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How to Pick the Perfect Present For Kids

How Do You Choose The Right Present For Your Kids?

I bravely set foot into Target this past Black Friday, not for the latest blink-and-you'll miss deal, but because I needed some essentials. Because it was late, the store wasn't as bustling as I expected — except, of course, for the toy department. It was full of screams, electronic sounds and energetic kids happily playing with all the goods.

All that excitement and the sheer selection of toys got me thinking: how do parents pick the right wow-factor present for their kids? I know Lil's got the list of most-wanted toys for the season, but I also know that some parents shy away from toys for any number of reasons, from suspected lead content to choking hazards.

All the craziness of toy season has me exhausted, and I'm not even a mom! So moms, tell me, amidst all the blinking lights and begging from your lil ones, what are your criteria when picking out a safe and fun present for them?

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MissSushi MissSushi 5 years
I usually pick the slightly more advanced version of whatever she actively plays with. She may get excited the zhu zhu pet in the box at the store, but I know a horse stable and toy horses will get played with for the next several years.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 5 years
For someone else's kid, ask mom. For my own kid, who is three years old and therefore wants one of everything right now, I write down the things that she wants on her Christmas list. It spans PAGES. Anyway, I write everything down to let her know I'm listening, and then I ask her what she wants when there are no toys around. The answers she comes up with the most (right now, a Pillow Pet and princesses) are what she'll likely play with on a regular basis instead of relegating to the back of the toy box after realizing it really isn't that cool.
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