Book birthday presents—and the toy question
I love reading, and when my kids are invited to a birthday party, I love the thought of sharing one of our favorite stories with the birthday kid instead of adding another plastic toy to the mountain of gifts.
We have Amazon Prime, so we have two-day shipping from Amazon. This morning, Tiger Lily and I picked out a gift for her little friend without leaving the house (it's The Great Pie Robbery by Richard Scarry). Her last friend received Peasant Pig and the Terrible Dragon—Richard Scarry has won both times because Tiger Lily loves his books and because they're very affordable on Amazon.
As a parent, I'm starting to become disillusioned with toys. I've gotten rid of at least half of ours in the past year, and the kids haven't missed them at all. They rarely play with 95% of their toys: they just dump them out of the plastic bins they're stored in so they can use the bins in their play.
I don't mind my kids getting the occasional well-thought-out toy gift: they usually love getting toys, and they'll usually play with them quite a bit the first week—then just the five percent of extra-special toys will be loved for a long time, while the others are forgotten.
What about you? What sorts of gifts do you like to see your children get? Do your kids play with toys more than mine do?