5 hours ago
Friday, November 27, 2009
Holiday giveaway: Win a $250 Toys "R" Us gift card!
You might recall from my visit to BlogHer this summer that I did not meet Britney Spears. But I did meet this dynamo of a woman who works for BillMeLater, Sara. We've kept in touch, and one of these days I'm going to tell her about my revolutionary idea, BillMeTenYearsLater. Anyway, Sara invited me to participate in Toy Tuesday.
Sounds like fun, right? It's on December 8, when you can visit the Toy Tuesday site for major deals on hot toys and gifts from Toys “R” Us, Walmart.com, Step 2, Little Tykes, eToys, Drugstore.com, FAO Schwarz, HP, Overstock.com, MacMall, Mercantila, One Step Ahead and more. Meanwhile, in the days leading up to to Toy Tuesday, different bloggers are doing giveaways sponsored by BillMeLater. Hel-lo!
I raised my hand to write about Toys "R" Us and its Toy Guide For Differently-Abled Kids before I even knew that bloggers would get gift cards for participating, may this blog be smitten with pestilence if I'm not telling the truth. First off, I think Max should go on the cover next year. Can't you just see him on it? Second, maybe the entire catalog should feature Max as its exclusive model. Third, over the years I've found this catalog to be extremely helpful; it tells you, through symbols, which toys help promote development of fine motor skills, gross motor skills, language, and so on. I also like this catalog because it doesn't include suggested ages for toys; it can be unnerving to see one labeled "ages 1 to 4" when it's on your six-year-old's level.
A few toys I recommend from experience/a few I'm lusting after for Max:
Barnyard Animals Wooden Jumbo Knob Puzzle
Puzzles like these with big-old knobs encouraged Max to use (and open up!) his hands when he was a tot. We'd also work on making the animal sounds; "MOOOOOOOOO" was the first one he learned, and he'd repeat it so often I'd jokingly call him Moox.
The Laugh & Learn Fun With Friends Musical Table
This is a jam-packed learning center with lights, games and musical activities that encourage interaction (which will not drive you crazy—trust me, we've had toys whose sounds have driven us insane). It also enticed Max to pull-to-stand, though you can take off the legs to bring it down to floor level for kids who aren't yet on their feet.
61-Key Magic Light Keyboard
The music therapist brought one of these to our house the other day, and Max went nuts. So I know this one's going to be a home-run. Hopefully, Max will soon be able to serenade me with Springsteen songs.
Doctor Dress-Up Set
Max's imagination has really kicked in this year, and I think it's time for him to break out of train conductor mode (though the catalog has a supercute outfit for that, too). I will probably have to buy one of these get-ups for Sabrina as well or she and Max will sustain non-pretend injuries fighting over it.
30th Anniversary Cozy Coupe
After Max started walking, thanks to a gait trainer, he needed a new set of wheels. This one rocked! It helped him learn to use his feet to navigate, go backwards and turn—he cruised our 'hood in this and picked up chicks. OK, not really. But it was awesome to see him in it. This car is photo op central.
Spongebugs Kids Fun Bowling Set
Another toy I'm getting for Max. The ball has deep holes for easy grasping and the pins are made of foam, so the noise won't freak him out and I won't worry about Max and Sabrina clonking each other. Did I mention they fight?
Band in a Box
We've had something like this since Max was two, and he still uses the instruments—sometimes, oh happy day, with both hands. This one has maracas, cymbals, a triangle and rhythm sticks.
Moon Sand Royal Castle
One of Max's occupational therapists recommended this stuff to us. It's a sand-like compound kids mold to make different shapes, so it's a good sensory experience that also gets them to do fine-motor stuff. Beach not included.
What kind of toy are you most eager to get for your child this year and why? Leave a comment about that by midnight tonight; Bill Me Later will randomly pick one commenter to receive a $250 gift card to Toys "R" Us (you can use it at the store or online), and I'll announce the winner by 1 p.m. EST on Saturday. Bonus: BillMeLater will select three local charities and allow the winner to choose one for a $500 donation. Please note, you must include an e-mail if you do not have a Blogger account.
The next giveaway from BillMeLater will be at First Time Around; head on over tomorrow for a chance to win a $250 gift card to eToys.com and another $500 charity donation.
UPDATE: This giveaway is closed.