Another birthday coming up -top tips for choosing toys for kids.

One of my children has a birthday soon. Well, after having seven children there's very few times when I don't have a child with an imminent birthday which means over the years I have become adept at sourcing value-for-money gifts for boys and girls of all ages.

birthday cake and choosing toys for kids

Christmas is the worst when I have to try and find gifts to delight all of my children who are currently aged between 6 and 20.  Their stocking gifts range from bubbles to beer! Inevitably the younger the child is, the larger the packages are. Maximum battery requirement seems to peak at about age 9 when the popularity of remote control toys and electronic toys hit their peak.

I overheard the Furby my daughter got for Christmas this week - he sounds a little bit possessed to be honest as I think his batteries are definitely on the way out! We use a lot of batteries in our large household -one year I even bought my older children their own rechargeable batteries and a charger each for them. It still didn't stop them constantly raiding my supply for controllers!

birthday boy with candles. Toys for kids

Back to my daughter who turns 9 at the end of this month. She's at that funny age where she's not just delighted with anything wrapped up. We spend lots of time browsing websites sellings kids toys while she points out things she might like, and I do that Mom thing of gently nudging her towards things  am happy to pay for.

Top of her list this year is a new scooter which I am very happy to get - anything to get the children outside and exercising makes me feel more like a good mother. Although I also (guiltily) love their games consoles as when they are playing with them I generally get a period of peace and quiet.

Shopping around for a scooter, trying to find one bigger than the one she has and which will grow with her I was astounded at the range available. Name a TV, tweeny band or film character and there's probably a scooter bedecked with logos promoting it.

There are scooters designed to be tiny for stunts, scooters with two, three or four wheels, some with light up wheels or lights on the handlebars and even some which have two bits to stand on in a kind of scissor shape!

I was surprised to find out the other thing my daughter would like for her birthday is a bag for school from my favourite handbag shop - you know, the one with all the floral stuff. Luckily her big brother lives near an outlet centre so we picked one of last season's designs up for her at a bargain price.

5 year old with birthday cake. Toys for kids
I promised you some top tips for choosing toys for kids. Well firstly you need to set yourself a budget and don't let their puppy-eyes act persuade you into spending more than you wanted to.

Use the internet to research prices and availability and make sure you get the best deal. Make sure to include post and packing prices as that can make a significant difference to the final price.

Think ahead and buy early if you expect a toy to be in demand - summer toys sell out quickly at the first sight of sunshine and major gift-giving festivals will always mean the top toys sell out fast.

If in doubt buying for other people's children- ask. It might be they collect one type of toy like Lego or Brio or that they would prefer a contribution towards a bigger toy.

If you hate trawling round the shops take advantage of delivery direct to your home or to the child you are buying for. Or try the "click and collect" option many websites and stores are offering now.

Good luck!

chocolate birthday cake

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