Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WFMW: Gifts to Spark Their Imagination!

Today's Works-for-Me-Wednesday is the "The Toys Worth Buying Edition".

A couple of years ago, I hit all the after-Halloween clearance sales and bought LOADS of costumes and accessories to make the ultimate dress up center for my kids and gave it to them for Christmas. I found funny wigs for $2, light-up superhero costumes with built-in "muscles" for $5, and much more! We have had the BEST time with this. Not only do they have SO much fun with their dress up center, their imaginations have been sparked like never before. Here is a partial list of what they have:

princess (2 different dresses)
Darth Vader
Power Ranger

Plus many awesome accessories:
black cape
various hats
Elvis wig
several long-haired wigs
opera singer wig
clown wig

I cannot tell you how much fun we have had with these things. The kids will literally spend hours playing pretend.

To present the gift, I bought a clothes rack to hang the costumes, an over door shoe rack for the wigs, and a large plastic tub for the accessories. After setting up the area in a corner of the playroom, I taped large pieces of giftwrap from one wall to the other. The kids had a ball ripping it down to see what was in the corner!

I found that even though there were two Wal-Marts
in my area, one of them had way better clearance prices. Toys R Us had a lot of unique items, including some foam wigs that looked like cartoon character hair. Nearly every costume I bought was $5 or less.

Her is a pic of Drama Queen modeling several pieces:

I have two other great gifts worth mentioning:

For ages 8-adult: 20 Questions
This handheld electronic game is addictive! Think of something specific, such as a shoe or a bowling ball, and then answer the yes or no questions that the game asks. It will often "guess" what you're thinking - it's freaky! It has even guessed items like "utility pole" and "light switch cover"! People can't put it down. It has been a humongous hit with everyone I've ever given it to, and it is my all-time favorite go-to gift for anyone.

For toddler girls ages 2-4: Fisher Price Snap 'n Style Dolls

Screech LOVES her "snap dollies". Little hands can easily change the clothes, unlike other dolls. (Barbie, anyone?) They have rooted hair and are positively adorable. You can also buy different clothing sets for them. These dolls are hard to find; the only place I have seen them is Toys R Us.

Here are my previous WFMW posts:

Reading Motivation
Finding a Babysitter
Charging a Cell Phone
Swim/Shower with a Cast
Free Tech Support
Calming Injured Children
Choosing a Phone Number
What NOT to Soak Contacts In
Broken Glass Cleanup
Cheap Rolling Cart for Conventions
Chocolate Recipes
Tooth-Tugging Tip for Terrified Tots
Handy Earache Relief
Uses for Leftover Bread
Leaky Diaper/Pull-up Fix
Snack Mix Recipe (at the end of the post)
Awesome Stain Recipe
(at the end of the post)
"Fun"damentals of Family Life
Removing Wite-Out from Everything
When NOT to Save Money
Public Service Announcement

For more WFMW tips, stop by Shannon's blog!


Audra Krell said...

Great idea on the costumes, you rock mom! I really appreciate the 20 questions, it sounds like a fun one to bring to our family gathering over Christmas.

Cyndy said...

What a wonderful money saving idea! Thank you for sharing it!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Very cool!

I just hit up Target's clearance to stock up on dressup gifts for Christmas.


brudcrew said...

I so shopped the Halloween clearances for costumes for Christmas gifts! I need Fisher Price dolls. I am so tired of finding tiny polly shoes in the carpet and putting the clothes on is nearly impossible for me, let alone my 3 yr. old!

Holly said...

What fun! Good idea!

Kim said...

Yes, dress-up is so much fun! We discovered the Goodwill had a lot of fun "costumes" that were inexpensive.

Nichole said...

I love the costume gift idea!

~~tonya~~ said...

That is a great idea--especially since they are currently marking down costumes everywhere!! TFS

Heather said...

We love costumes too! I scored some at the dollar store along with some hats, and I give my daughter some of my older purses to use. Instant fun!

Those snap dolls are cute. Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

Great idea, we did this with our oldest when she was a preschooler and she loved it for years. All the other kids always wanted to come play at our house because we had cool dress-ups!

Jane Anne said...

I did the same things with the costumes - hit the clearance sales one year. We have a whole tub of costumes and my kids LOVE playing dress up!

Amy said...

What a wonderful idea!! My son loves to dress up and be superheroes. I will have to go check out my local K-mart and see what they have. Thanks for sharing!