Thanks to Walmart for partnering with me for today’s post on hot toys for 2014. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.
I recently asked my 2-year-old what she wanted for Christmas. Her answer was, “a jar of peanut butter.” Well, she’ll most definitely be getting one of those since she requested it, but I think I’ll branch out a bit further and buy her a few surprises! I am going to need a little help finding some really cool stuff that she and her older sister don’t even know exist (because if they did, they’d be asking for something besides peanut butter!). Are you looking for toys like that, too?
Walmart is here to help, and they actually have a list of top toys this year that has been put together by a panel of hundreds of children, ages 18 months to 12 years. Kids are the real experts when it comes to which toys are truly awesome, so why not find out what rocks from their perspective? You can see the entire Chosen by Kids Top 20 Toys List if you want all the details!
Over the next 5 weeks, I’ll be highlighting 5 different toys on the list and my own kiddos will be putting them to the test! I know…tough job those little ones have. Someone’s got to do it, though! This week we have been playing with a toy that promotes creativity and finding an artistic outlet. I have personally really enjoyed this toy because it turns my child into a maker, and I want her to grow in her confidence and her abilities to craft and create on her own, using her ideas, her available tools (low-tech AND high-tech) and even her own two hands.
Check out the Spin Master Sew Cool Sewing Machine ($29.99 at Walmart). This is absolutely PERFECT for any child who has taken an interest in making products out of cloth (clothing, bags, stuffed animals, etc.). I do wish that the product wasn’t so heavily marketed just to girls (as the projects seemed geared toward girls), because boys love to be makers, too!
The Sew Cool Sewing Machine comes with everything you need to complete 9 different projects, and I was shocked and very happily surprised to realize that the machine is actually threadless, so you don’t have to worry about threading it or replacing thread down the line. The guard area is excellent, too…it would be pretty much impossible, in my opinion, to get a finger in the danger zone.
We decided to start with the cupcake stuffed plush project, as I got the impression that it was the easiest one to do as a true beginner. There were step-by-step instructions that walked us through the process. As someone with no sewing skills, I was very grateful for the detailed guide!
This toy is recommended for ages 6 and up. My oldest is 5 years and 3 months old, and it was definitely too hard for her to do on her own, though it did make for a very fun project for us to do together. I think the amount of adult supervision your child will need with this toy is going to depend on his/her age and comfort level with crafts, but in any case, you should anticipate that this will be an activity to do with your child, at least for the first few projects. After supervising her and helping her with the first project, though, I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to doing project #2 together. I’m glad to get to be a part of the creative process with my child!
Stuffing the plush was probably Darah’s favorite part of the process because she was able to do it all by herself, and she got to decide how much stuffing was enough. I think it was empowering to her to feel in charge of that decision.
The final product was simple, and perhaps to the untrained eye even imperfect. But if you look a little closer, you will see that it was stitched with love by a parent and child, and the end result was actually just as it should be. It’s a very simple little plush, but because she was instrumental in creating it, Darah absolutely loves it. She’s been playing with it ever since it was finished.
When the 9 projects are completed, you can purchase additional Sew Cool refill kits, as well as patterns that can be downloaded online, so the fun can certainly continue after your child finishes what came with the machine, itself. And Walmart has it all for a fantastic price. You can include this item in your Walmart Layaway plan to help make paying for your gifts this year hassle-free. The layaway plan is available in more than 4,000 stores nationwide, is totally free and just requires 10% down or $10, whichever is greater. This in-store only offer is available until December 15th so you can get all your shopping done at once, but stretch your payments over a few paychecks, as many of us might need to do.
Additionally, if you haven’t checked out the Walmart Savings Catcher, you are really in for a nice surprise. This free app allows you to scan your Walmart receipts in just a matter of seconds. The Walmart Savings Catcher then gets to work on your behalf to see if there are any better advertised prices in your area at competitors’ stores for the things you purchased. If there are, Walmart will refund you the difference in the form of a Walmart eGift Card so that you can be sure that you got the very best price possible. WOW! You don’t have to bring in sales fliers, shop at multiple stores, or check prices at different places on your own to request a price adjustment. The Savings Catcher app will do it all for you. And again, it’s totally FREE to use! This is one app that is going to save you money with virtually no effort. Gotta love that!
And if you don’t have a smartphone, don’t worry! Walmart has the Ad Match program. Simply bring in any local competitor’s printed ad and Walmart will match the price of that identical item. This applies to layaway items, too!
Do you see anything on the Chosen by Kids Top 20 Toys List that you would love to get for your kids? I’d love to hear about what you are planning on getting!