Last minute holiday shopping for toys

December 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

Holiday Gift Guide

What to buy this holiday season, and for whom 

Laurie Schacht’s last minute toy suggestions
December 21, 2009 | 10:11 am

Laurie Schacht, founder of, is known as the “Toy Insider Mom” and has been in the business for more than 20 years. Between her professional experience and having girls of her own at home, she knows the importance of getting that one special toy on your child’s wish list.

For procrastinator parents and caregivers, or for those who just haven’t had any luck finding hot toys and games on store shelves, Laurie offers the following last-minute online toy-shopping tips.

One toy does not fit all. First, remember that that one child’s “hot” toy is not everyone’s favorite. Know the children you are shopping for and what will make them happy. While we all know how easy it is to get caught up in the hype of a new hot seller, if your child never wanted a hamster and hasn’t asked for a Zhu Zhu Pet by name, then that’s one hot toy that you might not want to add to your list.

Looking for cheaper alternatives? Knowing which brands your child likes will go a long way, as toy companies have made multiple items in product lines to fit every budget this year. Some of Hasbro’s latest games (from new Clue board games and more) are a great example: They offer a variety of similar items at prices ranging from $10 to $30.

Was the hot item you’re looking for sold out? Many sites have suggestion pages that list similar items in product categories. is an example of a site that that lists toys by categories that are easy to quickly search through and find an alternative. So, for example, if you couldn’t find that one special LIV Doll on your little girl’s list, you can find other similar “fashion” dolls to suit her fancy.

However, you should only search for a similar toy if it is in a category that is meaningful to the child and then stay within that category. So whether it’s dolls or action figures, you’ll find a great alternative that will make them happy.   


Still stumped on the best gift? Go with a classic game. Games are always a great gift, offering great play value at an affordable price. They can also be the gift that keeps on giving, since a different experience occurs each time they is played.

Finally, check retailers shipping deadlines. Many retailers have their last-minute shipping dates listed clearly on their site. There are also websites (such as Coupon Sherpa) that list all of the major retailers’ shipping deadlines, making the last-minute rush for orders a bit easier to understand.
This year, and every holiday, remember that it’s the thought that counts. But if that gift doesn’t get the desired reaction from the little one on your list, don’t be harried when looking for new options. Just remember that almost all retailers have great return policies for items you bought online. Happy holidays!

— Sarah Ardalani

Photo credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press


Entry filed under: children, toys, families, gifts, holidays, holiday toys, infant toys, hot toys, choices for kids, teenagers, little kids, moms connecting, new mom blog,. Tags: , , .

Sold Out Toys…… Family Vacation

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