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Need Help, Toys For 3/4 YOs


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I have a 3yo niece and 4yo nephew congregating at my mom's for Thanksgiving.  They are once removed in generation...I'm 63.  My neice wants to do rockets like we did when she was a kid.  I have scars.  The boy loves dinosaurs and I think she'd love anything.  Lot's of retired guys here, who's hit a homer on a gift?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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Ask parents current favorite topic. And get color books and large pieces of paper

 

Tape large paper to kids table and let the kids decorate their table. Thier way.  Bonus helps with clean up.  

 

Sure physical toys are nice but for just a weekend gathering.  They will probably bring their own.  So let the kids help in other ways.

 

Current parent of two toddlers and picked up trucks from years of my sister having to deal with six kids at Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, peragrin said:

Ask parents current favorite topic. And get color books and large pieces of paper

Sure physical toys are nice but for just a weekend gathering. 

Bookes our quiettere, readeng to the kiddes ussualley fun.......                 :)

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1 minute ago, floating dutchman said:

It was actually intended as a serious suggestion. don't know if you can get one where you are though.  Called a Buzzy Bee.

Thanks, very  much  appreciatedI love everyone there

 

9 minutes ago, peragrin said:

Ask parents current favorite topic. And get color books and large pieces of paper

 

Tape large paper to kids table and let the kids decorate their table. Thier way.  Bonus helps with clean up.  

 

Sure physical toys are nice but for just a weekend gathering.  They will probably bring their own.  So let the kids help in other ways.

 

Current parent of two toddlers and picked up trucks from years of my sister having to deal with six kids at Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

Absolutely awesome.  I'll pay for part of  college.

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I signed up my grand twins for this when they were 3 years old (they are now 3 1/2).  

They love it, they get a new kit every month and enjoy them very much.    Of course I got one for each of them.  I am a fraternal twin and when I was young I hated having to share gifts!

https://www.kiwico.com/

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a couple cheap flashlights, a few things made of Nerf. put  in big wrapped cardboard boxes. watch what actually gets played with longer ..

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FFS do not buy just books!  

If you get books, give them something that is tactile and they can play with.   If Mom has a yard, consider small cheap gliders (get extras fr the ones that break), or nerf balls.   Spoil the shit out of them, need not be expensive, just fund— and then play with them and you will rise to Fav Uncle.

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Kids books with boats

Coloring books (preferably with boats) and the big box of crayons

 

2 minutes ago, Snore said:

FFS do not buy just books!  

If you get books, give them something that is tactile and they can play with.   If Mom has a yard, consider small cheap gliders (get extras fr the ones that break), or nerf balls.   Spoil the shit out of them, need not be expensive, just fund— and then play with them and you will rise to Fav Uncle.

squirt guns are a lot of fun, good excuse to run around and yell.

But totally agree, something that you will spend time with them... that is what they really want and need.

- DSK

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A story for "quite time" with Uncle Cal would be OK but mostly they will need things to burn off energy.  

They may find comfort in familiar things.  What do they have at home to replicate so Mom doesn't have to haul a toy box along with everything else she is bringing.  (assuming the toys stay for future visits)

 

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Twin grandsons are now 5 and have enough toys to open their own store (their mom seems to feel she needs to get them something new every time they blink). The best things so far:

Books - all types including non-English and especially things involving dinosaurs or the solar system (some good YouTube vids for kids on these subjects too). Oh, and they love the Stick Dog series.

The very best ever - homemade from cardboard and other household items (toothpicks, popsicle sticks, repurposed plastic bottles, etc.) - MARBLE RUNS. Fascinated with them for probably 18 - 24 months now.

Tried a couple of Kiwi Co. things and was disappointed. Great concepts and well executed except for the durability and sometimes ease of use. Had a home built sweeper from them that just was not up to the hard use little guys put on wheeled push toys. Also tried light activated turtles that, again are a great concept but you had to aim the light in a very specific (small) spot very close to the sensor and move it very slowly to get the turtle to follow. Just too fussy and slow to hold interest very long. YMMV.

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3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Kids books with boats

Coloring books (preferably with boats) and the big box of crayons

 

squirt guns are a lot of fun, good excuse to run around and yell.

But totally agree, something that you will spend time with them... that is what they really want and need.

- DSK

GREAT call!!  My son purchased  one of those HUGE super soaker guns… Kids had a blast!  Just be sure to get more than one.

 

 

and expect to get yelled at … … But we’ll worth it

 

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If you're looking to get back at your Mom for some reason:

- Glitter sticks or anything with glitter - there will be glitter throughout the house for weeks

- plastic jewelry making kit - lots of beads and other small items

- Legos can be similar to the jewelry and kids love them

- Slime and play dough does not disperse but is often left on the floor or furniture

- A bag of army guys or whatever the androgynous modern equivalent is

 

However, if you really want the kids to think you're cool and have the most basic cooking skills, have the kids help you make my Christmas cookies:

https://www.bertc.com/subfive/recipes/deepshit.htm

 

If becoming "that" uncle doesn't appeal, there are good suggestions above.

Kids love to create, build, and play.  There are mini arts and crafts kits that pack more than enough for a weekend into a single box: pipe cleaners, strings, dowels, beads, felt, construction paper, paint, crayons, markers, etc.

