The BEST Line(s) to get out of a Toy Store

Just days (okay, maybe hours) after Halloween passes, Christmas season comes to life in all shopping destinations.  The annual Christmas catalog for stores have been filling our mailbox.  My daughter has eagerly circled her favorite things in such catalogs (and it’s A LOT of course).  The shopping and preparations are upon us, as Christmas will be here before we know it!

Inevitably, I’ll be doing some shopping with my children along.  We recently went to Target and perused the toy aisle just to look for ideas.  With her fourth birthday AND Christmas coming up, I was able to use a few of my BEST lines to get out of the toy aisle without buying everything (or anything) in it!

3 Things to Say to your Kids while Shopping

  1. “Let’s put that on your birthday / Christmas list.”
  2. A close second, “Let’s save that for another kid. It’s not on our list.”
  3. Recently I added, “Ooh, let me take a picture of that one, so we can remember what you liked.”

I’ve used these lines when shopping for nieces or nephews, and they’ve really worked for me.  I’ve even pulled out a piece of paper and handwritten out ideas on my daughter’s list, and she REALLY had fun with it.  She even found a few things for her younger brother, saying, “Mom, I think my brother would like this.  Put it on his birthday list.”  It was awesome!

Inevitably, we end up with an item or two from the dollar section (though I sometimes manage to sneak some of these prized items away before buying them) to save a few tantrums, or even hand them to the store clerk at checkout and ask that they be returned to the proper area. The bottom line: I don’t want all of this STUFF in my house, and I don’t want my kids to feel like they automatically get what they want EVERY time we go shopping.

At the grocery store, my daughter was insistent about getting the Dora yogurt (thank you Yoplait for marketing to my children), so I told her that it wasn’t on our shopping list, but explained that she could use HER money to buy it if she really wanted it.  She agreed to that, and handed over the $2.19 from her piggy bank with a little counting help.  She has also told me recently that she wants to save her money for something really big – a canoe, I think she said!  Funny!

How do you get out of toy stores without buying stuff?  What phrases work for you?

One blog that I really enjoy following is called The Heavy Purse.  Meet Shannon and check out her posts: Financial Literacy Makes a Difference, and How to Avoid Creating Feelings of Deprivation in Kids.

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5 thoughts on “The BEST Line(s) to get out of a Toy Store

  1. Thanks for the mention, Cathy! I really appreciate it. 🙂 I love that you give your daughter the option to buy a toy she wanted (although I’m with you – I hate how kids are always being marketed at). My kids have really felt empowered by my giving them ways to earn money for the things they want. And I LOVE that they rarely ask me to buy things for them or when they do – I just say, “Really, We’re doing to do the ‘I wants’ today?” and we all start laughing. Most of the time when they find something they want, they ask me for more ways to earn money, which is music to this Mom’s ears! 🙂

    • That’s really great that your kids ask for more chores instead of just assuming they get whatever they want. It sounds like discipline and the message sinking in! I love it!

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