The Toys

Our basement scares me. I hate going down there and I am sort of happy that Cortney has pretty much taken over laundry duties while I’m pregnant.

It’s not that it’s spooky–at least not in the traditional sense. There aren’t weird shadows or strange nooks and crannies. It’s a finished basement: Eddie’s bedroom, a full bathroom, and a large family room.  The laundry room isn’t finished, but that is probably the least scary room down there.

No, it’s not because I feel like there is someone hiding under my stairs or ghosts lurking in shadows.

It’s the toys.

Oh my word, the toys.

We have almost six years of birthdays and Christmases and random “just because” gifts of toys in our basement. One time I organized it all. I bought a 9-bin tote shelf thing with 3 different color totes. I put plastic drawers in. I sorted the kitchen stuff from the trains from the Little People from the matchbox cars from the pirate stuff from ALL THE TINY THINGS people give out at birthday parties. I parked trucks under the train table. I set up the easel with all the fun magnets and paper and dry erase markers. I put all the puzzles together. I lined up all the DVDs and Wii Games. Shoot, I even dusted.

And now?  It’s like I was never there.

Cortney can’t even get to the ironing board to iron his long-sleeved shirts.

The room gives me hives.

And yet I love when my kids get new toys. They really do play with most things (which is why the room is a disaster zone), and getting something new is so special to them because it really only happens for Christmas and birthdays with the occasional blog-related-try-it-out toy sent our way.

One of my favorite online stores to shop for toys for my kids and for my nieces and nephews is Imagine Toys. They are local to me (Michigan, baby!), they are focused on thoughtful/educational toys, and toys can be searched by age/skill of the child you are shopping for.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 12), I will be hosting a twitter chat on the hashtag #ImagineToys discussing their toy line, their partnership with KaBoom! (which I blogged about this summer), and what to get the kids for the holidays.  There will be four prizes and one BIG GRAND prize handed out to some lucky participants, so you don’t want to miss it!

What could you win just in time for the holidays?  Feast your eyes…

1. The Electronic Cash Register (this is totally on Eddie’s Christmas list!)

Electronic Cash Register

2. The Wobble Deck Extreme (I wish I could fit on this thing)

Wobble Deck Extreme

3. Nancy B’s Moonscope (another thing Eddie put on his Christmas List)

Nancy B Moonscope with tripod and multiple lenses

4. Step-to-Play Giant Piano Mat (Charlie would DIE for this!)

Step-to-Play Piano Mat

And the GRAND Prize: One GLX yGlider!

I told you. SERIOUSLY cool prizes…just for showing up to talk to me about toys and shopping and kids, five of you could end your Wednesday with something sweet to gift a child this holiday season!

The details:

Twitter party at 9pm est on Wednesday, Novemeber 12. Follow the hashtag #ImagineToys as well as @ImagineToys and @ksluiter to make sure you don’t miss a thing! See you there!

Now excuse me, I have a basement to organize!

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I just really want to make sure people know about the twitter party because PRIZES!  I am being compensated for the twitter chat, however, with a gift card to Imagine so I can get some fun toys for all the kiddos I have to buy for this holiday season!

dump truck fruit salad

We have never pushed gender specific toys on Eddie.

At daycare, he is surrounded by the ladies and spends his days making delicious snacks in the pink Dora kitchen and rocking “babies” swaddled in blankies.

He loves it so at home he has fruits he loves to cut and share with us and I have put a play kitchen on his birthday list.

But he also loves to play with cars, trucks, and trains.

So we encourage him to explore those interests as well.  The Melissa & Doug trains are on his birthday list as well.

And if we let him play by himself long enough?

He will combine all his loves.  Fruit salad in a dump truck, anyone?

Coming right up.  As soon as we get out of this traffic jam.

What are your kids’ favorite toys?  Do you adhere to gender specific toys or do you let them play with whatever interests them?

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