I used to love wandering through the shops on a weekend ….touching items that caught my eye, comparing prices, people watching, stopping for a well earned cup of tea or just enjoying the ambiance of others on a similar mission.
Then i had our beautiful twins and life changed drastically. And i do mean drastically, i don't think i was quite prepared! It was difficult to get out of the house, even if i managed it there was definitely no time for browsing and people watching became a distant memory. I came to dread Birthdays and special occasions like Christmas & Easter and always felt unprepared no matter how hard i tried to get that important shopping done. To be honest it really added to my feelings of inadequacy as a Mum…others managed to get presents brought…what was i doing wrong?
And then i discovered online shopping and the magical people who delivered things right to my door….no packing of the huge nappy bag, no rushing about the house just trying to get out the front door, no struggling with babies and carseats, no stress about finding a park in a busy shopping centre (why is there never one of those lovely ‘parents with prams' parks when i am looking for one…A double pram is a nasty big beast at times!), no fighting to push that big pram through a busy shopping centre and spending too much money as i grabbed whatever i could because babies were crying or toddlers are running in different directions and i couldn't compare best buys like i used to!
Although the toddler twosome are nearly 3 now i still love to do the majority of my shopping online…it's just plain easier to be honest. I'm hoping this doesn't make me a lazy or boring Mum although i do fear the toddler twosome have turned me into a bit of a hermit which is perhaps not so healthy! I wonder when you actually become seen as a mysterious recluse and not a stressed out, snappy mother of toddlers hiding in her trakky daks with not even a thought to makeup or associated beauty regimes!? Bit sad when your teenager applies makeup and gets her hair done more often than you do now. But i digress sorry….
I do my grocery shopping online and i also shop for presents and special occasions. As i am apparently joined to the leg of each of my toddlers at the moment, not to mention the endless public toilet trips since beginning toilet training, I find it to difficult to try and shop in store for toys and anything that *might* also become theirs. Little hands go everywhere and when i reach the checkout i suddenly notice there are little surprises in the trolley that i know i didn't put in there!
I'm pretty sure they work together….one distracts me while the other throws the booty into the trolley….they then follow this up with a tantrum at the checkout so i just give up and buy them anyway so we can make a speedy exit (Yep, i know that isn't ideal parenting but i challenge you to admit you haven't been tempted to do the same!
The girls Birthday is coming up next month and i must admit that i have been feeling like a very slack Mummy because i just haven't wanted to deal with the Birthday present shopping ordeal. So i cannot tell you how excited i was when Big W offered me a voucher to try out their online toy shopping experience!
I have been hesitant about attending the toy sales in the past few years as there are usually so many people trying to grab a bargain and i don't have the luxury of leaving the girls with someone so i can go on my own (we actually don't have that magical someone that everyone keeps telling me to leave the girls with for a break….wish we did but no, not an option for us unfortunately). But an ONLINE TOY SALE….that i can do…pass me the laptop quick!!
The Big W Online Toy Sale begins this week on the 20th June and runs until the 10th July so plenty of time for you to find those perfect gifts for Christmas, upcoming Birthdays…or just because!
I actually like to use the toy sales to buy various games, books, outdoor toys as well as a few favourite novelty items for all 3 girls that i can use throughout the year…takes a bit of the pressure off when it comes to Birthdays and it means i can focus on family at Christmas time too rather than worrying about gift shopping. I have had to find a secret squirrel hole down in the depths of the garage to hide all these glorious buys though!
They are pretty cluey about toys now as they head to 3 yrs old and to see them grab the junk mail and turn to the toy pages you would swear they are already 10! They absolutely love looking through the toy catalogues and picking out their favourites. By adding some scissors, glue and cardboard it turns into a fun little activity for them and it's nice to get some idea of the toys they feel are special or worth a mention as they are the experts in the play department….I'm just an observer really. But i do like to provide quality props and tools for them to ‘work' with.
This time i decided to do something different and we all sat down to look at the toy catalogue online as well as the numerous toy categories. The girls were very excited and i was surprised to see how many toys they pointed out to me that i didn't think they even knew existed…those catalogues are a powerful tool obviously! They were quite impressed when i enlarged their favourite pictures so they could see them better.
Of course i didn't let them choose all the toys they pointed out but i did love watching them interact and get so excited about feeling a little independent and helping Mummy to shop!
I focused mainly on educational, interactive toys because i do sometimes feel i am lacking in this area with the girls….I don't have an Ipad or “I” anything to be honest so i don't have apps and other techy gadgets for them to explore. It concerns me that perhaps i am putting them at a disadvantage by not offering these things now they are getting older but that is a post to explore another day….hopefully i am not the only parent becoming a little overwhelmed by the pace of new technology! I did also chose a few toys that i know will suit their individual personalities and that they showed a keen interest in while helping me shop. I'll be sharing some of my choices with you next week.
This would have to be the first time i have shopped with the girls and not been stressed at the end of the experience! I found the toy categories easy to follow and they allowed me to choose the areas i was interested in with a minimum of searching.
I'm also a huge fan of layby and this has been my preferred way of buying toys when i did attend the toy sales as i could pick them up just before Christmas…no need to hide them for 5 months from prying eyes (Miss Teen has gotten better at this each year!). But the lines….oh the lines, i almost gave up and put the toys back many times!
If you're like me and would like to avoid the lines of stressed shoppers then take advantage of Big W's online no deposit Christmas layby…genius idea to avoid the queues and your toys are delivered right to your door!!
Are you excited yet? Well hold onto your keyboard because Big W are offering Mummy Musings & Mayhem readers the opportunity to win 1 of 5 x $100 Gift Vouchers! Winners will also receive them in time to spend at the toy sale!
I know i could buy a lot of fun with $100 at Big W….how about you?
The competition ends and comments close at 6pm (AEST) on the 30th June 2013. The winner will be notified by email so please make sure to leave your address when commenting! I will update this post with the winning comments after the competition has closed and also share on Facebook. GOOD LUCK
This is a sponsored post for Big W Australia but you can rest assured that all opinions expressed are 100% my own and you can trust my recommendations!
Thank you to all that entered…this contest is now closed and after reading through all of the entries at least 5 times I have decided on 5 winners…..
Jackie @ My little Bookcase
Thanks to all that took the time to enter…it really was an awfully hard job to narrow it down to five! Winners will be contacted by email.
Hinterland Mama says
That’s really very easy Jodie – ‘Lego and construction’ is our first go to every time! Our boys are very much into the gross and fine motor skill honing, at age 5 and 7. Not to mention trying to re-create the picture of ‘what’s in their heads’ into a 3-dimensional, usable object to play with. And then fantasy and action come into next. My 7-year old builds houses and stores and forts with lego. My 5-year old builds marble runs and cities with blocks.
Yes, Lego and construction. We could never have enough 😉
Fiona from Arbordale Farm says
As we don’t have kids I always skip straight to the board games section. I really think that nothing compares to the joy that comes from board games even as an adult. Man your girls are growing up, they have lost their baby faces. Tara looks like she is ready to shop, too cute.
Straight to the Outdoor Play & Activity section for us. We have a very active outdoors girl who loves jumping, swinging, climbing and generally testing all her limits which we love to enable wherever we can. Having moved from WA after 7 years back to the eastern state, our belongings are in storage until the end of the year when we plan to get a house again. Moving interstate means we had to get rid of all our outdoor toys – swing set, trampoline, wading pool, sand pit etc as it just wouldn’t fit in our shipping container.
The possibilities are endless in creating an outdoor “jungle gym” for her to run riot in!
Kate Grono says
My mouse goes straight to the art and craft section (no thought required). The girls, I’m afraid, would prefer Barbies. I don’t know why for the Barbies but for the art and craft section because I’m biased and enjoy that stuff (still!) myself.
Ness @ One Perfect Day says
Straight to Lego and Construction for us! Little R is Lego crazy right now – in fact I actually bought his birthday Lego just yesterday at, you guessed it, Big W! He spends hours at a time mixing all his Lego sets and making “custom mini figures”.
Hi I love your down to earth blog! I’ve nannied for a few set of twins in my career and remember the many full on shopping trips with two delights underfoot! I’m now returned to teaching in a mainstream preschool and would most certainly choose the educational section, or the learning toys as Big W have named them! Keep blogging Jode! I particularly love your posts on sensorial play!
As a mum of three aged 8 and under
It’s ‘Outdoor Games and Toys’, any wonder?!
You see, my three girls love being outside
Exploring the land far and wide
They much prefer that than being cooped up indoors
Outside equals freedom and fun as they explore!
They’d love a sandpit, or a new slide
And elbow and knee pads for a safe scooter ride!
(My email is [email protected])
I go straight to LEGO and Construction. It’s like my son has somehow magnatised the mouse so that it automatically goes wherever there is LEGO, a little like when we go to the shops we have to check out the LEGO section first. But I don’t care because LEGO is the best toy ever!
email: sharon 7999 at yahoo dot com
Lego! (who care’s about any other construction?) That’s where I’d go!
Last year I did a babysitting swap with a friend so we could brave the sales, got there about 3 hours after they started and the two Lego things I wanted were sold out! So this year I am doing it online! Because I have to confess I like Lego as much as all my kids do!
