We try to stick with the toy-buying strategy of “no buying any toys,” because we get so many hand-me-downs and gifts. Each year after the kids’ birthdays, we have them open a few gifts and set aside the rest to dole out slowly throughout the year. And somehow, we end up with a great variety of really awesome toys. So we do very little toy research and shopping.
This is the first year that Wagon Jr. is really old enough to go to a toy store and pick out his own toys, so when my mom wanted to take him shopping for his 4th birthday present, we were all pretty excited. WJ said from the beginning that he wanted a superhero toy, so we made a beeline for the section with Ironman and The Hulk. Immediately I knew this was a bad idea: every toy we came across scared him. Even the cute Superhero Squad version of Ironman freaked him out… he wanted a toy with a button, but when I pressed that Ironman’s button, it lit up and said something about firing missiles, and he almost started crying (out of fear, not joy). We all quickly realized that letting a 4 year old choose his own birthday present was probably a bad idea. I knew I had to choose a toy that was appropriate for his age and personality, let him “find” it and convince him that it was the coolest thing ever.
So I sprung into action and started browsing the aisles. I had an idea to find something that he could build with, because lately he has been building magnificent structures with blocks and legos such as these: