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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 53: The Toy Store

Problem: It's finally happened; you find yourself needing to take your toddler to the toy store. I quaked in fear as I realized there was no way around it. We're busy today, and I couldn't sneak away alone. Dragging two almost-three year olds to Toys R Us was the only way. Believe it or not, this was their first visit. I keep them out of toy stores. I'm just mean like that.

Solution: Toys R Us (and Target, and Walmart, and I'm sure a lot of other places) have sectioned off a cheap toy section right at the front in a mutually beneficial sales tactic. They get to sell some cheap junk, and you don't have to either go home with a $40 toy you don't want or drag a screaming toddler puddle through the checkout line and out the door as you're leaving. Talk up that cheapo section; the kids don't know the difference. Let them roam around the more expensive toys, let them climb into those $300 toddler cars, but keep distracting them with little balls and whistles and whatever else is over in the cheap section. Then when it's time to go, give them a task. "If you want a toy, go pick out any one you want and carry it to the counter for me." Done.

Problem: Your toddler realizes they have a cheap light-ball in their hands and they are no longer sitting in the car that they wanted. They protest. "Hey, where'd my car go?"

Solution: Appeal to their generous side (hoping they have one that day, I know it's a toss up.) "Oh, we left it there so that other little kids can use it while we're gone. We'll go back and see it later, but you are so nice to let other kids use your car!"  This usually works. "Oh!" They usually say, "I'm nice, mama, I'm a nice girl." And they are placated and start bouncing their balls again.

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  1. I thought toy stores were toy museums until I was about five and my grandparents ruined it by buying me something. My parents were disappointed that that deception was over. Lol.

  2. My husband and I own a small toy store in Summit NJ. Most toy store owners welcome kids to play as long as the parent is nearby watching. We have demo toys that children can play with. Having children playing in our store keeps a happy atmosphere and is good for business as well.



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