‘Kids Costumes & Role Play’ is where I’d go
For my daughter Mimi and I will have fun all day long
Pretending to be a Queen and a little Princess
Giving cookies and donuts to little people on the road side
Then I’ll tell her no job is too small
We’ll go around the house, dusting and sweeping floors
Soon the day’s gone and comes time to cook dinner
Mimi can help chop vegetables on her KidKraft Kitchen counter
Oh! just imagine, it will be so fun
Thanks to Big W & Mummy musings and mayhem.
Email: eisabainyo at yahoo.com
[email protected] says
Hun, we are trying to use the Big W online shop now but it’s getting hammered because of the amazing sale they’ve got on. They have some very good deals 🙂 I’ve got my eye on the Mr and Mrs Potato series. Have you seen the Wonderwoman Potato Head? LOL. It’s wrong but oh so cute. xo P
Thanks for this as I had missed it had started. I also love online shopping and pick up later in the year (as no need to try and hide it at home).
The first place I would go would be Lego. My mum kept all the toys (including Lego) my sister and I had as kids and has been giving some of mine back to me as my daughter grows up, but I am not allowed the Lego. We had a huge tub, but I am not allowed it. I have asked and begged with no avail. The funny thing was that I asked for the Lego tub (or half of it) and mum said no, but gave me some family jewellery from an estate to look through and see if I wanted any and some of the pieces would have been worth more than all the Lego. So Lego would be my first point of call, so I can build up my collection, to keep forever and make my daughter get more when she has her own kids. 🙂
S. Franssen says
I would head straight for the Board Games. We have four kids under five so the youngest are still playing with the toys from the older two. Life as a family of six is pretty crazy so we have this thing called Friday Game Night, we all sit at the table and play games together. Great opportunity for us all to spend time together and to have fun. They do still have to work on becoming a gracious loser, quite tricky when you are four!
S. Franssen says
As a big family of six it can be quit busy and hectic but we all love our Friday Game Night. Time to sit down together and enjoy some good board games, chat, laugh, share in the joy of winning and also learn to become a gracious loser (quite tricky when you are four). So I would head straight to the Board Games, we would love some new additions to our game shelf.
I’ve headed straight into Outdoor Play and Activity, because if there’s one thing a toddler needs it is to be outdoors and active!
Now if I can just find something on there that will stop him throwing the apricot seeds at his baby brother, and something that will keep the weeds from the grass (oh shiny! a kid’s lawnmower might do the trick!), and something that is like the Tardis to store all the toys?!
The Lego Treehouse would be great,
something my creative kids would appreciate.
Keeping them entertained happily for hours
(maybe I could then have a shower!)
Thank-you Lego you can’t be beat.
For allowing a toilet break in peace!
Email for FiFi – [email protected] 🙂
Jenny Czarny says
For my two noisy pipers,
The category I’d choose,
Would definitely be books,
My poor ears couldn’t lose!
Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue says
Art and craft,you can’t get that from the op shop and all our kids are pretty crafty
Gemma Westacott says
I’d go straight to Art & Craft for my mini Picasso!
My daughter loves anything creative and has been making some amazing paintings and drawings using my VERY old watercolour paints and crayons that are left over from when I was a kid. Lol.
I’d love to get her some of the fantastic new markers and paints in Big W’s range to encourage her to continue with her passion.
Gemma Westacott says
My email is gemmawestacott (at) hotmail (dot) com
Penny Whitehouse says
I’d go to outdoor play for the obvious reasons of being a nature nut and that I have nothing in out backyard. It plain, dead and boring at the moment. It could use some sprucing up!
PRESCHOOL AND EARLY LEARNING is the toy category that we will explore first because my little boy is 10 months old and toys from this category are the best for a little one’s development and entertainment.Toys from this category will keep him occupied for hours and will stimulate his physical as well as mental development.
I’d head to the Board Games, Indoor Activity and Books section as with two crazy boys we’re in need of a bit more quite time opportunities in this house! It would be nice for them to draw swords on paper rather than from their belts.
Sorry, forgot to leave my email! [email protected]
Preschool and Early Learning,
It has everything they’ve been yearning.
Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer,
Octonauts and Leapfrog Explorer.
Birthday and Christmas gifts all done and dusted,
Saves me buying last minute and getting all flustered!
email- [email protected]
Hi Jodie my choice would definitely be the trampoline. With my four boys spending much time outside the trampoline is a winner.Not just for exercise or learning many tricks, its a great place for me to lay and enjoys the sun.our current has sen its days and inneed of a newy.
I would love to say that I would buy some books to relax with, headphones to drone out the world, or to even say Id blow it ALL on chocolate in the chocolate isle!!! And in my head the evil me plots that! ..Luckily I listen to the ‘good mumma me’ when it comes to my kids :)….although I do think using it in the outdoor play area is still semi driven by the evil me as whilst they played with new outdoor activities i could enjoy a quiet cup of tea inside 😉 So for this quiet five minute seeking mumma of 4 Id go for the outdoor play section.