My observation is that kids toys and shows largely fall into 2 categories.  Those that are fixed and don't require too much thought or creativity to interact with and those that channel pseudo creativity to a specific result.  I see kids really trapped by "where do I put this piece" thinking rather than "let me see what happens if I do this" thinking.  The less structured art, craft, building sets the better.  They typically feel better when they built their thing vs. following the steps to build the pre-defined thing.

Also, it doesn't hurt to google a few kids jokes - there are many sites out there.  Laughing kids open up and have more fun.

Finally, it doesn't hurt to have a very small and cheap take home gift from uncle.  If you teach them how to fly gliders, make paper planes, or similar.  a small plane to remember you and the event by is something that sticks with most kids. 

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5 hours ago, cyclone said:

Nothing beats a big empty cardboard box

Especially if you wrap it nicely, then the whole family can have fun watching their dejected faces and subsequent crying when they open it and find nothing:lol:

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Dinosaur floor puzzles, or this walk on piano, less expensive versions available too. A large roll of paper for drawing, simple card games (Old Maid?)

AD6B1A86-EE81-4B95-8CF1-137B1F0446FB.jpeg

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13 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

hang them from a tree on bungies

I did it twice in Queenstown, NZ.  You made me laugh out loud.  Thank you.

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2 hours ago, 130lights said:

Dinosaur floor puzzles, or this walk on piano, less expensive versions available too. A large roll of paper for drawing, simple card games (Old Maid?)

AD6B1A86-EE81-4B95-8CF1-137B1F0446FB.jpeg

Awesome, they'll love it.  Thanks to everyone for great suggestions.

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22 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

I have a 3yo niece and 4yo nephew congregating at my mom's for Thanksgiving.  They are once removed in generation...I'm 63.  My neice wants to do rockets like we did when she was a kid.  I have scars.  The boy loves dinosaurs and I think she'd love anything.  Lot's of retired guys here, who's hit a homer on a gift?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Kids love chain saws 

 

A386192D-F3C0-402B-9C01-2FE976BD3A37.jpeg

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4 hours ago, 00seven said:

OK, just a thought.

A great thought but usually too cold by Thanksgiving.  I grew up making kites from left over balsa and newspaper.  I hope every kid has a great childhood.

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When my nephew was four, his mother, my wife and I met at a restaurant. After lunch the ladies wanted to go shopping and stuck me with the kid. We wandered around this upscale shopping center in Richmond full of boutiques and gift shops selling handmade soap, jewelry or other artisanal dust collectors. Anyway, nothing for the kid and I to do, and he was getting pretty bored with the whole experience. Then I saw a big fountain in the middle of a common area and had an inspiration. I got a dollar's worth of pennies from one of the shops, let the kid make a wish and toss a penny into the fountain. The kid loved it, and he spent a full hour and a half thinking of wishes and goofing around.

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3/4 of a year is 9 months..... Why not save up a little for the 2-7/16ths year old celebration.....:P

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4 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

3/4 of a year is 9 months..... Why not save up a little for the 2-7/16ths year old celebration.....:P

 

 

Yo- have you been testing the shine again? Heard about you boys up on the Suwanee… shine ,  banjo music….

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3 hours ago, Snore said:

 

 

Yo- have you been testing the shine again? Heard about you boys up on the Suwanee… shine ,  banjo music….

No banjo.

 Now Harmonium, and accordion are a problem.....

 Get one of those going with a skin flute, and a tractornium..... You got discordia in excess.

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How cold is it?

3-4 year olds will play for hours with an old sail draped across crates to make hills and valleys. 3 inches of water and a couple of tubs of clean builders sand and anything that floats or scoops. 

just put em in old warm clothes and wellies.

Or

If it's too cold outside, go to the goodwill shop and buy a big box full of junk. trophy cups, shiny things, boxes, old hats, scarves second hand plastic animals, polly pockets etc and drape some sheets over a clothes horse and make a treasure cave toss in some cushons and let them eat in there. (watch out for shart edges on the treasure)

And there's a huge developmental difference between 3 and 4

It's known fact. any new toy you spend money on they'll play with it for 4 minutes then go and play with your CD's

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2 hours ago, M@AYC said:

The rockets that are powered by water/air pressure might get the job done

Stomp Rockets!

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If you really want to have a good time, along with the alcohol, pick up a set of lawn darts and some fireworks. I can guarantee a family gathering no one will ever forget. You’ll be a family legend for generations to come.

You can thank me later.

:rolleyes:

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6 hours ago, Point Break said:

If you really want to have a good time, along with the alcohol, pick up a set of lawn darts and some fireworks. I can guarantee a family gathering no one will ever forget. You’ll be a family legend for generations to come.

You can thank me later.

:rolleyes:

Alcohol, darts and fireworks.  I thought your were retired?  Why are you still looking for job security?

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On 10/1/2021 at 12:45 AM, Ishmael said:

These are always a hoot. Outdoors would be a good idea.

Escobar_Inc_Flamethrower.jpg?p=twitter

The kiddes our 3 & 4, howe much our they gonna licke a prettey littelle thige in bra an panties?  The fireballes wille go overt bigge!

:)

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Oh.... A plastic bottle with a box of baking soda in it, with a cork and a funnel and a pint of white vinegar.... Make sure the kid has a pair of safety glasses on.

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A ream of paper, markers, colored pencils, crayons. They will spend hours drawing, writing, coloring, etc

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IPad or any armored tablet

any fire truck with paw patrol on it

a toy digger oh I mean Exkapater

 3 ft long stuffed toy tiger

John Deere toy metal 10 inch farm traction engine / tractor 

 

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