14 yr olds female? I actually am going to recommend "Bloody Jack" and "Parisole Protectorate" anyway...I read a lot...and pretty much anything.

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On 12/7/2018 at 7:14 PM, NolaCaine said:

Books for your girl...wait, is one of those 14 yr olds female? I actually am going to recommend "Bloody Jack" and "Parisole Protectorate" anyway...I read a lot...and pretty much anything.

yep -- one of each (we got lucky after getting a late jump on the kid thing). I think I will give both kids a couple books. They are not readers -- the polar opposite of me. I have a library with a wall of books. My son in particular would find tons of stuff he'd like in there... but they just don't read. 😡

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8 hours ago, Bob Wells said:

yep -- one of each (we got lucky after getting a late jump on the kid thing). I think I will give both kids a couple books. They are not readers -- the polar opposite of me. I have a library with a wall of books. My son in particular would find tons of stuff he'd like in there... but they just don't read. 😡

Oh the ole regression to the mean. I fear it. So far the boy 8 really likes to read, mostly nonfiction too. The girl likes to be read to but I don't see her ever pick up a book but she does art and gets crazy with the glue stick (she's 5).

On 11/29/2018 at 12:41 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

Desperately need idea for toys and other junk.  My girls are 8 and 6.

smart circuits? 

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On 12/3/2018 at 11:36 PM, DonRocks said:

A warning to anyone unfamiliar with American Girl dolls: Be very, very careful - I had a friend whose daughter had an American Girl collection. Like buying a printer, the doll itself is only the beginning; then, you have to buy ink cartridges, annual software updates, etc. ... every possible accessory for each American Girl doll costs mega-bucks, and they're marketed directly to the children, so the little kids clamor for more-and-more of everything. It's an expense that can easily explode geometrically, and if you think it's going to be a one-time, $100 gift, a few years later you may realize you've dropped over $1,000 at this store.

I'm not saying they aren't lovely dolls, but buyer beware! I saw it happen with my own eyes.

Whats more American than getting hosed at retail?  LOL

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On 12/7/2018 at 12:51 PM, NolaCaine said:

My nearly 6 year old likes science kits, especially the goo-related ones. She also likes random instruments so we are getting her a xylophone at her request. She wants music sheets for her lap harp (which was her dad's). She also wants a sewing machine and for me to teach her to sew which can't happen for a variety of reasons that I won't get into.

She also likes making mess, I mean art so Santa will refresh her googly-eye and pipe-cleaner supply and add some new stuff. 

If they don't have stomp rockets and you have a yard, it's a must-have. Ours busted so we are getting a new one. You too might enjoy it.

We are buying some new family games. All of ours have been rendered useless by use. I'm open to suggestions about novel ones that I might not have considered (5&8).

Finally, American Girl dolls are horrible for so many reasons. I am very happy that my girl thinks they are "creepy looking" and I swear I did not offer that thought to her myself. 

Bug or Bird Bingo.  Gorgeous, fun and holds up well and the kids & adults can enjoy together.

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DC has two really great stores that I know of for games and toys: Labyrinth on Capitol Hill (near Eastern Market) and Child’s Play in Chevy Chase (on Connecticut Avenue).  Both have very knowledgeable staff who make smart recommendations, based on the info you give them.  Labryrinth is game/puzzle-focused (and has more stuff for adults) https://www.labyrinthgameshop.com/ while Child’s Play has more breadth — art supplies, dress-up clothes/costumes, outdoor toys, books, science kits, as well as a great selection of games and puzzles.  Their suburban branches are much smaller/less well stocked than the DC flagship.

Another good resource for game recommendations is https://boardgamegeek.com/. There’s a “gaming with kids” forum, as well as a general recommendations forum, both of which are places you could ask questions/get answers.  Or search geeklists or the massive database of games for info and images.  (Number of players and game length can be dealbreakers).  Of course then you have to find the recommended games, which is why it often makes sense to start at a local store.

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Re family game suggestions (for elementary school aged kids, minimal math skills, no reading/writing required, still fun for adults):

dexterity: Ice Cool; Rhino Hero; Animal upon Animal.  Crokinole boards are expensive but ours is probably the best game/toy investment I made.  (My kid is now 21!)

push your luck:  Incan Gold 

roll and move/cooperative:  Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters (Geister, Geister Schatzsuchmeister lost something in translation!)

spatial relationships:  Marrakech (the one with the little carpets)

“party” game (usually means encourages sociability/engagement and can include larger groups):  Dixit 

card games: Parade

FWIW, the first four categories are ones that tend to include games that work well (are fun/level the playing field) for groups where there’s a wide range of ages.

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