Kim [email protected] says
I would go straight to the ART AND CRAFT section, because I know that is what my daughter would do, she is craft mad and would love a big box full of the stuff!!
Kelli Rootes says
Art and craft is the place to be
Making things for the kids and me
Glueing, painting, drawing and construction is fun
For who you say?? I say everyone!!
First on my agenda would be Lego & Construction
For play is more fun if you’re involved in the production
Building all kinds of creations whilst building creativity
That’s why it’s the right choice for me
[email protected] Little Bookcase says
I went straight for the BABY AND PRESCHOOLER TOYS.
My poor baby Ike is 6 months old and I haven’t bought him anything for himself yet. He plays with all of his big sister’s old, pink toys and her worn out Sophie.
He simply must get a special treat during this toy sale season. 🙂
Art and craft is what I look at first.
Reason? My second baby is due soon and I want to be able to amuse my toddler at home.
That, and I am wanting to encourage his creativity.
Cutting, pasting, colouring, drawing, painting and playing with play doh is what I want him to try
Rather than watching too much tv!!
Thank you for the giveaway!!!
Gianna Huesch says
Kids costumes and role play. My kids are always having to “be” someone!
Probably Lego & Construction, and Dolls. My daughter is addicted to lego, we spend hours every day making houses and farm yards, and she’d love some new lego to play with! And then i’d look at Dolls, because she loves dressing bubby every day and has pretty much destroyed her with texta recently, so I would love to get her a new dolly to play with! It might also help her learn to care for it like she will with her new baby sister arriving soon! [email protected]
Emma Green says
Learning toys is the first thing we click to see
We love seeing new and fun ways to learn!
Big w have a great range of learning toys, its where we get our learning toys from
ART & CRAFT TOYS 🙂
Winter begins and the outside games going down.
Art and craft inside is perfect for kids of all ages!
Fingers crossed and THANK YOU for the chance.
Elyssa. ([email protected])
How can anybody choose just one section. For real fun you need to mix things up. Could you imagine if the kids took the Peppa Pig Jumping in Muddy Puddles play mat and put it on the trampoline.
Wherever I think I’m most likely to find a crocodile toy of any kind for my nephew. I’ve already got him plenty of crocodile plush toys so maybe I might look for a crocodile costume in Kids Costumes and Role Play. We get him crocodiles because when he was first scanned in the womb, my sister said that he looked like a crocodile and nicknamed him ‘Croco’. Since then, we all shower him with crocodile things which he loves.
I know I’m not first to say, but I’d go for Lego all the way!
Educational value and fun to play, I’d happily wander through the Lego aisle all day!
These magic little blocks keep my kid sitting still, except when swallowed like a pill (eek)
Building new sets is always a thrill, and low BigW prices slash my Lego bill!
The only thing that’s not so neat, is stepping on the pieces in bare feet.
Pain aside, about Lego I’ll still bleat, for our collection will never be complete!
only1only7 at gmail dot com
Misanthropic Eagle says
Action figures. There’s nothing you can’t do with robots; Make them walk, talk, have a tea party, polish their heads. Personally I just like to stare at them; great serenity. My nephew likes to hit them against the floor, but he’s 15 months so I’ll forgive him.
it would have to be LEGO, Robert loves getting Lego for birthdays, Christmas, from his mum and dad, his aunties, his nan and grand dad and great grandmas. It does make it easy. He looks in the catalogues and says ” let me tell you which ones I haven’t got”
Big W beats any one’s price on City fire truck, Cement truck and dirt bike Transporter. So guess what he will be getting for his birthday on 11th July
Charlotte E says
As a teacher in training I am drawn to the ‘Learning Toys’ section first but as a Mum to a 3 year old daughter that loves babies (which I am not planning for anytime soon) I would have to explore ‘Dolls and Accessories’ so she can get her baby fix some other way 🙂
Aimee T says
Kids Costumes & Role Play. I can be wonder women to my son one day and the next a ugly monster! nothing beats running a muck! living out little crazy worlds out in action! saving one cookie at a time!, Lots of laughs, that turn to gold in mummies heart! 🙂 My little super hero!
Outdoor play and activity
Last year we moved from a pokey 405m house block to 9996m and we’ve never been happier.
These days play dates are usually at our house as the yard is flat, fenced and safe so we mummies can chat and the kids can run and play to their heart’s content. The rope ladder at BigW is only $10…I’d put one on either side of the mango tree and they could have climbing races. Photos happily provided!
The Baking Section,…….FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD!!!! Our children can learn to love their bodies and nourish themselves with wholesome, healthy recipes,whilst inadvertently learning so many other skills, such as maths, spelling, reading, listening,….opens an echanting, creative world for all♥ [email protected]